Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding or just rolling around in the snow, there are many of activities that rely on the cold. One study found that 20 million Americans participate in winter sports annually, generating $20.3 billion dollars in the winter sports tourism industry. This industry supports over 191,000 jobs.
So, what’s the industry doing to address these changes? The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) has taken on global warming via its Climate Challenge program. promoting education around global climate change, creating more sustainable slopes, and furthering outdoor business climate partnerships.
Winter sports athletes have also been advocating for climate action. Before the 2014 Winter Olympics, 75 decorated Olympic skiing and snowboarding medalists wrote to President Obama calling for more ambitious action on climate change; they continue to advocate for climate action to this day. Additionally, “sustainability” was recently announced as one of the three pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020.
Last but not least, Protect Our Winters (POW) has been a huge player in pushing for climate action. “We find things in deep winter or at high altitude elevations that we don’t find anywhere else, that speak very directly to our connection to nature and to the human soul…” POW’ executive director, Mario Molina, tells Yale Climate Connections. POW rallies athletes, scientists, business leaders and others to advocate for policies that protect climate and has resources for advocacy, education, donating and volunteering.
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