Home Thriving Glaciers and Doomed Environmentalists
Home Thriving Glaciers and Doomed Environmentalists

Thriving Glaciers and Doomed Environmentalists

"This August I visited Glacier National Park in Montana," Gianna Kelly, the founder of Climb for Conservation, wrote in the Huffington Post. "I am still stunned to have learned the following fact: by 2020, no glaciers will exist in Glacier National Park."

Kelly, who had worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, wrote that back in the first year of the Obama administration. It might stun her more to learn that Obama is out of the White House and that the glaciers of Glacier National Park are still there and waiting to be visited.

Throughout the Obama era, visitors to Glacier National Park were frequently harangued with false claims that the glaciers would all be gone in a decade. These warnings decorated dioramas and trash cans even as the hysterical propaganda become more ridiculous with every passing year.

The snow lay heavy on Logan Pass, when I arrived in July 2017. Visitors stomped through thick snow to reach the Hidden Lake Overlook. The alpine meadows of the Hanging Gardens didn’t live up to their name. Instead of the wildflowers that most visitors expected, there were nearly endless fields of white. Mountain goats, unaware that they were threatened by the supposed rising temperatures that were warming Glacier’s glaciers into extinction, eyed us suspiciously as we tried not to slip on the ice.

Sperry Glacier, a frequent target for environmentalist doommongers, was still there in the distance.

Next year, there was a 30-year snow record at Glacier. Snow removal crews in late April were struggling with drifts of between 10 to 20 feet. East Glacier Park Village measured 284 inches of snow.

Glacier National Park recorded “one of the coldest winters on record” this year. And across Montana, record wind chill temperatures hit 68 below zero in Bozeman and 59 below zero in Helena. In Great Falls, the temperature stayed below freezing for 32 days until the beginning of March.

In time for the 2019 summer season at Glacier National Park, the embarrassing signs claiming that the glaciers won’t be there next year have begun coming down. But the doomsday predictions won’t leave.

The melting glaciers of Glacier have been the subject of countless media stories and at least one book, The Melting World: A Journey Across America’s Vanishing Glaciers, from St. Martin’s Press, which excitingly promised to chronicle the “the first extinction of a mountain ecosystem in what is expected to be a series of such global calamities as humanity faces the prospect of a world without alpine ice.”

Melting World followed Daniel Fagre, who heads the Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems Project for the United States Geological Survey, and is the figure most associated with the 2020 number.

Fagre had told the book’s author back in 2008 that all the glaciers would be gone in 10 to 12 years.

The USGS global warming expert has been quoted in media outlets every year predicting the death of the glaciers. He is largely responsible for the comparison photos claiming that the glaciers are vanishing, which he traces back to a visit by former Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration.

Fagre has a BA in Environmental Science, an MS in Animal Ecology and a PhD in Animal Ecology. In 1990, the Global Change Research Act was passed. The disastrous law created a massive infrastructure of chicken little “experts” tasked with finding evidence that the sky was falling.

In 1991, Fagre was hired to start to "climate change research program" and wrote a proposal to use the glaciers of Glacier to monitor the impact of global warming.

Somewhere along the way, despite no geology degree, he was deemed a glacier expert.

"One of the first things that we did was we went up and looked at Grinnell Glacier," he recalled.

Grinnell Glacier is the environmentalist's special nemesis.

In 2010, he told CNN that Grinnell Glacier was "this little dirty glacier that seems to be obviously falling apart, that has become very tiny and decrepit".

"This one is on its last legs," he insisted.

But Grinnell Glacier refuses to die. Instead it appears to have been growing.

The photos warning that the glaciers are shrinking are the work of Fagre and Lisa McKeon, who has a BA in Zoology. Neither of the two glacier experts, so often quoted in the media, have geology degrees.

But Fagre is the doomsayer most likely to predict the end of all the glaciers in Glacier. That’s why he and the media were outraged that the “area’s top climate scientist” wasn’t able to “share his expertise on global warming’s role in the retreating ice sheets” with Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg.

Fagre, who, according to one profile, doesn’t like “deskwork”, loves sharing his “expertise”. And that means predicting that the glaciers will be gone in a decade or two or who knows when.

And the government employee is open about his motives. “My role as a scientist is to make sure that everybody understands the pace at which they’re disappearing, and the reasons for that, so that, again, better decisions could be made societally.”

That’s not the role of a scientist. It’s the agenda of an advocate. The signs and photos warning of a glacier apocalypse at Glacier National Park are political advocacy.

"We get a lot of information visually," Fagre said. "And we tend to trust that even more than what we hear.”

That’s sensible enough because listening to Fagre speak can get a little bit confusing. Over the years, his doomsday date for the great glacier apocalypse has continued to fluctuate.

In 1999, he claimed that “all of Glacier's glaciers will be gone in 30 years”.

In a 2004, National Geographic article, he predicted that “within 30 years most if not all of the park's namesake glaciers will disappear”.

By either 2029 or 2034, some or all of the glaciers are set to disappear. Or something.

In 2009, Fagre downgraded a previous claim that all the glaciers would be gone by 2030, down to 2020. That 2020 date was featured in numerous media pieces warning that the glaciers would be gone in a decade. They also popped up in the park signage that is now being taken down in time for 2020.

In an official Glacier video, Fagre claimed in 2010 that, "they’ll melt by about 2020".

In a 2010 NBC News piece, the 2020 claim was cited, but Fagre hedged that some of the largest glaciers might make it to 2030.

The glaciers of Glacier National Park are always disappearing. But they never quite do.

Six years later, Fagre claimed that most of the glaciers would be “small insignificant lumps of ice on the landscape", but these lumps might survive another 10 or 15 years.

Three years after a 2011 chat with Fagre, in which the 2020 figure was cited, the New York Times did yet another piece claiming against that the glaciers are still vanishing.

"What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone?" the 2014 article began. This time it claimed that in 30 years, "there may be none". That postponed the date of glacier doomsday to 2044.

Fagre was quoted as saying, “I think we’re on the cusp of bigger changes.” Five years later, the biggest change is that the 2020 signs are being replaced.

In a 2017 USA Today piece, Fagre warned that the glaciers would be gone in our lifetime.

"Their fate is sealed," he insisted.

Sealed, indeed.

“What is important," Fagre emphasized, "is that it will happen in our lifetime.”

According to his conversation with a PBS reporter, "estimates on when the glaciers will disappear completely vary widely, from 2030 to 2080, depending on winter weather."

2030 to 2080 is quite a range.

“We are going to go toward a virtually glacierless state in the next few decades. Fagre had told Audubon in 2010. “We don’t care whether it is 2033 or 2029 or 2035. It’s just what’s happening.”

Scientists generally care about dates and predictions. The prophets of inevitable doom are cranks.

In a Guardian article in 2017, he claimed that all the glaciers in the country would vanish in the next few decades. “It’s inevitable,” Fagre insisted.

"They will certainly be gone before the end of the century," Fagre told a CBS affiliate in 2017.

"It's not just going to happen in my lifetime,” he had insisted in 2002 "It's going to happen during my career."

Back then, Fagre had been 49-years-old. He’s now approaching retirement age.

The glaciers of Glacier seem likely to outlive the environmentalist who had spent the bulk of his career predicting their doom. And, if the Department of the Interior cleans house, they will outlive his career.

P.S. I'll be speaking on The War Against Us in Los Angeles on Wed, June 19, at 7 P.M.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Thank you for reading.


  1. Some photonics questions

    What are the photon absorption bands of CO2?
    What are the photon absorption bands of water vapor?
    What is the overlap?
    What does it mean?

    It means that water vapor is by far the predominant “greenhouse gas”. If that is the case on a planet 70% covered by water, then variations in CO2 are not causing warming. Worse. Variations in greenhouse gasses are not causing climate change.

    Water vapor (WV) and CO2 absorb/radiate in the same bands. There is 100 times as much WV as CO2 in the atmosphere..

    We have a water problem.

  2. Dennis Prager said:

    “Here's more evidence the Left does not
    believe its global warming hysteria:

    How many Leftists with beachfront property
    anywhere in the world have sold it?

    If Leftists really believe global warming
    will cause the oceans to rise and soon
    inundate the world's coastal areas,
    why would any Leftist not sell his
    beachfront home while he could
    not only make all his money back
    but make a profit as well?”

    Do Leftists Believe What They Say?
    by Dennis Prager, 2019 February 19

  3. So, this Fagre fella is nothing more than an imbecile and a liar?... That IS an "expert" as far as the leftist vermin of America are concerned. It's also why they WILL lose when the coming unpleasantness rears its ugly head as they're so desperate for it to do. Make your list, stack deep, train, prpare and make your accountability list. It's coming, whether you like it or not. Win, or else... The alternative is simply not worth pondering.

  4. Anonymous16/6/19

    From climbforconservation.org/mission/,
    “According to recent studies, unless we
    take action now, half of all species on
    Earth will be extinct by 2100!”

    Science Daily says there are 8.7 million species,
    and the Quarterly Review of Biology says 2 billion.
    Oh, please. These PC sophists have no notion of
    the scope nor trend of Earth’s biodiversity.
    Just as with their bombastic warming scare, they
    prey on the PBS addled brains of lefty suckers.

    This feels like debunking the “wage gap” yet again.


  5. A lot off topic, but something every doctor and nurse trained in the last 10 years, knows.

    Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that 70% of female heroin addicts were sexually abused in childhood.

    Post USA Civil War alcoholism was called "the soldiers disease"

    Addiction is a symptom of PTSD. Look it up.

  6. Farge and his environmental buddies resemble a stuttering Porky Pig. Their brains are "on ice."

  7. Anonymous17/6/19

    I live near Mt. Baker. I spend a huge amount of time there. One year In 1977 I explored Easton Glacier. After scrabbling down its Morraine from Railroad Grade I noticed a dated stake evan with the terminus of the glacier's snout. Glancing down the banks of the creek and glacial wash I saw a series of stakes along down the creek bed. I followed them. On every stake was a year date. 1977, 1976, ...1968.Eveery year a new stake appeared further up the moraine. I had no agenda concerning global warming. I don't recall any buzz about things of that sort back then, In fact the BIG SCARE back then was GLOBAL FREEZING.(Nuclear winter was just gravy) I left the PNW between 1986 and 2002. During that time Mt Baker was declared the snowiest place on earth. Yup, one year they got 120. That's feet. Last I think it got 50. when I moved back I was astonished to hike up the Railroad Grade trail. when I reached the top to observe the glacier, well, I had trouble finding it: it was a few hundred yards further up. Someone from California coming to the area wouldn't notice a thing wrong. The stakes have been long-since pulled up. Some years we get a late snow and the tourist come to see flowers and get SNOW! SEE? NO GLOBAL WARMING. Really. I believe my lying eyes. We can knock ourself out with the blame game, but untimely snowfall blizzards or not, those damn glaciers are shrinking not a little but, a lot.__Richard Trank, Bellingham WA

  8. The whole thing is fake and contrived it was originally global cooling but then in the 70s at the Rio agenda 21 meetings they decided that they were going to change it to global warming man-made global warming was going to be the rally cry and the the thing that unites Humanity together to help Usher in the One World Government

  9. When we get a "woke" president, the signs will go back up with the warning that will be 10 years out. About 7 year later, they will be replaced with signs warning of zero glaciers in 10 years; 7 years after that...

  10. Beware of the doomsayers. They spout tales of destruction but the truth always wins. Yes they will be years warmer and colder. One has to look back 1000-500 years just to get a glimpse of any pattern and that would be too small of a window. Fake science, or better fake scientist who want to ride the greenhouse gravy train. Actually a bit of warming up is beneficial to feeding our growing population but I think we wont be around to see it. Al Gore made a buck off it.

  11. We came out of the "Little Ice Age" in the middle of the 19th century. All of the 20th century we continued with the general warming. Odd thing about the 2000-2019 period is that the warming hasn't really continued (except where the government workers "adjusted" the actual readings).
    I do know that the CO2 rose AFTER the Temperature rose, not before! And now they are going after methane. How nice. Water Vapor is vastly more important than any other 'green house' gas.
    The "You MUST DO SOMETHING NOW" crowd is exactly what we were told to look for to discover a CON JOB targeting us. Just like all those TV ads with YOU MUST ORDER NOW before they are all gone. Yea, all 250,000 units they can't move...
    I'm actually surprised at the lack of warming today considering how cold the early 1800s experienced.


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