Baxter Pharr: Save our ski resorts from climate change
May 24, 2010
What do coal mining disasters in West Virginia, oil washing up on the shores of Gulf Coast states, the destruction of our national forests, and Vail not opening their Back Bowls until after Christmas all have in common? According to many experts in climate science, these and other disasters are the direct result of our nation’s continued addiction to fossil fuels and stubborn refusal to transition to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biofuels.
The evidence for human-caused climate change is both overwhelming and simple. Over the past 600,000 years, every time the fossil record shows an increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the Earth’s atmosphere there is a corresponding increase in global temperatures. Current carbon dioxide (produced by the burning of fossil fuels) concentrations are about 390 parts per million, are rising about 2 ppm/year, and are at their highest level in over 1 million years. According to the NOAA, March 2010 was the warmest March on record and the last 301 months have all been warmer than normal.
Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman recently introduced the American Power Act which seeks to reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. Projections show that it could also create as many as 2 million new jobs in the U.S. If passed by the U.S. Senate, it would likely be signed into law by and begin reversing the devastating effects of global climate change, which I believe is the greatest threat to humanity in the 21st century. Please donate what you can to the Environmental Defense Action Fund at http://www.edf.org. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar and will help our ski resorts from getting wiped off the face of the Earth.