Ski Reports

With ski resorts from Scotland to Scandinavia and down to Italy once again reporting great snow conditions this winter I thought it might be worth taking a little look back at some predictions for the ski industry, as reported by the BBC.

5 November 1998:

As warm weather threatens to close some 200 Swiss ski resorts, British and Swiss scientists have begun a joint study to examine the impact of global warming on the Alps.
Their inquiry follows some unusually warm winter weather that has left many skiing resorts without fresh snow for weeks.

14 November 1998:

Some popular Italian ski resorts could be without snow by 2008 if winter temperatures continue to rise at their present rate, according to European scientists.

(From latest Ski Club of GB snow report, 31 December 2009: “Italy has some of the best conditions in the Alps this week. Lots of fresh snow has fallen in many places and impressive snow bases mean even where the snow hasn’t fallen there is still good skiing”)

17 November 2001:

Global warming may hit skiing
By the BBC’s James Cove, in the Swiss Alps.

Scientists are warning that global warming is melting Alpine glaciers at an unprecedented rate.
They claim that in 15 years time, many low level ski resorts could have no snow at all.

28 November 2003:

The closure of Glencoe ski resort has come as a blow to the winter tourism industry in Scotland…
The theory that global warming could be to blame for the difficulties at Glencoe is favoured by Professor Adam Watson from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Banchory, Aberdeenshire.
He said: “With temperatures rising at the speed they are, within 20 years, skiing in Scotland could be finished.”

(Ski Club of GB snow report 31 December 2009 – “Glencoe (30/50cm) is in superb shape thanks to the recent wintry weather that has brought fresh snow to all of our featured Scottish resorts.”)

Oddly enough, no mention of “global warming” or “climate change” in this report from 24 January 2005:

Alpine resorts hit by snow chaos
By James Cove

Huge snowstorms have hit the Alps over the past week, causing massive disruption and a number of deaths.

But even fresh snowfall couldn’t prevent the inevitable references cropping up again the following winter. 17 December 2005:

Relief as snow hits ski resorts
By James Cove

With a week to go until Christmas, ski resorts are breathing a collective sigh of relief as snow finally falls across many parts of the Alps.

However, low level resorts face a bleak future with scientists increasingly concerned about global warming.

And the winter after that. 11 November 2006:

James Cove, BBC News

Climate change has had a significant impact on the multi-million pound ski industry, and it is now becoming increasingly reliant on man-made snow pumped out on to the slops by snow cannons

13 December 2006:

Global warming could make some Alpine ski resorts unviable within decades, a study has warned.

17 December 2006:

James Cove reports from the Alps

Ski resorts across the European Alps are becoming increasingly worried as current bad snow conditions threaten the all important Christmas holiday period…

Many believe global warming is to blame for the lack of snow.

Two months later Mr Cove appeared to suffer a sudden bout of amnesia. 18 February 2007:

Fresh snow boosts Alpine ski industry
By James Cove

Some ski resorts in the Alps have had up to a metre of fresh snow which they now hope will signal an end to one of the poorest winters in recent years…

The snow has come at an ideal time with half-term holidays across Europe. The European ski industry hopes it will help salvage its tarnished image – some people are beginning to think of the Alps as having a problem with snow. [Where could they be getting that idea from? DB.]

Bad press, bad for business

“All the stories in the press earlier this winter about the poor snowfalls did damage to the ski industry as there is now a widespread perception there is no snow,” said Toby Mallock, the commercial director of the Verbier ski school, European Snowsport.

“Of course the conditions were bad in many resorts at the beginning of the season, but they are not now.”

There are many myths and misconceptions prompted by concerns about global warming and the effect it may have on the ski industry.

“It’s a little reported fact that last winter in the Alps, it was actually the coldest for over two decades. Everyone thinks the Alps are just getting warmer and warmer,” said Olivier Roduit, a Swiss mountain guide.

This Christmas, wide sections of the media reported on the poor snow conditions in the Alps, blaming it on high temperatures [Once again, who could that have been? DB]. Not true.

It was well below zero in many resorts but it simply did not snow. The temperature had little to do with it.

But a few months later it was business as usual for the BBC’s man in the Alps. 12 August 2007:

Ski resorts seek new summer image
By James Cove

Alpine ski resorts are making a special effort to attract tourists this summer, amid fears about climate change and the impact of warmer temperatures on winter snow.

And he was at it again a year ago, dutifully trotting out the alarmist line. 3 January 2009:

A lack of snow caused by global warming could be threatening the future of many ski resorts, according to scientists.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned of the eventual disappearance of some low-lying mountain resorts.
James Cove reports from the Swiss Alps.

(Swiss resorts had a bumper 2008/9 season, as did those across Europe: “Conditions in the Alps and Pyrenees are as good as they have been for 25 years, according to the Ski Club of Great Britain.”)

So, if you’re going skiing this year at one of the resorts which “scientists” told us should have closed by now, spare a thought for James Cove and his BBC colleagues; the poor sods must be wondering where their next “Ski industry doomed by global warming” articles are going to come from.

Update 18.20pm. James Cove appears to have taken some time off from his BBC employment to set up his own website, PlanetSKI. From his base in Verbier, Switzerland, he blogged the following on the 3 December, 2009:

As we approach 2010 it seems worth asking how the noughties have been for snowfall?

An analysis of the facts shows that in Verbier the snow level has been pretty similar on average throughout the last decade.  I have looked through the details of every year and every month and quite frankly there isn’t much difference. There was more snow on average at the beginning of the decade, but not that much more. At 73-years old Hubert Cretton is the resort’s oldest working mountain guide, and has been a high mountain guide for almost 50 years.  “Sometimes we get good winters and sometimes we can get bad ones,” he observes. “Overall things really haven’t changed that much. The winter of 1962/63 saw huge levels of snowfall and then 1 year later we had a very poor winter and many resorts had to close early due to a lack of snow.”

I get the impression that James is a decent Cove who just wants to ski, and as such has spent a decade giving BBC editors what they wanted to hear so he can carry on with his favourite pastime. I might have done the same thing given the chance. Anyway, I wish him well with his new venture.

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8 Responses to Ski Reports

  1. Rebel Saint says:

    That’s why they’ve stopped referring to it as “Global Warming”. Now it’s just “Climate Change” … i.e. we can blame anything that’s different between any 2 arbitrary points in time as being down to AGW.  Clever eh?!


  2. magiclantern1 says:

    I think the BBC should send a small team of 760 hacks – led by the great Environment “Analyst” Roger I-haven’t-a-clue-what-I’m-propagandising-about-cos-I-got-a-degree-in-Engish Harrabin – to tell us that one of the main consequences of AGW is, err, cooling.  And lots of snow. 

    It would also be nice if the Beeboids did a few black runs down cliffs. Especially those who’ve never skied before.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic piece.  I think people should stop wasting their time complaining to the BBC because we all know the problem of their bias arises from manifest bad faith.  We should simply lobby MP’s with our complaints and demand Parliamentary action to restore BBC impartiality.  Worth copying the complaints to the BBC though,  Otherwise these crafty little fellows will say they are so good they dont get any.  But complaining directly to them as if they have the professional integrity to properly deal with them?  Not only naive but ridiculous.



  4. ibjc says:

    They appear to have “moderated” a news item about the weather too.


  5. thespecialone says:

    Fantastic research.  This needs to be spread through blogosphere to provide yet more evidence that alarmists are nothing but complete frauds.

    On the Daily Mail website they have an article about the freezing temps in the UK.  One dopey poster called Alison said ‘…are you thick? Global warming causes cold weather like this the heating up of the planets overall temperature causes ice from the melting polar ice caps to enter the golf stream cools it down significantly and the result is weather like this.’

    They really are desparate.  Global WARMING causes the COLD weather!

    You note Alison calls us ‘deniers’ thick. Do you also note that she didnt have the ‘ in planets?  Also note she spelt GULF as GOLF!!!  And she calls us thick?  She got a good kicking (figuratively speaking) about her posting!


  6. The Beebinator says:

    Al Beeb…..banging out looney leftist propaganda about dangerous human induced catastrophic runaway climate change……oh my……who would have thought such a thing


  7. Guest says:

    After one too many public servants (Gov & quango & media) telling me today that gas & grit were running out and ice-blown potholes were not going to get filled because of unprecedented cold weather in the UK, I had a quick surf:;type=winthist;sess=

    My boys will be hitting the nearest hill later with their sleds, as I did before them..

    1962-63: A famous winter.Very cold. Mid November saw snow in the South West. Late December (commensing Boxing Day: the start of the bitter cold) saw blizzards in Southern England. London had 12 inches of drifting snow. January and February had widespread falls, especially Devon and North East England with 2ft. Very Snowy. My mum, 12 at the time, and dad, 11, keep telling me stories of how long they were away from school for. The snow in Hampshire was supposedly as deep as the hedgerows were high! People managed to walk on the tops of the frozen shrubbery, rather than risk driving through the deep snow! An amazing winter. ‘

    Now maybe ice melts are knocking the Gulf Stream and we are in for worse and longer extremes of cold as well as hot, but I am simply getting fed up with very overpaid narrative enhancer backing up every overpaid excuse monger who will accept no critique of their competence in threat assessments, total inability to plan with proper contingencies or allow questions on the wisdom of them being allowed to breezily keep screwing p as they have been whilst being given bazillions more gouged from the taxpayers to p*ss away on all sorts of novel mitigation strategies their lobby funders have managed to get a box-tick for on the target meeting schedules.


    • John Anderson says:

      Yes,  there has been nothing yet like the great freeze of 1963.

      And the 1963 freeze was not as bad as 1947,  when fuel was scarce and we were still under pretty severe food rationing. 

       I don’t recall panic-mongering in those heavy freezes,  or in the 1953 floods.  Severe weather occasionally happens,  is all.  The BBC is chief cheerleader of the Chicken Little mob.

      Hopefully as the new decade starts,  all the stupidity and weather-scamming of the last decade will be exposed as a total fraud.