On this Earth Day, JOURNEYS International Highlights Four Destinations to Experience Climate Change First Hand
Our Thoughts on the World’s Changing Landscape and Human Impact
April 24, 2013 - Ann Arbor, MI - Earth Day is for reflecting on the health of the planet. Most travelers know that our home is ailing. No global dynamic is as profound, pervasive, consequential, or worrisome as climate change. While everyone is aware that one dramatic weather event, or even an abnormal season does not indicate, by itself, climate change, JOURNEYS travelers and guides around the planet are observing many ongoing changes and the conclusion is inevitable—the global climate is changing and it troubles us.
The glaciers and permanent snowfields atop Kilimanjaro are almost gone. You can still see them and you might get caught in a dusting of snow, but on a sunny day there are only fragments of ice fields left. JOURNEYS offers three trips to Kilimanjaro including the opportunity to see the remnants of the glaciers while trekking the Full Moon Kili Summit, Safari & Zanzibar.
The glaciers in the Himalayas of Nepal are similarly receding. No one is predicting all the ice will melt, but in the time we have been visiting Mt. Everest Basecamp, for example, the edge of the Khumbu icefall has receded more than a mile. A rare opportunity presents itself this November as JOURNEYS celebrates 35 years of travel by retracing the route of the initial trip. Joining members of the Ann Arbor staff will be Nawang Sherpa, son of the co-founder Pemba Sherpa, on the Everest Anniversary Trek.
Visit Greenland or the high arctic and your guide will show you unprecedented melting, diminished sea ice and eroding coastlines. Trees and crops grow where there was recently ice. The North Pole is regularly ice-free in summer and you can cruise across it. Four separate JOURNEYS adventures explore the threatened arctic landscape including Fire and Ice and Greenland Discovery.
In many parts of Africa long-term drought is widespread where, along with expanding human activities, it threatens the great wildlife herds. In contrast, other areas are experiencing intense, sustained, unseasonable rains, disrupting ecosystems and agricultural productivity around the globe. There are still many animals and families can see how the great herds of game and cultures are adapting to changing climate on two special JOURNEYS trips; A Million Animals, A Multitude of Friends leaves for Kenya this August or travel to Tanzania in June or December on Karibu, Tanzania! Family Safari.
On a broad scale we must all reduce our carbon emissions, which are principally the result of burning coal and oil. There are pathways to a solution including a carbon tax, greater use of renewable and nuclear energy, moderating our energy intensive lifestyle, improving mileage standards and investing in carbon sequestration.
As individuals, there is little we can do, other than to see for ourselves the changes and relate our observations to the skeptics who refuse to believe and are able to block the collective action necessary to address the problem.