Vacations won’t stay the same – unless we made ourselves part of the solution rather than the problem
Scores of tourists holidaying in the popular islands of Greece recently came face-to-face with the future. As wildfires raged across Rhodes, Evia and Corfu, thousands of visitors had to escape the flames, with many of them fleeing with just the clothes they were wearing.
Not Even Our Vacations Are Insulated
It would be a big mistake to undermine extreme weather events as minor incidents and to continue holidaying as usual in the years ahead. These unprecedented conditions across Europe are a reminder that not even our vacations are insulated from the effects of global heating.
The series of wildfires our world continues to experience is one consequence of a 1.2 degrees Celsius spike in the global average temperature, compared to pre-industrial times. But we are currently on target to far exceed a 2 degrees Celsius rise by the end of the century!
The ongoing events are a wake-up call – a reminder of the possible worst to come in the decades ahead as the planet gets even hotter. They are not a part of the natural cycle – but a direct result of humankind’s carbon-polluting activities.
We Must Realise Holidays And Flights Don’t Always Go Hand-In-Hand
Last year, Britons made over 46 million trips to go on holiday abroad. This can’t go on, nor should it, both for the good of the planet as well as for the peace of mind of holiday-makers increasingly worried about the deepening climate emergency.
This means holidays abroad need to be separated from flying – implying as far as Europe is concerned, trains and cars should be largely supported. But there are issues, of course – like travelling by train around Europe is generally four times more expensive than flying.
And road trips usually take longer and are likely to involve hours of frustrating queueing at ports. But on the plus side, travelling by road or trains eliminates airport scrums and delays and, most importantly, helps substantially reduce carbon emissions.