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How One Ski Town Competed in a Warming Universe

How One Ski Town Competed in a Warming Universe

Coral Davenport

The Mount Ascutney ski resort was forced to close in 2010 due to lack of snow and poor management. It threatened to take with them the 1,099.

“Property values plummeted,” recalled Glenn Seward, who worked at the resort for 18 years, once as the director of mountain operations. The town’s general store, the gathering place of the community, also went broke and closed. “We were desperate,” Mr. Seward said.

The community was desperate enough to make a run for it, and the mountain became a model of how a small ski area can thrive in an era of climate change. In 2015, the town bought the failing ski area by working with the state and the Trust for Public Land. The town decided to buy the ski area from the state of Vermont and the nonprofit Trust for Public Land in 2015.

Seven years later, Mount Ascutney & West Windsor remain magnets for outdoor enthusiasts and families.

Numbers:A 2019 StudyResearch shows that at least half the ski areas in Northeastern states, including Vermont, will close by 2050s if greenhouse gas emissions remain high.

You can Learn more about the turnaround here.

American agriculture is destroying air, soil and water. But a powerful lobby has cleverly hidden its damage. You can watch the video. Video from the NYT Opinion section.

The Biden administration pushed this week to tighten the mercury emissions from coal-burning power plant.

Mercury is a neurotoxin which poses a danger to the brain development in children and fetuses. Since 2012, mercury emissions from coal plants have been limited by the Environmental Protection Agency. But, during the Trump administration, the agency concluded that the rule’s cost to industry outweighed its benefits and therefore it was no longer “appropriate and necessary.” That finding allowed the Trump administration to stop enforcing the mercury limit, even though it remained on the books.

The Obama-era method of calculating the benefits of reducing pollution was reinstated by the Obama administration on Monday. The E.P. A. would be able to conclude that the cost of the rule to industry is offset by public health benefits like prevention of disease or premature death. This would allow the legal justification for the enforcement of existing mercury regulations.

As I wrote in Article on the mercury rule this WeekThe mercury announcement is just one of several recent actions or plans that the Biden administration has taken to strengthen and restore environmental protections which were being reduced by the Trump administration.

Quotable: “Sound science makes it clear that we need to limit mercury and toxins in the air to protect children and vulnerable communities from dangerous pollution,” Michael Regan, the E.P.A. administrator, said.

A federal judge has nullified the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in the nation’s history,It was ruled that the Biden administration had broken the law by failing to fully consider climate change when analyzing the Gulf of Mexico’s impact of drilling.

For President Biden, the case is complicated as he campaigned on a promise not to renew drilling leases on federal land and waters.

Here’s how it happened: Biden initially tried to impose a moratorium on lease sales but a different federal judge last year blocked that move and ruled that he was required to proceed with the latest round, which was set under the Trump administration. The Interior Department eventually sold off 1.7million acres, netting $192 million.

Now, it is up to the administration to decide if it will appeal the recent ruling, which seems to be in line with its position on drilling.

Why it mattersThis case shows how regulatory decisions that ignore global warming are More vulnerable to legal challenges.

Related:The Biden administration Annulled copper and nickel mining leasesNear the Boundary Waters wilderness in Minnesota.

Melissa Martin, a chef and cookbook author, grew up immersed in the food and fishing culture of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast.

Her restaurant in New Orleans, Mosquito Supper Club, started in 2014 as a series of Cajun-themed parties and pop-ups, and gradually gained popularity for its seafood-focused cuisine and its homespun hospitality — gumbo is brought to the table in pots, along with potato salad, for guests to serve themselves. The food is different than the Cajun-style, spicy, sausage-oriented, often mixed Cajun cooking that is popular in New Orleans. This is mainly due to its roots in the inland prairies surrounding Lafayette.

Now, though, she says she fears the environmental damage from climate change could mean the end of the region’s culinary traditions.

Land on Louisiana’s coast is vanishing at an alarming rate as sea levels rise. That’s also hastening coastal erosion, which eats away at crucial wetland habitat for fish and other wildlife. And the region has been pummeled by bigger and wetter storms, most recently Hurricane Ida, devastating the state’s seafood industry.

“When this land disappears, it takes with it a portion of our nation’s safety and food supply, and a long legacy of culture and traditions,” she wrote in her recent cookbook. “Water is our lifeline and our dark shadow.”

You can read more about Martin and the threats Louisiana’s seafood traditionIn the article I wrote this Week.

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