Looking Ahead to 2020May 21, 2006
Nieve Mundo (Ski Press)-No Snow in Southern Quebec by 2020
A Quebec University professor specializing in environmental issues has made one of the most dramatic claims yet on climate change. At a public meeting to discuss the future of Mont Orford ski area in southern Quebec, he claimed the ski area could have “no significant snow” as soon as 2020 because of global warming.
The professor, Claude Villeneuve, reported to be “a leading expert on climate change” by Canadian media, was part of a panel which included Canadian Environment Minister Claude Bechard. The government wishes to change the law to allow for the sale of Canadian National parkland so that Mont Orford can expand its resort.
Mr Villeneuve said that in his opinion banks would be foolhardy to lend money to the resort if it was over a long period and returns were based on ski income. He said that current winter snowfall would fall instead as rain by 2020, Spring would come earlier and limitations on drawing water from local water sources meant there would be inadequate supplies for snow making.
Asked if remedial action to halt climate change could have a positive effect on global warming and thus lead to a return to ‘normal’ snowfall in the future, Mr Villeneuve said, “Yes, but it will take about three centuries, the bank doesn’t lend for three centuries.”
Mr Villeneuve said resorts in New England would also be affected by the snow shortage,but that resorts like Mont Sainte Anne and Le Massif near Quebec City to the north would not be affected as soon by climate change and that these were a better bet for anyone wishing to purchase a ski condo to use past 2020.