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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Fighting Climate Change with Star Power

Author: Guest Writer/Friday, January 25, 2013/Categories: Uncategorized

For those who haven’t yet heard of a McTwist, Backside Rodeo or Triple Cork, check out the ESPN Winter X Games, which are in full swing, right now, in Aspen, Colo.

It’s a media circus and a Mecca for slouching pilgrims in baggy snowboard pants. But wait up, Dude, there’s more happening here than Red Bull hype and on-snow carnage. Between laps on the superpipe or the slopestyle course, athletes are spreading the word about climate change.

The X Games themselves aren’t entirely green. On Thursday night beneath the floodlights, crowds watched the Snowmobile Freestyle Final, in which competitors performed gasoline-powered midair flips on their sleds. Pure fossil-fueled insanity, brah.

But during the day, a handful of extreme athletes appeared at schools across Colorado’s Western Slope, urging school children to save snow from the threat of global warming. Under the aegis of Protect Our Winters (POW), Olympic snowboard silver medalist and four-time X Games gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler spoke at a high school in Carbondale (30 miles to the northwest), while her freeskiing colleagues and competitors spoke at schools in nearby Basalt, Glenwood Springs and Gypsum. The athletes, assisted by experts from the Alliance for Climate Education, share their own stories and multimedia presentations about climate science and potential solutions.

Protect Our Winters photo

POW’s Hot Planet/Cool Athletes program has sent iconic winter athletes to schools around the country since its inception in 2011, and the group estimates the program has reached 15,000 members of the next generation through its high school assemblies. 

That’s some sick PR, Dawg.

– Bob Ward


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