But could you give me your arguments first please?
But could you give me your arguments first please?
Antarctica statistic for the saison 2007-2008
September 2007- March 2008
Ships going to the Antarctic 40
Trips in total 207
Passangers 32 340 including crew
that means per month more or less depending on the crew number(crew stays aboard) 3000
people guided by expedition leaders visit different Islands,different landing places in Antarctica.
Never 2 ships at the same Island.
ships going to Antarctica are small vessels with scientists who give lectures and briefings before the landings.
went last year on a SAILING ship with only 30 of us..... which meant we managed to visit the continent both environmentally and on a small scale and relatively cheaply (for the Antarctic anyway!)
www.barkeuropa.com should anyone be interested.
As for the discussion brewing as a result of your post...... hmm...... OK... here goes ........
I would say that as part of the IAATO treaty, Antarctica is one of the most well managed places I've been to in terms of where, when and how many people go to each place etc.
I've been to Galapagos also and was infuriated at the lack of investment from the Ecuadorian government ... although we all know the Galapagos is the biggest money spinner for the Government and only about 10% of the funds actually gets reinvested... official figures say 50% ??? yeh...right....
As for reducing the numbers.... yep they're doing that in the Galapagos alright, however.... they're also upping the price of the entry fee to the islands from $100 USD to $300 (so it's not quite as green (from a reinvestment point of view) as it sounds and the actual number of visitors is still relatively high !!!)... and also there's no (viable) alternative... other than to fly to the islands.... I'm sure people would pay to sail there if it were possible or the infrastructure were there.... that would be a much better way of getting there than adding to the Aviation pollution... however... of course, there's money to be made from airflights and both of the ONLY airlines operating to the islands are Ecuadorian and have an "agreement" regarding fares to and from!
Antarctica though is (at the time I was there) well managed and long may it stay so.
Remember the Antarctic Treaty is the ONLY peace and land treaty that's actually stood up to the test of time...... can't be all that bad then can it ! all the guides are strict and landings and locations are STRICTLY managed !!!
With regards to whether to go there or not.....
It's a sticky one of course... however... to be honest.....
I'd advise as many people as possible to go there !!!!!
Firstly.... while it's still there (another piece the size of wales "fell" off the other week)
so you can see (first hand) what global warming is actually doing!!
Penguins laying later in the year... changing weather and sea patterns... glacial melt etc. etc. etc.
For the amount of pollution you add as a result of going there.... I'm sure you can offset this by reducing your pollution back at home (as most of you I'm sure already do!) as a result.
However, more importantly, you can then help convince others, namely the 1 (Australia's now signed up to it thanks to Kevin) nation that's not signed up to Kyoto and is still in denial that the problem actually DOES exist and you've seen it FIRST HAND !!!
I always say that there's nothing like saying you've actually seen something first hand as opposed to only having read about it or watched a documentary to diffuse an argument
People all to readily question scientists.... however... it's a bit more personal whan they question YOUR opinion based on YOUR experience !!!!!
The numbers of visitors are still staggerlingly small relative to other Natural sites worldwide... a la Galapagos, barrier reef etc. etc. etc........
I think having been there and seen it (so to speak) I'm definately more aware of how fragile the continent is and how I can help and persuade people and nations (if only !!!) that the problem actually exists.
I agree it's a Western luxury to be able to visit such sites, but at the end of the day... if it's within your grasps and more importantly... you learn something from the experience (and more importantly act on it !!!)... why not ???
Think of it like this...
My girlfriend and I are about to head into the Jungle to see El Mirador in Guatemala for 6 days. We need packhorses and have to walk through the jungle for 2 days to get to the site.
They plan to build a railway out to the site.... good or bad ??
Remember.... we live in a capitalist world (regardless of what our own personal opinions are) and as a result.... is it better to leave this site unaccessible to only those "nutters" ready to hike for 2 days to get to it... or do we share it's wonders with as many people as possible (including many guatemalans that can't access the site otherwise?) and as a result generate more MONEY !!
Travelling is about experience I agree and all too often people want it to be a "private" experience (So they can say they were very lucky or even "a special" experience)...... a la Antarctica.
However, I like for EVERYONE (who's genuinely interested) to be able to experience something so beautiful as Antarctica or historically significant as "El Mirador" !!!!
For me, the more people that visit a site.. means the more money it receives and then (providing the Government is responsible... or at least accountable) the more money is available (and hopefully used) to preserve and protect the site.
At the moment at "El Mirador", private individuals (Archaeologists and Universities, not the government) have to hire private guards to "try" and protect the site from grave robbers and log cutters !
With the additional income... they can protect the site properly.... create and enforce a park surrounding it... enforce the boundaries of the park and also allow people to wonder at the spectacle that is the highest temple in the Americas and the largest Maya City of all!
Is this not the same for Antarctica.... where it won't be long before Individual Nations etc. will start to question the boundaries of the continent (the IAATO treaty will of course become "outdated") and claims will start to be made for access to the land and more importantly the resources below it !!!
By generating money to finance and enforce the boundaries of the continent, surely this will be far more important in say 20 years time than it is at the moment ? Fishing and (unfortunately) Oil research, drilling and Whaling rights etc. etc.
IAATO is self governed and self funding (with a bit of help from various governments) and so are any monies generated as a result (tourism fees)
Hope this helps a wee bit