After reading Mike Robertson’s interview about why he soloed the Eiffel Tower to protest the situation in Burma, I thought that was a good way professional climbers can use their talents to bring attention to important world issues. I was sad to see a story about Alain Robert’s recent solo of the Edificio Italia, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Robert, aka Spiderman, didn’t appear to be climbing for any reason other than getting attention for himself.
When I looked at his website, there are a few short mentions of how he climbs for charity and most of the site is about how he is the best solo climber in the world. I may not be able to scale 500-foot buildings with my bare hands, but I struggle to see how that can be a personal climb when thousands of people are watching and you get tons of media attention.