Well-written article on global warming and the threat to regional winter activities.

Steve Sheppard, an economics professor at Williams College, said ski areas wouldn’t be the only casualties of a weakened winter-recreation season. Also compromised would be hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, restaurants and stores.

“It (would) have a significant impact on hospitality,” Sheppard said. (All) visitors spend a surprising amount of money in local shops.”

The scientists’ report also surmises that ski resorts in the northern part of the Northeast, which might initially gain business as southern competitors are forced to close, would eventually struggle under the burdens of a shortened season and higher costs.

Winter athletes contacted for this story said they’d done substantial reading on the subject.

But that’s all they agreed on.

Some, like the Dethier family in Williamstown, have rearranged their lives to help combat climate change.

Others, like Pittsfield ice fisherman Jim Lambert, base their views on cynicism and cyclisim.

Lambert is my kind of New England Yankee.

The Dethier family operates on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Evan Dethier, now a freshman cross-country skier at Williams College, did a documentary probing global warming and the difficulties it created for the ski team during his senior year at Mount Greylock Regional High School. The team held practices on roller-skis, cross-trained, and ran for much of the year. Races often were held at ski resorts because the traditional courses did not have snow.

The Nordic ski community relies mostly on natural snow, meaning both snowfall and avoiding significant melting play a role in the success of the season.

“The line is so close here,” Dethier said. “A lot of times it’s snowing at 29 or 30 degrees. In the relatively near future, it’ll be harder and harder to find places to cross-country ski in North America, particularly in the Northeast.”

Evan’s father, David, is a geosciences professor at Williams College. The family bought a Prius Hybrid five years ago in an effort to be environmentally conscious and has replaced its refrigerator with a more efficient version.

Replacing a refrigerator is nice, but did Dethier do anything to try and stop the College from emitting untold tons of carbon during all its recent construction? I doubt it. Even worse, no one has even bothered to report to the College community an accouting of the carbon emissions. No worries though! The North and South Academic Buildings are beautiful and all Dethier friends in Div I and II will soon have beautiful new, larger, air-conditioned offices.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course.

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