There’s Love for our Earth

Couinard with his rock climbing equipment

Tom Frost

Couinard with his rock climbing equipment

Bella Smith, Photojournalist

Patagonia has been around for half a century, and despite only maintaining 70 store locations worldwide, the outdoors company has grown into a favorite among nature lovers. Recently, the owner, Yvon Chouinard, has given the company a way to fight against climate change! Worth around 3 billion dollars, rather than selling the company Yvon transferred their ownership to a nonprofit organization. Their future profits of an estimated $100 million a year along with the 3 billion dollars will be put towards bettering our earth. 

Outside of his company ownership, Yvon Chouinard is best known for being a rock climber, surfer, environmentalist, and philanthropist. During the “Golden age of Yosemite Climbing”, he was one of the leading climbers, even making it as a protagonist of a film from the era Valley Uprising (2014). With his background in mind, creating an outdoor company centered around giving back to what he adored was important from the start.

If we continue to use fossil fuels, the entire ozone layer can be destroyed ”

— Danielle Grimes (12)

Some have disapproved of the massive donation questioning whether climate change is such a worthwhile cause considering the issues we face today. When there’s money and billionaires involved, the backlash is no surprise, but despite the negativity, its a lot easier to see things in a more simple and positive light- the owner is an outdoors lover so donating to a cause that touched his heart was no surprise. It’s a huge step for protecting our planet. 

The urgency of climate change is what’s most scary. Of the 5-6 million years that we’ve been around on our earth, our last 3 centuries generation could be the cause of our earth’s downfall. According to a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it could be irreversible by 2030. It’s not just rising sea levels. According to NPR, nearly 17 million animals died in Brazil’s 2020 wildfires- it’s the innocent animals that have either lost their lives or have become extinct. Nearly 500 animals have gone extinct over the last 100 years.   “Every day at least 80,000 acres of forest vanish” that’s nearly 9,000 average-sized malls worth of forest a day. With that in mind, the donation seems to have come at no better timing. 

Nature’s a refreshing escape with a unique atmosphere that could bring a fit to almost anyone, like a comforting feeling of understanding. Even just a walk along your local forest can offer an adventurous curiosity for what’s to come! Donations like that of Yvon’s have a huge impact. Although we aren’t billionaires with millions of green to fill vast amounts of land green, together we are the impact. Progress is hard to come by but knowing that we’re finally starting up in the right direction really gives a sense of comfort!