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Central Oregon’s Vanishing Glacier

The Collier Glacier, one of Central Oregon’s most treasured natural possessions, is shrinking faster than most of the 35 other glaciers in the state, a team of geologists who spent time this summer exploring the region reported.

Ellen Morris Bishop, an Oregon-based geologist, told the Associated Press that the glaciers of the Oregon Cascades are in a “chaotic shrink” phase. And where do Bishop and her crew place the blame? Why global warming, of course.

Collier Glacier is located between the North and Middle Sisters just west of Bend. And although we’re sad to see the massive bulge of ice and snow disappearing before our very eyes, it’s worth noting that between 1924 and the early 1950s, Collier shrunk nearly in half. Since that time it has continued to retreat in length nearly every year. The world is beyond the point of questioning global warming; the facts are in on that debate. It’s simply important to remember to study the past before immediately slamming the panic button. In the case of Collier, its demise was happening long before Al Gore came along.

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Book Festivals of the West 2011

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