Monday, November 9, 2020

Recency Bias in Pandemic Skiing Piece misses Climate

There's just a lovely winter wonderland beauty shot on the front page today.

Front page today

The piece talks about ski resorts and the adjustments they will have to make during our Pandemic Winter. Demand may be up in some ways, but capacity at each resort will surely be constrained.

Just two years ago, there was a piece about parking lot expansion and prospects for growth.

Optimism, January 2019

Mid-decade there were pieces about climate, drought, and pessimism.

Pessimism, April 2014

Bare slopes, March 2015

We now know that driving is the source of over 50% of Salem area greenhouse gas pollution. 

Understanding ski resorts in the context of climate, carbon emissions, and rural-urban politics and economy remains an underdeveloped set of stories and analysis. Like with wine, the record-keeping in the industry as well as the link to recreation and lifestyle make it a good lens for stories about climate.

Though there is glancing reference to a La NiƱa winter as encouraging, the piece today omits any discussion of climate disruption and longer trends. It focuses instead on the immediate problem of the protocols, the requirements for distancing during the Pandemic. That's not wrong, but it might seem to imply that once the Pandemic is over the ski resorts will return to normal, and that's far from likely. 

In pieces about sectors that are particularly sensitive to climate, climate should always be foregrounded.

No comments: