Can we revive the question As mountaineers, what can we give back to the mountains and expand it beyond just the mountains?

This question was asked by @WedaPashi a year ago, and wasn't taken nearly as seriously as I had hoped when I first read it.

I hope we can formulate better answers now than we did a year ago.

Perhaps this is "too broad", but is the future of what we love too broad to consider?

(One thing I do is target my charitable contributions to basic research in environmental subjects, after researching the research projects.)

  • I could argue that the best contribution you could make is stay home and take up cycling. I suspect that is not the answer you are looking for.
    – user5330
    Nov 20, 2016 at 21:05
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    @mattnz I'm looking for practical near-term steps. Reducing petrochemical consumption in personal transportation is important, and has many components, including doing more errands on foot or bicycle. I was hoping for options that are not obvious and reflect serious thought. There is no "answer".
    – ab2
    Nov 20, 2016 at 21:26
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    If you feel a question needs better answers then add a bounty
    – user2766
    Nov 21, 2016 at 10:05
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    Apart form that, I'm not clear what your asking here?
    – user2766
    Nov 21, 2016 at 10:05
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    @Liam Yes, bounty the way to go. Bounty posted.
    – ab2
    Nov 22, 2016 at 17:18
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    I voted to close here too because I don't really get what you are asking @ab2. Nonetheless, I highly appreciate your effort (and bounty) in the linked question.
    – Wills
    Nov 30, 2016 at 16:44
  • If you truly feel there is "no answer," then you must agree the question is off topic for SE. It is one of the core principles of the site.
    – Lumberjack
    Dec 16, 2016 at 16:20
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    @Lumberjack "There is no 'answer'" is widely recognized as shorthand for "the problem is complicated and there is no one, silver bullet, solution, but rather a number of approaches must be used, each contributing only a part of the answer." Certainly, for everyone to switch to bicycles is not "the answer." WedaPashi's question and its answers received 63 upvotes; his question received 7 gold stars; his question cannot be dismissed as off-topic. The short answer to MY question is "offer a bounty", which I did, and which elicited thoughtful answers.
    – ab2
    Dec 16, 2016 at 18:26
  • I'm OK with wandering off the path. Nothing wrong with taking a detour to enjoy the sites or ponder an intriguing idea. With all that said, I do have a hard time when somebody tries to call a club a spade. This "question" doesn't include any problem. It is a discussion piece for conservatism. I'm OK with that so long as we recognize it as a useful anomaly. This isn't an answerable question as defined by the Stack Exchange.
    – Lumberjack
    Dec 16, 2016 at 18:39
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    Even the OP of the question acknowleges that it is off-topic in the first sentence of his question. "Might not be a real question for The Great Outdoors.SE, but definitely a real question in our lives, at least mine."
    – Lumberjack
    Dec 16, 2016 at 18:40
  • This relevant post does a nice job of driving to the heart of what I'm trying to say. meta.stackexchange.com/a/98366/256587
    – Lumberjack
    Dec 16, 2016 at 18:44

3 Answers 3


I agree with those who mentioned bounties, and appreciate that you've done that. They're generous and a great way to encourage people to give more thought to the question.

Another way to get new attention for a question is to edit it, or one of the answers it already has. Once a post has been around for a while, it tends not to be seen without a search, common tag, or related question. Editing brings it back to the front page, thus exposing it to a new audience.

As stated on this page of the Help Center:

Editing a post also bumps the question to the top of the homepage.

That paragraph goes on to say:

Please be mindful of this and make your edits count, so that the new attention is brought to something substantial.

We don't want to do anything silly just to bring a post forward, but there are often legitimate editing opportunities available if we look closely. There are even badges for editing!

(Obviously you know this, since you've done it, but I wanted to mention it for future viewers who might not be aware of this option.)


You're obviously referring to Donald Trump being the next president of the United States, and appear to be on the side of the argument that he's going to initiate the apocalypse.

TLDR: Rant rant rant rant rant!

As a Canadian from the rural mountains of the Southern Canadian Rockies, I think Trump for president is going to be great for our economy. As soon as he ram-rods those pipelines and Alberta oil starts flowing safely through them instead of transported by train, the better off all the unemployed energy workers will be up here, and the environment.

I grew up watching the forest literally getting air lifted out of my backyard (helicopter logging). After the pine beetle scare in the late nineties, logging companies were given the green light to clear timber from slopes right in view of of our small mountain town. Then after some pretty crazy fires, the government let those same companies log right in and around town to create a fire barrier. It was then I realized how hypocritical I was. I used to rant after I climbed a mountain way in the backcountry only to discover the valley behind it was completely clear-cut, "Why the heck do they ruin nature by cutting down all these trees? Why don't they log where humans have already half-ruined the landscape instead?" The realization came after they logged out my town, "Why the heck are they taking all our trees and making our town ugly? Why don't they log way out in the middle of nowhere where no one is going to see it?"

My hometown exists because of coal mining. Not coal-for-energy mining; hard-coking coal mining. The coal they take out of the rockies in BC represents 25% of the worlds supply of steel-making coal. Chances are good the steel in your car was made from coal my family and friends dug out of the mountains. They strip-mine out here, which means if there is coal in a mountain, they literally take the mountain down, sift out the coal, then pile the rubble back up somewhere else and make a new mountain. There are peaks I used to see that don't exist anymore, the mountains are gone, never to be climbed again.

Living in this area gives me a lot of perspective that a lot of urban environmentalists don't have. The logging industry and the mining industry; they employed thousands of people. Every kid I went to school with had a daddy in the coal mines. Families, including my own, were supported by that industry while there are many other families all around the world suffering and starving who would give anything to have a job they could support their family with.

The "impending doom" of January 20th, 2017, is going to provide a lot of people with opportunities to give their children the same opportunities I had growing up. Supporting industry does not mean the world is doomed, it means jobs are being created.

But what about the environment? I like to think of myself as a realist. I'm pro-environment, so I do my part for what it matters, but I understand that you can't cripple the economy for the sake of serene landscapes. All my trees and mountains that are gone; those went towards building houses, and buildings, and cars and all sorts of infrastructure that everyone reading this post probably wouldn't want to live without. I accept that my home town isn't as pretty as it used to be because there is a demand in the world for those resources, and as long as that demand exists, then there's no stopping people from getting those resources from wherever they can.

Here's the biggest point I'd like to make: In an increasingly globalized world, where demand for resources goes up every year, for the sake of the environment, I'd rather those resources came form a country with sane environmental regulations, than from over seas. If you try to stop industry in North America, for the sake of our domestic outdoor spaces which are "under attack" then you're only going to make things worse for mother earth. The market is still going to get the resources they need, but they're going to come from somewhere else; places like China or Brazil where they could care less about the environment.

The only way to prevent companies from going after the ample supply of natural resources in the great outdoors, is to eliminate the demand. Stop using fossil fuels, stop buying products made in China, stop using "dirty energy", don't buy anything plastic. It's the consumers who dictate what companies do, if the consumers decide they don't want to consume products that hurt the environment, then companies hurting the environment will go out of business. It's called capitalism, the consumers are the ones who regulate the industry, they're the only ones who can save the environment.

You say the outdoors are our home, but how many people on this site really live there? If you live in a city, then the outdoors aren't your home, they're you're playground. I grew up in the outdoors, and I recognized that the cities were the reason my trees were disappearing. It doesn't matter who is president, the "attack" on the great outdoors won't end until people stop demanding cheap resources that the outdoors can provide.

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    It's a really good perspective.
    – Desorder
    Nov 20, 2016 at 8:10
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    You make good points, but the essay as a whole is defeatist.
    – ab2
    Nov 20, 2016 at 13:56
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    Shem - a variant of the final piece of your answer here would be a good answer on the original question. Why not post up the Realist's view of what can be done.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Nov 21, 2016 at 15:18
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    @RoryAlsop That was a good suggestion.. ShemSeger, thanks for writing up an answer to that question. I think it's excellent! Nov 22, 2016 at 16:58
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    Since the question has been rewritten not to reference Trump you might want to consider editing that bit out of your answer.
    – Erik
    Nov 22, 2016 at 21:07

I think the question as it is worded currently is off-topic for most Stack Exchange sites, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's off topic here.

Real Questions Have Answers. If you've been around Stack Exchange for long, you've seen this phrase before.

"You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where … * every answer is equally valid: "What's your favorite ______?"


"If your motivation for asking the question is "I would like to participate in a discussion about (blank)", then you should not be asking here. If your motivation is "I would like others to explain (blank) to me", then you are probably OK."

I'm new to the Great Outdoors, but in the short time I've been here I've seen a lot of traffic with few questions being asked each day. There is no denying that a question like this is compelling and generates some interesting discussion. Given the low number of questions asked each day, it seems like the concern about front page management is irrelevant here.

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