Keep Winter Cool Overview:
Keep Winter Cool is a joint initiative between the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an organization of scientists, lawyers and environmentalists, and the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), which is the trade group for ski and snowboard resorts in the United States. Together, the groups aim to curb the effects of global warming in order to preserve winter sports.
Why We Need Them:
According to the group's website, a warmer planet will directly affect skiers and snowboarders in the form of a shorter season, less natural snow, fewer places to ride (for both recreational and competitive riders), and negative effects on local economies that depend on winter sports.
The Numbers Don't Lie:
Keep Winter Cool points out that 19 of the 20 hottest years on record have occurred since 1980; the top 10 since 1990. Worldwide average temperatures warmed a full degree over the 20th Century. If things don’t change, scientists warn we could see average temperature increases of 3 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. That is faster than anything the world has ever seen in terms of temperature change [and will have a catastrophic effect on the ski and snowboard industries].
What They Are Doing:
Financially, the members of the NSAA have the most to lose due to global warming. To combat the negative effects of climate change, resorts across the country are joining the NRDC in endorsing legislation to cap carbon emissions, supporting renewable energy research and policies, and are using renewable energy sources in the form of solar and wind power to run their facilities. Companies that own multiple resorts, such as the Aspen Ski Company, the Vail Resorts Company, and Triple Peaks, LLC, have been purchasing renewable energy (generally in the form of wind power) credits to offset the carbon emissions.
What You Can Do:
Keep Winter Cool suggests several things snowboarders can do to aid in the fight against global warming:
- Support renewable energy.
- Write your representatives in Washington, D.C.
- Drive an efficient vehicle.
- No matter what you drive, don't waste gas.
- Equip your house with energy efficient appliances
- CFLs - Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less power,
which reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the air.
- Get involved and spread the word!
Who Else is Onboard?:
Big names in the winter sports world are helping Keep Winter Cool.org to spread their message. On the snowboard side, Ross Powers, Jeremy Jones, Dave Downing, and Romain de Marchi have signed on with the organization. Skiers Picaboo Street and Alison Gannett have also pitched in. All the athletes have shot public service announcements that run on the cable systems of the various resorts that participate in the program. The spots can also be seen on the Keep Winter Cool website.