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July 31, 2006

T-Minus 14 Days to a New Era in Cardinals Football

A new interior viewing tool of the Cardinals Stadium is available online now.

It is less than two weeks away from the first game against the Steelers at the new Glendale Stadium. Training camp opened this weekend and it is time for some football.

The single largest problem for the Cardinals over the last decade has been the running game. In 1998, the Cardinals finished the season 10-7, including a playoff win at Dallas. That year, consequently, was the last year the Cardinals had a 1,000 yard rusher. This year promises to have one of the league's best offenses with two recievers that both had over 100 catches and 1400 yards last year and... I think the Cards picked up a running back too.

Wednesday, I am heading to Flag for my annual training camp trip and am eagerly awaiting the start of a new era in Arizona Cardinals football. And let's face it, it is time for a new era. The last one sucked. 18 years of pathetic losing. Turnover. Coaching changes. Armpit of the NFL according to Simeon Rice. But that is ending.

I haven't been this excited since the Cardinals in back to back years drafted two ASU players from the 1996 Rose Bowl team and made the playoffs. And this is the first time they have hosted a Monday Night Football game since 1999 against the 49ers when I watched my favorite player in history's career end on a wicked hit. Oh, yeah, and Lawrence Phillips. That year started with such hopes and ended in disappointment. Phoenix is due. Past Due.

Posted by Justin at 05:10 PM

July 29, 2006

Upgrading A-Basin

Arapahoe Basin is the first Colorado Resort I ever skied at. Five or so years ago, Jeremy and I took a trip to Colorado right at the start of ski season to get our boots under us and A-basin and Loveland were the only places in Summit that were open. While it was still "white ribbon of death" time and while the slopes were crowded with all the season pass holders, it was still a great experience. Low ticket prices. Laid back crowd. Unpretentious. Not like Breck and Keystone just down the road. Just a mellow family atmosphere.

Well, the Summit Daily News reports some upgrades are proposed for A-basin and a new EIS is posted. From Summit Daily:

SUMMIT COUNTY - Arapahoe Basin this week moved another step closer to realizing plans for lift-served skiing in Montezuma Bowl with release of a draft Forest Service environmental study for the proposal. ... As spelled out in the draft study, the upgrades would increase A-Basin's comfortable carrying capacity by 22 percent, from 3,210 skiers to 3,910 skiers. The changes would also boots the area's uphill lift capacity substantially, from 7,600 to 11,400 people per hour.

Ski area officials previously said they would consider construction of the lift in 2007 pending final approval.

Montezuma Bowl would add about 175 acres of intermediate terrain and 150 acres of advanced and expert terrain, boosting A-Basin's overall lift-served acreage from 490 to 837 acres. Grooming is proposed for about 37 acres of terrain in the bowl, along with a 3,000-foot groomed path along the west ridge of the bowl.
...
The proposed action, combined with previously approved projects, also includes parking upgrades to increase capacity by 23 percent, to 1,781 vehicles. That includes 146 spaces in the Lower Overflow lot and 95 spots in the High Noon lot.

The full EIS is located here. EIS reports are always a good read because they contain figures about areas that often are not published, like skier visit numbers.

  • 2002-03 317,000
  • 2003-04 275,000
  • 2004-05 328,000

More info on the numbers is located in the pdf. Needless to say that the 11 year average is approximately 250,000 skier days, which means that the last three years are running at almost 130% of the historical average. And you can tell. Consider that A-basin has approximately 500 acres of lift served terrain and had as many skier visits as Big Sky with a combined acreage of almost 5,000 acres when combined with Moonlight Basin, and A-basin only has a 7,400 person per hour uphill lift capacity. The improvements are needed.

As I said, the EIS's tell a lot about a resort. Take the time to read it.

Posted by Justin at 01:42 PM | Comments (2)

July 24, 2006

Skiing in Dallas?

New Article about an Indoor Skiing facility in Dallas from Freeskier:

What does $375 million buy? Just the chance to ski in Dallas. That’s right, Texas could be home to a $375 million year round ski slope if developers have their way. The Bearfire Group has announced plans to design and build the Coolzone Winterplex, a new winter-themed entertainment venue and sports park in Dallas, Texas.

If skiing in Texas sounds, well, not that sweet, it gets worse. Rather than using man-made snow, the Bearfire group has hired a British firm to install an artificial skiing “surface”. The surface will be the foundation for a 60-acre, 20-story outdoor ski and snowboard mountain which will be surfaced with the Snowflex surface system that mimics real packed powder and provides qualities and conditions like those of mountain snow (somehow we're not convinced), and the "mountain" will be complete with chair lifts, a snowboard park with competition half pipe, toboggans, and snow tubing.

...

Unfortunately, Freeskier was unable to get Charlie Aaron to return calls asking him to compare his "the most unique and thrilling entertainment experiences on the planet" with a day of heli skiing in Alaska. Queries regarding the quality of the Snowflex "snow" when compared to Alta blower also went unanswered.

I say awesome. This might thin out the green circle Texans that bug everyone at Wolf Creek.

Reality is anything that promotes the sport and attracts new people is a good thing. It is unfortunate that the sport has become so expensive that most people even living near a resort cannot afford to ski and that it is dominated by destination skiing for the wealthy. But if wealthy Texans want to donate money to my resort after experiencing "skiing" in Dallas, so be it. My condo and season passes are paid for and the extra money helps our locals make a decent living and live in heaven instead of the big city. Locals depend on out of town dollars to pay the bills and the more people that try and enjoy the sport, the more money that flows into Colorado and Utah.

Posted by Justin at 11:53 AM

July 21, 2006

Big Sky Records Most Skier Visits in History

I check in with Dax at Big Sky from time to time and as always, he has something interesting to say. But this (from an April Press Release) is incredible:

BIG SKY, Mont. — Big Sky attracted over 323,000 skier visits during the 2005-06 season, breaking the record set in the 2000-01 season. Many factors contributed to the record season, most notably over 500 inches of snow that fell on the upper mountain as well as the announcement of the biggest skiing in America with the partnership between Big Sky and Moonlight Basin, accessing 5,300 acres on one ticket.

The season started strong with three early opening days starting November 13, offering steep skiing from the Challenger chair. Big Sky’s upper mountain saw over 11 feet of snow fall on it by the end of November. The snowy season continued with the second deepest snowfall ever recorded at Big Sky Resort.

Dax let me know why it takes days instead of hours to send a response to an e-mail:

when living in the mountains where it snows 8 months of the year, I enjoy every piece of summer I can get

Don't we all. I assume that after an epic year like this one at Big Sky, Dax's legs needed some rest. Pow and more Pow will sap every ounce of energy out of you. The worst part of the year is April and May because with 500 inches of snow, you have to look at the peaks still covered and know that the lifts aren't running anymore.

This is the first time in several years I have not made it to Big Sky for my annual ski trip. I bought my frequency pass and all, but never used the thing. I spent most of the early season too busy at Brian Head to get north and the late season when the snow started coming at Brian Head, I actually tried to enjoy the condo.

This season, I am going to hit Big Sky when the whole place is open and spend a couple of days exploring their massive area. Huge vertical. 5300 Acres. No lines. No crowds. And Montana hospitality. I know that Colorado has tons of glitzy resorts, but Big Sky is second to none. From West Yellowstone, you can snowmobile all the way to Old Faithful Lodge and West Yellowstone is something like 60 miles away. I always hit Big Sky in the early season, so is usually not "fully open", but it would take a week to see all that the area has to offer.

The entire area is paradise and with 5300 Acres and drawing a less than 350,000 skier visits, you do the math on how busy the lines are.

Posted by Justin at 02:47 PM

July 19, 2006

Jeep Trip Last Weekend to Crown King and Prescott

On Saturday of last week, my buddy Nick and my middle son Jarrett went out jeeping in the new Wrangler with me to Crown King and the back way into Prescott. The weather was cool among the pines at 7,000 ft and a nice break from Phoenix.

Arizona Virtual Jeep Club has another trip planned from Lake Pleasant that is a moderate jeeping trail, meaning most stock jeeps and 4x4 trucks can make it. Check out the AZVJC online at www.virtualjeepclub.com and if you want to get out of the heat, take a trip to Crown King.

For those of you that have spent time in Arizona, our state offers so much diversity in both climate and recreation. Snowbowl and Sunrise offer skiing. The state ranges in elevation from near 100 feet in Yuma to 12,000 feet at several of the peaks in the east. Offers deserts and high plateaus as well as pine forests and everything in between. 4x4's look good on 20's rolling in the cities, but take a trip out of Phoenix with your H2, Jeep, or truck and get some dirt on the tires. Explore our wonderful state.

Posted by Justin at 10:48 AM

July 18, 2006

Tired of $75 Lift Tickets? Pony up $100M+ and Buy Steamboat

The Boston Glob has an article stating that American is putting Steamboat on the Market:

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. --American Skiing Co. said Friday it is looking to sell the Steamboat Springs ski area, five years after putting the resort on the market and then backing out of a deal at the last minute.

Park City, Utah-based American Skiing confirmed it has retained Bear Stearns & Company to market the sale. The company owns eight ski areas in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Colorado and Utah.

"Steamboat's status as a world-renowned destination resort, combined with the financial performance generated by its tremendous management team and dedicated staff, have positioned the resort for success well into the future," said BJ Fair, American Skiing's CEO and president who was in Steamboat Springs to meet with employees Friday. "Our intent is to drive the maximum value for the company's stakeholders."

The company last tried to sell the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. as part of a financial reorganization in 2001. The sale to Triple Peaks LLC for $91.4 million was scheduled to go through in March 2002, but American Skiing backed out.

Interesting.

Posted by Justin at 03:36 PM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2006

Bitterroot Resort Proposed Near Missoula, MT to have 5300 ft Vertical Drop

The Q and A section of the new plans for Bitterroot Resort near Missoula are posted online and link provided.

Ski trails have already been cut on the Maclay Ranch hillside that feeds into the proposed Village area. Bitterroot Resort will apply to the Forest Service for a special-use permit that will allow alpine and Nordic skiing on the north-facing slopes of Carlton Ridge, and in the Carlton Lake Basin area below Lolo Peak. This permit will offer the resort the unique advantage of having the greatest vertical drop (5,342 feet) in North America. The lift system in Phase I (covering approximately the first ten years of operation) will include seven four-seat chair lifts, four of which will be high-speed quads. Bitterroot's Nordic village, at the 6,000-foot level, will originate a trail system that will take advantage of approximately 40 miles of existing logging roads, interspersed with segments of new trail construction.

I was born in Northern Wyoming, but consider Billings my hometown. My mom still lives there as do her parents. Matter of fact, of my four biological grandparents (and also my step grandmother), all are either from Northern Wyoming or Southern Montana. I regularly try to get up to Big Sky and learned to ski at Red Lodge in Montana. Obviously as a skier and Montanan, anything of this magnatude bringing jobs to Montana is a good thing.

Check out the details on the resort at the link above. This is just south of Missoula, which houses the University of Montana (Go Griz). The area has a large granola eating, non bathing, armpit hair sporting, dreadlock wearing hippy crowd and happens to be the location that most Montana residents from the eastern part of the state head to when they need HMMM, HMMM, Smoking Supplies. I can think of nothing better to go with a community of hippies than a place to snowboard.

If you are from Montana, especially if you live in the area, show your support for winter recreation and look over the details. Destination skiing is a good thing. It generates new tax revenue (property only in Montana) which goes directly into the local schools and police and fire departments. It brings new business opportunities and benefits all.

Posted by Justin at 11:58 AM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2006

World Series of Poker Tonight

My first management job was 7 years ago at a helpdesk and tech support section of an Internet Service Provider in Arizona. I started answering the phones and worked weekends and nights mostly before they promoted me to manager. Most weekends, including the weekend of the Music City Miracle, I was working with a 15 year old kid that became one of my best friends--Nick Hill.

So Nick and I did lunch on Friday and he said he was gonna pony up $1000, which is no small feat for a 23 year old kid making $25-30k a year, and head to the World Series of Poker Tournament on Sunday in Vegas. Him and like 2900 other people.

Well, the results are in. Nick finished in 16th and I have been glued to the Internet trying to get results and chip counts all day. It went something like this:

Tue Jul 11 23:18:00 PDT 2006 Hill Eliminated Nick Hill calls from middle position, Matthew Palmucci raises to $40,000 in the small blind and is called by Tom Hawkingberry in the big blind along with Hill. The flop comes J73. Palmucci checks, Hill goes all-in, Hawkingberry calls. Palmucci folds and Hill Turns over KJ, while Hawkingberry has Q10. The turn is a blank, but the river is the 5 giving Hawkingberry his flush and eliminating Hill.

His reward for two hard days worth of work? $22,099. Just about a year's worth of salary.

But he owes me the first $400 of it from December still. Now I know he has got it. If you read the blog Nick, I will be stopping by with Erin and having a little conversation about Chiefs and Indians.

Posted by Justin at 12:30 AM

July 11, 2006

Jeremy Bloom signs Contract with Philly Eagles

There is nothing better than this if you are a skier:

Former Olympic moguls skier Jeremy Bloom, who was selected in the fifth round of this year's draft by the Eagles despite having not played football since 2003, reached an agreement with the team.

The 147th player chosen, Bloom will sign a four-year, $1.782 million contract. The deal includes a $172,000 signing bonus and minimum base salaries for all four seasons.

The Eagles are hoping Bloom, who left the University of Colorado football team after losing an eligibility appeal with the NCAA over endorsement money he accepted to help fund his skiing career, will be able to contribute on special teams, particularly as a punt returner.

The NCAA is a complete joke. They are too busy making teams like North Dakota, Utah, and Illinois change their mascotts and banning Olympic athletes to get concerned about their real job--promoting amateur athletics and education in this country. Boot an Olympian because he cannot afford to train for the Moguls skiing competition without sponsorship from CU's football team. Just trash. The NCAA is complete trash.

Jeremy Bloom is everything Bode is not. The CU Buffalo on the skiing helmet says it all. I am rooting for him to rip it up in Philly. Maybe former CU alum and Philly QB Koy Detmer can throw a couple of passes his way. I have a Ty Detmer Philly Jersey in the closet from back in the day and he is still probably my favorite football player of all time. If you don't know who Ty is, just look back at every major passing record in Div-I history.

Posted by Justin at 11:52 PM

July 10, 2006

Don't be a Wi-Fi Mooch

The Boston Glob has an interesting article about wi-fi mooches. You know them. They find a free wi-fi hotspot and camp out. Maybe it is a cafe that has free Internet Access. They show up, buy some token item if anything at all, and stay all day using the Internet.

Some wireless users sneak in their own food with their laptops. Others buy one cup of coffee at 9 a.m. and surf the Net until closing time. And the truly audacious sit for hours without making any pretense of a purchase.

In and around Boston, cafe owners who installed wireless signals to draw customers say they also are drawing Internet users who tie up seats for hours, buy little or nothing, and make coffee shops feel like the office as they tap away at their laptops. Now some owners are fighting back by charging for wireless access, shutting off their signal at peak business hours, or telling loitering laptoppers to shell out or ship out.

``There comes a time when you have to tell people, `Look, you've been here for three hours, and you've bought only a cup of coffee and it's time to move,' " said Adam Goldberg , owner of Emack & Bolio's in Jamaica Plain. ``We had points in time when people would sit for six or seven hours and not buy anything."

Well, it gets worse. In California, a cafe had a guy arrested over stealing their signal outside their shop. (sorry no link posted)

Posted by Justin at 11:14 AM

July 06, 2006

A Real Threat to Skiing as We Know It--Bark Beetles

Last week, I talked about the hysteria going around about how Global Warming is going to destroy skiing. I don't buy into doomsday scenarios like that. What I do buy into is a real environmental threat to skiing as we know it and to the mountain environments that is causing and making fires worse and destroying forests across the country--the bark or pine beetle.

Bark Beetles have almost destroyed the area around Brian Head. Winds close lifts where trees used to block the air flow. Dead trees in other areas are a major fire hazzard. It does not take Global Warming to destroy skiing as we know it. Windswept runs lose their snow cover as snow simply blows away.

From Scripps News comes this story about Winter Park, Colorado:

This ski town has stepped up its campaign to battle pine beetles, which have killed countless trees and threatened others in the surrounding valley and nearby counties.

Everyone, including residents, local government and giant resort operator Intrawest Corp., has been footing the bill to blunt the bugs' impact on a swath of Colorado, whose economy depends heavily on its scenic lands.

...

During a 1970s outbreak elsewhere in Colorado, the government launched a $20 million program to control the beetles. But now, perhaps more than ever, property owners and municipalities have been shelling out the money required to thwart the beetles and deal with the damage they cause.

The U.S. Forest Service is more likely to be providing training and advice on managing beetle-kill areas.

"This infestation is breaking all the records," said Mike Ricketts, winter-sports administrator from the Sulfur Ranger District of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. "It's unprecedented."

...

Trees also help keep the wind from scouring snow off the trails.

The effort required removing every third tree and taking them out by helicopter because of the steepness of the slopes.

Much of Summit County, too, has been hard hit by beetles, which feast on crowded, drought-weakened forests.

The problems arise when beetles drill through a tree's bark and lay eggs that later hatch into wood-eating larvae. Within a year or two, the trees go from green to rust-colored and then lose all their needles before turning gray.

Well, welcome to Brian Head. Ski Magazine has an article--The Bug that Ate Ski Country that talks about Brian Head:

ONLY A DECADE AGO, towering spruce trees shaded the runs at Brian Head resort, a picturesque ski area perched above red-rock cliffs in southwestern Utah. Then came the beetles. After a series of windstorms in the early 1990s toppled an unusually high number of trees, bark beetles proliferated in the deadfall. In 1994, they began to overwhelm and kill healthy trees on Cedar Mountain, where Brian Head is located.

Over the next 10 years, beetles killed up to 90 percent of the spruce trees across 30,000 acres of Cedar Mountain, including most of the trees at Brian Head. The spruce needles turned red and fell off, exposing “ghost forests” of standing deadwood. To reduce the risk of fires and to protect skiers from falling limbs and trunks, logging crews began removing dead and diseased trees. By the time the infestation ended, areas of the resort looked as if they were above treeline. "It used to be a big, beautiful, thick green forest," says mountain manager Mac Hatch, who’s worked at the resort since the mid-1980s. "Now there are just patches of spruce."

If you ski in the West, what hit Brian Head could happen at one of your favorite resorts. With astonishing ferocity, several bark beetle species are devouring conifers across millions of acres of forest in western North America. You can find epidemics in Colorado’s Vail Valley; in the lodgepole pine forests around Breckenridge; throughout Grand County, home to Winter Park; and in the Stanley Basin north of Sun Valley, Idaho.

Besides being unsightly, a tree die-off can harm a ski operation in a number of ways. With fewer trees to block the wind, Brian Head has had more lift closures. The loss of trees also makes steep runs more avalanche-prone. But the most frequent damage is to the texture and depth of snow, and is caused by something usually warmly welcomed by skiers: sunshine. "Snowpack that’s under a tree canopy has less solar radiation on top of it," says Brian McInerney, a National Weather Service hydrologist in Salt Lake City. "As a result, it doesn’t ripen as fast and it will last longer into the spring."

Posted by Justin at 02:08 PM

July 03, 2006

Frye, Bender, and Leela to Return to Comedy Central

My favorite show on Adult Swim is set to return to TV in 2008. Ala Family Guy, Futurama is slated for another round with the original cast of characters to return:

20th Century Fox will produce at least 13 new episodes of the animated series Futurama, scheduled to air on Comedy Central in 2008. Futurama, an animation from The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, was canceled by FOX in 2003.

Comedy Central has recently acquired the rights to the back catalogue of 72 Futurama episodes and any eventual new episodes.

“We are thrilled that Matt Groening and 20th Century Fox Television have decided to produce new episodes of ‘Futurama’ and that Comedy Central will be the first to air them,” announces Comedy Central senior vice president for programming David Bernath.

Voice actors Billy West (Fry, Professor Farnsworth), Katey Sagal (Leela) and John DiMaggio (Bender) are all contracted to return.

Fox has two great series that they have cancelled and have made it back on the air. Please bring life back into Mitch Hurwitz and the Bluths. Teach Fox a lesson, George. Please teach them a lesson.

Posted by Justin at 11:59 PM

Climatology Prof from MIT and Ski Magazine's takes on Global Warming

A lot has been made in the ski magazines about Global Warming's impact on the ski industry. I have heard such bold predictions of the ski season all but shutting down over the lack of snowfall due to Global Warming. Quite the contrary, global warming will increase atmospheric temperatures and increase the amount of water vapor in the air, the US Global Change Information Office:

Higher temperatures lead to higher rates of evaporation and precipitation. As the Earth warms, we expect more precipitation and it is likely to fall over shorter intervals of time, thereby increasing the frequency of very heavy and extreme precipitation events. Analyses of observed changes in precipitation intensity have been conducted only for a few countries. Perhaps the best evidence of increases in extreme and very heavy precipitation events comes from data in North America as depicted for the United States in Figure 8.1. In Australia, which is historically prone to heavy precipitation, an increase in rainfall amount from major storms has also been observed. Analyses for South Africa also show increases in extreme precipitation rates.
...
Blizzards and snow storms may actually increase in intensity and frequency in some colder locations as atmospheric moisture increases. In more temperate latitudes, snowstorms are likely to decrease in frequency, but their intensity may actually increase, as the world warms. Observations show that snowfall has increased in the high latitudes of North America, but snow accumulations have melted faster because of more frequent and earlier thaws.

This appears far from dire for ski resorts. Most have snowmaking and the problem of higher temperatures may delay the beginning of the annual winter freeze when snowmaking begins by a mere few days. Winters will be slightly shorter, but far more intense. And spring may begin slightly earlier. The net of it is more snowfall during the winter because of more water vapor due to higher temperatures of the oceans, but winter starts later and ends earlier.

But the debate about Global Warming, including the causes and the ability of humans to either cause global warming or correct it, is far from over. In the Wall Street Journal yesterday a prominent MIT Professor discusses some of the myths and scare tactics about Global Warming and sums it up by saying:

So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points. First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists--especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a "moral" crusade.

Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition.

So what does this mean to me and you and the rest of the skiing world--that Global Warming is not going to end skiing as we know it. That resorts are not going to suddenly be without snow. That climate change is part of the Earth's history and despite our belief we can both cause and stop climate change, the Earth's termperatures have been changing for billions of years without human intervention. And what if we were at the beginning of an ice age. Would we find scientists to tell us that we were the cause of Global Cooling? Well, lots of folks have been studying the last several ice ages and Wiki offers some explanations for the causes of ice ages:

The complex pattern of changes in Earth's orbit and the change of albedo may influence the occurrence of glacial and interglacial phases — this was first explained by the theory of Milutin Milanković.

A glacier carried away the missing half of Half Dome in Yosemite Valley.The present ice ages are the most studied and best understood, particularly the last 400,000 years, since this is the period covered by ice cores that record atmospheric composition and proxies for temperature and ice volume. Within this period, the match of glacial/interglacial frequencies to the Milanković orbital forcing periods is so good that orbital forcing is the generally accepted explanation. The combined effects of the changing distance to the sun, the precession of the Earth's axis, and the changing tilt of the Earth's axis can change and significantly redistribute the sunlight received by the Earth. Of particular importance are changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis, which impact the intensity of seasons. For example, the amount of solar influx in July at 65 degrees north latitude is calculated to vary by as much as 25% (from 400 W/m2 to 500 W/m2, see graph at [3]). It is widely believed that ice sheets advance when summers become too mild to melt all of the accumulated snowfall from the previous winter. Some workers believe that the strength of the orbital forcing appears to be too small to trigger glaciations, but feedback mechanisms like CO2 may explain this mismatch.

While Milanković forcing predicts that cyclic changes in the Earth's orbital parameters can be expressed in the glaciation record, additional explanations are necessary to explain which cycles are observed to be most important in the timing of glacial/interglacial periods. In particular, during the last 800 thousand years, the dominant inter/glacial oscillation has been 100 thousand years, which corresponds to changes in Earth's eccentricity and orbital inclination, and yet is by far the weakest of the three frequencies predicted by Milanković. During the period 3.0 — 0.8 million years ago, the dominant pattern of glaciation corresponded to the 41 thousand year period of changes in Earth's obliquity (tilt of the axis). The reasons for preferring one frequency to another are poorly understood and an active area of current research, but the answer probably relates to some form of resonance in the Earth's climate system.

Point being that we don't A. Know the causes of Global Warming or Global Cooling B. Know the Effects on Snowfall or the Ski Industry or C. Know the duration of the warming or cooling events. It seems ridiculous to take the last 50 or 100 years data and do predictive models of warming or cooling based on the last 100 years when the cycles over the last 450,000 years indicate that the fluctuations we are now experiencing are probably far more closely related to the 100,000 year pattern of warming than the 100 year pattern.

We like to exagerate the importance of Humans on this planet. We like to think that we somehow are the cause and the solution to all of the problems. We like to think we can change the weather by a collection of actions over the last 150 years. Like somehow the human species in the last 150 years weilds the power to reverse trends such as the ice ages that happened on cycles for the last 450,000 years.

But Ski Magazine offers some tips on how you can improve the chances of a good ski season:

  • Car-pool or use mass transit on the way to work and the slopes.
  • Turn off lights when leaving your hotel room. Reuse bath towels and bed linens.
  • Encourage the use of washable tableware and silverware in cafeterias and lodges instead of paper or plastics.
  • Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle. A car that gets 10 more miles per gallon will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2,500 pounds in a year. (Both Ford and GM have pledged to produce SUVs by the year 2005 that are 25 percent more fuel efficient.)
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs, which cost more but last up to 10 times as long and require 75 percent less energy.
  • Buy energy-efficient appliances that can reduce energy use by 30 percent to 40 percent.
  • Be ready and willing to make the move from fossil fuels (oil and coal) to clean energy sources such as solar and windpower.

You have to be kidding me. Use washable tableware and silverwear? Well, if I only knew about that, we would have endless powder days and usher in some cooling for the entire Earth. Why not stop breathing since breathing takes Oxygen and converts it to Carbon Dioxide. How about stop cutting down forests to get paper to print magazines? Surely that will have more of an effect than using washable tablewear.

Posted by Justin at 11:44 AM