You're going to summer in the Galapagos, regardless of your
concerns over issues of privilege and overindulgence! Oh, and you'll also be tortured by a buncha freaky rich guys from old Eastern Bloc countries.
Drop that pencil — it may be time to throw away your travel wish list.
That's because the spots you plan to visit may not be there by the time you get around to booking your flight.
“There are thousands of places in the world that are endangered,” says Kecia Fong, a conservator at the Getty Conservation Institute, a Los Angeles-based organization that works internationally to advance the field of conservation through initiatives like scientific research and field projects. “The kinds of sites that are most endangered have rapid development like building roads or hotels to deal with an influx of tourists.”
Also contributing to the endangerment of the world's historic sites and natural wonders are global warming, pollution and deforestation.
Translation: Before you book a trip to the Galapagos Islands or Mount Kilimanjaro’s ice fields, make sure both are still visitable. The former suffers from over-tourism, the latter global warming.
Other spots in jeopardy include Kathmandu Valley in Nepal and the Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone in Peru, according to the Paris-based UNESCO World Heritage center, which is charged with preserving cultural and natural heritage worldwide. It puts together an annual list of 25 to 35 sites it deems in danger of extinction.
"We're not saying these places [on the list] are going to disappear," says Kishore Rao, deputy director, "but they need some type of corrective action."
There's a kind of never-mind-that-burning-smell-pseudo-environmentalism being promulgated louder and harder now that says with the right mix of technology and a slightly different approach to our habits of consumption - and make no mistake, these places are suffering from consumption, both point-source and otherwise - everything will be tickety-boo: this piece ends, weirdly enough, with the exhortation to "visit these places while they’re still around."
Good old fashioned nihilism? Or totally awesome cognitive dissonance?