Global warming has winter games skating on thin ice

Raleigh, NC – As the world turns its attention to the Sochi Olympic Games, Environment North Carolina revealed a summary of global warming impacts on Winter Olympic sports, and highlighting the need to act urgently to reduce the carbon pollution fueling global warming.

“North Carolina maybe feeling the effects of a particularly harsh winter, but when it comes to the future of winter sports, global warming has us skating on thin ice,” said Graham Givens, Clean Energy Associate, with Environment North Carolina. “There’s still time to keep from sliding off the edge by going after the biggest sources of the carbon pollution fueling global warming.”

Environment North Carolina pointed to increased rate of snow melt, shorter winters, drought, and a shrinking map of reliable winter host sites, as climate impacts are threatening the Winter Olympic Games. They also warned that unchecked global warming could accelerate these changes. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, organizers trucked in and manufactured tons of extra snow. In Sochi this year, temperatures have reached the sixties, impacting a number of snow sports. The unusually warm conditions that trigger these extreme measures could become the new normal.

Over 100 winter Olympic athletes have already called for climate action in a recent letter from Protect our Winters. The letter highlights how the athletes would lose critical training time and overall, the sports that they compete in.

The Winter Olympic Games won’t be the only victims of climate change and our ski resorts here in North Carolina could be affected, hurting the businesses that rely on a good ski seasons.

Power plants that burn fossil fuels like coal and gas are the largest sources of carbon pollution in the U.S. North Carolina is home to five of the dirtiest power plants in the country that make up more than half of the state’s total carbon pollution. But while there are limits on smog, soot, and other dangerous pollution from power plants, there are no federal limits on the industrial carbon pollution power plants emit.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comments on its proposal to start limiting carbon pollution from new power plants, and plans to propose limits on carbon from existing power plants in June. Americans have already submitted 4 million comments to the EPA supporting limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

“President Obama has committed to protecting our children and grandchildren from the worst impacts of global warming, but the EPA’s proposal to limit carbon pollution from power plants is not yet in place,” concluded Givens. “The fossil fuel industry and their allies in Congress are already lining up to block the president’s plan. North Carolina’s leaders must show their support for climate action.”


We can not single out a single event

Global Warming/Climate Change can not be about citing a single event in the Earth's weather. Even though the Winter Games in Russia have had problems because of the unseasonable weather, the weather is now changing and colder weather is coming and even there now.

I think we make a mistake by trying to make Climate Change all about some single event. That's not what it's about. Hopefully everyone knows that.

Yes, we know that

This is just one of many different analyses on the effects of climate change. There is a danger of focusing too much in one particular area, but the retreat of land ice, the thawing of permafrost, and other aspects of the warming effect all have the potential to kick climate change into overdrive.

I don't want us to be like deniers

Climate change deniers often cite specific events in weather patterns to show that climate change is not happening or better put, "global warming" isn't happening beyond how it has happened throughout Earth's history.

When we cite specific events like the lack of cold weather and snow and ice at the Winter Games in Russia to make a point that global warming exists, to me it makes it look like we global warming advocates are doing what the opposition is doing.

That is all I am saying scharrison.

Hooks & headlines

Evidence should and does carry the day in the scientific community around climate change. But it's anecdotes and stories that carry the day in politics.

There has to be some way to go from abstract data to real incidents of impacts on peoples lives. What ideas do you have for making it real for people while still connecting it to broader trends and evidence?

My post speaks to that, Jake

I do understand your post when you say:

What ideas do you have for making it real for people while still connecting it to broader trends and evidence?

I think a conservative republican blog entry could ask the same question if someone there said that a poster that said just citing a specific incident of warming or cooling doesn't explain climate change or global warming.

I may be painting myself in a corner here by continuing to respond to this but I just believe in my heart that climate change advocates need to stop showing a specific event as proof that global warming and climate change is occurring. There is FAR more scientific proof to show for this. That's all I'm saying. I should just STFU now :)

Definitely don't STFU!

I'm agreeing with a lot of what you're saying, and we need as many voices talking about this issue as we can get, because it's one that is going to affect us all whether we like it or not.