In this Ecoshock Feature (click title above to listen/download) we cover the disappearance of snow in the highly unusual warm start to winter in Europe. World Cup ski races in the most famous resorts of the Alps have been cancelled. The hills are bare. Some are offering hiking tours instead.

We hear two reports. One from NPR on Europe. One expert says the lack of snow is a combination of global warming and recent weather patterns. He expects a cold winter to arrive any time soon. The latest Olympic Gold Medallist thinks climate change is to blame, after seeing glaciers disappear every year in Chile. He’s installed a more efficient furnace in his house, and replaced old lightbulb, but acknowledges that the ski culture of flying around to different mountains is part of the problem.

Then a clip from Eco Talk, Air America’s great daily environment show, hosted by Betsy Rosenberg. If you don’t get Air America, you can find most programs posted at Highly recommended. Betsy talks to a representative of Aspen Skiing Company, the premiere ski outfit in Colorado. It’s refreshing to hear an executive from a major corporation who ISN’T in denial. Aspen Skiing is working to become energy neutral, including capturing snow runoff in the spring for a micro-generator. They tell clients about the threat of global warming, and the company has appeared as a Friend of the Court in a recent case before the Supreme Court, trying to get the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. This may be the most important environment case ever reaching the Supreme Court.

Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock interviews Arthur Dejong of Whistler/Blackcomb, Canada’s best ski resort, and the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. But will there be enough snow? Is the whole snow boarding/skiing sport threatened. DeJong says there won’t be a problem for 2010, due to Whistler’s altitude, but by the middle of the century, skiing may be in deep trouble due to global warming. Whistler is also spending $18 million to construct a micro-generating station using a local river, and adding efficiency to all their buildings. Like Aspen, Whistler/Blackcomb recognizes global warming as a fundamental threat to their business, and they are getting pro-active on the issue.

We wonder, will our grandchildren even see snow?

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