Glacier National Park Quietly Removes Its ‘Gone by 2020’ Signs

Montana Glacier National Park Mountains Cracker Lake

Glaciers Appear to be Growing, not Melting in Recent Years

By Roger I. Roots, J.D., Ph.D.,

Founder, Lysander Spooner University

May 30, 2019. St. Mary, Montana. Officials at Glacier National Park (GNP) have begun quietly removing and altering signs and government literature which told visitors that the Park’s glaciers were all expected to disappear by either 2020 or 2030.
In recent years the National Park Service prominently featured brochures, signs and films which boldly proclaimed that all glaciers at GNP were melting away rapidly. But now officials at GNP seem to be scrambling to hide or replace their previous hysterical claims while avoiding any notice to the public that the claims were inaccurate. Teams from Lysander Spooner University visiting the Park each September have noted that GNP’s most famous glaciers such as the Grinnell Glacier and the Jackson Glacier appear to have been growing—not shrinking—since about 2010. (The Jackson Glacier—easily seen from the Going-To-The-Sun Highway—may have grown as much as 25% or more over the past decade.)

The centerpiece of the visitor center at St. Mary near the east boundary is a large three-dimensional diorama showing lights going out as the glaciers disappear. Visitors press a button to see the diorama lit up like a Christmas tree in 1850, then showing fewer and fewer lights until the diorama goes completely dark. As recently as September 2018 the diorama displayed a sign saying GNP’s glaciers were expected to disappear completely by 2020.

Video of the diorama two years ago.

But at some point during this past winter (as the visitor center was closed to the public), workers replaced the diorama’s ‘gone by 2020’ engraving with a new sign indicating the glaciers will disappear in “future generations.”

Almost everywhere, the Park’s specific claims of impending glacier disappearance have been replaced with more nuanced messaging indicating that everyone agrees that the glaciers are melting. Some signs indicate that glacial melt is “accelerating.”
A common trick used by the National Park Service at GNP is to display old black-and-white photos of glaciers from bygone years (say, “1922”) next to photos of the same glaciers taken in more recent years showing the glaciers much diminished (say, “2006”). Anyone familiar with glaciers in the northern Rockies knows that glaciers tend to grow for nine months each winter and melt for three months each summer. Thus, such photo displays without precise calendar dates may be highly deceptive.

Last year the Park Service quietly removed its two large steel trash cans at the Many Glacier Hotel which depicted “before and after” engravings of the Grinnell Glacier in 1910 and 2009. The steel carvings indicated that the Glacier had shrunk significantly between the two dates. But a viral video published on Wattsupwiththat.com showed that the Grinnell Glacier appears to be slightly larger than in 2009.

The ‘gone by 2020’ claims were repeated in the New York Times, National Geographic, and other international news sources. But no mainstream news outlet has done any meaningful reporting regarding the apparent stabilization and recovery of the glaciers in GNP over the past decade. Even local Montana news sources such as The Missoulian, Billings Gazette and Bozeman Daily Chronicle have remained utterly silent regarding this story.

(Note that since September 2015 the author has offered to bet anyone $5,000 that GNP’s glaciers will still exist in 2030, in contradiction to the reported scientific consensus. To this day no one has taken me up on my offer. –R.R.)

Additional Facebook video from Roger Roots.

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19 thoughts on “Glacier National Park Quietly Removes Its ‘Gone by 2020’ Signs

    • There are two posts. I did some moving of dates to end the pinned post, I broke all the links on facebook and twitter, so we have duplicate posts.

  1. Heading to Glacier NP in a couple weeks. I’ll be sure to tweak a few noses over this nonsense.

  2. I guess they thought that the signs were going to be too embarrassing and would distract from the narrative.

    On a related topic, the snow coverage in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is as high as I’ve ever seen it at this time of year and as an avid skier and hiker I’ve been a close observer of the snow pack for decades. There are snow fields and ice covered ponds in places that I’ve never seen as late as June, many of which rarely have any snow left in May. Mammoth Mountain will be open for skiing until at least mid August and Squaw is going until the weekend after the 4’th of July. It’s only the fifth time in about 6 decades that Squaw can open for skiing on July 4’th and only the second time it will be open beyond the 4’th, the first time being only 2 years ago.

  3. As a retired law enforcement National Park Ranger, I know that the administration in power (now Trump’s administration) can have a large impact on what the NPS does. There is absolutely no question that the removal of scientifically verifiable information from public display has occurred; I’ve personally seen this. To alter known science to hide facts from the public is worse than wrong.
    After retiring I spent over 8 years traveling in 21 third world countries in Asia and South America. The Andes and Himalaya Mountains are rapidly losing snow/ice and this is easily seen in many areas; I backpacked in both mountain ranges and could see this. Well over 1 billion humans depend on that melting snow each year. I also saw major climate effects in south-eastern Asia, where huge areas of coral reefs were, literally gone. Only bleached coral skeletons with few fish were left.
    The evidence is clear: unless humans act decisively NOW, we are facing massive population die offs, government disappearing, and the real possibility of human extinction (as is also now happening with other species: The Sixth Extinction.

    • Your statement “There is absolutely no question that the removal of scientifically verifiable information from public display has occurred” suggests that you still believe that the glaciers will be gone completely one year from now (since that is the information that someone decided to remove). Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and take Mr. Root’s bet? Better yet, I would “up the ante” to $10,000 with a bet against your apparent belief that the glaciers will be gone one year from right now: 6/11/2020. Please let me know if those terms are acceptable to you.

    • and your carbon footprint jetsetting around the world made no contribution to the devestation you allegedly witnessed?

    • Never happen, you are delusional. This earth will thrive until it is changed by the one who created it, and that is at least a 1000 years away.

  4. It matters not to the fairy people that their lie is exposed, as they will simply move on to another lie…and the Fairytale will continue unabated.
    In Australia the ABC, the national broadcaster says extreme weather events are rapidly on the rise world wide, this is a lie as you all know. The IPCC says in the Paris gabfest manifesto that extreme weather events world wide since 1918 are diminished….but the Fairytale lives on and all the children (of all ages) with unformed minds love their thrilling bedtime stories of climate horror to send them to sleep at night.

  5. Reports from Iceland are that every glacier in that benighted, beautiful, bleak and betwixed atlantean nation, is advancing. Apparently the ice did not get the memo as to the proper narrative.

  6. Glacier is very good at showing the difference between 1922 & now, but occasionally you can see pictures of the late 1800s and compare them to 1922 … the melt between those years was DRASTIC. Why? Simply because the Little Ice Age was ending, and continues to end.

  7. The guy who could really tell us what’s going on with the glaciers is Santa Claus. Congress should issue a subpoena and if he doesn’t show, they should vote to hold him in contempt. So a couple kids will be without toys this year, it’s worth it to save our planet from imminent destruction…

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