Personally, accepting defeat is not an option in so far as Climate Change is concerned. We have the power right here and now to make a difference, and cut emissions throughout the word, which will help avert catastrophic Climate Change. We only have a short window of opportunity in which to act.
Take this article titled "Climate Change hits NT tourism hard" featured in The Age, for a good example. It is one of many but I will focus on tourism for this post.
This part of the article particularly peeved me;
"Funded by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, the research will focus on the Top End, the Great Barrier Reef, the Blue Mountains, the Australian Alps and the Barossa Valley.
These case studies will be used to formulate "urgent adaptation strategies" and provide guidelines on how tourist operators can best cope with the changes."
Adapt! What an crock. If all of the tourist operators, and tourists adapted now i.e. by lowering their carbon footprint and by tourists maybe taking the train instead of flying everywhere, they wouldn't have to "formulate urgent adaption strategies"! They may even see some of this vast, brown land in the process.
Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but knowing that the increase in all this aviation activity throughout the world is speeding up climate change and pumping the very gasses high into the atmosphere where they do the most damage, I think that the average tourist of today should have a good hard look at themselves. I am not condoning tourism full stop, but I ask that some thought be given to the modes of transport we choose to get to our chosen destination. That will be the easiest way to adapt!
If you thought that we had given up the ghost from the last statement, please read on. It gets better. This part of the article which quotes a Dr Pascal Tremblay, Professor of Tourism, Charles Sturt Uni (no obvious qualifications regarding climate science, but I may be wrong) as having said;
"If a category five cyclone like Monica were to make a direct hit on Kakadu, it could wipe out an entire tourist season and have considerable impact on the destination's market share. It could also take tourism businesses years to fully recover."
No shit, Sherlock! Boo hoo, poor old tourist season, shall I call for the wambulance? What about the poor old ecosystems? What about the wonderful and beautiful part of the country you so nonchalantly mention as affecting the 'tourism business'? Stop thinking about the almighty dollar, stop doing bloody reviews, and do something about it, and tourism will not get affected! I am really getting sick of talk without action. Blah, blah, blah. Here comes another review about the impacts of climate change. Get over it. The world is heating up, we know that already! We as a civilisation have the tools right now to avert it, so get off your bum and do something about it Dr Tourism! And for our media friends out there, please stop printing that we now have to adapt to the inevitable climate change. It is not inevitable. It is mostly avoidable, if and only if, we act sooner rather than later. I am no climate scientist, but at least give the public some hope and the fighting spirt to actually do something. Get on board or bugger off.
Now having finished my rant, I personally think that it won't be Climate Change that affects tourism, it will be the end of the age of cheap oil. Price increases of fuels, and therefore the increase in the cost of living (oil = food + everything else), are already making people re-think their holiday plans, especially in Europe and the USA.
I think a "staycation" is a great idea. Just think of it this way. People work all their lives to pay rent or for a mortgage on their abode, only to pay even more money when they actually take time off from work to go on a long distance holiday, usually overseas somewhere. Why not stay at home and visit places locally that are of interest. I would love a dollar every time I heard someone say, "I have live here for so many years, and have never been to the local zoo (insert whatever local attraction you have never visited)!" It takes a family member or friend to visit from interstate or overseas to get us off of our rear ends and actually become a local tourist. Even holidaying within your own state or province is a great start. I am just as guilty in the past, of this, as everyone else. The last holiday we took was to Stirling, South Australia (Mt Lofty Railway Station). That was 4 years ago now and was Kim & my first holiday since we were married in '97. We usually do day trips or go to the city via train to have a look around at the local sites. It has been a while though, and we need to get out a little more in the next few months, just locally of course.
So how about it? Instead of being brainwashed by TV ads and holiday shows, about far away destinations, think about a local holiday this season, and do the planet and our civilisation a favour!