All Downhill for MA Skiing Industry in Warming World

Ski School at NashobaThe skiing industry will be extinct in Massachusetts before a child born today turns 30, according to a new study on the effects of global warming:

Of 103 ski resorts operating in the Northeast, less than half could be economically viable in 30 years if winter temperatures rise by between 2.5 and 4 degrees over the next several decades as expected, according to a study by Scott that will be published early next year. The report says that if society continues to rely heavily on fossil fuels, causing emissions from heat-trapping gases to rise, no Massachusetts ski areas would survive the next 30 years, and only seven of 18 New Hampshire resorts and eight of 14 Maine mountains would remain open.

Check out this graphic the Boston Globe created using data from Daniel Scott, director of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo in Ontario:

Money quote from Katie Johnston’s story: “Ski area officials prefer not to dwell on such dire predictions.” Politicians, too!

But ignoring global warming has a decades-long track record of failing to solve the problem. With carbon emissions rising faster than worst-case scenarios, the climate crisis is accelerating faster than worst-case predictions.

Time to acknowledge reality – and do something about it.

Cross-posted from The Green Miles

Recommended by jasiu, jasongwb.



Discuss

10 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. somewhat ironic

    The ski industry today is quite dependent upon fossil fuels for its current (and now likely short-term) existence – diesel engines for the lifts, gas for the thousands of cars driven to the resorts, etc.

    • One could say the same about all of society

      but at least we have some measure of control over global warming, if we collectively decide to make it a top priority.

      The ski industry is at our mercy, though they could make a better effort to inform their costumers and try to make them activists to prevent climate change.

      RyansTake   @   Thu 29 Nov 1:40 AM
      • Measure of control

        Unfortunately, even if we immediately take drastic measures to stop our production of greenhouse gases (and of course, we aren’t going to), our measure of control is whether we slide gradually over the edge of the cliff with our fingers digging into the slope, or if we continue our current headlong rush toward that same edge. It looks like we’re screwed either way; the question is whether it’s our children or theirs who get to deal with the full impact of our fossil fuel addiction.

        We had a nice planet. Too bad we trashed it.

        In case anybody’s not clear about it, the temperature changes discussed are in degrees Celsius, which are much bigger than Fahrenheit.

        • Celius v. Farenheit

          In case anybody’s not clear about it, the temperature changes discussed are in degrees Celsius, which are much bigger than Fahrenheit.

          I’m not sure exactly what you are trying to get at here but that’s not how I would put it. Actually, degrees Celius are “smaller” – roughly half the size – than degrees Farenheit.

          In other words, on the Celsius scale there are 100 degrees between freezing point and boiling point of water, compared to 180 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. This means that 1 degree Celius = approximately 1.8 degrees Farenheit.

          To put it one more way, a temperature change of 4 degrees Celius (say from 0 to 4 degrees) would equally roughly a change of 7 degrees Farhenheit (from 32 to 39.2 degrees).

          So, when you see the potential effects of climate change expressed in Celius, a rough approximation is that it would seem almost twice as bad if you used the Farenheit scale.

          In case anybody’s not clear about it.

          • ???

            Actually, degrees Celius are “smaller” – roughly half the size – than degrees Farenheit.

            In other words, on the Celsius scale there are 100 degrees between freezing point and boiling point of water, compared to 180 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. This means that 1 degree Celius = approximately 1.8 degrees Farenheit.

            I’m afraid you’re saying the opposite of what you think you’re saying. Pretend the difference between water freezing and water boiling is a dollar. There are 20 nickles in a dollar, but only ten dimes. Are nickles bigger (in value) than dimes?

            • Semantics

              There’s several ways to put it, of course. To me saying Celius degrees “are much bigger than Farhenheit” is confusing. Especially when referring to temperature *change*.

              To use your reasonable analogy, let’s say we wanted to say that because of climate change a widget is predicted to cost one coin more. In “Celius nickles” terms that means something would cost $1.05. While in “Farhenheit dimes” it would cost $1.10.

              So, if your explaining that to the lay public, you would say “we should really do something about climate change or widgets will cost 5 cents more in the future.” Moreover, you would add “and since this is stated in Celius, you need to know that Celius nickles are really much bigger than Farhenhiet currency, so the effect on consumers of widgets is actually bigger than it seems.” I’d continue to argue that it’s clearer to say “but Celius nickles are really almost twice as small as Farheneit dimes, so the the effect on consumers is actually bigger than it seems. Widgets will cost $1.10 in Farhenheit currency”

              Ahhhh, semantics.

              • Backwards

                In my analogy, the nickles are Fahrenheit, and the dimes are Celsius. When water warms up by 1 degree F, it is not as warm as if it warmed up by one degree C. That’s a smaller change for F than for C. The value of a degree Fahrenheit is smaller than the value of a degree Celsius. You’re making something confusing out of something simple.

                • It is Smple

                  We have the same understanding (I do like your ladder rungs analogy) but I still think that this is also confusing: “In case anybody’s not clear about it, the temperature changes discussed are in degrees Celsius, which are much bigger than Fahrenheit.”

                  Reading that again and again, it is accurate. But it is also accurate to say that the temperature changes expressed in Celsius appear *smaller* to the lay person than the same change expressed as Farhenheit degrees.

                  I’m arguing that a person has to climb a smaller number of C rungs to reach half way up the ladder (50) than it does F rungs (106). So, the temperature changes discussed are in degrees Celsius. The change would appear bigger to the lay person if expressed in Fahrenheit.

                  • To further belabor the point

                    Let’s say you have two flights of steps side by side and one has steps that are a foot high and the other has ones that are 6″ high. There are twice as many steps in the flight with 6″ steps. So which steps are smaller the 12″ steps or the 6″ steps? Almost no one is going to say the 12″ steps are smaller than the 6″ steps. Celsius degrees are larger than Fahrenheit degrees pure and simple. You explicitly stated the exact opposite.

                    Now if you want to say that as a consequence *temperature* values expressed in units of Celsius are smaller than the same temperature expressed using Fahrenheit, that’s fine.

                    To summarize: Celsius degrees are larger, and consequently (and also due to the fact that 0 Celsius == 32 Fahrenheit) temperatures expressed in these units have smaller values.

              • Another analogy

                Two ladders go up to a roof. One ladder, designated C, has 100 rungs, evenly spaced. The other ladder, designated F, has 212 rungs, evenly spaced. You seem to be arguing that the spaces between the rungs on F are bigger than the spaces between the rungs on C. This is impossible.

« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Wed 27 Aug 1:10 PM