Moser, Deyshawn J., & Corinne Baulcomb (2020, February). Social perspectives on climate change adaptation, sustainable development, and artificial snow production: A Swiss case study using Q methodology. Environmental Science and Policy, 104, 98-106. (Open Access:

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.

Deyshawn Moser <> is in the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (currently residing in Pfäffikon, Switzerland). Corinne Baulcomb <> is in Rural Economy, Environment & Society, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Edinburgh, United Kingdom.