Letter: Why climate change will kill ski industry

“If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.” — Warren Miller on skiing.

I grew up in Colorado, learning to ski at an early age. Into my 50s, I still enjoy it, skiing the same runs I learned on in Vail. After skiing, I love catching a Warren Miller film on local station TV8, while staying warm and cozy in the Tivoli lodge. Miller’s movies are remarkable tributes to a golden era of American prosperity and capitalism. They basically chronicle the birth of recreation.

Because of climate change, we risk losing it all. But not because of a slightly warmer planet. To the contrary, this year Colorado is having record snows, fed by rivers of water in the sky, enhanced by climate change, so I’m told. Rather, what will kill the ski industry in Colorado is the incessant quest by Democrats to vanquish CO2, the molecule that feeds plants and has risen by one part in 10,000 over the last century. Policy proposals abound, including proposition 112, SB19-181, and the Green New Deal, endorsed by every declared Democratic presidential candidate. As I sadly contemplate the end of skiing, I wonder why more enthusiasts don’t ask more critical questions like these.

How can wind or solar power a mountain town that’s usually in a shadow and with low temperatures in the single digits during the winter? How would you keep the resorts heated? How would you power the chairlifts, snowplows, snowmobiles, and snowcats? What about the hot tubs and both indoor and outdoor gas fireplaces and pits? What would we wear? Would we revert back to cotton and wool clothing or just ski naked?

I suppose we could make wood skis and poles again, and do without the wax. But how would we get there? If we used electric cars, how would we recharge them? How would they keep passengers warm if they are waiting for an avalanche to be cleared from a roadway? How would we even maintain the roads without asphalt or concrete? And if we adopt the socialist nature of the Green New Deal, how would we afford such a luxury like skiing?

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I see many more South American skiers in Vail now compared to when I was a kid, but I doubt many of them are from socialist Venezuela.
If you value the ski industry in Colorado and around the world, please educate yourself about what makes it possible. My experience suggests many skiers are unknowingly trying to kill the ski industry, and that they will regret the policies they support once they fully realize the consequences. I could not be more grateful to enjoy the Colorado Rockies from high vantage points on beautiful, blue sky, winter days, and would like nothing more than to preserve it for yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrow’s kids. Even if us older kids can barely walk after only a half day on the bumps.

Paul Taylor


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