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Tourists are Killing the Planet

Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 07 May 2018, 14:45:33

The carbon footprint of global tourism is four times larger than previously thought (by consensus climate scientists) and is growing rapidly:

Global tourism's carbon footprint is four times bigger than thought


https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/07/health/g ... index.html

Global tourism accounts for 8% of total worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, four times more than previously believed, new research says.

The increasing carbon footprint of global tourism between 2009 and 2013 represents a 3% annual growth in emissions, according to University of Sydney researchers.


See also:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0141-x

&

http://www.spacedaily.com/afp/180507150 ... jztgb.html
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby jedrider » Mon 07 May 2018, 17:35:08

It seems that right before the end of the world, everyone want to travel, or be traveling, somewhere.

I don't have a bucket list for that reason. I am content to just be able to observe the end, wherever I am.

It's not even being tourists that is killing the planet. It's our over-extended, expanded-range lifestyles. Globalization, basically, not just of commodities, but of people.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 07 May 2018, 17:37:58

jedrider is 100% correct. Its not just tourists. All air travel releases huge amounts of CO2. Business air travel releases CO2. Military travel releases CO2. Educational travel releases CO2. Family visits at Christmas release CO2. etc. All Air travel is a big source of CO2.

And don't look now, but here comes a tsunami of CHINESE tourism.

get-ready-huge-chinese-tourism-boom

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 07 May 2018, 22:47:53

Thank the good heavens that we always have the f'n Chinese to blame!! :o :lol: 8) :-D 8O

More on the topic:

Domestic and international tourism account for eight percent of greenhouse gas emissions, four times more than previously estimated, according to a study published Monday.


The multi-trillion dollar industry's carbon footprint is expanding rapidly, driven in large part by demand for energy-intensive air travel, researchers reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.

"Tourism is set to grow faster than many other economic sectors," with revenue projected to swell by four percent annually through 2025, noted lead-author Arunima Malik, a researcher at The University of Sydney's business school...

...As in decades past, the United States is the single largest emitter of tourism-related carbon emissions, with other wealthy nations -- Germany, Canada and Britain -- also in the top ten.

But emerging economies with burgeoning middle classes have moved up the ranking, with China in second place and India, Mexico and Brazil 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively....

...The total number of air passengers is expected to almost double by 2036 to 7.8 billion per year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).



7.8 billion is a scary number. Those are not going to be electric planes.

http://www.spacedaily.com/afp/180507150 ... jztgb.html
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Revi » Tue 08 May 2018, 11:10:50

How about people who don't fly? Are they as bad? We live off of tourists all summer, and they mostly drive to the place we live in the summer. I would love to feel virtuous about this!
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 08 May 2018, 11:58:57

Our guests who fly across oceans and continents eat meat (beef that we raise in our pastures) then go birdwatching on our trails. This year we experienced over 100% increase in visitors over last year. Business is booming.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby careinke » Tue 08 May 2018, 12:40:19

Ibon wrote:Our guests who fly across oceans and continents eat meat (beef that we raise in our pastures) then go birdwatching on our trails. This year we experienced over 100% increase in visitors over last year. Business is booming.


Do you feed any grains to your cattle? If not, they are probably a carbon sink. Plus, if you mob graze them, it is regenerative for the soil.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 08 May 2018, 13:31:39

careinke wrote:
Ibon wrote:Our guests who fly across oceans and continents eat meat (beef that we raise in our pastures) then go birdwatching on our trails. This year we experienced over 100% increase in visitors over last year. Business is booming.


Do you feed any grains to your cattle? If not, they are probably a carbon sink. Plus, if you mob graze them, it is regenerative for the soil.


All grass fed. As is all beef here in Panama. Corn is not subsidized or grown here so it would be prohibitively expensive to feed cattle grain. We buy the calves around 250lbs and raise them just on grass until they reach over 1000 pounds in about 18 months and then they are sold. We sell around 25 every 18 months. Besides grass they get molasses and salt. I drive up to the sugar factory and they fill a 55 gallon drum of molasses for $ 38 dollars. We are exempt from paying property tax because we raise beef. Panama has this incentive to encourage food production. We closed and reforested over 50 acres when we first bought the property in the area we now have the cabins.

Dohboi will be happy to hear that we are now in the process of selling off all of our cattle and only keeping a small pasture for 3 horses and 1 jersey cow for milk production. We will close over 100 acres of remaining pasture and reforest. There is another incentive program with property tax exemption for reforesting and we will switch from cattle to reforestation to take advantage of this exemption. We are expanding our coffee plantation because shade grown coffee is considered part of reforestation as you leave the canopy trees in place.

Once this is complete around 380 acres will be forest or reforesting, 20 acres eventually in coffee production and the remaining 20 or so acres for pasture.

Getting rid of the cattle production is about focusing on tourism and coffee and freeing up labor for these tasks. We have been getting spread a bit too thin trying to raise beef, coffee and manage the growing tourism.

Our sales first quarter already exceeded all of 2017 so after years of capital investments building out this place we are now finally bringing in income as our operating costs are minimal. We generate our own power and our labor costs are under $ 15,000 a year for 4 employees.

Life is good here. Without tourist dollars we could not be sustainable. With just agriculture we wouldn't even break even.

And as a last important note we had our first Chinese tourists recently. An executive from Huawei and his family stayed with us. Beautiful family, lovely little girl. He said he would tell all his colleagues to come. We expect a sharp increase in Chinese tourists during the next 5 years.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 08 May 2018, 20:18:18

I notice the people who are so upset about travelers and tourists emitting CO2 on their travels have nothing to say about military planes emitting CO2. It seems bizarre to me to single out and criticize the CO2 emissions of people who travel to do science or see the world or to meet their friends in foreign countries, but be perfectly OK with the CO2 emissions of the military traveling to other countries to blow things up and kill people.

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby GHung » Tue 08 May 2018, 21:46:42

Plantagenet wrote:I notice the people who are so upset about travelers and tourists emitting CO2 on their travels have nothing to say about military planes emitting CO2. It seems bizarre to me to single out and criticize the CO2 emissions of people who travel to do science or see the world or to meet their friends in foreign countries, but be perfectly OK with the CO2 emissions of the military traveling to other countries to blow things up and kill people.

Cheers!


The Planet doesn't care that the thread is titled "Tourists are Killing the Planet", or whatever value judgments you place on tourism, the military, or people who say tourists are killing the Planet. It's simple physics; more people burning more stuff, whatever their reasons.

A scientist would know that.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 08 May 2018, 22:37:17

GHung wrote: the thread is titled "Tourists are Killing the Planet"


Of course it is. Next point, please.

GHung wrote: It's simple physics; more people burning more stuff, whatever their reasons.


Of course. So why single out tourists for opprobrium? I'd put military operations at the top of my list of unnecessary air travel. Who needs more unnecessary wars? Who needs jets blowing things up and killing people? Its totally wasteful. And I'd condemn business travel before tourism. In this modern age there is absolutely no reason why a businessman has to travel halfway around the world to sit in a meeting room with another businessman. They can do it all over the internet by telepresence. There were almost 500 million business air trips last year just in the US, and well over a billion business trips by air on a global basis, and the vast majority of this business travel is completely unnecessary.

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There is no longer any reason for businessmen to travel to hold meetings with other businessmen. These days they should all stay at home because they can do almost everything they'd do in a face-to-fact meeting via telepresence.

Get it now?

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 08 May 2018, 23:01:31

Plantagent, the same could be said for cultural or nature tourism. In your own backyard, in your own local ecosystem, nature hums with the same purity and beauty that you find in any far away exotic place.

I have always found it odd that guests who come to our nature reserve walk the trails with a sense of wonder and openess to the cloud forest. They have traveled so far and they build up this concept that here nature is pure and pristine. This is actually a fiction. Nature is pure and pristine everywhere, even in your own back yard. But you know why people travel far away? Because they no longer see what is in their own backyard because they are stressed out with the grip that civilization has on them. This is what makes them get into airplanes and travel far away.

Humans are sick puppies. That is all I can say.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 09 May 2018, 00:20:30

Ibon wrote:Plantagent, the same could be said for cultural or nature tourism. In your own backyard, in your own local ecosystem, nature hums with the same purity and beauty that you find in any far away exotic place.

I have always found it odd that guests who come to our nature reserve walk the trails with a sense of wonder and openess to the cloud forest. They have traveled so far and they build up this concept that here nature is pure and pristine. This is actually a fiction. Nature is pure and pristine everywhere, even in your own back yard. But you know why people travel far away? Because they no longer see what is in their own backyard because they are stressed out with the grip that civilization has on them. This is what makes them get into airplanes and travel far away.


People don't come to visit you in Panama because think think your natural wonders are the only pure and pristine ones---they come to visit you because at that particular moment they are especially interested in your particular slice of nature. I have no doubt many of them have places near their home they visit to appreciate nature, and they also visit many foreign places, not just Panama. Thats how travelers tend to operate. In my case, I'm very aware that there are amazing natural wonders to see in Alaska, more so then most places . Just this afternoon the temperature hit 60 for the first time this year, and I was out opening up the lake cabin for the summer, and a tundra stoat ran right up to the deck. Then an eagle flew over. Then a dozen ducks came and started going for the underwater plants right in front of my cabin where the last of the rapidly thinning lake ice has pulled back from shore a few feet. I had a fantastic day today in my personal pure and pristine bit of Alaska.

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tundra stoat with a vole

But just because nature is pure and pristine where I live in Alaska doesn't mean that nature in Panama or East Africa or Hawaii or Switzerland or Bali and Java (where I was traveling just last week) isn't also amazing and wonderful, and it doesn't mean the cultures and temples and histories of foreign countries aren't incredibly interesting and important to understand.

-----------------------------------------

I'm surprised again how many people on this thread are essentially telling people not to travel and learn about foreign countries because of the associated CO2 emissions, but no one other then me is in the least concerned about CO2 emissions from illegal wars or from business travel---both of which are mostly unnecessary. If I was king and I had the power to prioritize and pick things to eliminate in order to reduce CO2 emissions, I would cut out wars and business travel before I would cut out cultural travel.

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 09 May 2018, 06:45:24

Plant, your argument is valid when we are a couple hundred million on the planet. You have to take a moment and allow yourself to internalize the scale of which every day, day in and day out, thousands upon thousands of airplanes are relentlessly lifting off the surface of the planet moving yearly hundreds of millions of people. That their motive is virtuous (cultural and nature tourism) or mundane (gambling in Las Vegas) or aggressive (military empires) or logistical (business) makes no difference. You cannot defend tourism as somehow being exempt from these cumulative impacts.

Here below I will share something that I wrote a couple months ago to an old dear friend that is a bit related to this thread. It is a bit philosophical but addresses somehow the flawed nature of humans being split and disconnected.

A bit of a whirlwind up here between waves of tourists and bajareque winds and rain. We are harnessed in the task of repeatedly serving the needs and expectations of visitors, each one hungry for some essential contact with nature. It is weird to be in this role of host and thinking about the vast distances that these folks have traveled across oceans and continents in search of the pristine and how we guide them on the big tree loop everyday past the same assemblage of howler monkeys, spider monkeys, grey-breasted wood wrens and red-headed barbets. In search of quetzals not yet arrived. The big tree loop is a loop in the greater loop of recycling tourists who come and go all in search of the same. The forest is a constant, integrated, a whole, the wildlife slowly adapting to the ribbon of tourists gazing upwards at them with the big black lenses of binoculars, searching for birds and monkeys but really searching for that lost connection. I hold two parallel emotions, one of the excitement of sharing the wildlife at the same time as questioning this whole impulse of the time and energy spent making this pilgrimage, this whole infrastructure built around providing opportunity for folks to find this connection, this desire of contact really at the end of the day being just a confirmation that we are all split, back in their home human ecosystems something is unhinged, an essential organic way of life buried deep under the burden of the routines of "civilized" life. The howler monkeys and trees are not split. I always imagine that to them humans are like searching hungry ghosts, the big black lens of their binoculars reflecting back to the monkeys this black hole of desperate searching trying to find a way out of the crazy maze of civilized life. “ Oh look, it’s a magenta-throated woodstar” this excitement and thrill of seeing and identifying this jewel of a hummingbird,what is deeply underneath that thrill of seeking out and knowing is that sense of belonging and having a little spark of connection to nature. We always stand outside though looking in. The truth is we are all in exhile, everyone split off from this lost time when nature held us undivided. And today we are collectively where?
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Revi » Wed 09 May 2018, 08:30:13

I really like what you wrote Ibon. I used to live next to the Quetzal reserve in Guatemala. I saw how it employed lots of people in the tourism industry, which was a good thing for the town and the wildlife. The town's most important people, the Cofrades had a stake in keeping the wildlife there. They would bike up the hill to the preserve every morning to their jobs at the preserve and come back down to town where they supported families and kept things going. They spoke in Mayan most of the time, but they would show people where the Quetzals were and work on things in the preserve. Overall it was a boon to the town.
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby GHung » Wed 09 May 2018, 09:10:07

Plantagenet wrote: ......but no one other then me is in the least concerned about CO2 emissions from illegal wars or from business travel---both of which are mostly unnecessary....... Cheers!


Who, specifically, said they aren't concerned about those things? Just because they aren't straying from the topic as you are doesn't mean they are endorsing those other reasons to travel, or that they don't understand that burning stuff, for whatever reason, has the same impact on the environment. It's pretty clear that, being the global travel maven you are, you are trying to rationalize your clearly discretionary uses of resources, and divert the conversation to other uses of resources which you consider more evil. You sound like a conservative talk show host, changing the subject that seems to make you uncomfortable.

Again, the Planet doesn't give a shit why you burn stuff. The physical impacts are the same. If you really cared, you would stay home and focus on not burning stuff. Some of us are walking that walk and aren't interested in whatever excuses whomever is making to justify their behavior; not interested in whatever consumption said persons consider to be worse uses of planet-fouling resources. If you choose to party on, so be it, but don't try to convince me you care. People who really care change their behavior.

Get it now?
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 09 May 2018, 09:48:00

Every time dohboi starts one of his "killing the planet" threads I have to chuckle just a little bit. He has made a giant assumption - an all too common human assumption - that the dominant species of the planet is somehow invasive and not an integral part of the environment.

I appreciate a pristine wilderness without visible signs of humans as much as anybody. It provides solace and healing and peace for me. Then I return to the Silly Valley and I am surrounded by people and residences and malls and vehicles. At night, the amber glow of yet another human city reflects off the clouds with soft artificial light, and said golden clouds float across the inky blackness punctured by the hard pinpoints of the stars.

Earlier this past year, the Earth was tilted just correctly so that the ISS was orbiting in full sunlight, brilliantly illuminated by the sun, with total darkness below. I watched as it traversed the visible horizon from one side to the other in less than two minutes, a brilliant, multi-colored sparkling gem. That too was beautiful, although it was completely the work of man and not nature.

It came to me that we humans are part of the world, not apart from it. Jungles, mountains, and the pristine high deserts that delight me so much are no more rightuous than is the suburban squalor of the high tech Silly Valley. The orchards and fields and dairy farms that were replaced by houses, people, vehicles, and pavement were not natural either, and even back as well before the Spanish invasion which preceded the creation of the USA, the native Ohlone and Yahoo tribes lapped flints and cropped squash and beans in the semi-arid grasslands and scrub of the already ancient valley that would one day crop silicon chips and software.

There exist large boulders on nearby Mt. Umunhum (the Ohlone indian word for hummingbird) that have been recognized as the places where pre-historic Mammoth bulls sharpened their tusks, preparing for battle to determine which bull would cover the fertile female that sparked the conflict. On that same hill, there is the remnant concrete structures of a former USAF Distant Early Warning radar, and nearby are the empty missile launchers of Nike missiles, intended to destroy attacking Soviet bombers coming over the horizon. The ancient megafauna site and the US Air Force base are one and the same, occupying the same patch of ground, different layers of history 20,000 years apart.

As for the long history of humans, we have the pre-Clovis culture identified in nearby archeological sites, the mysterious event that de-populated the North American continent, and the Asian human migration over the Alaskan land bridge during the last glaciation. Now there are cities that glow golden at night, and the jewels of satellites in the sky.

The idea that anything that humans do is "killing the Earth" is absurb. We are as much a part of the ecology as any other species. If collectively we have an impact that is visible from space, who are we to be so presumptuous as to call it unnatural, or a departure from Nature?
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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 09 May 2018, 10:09:40

GHung wrote: If you really cared, you would stay home


If you could do the math, you'd understand that its already too late to stop global warming.

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 09 May 2018, 10:18:24

KaiserJeep wrote:The idea that anything that humans do is "killing the Earth" is absurb. We are as much a part of the ecology as any other species. If collectively we have an impact that is visible from space, who are we to be so presumptuous as to call it unnatural, or a departure from Nature?


I agree with you that topics about "killing the Planet" are over the top. However, the hyperventilating titles for topics is a big part of the fun of posting at this site. Who wants to post in topics with boring topics like "Tourists are slightly contributing to global warming."

And as far as your concern about calling global warming "unnatural." Yes, of course it isn't supernatural. The global warming we are living with is most definitely anthropogenic, i.e. human caused. The point is the planet wouldn't be seeing the current warming if not for the use of fossil fuels by billions and billions of humans. Of course there are a few people out there who say they care so deeply about the planet that they have decided to stay at home and never leave so as to minimize their impact on the earth.

And that reminds me of a story. I was doing scientific work down in Lake Clark National Park here in Alaska a few years back, and one of the Rangers flew me out in a NPS floatplane to this incredibly beautiful spot where a hermit had built a log cabin before the national park was established and had lived there in splendid isolation for decades, never leaving home and never emitting any CO2. We tied the floatplane up to the shore and I did my science thing and when I completed the sampling I needed to do we hiked over to visit with the famous hermit, Dick. He's dead now, but he had a one room log cabin chinked with moss, and had built himself a table and a chair and such. He survived mainly by picking berries and catching grayling and salmon. Sounds great but after 20 years a pretty monotonous diet. My friend the NP guide told me how ascetic and environmentally sensitive the hermit was, but when the NP guide went outside for a bit, I brought out my lunch and shared it with the hermit. I gave him an orange---he was over the moon with happiness. And when I gave him some gummy bears----we were friends forever.

I can't even imagine how much CO2 was expanded in growing that orange in California and then shipping it to Alaska, and then I used a car to go the store to buy it, and then I packed it along on several airline flights to even get to Lake Clark Clark National Park, and then I brought it along on the float plane for the field work. But nonetheless, the hermit craved the orange. My point is that even most the most isolated hermit in the most remote place in the world---even a man who never ever leaves home----wants an orange when he sees it. And if Dick the hermit in Alaska has a carbon footprint----then EVERYONE HAS A CARBON FOOTPRINT.

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Dick the hermit and his cabin at Twin Lakes, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska The Park Service turned his cabin into a remote ranger station after he died.

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Re: Tourists are Killing the Planet

Unread postby GHung » Wed 09 May 2018, 10:50:40

Plantagenet wrote:
GHung wrote: If you really cared, you would stay home


If you could do the math, you'd understand that its already too late to stop global warming.

Cheers!


Then why are you bringing up military and business consumption? Easier to say it's too late and I'm going to travel wherever and whenever I want because it will make no difference.
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