The reduction of the carbon footprint isn’t the cheery subject which the green people, the media, and the government are trying to claim it is. In the not too long run, ten years or so, it means many things which we have grown to know and love will be changing and eventually change a lot. First to go will probably be the wasteful practices of distant vacations which are now affordable because of the cheapness of airplane travel. That will be a painful event for the vacation industry worldwide as many places now gain a major portion of their livelihood from tourism. When I was in Edinburgh, Scotland a while back they were proud to proclaim that they were the number one tourist attraction in Europe for Europeans. Here in San Francisco, California they claim similar things and both of these cities have thousands of rooms of hotels to service their tourists. It seems every place on the planet is making similar claims as to what a great destination for tourists their particular spot is. Even Chatham Island, 200 miles east of New Zealand, and about as remote as you can get from civilization claims to be where all tourists will eventually meet. That is the end of the world because isn’t much of anyplace further to go. Actually, everyplace on Earth is equidistant from all of the other places on Earth. Still I have a longing to go to Chatham Island, even Pitt Island which is just ten miles further and probably lots of others have a similar inclination to go to the limit.
In an effort to try and alleviate, to some small degree, my need to physically travel to distant places I created the UNESCO – World Heritage Sites – with links web page. It gives the opportunity to have many of the experiences of actually going to these wonderful places. It has the juried links to the best photographs, best movies and best basic information to the 878 coolest places on planet Earth.
This is really a wonderful site but when I show it to my friends at my local coffee shop it has a reverse effect from the one I wanted. When people go to my site they can easily see a good homemade movie of Yosemite Valley and immediately they say they want to go there. When they see any of the other places, including many they never heard of like Shark Bay, Australia they want to go there too. Getting to Yosemite from here, near San Francisco, is no huge expense nor does it create much of a carbon footprint. People used to walk there from here to there, like John Muir, who helped found the US National Park system which led the way for many other National Park Systems. However, for almost anyone to get to Shark Bay, or Chatham Island will be a huge expense of natural resources but it really isn’t necessary anymore. We can go there on our computers and if we can learn to accept thay type of travel we will all be much better off. Of course in some ways that isn’t as good as actually being there but in others it’s much better. You don’t get to eat their local food but then you don’t get the local disease either. Chances are if you live in a major city you can find a local resturant that serves that particular cusine. So, with a little effort you can get most of the travel experience without actually wasting the money and environment.
There are other personally painful carbon footprint events that are coming. One problem for some will be not having the option of driving an original Hummer to work. A big Hummer parked under my window earlier today and I was really impressed with how BIG it was and how powerful it sounded. But, I was also impressed, when it drove off, that it sounded like a semi truck hauling a heavy load even though it had a single occupant. If this person uses that Hummer to commute to work it is costing him and the local public ten times as much money as if he drove a super economy car. What ever his occupation, the final price of his product on the world marketplace has to include the cost of his transportation to get to work. If someone else can produce his product and sell it for less money than he can in the marketplace he will soon be out of a job. Squandering money will eventually consume your source of money.