Bill Moeller Commentary: Good News or Bad News? You Can Make the Call


A recent edition of the Sunday Seattle Times raised that question.

It centered around the undeniable evidence that glaciers — at least in our part of the world — are shrinking. We can assume that the same thing is also happening in those parts of the world where they don’t like to release any statistics about anything negative.

The “good news” part of the observation is that more land is opened to those who love to get to the top of things — through use of their own legs and feet, I mean.

I used to be one of those, even though I never came close to the actual top of anything higher than a short portion of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Photographic evidence shows that worldwide, even if other nations don’t admit it, glaciers are melting at an increased speed.

It’s good news for those who don’t like to get their feet wet when they reach a heretofore unreachable elevation, but rather disastrous for the rest of us humans and animals who sort of like things no worse than they already are.

The most obvious result of a complete melting of the snow and ice at the top of our globe (and at the southern bottom too, of course) is that there will eventually be much less water plunging “down the stream” as an old song depicts.

Glacier-fed waterways will be gone and we’ll have to rely on rain to fill our hydroelectric dam basins. This might seem doable in our wet Pacific Northwest, but what about the rest of the country?

And we’re even running a little low on rain lately.

Without our hydropower, how will our computers, televisions and lights obtain power to keep us informed? Oh, sure, we could burn more coal and oil to generate electricity but isn’t that what put us in the expected dilemma in the first place? Hopefully, solar and wind sources might be able to fill the gap, but don’t bet on it. Those are possible answers, but are we taking the right actions now?

The “sofa solution” to everything mentioned above is that it’s only temporary, that all we have to do is wait out the present trend and then things will be better. Besides, it’s only a false situation promoted by those lying Democrats.

Well, precise measurements have been made for the past 32 years and they tell us that a horrendous amount of glacier mass has been lost in that period. We can wish all we want, but that loss isn’t going to stop and magically rebuild by itself.

Let’s get moving!

My daughter, Lisa, paid me a visit all the way from Georgia last week and she fulfilled a wish I had once made. Since I worked at Paradise the summer of 1946 between graduation from high school and volunteering for military service, I’ve wanted to visit the area again, if only to see for myself how much farther up the bottom line of snow is than it was in those days. You’re probably not surprised to hear it’s been creeping farther up the slope since then.

Tossing in a small “extra” at this point, I’m the keeper of any and all documents of the Moeller family and the collection includes a certified document saying that my father reached the summit of the mountain back in 1921 when he was 18! Accompanying photos show a long line of young men, each one holding on to the man in front of him and having the time of their lives sliding down a slope in the snow at the lower level.

Changing the topic again, and keeping with the column I wrote last week about proposed activities at Mineral Lake, our route back to Centralia wouldn’t have been complete without a detour to that area.

The feelings I expressed then are only stronger as a result.

So, the Moeller recommendation is: by all means, build the proposed camp for children up through, say, high school age. But use any method (short of armed encampment) to discourage further residential population increases. I do have another solution, but I’ll hold that for another column.

Finally, getting back to the original problem of vanishing glaciers, our first step should be to stop sticking our heads in the sand (I was tempted to use the word “water”) and sincerely and simultaneously wish very hard that everything bad will go away, that Jesus wouldn’t let anything that bad happen to us.

But this isn’t His problem, it’s ours. And He’s left us to handle things, right?


Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at