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Discussion: AR's climate impact

in: Adventure Racing; General

Dec 16, 2019 6:39 PM # 
StrongMachine:
I was reading SleepMonsters' latest article on Adventure Race Croatia and Samuel Hurbert, the team captain of the French team Ertips, made a salient point I think is worth some discussion.
"Croatia is a nice country not so far from where we live in France and we can reach it by car. We do not understand why adventure racers, normally nature friendly, still take so many flights to race for their leisure."
I try to be a climate-conscious as possible during my normal life (biking to work, turning the thermostat down, trying to minimize my consumption of meat and fruits and veggies that are flown in from other continents, etc.) but I tend to shut that part of my brain off when I adventure race. But when we fly to races, I do feel immense guilt for my carbon impact.
I know short of President Trump and other climate change deniers in the U.S. Congress waking up to the threat facing us that we're not likely to avoid the worst-case crisis scenario, and there's little my personal behavior will do to change that.
Nonetheless, the guilt remains.
I'd love to hear others' thoughts and feelings on this topic, since our sport is so tied to nature and is built on the premise that we all should be responsible stewards of our environment.
Thanks in advance for sharing your perspective!
Oh, and here's the article, in case you're interested:
https://www.sleepmonsters.com/news.php?article_id=...;
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Dec 16, 2019 7:23 PM # 
abiperk:
We've been talking about that recently, not just in terms of flying to races, but in terms of all the single-use plastic, all the race-produced trash we accumulate as an organization, etc...

We've started looking into carbon offsetting our flights, and at our last race of 2019 we asked folks to bring their own mugs/cups for water. I'm not sure how to deal with the single-use plastic and other resources that go into racing and race directing.
Dec 17, 2019 8:34 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Alternative link to the article
Dec 18, 2019 5:04 PM # 
MHtrailvet:
I do think about that while driving many hours to races, it's not optimal. You could say the same thing about travel for any reason, though - the flights, the take-out food. Are many people taking many more flights to race than they otherwise would for travel/vacation? Maybe a few folks at the highest tier of the sport, but compared to the travel industry in general and the entirety of corporate travel, I would guess that AR-related travel is beyond minuscule.

While realizing this is a somewhat self-serving rationalization and acknowledging that it is important to consider one's environmental impact, it's hard to feel guilty about flying to a race, on a plane with businesspeople who might be flying multiple times per week for their job, year-round, year-after year.
Dec 18, 2019 5:36 PM # 
legendaryrandy:
That plane is going with or with out you. Do what you can to minimize your cost to the planet and have fun
Dec 19, 2019 1:39 PM # 
'Bent:
Randy, not quite true. They'll add planes as needed, or fly a bigger plane.
Maybe filling empty seats with air miles redeemers or standby seats might count.

Plane travel is surprisingly inefficient. You use about as much fuel and cause emissions per passenger as driving 2 people in a mid-sized car, but often over huge distances.

When we do fly, we get Gold-certified offsets from Less.ca.
(Elite adventure racer Scott Ford is involved in that company.)
Surprisingly not all that expensive.

I have to admit I drive a van so I can fit my huge bike etc, but buy offsets for that too. Still waiting for my electric AWD van to charge with our solar power.
Dec 19, 2019 3:49 PM # 
broots:
Feels like we are increasingly hit by all sides with this issue. No more flying, no more driving, no more race food with all its plastic, no more eating at all...even all the great alternatives like electric cars, hybrids, etc. are killing us. Add in the lithium mined for all of our wonderful electronic toys...it feels impossible...

I say this tongue in cheek...and in all seriousness. As some of you know, we just invested in solar energy for our house because of this; we care. BUT, we also fly for a big race most years and we tend to take an additional trip every year, a trip we feel strongly about as we try to expose our kids to a world beyond what the US has to offer...and we feel very strongly about that these days... I am learning about carbon offsets now for these questions as well (thanks for the info on Less.ca...As I understand it, there are good offset companies and there are jokes and it's not always easy to tell the difference...any other tips on that from anyone here?) and I am expecting that we will commit to tacking this onto any trip we take that involves flying (or long distance driving?).

In short, it does feel like the world is quickly collapsing and that really we should all just pull the plug and move onto the post apocalyptic world that we are being told is coming where electricity, carbon based fuels...and everything...are gone...and yet, of course we aren't going to do that.

The good news is, we adventure racers have all the gear and some of the skills necessary to give ourselves a leg up in such a world...

Sigh...

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