UKC

NOW LIVE: Environmentalism and climbing - Es Tresidder

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
Hi everyone

First of all thanks for all the feedback on the article, it's been really interesting and mostly encouraging to read from the sidelines. For those who haven't read it, the main article is here http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2038, with a discussion linked to it, and there is another discussion at http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=368650

Understandably there were quite a few direct criticisms of the article. I’ll deal with the ones I’ve spotted one by one.

-You only used one scientific source.

I thought about this a lot when I was writing the article. Primarily I didn’t want it to become a review of the science, but I wanted there to be enough science in there to give background to what I was discussing from the interviews and my own opinions. I chose to use the IPCC because it is not really “just one source”, rather a review of a body of scientific evidence from which predictions and recommendations are made.

-The changes we can make as individuals won’t add up to a hill of beans, what we need is widespread international change, and without this we shouldn’t bother to do anything.

I wasn’t trying to say in this article that individuals could solve climate change with collective action alone. In fact I emphatically stated my opinion that this is not feasible. What I tried to make one of the central points was that there are reasons we might choose to make changes in our own lives as part of demanding the wider changes required of national and international governments. We should consider doing this partly because it makes us feel better and partly because it gives legitimacy to the calls for wider changes. An article I read just yesterday makes this particular argument more eloquently than I managed to: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/climate-change-forum/message/612

-It’s fine for him to say we should get the train instead of flying, he’s a freelancer who can slack off whenever he likes!

This may be true now (except for the financial worries of earning your own crust!), but it wasn’t true when I first decided that I wasn’t going to fly within Europe. That trip was to the Eiger in autumn 2005, and between then and autumn 2007 I had a job with normal amounts of time off, I did lots of trips without flying, around the UK and to mainland Europe. I was also living in Scotland, so travelling to the Alps was harder than it is for me now from the Peak District. So it’s easier now, but that is not the only reason I’m able to do it. I’ve got good enough on the trains now that from the Peak District I actually find getting to the Alps by train is less hassle and involves no significant loss in time in the hills.

-You only looked at the impact of climbing/flying, what about the rest of life?

Perhaps I should have made this clearer in the article. I certainly wasn’t trying to say we should be minimising the effect of our climbing and ignoring everything else in our lives. But there are plenty of books and websites that can help you with reducing the carbon footprint of your everyday life, and the article was quite long enough as it was. What I wanted to explore was the difficulty I have, and I think many people have, with squaring what they do in order to go climbing with their environmental consciences. I suspect there are many people who consider the rest of their lives quite “green” but still fly to go ice climbing. I think this situation is even more interesting because of how directly threatened many aspects of our sport are by climate change.

-What about CO2 from breathing? You haven’t accounted for that and you must get pretty out of breath running up all those hills!

CO2 from breathing doesn’t count because the carbon you breathe out when you breathe is the same carbon that the plant that you are eating absorbed when it grew, so the process is carbon neutral. Of course there are lots of greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production that do matter, beyond that carbon you are breathing out, and the reason I didn’t really discuss them is covered in the point above.

I think most of the other questions have been answered by other posters, but if I’ve missed anything feel free to post back up here and I’ll see about answering it.

Finally, to those few but vociferous posters who’ve replied at length on the previous threads expressing doubt as to the whole idea of anthropogenic climate change: consider that to reach your viewpoint you must have had to:

• apply such a severe level of prejudice to information coming your way on climate change that anything supporting it is dismissed while any small thing apposing it is seized upon and canonised, despite the huge majority of scientific opinion siding with the former, and much of the latter having been repeatedly and publicly discredited;

• concoct or buy into far-fetched and elaborate conspiracy theories;

• convince yourself that somehow vested interests in the environmental movement, or in science, could have won an argument against the much greater interests invested in “business as usual”, even though all their science was wrong.

I’m not a climatologist, and I don’t want today to get drawn into endless arguments about whether or not climate change is real, so I’ll leave it at that. I’d rather focus on solutions rather than getting side-tracked by sun-spots.

OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder: Not sure if this is the same on everyone's browser, but there's a little advert at the bottom of my post saying "Geneva airport transfers". Classic.
 Ian McNeill 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:

no I have the better one

Solar Energy Charity
Helping Relieve Poverty Though The Provision of Solar Energy. Join Us!

......

biggest impact individuals can make is travel less by planes .... the like of easy jet and the Irish one where you have to pay to pee !??

take a look here for some action and a fresh perspective on action by email and web@
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2/


fight back against Tescos domination get involved develop local market gardens and reduce the miles to the plate grow your own it tastes better too...

so much more people can do to help themselves ... and others look at AVAAZ thanks....
 DougG 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:

> Finally, to those few but vociferous posters who’ve replied at length on the previous threads expressing doubt as to the whole idea of anthropogenic climate change: consider that to reach your viewpoint you must have had to:
> • apply such a severe level of prejudice to information coming your way on climate change that anything supporting it is dismissed while any small thing apposing it is seized upon and canonised, despite the huge majority of scientific opinion siding with the former, and much of the latter having been repeatedly and publicly discredited;
> • concoct or buy into far-fetched and elaborate conspiracy theories;
> • convince yourself that somehow vested interests in the environmental movement, or in science, could have won an argument against the much greater interests invested in “business as usual”, even though all their science was wrong.

Excellently put.
 toad 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder: Is "climate change mitigation" the same as environmentalism?

We have (rightly) become alarmed about climate change, but climbing/ mountaineering/ walking has a big environmental responsibility in other respects. Taking an overland train to the alps is one important measure, but the non emissions based impact of the ski industry on alpine ecology is still huge - look at all the piste scars/ toilet outflows etc in the summer.

Getting the bus to Stanage is important, but when I was there earlier in the year - midweek at an otherwise deserted crag- there were two teams on either route marking the boundaries of the ring ouzel protection area and nowhere else. Doing the minimum neccessary is not the same as respecting the environment

I think what I'm saying is mitigating climate change is important, but we need to consider all aspects of our impact on the mountain environment.
 SeeWhat 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:

First, an interesting article. A few thoughts:

You haven't said very much about the most effective means to reduce the demand for flying - by increasing its cost. Aviation is due to join the EU Emissions trading scheme and so we'll have to start paying for the carbon we emit. There is a need to influence the design of that scheme so that it not made ineffective. What's your view on that?

Ouught we include other sources of CO2, like car's diesel and petrol, in such a scheme? How about including the production of meat and diary?

You say that aviation has got as efficient as it can be. What's your opinion on the new generation of alterative fuels such as Jatopta and Algae based fuels, which also minimise the impact on arable land, water and energy when compared to the the current ones, and morover contain a lot less of other contributory emissions like NOX?
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to toad: Hi toad

I agree that we need to consider all aspects of our impact on the mountain environment, but we also need to open our eyes to the bigger picture and realise that our impacts are much more wide ranging, and potentially more serious, than the direct impact we have on the mountain/crag environment.
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to SeeWhat:

Hi Mr What

I see some way of putting a cost on greenhouse gas emissions, whether they be from aviation, industry, land transport, homes or food production, as essential if we are going to achieve the sort of emission reductions called for by the science. I simply don't think the alternative - that you can motivate enough people to care enough, or educate them to know enough, to make low carbon decisions in every aspect of their lives - is credible. We have to move to a situation where people are making low carbon choices because it makes economic sense to do so.

How you put that cost on CO2 I'm less sure. I've read a lot on this, and I think the best way is probably some sort of cap-and-trade scheme, but there are arguments for something simpler (like a simple carbon tax) as well. The EU emissions trading scheme has suffered a bad few years, partly because lobbying by industry meant too many permits were issued and so the price was not high enough to make a difference. You're right that it's important that doesn't happen with aviation's joining.

How do we ensure it remains effective when aviation joins? Not sure, campaigning, lobbying? http://sandbag.org.uk/ are doing some interesting campaigning on just this issue.

If you're interested in this, read "Kyoto 2" by Oliver Tickell. Interesting website as well: http://www.kyoto2.org/

I'm afraid I don't know a great deal about Jatopta or Algae based fuels. My instinct is that they will suffer the same problems as other bio-fuels, that the means of production is much less "energy dense" than we have enjoyed with fossil fuels, meaning the land/sea areas that would be taken up with their production would be huge. Is it credible that they could produce enough of these fuels? I don't know.
 toad 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder: I'm trying to remember the source of a quote in the media today, that we have got to get past the culture of saying "no" - no nuclear, no wind turbines, no Severn barrage, no waste incineration - if we are going to make a significant change, and I think that's very true. I've recently seen a very successful campaign against wind turbines on a Pit Tip! If we can't develop old coal mines for this, where can we? .
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to toad: Probably something to do with David Mackay's appointment as energy advisor? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8249540.stm

His is an interesting book too, very entertainingly written for such a subject! Free to download or buy a paper copy at http://www.withouthotair.com/
 toad 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder: that was it! I'm ashamed to say I have a copy, but haven't read it yet, maybe when I've finished writing up. Speaking of which.....
robster 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:
You raised a number of interesting and thought provoking points in your article. There will be a lot of media coverage around this climate change stuff in the build up to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Do you feel that the environment itself gets a fair shout in these discussions? And how do you think the relationships of climbers/outdoor enthusiasts with the wild places of the UK will change towards the 2050 time horizon that’s being increasingly referenced?
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to robster: No, I don't think the environment does get a fair shout. I think certainly historically, the actions required by the science have been watered down by political self-interest.

But I also think it's time we stopped thinking about the issues in terms of "the environment" as if this were a self contained entity that we could choose to "save" or destroy, with little impact on human society. I think many politicians still see "development" and "environment" in direct opposition to each other. This may be true in the short term, but in the medium term it certainly isn't. We need to realise that society functions as a sub-set of the environment, and the health of the former is very much dependent on the health of the latter.

In terms of our relationship with the wild places of the UK. I hope we'll start to see them more as places where, with a little imagination, we can have adventures comparable in scale to those on offer in far flung destinations, rather than feeling we have to be jetting off at every opportunity. I also think we'll have to get used to the idea of them being used for generating power through renewables.

In reply to Es Tresidder:

Es, as climbers and mountaineers- i.e. people who have an appreciation and vested personal interest in the preservation of wilderness I think our principals as a community are broadly environmental- although our behaviour may not live up to this.

Do you agree, and do you think this adequately represented to the wider world (e.g. your article highlights the campaigning work of Patagonia, and the carbon ambitions of the Castle). Should for instance the BMC have a broader 'climate policy' in addition to many largely successful local environmental policies?

cheers

viv
 toad 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:
> (In reply to robster) No, I don't think the environment does get a fair shout. I think certainly historically, the actions required by the science have been watered down by political self-interest.
>
> But I also think it's time we stopped thinking about the issues in terms of "the environment" as if this were a self contained entity that we could choose to "save" or destroy, with little impact on human society.

If anything, it's the reverse - We need to stop thinking of it as a conservation / green issue, because the habitats and ecosystems will change, the species will change, but the "environment" will chug on essentially as before. It's our position in that environment which will change, our populations, parasites, resource requirements which will come under pressure.

For example, everyone is talking about windfarms, but we are likely to need new large capacity freshwater reservoirs, new river managment methodologies - where do we put the new dams and reservoirs?


I'm also aware the other thread I've contributed to today was about New Zealand. It was my only ever long haul, and it made a big impression on me, but I've had to accept that I can only ever do such a thing rarely, if ever again.
In reply to vscott: p.s. I'm aware of and commend this http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=1372 but should there be more?



 toad 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder: As an aside, many of the people involved in the "watering down" of climate policy, mostly on behalf of vested commercial interests, cut their lobbying teeth in the defence of the tobacco industry.
robster 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:
This quote from Paul Kingsnorth from an article 'a line in the green sand' reflects something of the spirit of the 'wild place' experience - and a view on the impact of renewables on such places:

"Britain is a small, overcrowded and overdeveloped country in which wild places are at a premium. On moors and glens, on tidal rivers and empty beaches, humanity's impact can be escaped, at least for a time. A mountain is an example of what the American poet Robinson Jeffers called "the transhuman magnificence": a place that rises above the detritus of civilisation, where we may go to experience the reality of nature and the reality of ourselves. I have had such experiences on mountains, and they helped lead me to become an environmentalist.

When I climb a mountain, then, and find that the detritus of civilisation has followed me, in the form of giant wind turbines, my reaction is not to jump for joy because it is zero-carbon detritus. My reaction is to wonder how anyone could miss the point so spectacularly. And when I hear other environmentalists responding to my concerns with aggressive dismissal - particularly if they have never visited the mountain in question - I get really quite depressed."

See more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/10/severn-barrage-environment and also http://www.jmt.org/2050landscapes.asp

OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to toad:

> If anything, it's the reverse - We need to stop thinking of it as a conservation / green issue, because the habitats and ecosystems will change, the species will change, but the "environment" will chug on essentially as before. It's our position in that environment which will change, our populations, parasites, resource requirements which will come under pressure.

This is the point I was trying to make, I think. Not sure whether your post was to agree or disagree with mine, but I think we're saying the same thing.

 Michael Ryan 11 Sep 2009
In reply to vscott:

A related question Es, to Viv's.

Viv implies that as a community that plays in the outdoors we should be leaders in looking after it, both on an individual level, and as outdoor companies, and that Patagonia have been leaders in this - using recycleable materials, 1% for the Planet, the Footprint Chronicles, and transparancy in everything they do. And whilst not perfect they have for a long time made a huge effort.

Whilst Patagonia may have created an environmental template for other outdoor clothing companies to follow; what of climbing hardware companies like Black Diamond, Wild Country, DMM, Metolius, C.A.M.P etc..... ?

Such companies produce metal goods for us climbers that must use up a lot of energy and create lots of toxic waste and pollution.

What can climbing hardware companies do to become more environmentally friendly?

Mick




OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to vscott: Hi Viv

I do agree that our principals are broadly environmental, but I don't think it is adequately represented to the wider world. Yvon Chouinard was very interesting about this when I interviewed him. He was dissapointed with the level of involvement from mountaineers in environmental issues. He reckoned that, compared to surfers, for example, we were way behind in campaigning.

I hadn't seen that BMC link before. Interesting. Yes, perhaps they should have a more far reaching "climate policy" but I think it would be difficult to get agreement on a meaningful one from all BMC members. Perhaps it would be better to start some sort of climbers campaign on climate change group?
 toad 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder: I was (I think) in agreement. We need to some extent separate "conservation" - of species, of landscapes or whatever from the issues related to climate change. Parts of the political establishment need to recognise that preventing climate change isn't an issue of altruistic greenery, rather an urgent act of self interest.
 SeeWhat 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:

Just scanned that link over a coffee - looks like something well worth reading in depth.

My personal view is that Algae fuels in particular have a lot of potential, the results of tests on engine performance and on CO2 footprint are much more encouraging than the current crop (sorry) of alternatives.

There's already a market in place for CO2 credits in the EU Emissions trading scheme, it's currently about EUR 17 per tonne. They key is to restrict availability enough to make the long term cost of CO2 high enough to dampen demand, which is probably somewhere north of EUR30 per tonne. Morover for aviation there needs to be a Global scheme as it's a Global business. No point dampening demand for Longhaul flying out of the EU, if people chose to travel to Krabi, Australia or South Africa via Dubai, in the same way that cement makers shifted production outside the EU when they joined the scheme - same CO2, different place.

A further point - in the media it seems about 90 to 95% of coverage seems to focus on the problem, and about 5% on workable solutions. The result, IMO, is that you get resistance as people don't like hearing bad news and don't like being lectured to. Drawing attention to the issue can rapidly cross a line into sanctimony. Couple this to general dumbing down in the news media and you end up with a yah-boo slanging match, which turns people away from real engagement, rather than a mature discussion.



OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to robster: I think we have to get in context the magnitude of the threat we face in terms of climate change. Sure, it would be nice if we could find a carbon-free way of providing energy for our society whose impacts were less intrusive, but the first priority has to be finding carbon-free ways of providing energy. I'm not saying there should be no consideration of the aesthetics and other importance of the site, but I don't think it should trump all else.
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Hi Mick

Interesting question. With hardly any knowledge of the manufacturing processes involved in making stuff out of metal (I know they make it hot enough to glow red, so it must take lots of energy, that's about it...), I don't feel I'm qualified to comment on the specifics of how they should do it.

A good start however would be to analyse their own processes from an environmental point of view, much as Patagonia have done, and work out where the easiest wins are, in terms of improvements.
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009

> My personal view is that Algae fuels in particular have a lot of potential, the results of tests on engine performance and on CO2 footprint are much more encouraging than the current crop (sorry) of alternatives.

They certainly sound interesting, but we need to bear in mind what the total amount of energy we could realistically produce using such methods is, and whether, when every kWh of low carbon energy we can produce will be crucial, is flying planes the best use of that energy?

> There's already a market in place for CO2 credits in the EU Emissions trading scheme, it's currently about EUR 17 per tonne. They key is to restrict availability enough to make the long term cost of CO2 high enough to dampen demand, which is probably somewhere north of EUR30 per tonne.

Agreed.

> Morover for aviation there needs to be a Global scheme as it's a Global business. No point dampening demand for Longhaul flying out of the EU, if people chose to travel to Krabi, Australia or South Africa via Dubai, in the same way that cement makers shifted production outside the EU when they joined the scheme - same CO2, different place.

Also agreed. A global carbon trading scheme, with a tight and shrinking cap, would appear to be a very promising solution.

>
> A further point - in the media it seems about 90 to 95% of coverage seems to focus on the problem, and about 5% on workable solutions. The result, IMO, is that you get resistance as people don't like hearing bad news and don't like being lectured to. Drawing attention to the issue can rapidly cross a line into sanctimony. Couple this to general dumbing down in the news media and you end up with a yah-boo slanging match, which turns people away from real engagement, rather than a mature discussion.

Again, I agree, I hope this wasn't how my article came across!
 SeeWhat 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:
>
> [...]
>
> They certainly sound interesting, but we need to bear in mind what the total amount of energy we could realistically produce using such methods is, and whether, when every kWh of low carbon energy we can produce will be crucial, is flying planes the best use of that energy?
>

True, though the debate's a bit wider than that - we're wasteful users of energy in our homes, offices and in general lifestyle choices. Just look at the lights on in office blocks in any city at night, solo car travel, and the amount of packaged food in chiller cabinets at your local M&S.

It may be that long distance air travel will still need kerosine and / or biofuels of some sort for the forseeable, but land based energy demand can and ought to use others. This probably makes nuclear power the only option given our demand for power....

>
> Again, I agree, I hope this wasn't how my article came across!

Not at all - guess that working in the business makles me more aware of it than most.
johnSD 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:

Hi Es,

Can I ask if you have a view on voluntary carbon offsetting (paying someone for a scheme to make an emission reduction or to sequester carbon), or on the similar but slightly different matter of buying emission allowances for individual behaviour. Ignoring offsetting for now, I have in mind specifically individuals or groups of individuals (an expedition, for example, or a co-operative group), buying EU ETS allowances to cover their emissions and then putting them beyond use. Although aviation will be included in the EU ETS in a couple of years anyway (and therefore take aviation emissions into the realm of upstream regulation rather than downstream "carbon footprint" responsibility), individual voluntary action could ensure that emissions are well compensated for and take some account of the multiplier factors that are missing from the EU ETS.

This kind of scheme would in theory reduce the real supply of allowable emissions by preventing other businesses using the allowance, and help (in a very small way) elevate the price of allowances and stimulate economic emission reductions...

On the other hand, like all offsetting it could be seen as a conscience salve and a case of greenwash... If we marketise emissions and can afford to pay for them, can we assume the right to pay for them, or do we have a responsibility to reduce our own carbon footprints even if the market results in the global footprint remaining the same?...

So, logistical and moral arguments abound, but is something like this worth considering?

Is there a business opportunity - allowing people to make meaningful "offsets" by purchasing real commodities, rather than paying for someone to plant a tree that would have been planted anyway?...
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to SeeWhat:
> (In reply to Es Tresidder)
> [...]
>
> True, though the debate's a bit wider than that - we're wasteful users of energy in our homes, offices and in general lifestyle choices. Just look at the lights on in office blocks in any city at night, solo car travel, and the amount of packaged food in chiller cabinets at your local M&S.

There certainly are huge efficiency savings to be made, and we should make these. However, if you stack up all the energy demands we have, reduce them with efficiency savings, then compare them to all that we could produce through low carbon energy, it becomes difficult to balance the books, even with nuclear. Because of this it seems that reducing the amount we do some stuff, rather than just doing it more efficiently, is innevitable in the longer term. I would have thought flying, as a huge user of energy, would be high on this list.
 Steve Walker 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:
Hi,
just wondering what you thought about this article on the bbc front page and the general increase in sceptism of global warming.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8249668.stm

Particularly the view leveled by many websites eg prisonplanet
http://www.prisonplanet.com/
, that global warming is being used as a method convincing people that the world needs some sort of police state and, we need to give up our basic human rights in order for a world government to protect us etc.

By the way, these are not all my views
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to johnSD:

Hi John

Great idea! I'm afraid someone has already beaten you to it: http://www.sandbag.org.uk/

Looks like an intelligently run scheme.

In terms off voluntary carbon offsetting, I think if you're fully aware of the scale of the threat it's probably better than creating the emissions and not offsetting, but I'm concerned that it promotes the notion in the public that climate change is something that is easily solvable with a small payment to a private company.

I'm less concerned about the moral argument against tradeable permit schemes, which runs something like - "it is morally wrong that we are able to buy permits from poorer countries to enable us to carry on polluting", because I feel that in a properly run cap and trade scheme the cap would shrink fast enough that we'd soon be having to make changes at home too. CO2 is a global problem, and I don't see why it's morally wrong to reduce it's emission wherever it is cheapest to do so, first.
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to stevewal:

Hi Steve

I think hardcore climate change denial is very frightening, but from an dispassionate objective point of view, quite interesting.

The problem is that psychologically we are more receptive to messages that tell us all is well and there is no problem. Because of this, programmes like Channel 4's "Great Global Warming Swindle" can have a huge and enduring impact. Even if in subsequent weeks the programme's content is slammed for it's misleading nature from every quarter, what people remember was a very slick show that told them reassuring things in a convincing manner.

I've had a quick look at the Prison Planet thing, is it another far-fetched and elaborate conspiracy theory? It looks that way. I find it hard to understand how people can think that the global powers that be would see more gain in convincing us climate change was real when it threatens the very basis on which they have gained their power. And if this conspiracy also involved the political elite, why are the political changes so inadequate in the face of what the science, and the crusty hippies, presumably both also in on this conspiracy, tell us is needed?

Clutching at straws, I would say.
 Ian McNeill 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to vscott)
>
> A related question Es, to Viv's.

>
> What can climbing hardware companies do to become more environmentally friendly?
>
> Mick

some ideas...

Make sure the alloy that source comes from recycled source?
car share
video conference
reduce the need for sales staff to drive around huge sales areas

watch out for emissions and waste disposal from factories ?


as for 1% for planet what evidence is that that its doing any good ?

OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
Someone just sent me this link, hadn't seen it before: http://www.350.org/athletes/climbers

Looks interesting.

Es
johnSD 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:
>
> Great idea! I'm afraid someone has already beaten you to it: http://www.sandbag.org.uk/

Cool, I hadn't seen that before, cheers.

> I'm less concerned about the moral argument against tradeable permit schemes [... ]and I don't see why it's morally wrong to reduce it's emission wherever it is cheapest to do so, first.

On the global scale I agree, and I think the cap and trade model is the most realistic best chance we have of reducing emissions drastically - the key being the "cap", which is currently missing from global schemes like the Clean Development Mechanism. Globally, and longer term, the cap should become so tight that few nations can afford to sell their allowances whatever the price - so if we don't implement a low carbon economy while allowances are cheap, it may be too late to do so by the time they get really expensive...

But back at the individual level... If you (and I mean one in general) are content with cap and trade as an emissions reduction tool, then once aviation is included in the scheme does it lose its status as a behaviour to be avoided?... After 2013 those flights to Geneva will have their carbon accounted for as part of the diminishing European cap - whether the emissions are used to fly, make concrete or distil whisky makes no difference to the planet*... The specific behaviour of flying will lose its significance as an emission source and will simply become part of the indivisible EUETS sector of emissions...

So I guess what I'm rambling towards (and not trying to be antagonistic or anything) is whether, with flying in particular, individual behaviour is becoming unimportant in global markets. If only the cap matters, and if our choices have no effect on the cap, then does flying still matter to our conscience as part of our "carbon footprint"? Even if a form of individual carbon accounting comes in the situation remains the same - all you need to do is buy somebody else's allowances and it's off to Hawaii you go...

God that sounds a bit negative and glum, but I'm just playing through the situation in my head... I guess it can be summed up as: does the marketisation of emissions remove individual moral responsibility for their production?... That's not necessarily a question for you, just something worth considering. (I don't think so by the way, I think the market is too flawed and the moral situation too urgent to allow us to trust the market yet, and so we must assume responsibility and act as our conscience tells us).

*not taking into account aviation multipliers, con trails, etc.
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
> What can climbing hardware companies do to become more environmentally friendly?

Been thinking a bit more about this. I think it's important not just to focus on what they can do to green their own business, but if they are serious about having a positive impact, identifying where they might have most leverage on a bigger scale than just the production of their products. A company like DMM for example, while they might be small fish in terms of industrial companies nationwide, probably have quite a big influence on north wales goings on.

Interesting article that I posted before, about pretty much this: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/climate-change-forum/message/612
 Steve Walker 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:
hi,
Yea I'm cirtainly with you on your first point. I'm still pretty amazed that The Great Global Warming Swindle ever got aired. It even missrepresented some of the main scientists in the program, who were supposed to be supporting their standpoint.

As to the second point, I believe that their will always be people on the world who will desire total power and domination, that most of us will never understand. Some of these people already have already attained much power in the world. When I first started investigating global warming 20 years ago, their was a large amount of money being spent by the oil industry to try to play down global warming, as it suited thier purpose and cirtainly their profit margins. It would'nt suprise me in the least if other people/businesses, would invest in global warming to advance their purpose. I'm not just talking about selling Toyota Prius's here.

I definately feel that the vast majority of evidence supports global warming theory, and even without it the greenhouse gasses we are emitting are causing many other problems. But I always try to keep my eye on the errent greenwashers and worse.
OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to johnSD:

I think if aviation was included in a scheme that matched the science of the reductions we need, then I guess it would lose it's status as something to be avoided. It would just become something that took so much of my individual allowance that I would have to make big cuts elsewhere, fine if I want to do this.

However, two things strike me about this scenario from a personal level. Firstly I think it's unlikely that the first inclusion of aviation will be in a way that I consider sufficient, meaning that for me flying would remain a moral issue. Secondly the cap would be tightening and we would fast be unable to afford very much flying at all from our allowance, even if we went to zero in everything else. Unless aviation found a very low carbon way of powering it's planes.

I agree that we shouldn't be absolving all moral responsability to the markets, there was an interesting lecture series about it on the radio a few months back, but I do think that we should be trying to make the markets reflect the societal outcomes that we are aiming for.
 SeeWhat 11 Sep 2009
In reply to johnSD:



> After 2013 those flights to Geneva will have their carbon accounted for as part of the diminishing European cap - whether the emissions are used to fly, make concrete or distil whisky makes no difference to the planet*... The specific behaviour of flying will lose its significance as an emission source and will simply become part of the indivisible EUETS sector of emissions...

Sort of - it is as you say just another source, but it influences the market more profoundly. Becuase flying generates more CO2 than making whisky, flying increases demand on CO2 faster, while supply of CO2 credits (the 'cap') is declining - this puts the price of CO2 credits up and so puts up the costs of flying.

> So I guess what I'm rambling towards (and not trying to be antagonistic or anything) is whether, with flying in particular, individual behaviour is becoming unimportant in global markets.


> If only the cap matters, and if our choices have no effect on the cap,

No, because the amount of flying influences demand, which sets the price of CO2 and hence the price of flying. It's like paying for concert tickets. Choices don't impact the cap but do impact the demand.

> Even if a form of individual carbon accounting comes in the situation remains the same - all you need to do is buy somebody else's allowances and it's off to Hawaii you go...

However, that person selling then gets some money to do with what they will. This means flying will go back to being the preserve of the rich again...

 SeeWhat 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:
> (In reply to johnSD)

> However, two things strike me about this scenario from a personal level. Firstly I think it's unlikely that the first inclusion of aviation will be in a way that I consider sufficient, meaning that for me flying would remain a moral issue. Secondly the cap would be tightening and we would fast be unable to afford very much flying at all from our allowance, even if we went to zero in everything else. Unless aviation found a very low carbon way of powering it's planes.

That's the nub of the issue - any cap and trade scheme has to be designed and policed appropriately.
 Ian McNeill 11 Sep 2009
In reply to Es Tresidder:

using the internet has an impact ... so we had all better hop off here and put the kettle on and unplug the phone charger ...

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5489134.ece

smow intresting links in the article ...

http://www.co2stats.com/


OP Es Tresidder 11 Sep 2009
In reply to SeeWhat:

> However, that person selling then gets some money to do with what they will. This means flying will go back to being the preserve of the rich again...

Perhaps, but in a very different way from how flying was the preserve of the rich in previous generations - the rich never used to have to buy their right to fly from the poor. I can't see how flying can avoid becoming the preserve of the rich again, but this seems the most equitable way of doing it. We seem happy enough in every other area of life that the rich are able to do more of the things that cost money than the poor, why should flights have special treatment?

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...