Gas prices are creeping upward, climate change is slowly causing the number of dangerous weather events to increase, and we still don't have a definitive way to prevent a future where we are all forced to live in flood-proof, solar-powered bomb shelters. Naturally, the first thing we should do is make sure that people can still take their weekend ski getaways.
John McClatchey, a professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland, tells the BBC that covering ski slopes in bubble wrap could stop snow from melting by protecting it from rain and sun. This wouldn't necessarily require covering entire mountains in plastic wrap; instead, bubble wrap could be used to protect certain spots that are particularly vulnerable to snow melt.
There is just one little problem: keeping the bubble wrap from flying all over the place. That, and making sure the plastic doesn't melt (a problem in places with lots of sunshine). Surely, though, the creative mind that came up with the bubble wrap could solve those issues with no problem.
Technicalities aside, we applaud McClatchey's ingenuity. If this professor of climatology could direct his clearly considerable frontal lobe toward helping us adapt to the climate change that is requiring people to wrap up ski slopes in bubble wrap, that would be even better. When the only way for us to continue skiing is to shrink-wrap our mountains, it's time to start heading for the exits.
[Photo by cproppe]