The impact of climate change in our own backyard is evident. New England has already seen warmer winters, reduced snowfall, increased rain, and rising sea levels.
Think about the effect of this on New Hampshire’s economy. Reduced snowfall influences ski conditions locally. WBUR reports that the U.S. ski season has already shortened; they further state that lower altitude resorts are most vulnerable, which could impact Black Mountain, Cranmore, and even Attitash which they describe as being in the climate change cross-hairs. The State of NH calculates a loss of 10-20 percent of ski season days, representing a loss of $42 million to $84 million in direct and indirect spending in New Hampshire due to warmer weather.
Tourists to the Granite State spend approximately $292 million dollars annually. They ski, fish and swim in our lakes, and view the magnificent foliage. If the numbers of tourists in New Hampshire drops over time, this will impact our local restaurants, ski areas, stores, inns, hotels, and all businesses that cater to people who love the out-of-doors. This, in turn, will ultimately impact business owners and local employees, whose livelihoods could be threatened by this negative impact upon our environment.
The solar and wind industries are each creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy (Forbes Magazine, 2017). Governor Sununu and our state representatives should be looking to protect our environment and grow our economy by doing a better job of mitigating the impact of climate change right here in our state. It’s not a federal policy thing, its something that impacts all of us right here and now in New Hampshire and the Mt. Washington Valley.