I rolled on the table and laughed.  It was ludicrous.  We had travelled 8000 miles and poured out who knows how many tons of carbon into the atmosphere.  We had sprayed our insecticide, consumed our malaria tablets, cut our way through packaging and processed food to arrive at an “Eco Camp” on the far side of the world and were now busy pontificating as to how to protect a rain forest we did not own and knew little about.  Surely if we really cared about the planet we would have stayed at home and become vegetarians.

“What is so funny? “ asked Ludo, our guide “share the joke”.  I explained, he smiled. “Yes, but here you are and you have seen many lemurs in the forest.  To take you to these lemurs thirty people have been employed tracking and many more protecting the forest.  If you were not here then they would have been employed eating the lemurs and making charcoal from the forest.  Does that change your mind?”

Travel is never easy, not on the conscience, the body, or the wallet.  It should not be; travel is not a holiday but a new set of experiences.  It is however self-centred and little loose change from your pocket spills out into the world around.  Science understands that what ever you are looking at is altered by the fact that you are looking, so no observation shows ‘what is really happening’.  Tourism is the worlds’ worst culprit.

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Monday, January 28th, 2013