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Climate change and hill walking

Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby al78 » Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:34 pm

Marty_JG wrote:I suggest our discourse has reached and perhaps exceeded the bounds of utility. I wish you well.


I think that is a good idea. You can't convince someone of the truth of something when their identity depends on it being false.
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Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby Paul Webster » Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:26 am

Please keep the thread relevant to hillwalking. Climate denial theories are not on topic.
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Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby simon-b » Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:02 pm

To stay on topic, what is not deniable are the devastating effects climate events can have on hillwalking regions. Eg. the storms of late 2015 and early 2016 which caused the A591 in the Lake District and A93 in the East Highlands to collapse. Storms which also caused road bridges and walkers' footbridges to be washed away.

However, there is reason for debate when it comes to ways to tackle climate change, including those that affect hillwalking. Current technology makes all electric cars less suitable than traditional vehicles for long journeys in and to rural locations. Hopefully this technology will improve, but it has a long way to go in just 10 years. In the meantime, a strong school of thought says the environmental cost of scrapping an old traditional car plus producing a new electric one outweighs the environmental cost of running a petrol car. So I'll be running my 2016 Fabia as long as it continues to serve me.

Another issue relates to grazing animals on the hills, and consumption of meat and dairy in general. Maybe a worldwide reduction in meat production would cut carbon levels, but this does not mean a one-rule-fits-all for every part of the world. My daughter is a vegan, and I used to be vegetarian, now mainly pescatarian, so I respect each individual's choice of diet. But should people living in a place such as Great Britain really cut their consumption of home produced meat, dairy, eggs etc.significantly? There are complex issues here. The increased trend towards plant based diets in Great Britain, Europe, North America etc. has pushed up the prices of foods such as Ecuadorian quinoa and Kenyan avocados in the countries where they are grown, pricing local people out of their traditional staples. In South America, some populations who traditionally ate a lot of plant food have ended up finding it more affordable to live on meat based junk food. So an increase in vegetarianism and veganism in more affluent countries could be unwittingly contributing to increased rain forest destruction in South America. And talking of junk food, we are now being bombarded with aggressive advertising asking us to "save the planet" by consuming ultra processed plant burgers, sausages, nougats, 'milk' and so on. A healthy diet is a balanced diet, with the emphasis on natural, unprocessed or only moderately processed food and drinks. And from a variety of sources, both plant and animal. So eliminating ruminating animals from the British landscape would not necessarily cure the world's climate crisis or promote good health in the British population.
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Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby simon-b » Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:14 pm

Sorry, that should be nuggets, not nougats :oops:
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Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby Marty_JG » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:13 pm

Indeed. I can see how the mass growing of corn, for US animal feed, is not an optimal use of land. In fact most of the "cow farts" (mostly burps, actually) carbon figure is also based on theoretical modelling of the growing of the year-round corn feed and doesn't even take into account any carbon they store. Any honestly given figure would be carbon released minus carbon sequestered, not only carbon released.

So (a) the figures do not apply to cattle that predominantly graze and (b) switching the land from cow feed to human feed (or, for that matter, "eco-friendly" bioethanol fuels, etc. etc.) would have its own carbon production, so there isn't really a proposal for a cut there. The accounting joke is to pretend that without farming that arable land in the US would somehow, what, all be rewilded? Aye. Right. Does anybody believe that for even a second? We can see the grazers on hills, be it sheep or cow, this is land area that cannot be tilled and harvested, not economically. They are a highly efficient mechanism to convert grass to human nutrition. And they can do that in a form that helps sequester carbon.

One person to have a glance for a counter narrative to the vegan documentaries on Netflix is Ryan Katz-Rosene (University of Ottawa). The real problem is not "meat". The real problem is the industrialised raising of that meat particularly in the US and Canadian systems that, even at the worst in the UK, are nothing like the North American model.
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Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby CharlesT » Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:38 pm

Maybe the "real problem" is us(the human race). We are a promiscuous and destructive lot, taking more than we can put back and trashing the environment in the process. Eventually we will become extinct, but the planet may then be unable to repair itself from our depredations. What that's got to do with hill walking I don't know, but I thought I would get it off my chest.
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Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby Gareth Harper » Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:21 pm

Maybe the "real problem" is us(the human race). We are a promiscuous and destructive lot, taking more than we can put back and trashing the environment in the process. Eventually we will become extinct, but the planet may then be unable to repair itself from our depredations. What that's got to do with hill walking I don't know, but I thought I would get it off my chest.

Well more or less.

One problem with all the talk of ‘saving the planet’ is the language. It is wrong. I am pretty sure the planet will be, one way or another, just fine. It is not our planet. The planet does not belong to us. Our existence as the human race is just a momentary blip, so far, in the history of this planet. We belong to it. The Gaia Principle, for example, suggests that once we have done so much damage to the environment that we in effect throw the planet out of synch or balance, life for the human race will no longer be sustainable and we as a species will become extinct. Once rid of its aggressive virus (us) the planet will then gradually move towards to a new normal.

In other words, we don’t need to save the planet – we need to save ourselves.

It seems to me that our current view, as seen in the language we use, is a form of denial.
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Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby Spade » Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:46 pm

Anecdotally from a personal perspective, I've found the past few years to be wet a lot and more autumnal as apposed to more defined seasons. Ok Scottish summers are always in the main dreich, but while the light differential doesn't change I feel the impact on the more wet climate and not too much on the other side- hot or very cold. Only my personal observation.
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Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby Marty_JG » Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:58 pm

The several previous extinction-level events have typically, after a few millions years of setting down, saw a great and wild diversity of life evolve and emerge.
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Re: Climate change and hill walking

Postby Gareth Harper » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:21 am

The several previous extinction-level events have typically, after a few millions years of setting down, saw a great and wild diversity of life evolve and emerge.

The difference between previous extinctions and the one which ‘we’ face, is that the human race will probably be the first species that not only knew it could happen but also had the intelligence to stop it, yet choose not to. Unless…..

But on the basis that we think we need to save ‘our’ planet, well the outlook is not that great.
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