UN Pushes False Himalayan Glacier Scare to Set the Stage for Rio+20 Conference

Published April 23, 2012

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has issued a press release this morning trumpeting the fact that its film Himalayan Meltdown just won the top prize in the Worldfest International Film Festival. The one-hour film, according to the press release, “examines the shrinking glaciers of the Himalayas and the effects they have on the lives and livelihoods of billions of people in Asia.” There is just one problem; Himalayan Mountain glaciers are barely receding at all.

A study published in February in the journal Nature reports alpine glaciers in the Himalayan Mountains have lost very little ice mass during the past decade. A more recent study, published in April in Nature Geoscience, reports glaciers in the Karakorum Range of the Himalayan Mountains, which contain approximately half the snow and ice mass of Himalayan Mountain glaciers, are growing rather than receding.

“UNDP is honored by the award and hopes the film will help stimulate a stronger international response to meeting the challenges of climate change and a stronger commitment to achieving sustainable development,” the press release explained. “The recognition the film is receiving is especially timely in the lead up to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June.”