While we’re used to using the term “ecotourism” to refer to travel that offers a look at revitalized natural resources and rare species no longer in danger, a recent New York Times column raises the thought-provoking idea of visiting ruined landscapes to gain awareness of the damages done by our mistakes.
Journalist and author Andrew Blackwell’s aim is to give people a look at some of the world’s “most spoiled places,” an idea he explains in his book, “Visit Sunny Chernobyl.” After experiencing behind-the-scenes tours of some of the world’s most polluted cities and environmental disaster sites, Blackwell became interested in what their future would hold; perhaps they had even been spared, in a way, from over-colonization, for example. “To value only the few pristine, unadulterated tracts of wilderness remaining on the planet is to ignore the reality that we have created for ourselves,” he argues.
To value only the few pristine, unadulterated tracts of wilderness remaining on the planet is to ignore the reality that we have created for ourselves.
Chernobyl photo: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr