Green Weenie of the Week: The Downhill Skiing Industry

Talk about going downhill fast: 100 ski resorts have signed on to a Climate Declaration calling for “action” on climate change.  In typical hokum, this declaration suggests that “climate action” represents “one of America’s greatest economic opportunities”–a claim about as credible as a women’s Spandex apparel concession in Saudi Arabia.

This deserves a whole case of Green Weenies, along with the buns.  My old partner-in-climate-crime Ken Green of the Fraser Institute in Canada beats down as only he can:

Now this is corporate cronyism at its finest: ski resorts and corporations asking for climate change legislation. With respect to my skiing friends…

Skiers use energy to haul mass uphill, only to slide back down hill, over and over again. They fly or drive long distances to get to places that are cold (requiring heated facilities). While there, they consume goods that are hauled long-distances and up hill. The perishable goods have to be refrigerated (think about that for a minute). Virtually everything they wear (and their gear) is made from petroleum. From a thermodynamic perspective, you would have a hard time designing a more greenhouse-gas-intensive activity than skiiing. Vanity space flight, perhaps.

But the companies involved would like some green-washing courtesy of the government: they want legislation that would let them claim they’re doing good (“We’re paying our carbon tax!”) when in reality, they’ll pass their direct costs onto the skiiers (who can afford it), while the majority of the costs of carbon control imposed on the general public would land squarely on the poor, who are most affected by high energy prices.

(NB: You should hear Ken beat down on Star Trek: The Next Generation sometime.  It isn’t pretty.)