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posted by janrinok on Saturday March 23, @03:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the sportswashing-fossil-carbon-emissions dept.

The New Weather Institute in the UK and Sweden, as part of the Save Our Snow campaign (warning for javascript), has a joint campaign to end fossil sponsorships in sports. The reasoning is that those companies are responsible for the worsening climate disaster resulting in the decreasingly short winters with reduced snowfall and thus harming the very sports which they are sponsoring. Along those lines, the institute has published a report, Dirty Snow: The Snow Thieves 2 report: how a ban on polluter sponsorships in winter sport can help save our snow (warning for PDF).

Key findings:

• Climate change is an immediate threat to winter sports. On current trends, in mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere winters are expected to continue to shrink by 4.7 days per decade. In a high emission scenario, by the end of the century, that means winter could be as short as 31 days, a single month.¹

• But, winter sports are currently being sponsored by the very companies whose pollution heats the atmosphere, melting the snow and ice they depend on.

• Using a calculation for the known relationship between emissions and snow cover loss, the existing CO2 emissions of seven polluting winter sports sponsors (Audi, Ford, SAS, Equinor, Aker, Volvo, Preem), presented here as case studies, will melt an area 1,968 square kilometres (km2) of spring snow every year. That is equal to a land surface area 437 times bigger than the ground area used for skiing of Åre, Sweden's largest ski resort and a potential bidder for the 2030 Winter Olympics; and 195 times bigger than the skiing area of Skicircus Saalbach, one of the world's largest skiing areas host of the FIS Alpine World Cup Finals 2024.

• But now, this report provides, for the first time, a new, clear formula to calculate the additional CO2 emissions that will result from any given sponsorship deal.

• We show that, depending on the sponsoring company's carbon footprint, a sponsorship deal can generate up to 100 kg of CO2e per sponsored euro.²

• Seven case studies of sponsorship deals with major polluters are presented. Secrecy is a barrier to knowing the size of many sponsorship deals. But one multi- million euro, publicly reported deal between the International Ski & Snowboard Federation (FIS) with car maker Audi we calculate will generate between 103,000–144,000 tonnes CO2e (equivalent to burning between 238,000 and 333,000 barrels of oil ).³

• In the other cases, and based on reasonable estimates, named companies' sponsorship deals with snowsport organisations are estimated to generate between 11,500 and 192,000 tonnes of CO2e each.

• The report concludes that winter sports athletes, organisations and event organisers must take responsibility, end polluting sponsorships, and stop winter sports being used as a billboard by companies whose activities are destroying the sports' future.

¹ Jiamin Wang, Y.Guan, L. Wu, X. Guan, W. Cai, J. Huang, W. Dong, B. Zhang: Changing lengths of the four seasons by global warming. Geophysical Research Letters, 48. Supporting Information. 19 February 2021. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029
² The CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) for a gas is derived by multiplying the weight of the gas by its associated GWP (Global Warming Power).
³ https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator#results

Tobacco analogies are made. The report ends with a call to cease sponsorship deals with companies that are major drivers of climate change, pointing in particular at oil and gas companies, manufacturers of fossil-fueled cars, and airlines.

A lot of places have already had to shorten or even move their winter sports seasons due to lack of once-abundant snow.


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  • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, @05:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, @05:14AM (#1349936)

    Just move to higher latitudes

    As a species we are making no effort to reduce our emissions, on the contrary, we are ignoring the problem altogether, all this talk is so much bullshit

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by julian on Saturday March 23, @06:47AM (6 children)

    by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 23, @06:47AM (#1349939)

    We've passed the tipping point of too many feedback loops. We might have been able to "save the snow" 40 years ago if we could have done a Manhattan Project size nuclear energy program to replace fossil fuels. Crucially we would have needed to give that technology and engineering to India and China. lmao

    That was the last offramp. Ever since then we've been in the early stage of collapse, called overshoot. People are learning of it and reacting to it in different ways. If you're over ~60 you're pretending it's not real. It's the sun. It's happened before. It won't be that bad. We'll adapt. You tell yourself whatever lies you need to not kill yourself in shame. If you're younger than that you're somewhere on the gradient of Kübler-Ross grief cycle. Good luck making it to acceptance. It's fine here. We are learning to grow food, writing memoirs, and cherishing every moment of the 11th hour of human civilization.

    I'm fermenting kimchi and alcohol, learning to grow potatoes, while Lowe's still has plywood and Amazon can still deliver a 550 gallon cistern for $1100. It's "the absurd" [wikipedia.org] of our time. It's pointless. Yet, you still should keep going.

    • (Score: 2) by aafcac on Saturday March 23, @02:42PM (2 children)

      by aafcac (17646) on Saturday March 23, @02:42PM (#1349971)

      Pretty much, I'm not aware of any credible scientists that are still claiming that this isn't driven by human behavior and that it's not going to be bad. The main disagreement of legitimate scientists the last couple decades has mainly been over how bad it would be and at what precise point it gets to be too much. There's a reason why there's a repository of basically every plant that could be collected.

      The worst thing, is that if this had been addressed seriously back in the '70s or even '80s, the kinds of cuts necessary to avoid this stuff wouldn't have been particularly significant. But, now we've got decades more surplus carbon in the atmosphere, we've outsourced much of the pollution to the developing worlds where it's harder to address and we still have the excess to reduce just to get back to where we were 40 years ago. A technological solution to much of it could have been found, and the part that wasn't technological wouldn't have been as painful. But, we collectively decided, especially in the US, that we'd rather pretend like there wasn't a problem or that it was best dealt with by individuals rather than going after the relatively small number of businesses that were causing most of it in the first place. Just like with recycling, it's far more efficient to just go after the companies that are polluting to find ways of doing less polluting than it does to count on the end user to try and figure out which companies are legitimately green and which ones are just greenwashing. It's not easy and it can be a full time job just to figure out what can and can't be recycled.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 25, @04:49PM (1 child)

        by VLM (445) on Monday March 25, @04:49PM (#1350292)

        that it's not going to be bad

        The people who have always given us bad advice that made things worse regarding economics and social policy are pushing really hard to make even worse changes under the claim it's all to "save the planet", but we all know whatever they suggest will make things worse as they've always done.

        This time communism will work and nobody will be genocided because the CO2 level is a little higher, uh huh. Nobody's falling for it, thankfully.

        A lot of it is driven by the garden of eden theory and various weird paleoconservative viewpoints. Why, if we could all just force everyone at gunpoint to go back to living the good old days of potato farming in Ireland circa 1850, we would all live in happiness and well-fed joy, because everything in the old days was perfect, and if we just impoverish ourselves now, then we'll be happy again, because look how happy poor people are right now?

        • (Score: 2) by julian on Monday March 25, @11:21PM

          by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 25, @11:21PM (#1350342)

          The people who have always given us bad advice that made things worse regarding economics and social policy

          So that would be far-right neoliberals in the Republican Party, or center-right neoliberals in the Democratic Party. Doesn't seem like we've explored very much of the space available to us. I might even suggest that viewing such an impoverished range of options as the full range of all possibilities is a mental disability that has been deliberately instilled in the American mind.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, @03:27PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, @03:27PM (#1349976)

      > If you're over ~60 you're pretending it's not real.

      Nice generalization, but there are counter examples. I'm well over ~60 and (along with a number of friends) thought about this stuff when we were in college in the 1970s. I started riding a bike for many local errands and continue to do so. We composted & recycled/re-used back then and continue to do so. I've always tried to minimize packaging, although this can be difficult, for example in a hobby business I made all my shipping boxes from used cardboard. I've added a lot of insulation to the family house and later to my own house, cutting natural gas use significantly.

      Much more importantly, I chose to not have kids, for a number of reasons that included, "There are too many people already, that's bound to cause trouble in the future."

      • (Score: 2) by julian on Monday March 25, @11:22PM

        by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 25, @11:22PM (#1350343)

        My father is the same and for what it's worth I thank you. I was generalizing, of course.

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Sunday March 24, @03:34AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 24, @03:34AM (#1350046) Journal
      If that's true, then where's the evidence? I agree that it has become warmer over past decades, but no tipping points have been shown in that time. My take is that we'll need to live with the moderate warming, move inland and uphill a little to handle sea level rise, and well, that'll be the extent of the drama.

      Meanwhile look at this story. A minor NGO makes press by demanding some theater in winter sports. They offer no serious solution nor an interest in finding such.

      Show there's an actual problem first that should take priority over all our other big problems. Don't waste our time with this green witch hunt.
  • (Score: 5, Touché) by DadaDoofy on Saturday March 23, @05:20PM (1 child)

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Saturday March 23, @05:20PM (#1349989)

    First, TFS is so replete with wiggle words - expected to, could be, up to, can, current trends, scenario - it has little, if any, meaning.

    Second, how is killing off the sport by banning all the major sponsors better than, under a scenario, if current trends continue, possibly, conceivably, potentially, theoretically, the sport being killed off by a variable, unknown, model-predicted, amount of snow melt?

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday March 24, @02:12AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Sunday March 24, @02:12AM (#1350037) Homepage

      I dunno, but four or five years ago we had all-time record snowfall here, so I think we're doin' it wrong.

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 2) by ChrisMaple on Sunday March 24, @03:30AM

    by ChrisMaple (6964) on Sunday March 24, @03:30AM (#1350044)

    Using a calculation for the known relationship between emissions and snow cover loss...

    Not funny.

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 25, @04:53PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday March 25, @04:53PM (#1350294)

    The only thing that would save more CO2 from the environment than canceling the olympics would be canceling the political action committees and especially canceling legacy academia.

    How much CO2(e) does Geophysical Research Letters cause? If it's one microgram, it's one microgram too much, and saving the earth requires that they be canceled. We need to save our CO2(e) emissions for more important uses than publishing Geophysical Research Letters.

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