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AMERICA’S 10 MOST-POLLUTING MOUNTAIN TOWNS according to TGR

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Not sure if I would call Salt Lake City a "mountain town" but here is the list of highest CO2 emissions per household

 

1. Salt Lake City

2. Missoula

3. Steamboat Springs

4. Mount Hood

5. Stowe

6. Park City (was #1 in original article, but corrected version has them #6)

7. Bend

8. Aspen

9. Truckee

10. Jackson

 

Story with details at http://www.tetongravity.com/story/ski/americas-10-most-polluting-mountain-towns

post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

After looking some at the interactive map they used to determine their list, I should note that the article only looks at data for "over 30 mountain towns" and that certain places I would consider "mountain towns" (like Frisco, CO) may not have been considered.

post #3 of 21

I saw this and thought, it was strange to see places like Jackson Hole and Steamboat on the list.  

post #4 of 21

All those Utah, Wyoming and Colorado towns are on the list because their electricity is mostly coal, but It's odd to see Bend and Stowe on the list.  Oregon has lots of hydro power, and Vermont has no coal at all. 

 

BK


Edited by Bode Klammer - 4/24/15 at 8:07am
post #5 of 21

I would think that Stowe has a very high percentage of SFR and Multi-Unit Buildings that extensively use use fireplaces and wood burning stoves that would boost up the C02 levels in the air. Very likely many other places on this list may as well? Geographical setting in a valley would add to it as well. 

post #6 of 21

I'd call this article flawed in many ways, the biggest of which is- shouldn't the real metric being used Carbon footprint per skier visit?

 

When I look at that list, the one thing that leaps out at me is that all of these 'mountain towns' are actual communities of year round residents who work and live there 12 months of the year (for the most part). That is a GOOD thing. The carbon footprint of a place like Vail, where skiers fly in to Denver, rent a car and drive to Vail, ski for a few days then repeat the process to go home... that's much, much worse. Isn't it?

 

In Vermont, places like Killington and Okemo have much higher numbers of skier visits per season than Stowe does... but no one actually lives in either place. Shouldn't that make their carbon footprint worse than Stowe, where there is an actual vibrant town of year round residents?

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treewell View Post
 

I would think that Stowe has a very high percentage of SFR and Multi-Unit Buildings that extensively use use fireplaces and wood burning stoves that would boost up the C02 levels in the air. Very likely many other places on this list may as well? Geographical setting in a valley would add to it as well. 


But do they count the release of CO2 by wood fires as part of the carbon footprint?  Sometimes this is not considered because this carbon is temporarily stored and would be released naturally in a fairly short amount of time due to rotting if somebody didn't burn it first.  Coal and other fossil fuels are releasing it from deep storage which increases the overall carbon levels in the atmosphere, while wood burning just puts back what was already there a short time ago and will return in one way or another whether it's burned or not.

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

I'd call this article flawed in many ways, the biggest of which is- shouldn't the real metric being used Carbon footprint per skier visit?

 

When I look at that list, the one thing that leaps out at me is that all of these 'mountain towns' are actual communities of year round residents who work and live there 12 months of the year (for the most part). That is a GOOD thing. The carbon footprint of a place like Vail, where skiers fly in to Denver, rent a car and drive to Vail, ski for a few days then repeat the process to go home... that's much, much worse. Isn't it?

 

In Vermont, places like Killington and Okemo have much higher numbers of skier visits per season than Stowe does... but no one actually lives in either place. Shouldn't that make their carbon footprint worse than Stowe, where there is an actual vibrant town of year round residents?

 

The article says Mountain towns, not ski towns, but all of them seem to be ski towns and this is done by a ski site. ....but then aren't all lists flawed. :dunno

Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treewell View Post
 

I would think that Stowe has a very high percentage of SFR and Multi-Unit Buildings that extensively use use fireplaces and wood burning stoves that would boost up the C02 levels in the air. Very likely many other places on this list may as well? Geographical setting in a valley would add to it as well. 


But do they count the release of CO2 by wood fires as part of the carbon footprint?  Sometimes this is not considered because this carbon is temporarily stored and would be released naturally in a fairly short amount of time due to rotting if somebody didn't burn it first.  Coal and other fossil fuels are releasing it from deep storage which increases the overall carbon levels in the atmosphere, while wood burning just puts back what was already there a short time ago and will return in one way or another whether it's burned or not.

In Reno we have burn restrictions based on air quality and all homes built since the early 2000's have gas fireplaces.  I'm not sure what the regulation is, but I think you can still have a wood fireplace but the red tape to get one is probably crazy.  

post #9 of 21
I know when I tried to do the self score, it was tough as "none of the above" was the answer I needed several times. And then there was the need because of that to go around measuring my windows..

Would like to have seen the list of thirty. Was there a link that I missed?
post #10 of 21

TGR isn't a trusted source for anything, is it? It is backed by good skiers and filmmakers, but the site and writers are sorely lacking in terms of politics and science. IMHO Whiteroom has a good take on this.


Edited by quant2325 - 4/24/15 at 10:59am
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

I saw this and thought, it was strange to see places like Jackson Hole and Steamboat on the list.  

In TGR's idealistic world, everyone would ride bikes to work and the supermarket every day. Too bad it doesn't work that way in ranching country (or anywhere else) where you have to drive somewhere to shop, eat, get the kids to school or to soccer games, see clients, etc. That was a ridiculous article.

post #12 of 21
Silly. Plus, most of them were so close that a ranking is meaningless.
post #13 of 21
Yes, I was thinking that we in Whitefish would be on it with just some slight change in one number.
post #14 of 21

And Salt Lake City ... I mean, it's a large area with many zip codes. Yes, they picked the one nearest the Cottonwoods, but seems like they should have averaged all of them, if they are going to name it "Salt Lake City" rather than Cottonwood Heights... Many were lower than that one. 

post #15 of 21
I have to say this seems terribly flawed if we are #3. Our town is basically 3 miles long and cows at 22,000 out pace our humans by almost 2:1 based on full time residents. They can't be farting that much( the cows that is). smile.gif. Btw the town is very Eco conscious The mountain has almost zero waste.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

I have to say this seems terribly flawed if we are #3. Our town is basically 3 miles long and cows at 22,000 out pace our humans by almost 2:1 based on full time residents. They can't be farting that much( the cows that is). smile.gif. Btw the town is very Eco conscious The mountain has almost zero waste.


Right!!! 

post #17 of 21

Mt. Hood at #4 doesn't make much sense.  It's so small it doesn't even have its own zip code.

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

Mt. Hood at #4 doesn't make much sense.  It's so small it doesn't even have its own zip code.

 

Not only that, but "Mt. Hood" the town doesn't even exist.

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

Mt. Hood at #4 doesn't make much sense.  It's so small it doesn't even have its own zip code.

 

Not only that, but "Mt. Hood" the town doesn't even exist.


Well, that's not entirely true.  I didn't think there was one either but I did a Google search and discovered that there is a place west of the mountain that is called "Mount Hood" that shares a zip code with another community.  I didn't look further to confirm if it was incorporated, but it didn't look like it.

post #20 of 21
Quote:
 have to say this seems terribly flawed if we are #3. Our town is basically 3 miles long and cows at 22,000 out pace our humans by almost 2:1 based on full time residents. They can't be farting that much( the cows that is). smile.gif. Btw the town is very Eco conscious The mountain has almost zero waste

 

The list may be flawed but since they are basing this on average household emissions, it doesn't matter how small it is, or what the mountains does in terms of waste. (I'd actually be interested to see which ski resorts do the best job of being green overall, in terms of green energy, zero waste, etc but this isn't that list). So if Steamboat gets power from coal, everyone has larger than average houses and drives big trucks and SUVs, it's not going to do very well. I have no idea if that is the case, but you get the point.

 

I too would like to know the story with this supposed Mt Hood town. Maybe it's off the grid and everyone is burning wood??? All 5 houses or whatever it has?

post #21 of 21

As a visiting recreational skier the only time I have seriously considered not returning to a ski area because I felt it was too polluted was after I visited SLC in Feb 2013.

 

Man the air was nasty.

 

I have thought it through and if I arrived again to bad air quality I would just drive to Kimball Junction or Northstar at Powder Mountain and stay there.

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