Great Question.

For those of you who’ve never heard of Sasha DiGiulian, she is an icon in the climbing world.  She has dozens of first female ascents all over the world, she was the first North American female to climb a 5.14d and the first woman to free climb Magic Mushroom, one of the most difficult routes on the North Face of the Eiger. Sasha DiGiulian is so iconic that she is literally the climbing emoji.

Simply put she is one of the greatest climbers who has ever lived.

Beyond climbing, Sasha is by all standards a spectacular human being.  In the middle of her illustrious career as a professional climber, she managed to put herself through and graduate from Columbia University.  She always uses her notoriety to help where and when she can.  Among other affiliations you’ll find Sasha DiGiulian’s name attached to non-profits such as Ascend Athletics, The Access Fund, The Women’s Sports Foundation, Right To Play, Up2Us, Champions for America’s Future, Outdoor Nation, Outdoor Federation, HERA Foundation, Protect Our Winters, and so many more.

Additionally, Sasha DiGiulian continually goes out of her way to help new climbers1 through coaching and clinics.  She has gone before congress several times, advocating and lobbying for climate awareness and reform.  She spotlights local artists and independent businesses on her social media platforms.  She is a film producer, a business owner, a published writer, and she has the coolest looking dog.

To be clear, Sasha DiGiulian doesn’t need theDIHEDRAL, or anyone else to come to her defense, she is fully capable of defending herself anytime she ever feels the need.  Recently she held a clinic in Kalymnos Greece, one of the most beautiful climbing destinations in the world. Upon her return she continued to advocate for climate awareness.  As a thank you for all that she has done and continues to do, these are some of the messages she has received.

Again, Sasha doesn’t need anyone to defend her, especially against ignorance.  I appreciate that she asked for their input on possible solutions though.  Being that trolls are generally quick to judge, and slow to help, it’s doubtful that they provided anything that resembles a useful or realistic idea.  And that is where I want to come in.

Understating Global Warming and minimizing our carbon footprint are essential to survival for many species and habitats including our own.  Asking one person not to fly is not going to cause enough significant change to offset the imbalance of CO2 in the atmosphere.  It’s ridiculous to think that shaming any one person is in any way a viable solution.  The only actual sustainable solution is a colossal reduction in carbon emissions.

However, I do have a few ideas for the tu quoque fallacy committing trolls who may wish to take Sasha’s inquiry seriously. Primarily we need to elect officials who understand and care about the effects of global warming.  We need people who will establish and enforce restrictions on polluters.  We need people who will invest in ideas that could reduce CO2.  We need people who will promote a sustainable lifestyle that gets us past our dependence on burning carbon emitting fossil fuels.

Who gives a shit about any one person or any one hundred people flying a few times a year?  If industries aren’t taking the steps to eliminate their dependence on carbon centered profit, we’re all doomed fucked.

Since it doesn’t seem like we’re getting many officials to cause substantial change, the next best option is to organize.  Telling one person not to fly is a complete waste of time.  But doing a little research, finding out the most profitable flying days of the year, and convincing thousands of people to never fly on those days again would be significant.  Working to team up with someone who has the track record, the compassion, and the influence to reach hundreds of thousands of people in order to promote that cause, well that could hit the transportation industry where it hurts.  Maybe even someone like…I don’t know…maybe someone like Sasha DiGiulian could help.  But instead of reaching out, these commenters decided that trolling a person who has been in the trenches since she was a minor, someone who fights for change as hard as she climbs, someone who is constantly using her platform for good, they figured trolling that person is the better investment of their time.

We need to be smarter than that, we need to understand that if we don’t work together, then we are going to die alone2.  

The busiest flying days turn out to be Christmas time, and August 9th.  So, rather than go after one of the good guys, maybe send messages out to all the climbers you can reach.  Tell them that August 9th is officially our NO-FLY DAY.  Maybe send a message out to all your family and friends telling them that rather than flying at Christmas time you can carpool and road trip.  Or, at the very least maybe you trolls can spread your witty critiques to the politicians and the CEO’s who have been looking the other way since the beginning of time.

If all this is too much to ask, then maybe just crawl back under your bridge and keep your thoughts to yourself.

  1. When theDIHEDRAL was first getting off the ground I wrote a ridiculous post about The Ice Climbers. I reached out to dozens of pro-climbers for a quote. Sasha Digiulian was the first pro to get back to us. She had no idea who we were or what we were doing, but that gesture went a long way in terms of motivation and validation. Of the thousands of people she has helped throughout her career, we are very proud to count ourselves among them. Thank You Sasha!
  2. Okay, I recognize that was very 90’s disaster movie dialouge-esque, but when I get on a soap box, it’s hard to step down.

28 Replies to “Great Question.”

  1. Oh Carrot. I’m amazed every day at a the accumulations of apparently small things. I buy as many products as I can in responsible packaging (bar shampoo, conditioner, detergent sheets in a small cardboard box, etc) and then they arrive wrapped in plastic bags. Cream in a recyclable plastic bottle ensconced in a label that is a plastic bag that’s NOT recyclable. Sometimes I think peoples’ brains are just not working. Maybe this is where government controls are appropriate, but I don’t know. The ONLY demonstration of my young life was Earth Day 1970. What else matters? I forgot who (Aldo Leopold? I’m def. not sure about that) who said it, but it’s true. The smallest unit of human survival is the universe. We lack so much respect not only for our planet but for ourselves, each other, but yeah. Let’s go look at fucking Mars in case we need an escape plan from a dying planet. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so confused after each election. We know what’s happening, we know how to combat it, we know what will happen if we do nothing, and then…we elect Boebert, or Ed Durr, or whatever other goon happens to be holding up their system of beliefs on a foundation of toothpicks and a pistol. I think the urgency for change could use a better promoter?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Goons. Exactly. I agree that the urgency for change needs a better promoter. The promoters it has are pretty alienating, strident, absolutist females. Boebert (who resembles the Wicked Witch of the West and IS) has handlers who have mutated her into the wet dream of the far right. She’s horrible Ooops. Whoreable. Not to dis sex workers… Basically I think people don’t want to hear what Man Bear Pig in all his forms has to say. I wish I knew what kind of spokesperson they WOULD listen to. I think part of it that our society is so consumption oriented there is nothing BUT commodities. Nature is just another commodity. I could rant all day. I’m not the spokesman so…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I appreciate the rant…I hope that it doesn’t fall on nothing but deaf ears. Maybe we won’t have to wait until the coastal cities are underwater before people start to listen, but that is probably being overly optimistic.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. They’ll just scurry around protecting their property then sending hugs to the people who’s lives were destroyed out of the universal carelessness… OH well. I think I’ll go see if there are any cranes left. At least my refuge is a healthy ecosystem. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting thoughts.

    Just a fact check though, Daisy Voog has the first female ascent of the North face of the Eiger in 1964.

    Sasha DiGuillian has the first female free ascent of Magic Mushroom on the North face.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perhaps it is you who is missing the big picture? The #1 climber refusing to fly just might make a difference. One person refused to give up her bus seat. She made a difference. One man decided to make salt. He made a difference. The only way to stop and then reverse the damage humans have done to Mother Earth is for there to be a societal shift of massive proportions. Such a shift always starts with one person.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There is a quick push to judgement that aligns those who would troll because there efforts have the strength of a snowflake at best. They look for immediate validation, to get their opinion out as if it really mattered or that they truly cared about what they say in the first place. The response of thumbs up, star, or like is all they REI. Reward with minimal effort given.

    We need to find ways for dialogue. This is an effort at a global level that takes consciousness reshaping. It never occurs when 50.0001 makes a determination and attempts to shove it down the other sides throat to digest its content. Going on a plane trip is a wonderful experience. I have met new cultures, expanded my mind and cuisine tastes to become more loving to the world, it’s people, it’s cuisine. This is the experience of life at its fullest, something the programming nature of television or social media will ever have the capacity to enact.

    I wonder, if there is middle ground. Magnetic propulsion, that could be harnessed to appease our insatiable hunger for travel while appeasing Mother Nature and the need to economically support family and dreams.

    I hope this was nothing t too long of a soapbox. Your article moved me in many ways. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr. Thomas, you seem to believe that a full life requires travel and the experience of new cultures in the far flung corners of the world.Is it possible that this belief is part of the problem? I was born in Vancouver Canada. Within Greater Vancouver are a multitude of cultures. Cultures both national and social. I doubt, though I do not know that Vancouver is far from unusual. I do know that the British Isles have hundreds of unique cultures all reachable by mass transit that is energy efficient.
      I believe that for humanity to not destroy our Mother we need a new paradigm. One that accepts that to live in the Great White North means that fresh oranges are simply not available. But then if you live in the Philippines Seal fat is not on the menu.
      By all means we all should be free to live where we choose. But that doesn’t mean we have the right or the privilege to globe trot if by that globe trotting we destroy our Mother.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Is there middle ground here. War happens from misunderstanding. That is a grotesquely polluting event, for Earth and humanity. But when you get to know places, you see something from a perspective that is not readily available for media outlets. My greatest experiences have come not from my education, but my experiences of places that years of reading did not prepare me for the true grandeur of feeling I would experience by simply being present in that place and experiencing its people and beauty first hand. Thank you for this food for thought.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My pleasure. You are quite right travel may expand our understandings. Sadly it can also expand our greed. My position is not that travel is inherently evil. I believe that it is possible to find all of your experiences, sans the jet lag by exploring the richness and diversity in our own back yard. Buy a camera, a macro lens, a microscope and a telescope. The universe awaits you. If you live in a cosmopolitan area be intentional about exploring the diverse cultures found within it. A Japanese garden, a Catholic grotto. the possibilities are endless.

        The needed new paradigm is one that eliminates improper desire / greed. This would include the greed of desiring new experiences that can be found only at great distances.
        Then again, I’m just an old man, what do I know.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. You are right. There is an entire world right before us. It is up to the soul to tap into this from of experience. In travel, I have found exposure o be the greatest element present. However, it should be done ecologically and with the intent of creating new experience.

        Why I am so passionate about this, is because my family hails from two different countries. My children have grandparents on both ends of the globe. While the media in my experience presents their mothers country to be a specific way, we know this not to be fully the case. This happens because of exposure, and they have seen there motherland firsthand.

        There is middle ground present. As we know, anything to excess, booze, travel, food,, etc. pollutes the body and the environment. What I would like to see is more finding middle ground, like what is happening here; to find win, win, win scenarios that serve humankind versus a lot of the division we see present.

        Do you have a blog? I am interested in seeing your work.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You found my blog. My work runs the gamut from purely image, to world affairs, to Dementia and even into my daily life. I hope you find it thought provoking. Also I have had a finger malfunction and deleted your comment from Old Man’s Legs. Sorry. If you could send it again?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I can’t tell you how much that happens to me. Type one thing it says another, hit the wrong button and wonder the amount it will take to recreate. I look forward to seeing more of your work and as always, it is about the dialogue present.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Enjoyed your post! As you point out, one less flight won’t solve the problem but the mentality leading the individual to address change is at least starting to catch on. On the other hand, did you hear what Suzuki let slip in his interview with CHEK news…? There will be “pipelines blown up,” if the government doesn’t take some action. He issued a statement soon after, apologizing for the remark but the fact that this man, this spokesman and advocate, generally regarded as caring, respectful and optimistic, would say something like that is alarming. It’s not the threat of violence that we should find sobering, but the fact that it was, by him, even put on the table.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t read that, but you’re right, that is cause for alarm. Yikes! Thank you for the info, and for taking the time to share!


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