There is a news which is passed in mutedwhich comes as light as the sand carried by the winds of the deserts of Arabia Saudi.
It has to do with a new sport concept, events and mountain itself. It is about the Asian Games of 2029whose headquarters will be right between desert and the Arabian mountainsclose to Sinai. We have a huge problem climatic with this type of sporting events and the new assignment of the Asian Winter Olympics is just the last stroke of a much bigger picture.
Let’s start with the last ones Beijing Olympics, who have seen our athletes win medals skiing between tongues of artificial snow torn from the original woods of those arid slopes. There Yanqing regionwhere the ski races took place, hardly mattered 2 cm of snow in early 2021. Region coldbut with little water. This water had to be scope, stored, cooled and then nebulized on the slopes to ensure strict Olympic standards. The amount of this artificial snow was estimated at 185 billion of liters. A figure so high that it is difficult to imagine (a small lake?). Not to mention the energy used to create and snow these slopes. The Beijing Olympics have been praised as a real success in the to contain the own emissions by the IOC despite the balance from 1.3 million from tons of CO2 estimated. It vaguely reminds us of the proclamations heard in our home in recent months.
From Beijing let’s jump in Qatarwhere the world cup of football. Doha is certainly not renowned for its mild climate and outdoor sports, yet the national teams will compete in brand new and conditioned stadiums. The idea of cooling open places was a turning point for the possibility of hosting sporting events even in places from climate humanly inhospitable. The national ei fans they will have to “Do the commuters“between Doha and the rest of the world: the domestic championships will not stop. The host state is keen to let people know that these world championships will be the first to be “carbon neutral“also using the old planting technique. Difficult to imagine along the sandy streets of Doha. Then we add the long shadow of the human rightstrampled on during the construction of the stadiums themselves, of which too much little we talked about it.
And here we are, finally, at arid winter olympics in Saudi Arabia. Despite the region having temperatures winter rigidthe water will have to be jab to Valley through a dam in size colossal. The water (desalinated from the sea) Sara pumped to then be transformed in snow all year round. The new Olympic city will rise on banks from this new the needle and promises to be the technological vanguard in fact of management of water, energy and of resources environmental. The climatic impact of this event still it has not been calculated but it will certainly not be negligibleeven if the developers of the project assure us that it will be “sustainable” (another word also abused by our administrations). What is sustainable about a winter Olympics that will literally take place in the desert still remains a mystery.
The only security is that the assignment of the games winter to Arabia create gods dangerous previous. The first: the Alps and the mountain territories can also be emptied of the only source of tourism so far taken for granted, skiing. In the future idealized by the petrostates, the tourism winter it will no longer be the prerogative of the Alpine territories, regardless of the implications that this event will have on the stability of our planet’s climate. The urge to diversify our economies is even more pressing in view of a climate that on the southern Alpine slopes will become increasingly hot and dry. The second: we have a real problem, like humanitywith i large events sportsmen. Both in terms climatic that of hoarding resources locals. As long as it is lawful emit there little water of a arid area for snow the slopes? Let’s hope we don’t find out the hard way in four years. The third: if the Dubai indoor ski slope it seemed to us an aberration climaticwe are witnessing the more total denial in robe sporty. If this work should ever really be done, it is also up to us citizens, to governments but above all to athletes to boycott these events that we can define as real climate terrorismthe consequences of which will be seen globally.
We have to start take some decisions that are not just related to entertainment e to the economic return, but that they can guarantee us a future on this planet. The sooner we understand this, the less willing we will be to accept events of this kind.