I was recently a visitor to your beautiful state; my home is Atlanta, Georgia. I came to ski, but the warm weather made for disappointing snow conditions.
Needless to say, when I (and people like me) choose to visit Utah, we rent your cars, buy your gas, sleep in your hotels, ski your slopes, hike your mountains, visit your parks, eat in your restaurants, go to your theaters and shop in your stores. We support jobs – cooks, waiters, waitresses, bus boys, bell boys, service station attendants, guides, drivers, managers, receptionists, mechanics, sales clerks and cashiers. It’s not a secret that we also pay your taxes; you tax everything we do.
People from your state have a reputation as being practical, economically conservative and concerned about your children and your grandchildren. Those qualities are actually the focus for my question.
My question doesn’t derive from fuzzy-headed ideas about saving the squirrels or being one with apple blossoms. It is a practical question that deals with jobs and tax revenue from tourists.
Many of your politicians want your national monuments cut back and are hostile to the idea of global warming. As you elected these politicians, most of you must feel the same way. Is this a practical attitude?
As you probably know, the directors of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Reagan, the leaders of almost every nation in the world other than ours and 90 percent of scientists at our major universities have reason to believe that the world is getting warmer and that the major cause of the earth getting warmer is greenhouse gas production.
OK, I admit there is a possibility that President Trump is right about global warming being a Chinese hoax. But if I were going to Las Vegas, I wouldn’t bet on it.
A warmer earth might be a whack in the head for Utah, especially if your snows melt and your southern monuments and canyons become miserably hot in the summer. To create jobs for your children and grandchildren and to increase the tax revenue for Utah from tourists like me, it seems prudent to encourage future tourists to choose to come to Utah by enlarging your parks and monuments and supporting efforts to reduce global warming.
This is the basis of my question. Why do you support policies that accomplish the opposite? That diminish future tax revenue for your state and reduce job prospects for your children and grandchildren?
Andrew Taylor, M.D., is a professor of radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University, Atlanta, and a frequent visitor to Utah.