On June 1st, 2017, citizens around the world watched President Donald Trump announce that the United States of America would withdraw its participation in the Paris Climate Agreement, a historic symbol of global cooperation in addressing mankind’s effect on our planet.

They were not impressed.

US allies like the Canada and Germany expressed deep disappointment for the President’s decision, while the newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron went one step further by inviting American scientists to continue their work on climate change in France. States, and even cities, have begun to adopt the conditions of the Paris Agreement on their own, circumventing the federal government to take action in reducing emissions and taking the steps necessary for a cleaner future.

Like many world leaders, influential voices in the snowboarding community were no different in expressing the collective feeling of defeat following Trump’s speech. They recognize the consequences of inaction, as they see it firsthand. Glaciers receding, changing weather patterns, warmer temperatures, rain in place of snow.

I gathered some of these voices in one place to show that setbacks spur initiative, and these riders are more fired up than ever to fight for our planet. Let them serve as a rallying cry to take action, and always know that many small steps can, and will, become a great one.

There are many ways to make a difference. You can become involved in non-profit organizations like Protect Our Winters, the Surfrider Foundation, or The Solutions Project, to name a few. You can contact your congressman or senator in Washington D.C., or learn how to calculate and reduce your carbon footprint.

We are all in this together.

Jake Blauvelt snowboarding Paris Climate Agreement RIDE Snowboards
Photo: T. Bird, RIDE Snowboards

Jake Blauvelt

To me, not only does leaving the Paris Agreement demonstrate a massive lack of foresight and an incredible amount of greed on behalf of the current administration, but a blatant disrespect for the rest of our global community.

If anything, the Paris Agreement was a symbol of the world’s nations recognizing that climate change is a huge problem for our planet which needs urgent attention. It signified that we’re ‘in’ and taking steps to fix the problem, rather than contributing to it.

Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement not only takes away our credibility as a forward-thinking, innovative country and hands the reigns over to other nations willing to step in and seize the opportunities that sustainable energy provides; it gives the rest of the world and our planet the middle finger, which is exactly what Trump was trying to do.

I think an important question everyone should be asking themselves is, ‘What harm can making the planet cleaner possibly do?’ Create more jobs, boost the economy, allow wildlife, forests and oceans to flourish and importantly for us, allow the winters to keep happening and the snow to pile deep.

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Photo: Lukas Pilz, Red Bull Content Pool

Travis Rice

A true shocker it has been watching The Donald lay waste to years of progress in such fantastic ‘Ignorant American’ fashion.

While anger and angst seem to be the common reaction, I have been finding gratitude for Ole’ Donny, or maybe more for the fact that this wildcard made it into the White House and now is exemplifying so blatantly the actions that have too long been out of the mainstream eye in business and politics. By acting this out daily, Trump is setting a precedent for what will clearly no longer work moving into the bright future ahead!

I believe it will not be long before we start selecting our leaders for their benevolent attributes, their desire for peace, and their wisdom which will only come from those who actually are at peace with themselves.

Think the POTUS disaster influenced Macron’s election? I mean take inventory of how fired up everyone is, it’s beautiful. It’s a jump start to a new way past fear mongering, wall building and megalomania that unfortunately involves bearing our current predicament, so embrace the power we all have daily to influence change.

Here’s to the fast track past this narcissist child to a more conscious tomorrow that otherwise seemed much further away. Time to get off the fence, cast off the fear, spend your money wisely, get grateful and do something about it.

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Jeremy Jones Paris Climate Agreement Protect Our Winters snowboarding
Photo: Rich Van Every

Jeremy Jones

Speaking to groups of kids has always been a highlight for me. To watch their intense focus as I explain to them the sobering facts of climate change. To feel the excitement in the room as I explain the solutions. Explain how, through the help of science, we are learning how to reduce our impact on the planet.

That with great challenges comes great opportunities. I ask them whether they would rather work in a coal mine or build solar panels or windmills. I ask them whether they would rather drive a car that runs on the sun or oil. Live in a house that adds to the grid and doesn’t take from it.

I ask them if they want to leave the planet better than they found it. I ask them if they want to see a vibrant, thriving ocean or a bleached, dead one. Plowed fields or rain forest.

Unfortunately, these talks have taken a somber turn. I have to decide if I should tell them the sobering truth that the United States of America is failing on climate. That big oil and big money are winning or that our elected officials are being funded by the fossil fuel industry and voting to protect the profits of a few, at the detriment of the planet.

I ask you, Mr. President: Do I tell them that we are the largest polluters on the planet and doing the least about it? That the rest of the world has taken climate seriously? That they are creating jobs—and opportunities—doing it?

Do I tell them that we have failed them? That we—their parents and grandparents—have failed them? That we have all sat idly by while a great injustice is happening right in front of our eyes? That we have done nothing because change is too hard? That turning coal jobs into renewable jobs is too hard?

I don’t know how you do it. How do you look the kids of our country in the eyes and tell them that you put short-term profits ahead of long-term solutions?

But, actually, I don’t want to know. I don’t aspire to have that skill set. I would rather stumble and bumble as I try to offer some explanation and information to keep the hope fires burning.

You know better than anyone that the mighty dollar always wins. And thankfully, the mighty dollar is falling in love with a clean energy future.

Follow Jeremy on Instagram and read his full statement here.

Kimmy Fasani snowboarding Paris Climate Agreement Chris Benchetler
Photo: Chris Benchetler

Kimmy Fasani

Winter is changing, weather is changing, there is no denying it; at least from those of us who witness it first hand.

Although I wish our president would understand the consequences of his actions, his negligence has lit an even deeper fire for all of us who are passionate about the outdoors; to stand up and be vocal. Having a leader who is chasing short term profits and turning a blind eye to the longevity of our planet, future generations, and the livelihood of mountain and farming communities is heart breaking and devastating. However, there’s an awakening happening because of it.

Amongst the chaos of his erratic decisions to abolish protection plans for the environment, the people are coming together, communities and state governments are uniting, big businesses, athletes, and celebrities are raising their voice and bringing attention to matters that have otherwise been hushed.

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Jake Black snowboarding Paris Climate Agreement Chad Otterstrom photography
Photo: Chad Otterstrom

Jake Black

As much as I disagree with the President’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, I believe this White House is actually creating more climate activists than ever before.

When Trump was elected, people stepped into the light and started speaking up about climate. On his 100th day in office, before this decision, over 200,000 individuals at 370 marches around the world stood up for the People’s Climate March.

Now that he has pulled out of Paris, we are seeing states, cities, businesses, and individuals step up to the plate to take actions which create more jobs, cleans up our air, reduces environmental health related issues, improves our national energy security and reduces our greenhouse gas emissions to protect our climate at the same time.

To really save the future and our environment we need to go beyond Paris, maybe this negligence will be the push the world needs to really tackle this worldwide problem.

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Alex Deibold snowboarding Jens Heig photography Paris Climate agreement
Photo: Jens Heig

Alex Deibold

The mountains are my home. They are where I live, where I play, and where I make my living. And they are under attack.

It’s now five months into President Trump’s term and things are continuing to heat up—pun intended. It seems like the headlines never stop coming from the current administration: wire tapping, healthcare, ties to Russia, and now pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

President Trump claims that he is doing what’s best for the American people, yet there continues to be protest after protest. It’s disheartening to see the White House trying to undo steps that were put into place to help protect our planet and the health of its inhabitants. If there is any silver lining, it that there are many cities (and even a few states) around the country that are coming together to uphold the standards and goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Often it is conflict or tragedy that unites people and I am hopeful that President Trump’s move to leave the PCA will inspire Americans to take steps to be more eco-conscious on their own, even if it just to spite that wig wearing Cheeto.

I think America is already pretty great. Let’s protect this one planet we have, and Make America Deep Again.

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Marie-France Roy snowboarding Sean Black photography
Photo: Sean Black

Marie-France Roy

It is hard for me to comprehend how so many of us seem to have lost our most natural and vital connections to the Earth. Prioritizing a fictive reality of short term profits over our most essential needs for a healthy environment, clean water, air and food for all living species is unarguably bound to fail over time.

Some say that this is part of the evolution cycle that we have to go through as humans and they may be absolutely right. But to hopelessly ignore the issue seems like the most pathetic approach at a chance to resolve humanity’s biggest challenge yet at a very critical time with so much to lose.

I honestly think that we are such smart and compassionate beings and able of so much better. I will forever remain hopeful that the bright side will come together and fight for what matters most.

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Gray Thompson snowboarding Paris Climate Agreement Kieth Rutherford photography
Photo: Kieth Rutherford

Gray Thompson

Trump cut the rope.

We were trying to climb to safety but now we’re falling into a deep, dark hole. The rest of our team is at the surface trying to help us. They can encourage us to hang on, but the darkness grows as Trump’s weight pulls us further down.

We want to live!

We have families; people who need us. It would be selfish to give up, to die on the mountain. So we put our minds together, focus and fight; tooth and nail, up to the light. Hope sparks, we feel a new sense of strength.

We are in this crevasse together, no matter who pulled the blade.

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Nick Russell snowboarding Paris Climate Agreement Eric Messier
Photo: Eric Messier

Nick Russell

To be perfectly honest, prior to this last election I was quite uneducated in terms of what was really going on in the world. It wasn’t until Trump started gaining traction in the polls that I started regularly reading the news and becoming aware of the frightening possibilities should he be elected.

Over the last several months, those fears have become reality.

For us snowboarders, climate change is not simply a matter of a shorter winter season. It is a matter of human rights and sustainability, and WILL affect our entire planet. I’m not a scientist, nor do I have all the numbers to battle the nay-sayers in a debate, but the facts are out there and are simply undeniable.

While Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement is both ignorant and disheartening, it has brought on a revolution. This is our call to arms. To see the vast majority of American citizens and state level politicians standing up against the Trump administration is our silver lining. We all need to be outspoken and engage conversation with friends and family in order to spread the flame. Sign petitions, call your state governors, go to rallies. Think globally, act locally.

There are more of US than them.

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