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Can you be an 'eco-friendly' pilgrim?

A

Anonymous

Guest
Thought I would start this as a separate thread. The question was asked on another thread ...

The question, posed by Bridget & Peter was -

"What is the forum's advice for those who wish to advertise their green credentials or limit their carbon footprint?"

and I said - "don't use an aeroplane"

... so we can recycle our yoghurt cartons, have our credentials made out of rice paper and eat them at the end, only drink local wine to cut down on transport costs, be vegetarian, have boots/sandals made out of recycled materials and so on ... solar panel to charge mobile phone ....
but how does any of that stack up against flying, say, from Canada and back to Canada again? Or New Zealand/Australia!

Doesn't equate does it?

I really don't have a personal axe to grind here, it isn't my hobby horse - (though I don't fly - but this is because they tend to fall out of the sky every now and then).

But - I've seen photos of some of the folks here and read threads and just about everyone seems educated and articulate and rather caring - so, - well, the green thing is getting to be quite a serious problem now - global warming/freezing (pick your theory) and so on so ...

what's the answer? Can you be a green pilgrim (I include myself in this question, living in England and a ferry or train away from France)
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
I was really being flippant because the solar panel being carried by the naked pilgrims seemed rather odd- after all, if they like walking naked that suggests a sort of 'back to basics' attitude which is contradicted by the solar panel (for what? mobile phones? digital cameras? blackberries and such like?)

It seems obvious to me that having a 'green sensibility' fits with the pilgrim ethos :

-pilgrims walk or otherwise power themselves on the camino
-they exist on very little material goods
- they 'live off the land' ie spend their money in the villages and towns they pass through
- they appreciate the landscape, the local architecture, and they pass through slowly enough to notice and enjoy differences
- they stay in refugios with little heating or air conditioning
and no doubt lots more.

We have 'slow cities', 'slow food' and a friend of mine wrote a dissertation for her Masters (in Art) on 'Slow making'. Pilgrimage should be 'Slow travelling'. 'Slowness' is about valuing and experiencing things from the beginning, not jumping straight to the end product. A homemade cake is always more satisfying than a shop bought one, and the making of it has meaning whatever the taste!

As in many things we may well have aspirations which we do not wholly achieve. I aspire to live like Christ. I do not come anywhere near. If I thought that my attempts to do so were so pitiful as to be worthless I would give up. I have to believe they are meaningful.

So some of us will fly, contributing to the emission of carbon much greater than we save by our recycling or purchase of recycled loo paper or whatever. Those of us who live in Europe are more able to consider whether we need to fly. But we can all be thoughtful about how we use the world's resources, and keep trying!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I´d be happy if pilgrims would just not leave a trail of litter behind them.

Especially the bicyclists. The number of inner tubes we´re pulling from the camino-side drains these days is a shocker!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
B.P. - agree with some of that but your question was a serious one .... errmm .. do you feel tumbleweeds slowly rolling through this empty thread or is it just me? .....

sure, I thought the same when I saw the solar panel (carried by the man of course), and did wonder what they (he) were/was charging up - perhaps a 12 volt penis warmer?, we'll never know

and, of course, the low level we exist at 'on' the camino is true - but your question is also rather serious - the thin screen of chemicals that protect us from hard solar radiation that would kill all living things on this planet is dreadfully harmed by aeroplane emissions (apparently).

In the UK outgoing aviation alone causes 13% of our contribution to climate change (http://planestupid.com/10reasons/climate) - 13% ! and just outgoing!
"The UK’s top climatologists predict that aviation’s emissions alone are predicted to exceed the government’s target for the country’s entire output of greenhouse gases in 2050 by around 134%."

So I would say, no, by travelling from the far parts of the world in an aeroplane to 'be spiritual' and walk a Camino, that pilgrim is, as an individual, making the largest contibution to being 'anti-eco-friendly' that they can in their life, and not one bit of their 'being green' on the actual Camino can in any way counter that.

As I said, this is not my hobby horse - but those are the facts as given - so, no, unless you live fairly close to one of the Santiago Caminos there is absolutely no way at all that such a pilgrimage can be justified on eco grounds ...

eerrmmm ... anyone want to counter? :? :? :?

(hey - come on Arn and Rebeka - we aren't talking about litter here :wink: )
 

jeff001

Active Member
Br. David:
With all due respect to what the political types say about the impact of carbon emissions I think it is important to keep in mind that the increase in the CO2 level in the atmosphere has only increased from 285 parts per million, that's 0.0285%, prior to the industrial revolution to 400 ppm at present. That is an increase of only 0.01% and probably less than half of that is from human sources. I don't think any of us should be too concerned about whether or not we should be flying anywhere.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Jeff, brother Jeff, errmmm o.o1%? I think you will find that 285 to 400 is an increase of 28.75% isn't it?

I don't really personally mind, honest. :wink:

Look, I didn't put this thread up because I have a personal opinion on this, only as an open thread in response to a good question, so responses should be about the question, not about me! :|

- and, believe me, I am an old hand on this planet and I do not believe what authorities tell me!.

I was child when 'clean' nuclear power was going to produce such cheap electricity that we wouldn't even have meters in our homes (government advert).
I was told in the late 60's/early 70's that all the oil would be gone by the millenium ...
I was told in the late 70's that by 2010 all cities would have banned cars.
I was told during the Vietnam War that "we have to kill them to save them".
errmm ...
I was told in the late 60's that because of in-atmosphere nuclear weapons testing Strontium 90 was at such a high level in our milk that within two years we would not be able to drink it - but then our government increased the safety levels by a factor of ten and made it 'safe' again and we are still drinking it.
let's see ...
The Falklands invasion ... the UK government was told by the USA that on the Monday morning Argentinia was going to publicly accept the Peru peace proposal so Argentinia ordered its battleship, the Belgrano, to return to port. She turned around, with her escort, and steamed for home. The Captain made an announcement to his 720+ crew of men and boys that there would be no war with England and they were going home. This was received with joyful cheers. Some hours later, fully aware of all of this, my government (Mrs Thatcher) ordered a nuclear submarine to sink it without any warning and almost everyone on board died - murdered, a clear war crime. Then she had her war for the history books. When she was finally kicked out of office she stole the chair she was sitting in when she ordered the sinking and it is now in the hallway of her house,next to a telephone. Visitors are asked if they would like to sit in it.

hhmm... I remember that ..
Only a few years ago my prime minister told me that we had to invade Iraq to save us and the world from being attacked by a crazed dictator using his terrible weapons - the weapons he said weren't there. They weren't there, and some years later 1.3 million people are now dead. 1.3 million people!

so, no, I don't believe what 'authorities' tell us - I am just responding to the question .. so, what do you think? adding all of it in ... can one be an 'eco-friendly' pilgrim?
 

Rose Louise

Member
It is difficult for many pilgrims to be eco friendly when you consider the amount of bottled water that is consumed during their travels. Think about it, first perfectly good water is processed, bottled then transported to all parts of the world. In Australia it is "in" to drink french bottled water and conversely our water is exported overseas. Then there is the plastic waste. At what cost to our planet? This topic is like opening up a can of worms. It would be difficult to find anybody who could be considered truly eco-friendly.

Even if we all drank wine instead of water on our pilgrimage we still would making an impact on the carbon footprint. What a sad world that would be. Vintage began three days ago here in Australia. We have been handpicking and processing this morning commencing at 6.30 am with an overnight temp of 24 degrees C with an expected top temp of 45-47 degrees C later in the day.

Rose Louise
 

Arn

Veteran Member
This topic could become a hazardous waste site in short order and
Br. David mentioned the purported negative impact of; entire output of greenhouse gases in 2050

Among the industrialized countries a significant effort on cleaning up the planet has been underway for over 50 years...and there will always be more that can be done.

But here on the Forum..we are talking of what we can do to make the Camino better...not just greener (in recent vernacular)but better!

It is a conscious effort toward picking up and encouraging others not to trash the Way that will have the most immediate effects on our total experience. Yes, folks talking politics, religion or quilt making will offend the ears of some...but a trashed Camino should offend all.

We are the stewards of the Camino and regardless of the insensitivity of others...we, the members of THIS Forum can, and should, have a positive impact as best we can...here and now! Not 20 years out!

Arn
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yes, shouldn't really have tried to green issue the poor pilgrim (including me) as none of us can be if we travel (if scientists are correct of course !!)

but hadn't thought of bottled water. Has always seemed an odd thing to do in Europe .. though must admit that I tend to buy two smaller ones and then just keep refilling them - cheapest way to get water bottles ... but, crikey! - what is it about littering?

It is bad enough that people will go to a beach or hill in England and litter but to travel all that way to a camino and wonder at its age and beauty and then to litter it - :shock: I don't quite understand how anyone can do that.

but that is such a great trvel story - the chap who paid to sit on a ship floating to nowhere!
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
I was being soft on the flying issue because there are so many people on this forum who can only fly to Europe (unless the speedos are put into use, of course)
Men could shorten the lines at the airport by wearing only a speedo and flip-flops.

I tend to the pragmatic. It's unrealistic to condemn all flying. Our far-flung fellow pilgrims have to make up their own mind whether to stick to pilgrim routes (eg the ones in Canada) they can reach by train or bus, or whether to come to the camino. I do not judge them. They can (and should, in my opinion) still follow and promote other sustainable practices, such as recycling, buying local, (and definitely NOT buying bottled water) without being made to feel they are hypocritical. As I said before, none of us act in a way wholly consistent with our aspirations.

Living in England Peter and I do feel we ought to restrict our flying. Hence our pilgrimage starting from home and using trains and ferries. We are blotting our copybook by flying on March 2 to Santiago to walk the Ingles. Perhaps I was carried away by the idea and we could have a similar restorative and contemplative adventure closer to home.

But it should be taken as unquestionable that pilgrims should ALWAYS carry their own litter (including used loo paper)away, and pick up that left by others(not sure about the loo paper - how much do decent protective gloves weigh?).

Lets lighten up. If I want to show off how green I am, perhaps I c ould make my own walking stick out of rolled up newspaper - with the added advantage that it won't make a tapping noise.

And Peter already recycles his wax earplugs (apparently I snore (only sometimes, of course)to the point of disgustingness. Perhaps we could make new ones out of candle drippings?

My patchwork sleeping bag stuffed with fluff from the vacuum cleaner is so bulky I have to tow it on a trailer made from old pram wheels, and you should see the Poncho I have knitted from strips of plastic bags.

Maybe that solar panel was for their electric moustache curlers?
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
B&P, you make me laugh out loud... the image of the patchwork stuffed with vacuum fluff...! :lol:

Seriously, the reason the subject didn´t pick up a lot of steam, I believe, is that no matter what "solution" you posit in these circustances, some zealot is likely to answer with a Guilt Bomb. It´s like religion or politics -- there´s no right answer, and just a lot of noise at the end of it all.

This does cut to a philosophical question, however: Is the camino any more spiritual than anyplace else in the world? If we carry our own enlightenment within ourselves, why do we feel the need to wander the world looking for it? If we were really being spiritual beings, would we ever need to leave the house?

Reb
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
This has nothing to do with greening the Camino. If you can wade through the transcript format, it is about a study on global dimming done the three days after September 11, 2001, when no aircraft were flying. Basically, it shows that clouds from jet trails have reduced brightness, which acts opposite to carbon dioxide induced global warming. High altitude jets help in the fight against global warming! However, it is hard on organism that are affected by brightness rather than temperature. When we mess with the ecosystem, the interactions are very complex.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/program ... rans.shtml
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Nope! I think that all these people from different continents are just plain awkward and lazy .. there are lots of ways to get to the Camino - I mean, it is only a few thousand miles for some people.. here are some very practical alternatives to jet aircraft ...
 

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A

Anonymous

Guest
and these of course .... so there is no excuse - it is quite easy to get there and be green. (don't know what the fuss is all about).
 

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D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
California has announced energy standards for TV's. Modern flatscreen TV's use 30% more energy than the old CRT's. So on my next Camino, I am leaving the 105 pound, 48" plasma TV, and I am taking my old 80 pound, 29" CRT set. That should green-up the pilgrimage.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
You can pay someone to offset your carbon footprint at:

http://www.jpmorganclimatecare.com/

It would cost me 15.69 British pounds to buy carbon offsets, not a large sum, though I am suspicious paying anyone associated with J.P. Morgan! (see: The Secret Bailout of J. P. Morgan: How Insider Trading Looted Bear Stearns and the American Taxpayer) There must be some great story about J.P. Morgan buying Climate Care.
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
Perhaps we could offset our flights by making further and significant changes to our everyday lifestyle - eg changing to energy efficient light bulbs, not buying the modern flat screen TV, or the out of season fruit or veg etc. I too am dubious about carbon offset schemes - would want to do a lot of research to ensure my money was actually doing good somewhere!
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
I'm afraid that scientific opinion is that aircraft pollution is the worst thing because the emissions are so high in the sky,

Andy
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Andy offered:aircraft pollution is the worst thing

Here's an article on the following climate change conference in Bali, 07'

« Imogen Heap - Musical - and Technological - Genius
The New Imperialism: Diversity and Cultural Sensitivity »
Carbon Footprint of UN Conference
21st November 2007, 08:09 am

Much of the blame for carbon dioxide emissions gets put on cars. However if you really want to warm the planet fast and you believe the current scientific consensus that CO2 emissions are to blame, then hop on board an international flight. This is the reason why I can’t get past the irony of holding a UN sponsored conference on climate change in one of the most remote places on the planet, about as far from UN headquarters as you can go and still get a tan without drowning.

The distance between New York City and Bali, Indonesia is 10163 miles (16356 km) (8832 nautical miles). The US is sending 60 delegates - so we’ll assume that they are all based at UN headquarters in NYC. We’ll also assume that they aren’t packed in coach and that they are flying Business Class on a non-stop flight that is 80% full.

Here’s a nifty calculator that does all the calculations based on latitude and longitude.

For this single trip, each participant from New York City will use 1,731 kg of fuel, producing 5,282 kg of CO2 with the warming effect of 16,146 kg.

That’s each participant leaving New York City. Multiplying that result by 60, the American delegation alone is responsible for 103,860 kg of fuel, producing 316,920 kg of CO2 with the warming effect of 968,720 kg.

But 10,000 people are expected to attend the conference and so far I’ve been unable to find any type of geographic breakdown. So I’m going to make some assumptions:

4,000 participants from New York - that’s where UN headquarters is.
1,000 from Los Angeles - for press, Hollywood UN groupies, and UN personnel stationed at west coast consulates.
3,000 from Rome - for European NGO, UN and official contingents
1,000 from Hong Kong - that will cover participants and press from Japan, China and SE Asia
1,000 from Delhi - which will cover South Asia, the Middle East and Africa
Origination # of travelers
kg of fuel per traveler total fuel
kg of CO2 per traveler total CO2
kg of CO2 warming effect per traveler total warming effect

New York 4,000 people
1,731 6,924,000 kg
5,282 21,128,000 kg
16,146 64,584,000 kg

Los Angeles 1,000 people
1,450 1,450,000 kg
4,508 4,508,000 kg
13,525 13,525,000 kg

Rome 3,000 people
1,240.00 3,720,000 kg
3,850.00 11,550,000 kg
11,560.00 34,680,000 kg

Hong Kong 1,000 people
404 404,000 kg
1,256 1,256,000 kg
3,769 3,769,000 kg

Delhi 1,000 people
608 608,000 kg
1,889 1,889,000 kg
5,666 5,666,000 kg

Totals:
Fuel used: 13,106,000 kg
CO2 produced: 40,331,000 kg
Warming effect: 122,224,000 kg

I will update this post with better numbers as I find them. However my estimate is that the UN conference in Bali will spew over 40,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in air travel alone. This CO2 has the warming effect of just over 122,000 metric tons of CO2.

According to this Wikipedia article, trees planted in the tropics remove 22kg of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. That’s roughly 45 trees needed to remove one metric ton of CO2.

So in order to cover the 40,000 metric tons we would have to plant roughly 2,000,000 trees in the tropics. I am currently working on learning more about these plantings, including species (e.g. Leucaena leucocephala, a Mexican native), size of tree, and the number of trees per hectare - so that I can estimate the area of afforestation it would take to offset this conference. However, I’m very leery of planting non-native species based on my experience with Senna spectabilis, a tree that is so invasive that you can cut one down, take the log and stick it into the ground and before you know it it will sprout and grow. Senna might offset carbon, but Senna forest is a desert in terms of its ability to support wildlife.

UPDATE:
Finding stem density for tropical forests has been tough. The best I’ve found so far is this study on Ugandan forest. They used a 10cm DBH threshold, and found an average density of 479 trees per hectare. Using this figure I calculate that 4,175 hectares (10,317 acres) of trees would need to be planted to offset the carbon produced by the conference. Or just over 1 acre of trees per participant.

Glenn Reynolds has stated, “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who say it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.” It’s difficult to argue with that sentiment. Imagine a conference to fight illegal drugs being attended by participants who were stoned, or holding a meeting to combat obesity at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Are global warming skeptics the only ones who appreciate the irony here?

Hat tip: The Rosett Report

UPDATE: 12/5/2007
The Seattle Post Intelligencer gives the carbon footprint at 47,000 tons, which is a bit higher than my estimate. However the article quotes Chris Goodall, author of the book “How to Live a Low-Carbon Life,” as saying that the figure is probably closer to 100,000 tons.


Now, why is this on target for this Forum?

1. These "eco-friendly" pilgrims are advancing the next religion...bordering on paganism.
2. They talk the talk...but, as would a good pilgrim...they refuse to walk the walk!
3. Redistribution of wealth is a major goal of this movement....not saving the planet. The folks selling carbon offsets are the same people saying carbon is bad....a self-serving group.

I taught both environmental and wilderness education...I stopped when the newly degreed and recently hired "science' teachers began to radicalize their students with audio tapes and books written by individuals hold up in an apartment in Colorado or a former senator fron TN.

While I'd agree that we should do are best to keep the planet clean, beware of folks touting the sky is falling, while at the same time selling "falling sky" shields.

We can all do our part...and since this Forum is about the Camino...it is a matter of keeping the Way clean, properly disposing of residue of our making and leaving the politics at home, or whatever recycle bin you chose to use.

Buen Camino,

Arn
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
Arn said:
Now, why is this on target for this Forum?

1. These "eco-friendly" pilgrims are advancing the next religion...bordering on paganism.
2. They talk the talk...but, as would a good pilgrim...they refuse to walk the walk!
3. Redistribution of wealth is a major goal of this movement....not saving the planet. The folks selling carbon offsets are the same people saying carbon is bad....a self-serving group.

I taught both environmental and wilderness education...I stopped when the newly degreed and recently hired "science' teachers began to radicalize their students with audio tapes and books written by individuals hold up in an apartment in Colorado or a former senator fron TN.

While I'd agree that we should do are best to keep the planet clean, beware of folks touting the sky is falling, while at the same time selling "falling sky" shields.

We can all do our part...and since this Forum is about the Camino...it is a matter of keeping the Way clean, properly disposing of residue of our making and leaving the politics at home, or whatever recycle bin you chose to use.

Buen Camino,

Arn

Hey Arn,

thanks for this - and I do agree with you about being very suspicious of people using this as an opportunity to sell things. I also recognise that the whole thing is fraught with contradictions and I sincerely hope that I am not coming over as self-righteous or preachy (although I'm a priest, so preaching at least is part of the life).

I would take issue on eco-friendly pilgrims advancing the next religion or being pagan - I won't bore you with a long list of proof quotes, but respecting and caring for the creation is central Catholic Christianity. The Way includes how we arrive and depart.

Anyway, I'll shut up now. Tomorrow is my day off and I want to get up early for a walk on the Malverns.

pax et bonum

Andy
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
people tend to believe what allows them to carry on doing what they want to do and I have noticed that in action on this thread. :wink:

to write about aeroplane emissions and then say that all we can do is to pick up litter on the Camino ... bit of avoidance going on there don't you think? The answer, were the emissions as destructive as now said, is to not get on an aeroplane .... - how and where one then pilgimages is a secondary question to be answered.

This carbon off-set though ... surely it is false? It is just that, if you plant a tree it grows by making air solid but it is only temporary co2 storage. When it dies - and it will die - it then releases all the stored co2 back into the environment .... or am I missing something?
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
It all depends on how you define eco-friendly.

Some people take it to cover just CO2 but surely that is just one aspect of it. If we mean ecologically friendly there are many aspects that can be considered including population growth, water use, use of finite resources etc and on a local level litter, recycling and pollution etc.

Someone said earlier that the topic can be used to make people feel guilty. But there is the view of some religions that our destiny is decided by God (or Gods) and we are just following a predetermined path. For some of us that path includes the Camino.

Some religious teachings hold back science; St Augustine of Hippo held back Christianity while Islam flourished and the stricter interpretation of the Koran that has be common for the last 500 years has held back the development of the Muslim world. Likewise the Green movement has a tendency to preach what we cannot do without offering alternatives. I am thinking of those who object to wind farms or tidal barrages and nuclear energy while condemning fossil fueled power generation.
 

Arn

Veteran Member
William offered: I am thinking of those who object to wind farms or tidal barrages and nuclear energy while condemning fossil fueled power generation.

This is probably the point I believe has the right of it.

The world currently runs on petro...with all it's attendant drawbacks and until there is an economical alternative, it will remain so. Nuclear energy is probably the safest and cleanest source of usable power when we speak of power grids, followed by clean burning coal.

Other alternatives...solar, wind and tidal also have a part to play, the key there is the ability to sustain the current, or be capable of effectively storing excess.

Now enters the storage challenge. Currently storage is in banks of batteries that are the least environmentally friendly. Even with a car such as the Prius, the production of its battery, pound for pound, is one of the most destructive processes on the planet and the battery life span is relatively short...say 100,000 miles. To make the electric battery for the eco-conscious Prius, Toyota sources nickel from an Inco smelting facility in Sudbury, Ontario, that is one of the worst polluters in North America; sulphur dioxide emissions from the plant has produced destructive acid rain.

There are some bright lights ahead...such as graphene (a form of carbon) which could eventually double the capacity of existing ultracapacitors, which are manufactured using an entirely different form of carbon. But this capability is still years in the making. Even if it were available today, as William said, the NIMBYs and massive environmental studies required to even place such a facility is daunting and uneconomical.

I think this topic is one where we will have to agree to disagree on the solution.

Until then, we must do all we can reasonably do to be good stewards of the planet, in general and while on Camino, there in specific.

Arn
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Someone said earlier that the topic can be used to make people feel guilty. But there is the view of some religions that our destiny is decided by God (or Gods) and we are just following a predetermined path. For some of us that path includes the Camino.

Which religions are these?

Some religious teachings hold back science; St Augustine of Hippo held back Christianity while Islam flourished and the stricter interpretation of the Koran that has be common for the last 500 years has held back the development of the Muslim world.

Hhmm ... I cannot see how that old fool Augustine held back Christianity - held back from what exactly? My understanding is that it was the fall of the Roman Empire that allowed space for new empires on the crumbling rim (an Islamic one for starters) and also produced some hundreds of years of struggles for power within europe that caused the chaos. And as the early Islamic world was the mover of all arts and sciences for some hundreds of years, until europe had recovered, it is only very recently with the American secret service funded fundamentalist Islamic schools (to breed up an army of men to fight the Russians and their conquest plans) that a literal interpretation of the Q'ran has meant that in some areas scientific progress has been stifled.

Likewise the Green movement has a tendency to preach what we cannot do without offering alternatives. I am thinking of those who object to wind farms or tidal barrages and nuclear energy while condemning fossil fueled power generation.

hmm .. I agree - if you object to wind farms, tidal barrages, nuclear energy and fossil fuels what exactly is left? (If that is what they do say). In our United Kingdom we have some of the largest tidal flows in the world - if it were me I would put tidal generators all around our coast, creating nature reservations as an integral part of each one, get proper farming going again so that we are self-sufficient in good food, and move our economy to the point where we do not import any fuel whatsoever .. but that is just me. (and if we do that we won't send our young people to kill other people to get it - the death toll in Iraq now stands at 1.3 million! 1.3 million in the name of 'peace and democracy', Crikey! and they say that Hitler was bad).

The global problem is that our population needs just under three planet Earths and we only have one - so the global answer is drastic population reduction - a concerted 100 year plan to reduce our global population by two-thirds is the only realistic answer - don't you think?

But all this moves us away from the Q - and I think that the answer is "if you are coming from another land-mass the answer is no, you cannot be a Santiago pilgrim and be eco-friendly".
 

Sagalouts

RIP 2015
By the very definition of the term not only can you not be an eco-friendly pilgrim you can't be an eco-friendly anything, me and everybody else on this planet is not eco-friendly
as a father of 5 I'm not ef,procreation is not ef, marriage is not ef therefor any church advocating it is not ef.
I can't eat drink work have sex or even break wind and be ef,in fact the only eco friendly thing I can do is plant myself under a tree, as long as I use sustainable products to dig the hole.
Ian
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
sagalouts said:
By the very definition of the term not only can you not be an eco-friendly pilgrim you can't be an eco-friendly anything, me and everybody else on this planet is not eco-friendly

Fair enough. Although I would have thought it was at least theoretically possible for someone to live in a way that does not damage the environment.

But you can be more eco-friendly.

We all exploit other people to some extent, I suggest (eg buy cheap clothes, act selfishly at least sometimes) but this does not mean we cannot be anti-slavery.


Br. David said:
The global problem is that our population needs just under three planet Earths and we only have one

I'm interested to know your source for this. I have a vague memory of hearing that it would take six Earths to sustain us all living at the level of the average US citizen (Sorry, US citizens, it's just that you tend to be used as the measure in these things). If we all lived at a level that just the one Earth can sustain, what would that lifestyle look like?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
hmmm .. not too sure .. sounds good in principle but ... isn't there a tree root preservation society? :lol:

(by the way, I include myself in all this non-eco thing as I have to cross the channel to get to 'proper' europe) ...
I also use gas central heating, have a diesel camper van (27 mpg !!), a Honda 90 Cub (98 mpg !!),
a computer and, apparently each 20 searches I make to Google, Google expends the same energy as that taken to boil a kettle of water.
I drink wine imported from France, clothes made - God knows where .. and so on ...

my population point was that if we had less than a third of the global population the planet could manage the excesses ... mind you .. if using logic ... the USA uses some 35% of the world's resources so if we all got together and nuked America ......... think of the savings! :roll:

The 'how many earths' I mentioned was based on European society not the mad American one - who in Europe would dream of living like that (unless is was a nightmare) here is one source .. http://ergobalance.blogspot.com/2008/12/how-many-people-can-earth-support.html

and we are using those 3 planets now - which is why the crisis is real ... another source
http://blog.thinkfrog.org/2008/04/05/how-many-earths-are-we-using-now/ :|
 

Rose Louise

Member
Br David

The length of this topic indicates that many pilgrims are endeavouring to do their bit, as we say, to make their pilgrimages eco-friendly. It is hoped that the passion of the contributors encourages would-be pilgrims to think about their actions as they walk the Way.

Yes we have population excesses - it is a vexed question. With respect to being self sufficient. We try. Then nature intervenes. Thanks you to all my fellow pilgrims who pm'd us during the recent bushfires. Thankfully, they were not in our area. They are still burning. With temperatures in the 30's we are praying for calm days.

To get back to the pilgrimage. Thumbs up to Gareth who walked a true pilgrimage. Shame we don't all have the will and stamina to emulate him.

As regards to your earlier comments suggesting US, Canadian (and Australian) pilgrims stay at home and, today, nuking the US. I can't agree, Come on, you can't have the Camino all to yourself.

Rose Louise
 

Arn

Veteran Member
I've lived with arabs in the deep Arabian desert...the Bushmen (Basarwa) in southern Africa...the hill tribesmen in Viet Nam...Nuristanis in Afghanistan and the Irish in London...in every case the only group that didn't want to better their life and that of their people were those that didn't know there was another option available to them.

I don't know one people that would, once they have experienced "civilization" that would return to eating grubs and drinking root tea. Oh, there will always be folks...my grandparents included...that want to return to the homeland to bask in the sun and await burial among centuries of family...but they all take with them the riches earned elsewhere, because their birth place economy couldn't support them.

You can pie in the sky all the "end of the world as we know it' models and shaazzzzzmmmmm...give it a mere decade and the "utopians" come up with the next model that offers their new plan for the future.

The human race is nothing but resilient...at each "real" crisis we come up with an answer, a process and new route to the same destination we can all live with.

So, if you'd rather live in a cave, drink rain run off and eat grubs...remember...there's a larger, more ferocious carnivore lerking who will gladly make a meal of you in short order.

Back to the Camino...do your best to make the journey pleasant and appealing to those with you and those soon to follow.

Buen Camino,

Arn
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Good prose Arn ... but it doesn't say anything does it ... it isn't a real response to our apparent predicament but another 'brush it off' and carry on as normal. No one has suggested living in caves, no one has suggested going back to primitive lives ... have they ... :roll:

and, Rose, I think the length of the thread shows people trying to avoid, not agree and, yes, your high-wind bushfires have been rather horrid - with 200 dead - and some of those fires started by your own neighbours, a strange world.

As for 'we try' in response to being self-sufficient. Who tries?? Rose - you grow vast amounts of rice in dry areas under drought and empty your rivers of good and essential water to do it, and you import most everything except rabbits and sheep from all parts of the world ..so ... errmm ... what do you mean 'we try'? This is Australia you mean? Rose!

And .. (apologies to all Americans) nuking the US was - surely you understood? - a joke about logic, not a sick joke about nukes (or America) .. and I haven't written "suggesting US, Canadian (and Australian) pilgrims stay at home" only that one cannot be an 'eco-friendly' pilgrim if one travels from another land-mass (including me) ... so be fair .. it isn't about arguing with me, or responding to me, or justifying oneself .. the thread is purely a question - "can a Santiago pilgrim be eco-friendly" - and the answer, if one lives far enough away, is no. - and it doesn't matter how much litter is picked up - that is called being tidy, not eco-friendly :shock:
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Br. David pronounced: if one lives far enough away, is no

So, I take it...that it's now impossible for any pilgrim, or any person for that matter to be eco-friendly unless they stop consuming...that means dead!

Seems like the end of this thread and topic!

Saludos!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Arn said:
Br. David pronounced: if one lives far enough away, is no

So, I take it...that it's now impossible for any pilgrim, or any person for that matter to be eco-friendly unless they stop consuming...that means dead!

Seems like the end of this thread and topic!

Saludos!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

how funny you are :lol:

We are an integral part of this planet Arn - we belong here the way a leaf belongs .. we are part of it - we ARE the eco system .... the Q is specifically about whether one can be an eco-friendly pilgrim - nothing else. That the harm done by the necessary transport to get there and back outweighs anything we can actually do on the pilgrimage is unfortunate but I don't think it will change anyone's plans - do you? Except, perhaps, to make people more aware of how 'tender' one should be on the Camino .....
though, droll isn't it, that we should be 'tender' on the Camino but not care what we do to get there?

but really - the pilgrimage is an invented thing isn't it? And it is an 'I' thing. 'I' am drawn to do it. 'I' feel the need to do it. 'I' want to do it again and again and again. ... etc ... so it is an 'I', a 'me' thing - spiritual tourism ... and all tourists are now supposed to be asking themselves whether they should use those aeroplanes or holiday closer to home ...

but it is ok Arn, you don't have to slam the door as you go out ... it's just a thread ... :lol: :lol:
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
I would like not to make gender-stereotypical generalisations...

but you men, you're all such 'absolutists' (is there such a word?)!

You imply (or declare) that nobody can be eco-friendly unless they're dead, or that we should nuke the highest carbon emitting nation (yes, I know these are all jokes)

I think all that guff is pure hot air and avoidance. All equally unhelpful.

As I have said before, my approach(and I suspect this is a more female one) is more pragmatic. I find I am gradually becoming MORE eco-friendly in my habits. Generally I would use trains over planes, and because I live in the UK I believe I am under more of an obligation to try to do so when pilgrimaging. But sometimes circumstances mean I will fly. Others will be on a different point in their understanding and may only just be realising what a uneco-friendly thing buying bottled water is, or they may live in straw houses, with a composting loo and windturbines, growing their own organic veg and chickens.

'Friendly' is not an absolute concept. I know relativity seems wet and woolly, but often its us relativists who at least do something while the absolutists just argue about it.

As this forum can discuss things in minute detail (how to wipe our bums, for example) I thought people might offer a few practical examples of making a pilgrimage more eco-friendly, or funny ones, seeing as how the naked hikers were carrying a solar panel, in the picture which started this off!

On previewing this I've just seen Br.David's response to Arn - not being an absolutist this time, bro, but a realist. I approve and agree!!!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Excellent! - and I absolutely (am I an absolutist? :roll: ) agree with everything you have said.

Yes - it isn't an and/or - like the Camino itself we are all on a journey ... and there are two scales aren't there - species and individual.

I suppose the age of our species would corrollate with being teenage - and we know what their bedrooms look like!
And each of us, on our journey to, surely, full humanity? (and therefore adult responsibility?) ...
or as Thomas a Kempis wrote "if we will be truly enlightened, and delivered from all blindness of heart" ...

so I agree wholeheartedly, we are all part of an alteration in the way we live and perceive - the Camino is wonderful for that isn't it? Par ex - how strange it seems driving a car again when we get home.

So - as with the individual Camino - so with our life - a journey?

and on our journey? tenderness surely.

so - practicalities ... - bottled water no! (since Santiago pilgrims stopped buying bottled water, 15,000 thousand workers have lost their jobs wordwide in the bottled water industry, causing poverty and anguish to countless families - eerrmm .. I made that up :lol: )

eat local food,
drink local wine,
leave no litter,
help other pilgrims,
creep silently around refuges at night 'rubber-tippin' walking poles
errmmm ..... :?: :?:
 

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