The Skier’s Lament

I wanted to alert you to two good articles today.

The first is from The New York Times and poses a question, Why aren’t skiers in the forefront of the climate movement? The article is a little more complex than the headline. It first makes the case that things are changing quickly in the mountains. In some locations the length of the ski season will decline by more than 50 percent by 2050. Only half of the 103 resorts in the Northeast will survive by mid-century. Yet congressional representatives from the areas with the most to lose are invariably climate deniers. But some skiers are alarmed and have formed a new group, Protect Our Winters, and some ski areas have demanded their utilities provide them power from renewable electrical generators.

It’s good to see such a high profile discussion on the front page of the Times: www.nytimes.com/2019/02/02/opinion/sunday/winter-snow-ski-climate.html

The second article appeared in The Guardian and talks about how climate deniers are finally coming around to what’s happening to our climate. Guess what the fastest changing demographic is? Seniors, 11 percent of whom have changed their opinion of global warming in the last year. Overall, eight percent of Americans changed their minds last year, with women leading the way. Asked why, 21 percent said they’ve experienced the impacts. Twenty percent said they are taking it more seriously while another 20 percent said they are more informed. So . . . how do you talk to the denier in your family? Two recommendations. First, surveys say people overwhelming want to learn more but don’t have the time. And, second, people need to make up their own minds and you can help them by showing the connections between global warming and extreme weather, the warming winters, stronger storms and forest fires. Etcetera. One woman at a recent meeting couldn’t wait to show me The Saturday Evening Post article she had just read, about “The Secrets of the Ice.” 

Here’s the second article: www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/03/climate-change-denial-changing-minds

Onward.

Jeff Smith, co-chair, 350 Montana