Last year, Arctic explorer Dennis Schmitt discovered that the world as-we-know-it is changing fast. In a remote coastal region of Greenland, “Warming Island” was created when the ice connecting it to the mainland melted away. The Greenland ice sheet – nearly three miles thick in places – is now melting at speeds once thought impossible. If the ice melts completely, sea level will rise twenty-three feet around the world. Karl Marx once famously said about modern life: “all that is solid melts into air.” Though Marx was no environmentalist, he was very aware of the swift changes brought on by rapid exploitation of natural resources. These changes have begun to stretch the natural contours of our planet. But all is not lost, yet. “Warming Island” could also have been called “WARNING Island” because it is a harbinger of things to come. Now that the map has been erased, how will we choose to re-write it? Hopefully, with a trained eye and a skillful touch, we can create a collective picture of a long-term sustainable future. The world-as-we-know-it may be disappearing, but as any explorer will tell you, a new world may also be on the horizon.
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