Vermont Conversation: Jeremy Jones on the fight to save winter

Skiers and boarders ride up the Sterling lift at Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Jeffersonville on Dec. 28. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman is a VTDigger podcast that features in-depth interviews on local and national issues with politicians, activists, artists, changemakers and citizens who are making a difference. Listen below, and subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Spotify to hear more.

Jeremy Jones is hailed as the world’s best big mountain snowboarder. He pioneered first descents on some of the world's biggest mountains, exploits that have been captured in more than 50 snowboard films. He was voted “Best Big Mountain Rider of the Year” by Snowboarder Magazine 11 times and in 2013 was named a National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year.” He is also the founder of Jones Snowboards.

As Jones has traveled throughout the world’s snow zone, he has watched with alarm at the ways that climate change has impacted the landscape, people and snowpack. In 2007, Jones founded Protect Our Winters to mobilize outdoor athletes, businesses, scientists and winter sports enthusiasts to take action against climate change. In 2013, President Barack Obama recognized him as a "Champion of Change" for his climate activism.

Jones believes that the outdoor community has untapped political power. Protect Our Winters focuses its climate activism on “what we call the outdoor state, where there's 50 million people (for whom) the outdoors is a central part of their life. … If we could come together as the outdoor state and say we want a clean energy future, then we would be the most powerful voter bloc in the world. For example, the NRA is basically made up of 3 million really avid loud activists, and they wield a ton of power," he said.

“We have not popped a lot of champagne in the world of climate action," Jones said. "We've largely been getting out-executed and out-spent by the extraction industry.”

“We really need a unified voice that says, if you are not doing everything in your power to get us on a clean energy future, embracing the technologies, then we are going to find someone to represent us that will. And sadly, there is not a single lawmaker in Washington, D.C., who is afraid of the outdoor industry (who feel) if they take a bad vote on climate, they're going to lose their job. And we need to change that," he said.

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David Goodman

About David

David Goodman is an award-winning journalist and the author of a dozen books, including four New York Times bestsellers that he co-authored with his sister, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. His work has appeared in Mother Jones, New York Times, Outside, Boston Globe and other publications. He is the host of The Vermont Conversation, a VTDigger podcast featuring in-depth interviews about local and national topics. The Vermont Conversation is also an hour-long weekly radio program that can be heard on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on WDEV/Radio Vermont.

Email: david@vtdigger.org

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