Vail Daily letters: Minturn Middle School student letters
Vail, CO, Colorado
Following are letters to the editor from writing teacher Kristen Morgan’s seventh- and eighth-grade classes at Minturn Middle School.
Save our snow!
Have you ever thought that you caused global warming? To tell the truth, we all are part of it. Just by driving a car or smoking or having fires. All this pollution it is increasing global warming and is melting snow on Vail Mountain. If we don’t stop being huge polluters, we will have to ski on artificial snow from the snow-making machines.
What can we do to save our snow? We are losing more and more snow to global warming. All we need to do is car pool every once and a while with some buds. If you don’t like riding in a car that isn’t yours, then you drive and pick up friends. This way you can enjoy skiing while being a little greener.
Say you don’t have a car. Take a bus, but make sure you are there early so you can get the good seats. These solutions can cut down global warming in half.
We can’t lose snow to our selfish acts! This is our mountain. We should be taking better care of it. We are known for great skiing and powder. If we want that mentality to stick, we need to make sure our snow is great. If our snow melts, we won’t be known for skiing. We’ll be known for pollution.
If our snow melts, we drive tourists away. The tourists come to ski and tourists spend money for skiing. We need money to keep our mountain on top, so tourists can come spend money, and then the mountain can have improvements on chair lifts. We need snow on our mountain for Vail to stay open.
I hope this might have changed your mind on being selfish and not car-pooling or taking the bus. Just two things can make a huge impact on saving or snow.
I know park rats don’t like a lot of snow, but we need snow to have big jumps. So come on, people. Let’s work together and save Vail from global warming.
Cole Xavier Delain
Change the world
Could you imagine a horrible situation, driving to Colorado? You’re coming to Colorado to ski and all you see is light green grass blowing against the wind. What do you ask yourself? Where’s the snow? What you are seeing before your eyes is climate change at its hotest. Climate change is a problem and we need to stop it before it gets out of hand.
The problem with climate change is it won’t stop unless we do something to stop it.
Climate change has targeted animals. Not just any kind of animal, though, but the polar bear. Climate change can cause many problems with polar bears that can link to the whole world. If polar ice melts, that means polar bears won’t have any kind of habitat to survive on. And the melting of polar ice can cause sea levels to rise, linking to possible flooding around the globe.
The rise of sea levels can increase precipitation, and this can lead to heavier rainfalls and heavier snowfalls. More snow means more avalanche occurrences. This can be dangerous for skiers and snowboarders.
Human activity is causing climate change to increase over time. Human activity such as driving, factories, planes, trains, etc., all emit C02 into the atmosphere. CO2 is a part of what we call the “greenhouse effect.” The greenhouse effect is a cycle of CO2 emitted by cars, planes, trains, etc., that traps sunlight into the atmosphere. This causes the Earth to become warmer over time.
How do we stop it? Engines in our planes; trains use coal; and cars work by using fossil fuels. This is what is burning in the engine and comes out as CO2. Coal, as I mentioned earlier, is what we use as one of our fossil fuels. If we were to change our fossil fuels to windmill power, we would most likely reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
With a little patience and determination we could change the world for the better. If all human beings participate, there will be a definite chance the world will change.
Daniel Esparza Avon
What will you do?
People in Vail Resorts are losing their jobs due to the economy, but it’s not just the banks’ fault. There are other factors, too. The U.S. economy is fluctuating and there is no doubt about it. But will it get worse with more climate change? A bigger question may be will it affect Eagle County’s economy and how?
Climate change may seem like it has not hit Eagle County yet, because of our cold weather. But it has, and it will get worse.
Vail Resorts will spend at least $1 billion in the coming years for snowmaking ($2.7 million), forestry ($1.2 million) and repairs, which changes with each coming year.
When snow melts, it causes two problems. First, larger snowmelt due to warmer temperatures can cause many mudslides, floods and avalanches. Second, Vail Resorts will have to make more snow for the mountain to supplement for the lack of snow.
Melting snow is caused by CO2 being put into the air by cars, planes, trains, etc, and that causes global warming, resulting in changes of snowfall and snowmelt. With less snow, the ski season plummets, and Vail Resorts will not likely meet their budget.
In Eagle County, skiing is the big deal, and with a shorter season, many people will not choose Vail as their vacation spot, also resulting in Vail Resorts not meeting their budget.
With the pine beetle outbreak, many trees are being removed from the mountain. If these trees are not removed, they could be hazards to the people of the town by causing avalanches, forest fires, trees falling, etc. Longer summers means pine beetles have longer mating seasons and are able to not only affect one, but two or three trees. So then people have to cut the dead trees down and burn them. Just look at the mountains and you will see countless brown trees. All dead.
Some easy solutions may be to get a programmable thermostat or use other transport. A programmable thermostat works by turning off and on at programmed parts of the day. This does not use as much energy, and less CO2 is released. In Eagle County, where we use a lot of heat during the winter, this will help reduce your energy and your energy bill too. Transport in Eagle County is plentiful: buses, car pool, walk, bike, run, etc. There must be other transport than cars that puts out less CO2.
At most, climate change can and will affect Eagle County worse and worse each year. These are just some ways you can help and some ways it will affect Eagle County, and not just our economy. So what will you do?
Climate change is an obvious problem. It is a common topic that is in most of today’s news. Living in a ski area, we have to be even more considerate of the consequences of global warming. The foundation of all success in this valley falls with the ski industry. If it were to fail then this area would become a ghost town. The skiers would leave in search for a place that can satisfy their desires for snow. Everyone else would eventually have to leave, as well, because skiers fuel the jobs in Eagle County.
The severe changes in climate are leading to less consistent snowfall. Overall, snowfall amounts are inconsistent, regardless of the great snow year we are experiencing, look at 2001 and 2002. Both were about 70 percent of the average snowfall.
Now look at 2011. This year has been about 122 percent of the average. 2009 was also a good snow year, whereas 2005 was another drought year in this valley.
Such inconsistent levels of snowfall on a year-to-year basis will eventually turn away even the most loyal of tourists. So climate change is a dangerous happening that could dramatically affect Vail’s economic structure.
Inconsistent snowfall leads to inconsistent water amounts. Many people west of Colorado are dependent on the Colorado River for their water source. If the river isn’t receiving enough water, animals and people are greatly affected.
Furthermore, the Vail Valley is known for its vast wildlife. Everything that lives needs water, either coming from the Colorado River or the Eagle River. If water amounts decrease, then animals can’t survive. In the long run, biodiversity will be affected, meaning the animals that need more water will die. The animals that eat those animals will die, and the cycle continues.
Decreasing water amounts may not affect animals first, but plants definitely will be. Animals that are dependent on these plants will become scarce because they can’t meet their dietary needs. Biodiversity is something humans need to pay more attention to, so they can be sheltered from the harmful effects of climate change.
In addition to biodiversity, avalanches are also dangers that become more frequent with fluctuating snowfall. Fracture lines are the cause of deadly avalanches. If there are periods of no snow and then immediately periods of heavy snowfall, fracture lines form. These fracture lines are the basis of deadly happenings. The light fluffy snow sitting on a stiff icy base is likely to slide away. Global warming leads to dangerous skiing. This is not good for a ski resort.
Despite this, these problems can be fixed. The simplest solutions such as turning off our lights or avoiding incandescent light bulbs are strategies that can prevent effects ofclimate change such as inconsistent snowfall or lack of biodiversity. In the end, turning off our lights pays off in more ways than just saving the polar bears. Investing in alternative energy resources is can be the key to a global free world.