We’re in the middle of Responsible Tourism Week – a global unconference made possible by the hard work and dedication of Ron Mader and anyone who is committed to sharing ideas related to creating a tourism sector that doesn’t cost the earth. If you want to know how you can contribute, check out Ron’s slideshow here .
Tweet this link (don’t forget the hashtag #RTWEEK2012) and encourage your friends and colleagues to get involved; join Ron’s wiki, contribute case studies; and, wherever possible travel responsibly. All you have to do is budget some time to draw attention to the need for and benefits of creating travel experiences that maximise the net benefit to host communities.
My contribution today is a reminder why we cannot afford to shirk our responsibilities. Just because Al Gore is no longer taking his slideshow around the world or the IPCC is no longer in the news, and climate change, as a news topic, has become so yesterday, doesn’t mean that the earth is not warming. In fact, Co2 emissions continue to rise at an accelerating rate. For those of you who like the numbers, they reached 393 parts per million in January 2012 and you can watch the monthly increase here. (Now, I fully recognize that my European friends might find it quite ironic and unsympathetic of me to write this while they are experiencing another brutally hard winter in Europe – see Europe’s Deep Freeze: Why Climate Change is Not Entirely to Blame. ) One reason for the acceleration might also be the positive feedback loop effect when warming reduces the weight of Arctic ice allowing methane, long trapped beneath the ice, to push through to the surface – see article in methane plumes here
So here’s the reminder of one reason why we have to use each waking moment to work together to create a less polluting form of tourism if we are to live up to the name and dream of “responsible tourism.”