Think global warming is all hype? Think again
September 25, 2009
If you think global warming is some far-off crisis for future generations to deal with, you should clear your schedule for next Wednesday evening.
The effects of climate change have already begun to impact our lives, and on Sept. 30, Parkites will have a chance to find out exactly what those effects are on a local level and what they can do to stop or at least slow down unfavorable consequences.
The Park City Foundation (PCF) is presenting Save Our Snow II, a town hall-style meeting to discuss the recreational and economic implications of climate change. The event will also kick off a month of eco-friendly and educational activities as well as a community-wide initiative to reduce Park City residents’ carbon footprint.
Katie Wright, PCF programs manager and one of the event organizers, says the focus of the evening is to communicate that people can take action to offset the impending environmental changes.
"When people think of something as huge as global climate change, they tend to get overwhelmed," she says. "The purpose of the event is to help people care and understand about the problem but also give them very tangible takeaways."
Local organizations, businesses, nonprofits and individuals have all come together to emphasize different aspects of climate change. "It really and truly is a collaborative community effort," says Wright. "I think that speaks to how much our community cares about this issue and also our ability as a community to work together it’s very unique and I think it’s something for Park City to be proud of."
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The first Save Our Snow event was held in January of 2007 and featured a study that showed the projected snowpack depths for future years based on climate models. Next week’s sequel will present updated information and also focus on the economic component, translating snowpack into skier days and tourism dollars.
"I think people understand that you can’t separate the environment from the economy," says Wright. "All of these things need to be approached together."
The keynote speaker for the event is David Gallo, Oceanographer and Directorate of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Gallo will address the global implications of climate change and what role humans play in influencing its course.
Another highlight of the event is the launch of the http://www.parkcitygreen.org . The website was developed through a partnership between Park City Foundation and Park City Municipal Corp. with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Its purpose is to save consumers money by providing practical, economical ideas for reducing water and energy use. It will provide information about local, state and federal tax incentives and rebate programs, and allow local households and businesses to create customized plans. "As a consumer, you can save money while greening your lifestyle," says Wright.
Perhaps the most important thing people can take away from Save Our Snow II is that they have the power to make a difference. The new community-wide climate-change action plan will help steer Parkites in the right direction, providing simple ways to diminish each household’s carbon footprint.
Wright says the local call to action will be reinforced in coming months by new recommendations from climate experts. An independent panel of experts will review the snowpack study later this year and provide feedback and suggestions.
As the project expands, Parkites will be kept abreast of new information, perhaps with other Save Our Snow events. "I think this is an ongoing initiative and I think it’ll always grow and change," says Wright.
Save Our Snow II will start at 6 p.m. at the Eccles Center. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance by calling (435) 655-3114 or stopping by the Eccles Center Box Office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Look for the Save Our Snow insert in today’s edition of The Park Record, featuring conservation tips, an interview with keynote speaker David Gallo and local promoter of all things green, a schedule of Green Month activities and more.
6 p.m. Doors open to the public
7 p.m. Programming begins
7:15 p.m. Keynote Speaker: David Gallo
8 p.m. "The Future of Park City’s Snowpack" with Brian Lazar
8:20 p.m. "Snowpack, Skier Days and Tourism Dollars Climate Change’s Economic Implications" with David Chapman
8:30 p.m. "What Can I Do?" with Diane Foster
8:45 p.m. Closing Remarks and Question & Answer Session with David Gallo, Brian Lazar, David Chapman, & Diane Foster