Follow us:

Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

December 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM

The big un-chill: Climate change damages winter tourism

Add to the economic costs of climate change the $12 billion winter tourism industry. A new report from the nonprofit groups Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council indicates the sector has lost $1 billion and up to 27,000 jobs in 38 states over the last decade because of diminished snow fall.

In Washington, where more than 6,000 jobs are supported by winter tourism, the change in estimated number of skier visits between high and low snowfall years from November 1999 and April 2010 was down 28 percent. Oregon, with 5,565 jobs, saw a decline of 31 percent. Colorado, with 37,838 jobs, dropped nearly 8 percent. Nationally, an estimated 23 million people participated in winter sports in 2009-2010, generating $1.4 billion in state and local taxes and $1.7 billion in federal taxes.

“For those whose livelihood depends upon a predictable winter season, such unpredictability and lack of snow can translate into a precipitous fall in revenue, an early economic indicator of what climate change looks like,” Antonia Herzog, assistant director, Climate and Clean Air Program of the NRDC said in a prepared statement. “In order to protect winter — and the hundreds of thousands whose livelihoods depend upon a snow-filled season — we must act now to support policies that protect our climate, and in turn, our slopes.”

We’re doing nothing. Instead of exporting the advanced alternative energy plants to China from our (non-existent) Manhattan Project on clean tech, we’re exporting coal. But the costs of climate change will only grow. This is the tip of the faceplant our economy will do as a result of short-term thinking, denial and the very effective propaganda campaigns of the fossil fuels industry. Just wait for the climate refugees headed our way as the Southwest and South become increasingly uninhabitable.

And Don’t Miss: Three real ‘cliffs’ facing America || Salon

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Icahn H-P stake?

Vampire poetic justice

Back to the garage

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►