Social perspectives on climate change adaptation, sustainable development, and artificial snow production: a Swiss case study using Q methodology

Deyshawn Moser*, C Baulcomb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Climate change has reduced the snow cover in the Swiss Alps, negatively impacting the winter tourist sector. The adaptation of artificial or technical snow, as a solution to combat a decline in tourism, is pervasive, yet controversial.
This paper uses Q methodology to analyse the perspectives of stakeholders in relation to artificial snow production with regard to the three pillars of sustainable development. While all stakeholders agreed that there are ecological constraints to socioeconomic development, three distinct perspectives were identified. Perspective 1 prioritizes the environment, not accepting ecological compromises for socioeconomic development. Perspective 2 is more willing
to accept trade-offs, focusing on economic diversification and long-term strategies. Perspective 3 focuses on the economy, with a preference for the status quo. The ecological awareness of all stakeholders provides a promising
basis for sustainable development. However, the diverse views on priority setting present nontrivial obstacles towards devising future strategies for sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-106
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Volume104
Early online date9 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - Feb 2020

Fingerprint

Swiss
sustainable development
stakeholder
climate change
snow
methodology
economic diversification
socioeconomic development
pillar
snow cover
tourism
Alps
diversification
winter
compromise
tourist
Tourism
climate change adaptation
economy
present

Keywords

  • Artificial snow
  • Climate change
  • Mountain tourism
  • Q methodology
  • Sustainability
  • Switzerland

Cite this

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abstract = "Climate change has reduced the snow cover in the Swiss Alps, negatively impacting the winter tourist sector. The adaptation of artificial or technical snow, as a solution to combat a decline in tourism, is pervasive, yet controversial.This paper uses Q methodology to analyse the perspectives of stakeholders in relation to artificial snow production with regard to the three pillars of sustainable development. While all stakeholders agreed that there are ecological constraints to socioeconomic development, three distinct perspectives were identified. Perspective 1 prioritizes the environment, not accepting ecological compromises for socioeconomic development. Perspective 2 is more willingto accept trade-offs, focusing on economic diversification and long-term strategies. Perspective 3 focuses on the economy, with a preference for the status quo. The ecological awareness of all stakeholders provides a promisingbasis for sustainable development. However, the diverse views on priority setting present nontrivial obstacles towards devising future strategies for sustainable development.",
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