On Jan. 26, 1949, Salt Lake residents shivered in minus 22 degree record low temperatures. Unless you lived here then, you probably don’t remember cold like that. In fact, Utah has warmed about 4 degrees above preindustrial times.
This winter’s paltry snow cover on the valley floor is another indicator of a changing climate — as is the thin blanket of mountain snow.
So, what about the mountains? Snowpack is our natural reservoir, and our ski industry is a major contributor to the economy. As I write this, the base at Alta and Sundance resorts is less than half of average. This low snowpack combined with a record-setting dry year doesn’t bode well for our ski industry or our water supply.
These dramatic changes convince me that we must urgently support actions to eliminate our contributions to a warming planet. Janet Yellen, our new treasury secretary, advocates a market-based solution that charges a fee to pollute as the most effective and efficient way to reduce greenhouse gasses.
In her memorable poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Amanda Gorman challenged us with this question: “Where can we find light in this never-ending shade?” Let’s find “light” in clean energy, using the power of the market to brighten the path forward.