Global Warming has Winter Games Skating on Thin Ice

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Madeline Page

Environment New Hampshire

CONCORD, NH – As the world turns its attention to the Sochi Olympic Games, Environment New Hampshire revealed a summary of global warming impacts on Winter Olympic sports, highlighting the need to act urgently to reduce the carbon pollution fueling global warming.

“When it comes to the future of winter sports, global warming has us skating on thin ice,” said Madeline Page, Federal Field Associate, with Environment New Hampshire. “There’s still time to keep from sliding off the edge by going after the biggest sources of the carbon pollution fueling global warming.”

Environment New Hampshire pointed to increased rate of snow melt, shorter winters, drought, and a shrinking map of reliable winter host sites, as climate impacts are threatening the Winter Olympic Games. They also warned that unchecked global warming could accelerate these changes. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, organizers trucked in and manufactured tons of extra snow. The unusually warm conditions that trigger these extreme measures could become the new normal.

Power plants that burn fossil fuels like coal and gas are the largest sources of carbon pollution in the U.S. in the country for most carbon pollution from its power plants. But while there are limits on smog, soot, and other dangerous pollution from power plants, there are no federal limits on the industrial carbon pollution power plants emit.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comments on its proposal to start limiting carbon pollution from new power plants, and plans to propose limits on carbon from existing power plants in June. Americans have already submitted 4 million comments to the EPA supporting limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

The Winter Olympic Games aren’t the only victims of climate change – scientists are seeing global warming’s fingerprints on ever more frequent and severe extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy. And sea level rise, extreme weather, and air pollution worsened by heat waves are already exacting a huge toll on Granite Staters’ public health and safety.

“President Obama has committed to protecting our children and grandchildren from the worst impacts of global warming, but the EPA’s proposal to limit carbon pollution from power plants is not yet in place,” concluded Page. “The fossil fuel industry and their allies in Congress are already lining up to block the president’s plan, it’s time for New Hampshire’s leaders to show their support for climate action.”

staff | TPIN

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