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Why backpackers need to run the world


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  • #3755342
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/07/18/magazine/herman-daly-interview.html

    Backpackers learn to carry only the necessary things to keep them safe and comfortable when in the wild. Fewer things, more happiness. The article suggests that endless growth of gdp has ecological costs, including the fires we’ve all come to dread, lack of water etc. All things of concern for us here.

    In short, this isn’t a chaff piece!

    #3755346
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    GDP is the sum of the value of everything produced.  If you, for example, charge more for the same stuff, your GDP will go up even though you aren’t consuming more scarce resources.  Or if you consume less stuff but then pay even more for some service, the GDP will increase but you’re consuming fewer scarce resources.

    GDP isn’t that useful to look at.  You have to look at sustainability.

    But ignoring that, the article is good.  We have to consume less of scarce resources and reduce pollution, like CO2.

    I’m not sure if backpackers are the example to hold up of goodness.  We tend to buy too much gear that we don’t need.  Just speaking for myself here, I won’t shame anyone else : )

    #3755347
    W I S N E R !
    BPL Member

    @xnomanx

    It’s a good read.

    It’s also my experience that it takes two tons of gear and a six figure income to put an average couple of well outfitted backpackers on the trail.

    I suspect that these good people know a whole lot more about living simply and sustainably than any of us backpackers do. How far are we willing to go? And how high should they be allowed to aim?

     

    #3755391
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    Very well-organized @Wisner!, I would be embarrassed to show my gear storage.

    #3755392
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I guess my point was that being on the trail (or off) teaches us how little we need to keep safe and comfortable. The important things aren’t things–our gear is just a way to enable us to be our where we’re happy. We actually use the gear we bring as well. I know someone who owns a boat, pays the docking fee, and hasn’t sailed it for 15 years. won’t sell it though.

    The article touches on what makes a happy life, a good life. In our economy we assume that more stuff makes for more happiness. And so we keep buying and producing. Now the chickens have come home to roost in the form of global warming (sorry for the bad simile). The good life of consumerism is producing misery and disaster. Will we learn and change? Not likely.

    #3755393
    W I S N E R !
    BPL Member

    @xnomanx

    Dan, just random internet gear photos, none of that is mine! Between many outdoor disciplines, I do have a few tons of gear though.

    I agree Jeffrey. For the sake of conversation, I’ll push back on the idea that backpackers have some inherent understanding here, that we’re all in the same camp, as evidenced by the Chaff conversations of yore. I doubt you’ll find any consensus on this site. Yes, there is likely a slant towards “conservation”, but when we get into the details of how that conservation should be structured the insurmountable ideological battles will begin. I’ve long noticed what I would consider a strong anti-collectivist streak in these sorts of conversations here. I think it comes down to the issue that environmental protections, in order to be meaningful and universal, necessitate regulation. Regulation is meaningless without coercion/force of some sort, whether that’s physical, financial, cultural, etc.. Regulation also implies a regulating body capable of enforcement. This ultimately becomes completely at odds with the mythology of individualism, private property, etc., let alone the basic task of agreeing- on a national/global level- on who will do the regulating.

    It’s increasingly clear to me that the majority of people on this planet that truly hold power and privilege, be it directly or through their spending/consumption habits (the American middle class included), would sooner go down with the ship than give up that power and privilege, so long as they feel “free” while doing so. The misery and suffering created by rampant consumerism and environmental destruction will simply be outsourced to the greatest extent possible for as long as possible.

    The “live free or die” mindset of individualism has become too powerful; who the hell are you to tell me how to live? Somewhere along the line even BPL adopted “Hike Free or Die” t-shirts. This mythology runs deep.

    #3755399
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    the majority of people on this planet that truly hold power and privilege … would sooner go down with the ship than give up that power and privilege

    So true, and becoming increasingly apparent as denial becomes less plausible for anyone with a brain.

    #3755414
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    or. like in that movie “don’t look up” (which was kind of preachy – I won’t recommend it)

    the politicians are just focused on getting re-elected and supporting the donors

    so, if a mass extinction asteroid is about to hit the earth, they just don’t want to talk about it because it might offend the donors or scare voters that then won’t vote for them

    the politicians don’t believe that it will be that bad

    #3755479
    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member

    @balzaccom

    Locale: Wine Country

    I think many politicians do think it will be that bad, but also know that they, and many of their voters, will be dead by then. It is an undeniably selfish perspective.  But then, that’s what this discussion is about…

    And while I do like the minimalist philosophy of backpacking, I agree with WISNER! that backpackers with catalogs of gear for every occasion probably also live their lives the same way, with overstocked kitchens, multiple vehicles, and endless electronic gadgets.

    Gearheads are gearheads.

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