#WitnessingChange: The Last Chance by Everett Sapp

Our friends at the Climate Cost Project just launched the winning video for their WitnessingChange Video Competition open to high schoolers. The topic? Everett Sapp talks about how his passion — cross country skiing — is impacted by climate change in the Adirondacks. Below is more information from the Climate Cost Project on Everett and, of course, the video. Thanks for covering this important topic, Everett!

EVERETT SAPP is a competitive cross-country skier, who has grown up skiing in the Adirondack Mountains. Though only a recent high school graduate, he has noticed changes in his environment since he was child. The video below, which Everett filmed, produced, and directed, tells the story of his family and teammates, and how the diminishing snow has impacted the sport they love. The personal stories and  footage are strong testimony to how climate change is affecting us now.

Everett’s film won first place for the high school category in the Witnessing Change Video Competition. The Climate Cost Project, which organized the competition, is a nonprofit dedicated to using bottom-up storytelling and data collection to highlight the impacts that climate change is having in America today.

As Protect Our Winters is keenly aware, one of those significant impacts is the loss of snow. Last year in the Adirondacks, where Everett’s film was made, was a hard year for snow cover. According to the Adirondack Almanac, ticket sales at Gore, Whiteface, and Van Hovenberg Mountains were down due to low snowpack.

What is missing from these data points, however, is what this change means culturally and personally to individuals who have grown up skiing. The video captures the sense of dislocation and concern felt by people whose current experience of the environment around them no longer matches their memory. This is part of what helped make Everette’s video a winner for the Witnessing Change Video Competition, which seeks to elevate storytellers that use personal experiences to illuminate the high-level statistics that we often seen in the news.

Everett’s film so beautifully captures the urgency and humanity of the problem, but it is also a stirring call to action. As Americans, we are all citizens of a major emitting country, and so have an unusual power when it comes to climate change. We can call on our leaders to take action to protect the natural heritage that is so abundant in the United States.