Snow skiers plea for climate control

Shorter ski seasons could hurt local economies and water availability, Olympians say

Four skiers who competed in the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver called on the U.S. Senate recently to pass climate legislation this year that would protect the future of snow skiing, according to a press release from the World Wildlife Fund.

Bode Miller, Julia Mancuso, Ted Ligety and Hannah Kearney—all of whom hold gold medals for the sport—submitted an open letter to the Senate April 21 noting the effects global warming may have on the future of skiing, such as shorter ski seasons, declining snowpack and earlier snowmelt. The letter also noted that these effects are likely to worsen and could pose possible threats to local economies that rely on winter-sports tourism revenues and snowmelt for water.

A bill similar to the one requested by the skiers was passed by the House of Representatives last year but was shot down by the Senate. Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) are expected to introduce a compromise bill this month.