On a frigid Saturday morning in January, in the midst of another Polar Vortex, a hearty group of folks chose to take an icy dip in the Potomac River near Washington, DC.
This was the Polar Plunge, the yearly fundraiser for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a local group working to fend off the extremes of climate change.
And for the first time they needed an ice breaker to create a place to plunge.
I’ve been thinking a lot about climate change lately, what with “Mega-Drought Panic ” in California, weekly winter storms barreling through the U.S., President Obama’s upcoming Keystone oil pipeline decision, and the EPA trying to corral coal.
And while the “moderate” Mid-Atlantic is dealing with withering cold snaps, the Arctic is confronting the unprecedented possibility of having ice-free summers by 2018. Scientists worry that the resulting release of methane gases could lead to, as NASA researcher Charles Miller put it, “changes in climate that are simply not reversible in our lifetimes.”
This is what sent this scantily clad community of activists into the icy breach, backed by pledges of support by family and friends.
Ice dancing for a change.
A refreshing course of action.
And a reminder that the writing, if not on the wall, is on the retreating Arctic ice shelf. A wake up call we best respond to.