'We have to get real': Outdoor recreation's effects on climate change

Professor Steven Hollenhorst of Western Washington University's College of the Environment wants outdoors people to acknowledge their contribution to climate change and then take measures to decarbonize society.

Hollenhorst has promoted “locavism,” the idea of creating outdoor adventures at home. But we all know how difficult it is to forgo international travel or even stop driving to Artist Point to hike to Ptarmigan Ridge or Lake Ann.

Hollenhorst gets it. Really. He does.

“It is so beguiling because it looks sustainable,” Hollenhorst said of wilderness recreation. “We’re out there human-powered, moving ourselves up the mountain or skiing. Pull away the veil and you see right away that the entire enterprise is fossil-fuel driven.”