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snow of tomorrow

Snow of tomorrow | Is environmentally friendly skiing still important in times of Corona?

The start of an unusual season.

by Lisa Amenda 11/16/2020
Corona caused us to throw a few plans overboard in 2020. The pandemic has dominated everyday life and everything else has suddenly become unimportant. Nevertheless, we ask ourselves the question: why should we continue to ski as environmentally friendly as possible in winter 20/21?

At the beginning of last winter, everything was still as we knew it. We were already looking forward to the first Buyer's Guide in the fall and struggled to decide whether it was justifiable to strap our skis under our feet soon despite the lack of snow and the nationwide Fridays for Future demonstrations. But then March came and somehow everything changed from then on. Ski resorts closed, there were lockdowns across Europe and even the world, and there was only one common goal: to stop the spread of coronavirus. Skiing became unimportant. Climate change became unimportant.

Carbon dioxide emissions fell and dolphins were spotted in the Bay of Venice. In short: nature returned. Suddenly everything seemed simple. Suddenly we all wanted to change. So maybe Corona had something good after all? Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple. A United Nations report published in September 2020 states that global carbon dioxide emissions fell by around 17% in April compared to the previous year. However, by the beginning of June, daily CO2 emissions were only around five percent lower than in 2019. For the year as a whole, the authors forecast a reduction of only four to seven percent compared to the previous year's figures.

In addition, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to rise. Even the slight reduction in emissions this year will probably do little to change this. The years 2016 to 2020 are therefore likely to be the warmest five-year period since records began - with a global average temperature of 1.1 degrees Celsius above the average value between 1850 and 1900 and 0.24 degrees Celsius above that of the years 2011 to 2015. 1.1°C! Already now.

"While many aspects of our lives have been disrupted, climate change has continued unabated", says Petteri Taalas, head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In other words: lockdown and pandemic are not stopping climate change. It is here - for real. Still there. And it's here to stay. Or even get worse. If we don't change anything.

And that's why we at PowderGuide have decided to continue our Snow of Tomorrow sustainability column this year, despite the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, lockdowns and the status of ski resorts. Because of course everything will be different this winter. But many things won't be. Last year, we focused on our behavior in the mountains and our equipment; this year, we want to think outside the box. We are asking ourselves what sustainability actually means, where climate protection ends and environmental protection begins, what climate protection has to do with food and how wild the Alps really are. Even though we might not be stuck in traffic jams with lots of friends in winter 2020/21 and will probably be strapping on our touring skis again, we still want to invite you to ski more consciously. Because we are sure that environmentally friendly skiing is still important despite or even because of corona.

And it also takes our minds off the daily news for a moment and makes us dream of future waist-deep powder descents!

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

Show original (German)