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    Climate Change responsible for 300,000 deaths a year

    One month ago today the Global Humanitarian Forum published the �Human Impact Report: Climate Change � The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis�  The report has received shamefully little attention. This is the first report to focus on the human impact of climate change. The report calculates that more than 300 million people are seriously affected by climate change at a total economic cost of $125 billion per year. The report estimates that climate change today accounts for over 300,000 deaths throughout the world each year, the equivalent of an Indian Ocean Tsunami every single year. By 2030, the annual death toll from climate change will reach half a million people a…

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    Carbon Offsetting � a dangerous distraction

    The science is clear � there is an urgent need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere. We can only control those greenhouse gases which we as a species are causing to be emitted into our atmosphere in ever larger volumes. This pollution is causing climate change which is already having serious negative impacts on the environment, the food security and the livelihoods of our fellow human beings. The principle that pollution should be controlled and that the polluter should pay to avoid causing pollution by capturing and dealing with pollution at source was established in the nineteenth century. We do not accept that asbestos,…

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    57% of travellers choose to pay a premium for a less polluting flight

    A year ago Hugo Kimber of the Carbon Consultancy, one of our ICRT associates, and I were arguing over coffee about whether carbon offsetting had contributed to raising consciousness about the pollution caused by flying, or whether it had done little more than convince people that for a small additional cost they could buy an offset and forget about it. My view is that carbon offsets are like medieval pardons purchased from the church ? they do little good in the world. The voluntary take up for carbon offsets remains very low ? less than 10% which demonstrates that travellers are bright. I suspect that the majority of travellers, the…

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    Responsible Tourism Awards Nominations

    Nominations for the 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards closed yesterday, the number of nominations is significantly up on last year: we have had nominations for nearly 600 organisations and individuals. Students and associates from the International Centre for Responsible Tourism are now working through each of the categories and coming up with a long list for each category. Each of the nominees on the long list will then be sent an extensive questionnaire, references will be taken up and the judges will then create short lists which go to the full panel for debate and decision later in the year. Chairing the debate is an enjoyable challenge.  Read about…

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    CoaST is 6 years old and it has clout

    I spent three days in Cornwall this week with CoaST Cornwall Sustainable Tourism. I have been wanting to visit CoaST for several years, their success has been extraordinary. This is a group of over 1000 members, tourism businesses and those in the supply chain. By collaborating together they have clout. They don?t duck the big issues of global warming and peak oil; they have not put their heads in the sand. They have worked to equip their 30 Ambassadors and 1000 members to argue the case for sustainability and to take practical steps to make the changes necessary to make Cornwall, in the words of the Cape Town Declaration, “a…

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    Go and see End of the Line

    Today, World Ocean Day, sees the premier in the UK of The End of the Line: Imagine a World without Fish. We have known since the 1950’s that our overfishing of the world’s oceans was leading to the collapse of fishing stocks, there have been ?wars? over access to fish. We know what needs to be done to tackle the collapse of fish stocks ? but the politicians and the regulators have failed, fish quotas have not worked. Governments and the fishermen undermine and render ineffective the required regulatory framework. Mark Kurlansky (1997) in Cod described man’s successful war of annihilation In 1966 the spawning stock of cod in the…

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