Category Archives: Environmental Ethics
I love taking kayaking and biking road trips. For me, there is nothing quite like the feeling of loading up your car with all of the essentials of life… food, toys, cameras and sleeping gear. Life seems so simple when you have that singular focus of doing what you love the most.
The road west… good things always await.
I also do my best to be environmentally-conscious when possible. I try to ride my bike and walk when possible, consolidate driving trips around town, and minimize electricity usage. I truly believe that we are going to witness some crazy things during our lives as the planet’s petroleum resources become less and less capable of dealing with skyrocketing demand. It will have an effect on every aspect of our lives, from the economy’s health to our ability to buy food at the supermarket.
So, if I actually care about the environment the way that I think I do, why the heck have I just driven across the entire continent of North America to do nothing but play? That is an incredibly selfish thing to do! If everyone in the world lived the way that I do, what would happen? With our finite resources, It would be impossible for the world’s population to even come close to my standard of living and the luxury of traveling to enjoy the world in a kayak and on a bike.
I have conducted this internal debate a million times in my head, and have never found a good answer to it.
A first world luxury… flying out of the Homathko River, BC after an incredible four day mission.
I was on a kayaking trip recently when this exact topic came up. I’m not sure if I spurred it or not. I usually do, as I am always interested to play devil’s advocate and see how “environmental” kayakers justify their habits. Through the course of this discussion, I heard some very familiar responses… “it’s important that we use fuel to access these beautiful places, because when we enjoy them and document them, people see that and feel the desire to preserve them.” There was also the “well, as kayakers we carpool a lot and that helps to bring our footprints down.” But my favourite response of the entire discussion came from one of my friends who always calls it like he sees it… “dude, we’re all just a bunch of environmental nihilists!”
He has a good point, as it could certainly be argued that we operate under the “do as I say, not as I do” mantra.
So my questions are… does this bother you like it does me? How do you justify driving countless hours a year in the name of fun? Is the freedom for anyone except for the super wealthy to recreate in this manner going to die with our generation?