This Week on BeachWitch Way: ‘The Ice That Melted Me’


I’ve never much cared for ice, or anything cold for that matter… not ever, period. Naturally as soon as I was old enough to fly to Miami, I grabbed the first broomstick I could find and made my way to South Beach. Ice was simply too cold of a thing—too frigid on the hand and ever since I was young I wanted absolutely no part of it, nor anything that required a sweater or gloves. After all I’m not called BeachWitch for nothing! In fact, the sheer thought of having to pry a few cubes from an ice tray used to send a shiver down my spine. Even during the hottest days of summer, I certainly never opted to choose a frozen ice-concoction from the musical truck ruled our summer neighborhood. Moreover I was equally puzzled at the kids who would pay for sugar and frozen water…. I mean why on earth would you want to buy a piece of cherry ice? I could never figure it out. As I said before, I’ve never been a fan of ice, nope, not at all.

All of that was about to change. I always like to do a little channel surfing after a day of riding some waves at South Pointe. Naturally I was a little timid when I stumbled upon a little documentary called ‘Chasing Ice’ (2012) on Netflix.

Directed by Jeff Orlowski, this elegant portrait of climate change is reflected simply and effortlessly with stunning time-lapse photography of our ever-degrading glaciers. No banter. No conjecture. No preaching. The viewer is simply shown panoramic photographs captured over several years via remote cameras placed at some of Earth’s most formidable glaciers in the northern hemisphere. It is observational science in its purest form that leaves no room for any debate as to whether or not the polar ice caps are shriveling away before our very eyes. If anyone still had any lingering doubt about climate change before watching, this film would most certainly be the final nail in that coffin.

One only needs a few minutes to see gargantuan mountains of ice melt and recede into lowly plains to grasp the severity of the situation. As these majestic frozen monuments transform into mini waterfalls, the sight is breathtaking…. only not in a good way. It is truly a humbling sight to behold upon considering the challenges facing the polar ice caps. After an initial viewing of this incredible film, my contempt for the cold and ice would soon wither away as quickly as the melting glaciers before me. I didn’t know I could learn to love ice…. I didn’t realize how much that ice had tried to support me despite my utter contempt for it. Till now, I had been completely ignorant to its issues with me— and the work I needed to do, if I was to amend the fragile connection between us. Not once did I contemplate what its needs might be, or the demands I had been placing on it without any due diligence on my part. Nor did I ever consider the pressure it was constantly under or fathom the weight of the modern era on its health and well being. I didn’t realize that I had been taking all that ice for granted. I didn’t truly understand how severe global warming was or why I had been so cold towards the plight of the planet. How was I to know that it was my heart that frozen—that my perspective is what needed to change?

Sure, glaciers recede as steadily as couples argue… that’s what they do—at least healthy ones anyway. The difference here is, the damage has been far too great, for far too long… our battered partner in this dance is simply deciding to walk away from us all together. We refuse to follow the rules of the tango when it comes to the impact we are having on the environment, and thus the ice has decided to move on. The glaciers simply aren’t renewing their vows with us as carbon levels mount, global temperature increases, and sea levels rise.

Some skeptics will venture to say that this is all natural… that these processes are natural and have occurred since the beginning of the planet. They would be partially correct—carbon, temperature, and sea levels do and have fluctuations throughout time. However, the last time our carbon levels were this high nearly 90% of the worlds living creatures ceased to exist. And at that time, we didn’t have these natural processes impacted by over 6 billion people living on the planet spewing emissions and chemicals into the environment from the industrialized world we have created. In essence, the point becomes mute. Regardless of where we want to place blame, the situation is dire at best and we must look towards finding solutions if we hope to have a planet capable of supporting our ever increasing population.

After all… arguing and bickering about this topic isn’t going to stop the glaciers from melting, the sea rising, or curb the impact of global warming on our civilization. These ‘natural’ processes do not stop for debate nor do they require our opinions of causality. Moreover the discussion will lose its moxy once we have to continue the conversation on a gondola through the city streets or from a pier overlooking the ‘old Miami’ under the water. We must reunite with the glaciers and resolve our differences if we want the planet to support us. We must find that passion that once bound us together and shaped our destinies as our ancestors migrated across the Earth with the ebb and flow of the polar ice cap. We must learn to love the ice once more. As John Lennon once said, “it’s been too long since we took the time…” I for one am ready to ‘start over.’

Regards, Billie the BeachWitch

For more ‘Green Magic’ visit us at www.BeachWitch.Com or send your tips, events, or anything else Eco Friendly to Billie@BeachWitch.Com. BeachWitch is the EcoFriendly Concierge TM of Miami delivering the best of South Beach to you! We hope you enjoyed traveling with us down BeachWitch Way today and wish you a happy, healthy and sustainable future filled with magic!

The Sustainable Business Council of the MB Chamber of Commerce meets once a month from 8:30-10 am within the chamber offices at 1920 Meridian Ave. This committee actively works to improve our community’s quality of life by promoting actions that protect our environment and support sustainable long-term growth. If you or your business is passionate about the environment, the council would love to hear from you. For more information contact the MB Chamber at (305) 674-1300 and get involved today!

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