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Looking Back - and Ahead - on Earth Day

Forty three years ago on April 22, 1970 the first Earth Day was observed with coast-to-coast rallies. The atmospheric CO2 level was 325 parts per million (ppm).

Thirty years later on 18 April 2000 the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under President Bill Clinton, Dr. D. James Baker, marked Earth Week with remarks in New Orleans about climate change.  "Our climate is warming, now at a rate faster than any other time in our instrumental records," he said, adding that "long-term climate change could have major impacts on the environment, human health, the economy, and society."  In 2000 the atmospheric CO2 level was 369 ppm.

Today, the 43rd Earth Day observance, the atmospheric CO2 level is almost 397 ppm.  The Save Our Snow climate study indicates the sustainable snow level at Park City Mountain Resort could be at 9,500’ elevation by 2075 and 10,200’ by the year 2100.  The major part of ski season could be limited to January and February, or worse.  

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Average temperatures have risen more quickly since the late 1970s (0.31 to 0.45°F per decade). Seven of the top 10 warmest years on record for the contiguous 48 states have occurred since 1990.

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Since the late 1970s, the United States has warmed even faster than the rest of the world.

Think about the last forty three years of your life.  Have you seen changes in the environment in your lifetime?  For those of you in your teens, twenties and thirties, think about those of us who have seen changes. 

I hope when Earth Day 2053 comes someone is writing a blog about all the right things we did in the past 40 years.  I hope they have pictures of lakes and reservoirs that are filled to capacity.  I hope they have skiing and snow in April.

Please make a change to help your planet on Earth Day. 

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