Obama & G8 Attack Global Warming: Ski Areas Smile

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on July 8, 2009 3:24 pm

No, leaders of the G8 Summit did not lay out their plans on how they would limit global warming to just 3.6F above pre-industrial levels and cutting carbon emissions 80% by 2050.  Regardless, it is the collective intent that brought smiles to ski areas and their communities everywhere. 

Meeting in L’Aquila, Italy the G8 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and the US – still must gain the cooperation of two non-G8 counties, China and India, for any real hope of significantly cutting carbon emissions.

President Barrack Obama chaired a discussion last Thursday with non-G8ers about their commitment, a 50% cut in carbon emissions by 2050.  By all accounts, it was a succesful discussion.  Today UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown intimated everything looks a go for a global agreement at the next UN conference in Copenhagen this December.

Probably because of its reliance on Mother Nature, rather than its ability to “triumph” over Nature, ski communities have long understood the delicate balance of our ecosystem.  A few degrees here or there may not matter much to the “flat-lander”, but in ski towns a few degrees here or there is the difference between rain and snow.  Ski areas typically don’t turn a profit until late in the season.  A few degrees resulting in a shortened season would be an economic avalanche-disaster to many of the 481 ski areas in the U.S.  Ski areas that are often times the economic foundation of their community.

So, we’ll leave the arguing over specifics to the ideologue caricatures that litter TV, and instead choose to celebrate that we now have a President that can lead on the world stage with an issue so vitally important to all of us whose religion is skiing.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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