For many people, one of the best things about the world being so connected is the fact we can travel. You can go to parts of the world that would have once taken days, if not weeks, to go and visit. It’s easy to go and experience the world from a whole new perspective – something that was very hard even in the recent past.
However, one thing that we don’t care about enough when it comes to our jet-setting ways is the impact that it is having on the planet. Did you know, for example, that global tourism is producing a carbon footprint that is absolutely massive?
The main culprit of global warming, we are told, is down to the carbon footprint. However, the carbon footprint that is raising all the time does certainly come from our ever-increasing desire to tour the world. While flying around the place on cheap flights might seem like a great idea, is it really good for the planet? The study says otherwise.
While it might seem like a good idea to go and see a new continent, the impact it has on the planet itself is pretty massive. Apparently, around 8% of worldwide gas emissions alone come from the global tourism industry. Given it was estimated to be around 2%, that’s quite the miscalculation. That’s also a massive problem, meaning that we need to get our act together and sort the problem out – now.
Carbon dioxide and methane manage to get trapped in the air, creating a kind of trapping effect that lingers. With global tourism on the rise as more people become able to fly, though, bringing down the number of people on the go is going to be a hard thing to do.
Can countries afford to take the hit?
The problem that we have here is that many countries are more or less built on tourism. The present economic model that most of the world operates on is a dangerous, damaging way to build a world. It means that we spend a huge amount of money on simply inviting people to come see landmarks – meaning even more emissions.
If you were to tell a tourism-dependent nation to cut out the tourists, it would enter into a sharp recession. What government is going to accept that?
Some might see that as arrogant or lazy – but it’s the world we have built. Obsessed with economics, not the future. Add in the amount of emissions created on everything from producing tourist-friendly drinks and beverages to actual domestic travel when in the country, and it’s easy to see why this is a rising yet nigh unsolvable problem.
The likes of Germany, India and the United States of America have a major part to play in changing this around. High income nations like these are both destinations for tourists and the locations that produce many tourists who can afford to travel.
Global tourism shows no signs of slowing down, though, so answers are thin on the ground and solutions are more or less non-existent. What can we do about it? I wish I knew. I just know that, for all the talk of global warming, continually creating ‘tourist traps’ is probably not contributing to ending the problem.