Covered in Warmth

Still not sure if global warming is really penetrating public consciousness? Look no further than this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated or the April issue of the Atlantic, two of the latest magazines to jump on the climate change bandwagon.

Alexander Wolff points out in his SI cover story that even sports nuts will feel the heat of global warming:

Indeed, the world's signature dogsled race, Alaska's Iditarod, hasn't begun at its traditional starting point in Wasilla since 2002 because of too little snow there. The Elfstedentocht, an 11-city skating marathon that the Dutch stage whenever the canals freeze over, has been run only once in the past two decades.

Some athletes will have to change how or where they play their sports and other people like Russians and the Inuit, who live in areas of the world that will thaw with global warming, will also have to adapt and may benefit from climate change, explains author Greg Easterbrook in his cover story in the Atlantic (subscription only). In an accompanying web story about his piece, he further discusses what he thinks will happen to the Inuit homeland:

The Inuit—the little semi-nation of Nunavut—is going to become significantly more valuable in a warming world. Right now Nunavut’s a frozen wasteland. I would love to be the guy with the Nunavut promotion account twenty years from now because I’m going to rechristen the place “the gateway to the hemispheres” and invite celebrities, and cruise ships will be stopping by, and the sign on the dock will say, “Welcome to Nunavut, Gateway to the Hemispheres!”

But unfortunately for the Inuit, that situation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They will also lose part of their heritage and culture because they will be forced to adapt to an iceless environment. 

Before that happens, some publications like Glamour are still trying to help people stop climate change. In one article titled “the 10 easiest things you can do to help the planet,” advertised on the cover of the April issue, Lori Bongiorno gives some pointers on what women can do to save the world from global warming. Unfortunately, they are very basic (number four is “One word: recycle” and number seven is “Buy energy-saving things”). So basic, in fact, that we don’t know anyone who couldn’t recite them off the top of their heads—even our non-eco-conscious friends.

The bottom line is that whether you’re an athlete, opportunist, or fashion queen, if you pick up an issue of almost any genre of magazine this spring, there is probably are eco-stories out there for you (but then again, you’ll probably be too busy reading Plenty even to glance at all those other rags, right?).