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Is whitewater paddling low impact?

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  • #4795
    POBO
    Participant

    This question, I have been mulling over lately. Have you ever pulled into an eddy and noticed all the plastic and royalex scraped on the rocks? How does this affect the fish who spawn in these areas or the insect larvae that breed there? Are we killing the very rivers we play in by injecting copious quantities of refined petroleum products into them?

    How are we any better than a river side factory using the waterways as a dumping ground?

    POBO

    #30401
    Rich
    Participant

    Have you ever pulled into an eddy and noticed all the plastic and royalex scraped on the rocks? – YES

    How does this affect the fish who spawn in these areas or the insect larvae that breed there? – IT DOESNT, if anything they like the pretty colours

    Are we killing the very rivers we play in by injecting copious quantities of refined petroleum products into them? – NO

    #30402
    Skippy
    Participant

    The biggest way that paddlers kill the environment is by all that driving!

    I know most paddlers think nothing of hopping into their truck, SUV or mini-van (alone or with one other person) and driving 5 hours from Toronto to the Ottawa River.

    The plastic on the rock thing is pretty minor I would think. Plastic is pretty stable and doesn’t really break down. So it’s not like the plastic scraped on rocks is releasing harmful petroluem into the rivers in any great amount.

    #30403
    cboater
    Participant

    I definitely think WW paddling is low impact especially kayaking!

    Take other sports – jogging, hockey, football, those are high impact sports. People’s knees are often blown out by their mid-thirties – they can no longer play those sports and have to take up something low-impact.

    Even if you feel it is high impact, not to worry – they make RECUMBENT WHEELCHAIRS! So when you’re older, your joints will thank you for the added comfort of this! Check it out: no joke!

    http://picasaweb.google.ca/michael.sims … 5146711394

    As for harming the fish, Mr. POBO I think you’re posting this to the wrong forum. Most of the people here SUPPORT kayaking and angling together!! Case in point – the kayaking / fishing derby that boatwreks hosted last couple years. Also – didnt Rapid media just create "kayak angler" magazine? If kayaking was bad for the environment, then why would they combine the two?

    cboater.

    #30404
    stew27
    Participant

    very good point with the driving…this is unfortunate, and will unfortunately get even worse with all the hydro electric developments, taking whitewater access even further away from us…however, i can not think of an outdoor sport that is as low impact as paddling….it is the idiots who leave their garbage everywhere that make a problem. paddling is pretty much a medium where humans can directly act with mother nature and no harm is caused. compare our sport to fishing! no power outboards leaking oil, etc…i have nothing against fishing, as i do it out of my kayak or canoe whenever i can, but big burly boats do not help the cause… agreed, the plastic is a minute problem, and yes im sure the fishies appreciate all the pretty colours

    #30405
    POBO
    Participant

    I was referring to the impact on the environment, not physical impact on your body. So because paddlers also enjoy angling and a new magazine popped up to cater to this, you believe it must be low impact??? I suppose that you also question the very existense issue of climate change as well?
    I feel sorry for you mr. cboater, I really do.

    I agree with you mr. skippy, paddlers do drive and burn fossil fuels in their suvs over long distances, often alone.

    POBO

    #30406
    surfboy
    Participant

    digest/process plastic, just as they eventually did with plant fibre.
    In geologic time.
    by that time the machines may be farming us for energy, or scooping us up to make Soylent Green.

    Paddling is very oil intensive.
    our toys and protective clothing are made from it.
    and, they’re shipped half way around the world using it.
    our cars and trucks are increasingly made from it, and they run on oil, or even more inefficiently produced bio fuels.

    The more we paddle and the further afield we paddle, the bigger our footprint.

    I like to think that paddlers have more social responsibility than average, but there is a normal distribution to everything. We may be less wasteful than Joe Chesterfield, driving a 36 ft, 800 hp powerboat on saturday, but, there are some among us who do far more environmental damage in how we make our own livings, than powerboat drivers.
    We are still part of the problem, no matter how you cut it, and driving long distances in large vehicles carrying relatively few people is our harshest impact.

    How far do we go?
    I’m not ready to go back to the cave, flint tools and foraging for berries, yet.

    John Mason

    #30407
    Kevin M
    Participant

    I don’t leave garbage on the river, other than the occassion rock scrape as mentioned above.

    However getting there is the big problem even though my truck usually has 4 people in it.

    The biggest benefit kayaking does it that for every minute I am in my kayak and am not in a powerboat or my truck.

    However when we camp while boating we usually have a campfire. I doubt that has a positive effect on the environment.

    I guess we are just bad people no matter how you slice it.

    Could be worse though we could be environmentalist jumping into planes to fly all over the world telling other people that they are wasting energy.
    That would really suck

    #30408
    POBO
    Participant

    I would also like to think that paddlers are more environmentally conscious than the average outdoor enthusiast. Unfortunately I don’t believe that we are any better than any other active group.
    Based on the current results of my poll, half of this users of this board are deluding themselves into believing that paddling is a low impact pass-time.

    I have seen quite a few paddlers pull into a put-in in an empty suv with 2 or more kayaks on the roof. This can hardly be termed as ‘environmentally conscious’ or ‘morally responsible’ in this day and age.

    POBO

    #30409
    keez
    Participant

    Couple of points to ponder:
    i) one of the biggest litter cleanup bills for the City of Toronto was for the annual "Earth Day" parades,
    ii) the guy bombing around in the 200 hp bass boat, usually hauled it there in a big @ss SUV, along with his ATV (paddling’s not that bad),
    iii) if there was never any global warming in the past, why is there oil in the Arctic?
    Looking forward to an intelligent, unemotional and informed reply from POBO.
    Geoff

    #30410
    Skippy
    Participant

    It’s actually MS. Skippy

    #30411
    mark.d
    Participant

    it seems kayaking is a SPORT , well rodeo at least , so river impact is no issue ,rodeo paddlers are exempt from this issue, just the quest to blunt higher , or spin faster , you should post your questions on the flatwater board it’s the big canoes that are causing this . :roll:

    #30412
    Greg Konigshaus
    Participant

    I’m troubled. I have to give this up now. :cry:

    Let me put my Greenpeace hat on. Everytyhing we do impacts on the environment, and even the production of canoes and kayaks has a negative impact. Therefore I should never buy another boat.

    I’ll bet the plastic on rocks, in addition to our activity, interrupts normal fish behaviour, including spawning (tough to interrupt me).

    Having "spued" this, I hope that WW boaters have more of a positive influence than an negative one. I know many boaters who bother to pick up other’s trash, and, as evidenced by this board, there are other more positive influences.

    I think, and I am serious, that we should invite the Green Party or Greenpeace, or any other environmentally friendly goup to speak to this on the board.

    #30413
    Dan.
    Participant

    Hey POBO.

    Its environmetalits like you that give us a bad name. You are offensive arrogant and self-rightious. Calling people mr. and ms. is pompous to the point of humor. It does not imply respect, quite the opposite infact. The antagonistic tone of your posts serves to ailiant others, rather than inspire them to join our cause. Your method of environmental leadership polerizes the debate and creates an us and them scenarion, or rather a POBO and them scenario. Even though I agree with you in theory, I think you are an asshole and would argue against you on any subject just because you are so offensive.

    If you really want to change the world for the better inspire rather than berate. Encourage rather than put down. Have an open and caring attitude and others will care too.

    Yes I recognize the irony the above post.

    #30414
    POBO
    Participant
    "keez":3c26k1ai wrote:
    Couple of points to ponder:
    i) one of the biggest litter cleanup bills for the City of Toronto was for the annual "Earth Day" parades,
    ii) the guy bombing around in the 200 hp bass boat, usually hauled it there in a big @ss SUV, along with his ATV (paddling’s not that bad),
    iii) if there was never any global warming in the past, why is there oil in the Arctic?
    Looking forward to an intelligent, unemotional and informed reply from POBO.
    Geoff[/quote:3c26k1ai]

    Answer to you mr. keez;

    i) This saddens me, but does not suprise me. Human nature dictates that humans often have the best intentions while doing the wrong things. Also most people could be accused of being a hypocrite at least once in their life.

    ii) My question was in my original post was/still is: "is whitewater paddling low impact" not is fishing/powerboating low-impact. I think the answer there is fairly self evident.

    iii) In the history of the Earth over 450 million years there have been 4-5 ice ages, these ice ages were followed by warmer periods where things like dinosaurs roamed the earth. These periods lasted millions of years, ice ages coming and going took millions of years. Humans burning fossil fuels have warmed the earth by 3C in the last 150 years.
    So yes you are correct when you point out the fact climate change is nothing new by using the oil reserve discovered in Alaska. What is new, is that the period of time in which our climate is changing is more radical than anything in the history of the earth (save for a major impact from a large meteor). This climate change is not driven by any natural event, it is driven by the CO2 emissions produced by us burning fossils.

    I could go on in greater depth if you like, mr keez, in short if you believe that global warming is fiction, you must also believe that 911 was an act of terrorism and mcdonalds is good for you.

    POBO

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