"This nomination is an absolute honor for me and the work we're doing at POW. But it's now my responsibility to take this recognition and help secure a place in the climate discussions in Washington. The letter that's been enthusiastically signed by so many amazing athletes is a strong showing of solidarity from the leaders in snow sports on climate action, so together, we have to keep that momentum going," Jones said.
The letter to the president references a December 2012 report published by Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council highlighting the economic impact of inconsistent winters on the U.S. snow sports community and tourism-dependent states. (See http://www.protectourwinters.org/climate_report/.)
The athletes' letter calls on Obama to follow through on the promise he made in the State of the Union address to fight climate change. He can do so by using executive authority currently available to reduce carbon pollution emitted by America's power plants, the largest source of carbon pollution worsening climate change, and by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, which would add millions of tons of new carbon pollution to the atmosphere.
"Mr. President, it's time to force our transition to clean energy, and we need your leadership," the letter states. "…on behalf of 23 million of us who love winter and depend on it for our economic livelihoods, please take the action on climate change you have promised."The full text of the letter follows: "Dear President Obama, During the recent State of the Union address, you urged Congress to "get together, pursue a bipartisan market-based solution to climate change...but if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will." 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.