Will global warming eventually mean that all skiing is on water, not snow?
That was sort of the question at a May 24 Senate hearing, though businesses that benefit from summer sports and tourism weren’t in attendance to celebrate.
The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee discussed economic harm that witnesses claimed global warming could cause to winter tourism and recreation. But the committee did not consider the costs to recreation if green activists get their way – or what Congress could possibly do to protect winter sports.
“The recreation industry’s true threats come not from climate change – which has always changed and will always change – but from the so-called global warming ‘solutions’ being proposed by government policymakers,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in a press release about the hearing.
Ironically, some environmentalists have called for an end to “binge flying,” while others seek to “re-wild the planet.”
Sounds like that would mean an end to winter recreation anyway, except for cross-country skiing in the backyard.
As Inhofe put it, “If we cannot fly to remote locations, and if few automobiles are capable of pulling boats, jet skis, and campers, and if RVs become a thing of the past as environmentalists would like, then minor climate fluctuations will have little impact on recreation because Americans will not have the means to recreate.”
Barry W. McCahill, president of the SUV Owners of America, cited the failure of stricter CAFÉ standards to reduce reliance on foreign oil – “we have since doubled the percentage of oil imports.”
Another witness illustrated the contradiction within the environmental movement’s goals.
"We ask the Congress to be wary of the danger of actions that would discourage healthy active lives and travel to see special places like national parks," said Derrick Crandall, president of the American Recreation Coalition.
Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) made it clear she intends to pursue “major legislation” to fix climate change, although she did not elaborate on what that legislation would do.
Global warming activists have pressured Congress to mandate an 80-percent emissions reduction with no regard for the cost to the economy. According to Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell, most people would have to give up their cars, air conditioning and “only heat one room of their house” to accomplish that goal.