This article was written by Jordan Freytag and paid for by Creative Energies.
JACKSON, Wyoming — We sat down with ski legend Kit Deslauriers in her beautiful home in the foothills of the Grand Teton Mountains to talk about her love of the natural world, her history of conservation, and why. . It was essential for Kit and Rob to install solar panels on their home.
As Kit prepares for a two-week backpacking trip, it’s raining lightly that day. She was stocking up on lightweight water filters when I arrived for the interview.
A quick glance at Kit’s long list of incredible accomplishments proves that she is a very ambitious person. She is the first person to ski her seven summits of the world. She worked as a search and rescue patrol for several years. She rehabilitated her wolves in her early twenties. she is a mason She recently wrote a book about her adventures around the world. The list goes on. We read at length about her environmental life, how and why she came to do what she did, and what role the solar industry plays in it all. talked.
Of course, my first stage of research was where does this motivation come from?
Kit Deslauriers (KD): It is up to each of us to make our life what we want it to be. Honestly, I’m making it up as I go. Change is the only constant and I like to balance thinking big and being in the moment. everyone has their own.
The work of environmental stewardship is my appreciation for the natural world and understanding that we humans are part of it. we are an important part of that. We belong here, but the natural world itself does not need us. I need it. That’s what we need to take care of.
Although her family has a history of loving sports, DesLauriers affirms that her love of the outdoors and the natural world took precedence over her love of skiing. Her grandfather and her father were avid outdoorsmen and skiers in the mountains of Vermont. Her awareness and affinity for the natural world has always been a part of her, and skiing is a big part of it, but being a steward of the environment has always been a priority.
In recent years, DesLauriers has worked with Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This 19.6 million acre of tundra gave her a glimpse of nature’s eternal power and sharpened her awareness that she must strive to maintain it at all costs.
KDs: Our first trip there felt this was the perfect starting natural world. It’s no different than when our ancestors came to this continent. Over time, I became more informed and intimate about the relationship between the indigenous peoples who depended on the land and the wildlife that lived there. They live a traditional life based on the health of the caribou, who migrate to the coastal plains of the Arctic reserve each spring to give birth. The Gwich’in live on the southern side of the range, but since the 2017 tax law, the area has been open for oil and gas drilling. Caribou runs through Gwich’in’ land, so it became a piece of social justice for me, too. It’s all intertwined, including the first nationals.
Interesting supplement. In 2012, I was a volunteer glacier researcher in the high mountains of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for PHD glaciologist Dr. Matt Nolan. He took a core sample and took it to a lab in Colorado. From several cores in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at McCall Glacier, we were able to see changes in fine particles in glacial ice that are directly related to air cleaning activities. So the law can go both ways. In many cases it comes down to jobs because they don’t want to take jobs away from the traditional oil and gas industry. But what I can say is that there are jobs in the renewable energy sector. And losing a job in the renewable energy sector is something I personally experienced.
As a teenager, DesLauriers’ father entered the solar industry working at Pierson Yachts, which was acquired by Grummen Allied Industries. In the late 70’s, Gramen developed a solar division where his father became a salesman and eventually decided to move his family to the western United States.
KDs: He was there early and Solar really took off around that time. There may have been earliest subsidies for residential consumers and businesses. I was too young to know the details, but it was an industry that started to take off as a result. Because there are subsidies. By 1979, his work had forced him to travel quite a bit. At that point, we were living on the coast of Long Island. And he oversaw the western sales team and brought him to Arizona. When he went there he thought, “Wow, this place is going to be a nice, fun, adventurous change for our family!” It was the first branch. Unfortunately, the change of government that year changed the solar industry dramatically. Under the Carter administration, subsidies for solar power were implemented. At that point, the future of solar power looked bright. We just moved to Arizona and my dad basically lost his job. life goes on. Change is the only constant.
It was an interesting first exposure to the photovoltaic industry. I also learned how important laws and policies are to compensate people for the huge investment in starting solar power. Solar Coaster has directly impacted our family.
The term “solar coaster” is used to describe the ever-changing landscape of solar power, both in terms of policy and technology. Over the decades, solar solutions have come under scrutiny. Solar initiatives face considerable resistance as they are introduced. has become unpredictable at best. The Inflation Reduction Act has given more communities and individuals long-term incentives to adopt clean solar energy to power their homes and establishments.
These unpredictable changes made me curious whether solar power had always been a goal for DesLauriers, despite the meager incentives that existed at the time.
KDs: It has always been my goal to have solar power installed in a house that I would like to own one day. I studied Environmental Politics at university. I have always cared deeply for the natural world. The concept of justice is his one of motivation for me. These world changes are very evident to me. As humans, we must do all we can to take advantage of the renewable natural resources that the world has to offer us.
We looked at Geothermal, which is a great idea. Where we live, I think he could run Geothermal the entire house, but the initial infrastructure costs were too high. Terrain and soil that must be dug up. It was too much. Then we looked at solar and how much solar you can have in your home. So we set some amount, knowing that we’ll eventually add solar later.
After spending even a short time with DesLauriers, it’s safe to say she’s dedicated to doing the right thing for the natural world. She is acutely aware that the challenges of being a steward of the environment can conflict with being a member of modern society.
KDs: After studying environmental politics, I lived in a small cabin in the woods of Ophir, Colorado. Then I decided to hide my head under a rock and live the bare minimum, so I became a stonemason and a ski patrol. Because the future does not look bright for our environmental situation. That was in the 1990’s. I have always tried to balance the realization that we all have footprints with the way I choose to live. It’s part of the reason I’m here. I am a member of the Writers Union. And in those early days there was a lot of talk (and there probably still is ). go on an expedition. The reality we must remember is that we leave a certain footprint on this planet and there are ways to reduce it. . Do what you can where you can. Sometimes that means lending your voice to ideal laws that help us all be on a better path, sometimes it’s installing solar in your home, sometimes it’s driving an electric car. That was my dream for a while when I built this house. “I want an electric car, so I want to charge it with a solar panel.” If I can power at least some of our cars and homes with solar, I feel like I’m doing something good.
The thing to consider is that it feels good when you do something that contributes to the greater good. It also makes me feel better as a human being. I know it’s doing the right thing. I believe the sun is the same.
About her history and knowledge of the solar industry, why did she choose to work with Creative Energies on this project? I was happy to hear that.
KDs: I don’t know if there were many other options at the time, but I liked Andy Tyson. I really appreciate who Andy Tyson is. I didn’t know him very well, but I counted him as a friend. was a mountain spirit. You mentioned expeditionary action earlier, and I can only imagine it came directly from Andy Tyson.
“Expedition Behavior” is part of three short phrases that act as guides for Creative Energies, the others being “Be Authentic” and “Master Your Craft.” Kit is the perfect example of someone who has practiced expeditionary action throughout her life, and she defined it perfectly as we conclude our conversation.
KDs: If you are considering a large expedition. It happens when you step in, both in planning and training. Learner’s mind. Kindness and compassion – that’s a big part of expedition behavior.