The Maldives are sinking. Visit now? Photo credit: AhmedZahid
Global warming has opened up a new travel niche known as climate tourism.
Climate tourists travel to places which are seeing the effects of global warming in a visible way. That includes glaciers in the Arctic Circle, or the Maldives, both of which are threatened by climate change and could, if temperatures keep rising, disappear.
On the other hand, tourists are also starting to flock to places like the Svalbard Islands, which have global warming to thank for their evolution into a popular tourist destination. As The Herald puts it, warmer temperatures have taken "the harsh edge off the environment and (make) the area increasingly attractive to holidaymakers."
Ironically enough, this new brand of tourism perpetuates global warming. Planes and cruise ships release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The extent to which that results in global warming is debatable, but an obvious ethical question does arise:
Does any potential benefit of climate tourism outweigh its negative aspects?