Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Shorts after Thanksgiving? |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Shorts after Thanksgiving?

“What if it never snows again?!”

And so began the annual tirade of local Nervous Nellies and Paranoid Petes.

“Don’t worry, you have my word that it will.”

“But when?! It’s only snowed once or twice since the temperatures dropped and it’s already passed Thanksgiving.”

“I don’t know, I’m not a meteorologist, but I do know that it will snow.”

“But wheeeeeeen?”

“Jeez, stop your whining. Do you realize that 50 years ago this very week there was even less snow on the mountain than there is today?”

“Um, nope.”

“According to those that were here, the Gore Range had barely a dusting on top and underneath the brand new gondola was nothing but semi-frozen mud and recently cleared brush. They were only two weeks away from opening for the very first time and had no idea if there would be anything for the inaugural guests to ski on besides crunchy grass and twigs.”

“I bet they were freaking out.”

“Quite the contrary. They were ecstatic because there was still so much work to do to get the mountain ready, and if they had to deal with heavy early season snow they knew they wouldn’t make it in time.”

“Seriously? They were happy there was no snow?”


“Wait, are you telling me there was global warming way back then, too?”

“Say what?”

“Global warming! You know, ice melting, seas rising, storms storming, cities sinking into the sea, dogs and cats living together, all that stuff.”

“If you mean climate change, sure. If there’s one thing we do know about climate, it’s that it is always changing. Even Apprehensive Andys like you must admit data collection has increased 100-fold in just the last few decades, allowing for much better analysis of the past and more accurate predictions for the future.”

“Hold on, are you one of those Debbie Downer Deniers?”

“Of course not, and leave the puns to me. To paraphrase Neil DeGrasse Tyson, “Ignorance is a virus that can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must find that cure. Nobody with more intelligence than a whistle pig would say mankind has nothing at all to do with the environment. Yet there’s a reason many of the wealthier nations are quietly laying claim to areas in the Arctic. All that melting opens up millions of acres for resource exploration and such.”

“So you believe in global warm,I mean, climate change?”

“No, I don’t simply ‘believe’ in anything, but I do understand why many things are true based upon verifiable data, and why many other things are not.”

“Hey, I thought we were simply discussing snowfall in Happy Valley? You’re wasting words going off on philosophical tangents.”

“You started it.”

“Look, all I want to know is if it will snow here again, someday?”

“Please believe me when I give you my absolute word that it will.”

“But didn’t you just say …”

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at

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