Year 2, Month 8, Day 1: From The Roof Of The World…

One of the world’s most experienced Everest hands, Apa Sherpa, has firsthand testimony about the effects of climate change, reports the July 16th edition of The Hindu:

It was in 1985 that Apa Sherpa, who scaled Mount Everest for the 21st time in May 2011, came face to face with climate change. His entire village Thame was washed away in a massive glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) of the Dig Tsho (Tsho-lake), in the western section of the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Khumbu Himal, on August 4, 1985.

The veteran mountaineer, who dropped out of school at 12 to work as a porter for expeditions to support his family, told The Hindu that the lake burst at 2 a.m. and he had a narrow escape. Now his worry is another glacial lake in the Everest region, Imja, which is growing bigger. “Imja Khola is a threat to the entire region and I can’t say if it is as safe as is made out to be. We have to do something before it bursts.” Imja, located in the Khumbu region close to the Everest base camp, did not exist in photographs taken in the 1950s, but now has rapidly expanded to 1.012 sq km.

When The Force offers you a good analogy, take it. Sent July 16:

The Sherpa villagers below the burgeoning Imja lake in Mount Everest’s shadow have much to teach the rest of humanity. Of all the world’s peoples, these villagers have contributed not a single iota to the CO2 emissions that have built up in our atmosphere over the past century and now threaten to trigger a runaway greenhouse effect — yet they are the ones who daily look up at a growing lake poised over their heads.

All the Earth’s peoples now face the Sherpas’ Damoclean predicament. If humanity is to endure and prosper, it is time to get to work on controlling our carbon emissions, addressing the genuine threat of climate change. The world’s political and economic leaders appear to care more for profits than people, but it’s only through a global transition to renewable energy that they, and we, will survive the coming centuries of climate chaos.

Warren Senders

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