Today is the inaugural day of the Kyoto Protocol’s enforcement (though the protocol does not apply to the United States, which did not sign the treaty). Fittingly, there is a great column in the Oregonian from Edward C. Wolf, who highlights some promising local action on climate change, especially the West Coast Governor’s Global Warming Initiative.

Wolf also puts some hard numbers to the cost of climate change. If a warming climate means more winters of lousy snow (like this one) in the Cascades, Oregon stands to lose a lot, strictly in financial terms. In Oregon alone, snow sports…

  • Employ 10,000 full- and part-time workers
  • Generate a payroll of $13.5 million (in 2000)
  • Capture $200 million in tourism revenue (in a normal year)

And snow business is only a small part of what Oregon’s economy stands to lose in changing climate conditions.