Azara Blog: Mount Everest and greenhouse gas emissions

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Date published: 2005/07/10

The BBC says:

Conqueror of Everest Sir Edmund Hillary has urged world governments to protect the Himalayas from climate change. The World Heritage Committee, which supervises protection of sites of special interest, meets this week. Environmental campaigners, backed by Sir Edmund, want the committee to put the Sagarmatha National Park in the Himalayas on its danger list. This would mean governments are legally bound to protect it - which, they say, means cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

This all sounds very worthy, but if the real implication of putting it on the danger list is that governments have to cut greenhouse gas emissions to protect it, then this is ridiculous. Are these campaigners really saying that, say, power stations are going to have to close and people will have to go without heating in winter in order to "save" Everest? (They probably are, they are the comfortable middle class in action.) Well obviously what this is really all about is an attempt to enforce emissions cuts via the back door, but presumably a legal case based on Everest would be dubious at best.

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