A Green Christmas?



Paddleboarders in Saranac Lake on Christmas Eve (Adirondack Enterprise Photo: Catherine Moore

Usually Lake Placid has seen a few feet of snow and several days of below zero weather at this time of year, but this Christmas felt more like early fall than winter. In the past few weeks, there has only been a dusting of snow and the daily lows are only in the 40s. Now I love warm weather and clear roads as much as the next girl, but this should be a sign that there is something seriously wrong with the Earth. I would say hell might be freezing over right now, but it’s just too warm!!

Lake Placid’s economy, along with the economies of many other northern resort towns, relies on tourism – especially in the winter months. Whiteface Mountain brings thousands of skiers and snowboarders to town each year. Those skiers and snowboarders will need a place to stay, hotels. They will need food to eat, local restaurants. And they will want to remember their trip, souvenir shops. The Olympic Center, home of the 1980 Miracle on Ice, is a hub for hockey tournaments all year long, and the outdoor oval is one of the most important pieces of our Olympic history. People from all over come to town around Christmas and New Years and rent skates to live their own Olympic fantasy on the oval.

golf christmas

North Elba Town Supervisor Roby Politi ’68 (r) dressed for the season as he golfed with his son on Christmas day (Photo: Craig Wood Golf Course).

The Winter Olympics started in 1924 and have been hosted by nineteen communities. Although we are sheltered by the High Peaks, Lake Placid, the only two-time Winter Olympic host, is jeopardized by climate change. By 2050, only ten of the nineteen sites will be cold enough to host the winter games, and by 2100, only six of them will be. How crazy is that? Without changing our lifestyles and making an effort to turn around the effects humans have had on this Earth, we will lose one of the most celebrated sporting events in the world.

While you have a great time opening presents and being surrounded by people you love and the joy of Christmas, don’t forget to think about the Earth and what we can do for it in the coming year.



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