The Great Salt Lake is not so great anymore. It is drying up. The summery of the linked article is that the lake contains just a little more than 1/4 the amount of water that it did in 1987, and it has lost nearly half its surface area from the historic average, exposing some 800 square miles of newly dry lakebed.
Why is this bad? From the article
Layers of earth that were formerly underwater have swirled into dust clouds laced with calcium, sulphur and arsenic, a naturally occurring element linked to cancer and birth defects. Exposed lakebed is also contaminated with residue from copper and silver mining.
This will create toxic dust clouds that will blow over Ogden and SLC in the future. The cause is climate change (drier winters) and growth. Utah has the highest personal water rater usage per capita than any state in the nation. The State of Utah acknowledges that fact, but tries to explain it away here. Bottom line is the lake is drying up, and grave consequences will follow if something is not done.
Could/Should the Mormon Church do something about it? I’m sure they will the first time a toxic cloud blows over downtown SLC, and several people die. Too bad somebody couldn’t see into the future and predict when this was coming. But to say something now, like asking the Church members to cut back on water usage, to stop migrating to Zion (they have done this in the past) and to do what they can to reverse climate change will not go over big in a red state. Whenever Pres Nelson says something the members agree with (build more temples) , he is “our Beloved Prophet”, when he says something they don’t like (get a COVID vaccine) he is speaking as a man. Being good stewards of the earth by reducing carbon emissions and water usage should be taught at every General Conference, but can’t be without alienating most Utah church members.
Just as the leaders are slow to make changes to church doctrine/policies to protect our older more intrenched members (which I wrote about here), they don’t have an easy path ahead. They can alienate the right wing of the church and speak to climate change, or they can say nothing until people are getting sick from toxic clouds, and General Conference has to go virtual again because travel to Salt Lake City is too dangerous.