How Ecotourism Changes Mindsets and Motivates Action
by Michael M. Gunter, Jr
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Pub Date 28 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 05 Jul 2023
Many accounts of climate change depict disasters striking faraway places: melting ice caps, fearsome hurricanes, all-consuming fires. How can seeing the consequences of human impacts up close help us grasp how global warming affects us and our neighbors? This book is a travelogue that spotlights what a changing climate looks like on the local level—for wherever local happens to be.
Michael M. Gunter, Jr. takes readers around the United States to bear witness to the many faces of the climate crisis. He argues that conscientious travel broadens understanding of climate change and makes its dangers concrete and immediate. Vivid vignettes explore the consequences for people and communities: sea level rise in Virginia, floods sweeping inland in Tennessee, Maine lobsters migrating away from American territorial waters, and imperiled ecosystems in national parks, from Alaskan permafrost to the Florida Keys. But Gunter finds inspiring initiatives to mitigate and adapt to these threats, including wind turbines in a tiny Texas town, green building construction in Kansas, and walkable urbanism in Portland, Oregon. These projects are already making a difference—and they underscore the importance of local action.
Drawing on interviews with government officials, industry leaders, and alternative energy activists, Climate Travels emphasizes direct personal experience and the centrality of environmental justice. Showing how travel can help bring the reality of climate change home, it offers readers a hopeful message about how to take action on the local level themselves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael M. Gunter, Jr. is a Cornell Distinguished Faculty Member and Arthur Vining Davis Fellow at Rollins College. His books include Building the Next Ark: How NGOs Work to Protect Biodiversity (2004) and Tales of an Ecotourist: What Travel to Wild Places Can Teach Us About Climate Change (2018).