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for people who care about the West

Eco-conscious contradiction

 

I, too, have begun to question the assumed correlation between outdoor recreation and environmental conservation (“Your stoke won’t save us,” HCN, 5/14/18). I used to be a nearly full-time recreationalist masquerading as a “professional outdoor athlete.” I continue to half-heartedly follow the culture on social media. Along with the overused Edward Abbey quote, I’ve come to expect posts of outdoor athletes/recreationalists climbing and running in mountains on the other side of the world, advertising imported petroleum-based clothing/gear while preaching the values of conservation, or athletes who undertake inspirational self-propelled adventures — flying around the country while promoting their eco-conscious endeavors.

The irony of the apparent hypocrisy is underscored by my daily interactions with my neighbors here in rural southwest New Mexico. While many of the locals here are undeniable “climate change deniers,” I would almost guarantee that, out of economic necessity, they live a more sustainable and lower carbon footprint lifestyle than my eco-conscious globetrotting recreationalist buddies.

Kyle Skaggs
Silver City, New Mexico