As we flew out of Anchorage yesterday, I couldn't help but think about how the mudflats and glaciers and clouds, were doing their own thing, oblivious to the decisions Alaska voters were making.
Are they affected by our decisions? Definitely. Glaciers are shrinking, the water is growing more acidic and changing the flora and fauna. Human decisions about energy play a big role here. But whether Alaskans get a few billion dollars more or oil companies do, affects nature minimally.
The first three pictures are closeups from the following picture.
Wait, you say, we're changing the landscape. Yes, but it's always changing. The mountains rise and fall and other mountains rise. That's what our natural environment does.
And this is a wider angle view of the previous picture.
And I won't even address those who deny that climate change is impacted significantly by human action. Those folks are willfully ignorant - they have personal reasons for rejecting what most scientists believe. For those who still believe the Koch brothers' drivel on climate change, check the skeptical science website.
For those who don't know the flight out of Anchorage I'm not putting these up in chronological order. First we passed over the mudflats across the inlet from Anchorage.
At first I was worried I'd only see clouds as we got into the Chugach range. Nice clouds for sure, but I'm always awed by the views of the mountains and glaciers and water around Anchorage and Prince William Sound.
The serious impacts of climate change will be on humans and other species that will find their way of life disrupted by the rapid changes that human-generated climate change causes. We're already seeing it in fiercer storms, rain concentrated in some areas and missing in others. Rivers changing courses. Northern oceans, without the ice cover, erode the shorelines. No problem, just natural changes, unless you live there.
People opposed to immigration will have to figure out what to do when the people of Florida and Manhattan start leaving as the water laps higher and higher.
We were further south here - I'm guessing over coastal British Columbia.
Looking-into-the-sun photos do distort the colors a lot. It was beautiful, but the contrast between light and dark wasn't so stark.
People opposed to giving women birth control choices have to consider how climate change will impact many of those babies born around the world because women had no access to birth control. Agriculture and housing will be devastated by severe weather events. The ensuing struggles for food will lead to human violence even more brutal, because it's conscious violence, as people fight just to survive.
But the mountains and glaciers and mudflats and oceans will adapt to new chemicals, new weather patterns, new organisms.