The Protect Our Winters coalition of skiers and snowboarders, including two-time Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, joined The Wilderness Society and other environmental groups to call on Congress and the Administration to help curb climate-change causing carbon emissions that are threatening to put an end to the winter sports industry in the United States.
"Climate change will cost billions in economic damage to America. The costs of not acting could be devastating to a state like Colorado where the outdoor recreation industry adds $10 billion to the state economy every year and supports 107,000 jobs, many of them connected to skiing and snowboarding ," said David Moulton, Director of Climate Policy for The Wilderness Society. "By bringing their message to Capitol Hill, Gretchen, Jeremy, and Chris are making sure that Congress knows that climate change is endangering one America's favorite pastimes."
Rising temperatures and unpredictable winter weather could alter the face of skiing and snowboarding forever, said Moulton. "We don't want to reach the point they have reached in Europe where desperate attempts are made in the summer to place plastic over glaciers so they are still around to ski on in the winter"
An overwhelming majority of climate scientists have identified unmitigated carbon pollution as the primary culprit.
"We cannot keep letting polluters dump their carbon pollution into the air, leaving American citizens – snowboarders, skiers, and everyone else – to pay the consequences," said Moulton. "We must put a lid on greenhouse gas pollution, to protect our communities and our winters."
The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, TWS has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org