Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Tuesday Question...Is travel worth its environmental costs???

Global warming and travel is a hot topic. But it’s not a new one.

Back in 2001 The Washington Post wrote about Global Warming and Travel, stating ‘Glaciers are melting, islands are drowning, wildlife is vanishing. Because of global warming, our most cherished vacation spots may soon cease to exist. And travelers are part of the problem.’

In 2006 The Independent wrote about how ‘Mass tourism and climate change could lead to destruction of world's wonders.

More recently Travel and Leisure magazine published an article on ‘Global Warming and the Traveler’s World’ and MSNBC asked the question ‘Is Travel Destroying the Planet?’

So what’s a travel writer to do? Stop traveling and write only about their own backyard? Take the concept of slow travel to the extreme and only travel by foot, bike, bus, train, or boat?

Living in New Zealand, planes really are the only option for long distance travel. But there are ways of offsetting the damage that plane travel can do.

You can offset your carbon output by buying carbon credits, support sustainable tourism endeavours, go public transport (ie buses and trains rather than car), rent a hybrid car, reduce the weight of your luggage and eat, drink, and buy locally.

But the big question is ‘is travel worth its environmental costs?'

What do you think?

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4 comments:

Jeremy David said...

If you actually buy those carbon credits I think it certainly is worth the environmental costs.

Traveling broadens people's perspectives and might even make them more environmentally conscious. Seeing third world countries - people with absolutely nothing - might even convince people to use less. A lifetime of being more environmentally responsible is certainly worth the "costs" of a few off-set airplane rides.

But going to a 6 star $40,000 / day private island? Ha ha, probably not worth the costs :D

KIWIWRITER said...

Hi Jeremy, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I think for my next long haul trip, I'll have to look into this carbon credit idea.

Was watching CNN this morning and saw interview with Richard Branson who is in process of looking into biofuels for his airline...will watch with interest.

Cheers, Liz

Mary Emma Allen said...

We've been wondering where the global warming was occurring when we've had more snow storms, more days of running our stoves for heat, more snow for skiers, more days of wearing winter clothing in April (usually a month of warming temperatures) than any month of winter this year.

KIWIWRITER said...

yeah, Im not sure global warming is the right term when it seems more cold than hot to me these days... although the hot days do also seem hotter...

least you're heading into summer...this side of world is running into winter fairly fast...

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