Climate change was not going to get in the way of the fun and frolics of the World Cup ski races this weekend in Kitzbühel, Austria: a fleet of helicopters imported more than 100,000 cubic feet of snow from higher up the mountain. A snip at $390,000 and just imagine how many tonnes of fuel.
To add further to the multiple ironies piling on top of this pathetic tale, the races have had to be cancelled anyway because a freak storm blew a lot of the airlifted snow off the mountain.
Snow fall has been very low and temperatures at record highs across the Alps. The snow was so thin for the Lauberhorn downhill race last week that many racers crashed or collapse from exhaustion.
According to the New York Times the president of the International Ski Federation, Gian Franco Kasper, does not accept that the chronic lack of snow is due to climate change. He says it is due to natural variation.
More bloody fool him. The ski industry is going to be ruined by climate change so it is hardly surprising that it is having a hard time dealing with the proof of its imminent demise.
Like all of the international tourism industry, it could be a strong, brave, and influential voice for change. But this would require it to come to terms with the enormous impact of the leisure flights that sustain it. And as the resorts generate ever higher emissions to create snow where it no longer exists (see my 26 Sept posting: ‘Wrap it up to go’) they are entering into an ever tighter cycle of self destructive climate change denial.
Thanks loads to Nathalie Koerfer for alerting me to that
….and thanks too to Zoe Palmer for this excellent picture which she shot with her mobile phone in a UK high street. It says it all- but somehow the price reduction adds a particular poignancy.