Tom Ross: Climate change could spoil our fun


Tom Ross

Tom Ross' column appears in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4205 or

Find more columns by Tom here.

When is a candlelight dinner unromantic? When global warming and the collapse of society necessitate it. OK, maybe I'm being a little melodramatic. But in Steamboat Springs, the only thing more scary than impending plagues of grasshoppers and the unraveling of civilization is the prospect of a bad snow winter followed by dry paddling and angling seasons.

Got your attention yet? Good. You're invited to a candlelight dinner to talk it over on Saturday night. More about that later.

Ours being a hedonistic community, many of us in Ski Town USA will be digging our kayaking and fishing equipment out of the gear closet this week even as we scrub the hydraulic fluid and oil off the bottoms of our skis in preparation for one last run.

Don't panic - I'm talking about the last ski run of the season - not the last run in the history of the world. Climatic Armageddon isn't here yet.

But just in case, you might want to coordinate this Saturday's outdoor frolic with a local climate change rally that is tied into a national effort: "Step it Up on Global Warming."

Thousands of participants all over America, many wearing green armbands, will gather at "iconic locations" to take part in their favorite outdoor sports - iconic locations such as Storm Peak, the Yampa River and some of the valley's most scenic cycling routes.

Local organizer Diane Brower said most of these green activists would be driving and flying to Washington, D.C., for a giant rally except that would increase their carbon footprint - kind of self-defeating when you think about it.

They could choose to walk, paddle or ski all the way to Washington, D.C., to make their point, but there's an easier way.

At 10 a.m. in Steamboat, skiers and snowboarders will meet at the bottom of the gondola. At the same time, hikers will gather at the Stock Bridge Transit Center to walk the Yampa River Core Trail.

At 3 p.m., kayakers will meet at Backdoor Sports and cyclists will gather at Orange Peel Bike Shop.

Later, the entire group will gather for a candlelight potluck dinner. The sentiment behind the candlelight isn't romance - it's a symbolic offering to the urgent need to cut down on CO2 emissions.

"The underlying idea," Brower said, "is that government officials are not picking up on a message from the people. They want to bring government's attention to citizens' support for government intervention in global warming. Even the conservative Supreme Court voted 4-3 last week and agreed that carbon dioxide is a pollutant."

How much would a 2- or 3-degree increase in the average annual temperature of the Yampa Valley affect our lifestyle and economy? More and more, the evidence suggests that winter would arrive later and depart sooner. For the short time that winter occupied the valley, it would yield sticky snow on our ski trails instead of the famed Champagne. With a milder winter, the pine beetles would denude our forests, and the Rainbow Family Gathering would be replaced by the annual Grasshopper Festival. And that's the good news.

There's nothing funny about global climate change. It threatens our children's future. If we have a 10-year window in which to reverse the trend, we need to begin this weekend.

Step it Up 2007 was envisioned by author Bill McKibben, who has grown frustrated with a top-down approach to slowing global climate change, Brower said. Interested people can learn more at For more information about activities in Steamboat on Saturday, including the location of an unromantic potluck dinner, call 879-8691.


dave mcirvin 9 years, 11 months ago

Love to hear more about the dinner. Any keynote speakers? We've been driving a hybrid, recycling and using CF lights but would like to do more. For the record it was 5-4 with usual gang of four with Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia bringing up the horse's tail end. (nmenonic R.A.T.S. for all you school kids studying civics)


agentofchange 9 years, 11 months ago

Hey Tom ! So you're buying into the fraud, Al Gore's program. Too bad. The problem is not the "Human Factor", in "CLIMATE CHANGE" as Gore promotes, it has much more to due with the simple fact that the Sun is hotter than it's been in a thousand years. You are all being fooled by Gore and his like for reasons which have little to do with climate change, and much to do with "the have, and have not's" dynamic. And guess who will suffer ?... The third world counties. Curious, for a "do gooder" like Gore. Be careful what you wish for.


housepoor 9 years, 11 months ago

agent are serious? even your buddy Bush is finding it hard to deny


housepoor 9 years, 11 months ago

how about a float up Starbucks for the tubers?


agentofchange 9 years, 11 months ago

housepoor... yes, I am serious. I don't write it unless I am serious.

This Gore thing is out of control ! Tom Ross is being fooled, are you. Read up my friend, This is snake oil, at it's best. Be well.


bluntman 9 years, 11 months ago

6 billion+ human beings couldn't possibly effect any change upon this gigantic, resilient planet... climactic or otherwise, right?

sooo, keep on driving the humvees, burning coal to power the ski lifts and everything else, chopping down the forests, and deficit spending on the credit cards like there is no tomorrow. keep on denying the reality that we are fouling our only nest, because the "economy" depends upon it. our species is headed for a cliff like a herd of frenzied lemmings.

don't consider for a moment doing anything differently. everything that happens is someone else's fault. your children will thank you for your infinite wisdom and foresight (not to mention cut & paste skills), and for all that they inherit.

we are, without a doubt, the smartest monkeys of all.

having said that, here is MY cut & paste contribution:


thecondoguy1 9 years, 11 months ago

Yeow, we have some good thinkers here, and Thankfully,,,,al gore is a narissistic bully with nothing to do, don't forget the earth is also warming from the inside out, barely miles below the surface, zillions of tons of molten rock churning and burning, we are so small, we just don't know it................


thecondoguy1 9 years, 11 months ago

sbvor,,,,,,,,,,another good thinker, this is great.......


HolySmoke 9 years, 11 months ago

sbvor..Steamboat Violator Of Reason.. you are a real piece of work. Why are you so against people trying to do something good for the planet no matter how small or ineffective it may seem to you. I'm sorry but i believe that the world would be much better without people like you in it. Why not take all the time you spend trying to figure out how to derail the "greenie" movement and put that energy into something positive that will help the planet? At the end of the day everyone should ask themselves what have I contributed to the benefit of the planet and the well being of all our brothers and sisters no matter how small or ineffective it may seem at the time.


Hadleyburg_Press 9 years, 11 months ago

HolySmoke, "I'm sorry but i believe that the world would be much better without people like you in it". It seems, they are your brothers and sisters as long as they agree with your emotional ideological view of the world ? Why not try to counter SBvor's position in a rational way? SBvor's postings are remarkably obnoxious, but the logic behind the arguement deserves a better response then just what may 'feel" good. Do you know the science behind the concept of global warming? I have very good friends that are PHDs at NASA and NCAR that can't agree, using hard data, as to the overall impact of human generated atmoshperic particulates and gases. But you, in your emotional state, have made that leap of faith. Do you want goverments to implement economically devestating paradigms based upon emotion? Bottom line is that large numbers of people worldwide are going to be subjected to poverty and death if the economic restraints are put into place that the Greens are seeking. Is this the right course? I personally don't know, but I do know that I don't want a policy based upon emotion or one that has been achieved by silencing good scientific voices whos' hard data may serve either side of the "political" spectrum. I do agree that we can all individually adjust our consumptive life styles in a way that has less of an overall impact on the planet


thecondoguy1 9 years, 11 months ago

holy and sbvor, you guys are brilliant, those are two arguments I would put my name on, I for one am not going to let people bully me into thinking I am a pig based on their thinking, take the feel good, and emotion out of it and the greenies would go home and shut up, there may be science, we just have not seen it yet, when we do we will know what to do, if anything at all. God bless all,,,,,,,,,,,,, oops!!! maybe there is something to this global warming....


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