Visitors of my site know that mountains are my passion. What it is
about these hunks of rock, snow and ice that attracts me is still somewhat
of mystery. But this I know, being in the mountains makes me come alive.
The sound of the winds in pine trees, silent snow falling on silent
snow, the harsh reality of barren rock, the tundra eking out an existence
at 14,000 feet. It is all real and dying.
Everyone has heard that humans are killing our planet Earth. The
science is in and the debate is over. The only question of each of
us is are we willing to change our destructive habits today to save
the plants for our children and their's?
My goal with this section is to encourage each
of us to change our behavior today. I will try to raise awareness of
this crisis during my climbs. It will be with a new line of vision
that I look at the Rockies, Himalayas, Andes and other ranges to see
what has changed. I will be speaking with experts and trying to bring
the realities of the changes to anyone interested with my firsthand
Here are some recent first hand reports. An alarming comment from
Dave Hahn on his Blog.
He notes the thinning of the Khumbu glacier near Loboche as he is trekking
"... we went out for a walk on the moraine
of the great Khumbu glacier, kind of scary to see how much the glacier
is thinning at this point, it seems to have thinned by a couple of
hundred feet in some areas around here in pretty recent times."
This not only an esthetic issue but also one of survival for the Sherpa
people in the Solo Khumbu region. The glacier melt feeds the rivers
used for irrigation, drinking water and for hydroelectric generation
Also Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia fame is quoted in an excellent interview.
... personally have done a bunch
of ice climbs around the world that no longer exist," said Yvon Chouinard,
a renowned climber and surfer and founder of Patagonia, Inc., an
outdoor clothing and gear company that champions the environment.
I mean, I was aghast at the change
But for now, here are some ways we all all make a difference starting
A well-tuned car with properly inflated tires burns less gasoline—cutting
pollution and saving you money at the pump. If you have two cars, drive
the one with better gas mileage whenever possible. Better yet, skip the
drive and take public transit, walk, or bicycle when you can.
Write your leaders now. Urge them to raise fuel economy
standards to 40 miles per gallon.
Modern technology can make our cars and trucks go farther on a gallon of
gas. It's the biggest single step we can take to curb global warming. The
less gasoline we burn, the less CO2 we put into the air. Taking this step
would also save nearly 4 million barrels of oil a day — more oil
than we currently import from the Persian Gulf and could ever extract from
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge combined. And by saving gas, you save
nearly $2,000 at the pump over the life of your car.
Support clean, renewable energy.
Renewable energy solutions, such as wind and solar power, can reduce our
reliance on coal-burning power plants, the largest source of global warming
pollution in the United States. Call your local utility and sign up for
renewable energy. If they don't offer it, ask them why not?
Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent
Especially those that burn the longest each day. Compact fluorescents produce
the same amount of light as normal bulbs, but use about a quarter of the
electricity and last ten times as long. Each switch you make helps clean
the air today, curb global warming, and save you money on your electricity
Saving energy at home is good for the environment and for
Start with caulking and weather-stripping on doorways and windows. Then
adjust your thermostat and start saving. For each degree you lower your
thermostat in the winter, you can cut your energy bills by 3 percent. Finally,
ask your utility company to do a free energy audit of your home to show
you how to save even more money.
Become a smart water consumer.
Install low-flow showerheads and faucets and you'll use half the water
without decreasing performance. Then turn your hot water heater down
to 120°F and see hot-water costs go down by as much as 50 percent.
Buy energy-efficient electronics and appliances.
Replacing an old refrigerator or an air conditioner with an energy-efficient
model will save you money on your electricity bill and cut global warming
pollution. Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances or visit
their website at www.energystar.gov to
find the most energy-efficient products.
Plant a Tree, protect a forest.
Protecting forests is a big step on the road to curbing global warming.
Trees "breathe in" carbon dioxide, but slash-and-burn farming practices,
intensive livestock production, and logging have destroyed 90 percent
of the native forests in the United States. And you can take action in
your own backyard — planting shade trees around your house will
absorb CO2, and slash your summer air-conditioning bills.
Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!
Producing new paper, glass, and metal products from recycled materials
saves 70 to 90 percent of the energy and pollution, including CO2, that
would result if the product came from virgin materials. Recycling a stack
of newspapers only 4 feet high will save a good-sized tree. Please...buy
Mount a local campaign against global warming.
Educate your community about how it can cut global warming pollution. Support
measures at the national, state, and local level that:
- Make automobiles go further on a gallon of gas;
- Accelerate the use of clean, renewable energy sources, such
as solar and wind;
- Increase energy efficiency and conservation; and
- Preserve forests around the world.
Much more to come but here are some excellent sites with more information
- Mountain Research