Communities Depend on the Winter Business Boom

As average global temps rise, the nation's $4.5B ski industry is feeling the effects. (NASA) "If we don't have snow, our whole economy is dead," says Isaacs about the resort town of Mammoth Lakes. "Everyone is hurt."

The state of Colorado is very worried about the prospect of a warming climate. The state's outdoor recreation - from skiing to river rafting, all depends on climate. And for winter recreation businesses, snow cover is key.

Although resorts contribute less to climate change that other industries - like manufacturing - slopes around America are taking steps to cut emissions and increase efficiencies. Take Aspen Skiing Company for example - they're harnessing wind to run parts of its hill and is generating about 200,000 kilowatt hours of renewable power by pumping spring runoff through snowmaking pipes.

Steps taken by other resorts include solar-powered lighting and wind power. These reductions in global warming pollution help not only the ski industry - but the general public as well.