On February 13th 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron was in Chamonix to witness the evolution of the longest French glacier, the so-called Mer de Glace. This glacier was so named in 1741 by British landowner and explorer William Windham who appear to have been the first recorded traveler for pleasure in the region.
The Mer de Glace is one of the only French glaciers that any walker can easily observe and almost touch without the need for a long hike, and one of the very few that can be seen from within. It therefore provides an extraordinary opportunity to recogn.ice yourself what a glacier actually is and what it contains.
The image posted by Mr Macron on Twitter, which highlights the glacier evolution between 1910 and 2020, speaks for itself. “It’s dizzying when you see it. It’s really impressive how fast it melts”, he told journalists on site. As a matter of fact, the pace has been accelerating since 2003: this glacier is losing an average of 30 m in length per year. Former British Prime Minister Theresa May had made a similar statement last year when visiting Switzerland (see our post).
Yesterday, President Macron made no new announcement for the environment, which he nevertheless described as “the fight of the century“. A few months before several major international summits for biodiversity, he recalled that “to be credible, we in France must be exemplary“.
Mr President, please, make one more step, join our cause and support Recogn.ice!