In another attempt to promote global warming activism, CBS This Morning journalists on Thursday warned viewers that climate change could lead to the end of snow and skiing. Co-host Charlie Rose informed viewers that "the author of a controversial book believes winter sports could be doomed." [MP3 audio here.]
Yet, if there was much "controversy" in the notions pushed by writer Porter Fox, they hardly made it onto the CBS segment. Instead, reporter Don Dahler tossed this softball to Fox: "If thousands of scientists agree that this is happening why are there elements who resist it so much?" The author of "Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow," responded by lecturing, "I think there's a long history of doubting science when it goes against the grain of what you want to happen."
The only skepticism in the segment came when Dahler talked to Tyler Fairbank, the CEO of Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Massachusetts. On the subject of climate change and snow melt, he reasoned, "I know we're certainly not seeing the kinds of patterns and data that suggest the sky is falling."
Rose began the segment by connecting the just-completed Sochi winter Olympics. The host insisted that they "suffered some of the most extreme weather of any winter games." Rose specifically pointed out this included "temperatures in the 60s."
Yet, as the Media Research Center's Sean Long noted, this shouldn't be that shocking. In a previous report, "CBS’s Mark Phillips described [Sochi] as 'a subtropical corner of Russia where it never snows down on the coast and where the mountain snow base can vary dramatically from year to year.'"
A transcript of the February 27 segment is below:
CHARLIE ROSE: The Sochi Olympics suffered some of the most extreme weather of any winter games. Athletes faced fog, rain and temperatures in the 60s. Research predicts that could become the new reality at ski resorts around the world. As Don Dahler reports, the author of a controversial book believes winter sports could be doomed.
DON DAHLER: Porter Fox loves to ski. He's been shushing down slopes since he was two. The features editor of Powder magazine has skied on five continents and says everywhere he's traveled there has been less and less snow.
PORTER FOX (Powder magazine writer and editor): We've lost a million square miles of snow cover in the spring in the last 47 years.
DAHLER: Fox's book about skiing and the future of snow includes studies on how it's vanishing throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He cites climatologists who say that will decimate the ski industry.
FOX: Half of the 103 resorts in the north east likely will not be able to stay open and that's in the next 30 years, which is pretty shocking. That's where I grew up skiing.
DAHLER: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration snow cover on land in June in the northern hemisphere has been decreasing at a rate of nearly 20 percent per decade since 1979. The loss of the snow pack is more than just a risk for the ski industry. It could impact every person in this country, whether they ski or not.
FOX: It's a very unique form of water storage and around the world a billion people depend on snow melt for their fresh water supply.
DAHLER: Fox believes the impact of change on the ski industry is like a canary in the coal mine.
FOX: It's just the beginning of what people are beginning to see as visible climate change.
DAHLER: Jiminy Peak mountain resort in Massachusetts offsets the lack of natural snow by making almost 90 percent of it themselves. The cost of snow making prompted the resort to build this four million dollar wind turbine. Tyler Fairbank is CEO.
TYLER FAIRBANK: It was something no one has ever done before and it's been an absolute home run for us.
DAHLER: Lower electric bills allows Fairbank to be more optimistic about the resort's future.
FAIRBANK: We're in a constant state of climate change. I don't know if we're seeing – I know we're certainly not seeing the kinds of patterns and data that suggest the sky is falling.
FOX: I wish he was right, I really do. I would tend to believe the thousands of scientists disagree with that opinion.
DAHLER: If thousands of scientists agree that this is happening why are there elements who resist it so much?
FOX: I think there's a long history of doubting science when it goes against the grain of what you want to happen.
DAHLER: Fox says if we start reducing carbon emissions now, the loss of snow can be slowed down. But he's not optimistic.
FOX: Glaciers in Europe, Alpine glaciers, they've lost half of their volume in the last 150 years. It's disappearing very quickly. There's a chain reaction that happens when snow disappears that's really devastating to everyone living down stream.
DAHLER: And for the future of skiers. For CBS This Morning, Don Dahler, CBS News, Hancock, Massachusetts.