Ryan Spaustat: A global crisis


Last weekend, while we celebrated our winter sports heritage on Lincoln Avenue and cheered on our Olympic athletes in Sochi, Russia, the United Nations confirmed that 2013 was the sixth-warmest year on record. In fact, 13 of the 14 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000.

Sadly for winter sports fans, the Earth is becoming a warmer place, and its snowpack is disappearing.  

In 2009, the Park City Foundation commissioned a study of the economic impacts of warmer temperatures and less snow on Park City, Utah (roughly the same elevation as Steamboat). The forecasts are grim. Among the study’s conclusions, “By 2050, the potential impacts range from $160.4 million in lost output, $27.2 million in lost earnings and 1,520 lost jobs (low emissions scenario) to $392.3 million in lost output, $66.6 million in lost earnings and 3,717 lost jobs (high emissions scenario).” (www.parkcitymountain.com/site/mountain-info/learn/environment/ParkCityClimateChangeAssessment9-29-2009.pdf).

It’s time for us as a community to start thinking about what Steamboat’s economic and social future looks like with a whole lot less snow and a whole lot more rain.  

Ryan Spaustat 

Steamboat Springs


Thomss Steele 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The icepack is growing in size. Stop with the climate change hype. What is there not enough money left in AIDS or gay rights to fuel your fire anymore? Go push your green agenda elsewhere or better yet come up with something new and profitable to scream about.



Brian Kotowski 11 months, 3 weeks ago

In case you missed it, it was 5 years ago in December that His Most Bloated Excellency, The Fleshy & Sanctimonious Al Gore predicted that entire north polar ice cap would disappear in five years. Have to give him credit: he was only off by about a million square miles. The Arctic ice cap has expanded by 50% since Jabba the Gore waddled his way through that Chicken Little fabrication.


john bailey 11 months, 3 weeks ago

jejeje Al Gore......what a character and what a way to pad your bank account.....~;0)


George Danellis 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks Ryan.

All the peer-reviewed science points to what you are highlighting. We may not know what exactly the changes will be, or when they will happen, but it is almost wholly indisputable that the changes will be significant, even in a best case scenario.

It seems like common sense for our city and region to look closely and strategically at how these changes will impact life in this part of the world, and indeed beyond.


Fred Duckels 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Ryan, The warmers are feverishly trying to explain the lack of temperature rise in the last 15+ years but you and Obama keep falling back on the talking points that 13 of the warmest years on record have occurred since yr.2000. Where is the proof?


mark hartless 11 months, 3 weeks ago

How come the future catastrophic effects of climate change weigh so heavily on so many folks, while the far more certain, more immediate, more widespread and more disasterous effects of economic malpractice, a pourous southern border, and a completely lawless government are mostly ignored??

It seems like many folks insist on whistling past these very real graveyards while faithfully spreading the message and winning converts into The Church Of The Holy Environment.


John Weibel 11 months, 3 weeks ago


Much like fat has been demonized, unjustifiably so, it is quite possible that the influence of CO2 is overstated. It might be time to think about the unintended consequences of government trying to steer the economy in directions it feels best, yet may not be moving society in a direction which is best for everyone.

Unemployment insurance being charged to those employing people, creating a disincentive to hiring people, as opposed to imposing fees upon those things that make workers in the US obsolete, outsourcing and technological improvements.

The Farm Subsidies which, have created massive dead zones in our oceans, brought to us nutritionally depleted foods, lost topsoils, a food distribution system that is becoming more and more centralized, etc.

Then the need to seek permission of our government to operate a business as opposed to simply putting forth rules which people have to abide by in order to operate. Noise, light, trash, traffic, etc..

many times those rules that government seems to make up simply justifies the jobs of thsoe who work in government with little real purpose.

If we were so certain of what was going on, we could provide good computer models of what is happening - we have not been able to - and most likely are missing some variable in the equation which is making it fail.

Push for rules that work to put people to work and stop funding programs that are contributing to the problem - first and foremost. Wrap all those food stamps up in the farm bill and we can continue on with all the grain subsidies, etc that help to promote an unsustainable system. Yet we'll ake sure we promote the general welfare of the fertilizer & tractor manufacturers, ensure that the system is geared towards energy dependence, etc..

Undo, the government programs which are helping to create the problem. The problem is that once a government program is started, it is hard to undo.


John Weibel 11 months, 3 weeks ago

By the way here is the NPR article cast more doubt on the low fat diet myth.


It is easier to fool someone than it is to convince them they have been fooled. - Mark Twain


Scott Wedel 11 months, 3 weeks ago


That study does not cast doubt on the benefits of a low fat diet. It raises a question whether dairy products with full fat are slightly healthier than reduced fat dairy products. There is little doubt that a diet of high fat beef is unhealthy.

The study does not claim to have found a biological reason for the health difference. Thus, it is possible that people with overall healthier habits are willing to consume full fat dairy for the better taste. And the people's beneficial habits has a bigger effect than the added dairy fat. Or the full fat dairy is simply more filling and people consume less.


Tim Keenan 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Hopefully, Steamboat's city government will give more credence to peer-reviewed scientific studies than the fossil-fuel funded right-wing echo chamber. Mark's comment about the church of the environment is accurate in so far as the fact that the effects of global warming don't usually jump out and bite you. Like a church, you have to have faith that the people who have studied this all their professional lives, who have modeled our climate using algorithms and supercomputers unavailable to the rest of us, know what they're talking about. It puzzles me that people who claim to be faithful can't bring themselves to understand this.


mark hartless 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It's not faith alone which empowers; rather, it is the OBJECT of one's faith.

Many worship the house while giving no credit whatsoever to the builder. I consider this folly.


mark hartless 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Lest there be any doubt, I also consider the notion that the house built itself to be folly.

And... had the house actually have been powerful and wise enough to build itself, it should certainly have the built-in capability to SUSTAIN itself and protect itself from it's own creation (i.e. people).


John Weibel 11 months, 3 weeks ago


Go surf the web, the current studies are finding that saturated fat has nothing to do with heart DIS-ease. Just heard that NPR story this morning and it seemed to hit the mark on the, propaganda (for lack of a better term) that is pushed on us, that may not hold muster.

Most chronic illness' are created by inflammation in the body. One customer of mine on the front range bought my kidney fat to feed to her father to treat his ahlzimers dis-ease. It seemed to be helping until he broke his hip and then the care center did not follow his daughters diet and his condition deteriorated rapidly.

The studies from 50 years ago, were probably funded by the dairy industry wondering what to do with all the skin milk that was being poured down the drain (my father in-laws job while working at the local creamery). Soaking/sprouting wheat with it and then feeding it to other livestock would have been a far better use, but once the milk left the farm, it is hard return it.

As you, Scott, stated in the other thread that even if sunspot numbers correlated with global temperatures, that would simply be cause for further research. Though, the cause effect ratio of CO2 expansion and warming earth temperatures is scientific fact and yet the models designed to work with those numbers fail.

By the way, if the cited temperature records are from satelite data, it has only been available for 30-40 years and so may not be that significant.

I do not know, do not believe that we should halt civilization as it is without first undoing many of the problems that government has created for us first.


So those high powered computers that those researchers are using have failed to accurately model temperatures and we should simply bow down to additional taxes to fund the UN or some other governmental body that may/may not have the people's best interest at heart.

How is it possible for a study to be peer reviewed if the computer models that are based on it do not work?


John Weibel 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Here is a link on saturated fat and how recent studies show link to heart dis-ease.


Yes the internet is filled with bad information, but from what I have read, researched and people that have changed their diets from what is preached to a diet that is moving back to what our ancestors ate (saturated fat from diary, eggs, etc.) is healthier.

Max Plank nobel prize winning physicist - "Change happens one tombstone at a time." - it is hard to train a dog to learn a new trick, or change their views they have been bombarded with for how long.


Scott Wedel 11 months, 2 weeks ago


Looks to me that is more arguing against a misconception that the ideal diet has no saturated fat. That the more general medical science is that dietary fat is part of a normal diet. But then many Americans consume too much dietary fat and have multiple indicators of increased risk of heart disease. So the average American probably should reduce their fat intake.

The diets of our ancestors is largely irrelevant because they were not seeking to be healthy into their 70s or 80s.

As for global climate change, it is known how increased levels of CO2 will trap more heat. CO2 absorbs IR from the earth that would otherwise radiate into space. Thus, it traps more heat in the atmosphere.

The calculations do not 'fail". If the earth's atmosphere had no greenhouse gases then then earth's temperature would be -18.8C. That is a black body calculation and was done well before computers. Even after making all of the corrections for the earth not being an ideal black-body then the resulting temp is around 0C Thus, earth has an inhabitable climate because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And the calculations show that.

The calculations for global climate change are not perfectly accurate because there are feedback (warmer increase water vapor which is also heat trapping) and some dampening effects (warmer may increase plant and algae growth) that make it very hard to make precise predictions.

I have no idea how you can easily dismiss solar radiation readings from satellites. A pretty basic instrument on a multitude of satellites for 50 years. And satellites heating and cooling requirements are affected by solar radiation and so, from the start of space exploration, it was an important reading.


Fred Duckels 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Tim, I don't know the truth but both Obama and Ryan echo the talking points about the warmest years on record have being in the last 15 years. Where does this come from?, Am I to believe my lying eyes? Obama is definitely whopper prone, is this another decoy?


Rick Pighini 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Fred you should stick to the things your a expert and professional at like rolling heavy equipment off highways and blowing up neighborhoods.


Brian Kotowski 11 months, 2 weeks ago

He's clearly adept at juvenile schoolyard insults. So he's got that going for him.


mark hartless 11 months, 2 weeks ago

"...the fact that the effects of global warming don't usually jump out and bite you. Like a church, you have to have faith..."

Thank you, Tim. I think these words might easily serve as the prime tenet for the Church of the Holy Environment.

The "faithful" proclaim we must forsake the sins of internal combustion, fossil fuel, and the evil light switches and incandescent bulbs which lead us to damnation.

The Church of the Holy Environment has all the tenets of most protestant religions. The environment before man was their "Garden of Eden". Pollution is "sin". Sustainability is "salvation". The Crucifiction, instead of Christ, would be our economy, our health, our light switches and SUV's, nailed to the cross.


John Weibel 11 months, 2 weeks ago


Actually people in the US eat too many carbohydrates.

In addition the computer models are failing to accurately predict the rise in temperature.

You really are the expert on the all and we all should bow down to you and now Obama who knows better than the rest of us minions and so he should simply circumvent the process and sign executive order after executive order to save us from ourselves.

People in the US eat very little fat, sunshine. We are inundated with the message that fat causes to get fat. That is exactly what the NPR article was about, that contrary to what common sense would tell you, people who consume dairy fat as opposed to skim milk, generally are not as fat as those who do.

You realize that the process of homogenization forces the fat and sugar particles rendering them very similar and when your body seeks out fat it actually incorporates that sugar.

Why do people take all those fish oil tablets to make them healthy? Those are omega 3 FAT-TY acids. It is the sugar, from carbohydrates, that is making people fat.

As far as computer models failing, those models forecast that the northwest passageway would be open last summer, guess what it wasn't and the ice cover increased last year. Just under the 30 year average, but back to close to the average and given that it SNOWED IN CAIRO this winter, not something that happens very often, the GREAT LAKES HAVE ALMOST FROZEN over, more signs point to the fact, that an external factor is providing less energy for those greenhouse gasses to trap.

Maybe just maybe, there is fraud happening with the actual recording/utilization of DATA, fraud or corruption has never occurred in the past with any governmental body, now has it. Guess that is why in Athens, TN (I think) armed WWII GI veteran's stormed the election offices where the current officials were trying to steal the election. Good thing today we have put in computers to ensure that votes are counted properly, as no one can tamper with them.

Though I forgot, there is no possibility of any research ever being wrong. Though my neighbors friend told me, give him a lab and a million and he would prove whatever you wanted.

here soon, we will probably have controlled fusion as that appears to be near a major breakthrough or oil from Algae or something else.


John Weibel 11 months, 2 weeks ago

By the way Scott, Carbs = sugar ... too much = diabetes. No problem with that in the states.

Back to the quote, "It is easier to fool someone, than it is to convince them they have been fooled". Mark Twain

You sir seem to not be able to actually get outside the box that has your world framed in. Once you find the ability to get out of the box, step outside the room that had the box in it. You will come to find many of the "Truths" that we have been beaten into our brains are not correct.

Peace and out.

by the way, yes only a partial world sample, but the US saw more record lows in 2013 than record highs.


Dan Kuechenmeister 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Here is a solution. build a solar electric generating station with a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee that raises temperatures in the area to 1000 degrees, fries birds that didn't get the memo about the temps and generates electricity at twice as much as conventional sources.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is scheduled to speak Thursday at an opening ceremony for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, which received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

One reason: the BrightSource system appears to be scorching birds that fly through the intense heat surrounding the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. ( HEY - I wonder if they taste like chicken) Some of the dead birds appeared to have singed or burned feathers, according to federal biologists and documents filed with the state Energy Commission. The dead birds included a peregrine falcon, a grebe, two hawks, four nighthawks and a variety of warblers and sparrows. (HEY - at least no Eagles appear to have been fried)

I think there is a Saturday Night Live skit in there with The Falconer.

Here is the article in it's entirety as I don't want to be accused of cherry picking from the article. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304703804579379230641329484


john bailey 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I like the wave action power generator dealy , crap , I shouldn't have said that......~;0)


John Weibel 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The point to not pushing for taxing carbon first and foremost was that government programs which are moving the system in a direction which creates more CO2 in the atmosphere ought to be halted first and foremost. They also have a myriad of other unintended consequences, as the solar array that produces fried or baked chicken like products as a side effect.

Simply trying to work with nature, will help to sequester a lot of carbon. You can also then go out and capture all the cow pies that are generated if feeding in the winter and put those into a anaerobic digester and create methane based heat/electricity and move in a positive direction as opposed to the system we seem to have today, that has lead to health, environmental and fiscal issues.


rhys jones 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I work in restaurants when the computer isn't paying off (like, always) and we clean our grease screens regularly, because that stuff will burn if you don't. It goes down the drain. You'd think there would be a way to capture all that energy.


mark hartless 11 months, 2 weeks ago

There is a way.

Like many great ideas it's not that it isn't true, but that it isn't cost effective.


rhys jones 11 months, 2 weeks ago

They already filter fryer oil into deisel fuel... just sayin... some brain can make a buck here. Think of all those restaurants, and all that energy, going to Utah, for only the fishes' advantage. Or our own amoebae; not sure what makes it past treatment. How 'bout an additional standing pool, at the plant, whee the oil rises to the top, to be then filtered. F**k the fishes, right? I won't even ask a %.


Dan Kuechenmeister 11 months, 1 week ago

climate change - worth a read. here is a brief part and the link to the article.

"One is that carbon dioxide by itself could produce only a minor increase in temperature. That's why those computer models need to employ various Rube Goldberg-like atmospheric reactions that would amplify that small effect, such as entirely highly speculative theories about cloud creation. Note that a primary driver could be cosmic rays, not greenhouse gases."



mark hartless 11 months, 1 week ago

The sun (or moon or star or comet) could change the earth's climate next week; and far more than humans have in the last 200 years.

The climate change chicken littles are wasting our time because it is just a matter of time... a tick-of-the-colck really, untill the sun or a volcano changes the entire equation.

Until then, the reactionaries and pollitical opportunists will make hay from reports of a slightly warmer climate and sell it to an extremely ignorant populous.. extremely ignorant... woefully ignorant...


Fred Duckels 11 months, 1 week ago

Ryan and Tim, I have questioned you with no reply on some of my concerns. IJ have found an article that may do just that. [link text][1]

[1]: http://americanthinker.com/2014/02 climate-consensus-con-game


John Weibel 11 months, 1 week ago

Thank you for the link Dan, I found the links in the article very educational also. It is too bad that anyone who questions Global Warming/Human Induced climate change is labeled a whacko.

It is also too bad that the echo chamber we live in where one can find all they want to reinforce theirs views is out there and that the indoctrinated believers of climate change fail to review all the sources which draw into question what is actually going on. They really should open their minds and review information which contradicts that which they have been spoon fed.


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