Yesterday's postponement of the men's downhill olympic event at Whistler Creekside because of mild weather conditions is yet another reminder about the impact of global warming on our climate - and winter sports.
For the past couple of weeks here in Vancouver we've been reminded of our unusually mild winter temperatures not just when we step outside, but by the constant hum of helicopters overhead. Our recent two digit temperatures have taken their toll and olympic organizers have been transporting snow by helicopter to local mountain Cypress (at a rumoured $10,000 per hour!) - the site of two olympic events. Apparently as of last Tuesday, 170 loads of snow had also been trucked to Cypress from 200 miles away. Difficult to host the winter olympics without snow.
Organizers of the 2010 Olympics have dubbed these games the 'greenest ever' and the David Suzuki Foundation has backed this claim with a bronze medal award for organizers' efforts to reduce the event's climate impact. According the Foundation's news release, these include building energy-efficient venues, using clean-energy sources and relying on public transit during the Games.
While there are still some concerns about the projected carbon emissions generated mainly as a result of travel by spectators, etc., the fact that climate impact has taken a front row seat at the 2010 games is a huge step forward. Now it's up to all of us - as individuals - to do our part too.
Visit Vancouver-based eco boutique Lavish & Lime for ideas about how you can reduce your carbon footprint and live life a little greener. If you have any thoughts or ideas about the 2010 Olympics and climate impact or the effect of climate change on winter sports, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!
Photo: The non-competition side of Cypress Mountain. Ralston/Ghetty