A coalition of winter sport filmmakers and industry representatives delivered a message to Capitol Hill in late January. Their goal was to present lawmakers with a new perspective on climate change that included the economic effects on the $6 billon winter sports industry.
The message to lawmakers included a screening of Generations, a short film about climate change affecting winter. The film, sponsored by The North Face, was released this fall by Jackson Hole-based Teton Gravity Research and the non-profit Protect Our Winters. Generations discusses climate change through the perspectives of some of the world's top ski and snowboard athletes-Jeremy Jones, Ingrid Backstrom, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Seth Morrison, Dash Longe, Dylan Hood, and Erik Roner. Ski resort developer Bill Jenkins and climatologist Elizabeth Burakowski speak to the broader evidence of climate change on the industry and environment.
Jeremy Jones, eight-time Snowboarder Magazine's Big Mountain Snowboarder of the Year and founder of Protect Our Winters, headed up the delegation who met with leading U.S. mountain states lawmakers in key positions to influence the direction of climate change legislation. The delegation conveyed personal experiences to illustrate how climate change has affected the winter sports culture in their lifetimes.
Generations received hearty congressional applause among a theater of Congressmen, aides, staff, and environmental leaders. "When we started production of Generations with The North Face over a year ago, the goal was to communicate the climate change we all see every day, to as many people as possible," said Jones. "Being here on Capitol Hill a year later, talking with the individuals who are literally deciding how climate change will effect us for generations is one of the most important things I've ever done."
The 18-minute film toured film festivals this fall. It is available for viewing free on Protect Our Winter's Web site.