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Letter: Listen to Janet Yellen to save Utah’s shrinking snowpack

SHARE Letter: Listen to Janet Yellen to save Utah’s shrinking snowpack

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen participates in a swearing-in ceremony with Vice President Kamala Harris, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, at the White House in Washington.

Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

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.

David Folland