Veteran Traveler To Readers: Stop Traveling Or You’ll Wreck My Planet

From The Joan Shorenstein Center

Becker - From The Joan Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics, & Public Policy

 

Hey, Lizzie, here’s an idea: since you’ve had your fun, why don’t you sit your butt down and stop ruining the environment for us novices? Arrogant hypocrite.

[Elizabeth Becker, Delaware Online] I used to love going back to my old haunt in a Himalayan hill station where, as a student in India in 1970, I climbed those steep, silent paths and watched langur monkeys swinging in the trees outside my window. No longer. Now Moussurie is chock-a-block with tourist lodges, garbage and noise; the monkeys are fleeing.

The places we love are rapidly disappearing. Global tourism today is not only a major industry — it’s nothing short of a planet-threatening plague. It’s polluting land and sea, destroying wildlife and natural habitat and depleting energy and natural resources. From Asia to Africa, look-alike resorts and spas are replacing and undermining local culture, and the international quest for vacation houses is forcing local residents out of their homes.

It’s giving rise to official corruption, wealth inequities and heedless competition. It’s even contributing to human rights violations, especially through the scourge of sex tourism.

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