The global climate issue is certainly one that can be overwhelming when one tries to envision solving this problem. Yes, we have some who believe there is no problem, but I would hope anybody associated with snow sports is a believer.
Ski areas certainly need to do their part in trying to reduce their carbon emissions and lessen their dependency on fossil fuels. However, if every ski area on the earth’s surface was at a zero carbon footprint, it really would not have a significant impact on the problem from a global perspective.
So, what can ski areas do? My suggestion would be to follow Aspen’s lead. Their Give a Flake campaign is the most meaningful step the ski industry can do. I don’t think Aspen will mind others following their lead. Our customer base, skiers and riders, needs to be rallied to become a meaningful and vociferous force to make politicians and companies make the right decisions relating to protecting our climate. Within that customer base are many corporate leaders, academic leaders, and politicians who have significant clout within the decision-making community in the country. Ski areas can make a difference by enlisting their customers to speak out.
A recent piece I read jolted me a bit when the piece showed the willingness of consumers by global region to pay for sustainability as it relates to climate impact.
The fact that North America and Europe in 2014 were less willing than the Global average and way behind the other three regions of the globe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East/Africa was truly baffling in my mind.
If this truly is the case, then there definitely needs to be more awareness generated. The recent headlines have stated that the oceans are warming at a faster pace than predicted, which does not bode well for snowy winters.
Give a shout out to your state and federal legislatures, make some noise. Better yet, enlist your skiers and riders to make noise and save our winters.