Home | About | Donate

How Climate Change Will Destroy Our Global Heritage


How Climate Change Will Destroy Our Global Heritage

Amy Davidson

Last week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization issued a report called “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate.” It contains twelve case studies and eighteen snapshots of what climate change is expected to do to places that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. More than a thousand sites around the world have the UNESCO designation, which is awarded on the basis of “outstanding universal value,” or O.U.V., in U.N.


An unusual but economically valid perception of climate change and the effect it has on communities around the world through tourism. We get used to being the ones who take vacations to these places and forget that tourism may be the one thing that supports these cultures and local people.

Amy leaves out the further potential disruption of climate change caused displacement. She talks of islands and sea level rise but what of the effects of tens of millions of displaced people made refugees by climate change caused drought and that drought's cause and effect relationship to local wars and civil unrest which will damage heritage sites and tourism revenues just as much as sea level rise and killer heat.

Still it is with appreciation that she reminds us all that climate change has extreme collateral damage in ways not overtly obvious but easily apparent once they start. Anyone planning to vacation in a drought plagued war torn refugee crisis prone area/country this year?


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


The fossil fuel industry receives a lot of criticism these days, and rightfully so. But in the final analysis, we are the ones who support the energy industry and it is our standard of living that will need to change. So contemplate what you can do for the cause

Personal Actions
End our love affair with the automobile
Ride more trains and buses
Car pool
Walk and bike more
Turn off the air conditioner in the summer and dial the thermostat down in winter
Become vegetarians or vegans
Refill plastic bottles with tap water
Discontinue using aluminum cans with and without carbonation
Maximize use of reusable bags and products
Recycle junk mail
Forego fast junk food
Go to “slow food”;
Recycle maximally, especially aluminum cans
Drive and accelerate more slowly
Climb more stairs
Plant more trees
Forego use of spray cans
Ride more trains and buses
Repair, mend and alter as much as possible
Buy solar panels
Compost as much as possible
Last person out of the room turn off the lights
Eat and farm organic
Ride more trains and buses
Fly fewer planes
Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings
Use manual tools instead of power tools
Share more
Use rakes rather than leaf blowers
Decrease use of bottled water and refill plastic bottles with tap water
Maximize reusable bags and products
Push rather than power small mowers
Replace lawns with vegetable gardens
Stop fertilizing and mowing lawns
Compost as much as possible
Minimize use of disposables (Pampers, Ikea furniture);
Maximize high efficiency LED and solar powered lighting;
Limit endless gadgets
Use motion lighting, where appropriate

Local Government Actions
Reorganize cities, building taller residences with a smaller footprint (the end of suburbia)
Institute a carbon tax
Promote car pooling subsidize and expand mass transit
Expand bike paths
Have shareable (zip) cars
Ban electric outdoor signs;
Eat and farm organic
Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings
Eliminate approximately 50% of all street lighting and office lighting in unoccupied buildings
eliminate “fast junk food”; go to “slow food

Federal Government Actions
Ban gasohol
Rein in the militaries for defense only and outlaw war
Discontinue night baseball
Shift from long distance truck to rail transport
Make electronics, house wares, furniture, etc to be as durable and long-lived as possible
Recycle maximally
Make appliances to be as energy efficient as possible
Discontinue aluminum cans
Ban electric outdoor signs
Maximize solar and wind power;
Change from petroleum based fertilizers to regenerative agriculture
Reverse deforestation, plant more trees
Restrict spray cans
Promote conference calls and web cams, fewer meetings
Promote zero population growth with free condoms and family planning world-wide
End yearly auto model changes;
Promote subsidies for renewable energy
Diminish junk mail


Hoi An 2m above present sea level might get flooded. Well, that would see the Red River permanently backed up through the stormwater drains of Ha Noi and would probably do a wee bit of damage to the Mekong delta, if we are going to worry about Vietnam. Only 94 million people live in Vietnam, at least 2/3 rds of whom must live in the Red River delta and the Mekong delta and its environs.

And of course a 2m rise in sea-level would see...............ho hum, I can't be bothered with the litany of the bleedin' obvious, but I am working on franchising to New York my company to take people scuba diving in the London Underground railway system and scuba wine-tasting in the cellars of Parliament Buildings. How about helicopter tours for the rich and wealthy to watch the climate refugees struggling to keep their feet dry? Think of the tourist OPPORTUNITIES. HIgh dive from the torch carried by the Statue of Liberty.