Vanishing Snow: Should There Be A Law?

North Dakota NOAA Article CaptionBy Steve Goreham

Originally published in The Washington Times

Last month, more than 100 ski resorts joined the Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) Climate Declaration. The BICEP declaration urges that Americans “use less electricity,” “drive a more efficient car,” and choose “clean energy” to combat climate change. Ski resorts are concerned that global warming will reduce snowfall and hurt the skiing industry.

Skiing executive Auden Schendler said, “Aspen Skiing Company joined the climate declaration because if there is an industry that ought to care about climate change, it’s the ski industry.” The 2007 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns of a difficult future for the industry: “…snow cover area is projected to contract…mountainous areas will face glacier retreat, reduced snow cover and winter tourism…shifting of ski slopes to higher altitudes.”

There’s just one problem. Continental snowfall has been increasing.

According to the Rutgers University Global Snow Laboratory, North American snowfall extent has been gradually rising over the last 40 years. The year 2010 showed the largest continental land area covered by winter snow since the data set began in 1967.

Snow Extent NAm 2013 Caption

What makes otherwise sensible people fear that snow is disappearing when snowfall is actually increasing? It’s the ideology of Climatism, the belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying Earth’s climate. Belief in this same ideology causes people to purchase light bulbs that are slow to light and to buy electric cars that can’t go very far. Climatism causes state governments to mandate erection of wind turbine towers that often stand idle.

But if snowfall is changing, why do people believe that government action can change such a climatic trend? In the fall of 2009, the mayor of Moscow declared that the Russian Air Force was now able to “keep it from snowing.” Five months later, in February of 2010, Moscow received 21 inches of snow in a single storm. Last winter, Moscow received the most snow in a century.

Nevertheless, we probably have bipartisan support in Congress for regulation of snowfall. Save the polar bears and the snow.

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism:  Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

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June 19, 2013 1:08 pm

show of hands…..who cares, other than the Obamas, if the ski season is a week or two shorter
show of hands….who cares if you have a week or two of less winter!

June 19, 2013 1:15 pm

Clearly we should eliminate all non-essential driving and flying to save the planet. Skiing is non-essential activity (though much fun). So we should stop flying or driving to places like Aspen. Ski near home instead.

June 19, 2013 1:17 pm

And how much electricity – the 30-year-old-scotch of our energy supplies – does a Vail or Aspen use for their lifts and their water pumps? I bet it’s in the tens of megawatts.
Hypocrisy, thy name is Ski Industry.

Joe Public
June 19, 2013 1:24 pm

Inviting people to “cold” towns, where they’ll need more heating than at home, is yet another case of vested-interest hypocrisy.

Mike jarosz
June 19, 2013 1:25 pm

I’m for anything that makes the golf season longer. I only wish I had as much free time to play as the POTUS.

Gunga Din
June 19, 2013 1:27 pm

Rutgers University Global Snow Laboratory,????
But … but … I thought that was Mann’s department at Penn State!

June 19, 2013 1:30 pm

Anyone have any idea how much energy man-made snow takes to make? I know it’s not very common out west, but here in the east every resort uses snow making equipment. I don’t know exactly *how much* it is, but I do know it is the #1 power consumer at a resort that does make snow…

June 19, 2013 1:51 pm

I just wonder at what point our Dear Leaders are going to set up their courts on the beach and order the tide about?

stewart pid
June 19, 2013 1:57 pm

Matt here is the electricity usage for various snow makers … the energy required to make artificial snow is about 0.6 – 0.7 kWh/m³ for lances and 1 – 2 kWh/m³ for fan guns. It would have been nice to get a per hour number but I didn’t see that.

June 19, 2013 1:58 pm

Looks to me that if you draw two trend lines, up to and from the mid 1990s, the first would go down slightly, the second up slightly.

June 19, 2013 2:01 pm

I believe it snowed yesterday in Lourdes, France, and for the first time ever the ski resorts in the Alps are open in June!

June 19, 2013 2:02 pm

Hello!!! Of course snowfall is increasing, and it’s because of global warming. Remember when the envorowackadoos, excuse me, people concerned with global warming were saying that global warming causes more moisture to evaporate into the atmosphere, thus more snow. Now if I can just figure out the part where it has to be cold to snow …

Bruce Cobb
June 19, 2013 2:05 pm

The ski industry sure are shameless in their climate whoremongering.

June 19, 2013 2:07 pm

” …Aspen Skiing Company joined the climate declaration because if there is an industry that ought to care about climate change, it’s the ski industry …”
Fair enough. I credit them with knowing the facts. They don’t want to be declared heretics under the Nicene Creed of climate alarmism.

June 19, 2013 2:13 pm

Makes me glad I stopped skiing.

June 19, 2013 2:14 pm

We are in the first stages of building the Jumbo Glacier Resort here in south east BC so skiing year round can happen, changing climate and all!

Dale left coast
June 19, 2013 2:14 pm

Back in the early 80’s . . . just 5 or 6 years into the promised Ice Age . . . mountains in Western Canada were very short on snow for a number of years. Grouse Mtn in North Vancouver went broke. The “experts” said that Grouse may never have snow again.
Fast forward to the New Millenium . . . for well over a decade now Grouse has had over 500 cm of snow every year . . . skiing into the Month of May . . . record snowfalls all over Western Canada for many years now.
Moral of the story . . . if you want to get “Dumbed Down” just consult an “Expert” . . . .
Reality is . . . the Globe has been cooling for 17 years now . . . didn’t Solar Scientisst Willie Soon predict that well over a decade ago ?

June 19, 2013 2:15 pm

Green Germany the new North Korea.
“It’s long past midnight. The trees along the streets are little more than shadows, and the only light in the side streets is the weak flickering of TVs seen through living room windows. ”
And more or less the same Dear Leaders .

Chad Wozniak
June 19, 2013 2:15 pm

Ignorance rules, denial (not by skeptics, by alarmies) rules, hyporcrisy rules, mendacity rules, illogic rules, ad hominem rules, irrationality rules, turpitude rules, torpor rules, stupidity rules, mean-spiritedness rules, venality rules, economic illiteracy rules, disregard of poor people rules, crony capitalism rules, leftist racism rules . . .in the AGW world.

June 19, 2013 2:19 pm

Reblogged this on CraigM350.

Steve from Rockwood
June 19, 2013 2:21 pm

When ski resorts start begging people to stop skiing in order to save the planet, then give me a call.

June 19, 2013 2:27 pm

Ski resorts are and have been on green hits lists for a long time for a few reasons . If ‘claiming ‘ to care about AGW , but actually ignoring in pratice what would be required if it was true . Helps them to keep the green meanies of their back , why not ?
There has long been forcasts for ‘no snow ‘ in resorts across the USA and Eurpoea followed by the odd few years of lots of snow when the shut up and odd years of little snow when they come on in full voice again .

Joseph W.
June 19, 2013 2:33 pm

A better law: “The snow may never slush upon the hillside. By 9 P.M., the moonlight must appear.”

June 19, 2013 2:34 pm

Bruce Cobb says:
June 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm
The ski industry sure are shameless in their climate whoremongering.

I suspect that it, like other peripheral organizations (say, the World Bank), were nudged into making this statement by activists inside and outside, by one-sided presentations of the warmist case, and by a lack of nerve about challenging the orthodoxy, and a lack of knowledge of the points contrarians dispute..

June 19, 2013 2:36 pm

Let’s see, people like skiiing, people pay a lot of money to ski and wear all the expensive gear to ski in. If i owned a ski resort i’d want a shorter season, so i could charge more money in the peak season (it’s called supply and demand) and then bugger off somewhere nice for the rest of the year

June 19, 2013 2:36 pm

Snowbird caps longest season with holiday skiing
By Jed Boal and Jared Page, Deseret News
Published: Monday, July 4 2011 3:58 p.m. MDT
LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON — A few thousand mostly red-and-blue-clad skiers celebrated the Fourth of July on the white slopes at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.
“This is unbelievable,” said Salt Lake City resident Melissa Witman, who wore a red, white and blue bikini top Monday on the resort’s final day of the ski season. “It’s summer skiing!”
Temperatures in the 50s and 60s made swimsuits and shorts popular choices for skiers who decided to take advantage of the longest ski season in Snowbird’s 39-year history.

June 19, 2013 2:40 pm

too easy….Steve did all the work already
Fossil Fuel Powered Overheated Atmosphere, Brings First Ever Summer Skiing To The South Of France – May 2013
Disturbing Springtime Imagery From Doomed Scottish Skiing
etc, etc, etc…………………..

June 19, 2013 2:44 pm

Sounds like Anthony should extend an open invitation to Heather Zichal, the deputy assistant to the president on energy and climate change, on topics like this …

June 19, 2013 2:45 pm

If this trend continues,skiing on artificial snow will be a thing of the past—–, our children just won’t know what snowmaking looks like.

Berényi Péter
June 19, 2013 2:53 pm

We shall have to have legislation in place ASAP to ban ski lifts and snow guns first. They are energy intensive, serve no practical purpose and are deleterious for climate.

June 19, 2013 2:53 pm

A big LOL….. Auden Schendler of the Aspen Skiing Company is not merely some fellow traveler along for the ride…. He is a fanatical green who managed to convince fools at the Aspen Skiing Company to pay him exhorbitant sums to organize and propagate this stuff……. He’s been milking this whole charade for quite a few years…..

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 19, 2013 2:54 pm

Ski resorts don’t care about snowfall in general; they care about snowfall on the slopes, and perhaps on the mountain access roads. There should be good records for each. Every ski resort keeps track of ski conditions: when the season first opens and finally closes, etc. Basically track average season per resort, adjusted for how much snow they had to make artificially (which all by itself is probably a pretty good inverse proxy for natural snowfall).
Likewise most public safety jurisdictions mandate chains or 4WD on mountain access roads based on conditions. They should also keep records; more snowfall means more mandated chain days.
Mountain conditions are markedly different from lowland elevations, so neither increasing nor decreasing snowfall at ski resorts is necessarily indicative of what the rest of the country is doing. But it would be interesting to hit them with data showing more snowfall and longer seasons and then ask them just what the heck they’re trying to accomplish.

June 19, 2013 2:56 pm

At link I posted above:
[emphasis added]

Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity, not to mention the ski industry. Because the problem is so big, the fix won’t come through changing light bulbs; government must act. That’s why our #1 priority is using the snow sports community as a lever to drive policy change.

William Astley
June 19, 2013 3:00 pm

There are layers of interconnected climatism madness. Ski resorts should see level 5. There will be plenty of snow for skiers; unfortunately there will also be crop failures in Northern countries and food riots.
Level 1 – (There is no logical reason for Western countries to waste money on uneconomical green energy schemes.) What we do in the US or other Western countries will not significantly reduce the increase in atmospheric CO2 in the world. There are riots in developing countries due to energy shortages. As coal is half the price of natural gas in Asia (energy equivalent), China is putting two coal plants in service per week and India one per week. The other developing countries and third world countries doing the same. Energy is the key to pull people out of poverty.
Level 2 – (Wasting money on green energy schemes does not make sense even if there was a problem.) Spending money on green scams (conversion of food to biofuel for example) or on wind farms does not significantly reduce CO2 emission in our country (if unbiased analysis is done) but will result in significant job losses. Western countries are deeply in debt and are losing jobs due to lack of competitiveness. There is a significant loss in jobs to subsidize ‘green’ energy that does not make a difference anyway. The conversion of food to biofuel really should have its own level. There will be food wars if that madness is not stopped.
Level 3 – (There is no AGW problem.) The planet resists (negative feedback) warming rather than amplifies (positive feedback) forcing changes. Therefore a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in less than 1C warming.
Level 4 – (Plants eat CO2) Plants thrive when CO2 increases. As there is no warming problem due to the increase in atmospheric CO2; the increase atmospheric CO2 is unequivocally beneficial to the biosphere including humans.
Level 5 – (Planet is about to cool.) Due to the solar cycle change the planet is about to cool. The Medieval Warm period was followed by the Little Ice age. There have been nine (9) warming and cooling periods during this interglacial period. The all correlate with solar magnetic cycle changes.

June 19, 2013 3:01 pm

The ski resorts should focus upon lowering their exhorbitant lift ticket costs instead of funding such boondoggles:

About Us
Auden Schendler
Auden Schendler is Vice President of Sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company. He worked previously in corporate sustainability at Rocky Mountain Institute. Auden has been a trailer insulator, burger flipper, ambulance medic, Outward Bound instructor, high school math and English teacher, freelance writer, and Forest Service goose nest island builder. An avid outdoorsman, Auden has climbed Denali, North America’s highest peak, and kayaked the Grand Canyon in winter. His writing has been published in Harvard Business Review, the L.A. Times, Slate, Scientific American Earth 3.0, and and other media, and his work has been covered in Outside, Fast Company, Travel and Leisure and Businessweek. In 2006, Auden was named a global warming innovator by Time magazine. He has also been named a Wirth Chair “Pioneer of the New Energy Economy” by the University of Colorado, a “Climate Saver” by the EPA, and an E-chievement award winner by the radio show E-town. Auden has testified to congress on the impacts of climate change and speaks widely on sustainability. His book Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution was called “an antidote to greenwash” by NASA’s James Hansen. He lives in Basalt, Colorado with his wife Ellen and their children Willa and Elias.
Matthew Hamilton
Matthew Hamilton is Aspen Skiing Company’s (ASC) Sustainability Director. He is also the Executive Director of the Environment Foundation, which has donated more than $2 million over the past 15 years. Matthew oversees ASC’s community philanthropy, and runs ASC’s day-to-day environmental programs, including the monthly Greenletter, and GREENTRACK, ASC’s ISO 14001 certified environmental management system. Matthew is also consultant with Aspen Sustainability Associates, and has lectured nationally and internationally on ASC’s work. He currently serves as President of the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education, and on the boards of the Carbondale Tourism Council, Colorado Youth Corps Association and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Previously, Matthew was a Research Officer at The Piton Foundation, working with low income neighborhoods on issues of education reform, affordable housing and economic development. Prior to that, he worked for Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger anti-poverty group; the Independent Sector, a national association of nonprofits and foundations, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (on a project called Enterprise for the Environment), for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, and for Middlebury College. Matthew has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Middlebury College and a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University where he focused on nonprofit management. During his free time he can be found on his bike spending time enjoying many of the local trails and back roads. He lives in Carbondale, Colorado with his wife Jen, and their children Boden and Beck.

June 19, 2013 3:09 pm

devoted disciple of. James Hansen (I am simply pointing out that the pretense of Austen Schendler that ASC was just suddenly converted is a fabrication – he and ASC have been on this crusade for many years):

Dr. James E. Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
“The sobering conclusion that I have reached, after traveling to Germany, the UK, Japan, and several U.S. states, is that even the greenest nations are not planning anything like what is needed—they say some green words, but their actions don’t match the scale of the problem. Getting Green Done defines strategies that will actually help. It’s an antidote and an alternative to “greenwash,” the fraud perpetrated by governments and the fossil fuel industry that threatens our planet and our children.”

June 19, 2013 3:18 pm

I propose we shut down all the ski resorts. Think of all the energy that can be saved from this issue with all the people currently flying and driving to, and using heating fuel in resort living spaces. All just to play in the snow.

Henry Galt
June 19, 2013 3:20 pm

Don’t go up there in your electric vehicle. How long would the heater last if you got stuck?

Unite Against Greenfleecing
June 19, 2013 3:20 pm

As somebody has already said if you believe in the global warming mania then non essential stuff like skiing should be stopped immediately, golf courses returned to wilderness, five star hotels reduced to shared hostels for energy efficiency and all posh restaurants closed. They bitch and moan about food wastage of 50% in the home yet in the high end restaurants where the enviros dine or the resorts they frequent, food wastage is often over 200%. Live by global warming, die like a stone age creton, it’s time for the green scumbags to stop flying, stop staying in fancy hotels and communicate directly from the cave.

June 19, 2013 3:25 pm

This past winter some ski resorts in Scotland and the Alps were open into May and June respectively. A few years back there was all this talk of early spring. Not in the last few years though, there are been great powder and a bumper seasons for enthusiasts.

June 19, 2013 3:33 pm

Remember when the French ski resorts were doomed? No undoomed. There are lots of similar stories in Europe. Today, they blame global warming (Arctic ice melt) for the snow. The only problem is when there was a lack of snow they also blamed global warming.

2 June 2013
Skiers take to the slopes in the Pyrenees in June for the first time ever as mountain bosses say ‘it’s just like the middle of January’

June 19, 2013 3:44 pm

Gunga Din says:
June 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm
Rutgers University Global Snow Laboratory,????
But … but … I thought that was Mann’s department at Penn State!
No, that would be the Global Snow Job Laboratory !

June 19, 2013 3:47 pm

Going to ski resorts is a bit like flying to the Maldives. Why don’t these concerned hypocrites stop flying to these ‘endangered’ locations? Most of these alarmist greens are utter hypocrites – watermelons – green on the outside, deep red on the inside.

Unite Against Greenfleecing
June 19, 2013 4:06 pm

Skiing executive Auden Schendler needs to close all ski resorts urgently if he believes a word he says.

June 19, 2013 4:08 pm

What I really notice is the 6 to 7 year cycles of high to low snow. This 1/2 solar sunspot cycle shows up in temp profiles. Everywhere.
The long-term increase looks more questionable than the internal, 6.5 year cycle. No wonder the ski people can whine about CAGW when they have a 1981 and a 2011 year to remember as the warmists are shrieking about Times To Come.
Jeez. Actually, Jeeeezzzzzzzz, as I am forever saying it in exasperation.

Olaf Koenders
June 19, 2013 4:37 pm

Yep. Just another snowjob because there’s money in it. If the ski resorts can get subsidies from the taxpayers as well as put up their prices, they will.

June 19, 2013 4:46 pm

Global warming was natural and it ended more than a decade ago

Gary Hladik
June 19, 2013 4:49 pm

Joseph W. says (June 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm): ‘A better law: “The snow may never slush upon the hillside. By 9 P.M., the moonlight must appear.”’
Careful. You don’t want to give politicians ideas like that here in California Scam-a-lot. 🙂

Mike Ozanne
June 19, 2013 4:52 pm

It’s not just CONUS, Unless there’s a light winter this year its pretty much a done deal that there has been significantly more winter snow over the NH since 2007. At least according to the primitive tools us rude mechanicals use.comment image?m

June 19, 2013 5:20 pm

Economic suicide on the part of the ski industry. How much skiing will people be doing when Obama’s IPCC Übergovernment “skyrockets” gasoline to $10/gallon and siphons away trillions for “climate justice?” Not much. If you’re a skier, perhaps call your favorite resort and see if they have connected the dots, yet.

June 19, 2013 5:24 pm

All ski resorts to buy carbon credits now to cover all energy used on the resorts by themselves, their customers and facilities.

June 19, 2013 5:31 pm

I love skiing, but simply can’t afford it. (The last time my wife and I skiied was due to pretending we were interested in a condo, over a decade ago. We had to sit through a mind-numbing presentation, and some high pressure sales tactics, but in the end we got a free night in a lodge and two days worth of free lift tickets.)
They used to have ski areas on every other hill, here in New Hampshire. A primitive rope tow run by a rusty model T engine would jerk people, sometimes face-first, up the hill. It was great fun, and even when the bear-trap-bindings snapped your ankle, people were good natured about opening doors or dodging your crutches, and just about everyone, even people you didn’t like, would sign your cast. Oh….and also, it didn’t cost much.
Then insurance companies got involved, all weepy and sniffy-nosed about safety, (and about having to pay,) and they made skiing “safer.” And the result is? Only the rich get to ski much, the middle class can barely afford it if they skimp and save, and the blue collar bums can’t afford it at all.
Now, who believes in the fraud of Global Warming? Is it the blue collar bums who work out in the weather, with sun burnt faces and redneck necks? Or is it the ones just the perfect shade of tan, either via bleaching to lighten skin or tanning booths to irradiate skin darker, who don’t work outside, or work at all?
Statistics show that the only ones who give a damn about Global Warming are privileged people, people who can afford to ski and bake in tanning booths. It has gotten so bad that, where they once said, “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you have too much money,” I think many are starting to say, “Belief in Global Warming is God’s way of telling you that you have too much money.”
Because the ski resorts depend on a wealthy clientele, they smile and nod and make nice noises about the politics of the wealthy. However, because they have to work damn hard to make money, in the back rooms after hours, over a beer, they smile less, nod less, and a murmur of discontent is growing. Many are realizing that the party which was suppose to be for the blue collar is actually for the blue blood.

June 19, 2013 5:32 pm

D—! My comment is “awaiting moderation,” likely because I used the word d—. Sorry about that.

Paul Penrose
June 19, 2013 5:46 pm

The solution is obvious: the government must compensate the resorts for this loss of income due to the (imagined) loss of snowfall. You just know that’s what the ski industry is angling for.

Gunga Din
June 19, 2013 6:26 pm

Paul Penrose says:
June 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm
The solution is obvious: the government must compensate the resorts for this loss of income due to the (imagined) loss of snowfall. You just know that’s what the ski industry is angling for.

A Snow-Job Loss Bill?

June 19, 2013 6:43 pm

I’ve done my best to stop global warming of ski resorts. I’ve not flown, driven nor used one. Are these guys angling for government payments?

June 19, 2013 7:00 pm

I suppose nobody mentioned that snow areas that are at present too high or too far from the equator would then become more accessible for skiing under global warming? Not every snow capped mountain is currently used for skiing, some are just too inaccessible due to excessive snow to be currently used commercially.

June 19, 2013 7:20 pm

Skiing executive Auden Schendler said, “Aspen Skiing Company joined the climate declaration because if there is an industry that ought to care about climate change, it’s the ski industry.”
It is not the patrons that matter, it is the industry ?
See how far that business plan takes you.

June 19, 2013 8:41 pm

This is pure marketing. Of course the ski resorts want to support “more snow” and to protect the environment. Dollars and cents.

June 19, 2013 9:21 pm

So when the snows they’re requesting pile up into the glaciers we’re expecting, do we all get to share in a class action lawsuit against these 100 ski resorts as co-defendants?
It would be a pyrrhic victory, for sure, but a small degree of satisfaction would be welcome.

Mike H
June 19, 2013 10:08 pm

Let’s see how well those lifts work with only windmills and/or solar supplying energy!!

June 19, 2013 10:21 pm
Alan Wilkinson
June 19, 2013 11:59 pm

Just having a record heavy snowfall at NZ’s South Island Mt Hutt ski field. Must be the Al Gore effect.

Bloke down the pub
June 20, 2013 2:31 am

Easy solution. Just mandate that everyone going to a ski resort must travel by electric car, then sit back and see how long the industry survives.

June 20, 2013 3:51 am

And in further news: All of the major ski fields in NZ are set to have bumper seasons with massive snow dumps throughout the country. Have a look at the cardrona skifield website if you are interested.

June 20, 2013 4:16 am

The real effect of “Climate Change” is to bring out all the chicken littles.

michael hart
June 20, 2013 4:23 am

Found (at random) on the web.
“Researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently estimated that about 600,000 skiers and snowboarders are injured each year in the U.S.” (The Denver Post)
“73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds in 2010 ” (CDC Centres for Disease Control and Prevention).
I have a relative going in for surgery this week, due to a skiing accident.

Peter in MD
June 20, 2013 4:59 am

Bloke down the pub says: June 20, 2013 at 2:31am:
And they can’t fly there, drive their electric car all the way!
Everyone who believes in CACC needs to start living the way they intend all of us to live, before I give them one ounce of creedence. Get rid of your fossil fuel car, never fly in a plane again and never turn your lights on, TV on after dark, then, and maybe only then will I truely believe that they truly believe the crap they spout.
Wouldn’t it be grand to list all the major alarmists and the kinds of cars they drive, just to see who the true hypocrites really are.

June 20, 2013 6:07 am

The rich worry about climate change because they don’t want to give up their lifestyles. They want the rest of us to give up ours so they can continue to live high on the hog. This is called sustainability. Everyone else gives up something so those at the top can sustain their elegant lifestyles. After all, they are the beautiful people. They deserve special treatment. If you are living in Aspen with a 6 or 7 figure income, the last thing you want is change.

June 20, 2013 7:11 am

I can’t think of a bigger waste of energy than shipping people and supplies to places they were not meant to live, for the express purpose of a joy ride down a hill.
I agree. People should quit patronizing these resorts. For the earth. For our children.

June 20, 2013 7:30 am

So, I can alleviate my carbon footprint guilt by hovel-ling in the cold darkness so that the wealthy elite might go skiing.
I think not

June 20, 2013 2:40 pm

Thanks. I’m erasing them from my vacation planner list.

June 20, 2013 3:25 pm

Perhaps, BICEPS, can help others improve their own muscles by closing the lifts and putting in steps. Should be a real win win win……

June 20, 2013 10:33 pm

The key questions for ski resorts are actually slightly different to a ‘breadth of snow coverage’ in square kms.
1. They need sufficient snowfall early in the season to cover up rocks, fill in gullies etc etc so that the ski trails can be safe for users.
2. They need the climate to avoid sudden warming events, particularly with rain, which wash away snow already on the ground (which may cause landslides if the rain is torrential).
3. They need gentle freeze thaw cycles to consolidate the snow-pack so that when the spring sun comes, the melt is slow and enjoyable, thereby extending the season.
4. They would like the resort runs to remain in good condition for the periods of high season.
During the 1983 – 2005 period in the European Alps, some of these failed to occur regularly enough: early snow was regularly absent, whereas snow falling beyond mid-March, whilst a bonus, doesn’t radically extend ski seasons as it will never form a consolidated snow pack before the spring sunshine burns it off. In several seasons, radical rainfall/warming events occurred which decimated lower slopes, whilst in others, extended high pressure periods prevented the build up of snow pack between Christmas and mid-February.
Another thing which is the case is that the interests of the highest ski resorts may be favoured by conditions which marginalise the lower ones. Snowfall is likely to be heavier at higher altitude if temperature rises slightly, whereas in lower resorts, that may lead to rain, not snow.
There is, however, little data to suggest that the temporary hiatus is a permenant feature, with recent winters returning to the ‘more traditional’ format of snow, cold and storms in the first half of the season.
Whilst the analysis in the US may be different, I would suggest that people look for cyclical trends to discern what has been going on and therefore what is likely to occur in the future.

June 21, 2013 7:38 am

Yes, shut down ski resorts. Rich people can find some other toys to play with; toys that don’t leave such a huge, ugly carbon footprint: traveling to and from, lodging, heating, maintainance during the off-season, etc., etc. Shut down the ski resorts and save the planet.

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