A French ski resort is facing criticism for using a helicopter to deliver snow to paper over the dry patches on its slopes after experiencing mildly hot weather last week, BBC reported.
Officials at Luchon-Superbagnères ski resort in Pyrenees, according to The Guardian, authorised the “extremely emergency” operation in which the helicopter spent nearly two hours transporting over 50 tonnes of snow to its lower slopes, which are used by ski schools.
The director of the local department council, Hervé Pounau, in a statement to The Guardian, said that the cost of the operation would be regained over time by the business which was at the risk of closing down due to the lack of snow.
Pounau admitted that the move was “not that ecological”, but said that it was in an attempt to safeguard 50 to 80 jobs, including lift operators, ski school teachers, childminders, ski equipment rental shop staff and restaurant owners.
He was talking to the French media when he said, “We didn’t have a choice this time,”. According to reports, many other ski resorts in the Pyrenees faced such similar barren situation due to global warming.
The Le Mourtis resort was forced to close mid-season for the second year in a row due to warm temperatures, reported Fox News last week.
The snow operation reportedly sparked outrage among french government authorities and several ecologists.
An advisor to French Minister of Ecological Transition Élisabeth Borne told local media that “it’s not possible to repeat such a highly polluting operation.”
Responding to the incident, Fox News also quoted Bastien Ho, a member of green group Europe Écologie Les Verts (EELV), as saying that the decision has put “the world upside down.”
“Instead of adapting to global warming we’re going to end up with a double problem: something that costs a lot of energy, that contributes heavily to global warming and that in addition is only for an elite group of people who can afford it,” he added.
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