Imagine future travel in a world where some of the most fascinating tourism bucket list spots are completely transformed due to climate change. Now, think about what you can do to change this trajectory.
This imagined future was the brief for a recent WWF Change the Journey campaign, which envisaged what popular tourist attractions might look like in the not-too-distant future if we don’t act now to limit the carbon emissions that are driving climate change.
The scenarios included mysterious attractions in the undersea cities of Venice and Cape Town, now partly submerged in the Atlantic Ocean near Table Mountain Island. And for the more intrepid adventurer, scenes of extreme sports like subway surfing in New York and dune trash surfing in St Lucia would offer thrilling new experiences on the itinerary.
The intention was to paint a picture of planet Earth’s possible final destination if climate change and the associated environmental degradation goes unchecked.
Already we are confronted with the prospect of more severe droughts, floods and rising sea levels. But, if we as individuals regardless of our age and location, take specific action to address climate change, we can stem the tide, Change the Journey, and prevent the grim reality of a bleak world forever stripped of nature.
Our impact on the environment is real
Nature as we know it is in jeopardy due to climate change and factors like plastic pollution, deforestation and rampant development, leading to a loss in biodiversity and disturbing changes to our climate.
The spiralling loss of nature that we have seen over the last 50 years could eventually lead to the collapse of Earth’s life-giving systems because we cannot sustain human life without the food, water, energy fuel, and other products and services we get from nature.
According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), future warming will negatively affect food systems in Africa by shortening growing seasons and increasing water stress. In addition, the IPCC says:
- African agricultural productivity growth has already been reduced by 34% since 1961 due to climate change.
- 1.7°C global warming, which will be reached before 2050 at current rates, will cause reduced fish harvests that could leave 1.2 to 70 million people in Africa vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies.
- Global warming above 2°C will result in multiple breadbasket failures, with expected yield reductions for staple crops across most of Africa compared to the 2005 yield.
This bleak future need not be our end point if we all work together to curb the rate at which our world is warming up.
For more information on the small steps you can take to help WWF make a difference, visit Change The Journey.
You, Too Can Give WWF Wings
A great way to support the wonderful work of WWF South Africa is to donate your SAA Voyager Miles.
Donating your miles is easy:
1. Log in to your Voyager account at flysaa.com
2. Choose Voyager shopping and select Donate Miles
3. Under Target Account, select WWF, and make your donation
4. You can make your donation via the Voyager app
By donating your miles, you will be helping WWF South Africa work towards its conservation goals. This frees up valuable organisational resources that can be ploughed back into environmental work.