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NEWS: The melting of the Athabasca Glacier, where climate and water justice meet

The issue of glacier melt is where climate justice and water justice come together.
– Maude Barlow

A news report today says Alberta’s Rocky Mountain glacier cover is melting at an accelerated rate, impacting future water supply in major rivers. It’s estimated 300 glaciers have been lost in the past three decades. Glaciers in Canada hold water equivalent to all the water contained in lakes and rivers in Canada. The Athabasca River begins at the Athabasca Glacier, which has shrunk by more than 1.5 kilometres in the past 125 years. The Harper government’s response? In February, environment minister Peter Kent approved a commercial developer to proceed with a mulit-million dollar ‘Glacier Discovery Walk’ tourist attraction a few kilometres up the road from the Athabasca Glacier.

The Calgary Herald reports, “Dozens of scientists took a bus early Wednesday to the middle of the snow-covered Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefield, stepping into a site that’s known as Canada’s hydrological apex. …The tour — led by the University of Calgary’s Shawn Marshall and Michael Demuth of the Geological Survey of Canada — is a stark reminder of how quickly Alberta’s Rocky Mountain glacier cover is melting away and what it could mean for future water supplies.” More at http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Glacier+retreat+affects+stream+ecology+water+resources/7406416/story.html.

Four campaign blogs on this can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22athabasca+glacier%22.