Saving the planet requires that we stop gaping and gawking at travel blogs and vacation selfies. Instead, everyone who cares about the environment should shame those who clamber onto an airplane every chance they get.

This is what counts as discourse from an “intellectual”. Let’s take mask shaming to a new level – and scream at anyone who posts a vacation photo online! And yell at those who view travel items on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

In addition to “Flight shaming” there is also “overtourism” where some popular destinations now have more tourists than some desire. I wrote about that topic previously – proposed solutions are to limit the number of visitors to those who pay more (the elite?). They want fewer tourists each of whom spends more money. One way may to be set minimum stay duration (e.g. 5-7 days). Some destinations have added tourist taxes and new requirements such as health insurance bought from an in-country health insurer (not your usual travel insurance).

From her online bio and press, she was born in Pakistan, then educated in the U.S., is currently working for a German publisher (perhaps remotely), and a Pakistan-based publication, and seems to have traveled. She writes frequently about the oppressed people of the world.

She says American peons should never again be permitted to travel the world by air, only by ships that take weeks to get to destinations, or on rail travel. Such rules will quickly kill travel by all but the elite who can afford to take a 2 week boat trip to cross the Atlantic. Rules, that like Covid-19 restrictions, only apply to peons and not to the elite, like her.

She fails to understand that substituting ship passenger travel for air travel will also produce harms, as well as failing to reduce much carbon emissions. For one, the air travel industry is working on low carbon fuels in the short term, and alternative fuels (electric for regional, and perhaps hydrogen for long distance) for the future.

Note – I do not have international travel experience. 100% of my peer group has traveled internationally, studied abroad, worked abroad, lived abroad, or immigrated from another country. 100% of my peer group whose career trajectory shot upwards had extensive international experience and typically had done study abroad programs in high school and/or during university education. The elite have traveled and likely will continue to travel. The rest of us, they think, should just suck it up. I had plans to start some travel in early 2020; of course, that has been postponed indefinitely.

International travel is key to economic success – it helps many to understand and appreciate cultural differences and to identify new ways of solving problems. It is critical for world trade and helps to level the world economically and expand options for all, and, like encourages peace, not war.

  • 60% of American’s have traveled internationally (includes Canada and Mexico).
  • Over 50% have a current passport (the 60% figure above includes people who traveled earlier in life)
  • 42% of Americans traveled to at least one international destination in 2018 (includes Canada and Mexico but excludes day trips across the border). 3x more Americans visit Mexico than Canada, which is a surprise.
  • 50% of Americans have traveled to at least one of their ancestral countries.
  • 1 in 4 U.S. families with children will travel internationally each year.
  • In 2018, 1.4 billion people in the world traveled to at least one other country that was not their own country.

Rafia Zakaria tells us that international travel by Americans must be stopped. Let’s go all nationalist and isolationist, shall we?

Coldstreams Skeptic