4 trips to make before global warming screws them
The word is out: the planet is heating up. Whether you were busy protesting the inadequacy of the COP21 conference on climate change last November, or raising awareness about environmental destruction on Facebook, the stress of activism may be taking a toll on you. If so, why not take a vacation, before it’s too late, to one of the many places that will be destroyed by global warming? Like the climate change expert John Lovelock says, enjoy life while you can before the disasters of global warming, predicted to arrive in twenty years. Here are a few places you can have the privilege of being among the last humans ever to experience.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is largest coral reef in the world, covering more than 133,000 square miles and stretching across 900 islands. It is built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps, making it a gigantic living structure. It is so big it can be seen from outer space. The thing is, coral reefs are delicate ecosystems. That means that the Great Barrier Reef, like all coral reefs, is being killed by a rise in the ocean’s temperature. Thanks to climate change and to other environmental nightmares like pollution and oil spills, the Great Barrier Reef has already lost half of its corals since 1985. When the algae living in the coral die, this reef undergoes a process called “bleaching,” leaving behind a white calcium skeleton of the once living coral. Before the reef becomes a corpse altogether, head to Australia to snorkel around this natural wonder!
This beautiful Italian city, built on a series of small islands in a marshy lagoon, was having trouble staying afloat long before the anthropocene. For hundreds of years, Venetians have developed strategies to fight flood tides as well as the city’s gradual sinking. As global warming has melted the earth’s ice sheets, sea levels have already risen between four and eight inches. This change could cause floods in Venice that would make it uninhabitable by this century’s end. Your grandkids may not be able to visit this incredible city—but you can, if you don’t wait too long.
Glacier National Park, Montana
When this massive territory on the border with Canada became a national park, it had 150 glaciers, hence the name. As a result of climate change, it now has fewer than 25 and could have none left within fifteen years. Rises in global temperature would not only constitute the extinction of North American glaciers, but also a disruption in the area’s incredibly rich ecosystem.
Since the 1970s, the Maldives have become a top tourism destination, known for its luxurious and exotic beaches. This archipelago is also known for being the lowest-lying country in the world, only four feet above sea level. Tragically, yet unsurprisingly, rises in water levels due to climate change will wipe most of its islands off the face of this earth. Before this happens, have a piña colada at one of many resorts of this country.