Thomas Friedman, the NY Times columnist, reported yesterday from the peaks of Machu Picchu, Peru about the effects of global warming and the consequent dramatic climate changes in this ecologically delicate area. If one needs more anecdotal evidence of the warming trend that is ravaging the planet, Friedman’s account details what’s happening in one of the many deteriorating climates at the environment’s edges:
Watching the sun rise from atop the Incan
ruins at Machu Picchu, you can look around
360 degrees and see Andean mountains ev-
erywhere. The highest of them were always
described in the guidebooks as "snow capped."
Today, they're more "snow frosted."…
Sitting here, you can see the whole global
vicious cycle we are in and have to break.
To combat climate change, we need to
break our addiction to consuming oil, while
developing countries need to break their ad-
diction to selling it. We need a different life-
style model, and they need a different devel-
It’s not as if we really need more proof, but the disappearing snow peaks of the Andes are a harbinger of the warming phenomenon affecting the entire Earth. If even Friedman, a general interest columnist without a previous specialty in ecological writing, is noticing how extreme the situation is, maybe we all should all begin to pay attention.