Yes, of course it's terrible. But a chance like this comes only every 30 or 40 millennia. Thanks to global warming, we get to watch nature pull back sheets of ice that have covered our highest mountains and Arctic regions since the dinosaurs lived. We get to see oceans and rivers rise, lakes become deserts, and animals run for the poles as if Noah were calling them to the Ark.
It's an opportunity we must embrace. As the vanguard of climate change, we backpackers claim first footprints on terrain once covered by glaciers, first paddle strokes into virgin swamps and fjords, first mastodon bones collected from melting permafrost; and we bring back the news that global warming is no theory. It's out there. We have seen it.
Our guide offers eight stops on an unprecedented tour we constructed with the help of more than 20 greenhouse scientists. We invite you to visit at least one of these places--to look at a map as Columbus once did, and, possibly, feel the same mix of trepidation, excitement, and impatience for the discoveries ahead.