El Último Hielero (The Last Ice Merchant)

My experiences in Ecuador forced me to think a lot about the intersection of culture and climate change. As a scientist, I often focus on the science, and steer away from discussion of political or social implications in my classes. But as I begin to better see the broad range of approaches and responses to changes in the environment and climate – ranging from outright denial (among supposedly educated people) that there are changes caused by humans, to complete ignorance that changes can occur – I’m getting a greater feel for the complexity of the problem, the complexity involved in addressing climate change – and it scares the hell out of me.

I love this little film that touches on cultural change in conjunction with climate change and adaptation. There is some great cinematography of the Andes in Ecuador, and it does a good job capturing a colorful culture. It’s also interesting to watch it again now that I’m home, in the midst of a Colorado winter, snow and ice right outside my door.

The Last Ice Man (with English subtitles)

There is another version without the subtitles at the movie’s homepage:

El Último Hielero

or at:

And, because climate scientists are people too, and it’s partly this fear for the world that drives us to do what we do, I wanted to end by sharing this website which hosts handwritten letters by scientists about their thoughts on climate change: Is this how you feel?


Clearing my head in Vilcabamba

I needed a weekend to escape the rain. And I needed to escape my computer. I really do feel chained to a keyboard and a monitor on most days – weekdays and weekends. It was time to experience another part of Ecuador. So, last weekend, with a three-day weekend up for grabs, I packed a bag and headed south to the village of Vilcabamba.

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