(Photo Courtesy Jones Snowboards)
Jeremy Jones is a true reverent. In the early 1990’s he was the first to arrive at snowboarding’s grassroots, building a professional career and pioneering the sport. From his early snowboard racing career, eventually introducing him to freeriding and backcountry riding, Jones has since pioneered the sport. With his line of snowboards–Jones Snowboards– to releasing his trilogy of documentaries, “Deeper,” “Further,” “Higher” and being cast National Geographic’s “Adventurer of the Year”, Jones has used his connection with the mountains as a pivot for inspiration. In 2007, in the wake of climate change activism, he redirected his passion for snow and the environment to creating Protect Our Winters (POW)–a non-profit dedicated to combating global warming through uniting the winter sports community. Although today, a time when science and the media are under constant attack, Jones’s role spearing the climate change conversation, is now, larger than ever. Joining the conversation as a Creating Equilibrium Thoughts Leader Aug. 25-27, Jones will contribute to the conversation by connecting the winter community and climate change with today’s environmental crisis.
The passion comes from my love of the mountains and winter. That’s how I came to climate change. I didn’t have a passion for nonprofits or capital hill. My life is set up around winter. I started to see it in harm and trending negatively, that’s why I created Protect Our Winters (POW).
You can point your fingers at ski areas all you want, but ski areas potentially have created more environmentalists than any other place. We fall in love with the sport and then we want to protect it. Our community is very connected to nature. We spend our life in nature. We understand how delicate nature is and experience the changes first hand.
The thing is with the winter community, it is a great place to bridge the gaps and disagreements. It’s a place where we can say, we may not all agree on everything, but we all agree that we like winter. There are a lot of affluent people on the mountain and we need them.
The single biggest thing we can do is make sure our congressmen don’t think climate change is a hoax. Reducing your carbon footprint is great, but we’re getting crushed by elected officials right now, more than anything else on climate. It is so tight that a slight change here or there changes everything.
We (POW) do a lot with education. We’ve talked to over 60 thousand kids. You tell kids there are solutions, and they are gung-ho and ready to go. But now, the narrative has changed in schools. So now when you break down the problem of climate change, that there are a bunch of solutions, but there is a bunch of resistance evolving to a clean energy future. That’s a hard thing to tell a kid that it’s too hard, too complicated–its heart breaking. There is a level of truth to tell a teenager, that the head of our country thinks climate change is a hoax, and that’s crushing us.
I just explain the science and the facts. You don’t get to choose the facts of science and science is under attack. I break it down a matter of factly and try not to get too emotional about it. I say “If we stay the status quo then your kids will have a greatly different world than you do.” But there is good news. This problem is not going away.
The problem is, we are in the 11th hour. Mentally I decided now and the next two elections, if someone asks me to speak about climate, I will.
I am going all in these next couple years.
(Since Nov. 9) It has been hard. But you’ve got to keep optimism more now than ever before. There is a lot of frustration. You have to equip yourself with the right tools to not have this eat you away. We know on this current course that we are going to be a disruptive planet, but let’s talk about the solutions and the hurdles and embrace it.
We hate that a vote for the climate is a Democratic vote. Unfortunately, that’s been the case. We don’t think climate change should be a political issue and it’s the biggest hold-up. We try to highlight the Republicans and that there are more and more crossing party lines on climate change.
Let’s talk about the solutions, let’s talk about the hurdles and embrace it. Let’s focus on that, that’s what we have control over. There’s a great quote, “Change takes longer than we think, but when it happens, it happens quicker than we imagine.”