Could this whole “global warming” thing which has wrought landscape change, weather disasters, and wildfires be the result of a 300-year-old prayer from the Vatican imploring God to melt the icy peaks? Via National Geographic:
About 50 people set out on foot from the Swiss village of Fiesch at dawn on July 31. “Glacier is ice, ice is water, water is life,” intoned priest Toni Wenger, before beseeching God to stop the glaciers high above them from melting.
By changing a few, crucial words in the liturgy, Father Wenger reversed a Catholic ritual that for 350 years had implored the heavens to push back the glaciers. The Vatican had approved the change as the effects of global warming became all too tangible in the Alps.
The people of devoutly Catholic Fiesch and Fieschertal have made the annual pilgrimage since 1674, when Europe was in the grip of the Little Ice Age. The glaciers began receding in the 1860s, and they continue to shrink today. “We prayed for the ice to recede, and our prayer worked—too well,” said Herbert Volken, mountain guide and mayor of Conches, the district that includes Fiesch.