What’s The Future of Skiing?
By: Tom Mavilla
When Is the snow coming? Skiing in my home state, New Mexico, seems to be coming later each year. As the days get shorter and autumn rolls around I’m constantly staring at the mountains of Taos waiting for the first snowfall. As I write this we have had only a dusting. I wonder when our season will begin.
Climate Change. Global Warming. Call it what you want but it is a fact that the earth is getting warmer.
“In January 2017, several scientific agencies around the world, including NASA and NOAA in the United States and the Met Office in the United Kingdom, named 2016 the warmest year recorded. This marked the third consecutive year reaching a new record temperature, the first time since the current warming trend began in the 1970s that three years in a row were record highs. 2016’s record meant that 16 of the 17 warmest years have occurred since 2000.”
“The commitment to the Paris Agreement withdrawn. The Clean Power Plan dissolved. Science and facts discarded. The will of the people ignored for the sake of big polluters. There has never been a more important time to stand up for climate change. We gather strength in the mountains, so we can be a voice for climate change solutions. Please join us.” stated Kevin Luby on the POW website on November 7, 2017.
While the current U.S. government administration refuses to see this because it might cut into corporate profits, the rest of the world is taking notice as is evidenced by the Paris Accord and the Bonn Climate Change Conference. Meanwhile, ocean levels are rising. ski seasons are getting shorter.
Skiers and boarders no longer have the luxury of ignoring what is happening. We can no longer stick our heads in the sand, dreaming of some hut, high in the mountains. We are all seeing winter come later and spring arrive earlier, with diminishing snowpack and less water as a result. It is time for every skier and boarder to coalesce into a united front. Being a bystander means you are a part of the problem.
What can you do? Get involved. Organizations like POW(Protect Our Winters.org) and the Winter Wildland Alliance.org, both represented by pro skiers and boarders such as, Jeremy Jones, Caroline Gleich, Brody Levin, Ralph and Ingred Backstroke, Angel Collinson, and Chris Davenport, is a good place to start. These sites will give you the knowledge and information to get started. POW’s Climate Activist Road Map will guide you on how to write an op ed or a letter to a government official. If that seems like too much spread the word on your FaceBook page. These organizations will tell you what the most important issues are and how to get involved. The Wildland Alliance newsletter, “Trail Break”, will keep you up on current happenings that concern us boarders. Find out what your local ski area is doing to mitigate climate change. If it is doing nothing, find out why. While you are at it, donate a few bucks, send three dollars or four, it is only the price of a beer. Who knows, could save you a DWI on the way home. While you are at it see what your local Sierra club, 350.org. is doing.
At this point, towns and cities are turning their backs on the U.S. federal governments approach and dedicating themselves to 100% renewable energy to combat climate change. Breckenridge, Colorado just became the 49th town to dedicate itself to this cause. On Facebook, Council member Erin Gigliello echoed this sentiment, saying “So proud to work on a Council that came together to vote 7-0 on a resolution for 100% renewable energy by 2035. Also, it’s so cool that in Breck, pro athletes come to Council meetings! Thank you to all the citizens and staff that helped make this possible!”