Thursday, March 19, 2009

Climbing and climate change

A touchy subject which people need to start phasing into. And one that i'll probably start writing more on as i read more into it. I've just finished George Monbiots excellent book 'Heat' if you don't want to shell out a whopping £4 to future proof your intelligence then his website is also a good place to start

We're taking steps at beastmaker to try and stay 'green' from our initial set up stage. Currently we are failing in 2 areas. We haven't been able to reliable assertain the source of our wood as the woodyard owners struggle with adding up our orders consistently. This is something we will be changing ASAP, as well as trialling different woods such as lime (common in the UK), along with 1 off woods from tree surgeon fellings. we also aim to use no plastic in our packaging. SO this will see a return to the 90's when chip butties came in newspaper, not polystyrene. The packaging won't comprimise the product in any way and you may even be able to read an article or two. we'll be using the guardian i imagine as the independent is a bit small for our boards.

Other areas are the power it takes to manufacture the boards, (nothing extraordinary) and how many brews we require whilst doing all this (we are brew monsters)

Online shopping is currently the most environmentally friendly means of shopping in the UK so you can breathe easy there (read Monbiot's chapter on retail). The benefits of wood over Resin should be incredibly obvious. Nevertheless you can atleast train with less of a guilty conscience on one of our boards.
Flying to spain for a weekends bolt clipping is harder to justify. As is driving 3 hours on your own just to try a boulder problem. Most people's initial reaction is 'screw you i'll do what i like with my own time and my own money'

Some reactions of mine would be to prioritise St bees projects over the next decade or so, before they are lost. To make the most of the Gulf stream weakening before it slows down massively by getting lots of grit projects done. And to treat the worlds LEDC's with utter contempt so that the deaths of millions of the worlds poorest people don't get in the way of me wanting to climb 1 grade harder by flying to some soft touch crag in spain for 3 days and heating my house upto 20 degrees in the winter so i don't have to put a jumper on.

That said climbers are often more environmentally aware than the masses as we (as a whole) experience the Natural environment in its greatest form, and thus notice it changing. Many of the worlds cliffs are in the remotest places. Boulderers especially seem to be aware of 0.2 degrees change from, 'amazing' to 'greasy'

The reason for this post is just to keep people thinking about their actions. We have all been part of a Faustian bargain (James Hansen and Monbiot stress this undoubtable fact especially) since the industrial revolution, people need to gradually adjust thier expectations of what is acceptable and what is excessive.

Climbing is a fairly green 'sport' anyway but reductions are possible.
Car sharing is common in climbers but we should still aim to fill our cars with both pads and people, (i can't remember the last time i could see out my rear view mirror when driving to the crag)
Train as close to home as possible.
Be aware of the brands you are buying from and their environmental record, also the distance that the product has travelled.
E.G Core holds are made and manufactured in the UK, therefore if you buy a set of them for your wall rather than HRT etc they are travelling less distance, and thus produce less carbon.

Flying is a tough one... more on this later i guess.

But for now just remember that it is happening, in the same way that connecting a hosepipe into your car from your exhaust will kill you in minutes. Connecting an exhaust into a sealed stratosphere won't kill you, as its volume is infintitely larger. However connect billions of them everday....

Oh and i did my project, its 25minutes drive away, i can do the 50mile round trip on 3-4 litres of petrol in a 1.2 vauxhall corsa (45-58mpg).
My record to Raven tor and back (again a 50 mile round trip) is 3 litres of petrol.
Its taken me 6 sessions so that's around 20 litres of petrol. My car has always had atleast 2 people in, and i am bad ass at hypermiling

Its called Serendipity, it adds a 1 move font 8a into Serenity ( already font 8a+/8b) and i ripped a flapper out my thumb after sticking the 8a move for the 6th time (over 3 sessions), so i had to push on and make sure i didn't fall off. Luckily i've got Serenity fairly wired now so i just managed to bust it out. There is another way of doing the start if your span is >184cm (6 foot 1) but it's still hard.

we've also tinkered with the motherboard at the works, its better now, much better. just 1 more job and it'll be perfecto

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