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Global Warming Melting Ski Resorts Future as They Embrace Green

Global Warming Melting Ski Resorts Future as They Embrace Green

December 7, 2007 —

Ski resorts in the U.S. (and the world) view themselves as chic poster boys for global warming. With temperatures rising, one of the first visible phenomenon is less snow at resort-level altitudes. Projections in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and the Rockies look at 5-6 degree temperature increases by 2100 if global warming is not dramatically reduced. Snow pack would fall by 89%. Ski resorts have embraced anti-global warming politics and measures with a bear hug. And are spending tens of millions of dollars in green technology that puts them way ahead of other recreational industries.

Across the American skiscape resorts have adopted a panoply of sustainable and eco-friendly practices. In fourteen states forty-five resorts are using renewable, pollution-free energy—nineteen of those are 100% powered by renewable. Wind power is predominant, followed by hydroelectric, solar, biomass and geothermal.

Savvy resort executives are hitching rides with the ecotourism wave, using their resorts new philosophy of soft environmental footprint and green technology to draw in millions of skiers with eco-conscience.

The San Francisco Chronicle just published a gradest list of greenest ski resorts in California. Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley came in at the top of the class with A’s. Squaw Valley came up from former D’s. The worst resorts were Kirkwood, Bear Valley Mountain and Northstar-at-Tahoe. Considered best in the West are Aspen and Copper Mountain, both in Colorado.

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