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El Capitan in Yosemite, photographed by Tommy Caldwell
Photo by Tommy Caldwell
Tommy Caldwell seen after climbing the Dawn Wall during the filming of the movie The Dawn Wall in Yosemite Valley, CA, United States in January, 2015.
Photo by Bligh Gillies / Red Bull Content Pool

Tommy Caldwell, climate change and Yosemite valley

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Starting from what he has observed in the Yosemite Valley, American climber Tommy Caldwell shares his concerns about climate change.

This post was published two days ago by Tommy Caldwell on Instagram and Facebook. It talks about Yosemite Valley in particular and climate change and global warming in general. Caldwell obviously knows this valley intimately, and his is an poignant observation that deserves careful consideration.

I still consider Yosemite valley one of the most beautiful places in earth. But the effects of climate change here are shocking. In a few short years beetle kill has changed parts of the valley from a dense pine forest to a more open oak landscape. The Ferguson Fire burned 96000 acres completely surrounding the community used to live in. The good climbing season has shifted by at least a month and snow rarely blankets the valley floor any more. It’s hard to find anyone these days who hasn’t experienced some “highly unusual” weather event. It doesn’t take much research to understand that symptoms like this at home are only the start. I used to consider humanitarian work more noble than environmental. Now I see them as one in the same. We need a healthy planet to thrive and right now our home is undeniably sick. I often ponder what it was about the Dawn Wall that moved so many people. It certainly wasn’t about the climbing. Maybe it was because the story was one of human compassion and dedicated pursuit of a dream. Everyone wants to find something to care deeply about. Maybe we should consider letting the threats to the survival of our planet and our fellow humans bring us to life.

View this post on Instagram

I still consider Yosemite valley one of the most beautiful places in earth. But the effects of climate change here are shocking. In a few short years beetle kill has changed parts of the valley from a dense pine forest to a more open oak landscape. The Furgson Fire burned 96000 acres completely surrounding the community used to live in. The good climbing season has shifted by at least a month and snow rarely blankets the valley floor any more. It’s hard to find anyone these days who hasn’t experienced some “highly unusual” weather event. It doesn’t take much research to understand that symptoms like this at home are only the start. I used to consider humanitarian work more noble than environmental. Now I see them as one in the same. We need a healthy planet to thrive and right now our home is undeniably sick. I often ponder what it was about the Dawn Wall that moved so many people. It certainly wasn’t about the climbing. Maybe it was because the story was one of human compassion and dedicated pursuit of a dream. Everyone wants to find something to care deeply about. Maybe we should consider letting the threats to the survival of our planet and our fellow humans bring us to life.

A post shared by Tommy Caldwell (@tommycaldwell) on

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