Is travelling ethical?

Travel Forums General Talk Is travelling ethical?

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21. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 239 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Piecar

In my opinion, more people should travel .....just not to the same place every body else is going.

If travel is becoming an increasingly pop culture cliche, how much longer can one avoid that?

Quoting Piecar

Travel provides perspective. Perspective is in short supply.

Is avoiding that cliche really the point, or is perspective, no matter where or how, the real goal?

22. Posted by Peter (Admin 6704 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Piecar

No. Travelling isn't ethical. Nor is it unethical. What you do when you get there, or why you went in the first place might sway the needle.

I think Piecar is right on this point.

I think Andy's general question though is whether leisure travel, travelling for no other reason than to give yourself a break, is ethical. Consumerism has come up a bit in this thread as well and travel is for many people just another thing to be consumed. It's as much a consumer urge as buying the latest phone is. Certainly we get some perspective from travelling, but do we need to travel multiple times a year to get that perspective? I don't think so. I feel like any perspective I'd get from travelling, I've well and truly gotten by now.

I'm not one to judge anyone on this, but it's important to have enough self-awareness about what we are doing to realise that sometimes we are just doing it for hedonistic reasons. When I go travelling now, it's generally for my own pleasure and I think it's healthy to acknowledge that.

There's certainly a case to be made that travel brings economic benefits to the places we visit. But there's an equal case to be made that it is destroying many places (ie.. overcrowding in Venice, etc).

Case in point - Hobart, Tasmania.

Thanks to a beautiful surrounding environment and a new world class art gallery, there has been an upsurge in tourism.

The local economy has benefited and the case is stronger than ever that keeping the natural environment as pristine as possible is a thing of value. These are both positive outcomes from the tourism industry.

On the flip side, locals are being forced out of their houses to make room for tourists wanting to stay in houses, house prices are going up, also forcing locals out further. And there is of course a carbon cost for people to visit.

Tasmania is somewhat different to other travel destinations, because you can actually make a case that tourism helps place greater value on the natural environment. That's definitely a good thing. If all the tourists left, the case for logging old growth forests would be far stronger. And that would be bad for everyone.

23. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1581 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Yes, I struggled to title it right. I could have easily called it "Is flying ethical for me?" I've seen a lot and I think you're right Peter in that I've already had the "travel broadens the mind" experience. After that it becomes either a leisure activity or just feeding your curiousity.

In an ideal world I'd want everyone to travel lots. But with current technology that would be harmful in terms of pollution, and in cases like Venice it would harm the character of places through being overrun with people.

I like Hobart. It's Australia with civilised temperatures. Hellish place to find somewhere to eat when you arrive on a Sunday evening though. :)

24. Posted by william171 (Budding Member 8 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Peter

Quoting Piecar

No. Travelling isn't ethical. Nor is it unethical. What you do when you get there, or why you went in the first place might sway the needle.

I think Piecar is right on this point.

I think Andy's general question though is whether leisure travel, travelling for no other reason than to give yourself a break, is ethical. Consumerism has come up a bit in this thread as well and travel is for many people just another thing to be consumed. It's as much a consumer urge as buying the latest phone is. Certainly we get some perspective from travelling, but do we need to travel multiple times a year to get that perspective? I don't think so. I feel like any perspective I'd get from travelling, I've well and truly gotten by now.

I'm not one to judge anyone on this, but it's important to have enough self-awareness about what we are doing to realise that sometimes we are just doing it for hedonistic reasons. When I go travelling now, it's generally for my own pleasure and I think it's healthy to acknowledge that.

There's certainly a case to be made that travel brings economic benefits to the places we visit. But there's an equal case to be made that it is destroying many places (ie.. overcrowding in Venice, etc).

Case in point - Hobart, Tasmania.

Thanks to a beautiful surrounding environment and a new world class art gallery, there has been an upsurge in tourism.

The local economy has benefited and the case is stronger than ever that keeping the natural environment as pristine as possible is a thing of value. These are both positive outcomes from the tourism industry.

On the flip side, locals are being forced out of their houses to make room for tourists wanting to stay in houses, house prices are going up, also forcing locals out further. And there is of course a carbon cost for people to visit.

Tasmania is somewhat different to other travel destinations, because you can actually make a case that tourism helps place greater value on the natural environment. That's definitely a good thing. If all the tourists left, the case for logging old growth forests would be far stronger. And that would be bad for everyone.

You explained very well.

25. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Full Member 123 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

Is it possible the next solution can turn into the next disaster some time from now? Has it already?

This is quite interesting. For example for now the life cycle of the battery in the electric car is so low that it can't make up for the cost of making them. So it break before it can make up for the cost of making it. And by cost I don't mean money.
But I hope that is just for now and in the long haul they will develop past it :)

And as for another interesting thing. Have you seen this hydrogen boat? I would link it but I know the linking policy so if you google Energy Observer you can read more ;)

26. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1581 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting hennaonthetrek

For example for now the life cycle of the battery in the electric car is so low that it can't make up for the cost of making them. So it break before it can make up for the cost of making it.

I think your information is out of date. EV batteries now normally outlast the life of the car, and are already being put to use for a second life as household batteries in combination with solar PV, oncethe car has been scrapped.

There are problems with some Nissan Leaf batteries which don't have a proper cooling system, causing them to degrade quicker, but as far as I know all other manufacturers are using proper cooling to avoid this.

There are Tesla taxis in both USA and Europe which are on over 500,000 miles and the original battery is still workable. I know of one guy in Finland on over 700,000 miles, I think he does airport taxi work.

Over their life cycle I believe EVs are 3x to 10x less polluting than fossil fuel cars. Depending on the power grid in each country - here in the UK with a combination of our grid electricity and my solar panels I hope to be ~6x greener than the diesel car I currently drive.

27. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 239 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting hennaonthetrek

So it break before it can make up for the cost of making it. And by cost I don't mean money.

As Andrew Mack has stated, the extraction of Lithium is suspect. There has been loads of strife in Bolivia regarding foreign mining interests along with their practices and especially their nascent methods regarding safety, handling and storage of byproduct. Bolivia has the lion's share of known and extractable lithium deposits.

All this mining of lithium at a huge environmental cost right now, from several outside corporations calling all the shots, for a market that does not even exist in Bolivia. That is an awful lot of un-sustainability to wade through for a sustainable component, wherever and however the battery is used.

Let's hope good practices regarding the mining of lithium one day emerge and can keep up with the design, development and intentions at the OTHER end of the lithium food chain.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jun-2019, at 13:30 by road to roam ]

28. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1581 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

As Andrew Mack has stated, the extraction of Lithium is suspect.

I'm not sure where lithium gets its bad press from - I do wonder if the oil lobby talk it down. As I understand it, it's quite abundant around the world and the normal extraction method is to evaporate it from brine using sunshine - hard to imagine a more benign mining method.

On the other hand, petrol and diesel are considerably more than suspect to me. Polluting to extract, polluting to transport, and polluting at point of use, and they come with the added flourish of wars to control the oilfields.

Sorry, this has strayed off the travel aspects of the subject. I'll shut up now. :)

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jun-2019, at 16:10 by AndyF ]

29. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 882 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

I'm not sure where lithium gets its bad press from - I do wonder if the oil lobby talk it down. As I understand it, it's quite abundant around the world and the normal extraction method is to evaporate it from brine using sunshine - hard to imagine a more benign mining method.

Water is usually rather 'in demand' in the areas where it's extracted from salt, so that alone it a problem.
But there's much more of an issue that just that;
Have a look at ; https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lithium-batteries-environment-impact

They do mention Cobalt as well, but don't go into the hazards involved for the local community,
But I can assure you It's rather hazardous to extract.

ps. As I understand it, Although battery tech is moving at a fast rate, the research scientists involved believe they're not far off the maximum they can achieve using the present basics.
That doesn't mean they can't have a great breakthrough discovery, but it's just as likely the next gen will be a completely different form of battery base.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jun-2019, at 16:16 by Andrew Mack ]

30. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1214 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Road to Roam

My idea for the first part of your question is to recognize that just going to the same town, the same bar, the same beach that all your friends, And all the people at Flight Centre went to, or are going to, is useless and empty as a travel destination. You can Reductio Ad Absurdum this, but the point is that there is nothing you learn of yourself, OR of the site, as those tracks are well worn, and that puddle is just getting bigger. So there is no travel to that travel. An inelegant metaphor is when the stylist shows up in Deadwood. It's a fake adventure. I've done this, sadly, early, and kick myself for it, by going to places that were war torn a couple years before, thinking I was being adventurous. Now I think that might dance pretty close to being unethical.

The Travel Perspective is a Cliche assertion confuses me. We're a Travel Site, no? I hit 70 countries on my last trip....stellar elsewhere, mediocre here....I am still learning about how adjacent cultures and war and weather and, frick, topography (et al), dictate the ideas, morals, and shape of the culture of it's population. Can the creator of the site and it's most travelled contributors honestly believe that there's nothing to learn by where you go? I mean, that's appalling. Go to a few places and then you got nothing to learn? I stand against this idea.

[ Edit: Edited on 14-Jun-2019, at 00:23 by Piecar ]