Hot Planet/Cool Athlete

Pro Snowsport Athletes Discuss Effects of Climate Change and Inspire Carbon-Reducing Solutions
Jan 27, 2012 5:00 PM ET
Nick Martini meeting with high schoolers about climate change education

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Winter is finally kicking into gear but the effects of a shortened season have already taken a toll on snow-based economies across the country. The widespread lack of snow wreaked havoc on mountain town businesses and ski resorts that generate an estimated 50 percent of annual revenue during the Christmas, New Year’s and MLK holidays.

This week as Aspen hosts Winter X Games 16, Olympic and X Game medalists are speaking out on climate change and sharing their unique perspective on the economic, social and intangible values of winter with students at Colorado high schools as part of nonprofit Protect Our Winters’ Hot Planet/Cool Athletes program, in partnership with The North Face. 

Hot Planet/Cool Athletes is a partnership between Protect Our Winters (POW), the environmental center point of the winter sports community, and Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), the national leader in high school climate education.  The program pairs famous pro snow sport athletes with ACE educators to deliver an award-winning multimedia assembly on climate science and real-world solutions. The assembly features athlete’s personal stories about climate change, specific local consequences related to lower snow levels and inspires students to take action against climate change.

Hot Planet/Cool Athletes is part of a host of special events happening in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley high schools leading up to Winter X 16 in Aspen. During the four-days, Hot Planet/Cool Athletes is slated to reach 1600+ students. 

To help students create meaningful actions after each assembly, Bob Marley’s and POW will be providing starter grants to the Aspen-area students who submit results-based, sustainability ideas to POW.  Together, they’ll be awarding $250 per school to individuals and/or groups of students who submit their best ideas to POW by March 1st, 2012.

 “Part of POW’s mission is to make sure that the next generation is better equipped to address climate change. As athletes, we now have a relevant platform to reach young students and create a movement of passionate youth leaders,” said Jeremy Jones, POW’s Founder and professional snowboarder.

Since its launch last year at Winter X Games 15, Hot Planet/Cool Athletes assemblies have reached 10,000+ students at high schools in Colorado, Utah, California, Vermont, Massachusetts and Nevada.  With help from influential snow sport athletes, and partners such as The North Face, Clif Bard, Backcountry Magazine, The Quiksilver Foundation and, the assemblies have inspired students to lead environmental action teams that implement impactful climate-related projects in their schools