Guest editorial: In fight against climate change, ‘little things’ Parkites do don’t add up
February 26, 2019
Park City is arguably experiencing one of its most successful winter seasons. The snow has been great, the Sundance Film Festival was a big success and the world-class winter sporting events continue. Presidents Day crowds recently left town. Kudos have been appropriately given to all the hard-working employees and volunteers who make all this happen. Tax coffers should be looking pretty good right now.
There is one key industry that continues to be overlooked. Let's give a major nod to all of the fossil fuel providers. We could have never made it without you. Aviation fuel, gasoline, diesel fuel, propane, carbon-producing electricity, wood-burning stoves, to name a few. If any one of these providers had missed a step we would be clamoring, if not freezing. Park City would never be what it is today without these commodities.
Many will say we just need to do the "little things" to affect climate change. It sure makes one feel good, but it isn't working.
Recycling: Investors Business Daily, June 1, 2018: "It has become an article of faith in the U.S. that recycling is a good thing. But evidence is piling up that recycling is a waste of time and money, and a bit of a fraud." Has anyone every seriously looked at what our waste provider does with all the recycled trash? Are they even capable of recycling what they receive? Would our money be spent better elsewhere? Our overconsumption is the source of our waste and recycling is not the answer.
Carpooling: We now have a new remote parking site. Always looks empty to me when I drive by.
Electric Vehicles: Our power providers want to partner with us to create more alternative energy sources. Is it a fair question to ask if they are keeping their commitment to increase alternative energy sources? Or are we increasing consumption to the point that they cannot keep up with demand? Can we ask what percent of our electricity consumption comes from renewable sources? Put the percent of renewable energy I use on my bill every month. If alternate energy was a predictable source of power, in the foreseeable future, why did we increase production of coal in our own state? I have had hybrid/electric vehicles since 2004. Never have I used a remote charging station. Please, Mr. Mayor — don't bother.
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Repurposing: We give awards to businesses who are doing what Salvation Army, Goodwill, Deseret Industries have successfully done for 80 years. Haven't seen these folks in town.
Food consumption: The Guardian, April 18, 2018: "Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day — equal to a pound per person per day. Research shows people with healthy diets rich in fruit and vegetables are the most wasteful…" The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates food waste in the United States to be about 30 to 40 percent of the food supply produced.
Water consumption: Water has always been an issue in our area. Water shares date back 150 years or more. Sometimes shares are worth more than the land they are attached to. A couple of bad snow years and we will be importing water as well.
Instead of measuring occupancy rates, business profits, taxes collected and snowfall, let's measure the carbon footprint left by the lifestyle we so love. California has lost billions on their train to nowhere, Albuquerque's electric buses lost $133 million. Are the environmental projects in Park City going to be any more successful? At least let us not be wasteful with all the revenue Sundance has given our city. Oh I forget we didn't have to buy the buses. Right?
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