“Last chance travel …. From melting glaciers to unbearable summer heat, climate change will make some holiday destinations unrecognizable.”
The mentality of the doomsday crowd is something to behold. Why would one go zombie on the coming end of modern civilization rather than soberly examine the (failed) track record of alarmism and the (non-alarming) data of weather extremes, temperature, and climate-related deaths?
I am reminded of two authors of the 1972 Club of Rome study who were so confident of doomism (here):
Dennis and Donella Meadows retreated to a New Hampshire farm after completing the book “to learn about homesteading and wait for the coming collapse.” “We definitely felt like Cassandras,” Donella Meadows added, “especially as we watched the world react to our work.”
But maybe Kenneth Boulding got it right when he said:
Is there any more single-minded, simple pleasure than viewing with alarm? At times it is even better than sex.
Maybe “fear porn” is how to describe those who peddle fear and doom and want to recreate society along the lines that they think is “sustainable,” what F. A. Hayek would call “the fatal conceit.”
An article in The Times, “Last Chance Travel: The Trips that May Lose Their Appeal in Five Years” by Chris Haslams inspired this comment on social media by uber-doomist Zoe Cohen:
Is that what we really want as (privileged) human beings in 2023? To fly somewhere to ‘see it before it’s gone’? (or more accurately before it’s destroyed by our extractive colonial system that benefits a small proportion of humanity and f**ks everyone else, human and non-human)
Or to find out the places we can fly to that aren’t yet so destroyed that they still look ‘nice’ and we can go there without feeling too guilty? Really? Aren’t we better than that?
The article follows:
“#Travel planning has always involved a gamble with the weather. Sometimes it’s a dead cert — the Canaries in December, for example. At others it’s a long shot, Brittany being rain-free in August, & occasionally it’s a no-hope outsider, as anyone who has been tempted by a bargain package to Thailand in September will know
The weather, however, is no longer a safe bet. The #climate is changing, and last year offered the most dramatic and convincing evidence yet of its effects. Wildfires destroyed tens of thousands of square miles of forest in the US, South America & Europe
Devastating floods hit Australia, South Africa, the Sahel and Pakistan, and Europe endured the hottest summer since measurements began, with the UK reaching a new high of 40.3C at on July 19th
African rivers are dry. Alpine resorts are warm and muddy. Beaches in the south of France recorded June-like temperatures at Christmas and, last week, Los Angelenos built snowmen. India issued heatwave alerts in February, Adelaide issued a “code red” heatstroke warning last week, and in Mauritius holidaymakers sought shelter as Cyclone Freddy battered the island. It will come as no surprise that there’s more of the same to come, exacerbated this year and next as a new El Niño event takes over from the outgoing La Niña….
Last-chance #tourism seems not only in bad taste but also to be a driver of #climatechange by adding to overall emissions. But it’s not that simple. In 2019 the global travel industry supported 333 million jobs. If each of those jobs feeds just four mouths — and in sub-Saharan Africa it’s eight — then one sixth of the global population depends on tourism’s transfer of wealth. (***Bullsh*t – people are dependent on tourism ‘Transfer of wealth’, because of the obscene actual transfer of wealth from the global south to the global north through extraction and debt! A global debt cancellation could surely resolve much of that overnight***)
And there’s the need, too, to bear witness. (!!!!?) I always thought the Antarctic cruise industry’s insistence that “every tourist who sees the ice returns as an ambassador” was self-serving — especially when you saw those ambassadors heading for the biz-class lounges at Buenos Aires airports. But if we travel in a sustainable way to inspect the damage we have done, perhaps we’ll fight harder to protect what’s left”
Before 2035: escape the heat
We’ll have crossed the 1.5C of warming threshold by 2035 and, according to the Met Office, summers like the last will be the norm. Much of the Med, from southern Spain to Turkey, will be too hot to handle between June and September.
Before 2050: dodge storms, flooding and more heat
Sea levels are forecast to rise by between 29cm and 1.1m by 2100. It doesn’t sound like much, but a New Zealand study says it’s enough to put “one billion people at risk of coastal inundation or high-tide flooding” by 2050.
Or maybe not ….