Click the link to read the article on the Steamboat Pilot & Today website (Suzie Romig). Here’s an excerpt:
In a packed Bud Werner Memorial Library Hall in Steamboat Springs on Thursday evening, Jan. 19, internationally known climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe kept the science simple and relatable but the emotional connection elevated…
Hayhoe, Ph.D., noted that 73% of Routt County adults think that climate change is happening and that it will harm plants and animals. That percentage marks a slight uptick to the national averages, according to 2021 studies by the University of California Santa Barbara, Utah State University and Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. The studies show 71% of Routt County adults think global warming will harm people in developing countries; however, only 47% of county adults think global warming will harm them personally.
The climate scientist emphasized that climate change already is affecting Colorado mountain towns by creating weather that is more variable, adds more rain on snow days, shortens ski seasons, creates changes in total snowpack, facilitates more intense wildfires, endangers water resources and leads to economic stress. The average temperature in Colorado in the 1890s was 43.5 degrees compared to 46 degrees now, she said. She said the current strong snowpack is terrific for skiing and summer water conditions, yet the changing climate is based on the long-term average of weather across 20 to 30 years.
“Weather is a single tree, and climate is the forest,” Hayhoe illustrated. “Climate is changing faster than any time of humans on the planet.”
The studies show 45% of Routt County adults discuss global warming “at least occasionally,” which is higher than the national average of 35%. Hayhoe works to raise that level of conversation and the resulting action through her many outreach channels and her 2021 book “Saving us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World.” A publisher asked the scientist to write the book based on her highly viewed TED talk called “The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it.”