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Park City Net-zero Carbon Summit Starts With Scientists' Serious Message

Utah State University

The Mountain Towns 2030 conference, hosted by Park City Municipal and the Park City Community Foundation, kicked off Wednesday with a sobering message about the effects of climate change. 

Rob Davies, a Utah State University physicist whose research largely deals in communicating the effects of climate change, addressed an auditorium full of policy makers and representatives from businesses and nonprofits with a sobering message: that climate change is an emergency, and it’s primarily due to greenhouse gas emissions from humans. Davies says every place in Utah is warming. Park City is seeing fewer 32-degree-and-below days; six weeks fewer, Davies says, since 1970.

He says the bottom line is the more carbon humans use, the more risk there is. For the next few decades, starting in 2020, Davies says humans need to cut carbon emissions in half every single decade to begin managing the effects of climate change on the planet, including rising temperatures, impact to wildlife and water and soil.

Davies says social equity must be a consideration as lawmakers craft climate change solutions, specifically mentioning those employed by the fossil fuel industry. He closed by saying the task to address climate change is enormous, but there’s no evidence that it can’t be done.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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