It is everyone’s responsibility to make this world a much better place. This will also facilitate global tourism which plays a key role in the global economy and many individuals’ happiness.

  • The down under needs to improve its environment.

As a global tourism fan, I’ve been to Australia for many times and I can confirm that it is a beautiful country. But due to its bushfires in December 2019, the air pollution in Australia is very serious. We can’t ignore this crisis which needs to be addressed urgently.

The population was breathing in polluted air for days in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The politicians who repeatedly voted against climate action in Australia were not breathing it. They’re only in Canberra when parliament sits and it will not sit again until February. Smoke haze has become synonymous with the 2019/2020 Australian summer. Images of Sydney, Australia’s most famous city, covered in a brown smog, were sent around the world.

Canberra’s geography and topography usually protect its clean air, but on New Year’s Day, it experienced its worst air quality on record. Residents were told to stay indoors. The city was shutting down. Residents had not seen anything that bad since the deadly 2003 bushfires, which took the region by surprise.

Canberra residents were warned that the smog would stay for days. The blazes were out of control, even with 10,000 firefighters. Health authorities asked residents to stay inside, shut all doors and windows and turn off air conditioners.

Residents were advised to take extra care, especially those with pre-existing heart and lung conditions. Babies were born into smoke-filled delivery rooms. Everybody was worried about what the future will look like.

The Canberra hospital announced that some machines were impacted by the smoke. These machines were out of order.

Australia Post confirmed it suspended mail deliveries to Canberra with mail trucks and planes unable to get through.

Air purifiers were sold out across the region. Retailers were unable to say when more would arrive due to the transportation issues.

Masks, usually used for home renovations, were sold out just as quickly.

University campuses were shut down. Major tourism attractions in Australia, including the zoo, swimming pools and some banks were also closed.

  • Global tourism question: can we clean up the ocean?

While the ultimate goal is to stop plastics from entering the water in the first place, clean-up projects play an important role. It is a trend now and happening in Hilo, on Hawaii’s Big Island, in the US, in Australia and in many other countries around the world.

The Ocean Clean-up project has had its fair share of problems since it started in May 2017 and has been criticized by marine scientists and environmental groups for its potential negative environmental impact. However, some still herald The Ocean Clean-up for having a positive effect on plastic pollution.

Boyan Slat, the inventor behind The Ocean Clean-up, has helped with increasing the global awareness of the ocean plastics issue over the past six years. However, according to marine biologist Dr Jennifer Lavers from the University of Tasmania, “The Ocean Clean-up project gives people a false sense of hope that this team of people have got plastic pollution covered, and that we just need to throw some money at the problem.”

Plastic pollution is a devastating problem for the world’s oceans and marine life. According to the UN, about 8m tonnes of plastic waste is dumped in the seas annually. It has been discovered at the deepest point of ocean, in Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. Also, in Australia, CSIRO scientists found micro-plastics in the sediment of the Great Australian Bight. Last year Guardian Australia reported that scientists now believe “plastic is literally everywhere.”

So, the idea of attempting to “clean up” the ocean is a questionable one. Can these projects really make a difference? The answer is yes, but not as expected. Smaller technical solutions can make an impact in a localized area. Two rubbish-sucking Seabins were recently installed in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. The devices suck in water, trapping rubbish in a mesh bag, and recirculate the water back into the environment. There are 450 Seabins in 26 countries around the world, in 60 harbours throughout the US, Europe, and now the Asia-Pacific, collecting on average around 4kg of marine litter a day or about 1.4 tonnes a year. These are good examples of small-scale clean-ups that can have a local impact.

However, technology itself is not enough. What is needed is policy change and behavioural change. The European Union announced enormous bans on single use plastics and micro-plastics. That means much needed, meaningful change.

Educating the public is also important. One single plastic bottle removed from a beach prevents it from making its way back into the ocean. Taking responsibility is key.

  • Global tourism question: How can we deal with global warming?

You’ve heard climate change is going to cause rising sea levels and warmer temperatures, and you know that glaciers are melting, and storms are just going to get stronger and stronger. But these aren’t the only consequences. The earth will develop lots of exciting new features as it warms. Some you’ll love, others will be less…pleasant. Here are a few of the terrestrial surprises coming your way:

Firstly, there will be fewer invasive ants.  Warming temperatures have expanded climatic ranges for many invasive and disease-ridden insects, from mountain pine beetles in the West to dengue- and malaria-carrying mosquitos in Europe and North America.

It’s not all bad news though because climate change might limit other invaders. The brown ant, one of the world’s most invasive species, and one that has traditionally dominated any ecosystem it enters, may be stopped in its tiny tracks—or at least slowed down. A study of climate projections over the next six decades found that almost 20 percent of the ants’ climatic range will be lost as temperatures change. This might bring some relief to species that have suffered in the ants’ wake, like the Red-tailed Tropicbirds or Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, whose nestlings frequently fall prey to the fearsome Formicidae.

And then there are desert bacteria.  Millions of types of bacteria thrive under the desert sand, helping prevent erosion by forming thick, sturdy layers called bio-crusts. Bio-crusts can ease dust storms and provide resources for desert plants.

But despite thriving in harsh desert conditions, bacteria in cold deserts may not be able to cope with heat brought on by global warming; others may take their place, and researchers aren’t sure what this will mean for the ecosystems. And because bacteria play a role in soil fertility, they also help to slow down desertification; the replacement of one type of bacteria by another could have serious repercussions for the spread of deserts around the world.

“As a blog on global tourism, we care about the future of this world.”