When the Mount Ascutney ski resort closed in 2010 due to lack of snow and poor management, it threatened to take with it the neighboring community of West Windsor, Vermont, which is home to 1,099 residents. .
“Property values went down,” recalls Glenn Seward, who worked at the resort for 18 years, once as director of mountain operations. The town’s general store, the community’s gathering place, also went bankrupt and closed. “We were desperate,” Mr Seward said.
This desperation has led the community to associate its fortune with the mountain, becoming a model of how a small ski resort and its community can thrive in an age of climate change. Working with the state of Vermont and the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, the city bought the failing ski area in 2015. But instead of allowing a private company to run the mountain, underwriting dealing with its operations, local residents themselves would establish a sustainable, volunteer-built trail for the ski area.
Seven years later, Mount Ascutney and West Windsor are attracting families and outdoor enthusiasts.
Numbers: A 2019 study showed that in northeastern states outside of Vermont, at least half of ski areas will close by the mid-2050s if high greenhouse gas emissions continue.
You can read more about the turnaround here.
According to Opinion: The people who are paid to kill the planet
American agriculture is ravaging the air, soil and water. But a powerful lobby covered up its damage. Watch the NYT Opinion Section video.
Biden cancels a Trump rollback
The Biden administration moved this week to tighten limits on how much mercury can be released from coal-fired power plants.
Mercury is a neurotoxin that poses a particular hazard to brain development in children and fetuses. The Environmental Protection Agency has limited mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants since 2012. But, under the Trump administration, the agency concluded that the cost of the rule to industry outweighed its benefits and that it was therefore no longer “appropriate and necessary”. This discovery allowed the Trump administration to stop enforcing the mercury limit, although it remained on the books.
On Monday, however, the administration said it would reinstate the Obama-era method for measuring the benefits of reducing air pollution. This would allow the EPA to conclude that the costs of the rule to industry are outweighed by public health benefits such as the prevention of disease and premature death. This, in turn, would provide the legal justification to enforce existing mercury regulations.
As I wrote in an article on Mercury Rule this week, the Mercury announcement is part of several recent steps taken or planned by the Biden administration to strengthen and restore environmental protections that had been rolled back by the Trump administration.
Quoteable: “Solid science clearly shows that we need to limit mercury and toxins in the air to protect children and vulnerable communities from dangerous pollution,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.
Judge sends message about oil drilling
A federal judge has struck down the largest sale of offshore oil and gas leases in the country’s history, ruling that the Biden administration broke the law by not fully considering climate change when analyzing the impact drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The matter is tricky for President Biden, who campaigned on a promise to end new drilling leases on federal lands and waters.
Here’s how it happened: Biden first tried to impose a moratorium on lease sales, but another federal judge last year blocked that move and ruled he was required to proceed with the final cycle, which was set under the Trump administration. The Interior Department eventually sold 1.7 million acres, bringing in $192 million.
Now the administration must decide whether to appeal the latest ruling, which appears to align with its stance on drilling.
Understand the latest news on climate change
Why is this important: The case shows how regulatory decisions that ignore global warming are increasingly vulnerable to legal challenges.
Related: The Biden administration canceled copper and nickel mining leases near the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area in Minnesota.
Melissa Martin, chef and cookbook author, grew up immersed in the cooking and fishing culture of Louisiana’s Cajun coast.
His 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 artisanal hospitality – okra is brought to the table in pots, with potato salad, for guests to help themselves. The food is distinct from the spicier, sausage-based and often hybrid Cajun cuisine common in New Orleans, whose roots go mostly to the interior prairies around Lafayette.
Now, however, she says she fears the environmental damage caused by climate change could spell the end of the region’s culinary traditions.
Land on the Louisiana coast is disappearing at an alarming rate as sea levels rise. It also accelerates coastal erosion, which eats away at crucial wetland habitat for fish and other wildlife. And the area has been hit by larger, wetter storms, most recently Hurricane Ida, which devastated the state’s seafood industry.
“When this land disappears, it takes with it part of our nation’s food security and supply, as well as a long legacy of culture and tradition,” she wrote in her recent cookbook. . “Water is our lifeline and our dark shadow.”
You can read more about Martin and the threats to Louisiana’s seafood tradition in the article I wrote this week.
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