To the editor:

Back when I was a tender young thing, I spent my summers as a whitewater raft guide in the Adirondacks. Whole towns thrived on nature-related summer sports. It was more than just an industry, it was a way of life.

Climate change will take that away.

It’s not a question of water sports being a niche category any more than those involving snow, trails or bicycles. It will soon be too hot, too fiery, too dry to enjoy all of these activities. The economic cost will be real and devastating.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the outdoor recreation industry accounts for over $400 billion of our nation’s GDP.

This is just one corner of an all-encompassing economic calamity. Ignoring climate change will cost literally trillions of American dollars.

Even if we discount the human misery of a hot planet, is our corporate and political landscape ready to write off our nation’s financial prosperity?

It is time to take swift action. Decades of science and human cost have failed to convince - clearly, since the requisite mobilization has not come to pass - but perhaps the specter of economic collapse will prove more motivational.

Anna Gooding-Call


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