Araminta Cullinane |

‘We can catapult our sport to the front of the fight against climate change’

World Environment Day is on Saturday 5 June, so Minty Cullinane from Junior Rowing News explores the context of climate change and how, collectively, we can lessen its impact

Protecting our environment can seem an overwhelming task and perhaps a challenge too great for humanity to overcome. But, as a species, we have already come a long way – seemingly, against all odds.

First proposed in 1996, Robin Hanson’s Great Filter advanced a solution to the Fermi Paradox – the baffling realisation that we appear to be alone in the universe. In his essay, he outlined that the only reason that humans have progressed so far is that we have managed to overcome so-called ‘great filters’ that prevent most galactic species from making it to the next rung on the expansionist ladder. Such filters include the evolution of multi-cellular life and the development of complex intelligence. Now, we face a renewed threat – a new great filter – that threatens to end humanity’s dreams of a utopian future amongst the stars: climate change.


Whether we will overcome the challenges posed by pollution and global warming remains to be seen. However, what is certain is that if we want to maximise our chances of helping our planet heal, we must all do what we can to lessen our environmental impact. This begs an obvious question, as rowers, what effect does our sport have on climate change, what will happen if we fail to act, and what can we all do to improve the eco-friendliness of rowing?


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