What is the skischam, the shame of skiing?

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You’ve probably heard of the shame of flying, given the environmental impact of air travel. In this winter vacation period, a new form of embarrassment that generates a lot of guilt among Austrian skiers is taking over: the skischam. We explain to you.

On the slopes, snow groomers are responsible for 94% of greenhouse gas emissions

Lukasz Dro/Shutterstock

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Ah holidays in the mountains! Its raclette evenings, the breathtaking view of the peaks and the sliding sessions on the powder snow… Behind the joyful image of holidays in the snow also hides an environmental reality.


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First, there is transport to transport skiers to their holiday residence. According to Domaines skiables de France, this item is responsible for 57% of greenhouse gas emissions from a stay in the mountains. The balance also increases with the energy produced by all forms of accommodation, up to 35%.

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On the slopes, it is rather the groomers who are singled out, generating 94% of the greenhouse gas emissions of a ski area.

Here are some figures that lead to awareness in Austria of the ecological impact of skiing. There, the massifs, lower than in France, are artificially snow-covered up to 66%.

A reality in which some skiers no longer want to take part, to the point of being ashamed of it.

0.5 m3 of water per day of skiing

The Austrian press has thus been relaying a new feeling in recent days: the skischam; “scham” being a term derived from the Germanic root “skamo” meaning “shame” or “dishonor”. The newspaper Die Presse explains that some skiers feel ashamed when they think of “the climate and the snow cannons”.

In France, if they are often taken as a symbol of the heavy ecological impact of winter sports, snow guns represent only 2% of greenhouse gas emissions, with ski lifts, according to Greenly, a calculator of carbon footprint.

According to the professional chamber of ski area operators, 25 million m3 of water are taken and returned to the natural environment during the production of this artificial snow. This is equivalent to 0.5 m3 of water per day of skiing.


Source From: Google News

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