Home Publisher's Point of View The Climate, The Climate Oh My!

The Climate, The Climate Oh My!

Glenn Hasek

Like many of you I am finalizing my summer vacation plans. My family chose a visit to New Mexico this year. I was there before as a single guy and loved the state and am looking forward to experiencing it with my family. Today it will hit 98 degrees in Albuquerque. We are hoping for more temperate weather for our visit.

Just over one state, in Phoenix, it will hit 117 degrees today. Yesterday it hit a record 118, breaking previous records by four degrees. Years ago, I was in Phoenix, and it was 102 and it was like being in an oven. This will be the hottest summer Phoenix has ever recorded.

In Phoenix the urban heat-island effect contributes to the higher temperatures. Since 2009, more than 2,000 people in Arizona have died from exposure to excessive natural heat. It can be dangerous to touch door handles, seat belt buckles, or just walk on the street. If you run a hotel, it cannot be good for your electric bill.

Over in Las Vegas it will be 112 today. According to an npr.org report, at the Lions Burn Care Center at Las Vegas’ University Medical Center, injuries from hot pavement are so common that staff call the summer months “pavement burn season,” the center’s medical director said. In all, 13 percent of the serious burn injuries seen at the burn care center come from hot pavement.

Such is the world we live in today and it cannot be good for tourism.

Lake Mead’s Plummet

I first wrote about Lake Mead, the primary water source for Las Vegas, in 2008. At that time, it was reported that there was a 50 percent chance Lake Mead could run dry in 2021. That will not happen but reports this past week show an imminent danger.

Water levels at Lake Mead are projected to drop to historic lows in 2021 due to ongoing drought conditions. On Thursday, June 10, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced that Lake Mead officially fell to its lowest level since it was first filled following the completion of the Hoover Dam in 1936. Lake Mead is defined as “full” when the water line reaches an elevation of 1,221.4 feet above sea level. It currently rests at 1,071.53 feet above sea level, at 36 percent capacity. This will cause the federal government to declare the first-ever water shortage along the Colorado River, resulting in a reduction to Nevada’s water allocation by about 7 billion gallons.

As reported in Green Lodging News, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed into law a bill supported by the Southern Nevada Water Authority that requires the removal of “useless,” or purely decorative, grass throughout the Las Vegas Valley by the end of 2026.

Useless grass, also known as nonfunctional turf, is found around Southern Nevada business complexes (including hotels and resorts), along streets in HOA communities, and in traffic circles and medians. It is grass that provides no recreational value. Nonfunctional turf is grass that no one uses for sports, picnics, or other recreational activities. Some areas of nonfunctional turf are simply narrow strips grass bordering parking lots, walkways, and sidewalks. These narrow areas of purely decorative grass create significant amounts of sprinkler overspray and water waste.

Examples of Water-Saving Efforts

Hotels and resorts throughout the Southwest are doing what they can to reduce water consumption. I heard this week from Callie Driehorst, Manager of Corporate Media Relations for MGM Resorts International, and she pointed me to this report that includes examples of water-conserving efforts—priorities that address water efficient building design, facility operations, measurement and management, and water quality and risk management.

In Las Vegas MGM has converted over 200,000 square feet of real grass to artificial turf or desert-friendly landscape to help reduce its consumptive water use (water it does not send back to the source).

It is easy to sit here in Tampa and watch these events transpire but I am honestly terrified about the trends described above. How soon in our future will it be until millions of people will have to migrate because of heat and lack of water? What impact will it have on our industry?

Your thoughts? I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Get in the Green Suppliers Spotlight!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, publishes Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to 23,551 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

Planning Advertising for 2021?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2021. Many excellent spots are available on our website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2021 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 23,551. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail greenlodgingnews@gmail.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,759 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 984 Facebook likes.

As always, I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.