Anyone who spends time in wild nature knows that climate change is already impacting on the places we love. While for decades the primary political work of outdoor enthusiasts was to campaign for the protection of wild places through the creation of national parks and other reserves, now we need to also respond to the existential threat posed by unbridled climate change.
Older groups are shifting their focus to include acting on climate. For instance, the Wilderness Society, which has led so many campaigns to protect wild landscapes here in Australia, now has a strong focus on climate change. The wintersports group Protect our Winters (POW) is doing valuable work mobilising the skiing and riding communities and focusing them on decision makers.
Now another outdoor focused group – Adventurers for Climate Action – brings together the combined efforts of 10 organisations.
Adventurers for Climate Action say:
‘The outdoor recreation community has a powerful voice with lawmakers. Climate change is an urgent threat, and we must join together to demand climate solutions. We have to make sure that our kids have the same opportunities to play outside and enjoy our wild places. Together, we can ensure a future with clean air and water, protected land, renewable energy, and economic growth. It won’t happen without us.
Adventurers operates as a coalition of organisations:
‘Outdoor Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of national advocacy organizations that includes American Whitewater, American Canoe Association, Access Fund, International Mountain Bicycling Association, Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Mountaineers, the American Alpine Club, the Mazamas, the Colorado Mountain Club, and the Surfrider Foundation. We are the only organization in the U.S. that unites the voices of outdoor enthusiasts to conserve public lands and ensure those lands are managed in a way that embraces the human-powered experience’.
They currently focus attention on putting pressure on law makers to act:
‘Climate change is a major challenge facing our world today. As an outdoor enthusiast, I’m also concerned about the effect s of climate change on the outdoor landscapes and outdoor pursuits I love. From wildfires to flooding to drought to more intense storms, the changing climate is having wide-reaching impacts for Americans, including those like me who like to get outside.
I am asking you to take immediate action to address climate change. This is a nonpartisan issue that affects all of us, including the millions of Americans who get outside each year and the thriving outdoor recreation economy that depends on healthy lands and waters’.
They are campaigning in support of renewable energy, including offshore renewables, and land conservation initiatives.
For further information, please check their website.
[IMAGE: Mike Erskine]