I recently met up with another member of the Michigan diaspora in the strangest of all places: in an alpine campsite in Aysén Province, Chile, on the other side of the world. I hadn’t seen Brock in almost 15 years when he showed up in my campsite as I was finishing the day’s work in the field, but we got on like it was yesterday. It helped that during the intervening years our lives had followed weirdly parallel trajectories: we both flew the coop after graduation, studied geo-something, found ourselves now in the Patagonian backcountry, and now wrestle in our own ways with the topic of climate change.
I study past glacier change to understand “natural” climate change durng the relatively warm period since the last ice age. Brock, along with his partner in crime Ilene, are concerned with human impacts on the environment, and perhaps more importantly, what we can do to effect positive change on the world.
I knew this much about Brock and Ilene’s adventures, but was still surprised when Ilene said to me, “We’d like to hear your opinion as a climate scientist. What can we do, on a personal level, to help fight climate change?” At first I hesitated: I’m not strictly a climate scientist, as a glacial geologist my job description is more akin to ice monkey or rock jock, and in any case I study climate changes that have already happened. But Ilene has a way of being oddly persistent, so in the shadow of a receding glacier I sat down with her and gave a response that even surprised myself a little bit.
Here’s the interview in full:
Check the comments of the video for my annotation, where I give some references if you are interested in learning more about some of the topics we discuss.