Would You Travel Less to Save the Environment?

| 10/9/2009 12:32:12 PM

YellowstoneThe recent PBS series National Parks: America's Best Idea has drawn some great attention to our nation's protected wilderness areas and, hopefully, has reinvigorated our appreciation of the parks in the process. Along those lines, as pointed in Don't Be a National Park Bagger (from Utne Reader, MOTHER EARTH NEWS's sister magazine), it also elicits some important questions about the environmental impact of travel and about how we travel, specifically, the impact of taking fewer but more engaged trips versus that of taking many more cursory trips.

From carbon footprints to added wear and tear on everything from trails to monuments, travel of any kind leaves its mark on the environment, a point that's been discussed in MOTHER EARTH NEWS and, even more so, in travel-oriented blogs such as Vagablogging and World Hum. The difficulty of balancing the environmental effects of your travels with a desire to see and appreciate firsthand the natural and manmade marvels of the world isn't an easy task, and is an issue that's inspired numerous blog posts, articles and passionate discussions on travel forums and other online communities. What do you think? Would you travel less, or otherwise change the way you travel, out of concern for the environment?


Fran Tracy
11/7/2009 10:30:46 AM

It is fine to change some behaviors but the whole country is going carazy. I guess they want us to go back to living in a log cabin with no use of electricity and eat only what we grow. What about reality? Lets do our part but still be able to enjoy life alittle. Since Nancy Palosy uses a 200 person jet to get back and forth to Washington every week at a cost of $60,000 each way, I don't feel guilty at the energy I use. Fran

rev gary gladhill
10/14/2009 9:37:04 AM

EDR.Do you not keep up on world issues.They are cutting down all the trees ergo there is nothing to use the carbon dioxide you so dearly love.Wake up man

10/13/2009 7:58:34 PM

Well, considering the massive impact that air travel has on climate change, we are definitely trying to minimize that type of travel. But we are also looking into eco-tourist businesses and off-the-grid accommodations to offset the use of that mode of transport. As for those who've responded with wisecracks re: Al Gore, and 'brainwashing'-- you should really check into the scientific basis for the claims people like Gore are making. Check out the film 'The Age of Stupid'. It gives a pretty tidy explanation of all the actual, factual science behind climate change, and urges all of us in the massively over-consumptive West to try a bit harder to make some changes that matter. I agree that there have always been climatic fluctuations on this planet, but none even remotely approach what we are dealing with now. I also agree with Doug, that each of our individual acts, like putting in a new type of light bulb or recycling, don't mean much compared with what giant corporate entities and developing nations are putting out there. That's why it is high time for all of us to DO SOMETHING to attract their attention, and let them know that you will no longer accept purely profit-oriented planning, development, waste treatment, building and energy use. If you're wondering what that something might be, check out http://www.350.org/. Or just sit there.

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