Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Olympians Urge Congress to Deal With Climate Change

Climate
Olympians Urge Congress to Deal With Climate Change

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.

Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate change can evoke intense feelings, but a conversational approach can help. Reed Kaestner / Getty Images

Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.


Read More Show Less

Trending

A rare North Atlantic right whale is seen off Cape Cod Bay on April 14, 2019 near Provincetown, Massachusetts. Don Emmert / AFP / Getty Images

An extremely rare North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead off the North Carolina coast on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Sprinklers irrigate a field of onions near a Castilian village in Spain. According to a new study, the average farm size in the EU has almost doubled since the 1960s. miguelangelortega / Moment / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A new report released Tuesday details the "shocking" state of global land equality, saying the problem is worse than thought, rising, and "cannot be ignored."

Read More Show Less
Members of the San Carlos Apache Nation protest to protect parts of Oak Flat from a copper mining company on July 22, 2015 in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

In yet another attack on the environment before leaving office, the Trump administration is seeking to transfer ownership of San Carlos Apache holy ground in Oak Flat, Arizona, to a copper mining company.

Read More Show Less