I must admit I was a bit sceptical when the BMC started discussing some sort of climate campaign. I thought it might split the membership, as wind power did, and leave people viewing the BMC as either self-righteously pompous or ridiculously soft touch and ineffective. I suspect the recently announced Climate Project will still do that to some. But I think the BMC have steered a sensible middle ground that is difficult to argue with, it’s a bit softly softly for now, but it shows leadership, action and gets the conversation going.
If you aren’t up to speed with just how important sphagnum is, then please do some research, here’s a couple of links to get you started, do check that you are reading contemporary sources though https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/peatlands-and-climate-change https://bogology.org/2013/09/27/sphagnum-moss-bog-plant-extraordinaire/. It won’t a take you long to work out that restoring the peat bogs to our uplands and supporting the work of Moors for the Future is a very good thing which will benefit us all. It’s not ‘peakcentric’ (anyway we’ve all climbed or walked there at some time surely – and it you haven’t you should!) because the climate is an issue for us all. Yes, lets’ plant trees, protect wildflower meadows and look after hedges, but the Moors for the Future is a tangible, sensible way of the BMC ‘putting something back’ and making a difference on all our behalves. I, for one, celebrate this move.
Cars and plastic are the big two items that have hit the news when the conversation is around climate change. It seems to me that there are some easy ways to reduce our reliance on single use plastic, we’re clingfilm free in our house now! However, take a wander around your local supermarket and you will see shelves groaning under the weight of items in single use plastic. Hopefully most of them will get re-cycled, but I’m sure we could make do with less. I trust people are working on this and I applaud the BMC for making their HQ single-use plastic free, we should all try to follow their lead.
Cars. Now, this is where it’s gets tricky. Yes, we can offset our travel, but does this swage our conscience, or does it really make a difference (and if it does how long does it take to do so?)? Yes, there are crags and walks that can be reached by train or bus, but we’ve lost the habit, we struggle with the timetable and we’ve got loads of kit to carry. It’s way too easy to make excuses not to use a bus than to submit to the obvious reasons why you should (as an aside if you enjoyed, the big zip-wire or you love roller coasters you might really enjoy a ride on our local bus!!). I recently took part in the consultation about transport around Idwal and Snowdon. We can see that it would be possible to sign post visitors to a large ‘Snowdon Car Park’, but how would you transfer these people to the starts of the paths? Given that they mostly arrive at the same time and want to go to a limited number of destinations. Hundreds want to start their journey from Pen y Pass, currently they all drive there, just on the off chance there is parking space, then they drive somewhere else. This is a big problem that will take bold solutions, more of that another time, I think. The BMC has avoided preaching at us about car use and I think that’s wise. For our part however we should be looking at those journeys, filling our cars, thinking about hydrogen or electric powered vehicles – check this fellows lead out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmAA-dXNnQ47tKkdRvrgdtQ
Another ‘biggy’ for us is those off season short-haul sun-rock flights – it’s up to you. But I do remember when Tremadog was the Easter destination, it was then usurped by Pembroke before the sun-rock thing really took off with the arrival of budget airlines. I know it’s so cheap to fly, it’s cheap to drive really. Right now I can jump in my car and go anywhere, I can take climbing gear, walking gear, I can put bikes and a rack and kayaks on top, I’m free, I go anywhere – should I feel guilty? I am humbled by Glyn, I am enviro-superior to so many others, at least I don’t fly anymore, unless, of course, …