Climate Change in the Alps: Snowmaking Machines

As a traveler, I see signs of climate change everywhere. Europe is grappling with unpredictable weather in lots of different ways — and in the Alps, that means artificial snow.

It’s summer here now, and this area is filled with hikers. But in the winter, this is ski country — and the local economy depends on ski tourism. All across the Alps, ski slopes are being plumbed for artificial snow. Take a look with me now at some of the reservoirs that supply water to this mountain’s snowmaking machines.

A round-trip flight to Europe emits roughly as much climate-changing carbon, per passenger, as six months of driving. I own a tour company, and we profit by taking about 30,000 people to Europe each year. Standard accounting practices allow our company to ignore the environmental cost of being in this business — but we believe it’s more honest and ethical to pay our share of that cost. So, at the expense of our profit, we’ve made a yearly commitment to invest $1 million in a portfolio of nonprofits that are making a big difference