In politics, much as with a Broadway chorus line, timing is everything. That’s a lesson that current EPA Director, Gina McCarthy will probably take to heart after this one. As the northeast braces for what is being described as a potentially historic snowstorm, Ms. McCarthy spent the beginning of her weekend huddling with environmental activists with a clear message. These climate change deniers will ruin the ski industry because we’re going to run out of snow.
The Environmental Protection Agency, Aspen Skiing Co., and a pair of Olympic snowboarders teamed up Thursday to help spread the word about climate change and the threat it poses to winter sports, tourism, and recreation in the Aspen area and beyond.
Gina McCarthy, administrator for the EPA, Mike Kaplan, CEO for SkiCo, and athletes Alex Deibold and Gretchen Bleiler spoke before a crowd of around 30 at the base of Aspen Mountain about the environmental and economic impacts of global warming.
McCarthy praised SkiCo’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and address larger issues of climate change. She also thanked Bleiler for showing her around Buttermilk, calling the five-time X Games medalist her “hero.”
McCarthy pointed out that winter sports athletes like Deibold and Bleiler can help inform the younger generations on the dangers of climate change, which can be devastating for mountain town economies.
“It’s a big, base-bottom deal for our economy,” she said. “So let’s get off our butts, let’s work together, let’s start taking action. These guys are going to reach the young people, I’m going to keep yapping at the older ones, and someone’s going to get the middle, and we are going to make things happen.”
Meanwhile, in completely unrelated news, more than 2,000 airline flights have been cancelled. The Big Apple has already begun shutting down the subways and the commuter trains. Boston has cancelled school until at least Thursday before more than the first few flakes have come down. And tens of millions are stocking up in case the power is out until the weekend.
The bottom line is that the weather is frequently wild and unpredictable. But if you’re in the Obama administration and you want to go around giving speeches about the evils of carbon emissions, you need to keep an eye on the optics. Global warming has essentially stalled for over a decade, and scientists are still struggling to work out what’s going on. But when you are fighting to push regulatory restrictions based on science which is still up in the air, the public will frequently believe their own lying eyes rather than what you have to say.
Timing is everything. Work on that when you get home, Ms. Mcarthy… assuming you can get a flight.