There are some that would say yes, but I would have to say no. Carbon emissions from planes has decreased 70% in the past 40 years. A round-trip flight from New York to London will produce about 2,500 lbs of carbon, while an average car will produce 10,000 lbs of carbon annually. Also many companies are taking steps to offset the carbon produced. British Airways is offering clients the ability to offset their emissions by donating to a program that supports sustainabile energy all over the world. Travelocity is plants trees upon request and has already put 4,000 in the ground. As just opinion I think intercontinental travel is far better for the environment than harmful. It’s hard to truly appreciate the beauty of the rainforest or the Sahara without actually seeing all it has to offer.
This depends. If you are traveling on a full airplane and leaving a low impact during your visit (recycling, staying in eco-friendly lodging, eating in local establishments) you are probably not causing a lot of damage to the environment. In fact, you may be causing less than if you were to road trip with your family across the country, stopping at fastfood restaurants and using a lot of gas, visiting areas where there are a lot of tourists.
It is important that no matter where you visit you try to leave a low impact and appreciate the culture of the local people. The latter is important because if environmental destruction is occurring and harming the local people through the tourism, perhaps there is something you can do to alert people or help them develop better tourism.
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