Just Plain Fun?
The Seattle Times, which just finished running a very good series on the effects of global warming in the arctic region, today offers this cheery endorsement of snowmobiling in “pristine” Chelan County: It’s “Just Plain Fun.”
Hmmm. Just plain fun? Really?
Most snowmobiles are powered by two-stroke engines which dump 25-30 percent of their fuel unburned out the tailpipe. The air pollution from these dirty machines is so bad that Yellowstone Park Rangers now wear respirators to protect themselves. The piercing noise of snowmobiles can often be heard throughout our parks; studies show that these machines can be heard 90 percent of the time in Yellowstone. And snowmobiles harass and threaten wildlife. Even when restricted to approved and maintained trails, snowmobiles can push bison, wolves, elk, and moose, even the bald eagle, out of their preferred habitats.
Perhaps some of the above information should be mentioned in The Times’ “If You Go” box? As in, “If you go snowmobiling in Chelan County, be sure to enjoy dumping 25-30 percent of your fuel unburned out of your tailpipe, and make sure you notice how that piercing noise harasses wildlife!”