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When you are an environmentally aware citizen of the global village who skis, you know that it is everyone’s job to make sure that you have enough fresh, natural, Gaia-given snow to accomplish your mission. Skiing without having to put up with the grating sound of snow blowers.
The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s, and as a result, snow is melting. In the last 47 years, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.
The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters. As far for the Western part of the country, it will lose an estimated 25 to 100 percent of its snowpack by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed — reducing the snowpack in Park City, Utah, to zero and relegating skiing to the top quarter of Ajax Mountain in Aspen….
To a skier, snowboarder or anyone who has spent time in the mountains, the idea of brown peaks in midwinter is surreal. Poets write of the grace and beauty by which snowflakes descend and transform a landscape. Powder hounds follow the 100-odd storms that track across the United States every winter, then drive for hours to float down a mountainside in the waist-deep “cold smoke” that the storms leave behind.
The snow I learned to ski on in northern Maine was more blue than white, and usually spewed from snow-making guns instead of the sky. I didn’t like skiing at first. It was cold. And uncomfortable.
Then, when I was 12, the mystical confluence of vectors that constitute a ski turn aligned, and I was hooked. I scrubbed toilets at my father’s boatyard on Mount Desert Island in high school so I could afford a ski pass and sold season passes in college at Mad River Glen in Vermont to get a free pass for myself. After graduating, I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo., for the skiing. Four years later, Powder magazine hired me, and I’ve been an editor there ever since…. [More hysterical alarmism here]
Which is to say, that for 100 out of the last 60 billion years skiing has sucked and somebody’s got to do something about it now. Let’s face it; we only get 78.7 years on this planet and it is everyone’s job to make sure skiers have fun while they’re here.
Think about it: THERE WILL BE NO MORE SNOW. No more toasting your toes by the ski lodge fireplace with a snifter of Cognac in your hand while flirting with your personal 20-something gender choice. All because some selfish moron invented the internal combustion engine.
Oh, I know what your going to say: I don’t have any evidence earlier than 150 years ago to prove that you are destroying the world. But I know you capitalist terrorists who think your Judeo-Christian god has anything to do with anything are polluting my planet and taking away my snow. Even though the entire Midwest and Eastern Seaboard are buried up to their eyeballs in it, and I’ve been hitting some tasty slopes all winter.
Ah-ha, but see, that’s where we have you! Conclusive proof that the planet is warming at an alarming rate. SNOW.
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