No Snow, No Problem, Aspen and Climate Change


The Pope

Skiers skiing on a summer day

SATIRE — Aspen’s winters are getting warmer and warmer, but the city is not worried. On February 30th, the city will meet to talk about the best plan for having year round summers. The biggest question: what does it mean for seasonal employees, especially the winter ones?
Climate change is threatening our winter seasons. It means less snow, and subsequently, less water. Based on no research, the local government determined that living in a watershed means we will always have water, despite the fact that we are in a twenty-year drought. The city and some upper class locals still have faith that we can adjust our economy.
“They could just move over to summer sports, like… people bike, right?” Cerro Torre, the Mayor of Aspen said.
Aspen can easily rebrand themselves as a summer tourist destination. While the city’s economy is based on skiing, and the reason the city survived almost being a ghost town was also skiing, the lifts could be repurposed to something else. We could always go back to being a mining town- after all, the tunnels are still there.
Real estate is always an option here in the valley, and people can make good money off of it, too. It seems like we will never run out of land or houses to sell. We can always also take some more forest land, it doesn’t hurt anyone, the animals can just move.
“People can always get into real estate. My firm is hiring, and we have one of the better deals in the valley. Only 70% of your commission ends up in my hands.” Criz Leeps, a local real estate agent said.
Another option, wildland firefighting can only get more lucrative. Less water and warmer summers means wild fire years. While being a wildland firefighter may not pay much, have many benefits, or even be well supported by the government, it is pretty fun. Food is a 50/50, but that’s better than none, and work hours aren’t that long, maybe 36 hours with a two hour sleep break max. You can fight on the front lines of wildfires, run hoses up almost vertical hills, cut firelines through dense forests, fell hundred year old timber, and try not to get killed by the falling trees and fire. Tourists love fires too. So much adrenaline and excitement, its almost as if lives are being threatened!
“All in all a hot, sweaty, difficult job, but by no means skilled labor.” Tom Flintlock, a representative from California said.
Aspen may only be getting hotter, but that makes it a hotter destination. The local government is already starting to market ads to entice people to come see our all-year summer town. The plan is to create new jobs for summer tourism, replacing those who work in the winter tourism industry. Plans have been put in place for city run shops that sell water bottles at a reasonable price.
“20 bucks a pop is a normal price for people, right? Kirkland Signature makes some pretty mediocre water, and that’s all we need ” Richard Ryder, a city official, commented in a recent meeting, “I think we can make that work,” added Jonathan Jones, another city official.