Alex Honnold conquered a mountain in Free Solo. Next up is free solar
I think if I've learned one thing from climbing, it's the power of incremental progress.
You see these big walls and you're like, that seems impossibly large.
But then you try smaller things, you work toward it and eventually can take on something that big.
The issues facing humanity globally are [UNKNOWN] big but you can self start the work and just chip away out it and eventually make progress.
Am I a trailblazer or a troublemaker?
You know I have most of my life as a homeless dropout so I feel like the troublemaker is maybe a little more obvious.
My name is Alex Arnold, I'm a professional rock climber.
I think maybe the most significant event in my childhood was when I went to a climbing gym for the first time when I was maybe 10 years old.
That's when I really became a rock climber and then sort of devoted, I guess the rest of my life to climbing post free solo the film somebody who asked you know, what's the next big thing expecting me to say free solar, or you know that I'm working on another movie project.
But the reality is that, I had this lifelong dream I mean literally a 10 year dream to free solo cap.
It's not like I had some backup dream right behind it queued up waiting.
So I mean I think I'm putting a lot more effort into my foundation.
I started the Honnold foundation in 2012.
Feeling like I had a certain obligation to do something useful for the world to support you know, do something positive for the environment how I could, you know, I was still living in my van full time but I was suddenly making a bit more and so I was able to give a lot of that away.
I originally We split my donations between a group called solar aid and Africa which was providing solar lighting in off grid communities and then GRID Alternatives which was doing domestic work in the US just putting solar systems on people's houses.
And I felt like it kind of represented the two ends of the spectrum because the work in Africa had a tremendous impact on human life.
Its incredibly important for people to transition away from from kerosene stoves.
I mean, it's like burning a pack of cigarettes a day and in a confined space.
You drive through these little villages and see tonnes little kids playing around.
And you just know that if those kids were born somewhere else, they could be an airline pilot, or they can be an astronaut, they can do anything.
But the reality is that because they were born in that place, they're going to wind up burning goats their entire life.
Putting solar panels on somebody's home domestically, slowly greening the grid, it's basically like reducing more carbon emissions.
But I think in general, the humping nation strives to sort of balance that that human impact with the environmental impact and for me, it's important to participate hands on and some of the projects that the foundation is supporting.
I need to feel like it's Doing something useful, and I need to understand what it's doing and how it's doing it.
For the first maybe five years, it was just me donating my own money.
But I intentionally made the foundation public, knowing that in time, because I'm a professional climber, because I'm out in public, that other people would hopefully contribute as well.
Now with the release of Free Solo, that's definitely taken off.
I'm very optimistic about the future of the world and Honestly, I think part of that is having grown up reading a lot of sci fi and like watching Star Trek when I was a kid and things like that I just like to think that humanity is sort of moving towards a slightly more utopian future.
And you know, whether or not that's founded, we'll see.
I think I personally am inspired by the goal of the Paris accords, you know, being fossil fuel free by 2050 a globally I don't necessarily think that'll happen.
And though that actually I do think that in my lifetime we'll see the world just move away from fossil fuels entirely.
Just because, you know, it's already happening.
Some people do say that climbing is a selfish pursuit.
I think it might be more fair to call it a self centered pursuit because you're doing it for your own pleasure and Its very individualistic.
You're just pushing yourself.
And yeah, to some extent, I think the Hong Kong nation is response to that in that I wanted to do something more useful in a broad sense.
I think that by having impactful experiences in nature, you wind up more inclined to do something useful with your life and try to protect the environment.
And I think that when you devote yourself to being the best version of yourself, whether that's through climbing or some other Selfish pursue, you're more able to be a good member of society.
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