Letter: Focus should be on the climate
Your article about climate change and the ski industry was sobering (“Sochi highlights ski industry’s climate-change challenge,” Feb. 22).
The rain and slush at Sochi warn of difficult times ahead for snow sports. The mild weather we’re currently experiencing here would appear to fit in with that trend.
Yet I’ll be the first to say that these warm spells don’t mean anything in themselves any more than the big dump we got in late January or the series of storms the eastern U.S. has been getting all winter.
The fact is, weird weather doesn’t prove that the climate is changing. The weather’s always being weird somewhere. Weather is not climate. Weather is what’s happening outside your window right now; climate is the long-term average.
Climate matters more than weather, and global climate matters most of all. Last month NOAA reported that 2013 was the fourth-warmest year on record in terms of global average temperature. It was the 37th consecutive year that the annual global temperature was above average — the last time the Earth had a colder-than-average year was in 1975.
That’s the real climate story. If it seems like the weather’s acting weird, and generally getting warmer, that’s why.
Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. Not because it threatens skiing or polar bears (in my opinion) but because it’s going to harm every human being on the planet for many generations to come.
The Roaring Fork chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby is advocating for a nonpartisan, market-based policy to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and the threat of climate change. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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