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Thread: evidence - hiking, biking, climbing, other outdoor activities hurt the environment

  1. #41
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    Second that Gershon!
    Many many moons ago I delivered 7 up/RC cola. I knew an avid outdoorsman in Milboro Springs, Virginia that owned a store on my route. He told me that in Circa 1965 they were able to get television in the holler they lived in. That was the first year of his life that he ever knew boredom. Prior to that he could spend his days in the woods or wherever his curiosity led him and always keep his mind occupied and growing. After allowing TV in his life he spent considerable time doing nothing but wishing he were doing something else. Some of my best days are ones where I make a decision not to turn this computer on. I think all the luxuries, modern technology and things that make our lives "easier" are like a drug addiction. They keep us moving at an unsustainable, unnatural pace. We develop compulsions for those things even though they are sucking the life out of us and we know it.

    I don't know if global warming is real or not. If it is real, is it indeed caused by what some say it is? and if it is, can we do anything to drastically change it without causing massive human suffering? As much as we like to consider ourselves educated and intelligent thinkers, no one here can truly speak with any authority on the matter. All the writings we read and statistics we are given are processed data. I have spent years reading what I know to read on the subject and have seen very compelling data to suggest that we have a problem. However for every piece of compelling data I have read to uphold those theories, I have seen very compelling data to disprove it or at least offer equally intelligent explanations for it that do not involve greenhouse gasses. Unfortunately many powerful people are getting rich off of the promotion of global warming. Too many powerful men see global warming as a tool to promote fascist political and social agendas. Many studies have been faked and it seems corruption and political correctness are becoming staples in the scientific fields. I choose to do what I know is right and within my means to preserve the environment and hope others follow suit. I am passing these things on to my children and anyone I can and feel this is the best I can do.

    Some of the most knowledgeable, passionate and caring environmentalists I know are hunters and rugged outdoorsmen who drive big V8 trucks. Some of the most incredibly stupid acts I have ever witnessed in the forest have been committed by Subaru driving yuppie "green" people who make fun of anyone who doesn't believe in global warming. Whether we hike, bike, climb, hunt, fish, camp or just occasionally visit the forest, it is our responsibility to be conscious every time we set foot outside of preserving our natural resources. All of those things can be done in a responsible manner and they can all be done in a destructive manner. I would suggest that the bigger variable is the heart and respect of the person doing an activity rather then the activity itself.
    Last edited by Midnightblue69; 03-27-2012 at 04:42 AM.

  2. #42
    Junior Member BlackCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apanthropy View Post
    Since we humans tend to separate ourselves from nature when talking about nature, and speak negatively of our own impact in everything we do... what are we to do?

    If I hike, I'm ruining the environment by trampling it
    If I stay home, I'm ruining the environment by running the HVAC and other electronics which consume polluting coal or potentially hazardous nuclear material.
    If I bike somewhere I'm trampling something plus the bike wasn't exactly zero-impact in its manufacture - not to mention shipping it all the way here from italy probably burned a little diesel.
    When I eat, the food is trucked in from somewhere on diesel burning machinery, when I cook I'm burning hydrocarbons, when I crap I'm probably ruining something too...

    So what exactly CAN I do? Even if I curl up and die my body's going to pollute something... what kind of Original Sin BS is this?

    What of insentient creatures? What if a fungus colony was (by its own success) threatening to wipe out all other life - would it feel guilt over its impact?

    I have no children, and I'll hike and camp guilt-free forever. That's my side of the discussion.
    ...my thoughts exactly. Every single aspect of life impacts something else.
    BC

    Imagine how quiet the world would be if everyone rode bikes...

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  3. #43
    Well stated Gordie.

  4. #44
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    This weekend, I backpacked on the trail that led to the first public campgrounds in the United States. The trail was in great condition. There was evidence of the old campgrounds with fire pits and old outhouses caved in. But no serious environmental damage was done.

    It may be that hiking, etc. damages the environment. I'd take it a few steps back. Trail guides hurt the environment. You won't find the trail I went on in any guides. You won't even find it in any tourist brochures. Even though it has rich historical significance, you won't find history on the internet unless you really dig. Nobody would think to dig unless they already went there.

    If you want to find the most damaged trails in your state just Google "Best trails in _____." You are sure to meet a lot of people along the way.

    If you want to find a real wilderness trail, look on a USGS map. Then Google the name. If there is a detailed description, forget it.

    Just be prepared to come back the way you came. These trails often disappear into antiquity.

  5. #45
    Pretty ironic Gershon as you have your Trail Guide / Blog website posted at the bottom of your comment. In addition - your trails are delineated in granular detail. Should I now not hike the Colorado Trail because I saw it on your site? That would suck.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderDave View Post
    Pretty ironic Gershon as you have your Trail Guide / Blog website posted at the bottom of your comment. In addition - your trails are delineated in granular detail. Should I now not hike the Colorado Trail because I saw it on your site? That would suck.
    BoulderDave,

    This really got me thinking. If a trail isn't publicized, it disappears eventually. If it's over-publicized it becomes too busy. Then I have to ask "By whose standards?" Are the motorcycle trails along Rampart Range road destroying the environment? Or are they just something that will disappear?

    Are trails a bad thing for the wilderness? The elk seem to like them as they leave poop all over them in some areas.

    Anyway, I give up. I'm left with a lot of questions and no answers.

  7. #47
    Administrator whiteOak's Avatar
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    I could scrounge up some more science about hiking and biking hurting the environment if you really want
    Help preserve the Environment - Teach Compassion for Wild Animals

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteOak View Post
    I could scrounge up some more science about hiking and biking hurting the environment if you really want
    WhiteOak, only do it if you really want to. One problem is you live on the east coast and I live in Colorado. I tend to stay in an area of Colorado that is not very popular, so there is even less effect on the trails. What we see is going to be completely different.

    I feel the USFS has made some good decisions along the way. At the time, I didn't agree with them. Things like taking dumpsters out of campgrounds. But for the most part, people do take their trash with them. And it has greatly reduced the bear problems.

    Trail construction has also changed. As it turns out, most damage is caused by older construction techniques. The newer trails don't have the same type of damage. Water is the biggest cause of damage to the trails.

  9. #49
    This is happening more and more often in my area.
    Hikers dont mean to hurt the trails but in their sheer numbers they cannot but help do so.
    Their proximity to nature only increases the damage done.

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