Each measure to reduce climate change comes with advantages and disadvantages. The purpose of this book is to show that travel and tourism aren’t just an unnecessary leisure activity that needs to be reduced to prevent climate change. Throughout history, traveling has enabled us to learn from and interact with different cultures and environments. It has potentially strengthened our genes and improved our knowledge. Over the past century, traveling has allowed the world to become one society where trade and exchange have become more important than just stealing and warfare. This was only made possible by mutual understanding and benefits since it is easier to start a war against people you don’t know than to trade with people you don’t understand.
Mass media can help with creating a better understanding of the world around us, but we have to be careful that it isn’t biased by the views of those who broadcast. Visiting countries with a different culture and talking face to face to its citizens can help with creating a more realistic view, while seeing with your own eyes the negative influences of climate change will leave a much deeper impression than reading about it in the newspaper or seeing it on television.
Climate change from human influence started during the industrial revolution. From this moment on our societies were mainly built around economic growth. The past 50 years the economy in the Western world grew so strong that leisure travel became more accessible and our societies became more culturally diverse. The changing climate and the Covid-19 pandemic have taken a heavy toll on traveling and tourism. Ironically the Covid-19 pandemic actually showed that if we stop with tourism, our global CO2 emission from flying will only decrease around 1.7%, while it encourages logging and poaching.
The World Economy is badly damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, but tourism might be able to help. Tourism can be used as a tool to spread the wealth of stronger economies more equally among the people who live in weaker economies. When well-performed, tourism will not only help to make the economy more equal and multiracial but even more environmentally friendly. What if we can all adjust our current lifestyle and focus on our well-being instead of our economic status. If we collect memories instead of things it will not only make us happier and healthier, it will also reduce the contamination from production processes. So rather than just blaming traveling and tourism for our changing climate, we should sustainably use these activities to improve our society and reduce climate change.
Having reached the end I hope I was able to prove that both CO2 and tourism have their positive and negative effects on our climate. Having the right amount of CO2 in the air is important to support life on earth, while traveling strengthens our society. Traveling takes us out of our comfort-zone and encourages us to bigger accomplishments. Or to use the words from Neil Armstrong before he flew to the moon:
“I think we’re going to the moon, because it’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul. We’re required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream”.
Tourism allows us to interact with different cultures and environments and allows us to evolve as a society. The freedom to travel and the experiences along the way have made us who we are today. Personally traveling to other continents has given me a better understanding of the world around me. With better understanding also grew more appreciation for all the beauty our planet has to offer. While traveling and living in other countries I’ve met with many different people. Our interactions created more respect and tolerance for other people and cultures. These human qualities are very useful within a society to be able to accomplish great things together, like slowing down climate change.
If I may give one recommendation after all the research I’ve done, then I would recommend all of us to: “Work hard, but fewer hours; be conscious about what we eat; be careful not to accumulate too many things we don’t need; be happy with what we have, but continue to follow our dreams; travel responsible; listen to other people and never stop learning from the amazing world around us!”