Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

For the Love of Winter, Care About Climate Change

Protect Our Winters (POW) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “mobilize the outdoor sports community against climate change.” POW was founded by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones in 2007. Since then, societal and governmental awareness about climate change has increased. The past few years have been the hottest on record, and as a result we have experienced decreased snowfall. This, in turn, poses a significant threat to the winter sports industry.

POW is encouraging winter sports enthusiasts to reduce their carbon footprints in order to protect the planet as we know it. In pursuit of this goal, POW provided a huge push for people to vote in the midterm elections. Burton, a strong company advocate for environmental consciousness, educated snow-lovers about the importance of hitting the polls in order to decide the future.

"Forty years from now, we want people to still be able to fall in love with winter. That’s why we’re committed to supporting what a growing number of countries, states, and businesses have identified as the best solution to climate change and our dwindling snowpack—putting a price on carbon pollution."

Winter is important to both athletes and adventurers, and they want to be able to enjoy it in the decades to come. However, according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have only twelve years to turn destructive trends around, or the world is going to be missing more than just its winters.

So, these winter athletes are finding their reason to save the planet. What’s yours?

Do you love visiting the Cape in the summer? Do you want the price of beer to remain low? Do you hope to live in a home free from threats of wildfire or other natural disasters?

Your favorite vacation spots could very well be underwater in 50 years if you don’t make a change now. Whatever your reason, the time for deliberation has passed. It is time to act. The actions of governments and big corporations will ultimately be deciding factors in changing the course of our planet’s future, but individuals can collectively make a difference. By making simple changes, whether it be unplugging phone chargers when we aren’t using them, biking instead of Ubering, using reusable bottles instead of plastic, or taking shorter showers, we can reduce our carbon emissions. Human beings want to see the effects of their actions immediately. Nonetheless, we need to sacrifice this need for instant gratification, because the very real benefits of these actions do not manifest overnight.

Everyone wants to see their kids play outside in the grass, have the ability to eat fresh produce, and be safe from natural disasters. What is becoming apparent now, however, is that future generations will not have these luxuries if we don’t enact change now. Ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, the rate of natural disasters is increasing; our children will have to deal with the consequences of our actions.

You may think global warming can’t be real when your hands are frozen when you walk up the million dollar stairs, but there is a difference between changes in weather and changes in climate. A cold day doesn't indicate that the planet isn't warming. As preached by POW, the global warming trend will eventually have a significant impact on our seasons and their corresponding weather patterns. It is our responsibility to act now. Otherwise, we will inevitably regret our inaction and have no one to blame for the planet's deterioration but ourselves.

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