This stuff needs to be challenged. Why? Because it invariably focusses on the worst-case scenario and uses that as the headline and the hook for the entire piece.
The story asserts that ‘Current action and policies mean the world is on track for 2.7C of global heating’ – that may be so, but are we really to suppose that the world’s governments will continue with ‘current action and policies’?
Which means we are more likely to see a figure of between 1.8 – 2.0C of global ‘warming’ (note I use ‘warming’ as opposed to ‘heating’ – another subtle attempt by the Guardian to escalate things); not ideal, I grant you, but not quite the Armageddon for ski resorts that is implied in the piece.
Even so, this would mean, apparently, that ‘a quarter of European ski resorts will have scarce snow every other year’. Again, far from ideal, but let’s endure a brief history lesson…
Many of the lower resorts of the Alps were built in the 1970s, which saw a series of snowy winters and encouraged developers to build in areas that were not especially snow sure, such as Les Gets and Morzine, at around 1000-metres.
These are invariably the resorts that are pictured with ‘scarce snow’ whenever there’s a late start to the ski season, as last winter; resorts such as Val Thorens (2300m), Tignes (1800m) and my own winter home of Les Arcs (1250m) always have snow in December, hence the fact that I was skiing three weeks before Christmas last winter; somehow that fact never made the news, but the low altitude resorts suffering from a lack of snow got all the headlines, despite the fact that they regularly struggle for early season snow because, as any savvy skier knows, they’re too low, and always have been.
Which brings us on to another shoddy piece of reporting in this article. It states that ‘The most recent ski season was a poor one, with record-breaking warm winter weather closing ski slopes from Chamonix in France to Innsbruck in Austria’ and gives a link to an article to verify this.
Said article was written on January 4 – there’s nothing particularly unusual about lower altitude resorts struggling for snow that early in the winter, and the ‘poor’ winter was actually anything but – throughout March and April we enjoyed regular snowfalls and I was skiing powder right up until April 24.
I have no issue with the need to reduce Co2 emissions, reduce global warming and clean up the planet in general, but when a respected news outlet like The Guardian consistently uses unbalanced reporting to promote the cause it does nobody any favours and leaves the whole issue open to ridicule.