Friday, September 21, 2007
I got one of those emails today requesting me to sign a petition to get the Canadian government off its butt and commit to doing something serious about global climate change. Even the dead have begun to feel its effects which says a lot about the powers-that-be in Ottawa these days. Arctic graveyards are being reclaimed by the sea, rising ocean temperatures are creating monster storms. The list of nasties goes on.
I know we all love to paddle, and many of us Westerners are fortunate enough to be able to fly to distant places to do it, but should we be adding to the planet's woes by doing this more than once in a while? My take is yes, go on your trip, but travel with moderation in mind. Once a year ought to be enough most of the time. There are people who regularly fly overseas several times a year to paddle, present or teach. They are a minority, granted, but I think it's time even they stop and reconsider. Could the presenting and teaching be done more locally by equally competent people? Would it be as effective to present your 'talk' via a real-time video link or simply as a DVD home-theater style show? Do you really need to paddle more than once a year in an exotic locale?
It's always easy to point the finger at the 'big carbon users' and say "naughty, naughty", but if we all change our habits slightly and think about new ways of doing things which reduce our personal carbon footprint, the net change in emissions will benefit us all, much more than if a few big offenders stop and we don't.
Okay, I'm off the soap-box. What do you think?