The last paper of the last panel of a recent industry conference I attended had to do with global warming. The industry in question often relies on the cycle of snowmelt runoff. The analysis of global warming’s impact on the snowpack that one industry member depends on showed startling changes. This industry member grew under the assumption that the snowpack would build in October through March and runoff from April through September. By 2025 the spring freshet would be substantially reduced. By 2045 the snow would melt in a double peak fashion. In winter, alpine rainstorms will follow alpine snowstorms and will cause much of the existing snowpack to melt resulting in unprecedented winter floods. The remainder of the runoff will occur in spring.
The industry member that requested the study said that they could adjust their business to provide its normal services in 2025. By 2045, however, they will have to change their infrastructure or else limit their services.
I asked the gentleman that presented the report if immediately implementing a global carbon abatement program could lessen some of these impacts.
“No,” he said. “That might improve the situation in 2100, but the greenhouse gasses that will cause these problems are already in the atmosphere.”
I’ve never been a Global Warming denier. Indeed, I’ve long considered addressing global warming to be a preeminent issue. Still, 2025 is soon. I’ll be pushing 70 in 2045, but I intend on being spry and healthy. The year 2100 though is only a figment, an impossible science-fiction year.
I biked home feeling trapped. Fooled. Cheated.