Thursday, 16 September 2010
At this year’s Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival I’m speaking at a debate on the Ethics of Adventure. Sunday 24th October, 2pm, details on the EMFF site here.
Of course there are many ethical aspects to adventure and adventure sport, and which we discuss I’m sure will depend on what you guys want to talk about on the day. I guess the most discussed of all is of course the issue of risk. I’m never sure whether it’s because I’ve studied, written and talked about the subject for years now, or whether I rub noses with it a lot, or whether I’m getting older. But when I observe attitudes to risk in some others or society in general, I get quite riled. I’m a passive sort of chap and that doesn’t happen easily.
It strikes me that the general attitudes to risk and which risks are acceptable are not in my society has got progressively more messed up in my lifetime. My sport of climbing has been a welcome sanctuary of sense a lot of the time! It seems that people are content to take huge risks with life, limb or lifestyle without giving much thought (or none at all), yet are aghast at others risk taking that is proportionally far smaller, or balanced against much greater reward.
I’m being a little provocative here of course. I know that it’s a question of perception. A lot of our grave errors in risk awareness and management aren’t really our fault. We’re not hardwired to cope with the sorts of risks of modern life, and the corrupting influences of the media compound this to a quite staggering level.
So more on this on the 24th… See you there maybe for a lively chat.