I write this blog about ecotourism because I have a big interest in this topic and I do think it can make a difference. I want to share what I find/think interesting about it.
This blog is yours, please feel free to add any comment/suggestion/feedback or email me at guillaume.foutry (at) gmail.com

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pollution and Climate Change: the Nazism of Our Generation?

COP15 UNFCCC Climate Change - Opening CeremonyImage by UN Climate Talks via Flickr

Last week I wrote a blog post about my scepticism against the Copenhagen summit, and the more it goes the more I feel the facts are unfortunately going into that direction: A North and South divide between countries that will bring a weak resolution that is not going to change anything. Sometimes I feel people on the table do not realize the dangers ahead of us.

I have the impression they have the same attitude than France and the UK in the 1930s towards Nazi Germany: They do know it was evil, but by lack of courage, by their will to avoid a war at all cost (such as betraying and selling an ally like Czechoslovakia) and maybe also for local political consideration they did not stop what was coming. It cost us more than 60 million lives, destroyed many cities in Europe and brought mankind to an awful level of barbarity.

Now if you take the forces of climate change and pollution but brought them to a 21st century world, you can see the level of misery that is awaiting us in case of inaction.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Copenhagen: a Missed Opportunity for the Environment...Again?

The Truth About Climate Change DVD coverImage via Wikipedia

The UN summit taking place in Copenhagen might be the last opportunity we have to make a difference for the environment: reducing our carbon dioxide emissions has become urgent as we start feeling the first effects of climate change: droughts, floods and hurricanes are more common and increasingly stronger.

I am quite cynical about the summit, as in a few days it is going to reject as much carbon dioxide as a a big town would do. Moreover it is such a big summit that things have already been decided and negotiated for weeks between all the countries. And we all know what is going to happen: lots of promises, a few things signed, but nothing compulsory or that will constrain governments or businesses.

I can already give you the picture: governments from the north will set reduction targets (but will try to implement biased means of calculations) and put the pressure on countries from the South to have green policies; these ones will reply they cannot do that as they need to develop their economies first. They will also say (and to some point it is legitimate) that we created the problem and we should bear most of the burden. So lots of declarations and bla bla bla ahead, no real actions. And it is even more depressing when you think that only a few countries reached the target of the Kyoto protocol.

So what is the solution? Well we have it: let's become entrepreneurs and launch green companies. Let's become lobbyists and annoy our politicians as much as possible. Let's talk to people around us (family; friends; colleagues) and convince them we have to do something. because honestly, if we wait for our politicians to do anything, well, we are not sorted.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Killing Green, the New Creed of the US Army?

Logotype of the United States ArmyImage via Wikipedia

I just read an article from Fast Company about how the US Army tries to go green. I was sceptical about it but I tried to have a broader view on the topic: if the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide on the planet starts adopting a green approach on things, well, it that things are going into the right direction.

Moreover, if you look at all the technologies we have today such as computers, nuclear energy or anything related to space, everything has been developed thanks to military funding. And on a larger scale, a quick glance at the history of mankind and inventions would make you realize that wars accelerate innovations (but I would honestly prefer that without conflict).

It is not reassuring to know that destructive weapons are developed, but I completely agree with the Roman precept that states "if you want the peace, prepare the war". At least, we can do this without destroying the environment (and hopefully, in conflicts that might happen in the future, the planet).

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Do Not Let Lake Atitlan Die!

Santiago (on right) and Lago Atitlan from Volc...Image via Wikipedia

I lived in Guatemala for a few months in 2006 and I have to say it is a country with breathtaking landscapes. If you ask me which one might be the best of all, I would go for the lake Atitlan, especially when you arrive there from the road: as you drive down to the lake you just realize how big all the elements are (lake, volcanoes, waterfalls). You truly feel overwhelmed by nature.

However pleasure does not last as you realize to what extent the place has been corrupted by tourism: pollution, drugs and the uniformity of hotels, restaurants and other gringo things have transformed this gorgeous place into a non Guatemalan land. Moreover, the lake has been hit hard by pollution as housing pressure and the lack (or even absence) of recycling facilities have transformed clear waters into a murky lake.
And now this article from Time that shows the ecosystem of the lake is dying, even explaining that people should not use the water because it can endanger their health. Consequently, all these pollutions have created the perfect combination for the development of a blue-green algae that has invaded the lake. For all of this, Lake Atitlan has been declared the "Threatened Lake of the Year 2009" by the Global Nature Fund.

I know that unfortunately this ecological catastrophe is one among too many, but this one makes me really sad. I went there and enjoyed it despite all the negative elements. It seems impossible that we let one natural wonders of our planet disappear without doing anything. I have been doing some research on the Internet to find a NGO I could donate to, but without success yet. if you know anything about it, please leave a comment. I am convinced that this place deserves a lot more than just being a memory and another example of human destruction.

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