Monday 3 April 2023

Climate change: ‘Fake snow won’t cut it’

Climate change: ‘Fake snow won’t cut it’

The Monte Cimone ski resort in Italy spent €5 million on fake snow to fight climate change – but the investment ended up being wasted.

This is after temperatures failed to fall below freezing until mid-January – and the droplets fired out by the snow machine need it to be freezing for them to drop down as snow.

Since Italy has a large amount of low altitude ski resorts, it has been badly impacted over the last season by rising temperatures and climate change.

Environmental association Legambiente stated that whilst only 39% of French pistes rely on fake snow, 70% of those in Italy do.

Another issue created by this is water being taken away to produce snow – when droughts are growing across the country and thus water demand is also rising.

However, the Italian ski industry currently employs more than 400,000 people and generates €11 billion in turnover – so the economic losses from its failure are set to be huge.

Valeria Ghezzi, the Head of Anef, the Italian association of ski lift operators, stated: “In the late 1980s no one was talking about climate change but instead of despairing we showed the first and greatest form of resistance, we started to build snow cannons.”

Despite this, a report from the Bank of Italy said that even if snow canons can slow financial losses for the time being they “cannot protect against systemic long-term climate trends.”

Luciano Magnani, who works in ski tourism in the Monte Cimone resort, added: “It was the first time in 40 years that we were closed for the Christmas holidays. The ski lifts were closed, the ski instructors and seasonal workers had nothing to do and we lost 40% of our revenue for the whole season.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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