Big mountain snowboarder and AT 50 honoree Jeremy Jones is headed to the White House this week to discuss climate change with President Obama.
At the reception Thursday, Jones plans on presenting Obama with a letter signed by 75 top skiers and snowboarders petitioning the President to follow through on his State of the Union promise to fight climate change.
"As professional athletes, representing a community of 23 million winter-sports enthusiasts, we're witnessing climate change first-hand," reads the letter. "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."
The letter urges Obama to tighten Clean Air Act standards on power plants and to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, which will transport Canadian tar sands crude to the Gulf of Mexico if constructed.
Jones has become a vocal advocate for action against climate change since founding POW in 2007. Once known for jumping from helicopters to snowboard down otherwise impossible lines, Jones has publicly given up the fossil fuel-burning practice in favor of splitboarding—ascending mountains on a board that splits into backcountry skis.
POW’s executive director Chris Steinkamp hopes the meeting will add a new voice to the conversation on climate change.
“Since we're being so heavily outspent by the fossil-fuel lobby,” said Steinkamp to XGames.com, “it's up to us to take every opportunity we can to let Washington know that climate change means not just the loss of our sport, but thousands of lost jobs and a massive winter sports industry.”