Climate Change awareness at Winter Carnival

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Climate Change awareness at Winter Carnival

March 5, 2010

As many already know, the Middlebury College Snow Bowl is a carbon neutral ski area, purchasing carbon offsets from Vermont based Native Energy to offset emissions associated with operation. To provide accessible transportation alternatives for people attending Winter Carnival student organizers coordinated with Addison County Transit Resources to provide frequent buses to the Snow Bowl, reducing carbon emissions and parking congestion.

New this year, students and staff trekked up the mountain to engage people in a conversation about climate change. Members of Middlebury’s carbon neutrality committee as well as students involved with the Solar Decathon discussed current projects and raised awareness about Middlebury's commitment to become carbon neutral by 2016.

At both the nordic and downhill races, people were asked to take a simple poll about attitudes toward climate change. They placed their names on a spectrum of attitudes, from alarmed to doubtful about climate change, indicating how strongly they felt about their opinion. Participants received small doughnuts as well as a decal with the new logo for carbon neutrality.

Attitudes on Climate Change

Gathered at Middlebury College Snow Bowl
How concerned are you? How strongly do you hold that opinion?
Strongly Mildly
Alarmed 24 1
Concerned 28 3
Cautious 8 4
Disengaged 0 0
Doubtful 0 0
Dismissive 7 2

About 60 people spent a few minutes talking about the issues and what the college is doing to lessen its carbon footprint, as well as learn about the Solar Decathon, a Department of Energy competition to design build an energy-efficient solar-powered house. There were many interested, students, parents, locals, and a few dogs too. This poll was based on a survey conducted by the Center for American Progress, which found that 51% of Americans are alarmed and concerned about climate change. If you are interested to see how your opinion compares you can take the online poll developed by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

For more information on Middlebury's carbon neutrality projects visit the Energy and Climate Change pages.