/ Can you be a climber and have an enviromental conceince

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SCrossley on 02 Oct 2012
Hi,
a lot of climbers I meet seem pretty ethical and well into recycling, and many are fully aware of the effects of climate change from first hand experience of retreating glaciers and our own strange weather, warmer winters and wetter summers.
Yet climbers generally have a much larger than nescesarry carbon footprint, flying 2 or 3 or more times a year and driving large mileages to climb several feet of rock, all totally avoidable and massive users of fossil fuels and emitters of carbon.
So how many climbers have the right to say they are doing their bit to save the planet.
In Rock Talk as I think it is relevant and an issue that should be addressed by all climbers, but up to you Alan.
Cheers sjc
andyathome - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
Yes.
Only a hill - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
You make very good points and I often think this is something every climber has to come to terms with him or herself (if they are concerned with such things at all). For my part, I have been an 'Easyjet Alpinist' before, but to counter that I have made a deliberate point of not owning a car.
The Lemming - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

You are quite right about all this ethical stuff.

Think I'll take up car racing instead.
Mark Torrance on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

Yes, but only if you can handle the associated guilt. One of the ways of deadening this is to just talk to other climbers - if everyone else is short-haul flying, driving miles, it can't be that bad, can it? UKC even has an aeroplane as its Destinations icon. Another way is to point at anyone who does question the prevailing ethic and say things like "So are you going to get rid of your car then?"; "We're not as bad as ....[insert slightly more environmentally problematic pastime]".

Personally, I have an unacceptably high carbon footprint. However, I kind of think it's better to admit this than try to argue it away.
dutybooty - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc: I don't particularly care.
mrbird - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc: I think Steve Hughes hits the nail on the head when it comes to climate change. Governments will run around the world shooting depleted uranium at each other and testing nukes under the ocean but want us to sit at home with special lightbulbs and a bag for life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGuU4xe225A
The New NickB - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

Many climbers don't fly three times a year and rack up thousands of road miles to climb.
shaun stephens - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> Many climbers don't fly three times a year and rack up thousands of road miles to climb.

whilst many may not fly 3 time s yera I think the point about the amount of miles travelled to get to venues is one well made. If you think that the majority of climbers will probably (cant say for definite) live in an urban area and that most climbing takes place in the rural areas then yes their must be a great deal of mileage racked up by the average climber each year. On top of this not all towns have climbing walls so most people have tp travel a decent distance to access one then you can see where the "miles' are gained. As someone who does care about the environment without being an eco warrior I think that one of the ways that this could be adressed would be for the bmc to lobby for greater access to public transport to areassuch as 'the pass', Ogwen, Langdale, borrowdale, Peak areas. I know this has probably been said before but also it is down to us as climbers to play our part. It isnt the end of your life to walk further to your next climb nor is it a case that your manhood will drop off if you go to the crag (as many did years ago) on a bike. Lets just think a little. Good post sjc. ps.. good party as well. :)
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

Your decisions about whether you're going to do something environmentally unfriendly or not are balanced against how much you'll benefit from that doing that thing. Not many people will sacrifice something they really want for the sake of an infinitesimal contribution to towards slowing down climate change or whatever, but I think it's only fair to sacrifice the stuff you don't really want. I don't really want loads of packaging and carrier bags so I try to do without them. But I do really want to drive to Gogarth and back so I do.

People who can't be bothered to lessen their impact on the environment by doing/not doing things at no or minimal cost to them are just horribly lazy. And people who sacrifice things they really want for the sake of being environmentally friendly just don't exist, IME.
Enty - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird:
> (In reply to sjc) I think Steve Hughes hits the nail on the head when it comes to climate change. Governments will run around the world shooting depleted uranium at each other and testing nukes under the ocean but want us to sit at home with special lightbulbs and a bag for life.
>

And India has 455 coal fired power stations in the pipeline.

How does me not flying to Kalymnos make any difference?

E

mrbird - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Enty: Because that flight will be taking off whether youre on it or not. Difference being a grinning climber on their way to a lovely cosy destination for some lovely climbing. Global warming is a load of shite in my opinion.
stonemaster - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc: Nt sure how totally avoidable it is not to fly to, for example, the Himalayas if you want to do the big one. Are you suggesting all climbers should move to within walking distance of the crags? Some climbers make an extra effort not to use their cars for short trips, for example. Obviously, the most efficient way for climbers to eliminate their carbon footprint is for them to top themselves using a carbon neutral method. Good topic.
mrbird - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to stonemaster: Great idea. Im going to hang myself starkers with a biodegradeable hemp rope. Thatll stop the ice caps melting.
stonemaster - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird: Not sure if that will stop the icecaps or glaciers melting. It'll reduce the general carbon footprint, though, and most certainly eliminate yours.
mrbird - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to stonemaster: Im going to see if anybody wants to buy all my "bags for life" first.
stonemaster - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird: Amazing, the number of these that one picks up off the streets.
herrettscott - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc: Do climbers really have a generally larger than necessary carbon footprint? This is a guess, but I would say people who follow and play in football teams up and down the country each weekend will have a far larger footprint, not to mention all the throw away merchandise, food etc. that gets consumed within football grounds. Also golfers I would assume have a large footprint, courses are pretty much a leisure version of an intensively farmed piece of land.

I think its something climbers need to be aware of, as with the rest of the population because this subject is going to form part of our every day life for years to come.
mrbird - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to stonemaster: Just shows how much our beloved country is going down the pan. Even our loyal bags for life are homeless.
herrettscott - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird: Please enlighten me on your wisdom, are you about to publish a ground breaking scientific paper debunking many of the brightest scientific minds of our era?(and believe it or not some are even paid by oil companies)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19047501
James Oswald - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird:
> (In reply to Enty) Because that flight will be taking off whether youre on it or not.

Yes, that flight will. But your decision to buy a flight or not to buy a flight will impact on the airline's future decisions as to how many flights to run. To a very small extent anyway.
andyathome - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

LOOK! I've told you. You CAN be a climber and have an environmental conscience. No argument.

End of.

We do not always listen to our conscience.......
mrbird - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to herrettscott: No. I personally think its a load of shite. Climate change is something that has been happening for as long as the earth has existed, ice ages for example. But dinosaur farts melted them. Dont believe everything youre told. Remember the brightest sparks of the 50`s were telling people that smoking was good for them.
James Oswald - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

I completely believe in the science behind global warming but I think that just saying "I'm going to fly less" isn't the answer to helping solve it.

People really need to rally/ support politicians that implement carbon taxes, green technology subsidies and the economic policies that incentivise consumers and producers to alter there behaviour to be more environmentally friendly. This really needs to happen across many countries. Personally, I think democracy is far to short-termist a system for this to happen.

The Lemming - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

Should I also re-cycle my shopping bags, because I feel dirty asking for new ones every time I go shopping?

mrbird - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to The Lemming: I`ll sell you some bags for life....
Mark Torrance on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Enty:


Wrong sum, Enty (obviously). How many Indians are served by 455 power plants? Some very large number. The impact per person is going to be massively less than your jaunts to Kalymnos.

A much (much) smaller number of people not flying would offset the negative effects of third world power stations. And even then its a trade off between their necessity and your (our) luxury.

Fly if you want to, but don't use the fact that other people are also contributing to global warming as an excuse.
Skip - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> Should I also re-cycle my shopping bags, because I feel dirty asking for new ones every time I go shopping?

Use them as rubbish bags/bin liners.
SCrossley on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Enty: I think if you compared your Carbon Footprint of Probably around 11 Tonnes of CO2 or maybe well more if you get to the states once a year as well as a Kaly trip, with the average Indains of maybe 5 or so Tonnes I think they have a long way to go.
It just interests me that many climbers do seem on the surface to be a more enviromentally friendly and better informed group when infact it appears they are not at all, and are either ignorant or uncaring of the damage they are doing to the enviroment that so many claim to cherish.
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird:
> Dont believe everything youre told. Remember the brightest sparks of the 50`s were telling people that smoking was good for them.

Don't believe everything your told by people with a vested interest and no evidence to back it up. Do believe everything your told when there's a consensus built on heaps and heaps of evidence.

Don't try an use scientific arguments (the mention of ice ages) when you have no knowledge to enter a debate.

It annoys me when people, especially politicians, think it's somehow valid to have an opinion on something which is a matter of science. You can debate a lot of stuff without a background in it, like whether you think fat people should get benefits or whatever, but you can't debate matters which have already been decided by years of scientific study. Well you can, but it's meaningless and an unhelpful waste of time (Michael Portilio, if you're reading...)

If you want to argue against an enormous accumulation of scientific evidence, you have to bring something pretty special to the table. I'm not getting that impression.

SCrossley on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to The Lemming: To be honest I know you just spout tripe on here most of the time, but one thing you are consisitent on is your socialisim, and an enviromental awareness and making a personal sacrifice of a few less trips could probably be one of the most socialist things you could do, in the context of the global community.
SCrossley on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> Many climbers don't fly three times a year and rack up thousands of road miles to climb.

The ones I know do, and I do.
The New NickB - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
> (In reply to The Lemming) To be honest I know you just spout tripe on here most of the time, but one thing you are consisitent on is your socialisim, and an enviromental awareness and making a personal sacrifice of a few less trips could probably be one of the most socialist things you could do, in the context of the global community.

You think Lemming is a socialist?!
The Lemming - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

Nope.

Me scooting around the world isn't going to make a jot of difference to saving the planet.

Maybe you could have a chat with the growing economies of China and India before you step off your moral soapbox over a few thousand climbers who pootle round the country or further afield relaxing?
The New NickB - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> The ones I know do, and I do.

It's your fault then.
The Lemming - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to sjc)
> [...]
>
> You think Lemming is a socialist?!

I'm a complicated little rodent.

But only my woman understands me.

:-)
herrettscott - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird: Problem for me is that I didn't 6 years ago, hence why I've spent that last 5 years studying the subject. I understand your scepticism your not the only person obviously, but I would argue the smoking analogy doesn't quite cut it.

The science and modelling of our climate has been around for over 30 years now (still a very short time in terms of geological history) however the models are becoming more and more refined with accurate observations especially with increased computing power.

I only wish I could believe its a load of bollocks, but the science is their for all to see if people only choose to look. Obviously its a subject you feel strongly about otherwise you wouldn't have posted. So I urge you to examine the data/source material/papers yourself. The Royal Society website is a start.....oh and your right climate change has been happening for as long as the earth has existed..so unless you have a time machine with a thermometer why do you choose to believe the science behind this and not anthropogenic climate change.
SCrossley on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
>
>
> .
>
> Maybe you could have a chat with the growing economies of China and India before you step off your moral soapbox over a few thousand climbers who pootle round the country or further afield relaxing?

The Average Chinese, Indian or Sub Sahran African has a long long way to go before they get anywhere near our eco damage, or would you rather they do not improve their lifestyles and die in their thousands so long as you can do what you want when you want.
Mark Torrance on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>I don't really want loads of packaging and carrier bags so I try to do >without them. But I do really want to drive to Gogarth and back so I do.

There is a nutshell is why we are not going to do anything to halt global warming. We (and I absolutely include myself in this) are prepared to make minor adjustments to our consumption just so long as it doesn't impinge on our fun (package holidays, big cars, trips to Gogarth, whatever). And because the government and opposition know that we have this attitude they are never going to commit to the sort of changes necessary to actually make a difference.

mrbird - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart: Im just saying I think its a load of nonsense and why I thought it was a load of nonsense. Considering modern science has been studying this less than a hundred years in a world that they cant actually date I reckon its more theory than truth.
James Oswald - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

I think it would be really interesting to know whether climbers on UKC have a higher per capita carbon emissions than the average person in the industrialised world...

It's pretty obvious that we're going to have much her per capita emissions than people in India/ China do on a per capita basis, due to the fact that we are far richer on average and therefore have much higher levels of consumption.
The Lemming - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

Was that a statement or question?

I'm just one of 60,000,000 trying to rub along in this country.

Personally I don't need to do some personal Middle Class vanity 'soul searching' to clear my consciounce just because I try to better my life by living the consumerist life style.

A few climbers going here, there and everywhere is just pissing into the wind when you think about it.
SCrossley on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to shaun stephens:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
> [...]
>
> As someone who does care about the environment without being an eco warrior I think that one of the ways that this could be adressed would be for the bmc to lobby for greater access to public transport to areassuch as 'the pass', Ogwen, Langdale, borrowdale, Peak areas.

Just look at peoples attitude towards paying to park in these areas, like spoilt children, object to paying 4 or 5 quid to park, but will pay it for beer

It isnt the end of your life to walk further to your next climb nor is it a case that your manhood will drop off if you go to the crag (as many did years ago) on a bike.

Talking to a mate the other day who thought nothing of walking from Torver to Esk Buttress, but then he also soloed Eliminate A and B in woolworths pumps on the same day
Good post sjc. ps.. good party as well. :)
It was great, whens yours ;-)
SCrossley on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
>
> A few climbers going here, there and everywhere is just pissing into the wind when you think about it.


Every great journey starts with the first step, if you think about it.
stonemaster - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
> [...]
>
> The Average Chinese, Indian or Sub Sahran African has a long long way to go before they get anywhere near our eco damage

That may be true but they vastly outnumber us so that the total carbon footprint is more. As a region or country these will have a far bigger footprint. Not saying that they don't deserve a better standard of living. In all likelihood, if the projections of the climate scientists are anywhere accurate, the human race is doomed along with vast numbers of species. <sticks head between knees and kisses butt goodbye>
herrettscott - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to stonemaster: Using this argument is very short sighted, it is true that the spike in energy that the likes of India and China have consumed in the last 25 years is a result of increasing populations and a minor part of their population becoming more affluent. However lets not kid ourselves by using China and India as reasons for not acting. Remember we in the west outsource our manufacturing to these countries in exchange for cheap "stuff" we consume at ever increasing levels.
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to sjc)

> Me scooting around the world isn't going to make a jot of difference to saving the planet.
>
> Maybe you could have a chat with the growing economies of China and India before you step off your moral soapbox over a few thousand climbers who pootle round the country or further afield relaxing?

Best thing that can be done for our kids and grandkids is work out how to run a low-carbon economy. It's useful for demand for high carbon stuff to be replaced with demand for low-carbon stuff (to be incredibly simplistic), and consumer choices can play a part in that.

By changing demand, the development of low-carbon stuff will speed up, and the prices of low-carbon products will fall. It could in some cases become more efficient to do things in a low-carbon way, which China etc would adopt out of competitiveness. But either way, once things are really f^cked so that everyone, including India and China have to do something out of short-term self interest, having all the technology and policy responses ready to go will be a big advantage.

The alternative of taking no interest in moving towards a low-carbon economy in consumer choices is just to be unhelpful to future generations. I don't think it's realistic to ask people to make significant sacrifices, but I do think there's a point in making carbon footprint a factor in consumer choices.
Jon Stewart - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) Im just saying I think its a load of nonsense and why I thought it was a load of nonsense. Considering modern science has been studying this less than a hundred years

>in a world that they cant actually date

Eh?

>I reckon its more theory than truth.

Are there any other matters of scientific consensus that you think are more theory than truth. Now we've got heaps of evidence, do you reckon that smoking causes cancer, or do you think science might change its mind about that and go back to the old theory that it was good for you? After all, you haven't studied the evidence yourself, you're just believing what you're told? How about the earth going round the sun? Is there sufficient evidence for that? Or what about viruses causing colds? What's your threshold of evidence that makes you think "yeah I believe that one" but "no, I reckon that's just a theory, not enough proof yet"?
alan_davies - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to mrbird)
> [...]
>
> And India has 455 coal fired power stations in the pipeline.
>
> How does me not flying to Kalymnos make any difference?
>
> E

Do you vote at all?
butteredfrog - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

There was a much quoted article out the other year that stated "the single biggest weapon against climate change is the condom".
stonemaster - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to herrettscott:
> (In reply to stonemaster) Using this argument is very short sighted, it is true that the spike in energy that the likes of India and China have consumed in the last 25 years is a result of increasing populations and a minor part of their population becoming more affluent. However lets not kid ourselves by using China and India as reasons for not acting. Remember we in the west outsource our manufacturing to these countries in exchange for cheap "stuff" we consume at ever increasing levels.

And your solution is...?
birdie num num - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to butteredfrog:
> (In reply to sjc)
>
> There was a much quoted article out the other year that stated "the single biggest weapon against climate change is the condom".

The only time Num Num ever bought any condoms was from a machine in a pub toilet that was selling flavoured ones in assorted packets of three. they were delicious, Num Num couldn't wait and scoffed all of them on the way home.
SCrossley on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to stonemaster:
> (In reply to herrettscott)
> [...]
>
> And your solution is...?

Excellent question. Governments across the world are wrestling with this one. I`ll tell you what it isn`t, burning vast amounts of fossil fuels and releasing massive amounts of carbon for fleeting moments of personal gratification.
Maybe a start would be education, try using this carbon calculator http://carboncalculator.direct.gov.uk/index.html and have a look at the effect some of your lifestyle choices make on the amount of Carbon you produce.
Butteredfrog
Condoms, very trite, in India there is no welfare state to back you up when old or ill, and as it is very likely that some of your children will die, and the only people who will look after you when your old or ill are your children, it does make sense to have more children, I suspect you know someone very well who could tell you all about conditions in India.
Cheers sjc
stonemaster - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc: Make a start all you like. Tipping point may coming sooner than any start is likely to have any real effect. Climate has changed and will continue to change. Question is can current life style in the developed world change enough to balance the aspiration for improved standard of living in the developing world? Seems unlikely in the face of present political will, or lack thereof. <runs around, the sky is falling, etc> Agree the burning and using fossil fuels at current rates. But climbers are but a tiny part of a very large whole. One big football match is likely to out carbon footprint all climbers cragging on any particular weekend. And you cannot disagree that there are more than one big football match a week. <doomed, all doomed>
stonemaster - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to stonemaster: 'is more than' not 'are' sorry.,
SCrossley on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to stonemaster:
> (In reply to sjc) <runs around, the sky is falling, etc> Agree the burning and using fossil fuels at current rates. But climbers are but a tiny part of a very large whole. . <doomed, all doomed>

Yes we are all only a tiny part and can only do our tiny bit, it`s called society, an Ant gets it, do you?
MJ - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to birdie num num:

The only time Num Num ever bought any condoms was from a machine in a pub toilet that was selling flavoured ones in assorted packets of three. they were delicious, Num Num couldn't wait and scoffed all of them on the way home.

Were you posh and have them with cream?
James Oswald - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

"it does make sense to have more children"


I'm not sure that the evidence supports this last sentence. Having more children tends to lead to them gain less education each and as a result less likely to support you when you retire. The evidence is discussed in here. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poor-Economics-Barefoot-Hedge-fund-Surprising/dp/0718193660
stonemaster - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
> (In reply to stonemaster)
> [...]
>
an Ant gets it, do you?

<sigh>
herrettscott - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to stonemaster: Obviously the solution is not that simple re-evaluting how we consume, travel and use energy at home with the goal of reducing is a start...Also do we really have to camp outside shops to purchase a new telephone...

I do think people owe it to themselves to better understand the subject thoroughly, if not how is one to accept the changes to our lifestyles that will no doubt come
ads.ukclimbing.com
Sir Chasm - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to herrettscott: Of course people don't have to camp out for a new phone, neither do they need to go to Spain, France, Italy or Australia to climb on some rocks.
drmarten on 03 Oct 2012
If having an environmental conscience means restricting where I go on holiday, driving less, buying a 'bag' to shop with and supporting windfarms then I don't have nor want an environmental conscience.
rgd1977 - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc: I feel no guilt whatsoever in flying twice a year to climb, makes me feel very happy to get away from our sh?!e weather!
Offwidth - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

Yes. You can also have a clean conscience or a guilty one. Mine is the later. However I work hard and support tax systems on my travel that help counter the 'damage' of flying and driving. Plus I recognise a sudden complete rejection of the way transport opperates would send us into a new dark age. The trouble is, I suspect we are heading into very deep trouble as globalised capitalist systems seem intent on ignoring the limits on several key geo-political resources (fresh water, oil or whatever) and efficiently weaponising the world so each country can do more about maintaining 'their fair share'. There is hope in science (techniques are possible to counter global warming, yet I suspect its almost impossible to counter the consumption) When we mix capitalist drive with heavily lobbied politics, the ignorance of the populace will deliver and you get enough Mr Birds to halt change. So in a sense those with conscience are genuinly pissing into the wind on global issues (things like bags make a good local difference).

That global warming has a significant man-made element is almost as certain as such science gets, the possible future(s)arising from this unchecked, are most likely bad to terrible. I'm saying this as a scientist and a critic on the way climate change science has sometimes been presented to the public by some of the scientists involved: a little too much 'belief' at times for something that should be about the current best developed models to fit the data.
Sir Chasm - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Offwidth: Do you think mrbird is worse for the environment than you are? Or is your carbon footprint in some way better because you don't deny climate change?
Al Evans on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm: Can you live in a town or a city and have an enviromental concience? Don't you think Sheffield or Birmingham et al have done far more damage to the enviroment than climbers have ever done.
Sir Chasm - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Al Evans: Why would you think a resident of Sheffield damages the environment more than an inhabitant of Bradwell?
Noelle - on 03 Oct 2012
I think this really comes down to money. Probably an obvious thing to say, but humour me.

I can't afford to fly out and have a climbing holiday three times a year. It would be nice! If I had the money to do that though, I'd look into using ferries rather than planes etc. That would take extra days of travel, however, and again comes down to time off work ie money. And I'd also try to choose destinations that actively looked after the local environment and communities.

When I lived in the UK, going to crags again came down to money. Some places are easy to get to by bus eg Caley in Leeds (at least it was the last time I tried!) Other places would cost me far more to take a bus than fill the car full of people and all chip in for petrol and parking etc. The long drives out to the peak therefore would be limited to a couple per month at most.

Its also a lot cheaper to be veggie or vegan and less taxing on the environment, but that's a personal choice.

Until the country put more investment into things like public transport and recycling, we can only make as much of a difference as we can afford.



SCrossley on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm) Can you live in a town or a city and have an environmental conscience? Don't you think Sheffield or Birmingham et al have done far more damage to the environment than climbers have ever done.

You have to live in a town, city or village, and take steps to limit your impact, but you do not have to fly to climb.
I think I have said, but I will repeat it. Many climbers seem to think they are quite environmentaly minded, when in fact the opposite is true, that's my main point.
ps Single household are less environmentally friendly so moving a Señorita or two in, is good for the environment,
tlm - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
> So how many climbers have the right to say they are doing their bit to save the planet.

I've done my bit by having no kids and so my carbon footprint will end with me.

(if you save your carbon use by not flying, don't you just then spend the money on something else instead, which burns carbon? What would you spend money on which wouldn't have an environmental effect? Would it be better to just burn the money itself?)
tlm - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Skip:

> Use them as rubbish bags/bin liners.

I remember the days before rubbish bags/bin liners....

tom.e - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to tlm: Cheap flights have quite a high carbon / £ ratio
Mr Powly - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Noelle:

All good points, though I'm not sure why the not about the benefits of being vegetarian or vegan needs the qualifier 'but that's a personal choice', as all the other things are too. Choosing to eat meat is just the same as choosing to go on holiday or drive a car to a crag, and environmentally speaking eating meat is up there with cheap flights as having disproportionately large environmental effects while being very easy to cut down on.
GrahamD - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

I posted something similar a few years back. The conclusion I came to were that there were three kinds of climber: the minority that really did have a low footprint; the majority head in the sand hypocrit ( Indian power stations, flight would go anyway etc) and those that know we have a crap carbon footprint and don't pretend any different
drmarten on 03 Oct 2012
People who are hypocrites often offset their carbon use/output (whatever it is that is being hairshirted above). It's like smoking and asking a man in Botswana to stop smoking on your behalf. The man in Botswana doesn't actually smoke and never has, you give them money and they pretend to stop on your behalf. You've offset your smoking and the puzzled man in Botswana gets a few quid. You can now look down your nose at those too weak to stop smoking and can now bang on about it. It's win-win and makes as much sense as carbon offsetting or worrying (seriously - worrying?) about your carbon use.

Timmd on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird:
> (In reply to stonemaster) Great idea. Im going to hang myself starkers with a biodegradeable hemp rope. Thatll stop the ice caps melting.

Do you know what? Scientists estimate that we have 50 months to make the chnages needed to stop us reaching the first tipping point where runaway climate change will happen.

The responses about taking up car racing and not really caring and pointing at other people polluting, make me think we really are in trouble, and feel pretty sickened that some people really don't seem to give a sh*t.

We may only have one chance to stop runaway climate change from happening, if it hasn't already started with the sea ice this summer, and that chance is here and right now.

Tim
mrbird - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm: Whilst in the forces I fired 8ooo quid a pop rockets, and watched £50 000 javelins, and multi-million pound missiles sailing into wee buildings. It was great fun. And until they stop this I dont think a bag for life or whether you catch the plane or not will make a difference.
Timmd on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to drmarten:Or one can not worry and do something about it.

Like reducing reusing and recycling, and taking the decison to not fly on airlines, and car sharing where possible, or not owning a car.

There's a lot more than worrying that individuals can do. The underlying point is that we probably only have now to make the changes needed so we're not all in the sh*t.

Shame on people deciding it's not worth thinking about in my opinion, they only care about themselves.

Some research on the internet reveals a lot that individuals can do.

Tim
Enty - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

Nice little personal dig there.

trips to Dolomites, Picos, Verdon.

Did you walk there or go on your bike?

E
Enty - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Timmd:

I have a 6 year old daughter so of course I'm concerned about what the future might bring. However I run a business which involves lots of people flying out to stay with us.
I also do 1000's of kilometres a year in my minibus on the autoroutes. We fly back to the UK once or twice a year to see family and I have flown to the US twice in the last 3 years to climb.

What do you and GrahamD suggest I do?

(Ps we recycle, we have those shit light bulbs, I drive slower to conserve fuel, I bollock everyone in the house for leaving electrical appliances on. I also encourage people to come to us on the TGV because they are nuclear powered)

Cheers,

E
Sir Chasm - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird: That's fascinating. What's it got to do with climate change?
Timmd on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> I have a 6 year old daughter so of course I'm concerned about what the future might bring. However I run a business which involves lots of people flying out to stay with us.
> I also do 1000's of kilometres a year in my minibus on the autoroutes. We fly back to the UK once or twice a year to see family and I have flown to the US twice in the last 3 years to climb.
>
> What do you and GrahamD suggest I do?
>
> (Ps we recycle, we have those shit light bulbs, I drive slower to conserve fuel, I bollock everyone in the house for leaving electrical appliances on. I also encourage people to come to us on the TGV because they are nuclear powered)
>
> Cheers,
>
> E

I'm not sure I suggest much more than you already are doing to be honest, just I read last night about us only having 50 months according to climate change scientists, which is probably why I posted like I did. Things are getting more and more critical as time goes by.

Cheers,
Tim
neilstubbs - on 03 Oct 2012
Interesting topic.

Every human has a carbon footprint, the only way you can not have one is to not exist, so as someone said previously the best thing you can do if you REALLY care is not have children (or as a compromise have less children).

It's all about choices.

Personally I try to do what I can whilst still maintaining some quality of life. I live 10 miles from work so I try to cycle there and back 3 times a week and occasionally work from home. I try not to drive anywhere unless there is a good reason to so (sometimes a good reason can be for pleasure) and I try to combine journeys wherever possible. I live in a fairly rural area with the nearest bus stop 2 miles away but have owned my car for 6 years and it has done just 27000 miles. I feel guilty about driving if there was another way I could have made the journey.

I try to buy stuff that will last and is made in an ethical way (Patagonia, Finisterre etc) but sometimes I will buy cheaper stuff too, I try not to buy tat and stuff that won't last or I don't need.

We renovated our house last year and installed a wood burner central heating system, solar thermal panels, LED lighting etc, it is as green as it can be and our electricity consumption has more than halved. On the down side our roof slate came from Brazil, that was a trade off and if I had a lot more money I would have had bought slate produced more locally probably in a more ethical and environmentally friendly way.

My wife was in hospital today and I was appalled by what I saw, everywhere you look everything is disposable, the place is being heated to about 25 degrees and leaking heat like a sieve, in the few hours I was there the same bin had been filled and emptied umpteen times, but I suppose their primary concern is fighting infection etc not fighting global warming. It made me think this will be going on in every ward in every hospital all over the country, and its probably the same in thousands of other organisations in the UK too.

Basically with almost no exceptions spending money (consumerism) is a bad thing. Very generally speaking richer people will have a higher carbon footprint, they will take more holidays, buy more stuff, waste more stuff (including food), have bigger cars, drive further etc etc. It is cost that will stop the majority of people doing things - how many people would still go climbing every weekend if it cost them £200 in fuel?

This isn't something that's going to disappear, check out Marks and Spencer's Plan A, they believe there is no other way and have invested a lot of money in it.

Check out the book how bad are bananas, whacky title but it does get you thinking.

If everyone did their bit it would make a difference, but sadly there will always be people who choose not to care.
jonnie3430 - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I think he's saying that on the actual scheme of things, one person or a group of people not taking flights or car trips to go climbing makes no difference to the environment. What would have far greater impact is not using so many rockets in training in his example, or upgrading all vehicles in the third world so that they ran more efficiently. So many people not bothering about climate change means that personal attempts to limit the effects are laughable.
mrbird - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm: If carbon was such a problem wouldnt governments start making more drastic environmental changes instead on spending billions on destroying areas across the world?
silo - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc: Its too late! There's just to many people!recycling and carbon counting is just to keep are minds off the impending doom!
mrbird - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to silo: Its ok mate. The carbon tax will save the day. We`re going to plug the holes in the o Zone layer with your cash.
Al Evans on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Al Evans) Why would you think a resident of Sheffield damages the environment more than an inhabitant of Bradwell?

I don't, my daughter lives in Bradwell and she is very enviromentally concious, my point was civilisation has ruined the wild enviroment worse than any act of climbing could.
silo - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird:I don't think my cash will plug many holes!
mrbird - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to silo: Dont worry. They should manage with everybodys cash. And theyre going to make a giant fan out of money to keep the actic and antarctic cool aswell.
Sir Chasm - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Al Evans: And climbers and climbing are magically separate from civilisation I suppose?
Sir Chasm - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird: I think there's a certain resistance to change.
Robert Durran - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> ......and those that know we have a crap carbon footprint and don't pretend any different.

That's me.... car, flights etc.

I am not sure that individuals doing little things, while very admirable, is going to make a lot of difference. What is needed is massive global governmental action and, while large parts of the world are preoccupied with obsessing over short term economic growth/consumerism or with squabbling over which version of an imaginary god is the correct one, that simply isn't going to happen. The best we can hope for is that, once the shit really does hit the fan and the consequences of global warming become of immediate short term interests to governments, we have the technology to moderate its worst consequences with a massive switch to nuclear/renewables or even geo-engineering.

Rockhopper85 - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc: Haha can I just say, if I don't go on that flight to somewhere abroad, the plane WILL STILL FLY !!!!
Jon Stewart - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to neilstubbs:
>
> If everyone did their bit it would make a difference, but sadly there will always be people who choose not to care.

The human race has to come up with a way of dealing with the problem. We're on track for allowing bad things to happen (flooding various places first I guess) and then trying to cope with the consequences. I guess it's possible that we could find solutions to things as they crop up, and for everything to be alright. Personally I doubt it, and I think that the climate will change where it's good/bad/possible to live on the planet, and people will migrate and then fight over pressurized resources.

We've done it this way because we're human beings, and cooperation at a global scale is simply beyond us. It's how we've evolved - we're naturally driven to have interests much closer to home.

I don't think a realistic solution is to rely on individuals to make voluntary sacrifices. We don't work like that, no creatures do. I think we need policies imposed by cooperating governments that make it in our interests to make those sacrifices (James Oswald mentions taxes and stuff upthread somewhere, for a start) - I think these policies will come along once things start going really tits up. If we're going to stick with some kind of global free market as an economic system, then it needs some big trans-national regulation to make it work without just racing to see who can burn the most carbon as we do now.

I hope that as things start to go tits up, as a species we'll have enough time and intelligence to go for putting policies in place to slow down the process of climate change, rather than just going into chaos and war as people migrate around the place. So, it would be good if people were 'warmed up' to the idea of making some sacrifices and understanding the problem, even though those sacrifices won't have an appreciable impact in themselves.

On the other hand, if the public/consumers refuse to acknowledge the problem (by just saying "I don't believe it" in the face of mountains of evidence, for example) and aren't prepared to make any sacrifices, it will be far harder for governments to put in place policies when the pressure's really on. And if governments refuse to understand the problem and make sacrifices, then we're screwed: that's the route of carrying on making the problem worse until it's actually chaos. We may well end up with a disaster on our hands that we'd seen coming for decades, but simply couldn't cooperate enough to do anything about. We would at that point deserve to be wiped out as a species, I think.
Al Evans on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Al Evans) And climbers and climbing are magically separate from civilisation I suppose?

Of course not, but in the overalll scheme of things their role in enviromental damage is incredibly small
Timmd on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
> [...]
>
> That's me.... car, flights etc.
>
> I am not sure that individuals doing little things, while very admirable, is going to make a lot of difference. What is needed is massive global governmental action and, while large parts of the world are preoccupied with obsessing over short term economic growth/consumerism or with squabbling over which version of an imaginary god is the correct one, that simply isn't going to happen. The best we can hope for is that, once the shit really does hit the fan and the consequences of global warming become of immediate short term interests to governments, we have the technology to moderate its worst consequences with a massive switch to nuclear/renewables or even geo-engineering.

I don't agree, I think the best we can hope for is individuals doing whatever they can AND global government action.

It needn't be a case of one or the other, and it can be a way of putting the responsibility onto other people, to say individuals don't make a difference and it's down to global government action to solve things.

We only have 50 months after all.
Sir Chasm - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Al Evans: So you're making the point that we're all very small as individuals and can't make a difference.
Goucho on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> [...]
> We only have 50 months after all.

In that case, I don't know about anyone else, but I've got a shit load of holidays and climbing trips to get organised - now where's my passport!

Timmd on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Goucho:

I know what you mean. (:-))

Enjoying the snow in Greenland looks tempting before it's not there anymore.

Must be honourable though. Could be fun to get there by boat and then onto Canada anyway. (:-))
James Oswald - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
> [...]
>
> That's me.... car, flights etc.
>
> I am not sure that individuals doing little things, while very admirable, is going to make a lot of difference. What is needed is massive global governmental action and, while large parts of the world are preoccupied with obsessing over short term economic growth/consumerism

What he said. We're doomed.
SCrossley on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
What a disheartening thread.
I always thought climbers as generally better educated with more of an awareness of the enviroment, but this thread has shown a lot of Ignorance around climate change, an attitude that its all someone elses fault, a screw you I`ll get mine whilst its here attitude and a general lack of concern.
Very dissapointing and I would like to think that the BMC and the major clubs would take a lead and think about exporing this issue in the near future in Summit and their Journals.
Cheers sjc
Iain Peters - on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
> (In reply to sjc)
> What a disheartening thread.

> Very dissapointing and I would like to think that the BMC and the major clubs would take a lead and think about exporing this issue in the near future in Summit and their Journals.
> Cheers sjc
The CC are already considering the various options for energy saving in all their huts. There are major obstacles, not least the planning regulations. All the huts are in AONBs or National Parks. Wind turbines, PV panels or hydro schemes do have a visual impact.

Despite some of the more negative views expressed on this thread, I'm actually optimistic. History has proved, time and time again that individuals acting collectively can change the world. Who would have believed that a long winter of extreme repression could turn so swiftly into the Arab Spring?

To rephrase the OP's question: can you be a human being and have an environmental conscience?
A: of course you can.
GrahamD - on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:

Its all very well talking about taking a lead but climbing is fundamentally not a low carbon footprint activity (with notable exceptions, obviously).

However I don't subscribe that small things, even gestures, don't make a difference. The difference they make is in education and gradual mindset change - in the same way that constant pressure has turned drink - driving into a socially unacceptable thing. Without this general social acceptance there is no chance of getting a political will to make significant change.
tlm - on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> in the same way that constant pressure has turned drink - driving into a socially unacceptable thing. Without this general social acceptance there is no chance of getting a political will to make significant change.

and actually changing the law.

A lot more people recycle now that councils ask you to separate your waste and give you separate bins.



Michael Hood - on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc: I always think that with this subject the biggest problem is population - if it keeps on growing then trying to minimize climate change will be nigh on impossible.

On a more local issue, I think UK politicians totally ignore the fact that the UK's increasing population is one of its biggest problems; more people, NHS (what's left of it) will cost more, more pressure on infrastructure etc - but that's another debate.

There are very few people (in the western world) who now deny that climate change is happening, the argument seems to be about how much of it is man caused. But I think this is missing the point - climate change is happening and it is going to have huge consequences for the human species (and others).

Mother Earth will be able to cope but will we? What can we do to ensure that the version of the planet that we're comfortable on (or something close to that version) still exists without going through some kind of catastrophe.

Individual actions will do very little to the physical impact; I read somewhere a study that reckoned that all the little bits and pieces we might do to help will delay the effects of global warming by about 5 years - not worth doing from that point of view, BUT they will help change people's views and acceptance of what may be necessary in the future - so it's good to strive to minimize carbon footprint solely on those grounds.

My hope is that we will develop technology that will allow us to address the problem and this is where I think governments should be investing. A concerted effort of global research etc over the next 50 years would certainly be able to develop carbon neutral technologies and would probably be able to develop climate control or carbon reduction technologies.

From a selfish local economy point of view, the UK should be investing heavily in this to become world leaders, it's the kind of thing the UK could excel in if given the correct funding.

Unfortunately, the majority of politics is too short term (look at the difficulties with a simple problem like Dilnot - i.e. the funding of old age care), so I don't hold out too much hope of a sensible global strategy being developed until the sh*t hits the fan.
tlm - on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to neilstubbs:

> We renovated our house last year and installed a wood burner central heating system, solar thermal panels, LED lighting etc, it is as green as it can be and our electricity consumption has more than halved.

So what happens to that money that you no longer spend on electricity?
jonnie3430 - on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to sjc:
> (In reply to sjc)
> What a disheartening thread.

I think you are being a little too simplistic. If changes an individual can make would improve things then most would. The environmentalism needs to be on a world basis, not individual, your sacrifice will have no effect on the environment. If you can convince another 100,000 people; their sacrifice will have no effect either. It is 6 billion that need convinced and forced to change.

How do you affect 6 billion people? How about a new world religion! The true faith!! Sun worship as the greatest source of power in the galaxy, coupled with worship of mother earth and care for her for the future. The churches are sitting there waiting for you to preach from, they always were centres of communities, let them continue... Enough well meaning people like you would be happy preaching about the wrongs of not recycling, so why not take the pulpit?

mark_jee - on 09 Oct 2012
Personally I cycle to my local crags (Pen Olver and Lizard Head), with the odd jaunt out west to Penwith, but certainly don't rack up the miles for my sport...
ksjs - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to mrbird: Not sure whether I believe your lack of concern or not.

Regardless of the science (which seems widely accepted) do you actually think it is viable to keep producing pointless sh*t from finite resources?

Is it morally acceptable to perpetuate western, 'developed' lifestyles based as these are on people around the world living in unimaginable poverty, 'surviving' on meagre wages? All is fair in the pursuit of consumer luxury though; 75,000 people in one factory, nice to know the grubby reality that sits behind people's shiny and oh so desirable iPhones.

As a few suggest above, the complete lack of logic and connectedness in how we / governments view the world is gobsmacking and deeply worrying. We just can't keep on as is. Perhaps you'll change your view when London floods due to rising water levels, we'll see just how essential economic growth is then.
kossie on 15 Oct 2012
Dear sjc et al: p*l*e*a*s*e don't draw too many negative conclusions about climbers+their consciences from this thread!
There are 1000s of climbers out there (& lots who don't read UKC).
The most you can conclude is that there are some UKCers out there with strong opinions on the subject.
Oh,&(inserts own judgemental observation): there's some immense ignorance amongst the posters up above!
I don't think it's a great way of polling opinion on the subject. (And i haven't got any suggestions either).
Rockhopper85: go educate yrslf about the very basic principles of 'Supply+Demand'.

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