The west coast has been DUMPING this winter but don’t think for a second the heavy snow we are experiencing proves there’s no such thing as global warming. We embrace this much-needed snow but we must remain steadfast. The climate is changing. We must act collectively and decisively to prevent a very unstable future for our descendants.
The people, places, and organizations that are already dealing with climate change are responding. If your business relies on snow-covered mountains in the winter, you want action. If you manage water for your community, you want solutions. If you own property near the coast, you are concerned. To these people, the question is why doesn’t everyone care?
I’m not going to answer that in this blog but I can offer solutions, specifically to the mountain resorts whose business relies on snow. It’s simple. Target our youth. Build an army for the future that will demand action. People protect what they love, love what they know, and know what they experience. By expanding opportunities for young people to learn how to ski, snowboard, hike, camp and play in snow-covered wilderness, we can inspire the eco-warriors of the future.
This is the goal of StokeShare’s One Watershed program and we know it works. We’ve worked with kids from disadvantaged communities in California for over two years. We take them surfing, introduce the ocean plastic problem and they take action. The same thing can happen with snow and climate change. Experiential learning leads to environmental literacy.
I will be participating in a webinar this week hosted by the Green Sports Alliance titled, How Snow Sports Are Going Green. I am honored to share the platform with Chris Steinkamp, Executive Director – Protect Our Winters, and Jena Christiansen, Sustainability Coordinator – Timberline Lodge. Chris will describe the incredible work of POW raising awareness and fueling important policy advocacy. Jena will present groundbreaking efforts by mountain resorts like Timberline to operate efficiently and reduce the negative impact on the environment. I will show how an action sports, sharing economy marketplace is creating mountain access for at-risk youth, and how this will improve the future for all of us.
Like POW says, WE ALL NEED WINTER.