Climate change, now and later
December 27, 2012
For a seasonally organized and essentially fashion-driven industry like a ski resort, it makes perfect sense to frame climate change in immediate terms. Winter-sports enthusiasts are less likely to think in the long term, as advocated by Rob Katz in his recent op-ed, so making the case for an urgent response to the climate crisis might well be best accomplished by stating the obvious: No more skiing unless we act.
But Katz’s argument is just as powerful and just as correct. Our collective focus on the short term has been a major contributor to our present predicament. Our culture is fixated on instant consumer gratification, informed by hysterical news media on a 24-hour cycle of excitement and spectacle and governed by politicians fixated on the next election cycle. Only with a profound reorientation in our thinking toward multi-generational responsibility to the future can we accomplish the kind of thoughtful and reasoned planetary response demanded by an emergency of this magnitude.