Look at this graph. Each blue bar shows the peak annual snow depth at Snowy Hydro’s five official snow measuring stations at Spencers Creek, about halfway between the NSW ski resorts of Perisher and Thredbo.
The black line shows the downward trend over the last 58 years. Pronounced decline, isn’t it. The consistent big seasons of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s are a thing of the past. On average, we’re losing three quarters of a centimetre of snow each year. That’s nearly half a metre since records were first kept.
Snowy Hydro has taken these measurements since the 1950s because they like to know how much snowmelt is going to end up in their dams each summer. The information is neutral, reliable, and untainted by ski resort PR. Even more crucially, it relies not on pie-in-the sky computer modelling, but on clinical, unhysterical observation.
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American adventurer Aron Ralston is just about to fly home, after a whirlwind visit of considerably less than 127 hours to promote the Oscar-nominated film 127 hours, which recounts his amazing survival story.
Ralston, you’ll recall, is the guy who got wedged by a boulder in a Utah canyon in 2003, and cut his own arm in sheer, gruesome desperation after five days with almost no food or water. So dehydrated was he, his pee literally turned black.
In countless interviews over the years, and again this week, Ralston has used words like “epiphany” and “euphoric moment” to describe the instant he decided to self-amputate. It’s hardly the overtly god-bothering language which some American athletes use. All the same, I’m convinced he experienced a “god moment”. Let me explain.
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