On Thursday, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy joined the X Games in Aspen, CO, to bring attention to the extreme weather impacts of climate change. A strong economy and a strong environment go hand in hand, which makes acting on climate necessary to protect tourism, recreation and the outdoor industry.
Administrator McCarthy helda press conference with CEO of Aspen Skiing Company, Mike Kaplan and Winter Olympians, Gretchen Bleiler and Alex Deibold to talk about how climate risks are economic risks. She focused on the need to act now to spur clean energy and reduce carbon pollution to protect communities and the outdoor industry from economic and environmental impacts.
I think were just making sure we do whatever we can to get the politics out of this issue. Lets just face the science, lets just embrace the challenge, said McCarthy.Right now the winter in Lake Tahoe is 2 weeks shorter for kids today than for theirparents. That is a big deal and we need to take action now, she added.
I think this is a really cool opportunity for her to come out here and witness what were doing, said Alex Deibold, a professional snowboarder.
It means so much to the action sports world, and I think the whole winter sports community, to have this collaboration and to be able to start working together, added fellow pro boarder Gretchen Bleiler.
Outdoor recreation pumps hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy a year and accounts for millions of jobs. Snow-based recreation alone contributes $67 billion annually, supporting over 900,000 jobs. Shorter seasons or unsatisfactory skiing conditions mean less tourists, less businesses, less hiring for jobs to support those businesses, less spending on things that neighboring businesses sell, anddiminished mountain economies throughout the United States.