Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
Tammy’s views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy’s neighbors, Wayne Mayo, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Trump, Henry Heimuller, VP Pence, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia’s dog, or Claudia Eagle’s Cats. This Tammy’s Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.
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By Tammy Maygra
Tourism sounds like a great idea and safe for the environment for those who are more environmentally conscious. Unfortunately that is not the case. The tourism industry now accounts for 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions which is four times higher than previously estimated.
The University of Sydney did a study from 2009 through 2013 on tourism footprints. The global carbon footprint from sources directly related to tourism for example; air travel, and sources indirectly like food production, hotel upkeep and souvenir shopping. Green House gasses increased from 3.9 to 4.5 gigatons. It also reported growth in expenditures on tourism is driving emissions increases at a faster rate- than growth in manufacturing or construction.
Tourism growth is a booming industry and forecasters do not see a slowdown anytime soon. In fact if tourism continues at the rate it is right now, it will increase the carbon footprint to 6.5 gigatons by 2025. Remember if these numbers seem high these numbers are including the direct and indirect sources which contribute to the entire puzzle of tourism.
The countries with the highest emissions are the U.S., China, Germany and India, much of the travel was internal. While countries such as Canada, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Denmark exerted a much higher carbon footprint elsewhere, because they travel outside of their own countries.
Tourism is a double edged sword as it accounts for up to 80 percent of the annual emissions at small island destinations such as the Maldives, Cyprus and the Seychelles. These countries rely on tourist income, but they are also feeling the effects of climate change the industry brings. Which would put the economy in jeopardy if they reduce the amount of tourism to their countries. But then they have to deal with the negative outcome to their countries environment, if they continue to promote tourism.
For people who earn more than $40,000 per year, their carbon footprint from tourism increases 13 percent for every 10 percent rise in income. The love of tourism does not slow down as income increases. People are aware and try to eliminate global warming through many different ways but they continue to travel without regard to the effect they are having on the environment. Tourism is a booming global industry worth over $7 trillion, employing 1 in 10 people around the world and growing at 4 percent annually.
Researchers project that, due to its high carbon intensity and continuing growth, tourism will constitute a growing part of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, it is safe to say that humans love to see other parts of the world. Even when they are trying to save the world from their selves. I believe that there are other ways to reduce green house emissions which people could be easily persuaded to do that would allow people to continue to do what they love best and that is traveling around the globe.
This brings me to the thought that a county commissioner is pushing tourism for jobs within our county. She believe that tourism is a clean and better option for the environment, by reducing aspects of industry. I don’t believe she has researched her idea very well as the foot print of tourism has been proved to be detrimental to many communities and countries which are depending on tourism for their economy or part of their economy.
If tourism is out pacing the foot print of construction or industry, I would think we would want industry or construction over tourism not only because of the lesser carbon footprint but also because of the difference in the incomes derived from tourism vs. industry.