National Parks Endangered

Let’s talk tragedy a moment. Let’s take a look at how hot things are getting, and how uncomfortable this makes us each day during the summer, and how much it costs to use the AC on full blast and all those things…sucks, huh? Now forget the ice caps melting and Manhattan going underwater and the Maldives disappearing. that likely won’t happen in our lifetime. Our kids will have to deal with that. But there is a very real tragedy due to global warming that, says Outside Magazine, might be happening right now. As they put it: “Imagine Glacier National Park with no glaciers, Joshua Tree barren of Joshua trees, Yellowstone absent of grizzlies, and Yosemite even more crowded than it already is.” Yosemite more crowded than it is!? We’ll have to call it Disney Yosemite.

But seriously, as a rabid fan of the National Parks, I shudder at the thought that they might have more problems than just poor administration. The Outside piece takes this bit of doomsday news from a new report issued Tuesday by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The report is called “Losing Ground,” and it discusses a wide array of problems that could occur if these warming trends continue. The interactive here is actually quite well done.

Anyway, each park has its own problems from Glacier Park no longer having glaciers (will they rename it?) to an infestation of mountain bark beetles at Yellowstone which would devastate the forests.

We should take this stuff seriously. The parks are the crown jewels of our national natural heritage. It would suck to see them permanently harmed.