75 Winter Athletes Send Letter To President Urging Climate, Energy Action
A wide-ranging group of winter sports athletes including Olympians, X-Games and world champions have sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging action on his promise of climate change efforts.
The message the athletes are sending, according to environmental group Protect Our Winters (POW), is “take action now on climate change to protect the $12.2 billion U.S. winter sports industry and the tens of millions of Americans who rely upon it for recreation.”
POW and the National Resources Defense Council issued a report in December highlighting “the economic impact of inconsistent winter on the US. snowsports community and tourism-dependent states and the implications of climate change on the future of snowsports.”
Some of the better known athletes who have signed the letter, POW says, include Olympic gold and silver medalist Julia Mancuso; Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler; Olympic silver medalist, Lindsey Jacobellis; and Olympic gold and silver medalist Hannah Teter, among others.
The occasion for the letter stemmed from a White House ceremony this week (April 11) honoring “Champions of Change.” Among those honored is professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones, 10-time Big Mountain Rider of the Year, another signee of the letter.
The letter to President Obama reads in part:
“As professional athletes, representing a community of 23 million winter sports enthusiasts, we’re witnessing climate change first-hand. Last year was the warmest year on record and, once again, we’re currently experiencing another winter season of inconsistent snow and questionable extremes. Without a doubt, winter is in trouble…
“Mr. President, it’s time to force our transition to clean energy, these are the first big steps and we need your leadership… please take action on climate change you have promised…”
The letter also called for rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline “which is not in our national interest.” Click here for the full text of the letter.
Photo: Olympic champion Julia Mancuso, one of the signees of letter to President Obama