Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I agree that individual climate action isn’t going to solve the problem alone, but I stick with my point that relying on someone else to solve the problem was never going to work. And I was writing from the heart, mainly as a skier!
I can also envision the ski industry cynically (or maybe realistically) just going down the road of trying to shift most of its business to other seasonal activities, but that sells skiers short, so I was trying to motivate my ski bros.
I would say that individual climate action broken down by sector (food, transportation, recreation) can help push the transition to a renewable energy economy, but I recognize that stronger mechanisms are needed.
Absent any national policies or leadership, we should tackle some of that at other levels. I see individual action as a building block toward community action, which could take shape as the regional carbon programs that I briefly mentioned but did not fully develop in this essay. It’s highly unlikely there will be a national carbon tax in the next four years, so what else can we do?
I’ve always been a little (actually a lot) skeptical of the NSAA’s greenwashing, but when I took a look at the latest Climate Challenge and the new sustainability report, it’s clear that it’s a work in progress. To spell out the carbon footprint of individual resorts and set (admittedly voluntary) targets is an important step in the right direction, and it may be the best we can get right now, so let’s push to make it even better.
Again, without leadership and or regulation at the federal level, we have to find another path. Many industries and businesses says they favor climate action; for the ski industry it’s do or die — an existential threat, as you say. How do we make that happen?