Quantcast

Olympians Urge Congress to Deal With Climate Change

Climate

By Owen Agnew

Over the last year, cross-country skier Jessie Diggins traveled around the world for competitions, winning third in the team sprint at the 2017 Nordic World Championships in Finland and a gold medal in the same event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. While she has had a banner year, everywhere she went, she encountered the same problem—not enough snow.


Climate change is hampering winter sports by depriving athletes of the snow they need. Frustrated by the federal government's inaction on climate, Diggins and four other Olympians headed to Washington, DC to speak with member of Congress.

"We're now racing primarily on man-made snow," Diggins said. She explained that venues that want to host World Cup skiing events must now have snow making capabilities to qualify, because they can no longer rely on snowfall. Because cross-country skiing is a low-altitude sport, it has been especially hard hit.

Olympian Stacey Cook, a World Cup alpine ski racer, said she's seen significant changes just over the course of her skiing career. "From glacial recession in Europe to snow falling at only the highest elevations in New Zealand, many of our training venues worldwide have disappeared," she said. "And here in the U.S., where I train in California, the droughts have shuttered ski resorts and mountain towns as early as January."

Warmer winters mean more than just the loss of a beloved sport. It also has a significant economic impact, robbing the winter sports industry of jobs and revenue. A year with low snowfall can cost the U.S. economy more than $1 billion and 17,000 jobs, according to a recent report.

Cook and Diggins both worry that younger generations won't be able to enjoy skiing or snowboarding. "It's heartbreaking to see how hard these kids train without being able to race, because not everyone has access to man-made snow and trail systems," said Diggins, who coaches high school students. She added, "Their sport is disappearing."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Nexus Media.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

One of the 25 new Long Beach Transit hybrid gasoline-electric buses on April 23, 2009. Jeff Gritchen / Digital First Media / Orange County Register / Getty Images

In Long Beach, California, some electric buses can charge along their route without cords or wires.

When a bus reaches the Pine Avenue station, it parks over a special charging pad. While passengers get on and off, the charger transfers energy to a receiver on the bottom of the bus.

Read More Show Less
Semi trucks travel along I94 on June 21 near Lake forest, Illinois. Scott Olson / Getty Images

The Trump administration pushed through an exemption to clean air rules, effectively freeing heavy polluting, super-cargo trucks from following clean air rules. It rushed the rule without conducting a federally mandated study on how it would impact public health, especially children, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan in a report released yesterday, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

A time-restricted eating plan provides a new way to fight obesity and metabolic diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. RossHelen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Satchin Panda and Pam Taub

People with obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure or high cholesterol are often advised to eat less and move more, but our new research suggests there is now another simple tool to fight off these diseases: restricting your eating time to a daily 10-hour window.

Read More Show Less
Kunhui Chih / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Plastic debris washed up on remote islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans has killed hermit crabs, which mistake the plastic for shells, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
A man and his dog walk past an H&M store in Stockholm, Sweden on March 11, 2014. Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

H&M's flagship store at the Sergels Torg square in Stockholm is back in business after a months-long refurbishment. But it's not exactly business as usual here.

Read More Show Less