Loving the Plant-Not
The Billy Bushwood Institute for Vacation Guilt Inducement, (BBIVGI) thought that you smug one percenters currently walking on rope bridges in the forest canopy in Belize, or drinking exotic papaya based moonshine in the Amazon, have not been sufficiently chastised for the damage you are doing to the environment. (OK, I am jealous that you are somewhere fun and scenic, whereas I am sitting in my rumpus room thinking up unread blogs. So I just wanted to poke you in the eye and ruin your vacations.)
I hate to tell you, but your enjoyment of Nature is absolutely killing the planet. You need to get home, turn down the AC, and punish yourself by watching Ferngully and Earth in the Balance five times apiece, you planet destroying, selfish louts.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, tourism is a major source of eco system destruction. The following is an excerpt from an article on the disastrous and deleterious impacts of getting closer to nature. Here’s a hint, Nature does NOT want to get closer to YOU!!
- It threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, (BB note, so tourism itself is threatening opportunities for tourism?) and sources of wood, medicines and energy.
- It interferes with essential ecological functions such as species balance, soil formation, and greenhouse gas absorption.
- It reduces the productivity of ecosystems, thereby shrinking nature’s basket of goods and services, from which we constantly draw.
- It destabilizes ecosystems and weakens their ability to deal with natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes, and with human-caused stresses, such as pollution and climate change.
- According to Tourism Concern, scientists predict that by 2015 half of the annual destruction of the ozone layer will be caused by air travel.
So tourism is bad for the Planet. As it turns out, the most destructive kind of tourism is that which is labelled Eco Tourism. You don’t believe me? Not only are Globe Trotting Greenies wreaking havoc in the ways pointed out by the UN above, they are likely killing a whole bunch of endangered species also. Check out this study by the fine professors at UCLA. (Any guesses as to whether their study grant required them to visit Tahiti and New Zealand to conduct “research”? My estimate- 100% chance.)
“Protected areas around the globe receive a total of more than 8 billion visits each year. This massive amount of nature-based and ecotourism can be added to the long list of drivers of human-induced rapid environmental change,” said Daniel Blumstein, the study’s senior author and professor and chair of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCLA.
So, eco-tourism is harmful to the planet and cuddly jungle critters. And, I might add, it likely does little to endear the locals to us fat, sweaty, ugly-pants wearing Americans. I bet we lose about 10% of what modicum of worldwide respect we have left due to foreign citizens encountering us Gringos/Gaijin/Galoots blundering into their heretofore quiet and respectable neighborhoods. We would be better off staying within the country, where our fellow citizens already have lost all respect for us.
Then there is the reality of Eco sensitive vacations, which sound none to appealing to this luxury seeking beach bum. You fly to some god forsaken third world country, paying thousands for the opportunity to be kidnapped for ransom, infected with Zika or Malaria, get bitten by snakes, or eaten by piranhas. To minimize your carbon footprint, you stay in a tent or hotel without air conditioning or hot showers. You eat local cuisine, which may be roast rat or fried monkey brains. On the plus side, you can’t lose money at the casino, but then there is no bar. So you get high on substances which may turn you into a mindless zombie, (which are actually on the attack, back in Brooklyn. See prior blog post).
Eco Friendly Hotel. Does it have a jacuzzi?
So what is a Nature loving vacationer to do? Well, first you have to go somewhere by bus, which has the lowest impact of any transit mode (save walking or biking). Tough kale chips if you live in Iowa, so you have to spend three days in a bus stinking of diesel and wino sweat to get to anywhere interesting. (Wikipedia: By choosing a different mode of transport, you can alter your CO2 contribution significantly. According to a Union of Concerned Scientists-analysis, buses and trains are almost always less environmentally damaging than planes or cars.)
Your Bus Vacation Starts Here!!
Although you may find it less exotic than you might have liked, a vacation in Miami Beach is WAY friendlier to the Earth than going to the rain forest. Here is your itinerary:
- Take public transit to Greyhound Station downtown. Step carefully over junkies in doorway.
- Stay in campground in North Miami. Make tents out of recycled milk jugs.
- Eat at McDonald’s. Food this cheap must have been made extremely efficiently, right?
- Take public transit to beach. Lay on blankets made of recycled newspapers
- Take trip (in buses) to Gator Park, observing wildlife in its near natural state. The kids will enjoy the petting zoo!!
- Meet the locals, and take time to learn about their unique culture. Play shuffleboard with seniors from Saskatchewan. Shuffle along with meth addicts from Haiti. You will thrill to have gained cultural knowledge of these exotic and different peoples!!
- When the heat stress causes kids to pass out, take public transit to bus station, arriving home in just three scenic and fragrant days.
This I would argue is almost the most ecofriendly vacation possible in this country short of staying home and sleeping in your own bed. Truthfully, I believe I would prefer this last option. My clothes are as tasteless as my neighbors’, and I can’t offend them any more than I have already. Plus, I can catch animal planet on DVR.
I stand ready to accept my Nobel prize for this planet saving advice at any time.