The Mountains Don’t Glisten

In the winter the mountains don’t glisten. The air is cool, the skies are gray and only rain pours down. And the mountains shine with dirt. So in truth they don’t luster at all, because nothing can shine with dirt and stone.

And if the mountains don’t shine then the creeks don’t gurgle and the rivers don’t rush in the springtime. Instead the land will be dry and thirsting for freshwater.

And as the air warms, the ocean reflects the land. The beautiful rainbow that is the life of the ocean will slowly fade away, and the warm water will be alone and empty.

This is not the earth we want to live in. Not. A single. One of us.

What do we love about this planet? We love the green and the blue and the red and all the colors in between; we love the whispers of leaves and the melodies of birds and the general noise of nature’s breath; we love the animals we share this place with who swim and walk and fly. We love the sharp air of early mornings and the smooth, damp air of warm nights.

This is what we love about our earth.

This is what we love about our earth.

How could we sit back and watch the the thing that literally gives us life become poison at our own hands? How could we let that earth become our earth? How can we ignore this– or worse yet, how could we not care?

What worse can you do than lie to yourself? As a race, as the human race, how can we lie to ourselves?

The problem is not that we don’t believe in global warming.

The problem is that we don’t care. Not enough.

But I’m going to try to change that. I’m going to try to make a big enough impression on you that you change. And it’s going to be hard, because life as we live it is life how we like it. And the small fish HUGE pond effect makes everything seem insignificant. But here we go…

Data won’t do anything. It doesn’t for me. Once you get into numbers over three digits, I can’t even comprehend what that means. So I’m not going to load you down with numbers.

Instead, imagine the earth I described above. Where the mountains don’t glisten. And so the rivers don’t run with snowmelt, and the ocean heats up so the sea life can no longer survive. A season-less, boring earth, where there is little variation.

This is where writing gets frustrating. Because I should be able to end it right here. We should all care enough about our planet, and the species we share it with, to feel sick to our stomachs reading this. We should all care so much that just reading about a plain earth is enough of an insult to get us off our butts and making change.

But sadly, disgustingly, most of us don’t care enough, myself included. It’s not prevalent enough in our minds that we will put in the work to adjust our day-to-day habits. Habits are hard to break, I’ll give us that, but if you want something badly enough you will break some habits for it. So we have to put it in perspective: we have to angle it so we see how it effects us personally.

Think about what you love about our beautiful planet. Do like to travel? Well, if we continue to live the way we do then all the places you go after a while will look the same because the weather will be the same, and landscapes will just repeat themselves and the animals will all just be different versions of each other. Are you sporty? Well, without snow, there’s no skiing, and there’s no river rafting or kayaking. And if we keep killing off animals, then there will be no more fantastic beasts to see on your hike or while snorkeling. Do you like the weather? Well don’t count on it sticking around. You’ll be waking up in November and it’s going to look the same outside as it does in spring. Stunning views? They’ll look identical once the plants are gone. The animals? They’re dying off as you read.

Polar bears are an endangered species.

Polar bears are an endangered species. Photo cred:

Our planet is changing, and it’s changing at an unnatural rate. And it’s changing because of us. You and me and our friends and our families. We are all equally responsible. We all contribute a little and it amounts to much more than a lot. And we don’t even think about what we are doing. We do it unconsciously. We take long showers, and we drive alone in our cars and we ride airplanes all over and we use gasoline, and we never think of the consequences. At least, not until we can see them. And now we are starting to.

This year was kind of a crap snow year, at least as far as I can tell, since I don’t follow it particularly closely. But around here ski buses and trips have been cancelled because there’s basically no snow. I get that it could just be a weird year, and I get that it isn’t all that out of the ordinary that Seattle doesn’t get any snow. But the mountains always get snow, even if it’s just really bad snow. Not this year. This year there’s no snow and it’s not just a freak year. It’s not just a mild winter, because we haven’t gotten much snow in Seattle for around 3 years now, and usually we will at least get one big snow each winter. It’s global warming, and it’s going to continue.

And did you know the polar bear will likely become extinct in my lifetime? And that there are well over 1,000 threatened species in the United States alone?

Are ten minute showers a good exchange for snow? Is driving to work alone instead of walking, busing or carpooling worth the lives of the creatures in the ocean? Is having your tv and lights on all the time comparable to hundreds of thousands of square miles of deforestation?



I do not want to depress you. I don’t want to make you feel small and insignificant. And I don’t want to send you the message that there is nothing we can do to stop our world from becoming the world where mountains don’t glisten. We can stop it, and we can change our path, but to do that we have to change our ways. We have to realize that almost every piece of energy we use (unless you’ve made your energy supply sustainable- if you have then thank you) contributes to global warming. And that means that every single piece of energy we don’t use contributes to saving our planet and everything we love about it. You are not insignificant on this earth. You can make a difference. You can start a movement. All it takes sometimes is fixing your brick on a broken wall for everyone else to realize that they too need to fix their own brick. And then, after a while, your sorry broken wall doesn’t look broken at all, but instead is strong and tall.

We can all be the change. We all have to be the change if we want our earth to last, and I think that’s one thing we can agree on.

If we keep living the way we are living–wastefully and ignorantly– then the earth will keep dying.

I beg you to change. If not for yourself, then for everything you love in life. Our earth is crying for help. Will you listen?

Photo Credits:


One thought on “The Mountains Don’t Glisten

  1. Emma14 says:

    This was an extremely difficult topic to write about. It’s very frustrating to try to explain WHY people should care about the earth. They just should.
    Thank you for reading this. If you were touched or this made you angry or sad or feel anything, please spread the word. Share this with others, because we need to work at this together. Let me know what you think of this post in comments. Thanks!



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