Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The weather, climate change and the British Climbing press

I keep moaning about how different the weather is this winter, but according to Helsingin Sanomat we should expect more of the same in the future:

It's sunny today which is nice, but it is still rather sad. I got an email from the well-known British climbing journalist, Colin Wells, last week after I had been moaning about the weather, and he said: "[all] rather bad news for us ice-lovers! Still, as quite possibly the last generation to be able to experience such things regularly, at least we've still got the occasional opportunity to grab some icicle action, for that I'm grateful", which is perhaps the best attitude to take. Colin, who writes for Climb Magazine, deserves credit for a couple of years ago writing a serious and thoughtful piece on how climbers are noticing the changing climate more than others, as routes like the Diamond Couloir on Mt. Kenya have dissappeared in the space of a generation. He noted in the email that how some of the people he interviewed back then, are now taking an even more depressed view as things seem to be changing even fast than was predicted then.

Whilst mentioning climate change and the climbing press, I should also mention the guest editorial in last months Climber Magazine. It was written by Ray Wood, the climbing photographer and followed previous editor Bernard Newman's anti wind power line that runs "they're just symbolic, they don't help the enviroment and they spoil the view when I go climbing." On UKC this debate has raged backwards and forwards for years, but it seems to me that the engineers who really look into this tend to be sceptical towards this scepticism. But Ray Wood's piece is one of defeatism, where he even criticises energy efficient light bulbs on the basis of them containing mercury. Perhaps Mr. Wood doesn't realise that mercury is released from power stations in the fumes in far larger amounts. He should perhaps give this rather good explainer from Slate magazine a read, and research a bit more before pushing disinformation through the magazine.

1 comment:

Chris said...

My parents' recent attic clear-out has meant I've been reunited with hundreds of old climbing pics, including an almost complete set of Easters in the Trossachs since 1988.

It's sad to see how much snow the Trossachs used to hold till well into April, whereas they're now snowless every Easter. And all those winters I moaned about being lean, which actually had conditions I'd kill for now!

This year has been odd. Lots of snow dumped in January and early Feb and we're now coming to the end of two weeks of settled high pressure with some big freeze-thaw action. It could have been so good but for three days of mild rain a fortnight ago that spoilt the party.

Ah well maybe the Gulf Stream will flip yet.