Donor Profile: An Interview with Carol Sontag

I.  Tell us about yourself!

I was raised by amazing parents in San Carlos, CA. Involved in numerous environmental causes, Mom and Dad taught us to be stewards of the land and that conservation was of the utmost importance. I guess you could say that concern for the environment is in my blood.  I am an avid hiker and am working on completing the Bay Area Ridge Trail with a group of local women. My husband, Mark, and I realize how lucky we are to live in an area where conservation and preservation is a primary focus, and we support many environmental causes. I became interested in climate change after seeing Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" and installed solar panels on our home after seeing the movie. I follow news stories closely and try to learn about the many causes of climate change.

II. Why do you support Ice911?

This is a great question and one that goes back to my days at a registered nurse at a county hospital. Nurses are trained to prioritize care and make those with life-threatening ailments a top priority. I have tried to use these skills in determining where to put my time and resources. I support many worthwhile causes, but Ice911 addresses the most important and pressing environmental issue: global temperature rise. If the earth continues to heat up, the effects will be catastrophic.  I often use the analogy of moving deck furniture on the Titanic. Instead of shuffling chairs around, someone needs to focus on sealing the hole in the ship! In a sense, our planet is sinking, and we need to address the loss of the Arctic ice NOW.

III. What is the most compelling aspect of our work?

I think the most important park of Ice911's mission is their defining principles. The first of these is, "Do no harm." Ice brightening sand used in your work is safe for humans and animals and is reversible. This is something of utmost importance to me.

IV. What gave you the idea for the letter-writing campaign?

I receive numerous emails from many worthy organizations, but they lack direct human to human appeal. I thought if I could reach people and write a personal message, they might take the time out of their busy day to read and respond to the importance of what Ice911 is doing.

V.  What would be your advice to others who might consider doing the same type of campaign?

I would highly encourage them to do so. It has sparked some incredible discussions and also offered hope to many who are paralyzed with fear at the thought that, "there is nothing we can do." There are many things that can be done, and Ice911 buys our planet time to switch to greener energy sources and work on reducing CO2 emissions. By reaching out to friends and loved ones, you offer them the chance to help, to act. This type of support could help leave a world for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

VI. Any last thoughts?

I want people to know that Ice911 might just be the single most important environmental organization of our time. You would be joining forces with a movement that could alter the course of the earth in a positive direction. Ice911 has taught me to be optimistic, to stay positive and keep my eye on the ultimate goal: slowing the Arctic ice melt. There are many bumps along the road of research and development, but we must never give up hope. We must continue to fight for this beautiful world we live in.