10 March, 2023
You’ve likely read the news about record low snowfalls across European ski resorts this winter. This week, two of the Good Business team have experienced the snow shortage ourselves, having relocated to Switzerland for a few days on the slopes. Climate change isn’t your typical chairlift chat, but it’s hard not to reflect on how bizarre the situation is.
We don’t mean the lack of snow – which anyone could have foreseen in a warming world – but rather the collective willingness to turn a blind eye to the barren slopes we’re staring down at and skiing past. The mountain feels like a microcosm of the climate crisis: everyone happy to ignore a problem provided we can continue to do the things we like to do, albeit a bit less comfortably.
We recognise of course that a shortage of snow for skiing (which we are privileged to be able to do in the first place) is nothing in comparison to the devastating loss of life and livelihood that climate change has wrought around the world. But what’s troubling is that it seems that neither that death and destruction, nor the impacts felt closer to home, (think heatwaves and drought across Europe last summer) are enough to wake us up to the need for urgent action.
So, what will? If we knew, we’d be shouting it from the rooftops. But, for now, keeping the conversation going is a good starting point. Some ski resorts are doing a good job of this, encouraging climate education and being honest about the challenges faced by the industry. As skiers, the responsibility also falls to us to take climate change seriously and, crucially, act on it. (We did, in fact, slow travel from London to Switzerland thanks to Good Business’ slow travel policy, although one of us will be flying back).
We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to enjoy our time in the mountains this week, and it’s been a powerful experience seeing the slopes in their current state. While we don’t have the answers on how to solve the climate crisis, we do know that it won’t be done by burying our heads in the slush.
By Louise Podmore