The Athabaska glacier, Alberta shown in 1917, and again from the same viewpoint in 2011. It has lost 50% of its volume and receeded 1.5km in just the last 12.5 years, Photo: A.O. Wheeler, Interprovincial Boundary Survey. Modern image: 2011, Mountain Legacy Project

Last Chance Tourism

Share

See the glaciers before they’re gone, watch the whales or gorillas, or elephants before they are no more, see the Great Barrier Reef before it dies off, visit the Amazon before development eliminates the jungle; This type of thing is called quietly “last chance tourism”, or “doom tourism” but seldom by the places of interest who don’t really want to promote themselves as such.

Glaciers in Canada’s national parks in the Rocky mountains are quickly disappearing and a professor co-authored  a study last year of visitors to a parks glacier to find out if they were there to see the effects of climate change on the glacier, and how it might be used to educate regarding climate change

Elizabeth Halpenny (PhD) is an associate professor in the faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation.

The study was labelled “The End of the Ice Age?” Disappearing World Heritage and the Climate Change Communication Imperitive. It was published in the journal Environmental Communication. (abstract here)

While many places don’t actively promote themselves as “last chance” tourism, there is an underground feeling spread that many such venues are relatively speaking, just that.

A visitor stands at a spot that in 1963 was under the ice of the Pasterze glacier as the glacier in its current state is seen behind on Aug. 13 near Heiligenblut am Grossglockner, Austria. The Pasterze, Austria’s largest glacier, has lost over half its volume since 1850, and its tongue, shrinking in both width and depth, has retreated at least 2.6 kilometres. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The IPCC recently released report on high altitudes and oceans showing how they are being seriously compromised by climate change.

Professor Halpenny says however it can be used as an important tool to educate about the effects climate change is having on ecosystems which have a knock-on effect on many, if not all, aspects of life, if not immediately then in the relatively near future.

As an example, of the 399 glacier visitors questioned, sixty per cent said they wanted to see the glacier before it disappeared and forty-five per cent wanted to see for themselves how climate has affected the glacier.

While some have criticised “last chance tourism” as worsening a problem on a specific environment or ecosystem, Halpenny says staying away is not realistic nor helps with the message.

In a University of Alberta news article she said, ““This is an incredible opportunity to talk about climate change and how we’re losing our glaciers in the mountain parks. Visitors can be more aware of this decline and related climate change impacts, understand the science that we can use to mitigate negative impacts and then take action.”

Additional information

Share
Categories: Economy, Environment, International, Internet, Science and Technology, Politics, Society
Tags: , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*