Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Eco-tourism paradox

"What we once thought we had
We didn't
And what we have now
Will never be
That way again." - Nick Cave

Parts of the world are disappearing, and Fromer's has compiled them in 500 Places To See Before They Disappear. This Stuff article doesn't mention any particular NZ items on the endangered list, but Oz has 21 listings.

Cane toads can take a bit of the blame for the demise of the Daintree Rainforest and Kakadu National Park. There's the poor Tazzie Devils dying out because of some weird facial sex cancer, while Tasmanian islands get Loraxed by logging and mining.

But ecotourism is taking its toll on places such as the Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island. Whole boatloads of concerned middle-class Greenies go out to see the Reef every day of the year. They drop shit overboard, they leak diesel exhaust all over it, hassle the local wildlife and generally act contrary to what one would expect for concerned preservationalists. On Fraser Island, 4WDs run up and down the beaches, ripping the dunes up and eroding it worse than any horse could cause.

So be a good Greenie, and don't go there if you really care. Unless you can develop some form of cure for facial sex cancer or a neutron bomb for cane toads, just stay away. Your presence there is not helpful.