Becoming Water

Provocative, passionate and populist, RMB Manifestos are short and concise non-fiction books of literary, critical, and cultural studies.

Becoming Water takes the reader on a tour of Canada’s glaciers, describing the stories they tell and educating the reader about how glaciers came to be, how they work and what their future holds in our warming world. By visiting Canada’s high and low Arctic, and the mountain West, the reader will learn how varied and complex our glaciers really are, how they are measured and how they figure into the national and global story of inevitable change. The reader will learn to think like a scientist, in particular how to look at climate-related data that contains cycles, trends and shifts, and then ponder what questions to ask in the face of our dramatically changing environment. This book encourages Canadians to explore upstream from ourselves, learning about our origins and how climate change and encroaching human settlement are drastically impacting our glaciers and therefore the natural and human landscapes that lie below—and are dependent upon—them.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Becoming Water 1
Disclaimer 9
Introduction 11
What Is a Glacier? 17
How Glaciers Move 19
Anatomy of a Glacier 23
Nourishment 33
The Glacier Cycle 33
Transformation 37
Deh Cho: Big River, Flowing Much 42
Flow to Oceans 46
The Great Carver 49
Canada’s Glaciers: What Was, What Is 49
The Arctic Islands 60
The Mountain West 70
Measures and Metrics 85
Canada’s Glacier Stewards 95
Becoming Water: Beacons of Climate Change, Changing Climate 99
Listening to the Signals through the Noise 105
Human Vulnerability and Adaptation 112
Collaboration and Direction 118
Epilogue 125
Things You Can Do, Questions You Can Ask Yourself 126
World Glacier Monitoring Service 131
Appreciation 133
Bookshelf 139
About the Author 147
Other Titles in this Series 149