TripAdvisor, the globally-recognised travel site, declared that they will end their retail of tickets for some of the most brutal wildlife tourist attractions.
This decision comes less than six months after World Animal Protection launched a petition urging action – over 558,000 supporters across the world called upon TripAdvisor to stop profiting from the sale of tickets to cruel wildlife tourist attractions.
This is the latest breakthrough for the charity’s Wildlife – Not Entertainers campaign. The charity first campaigned against cruel wildlife entertainment in 1991 and has ended bear dancing in Greece, Turkey and India. Today’s announcement by TripAdvisor is a significant step towards ending elephant rides, tiger ‘selfies’, swimming with dolphins and other forms of cruel tourist entertainment.
World Animal Protection will join other animal welfare, conservation and tourism industry experts to work with TripAdvisor as they launch a new education portal linked to every animal attraction listing on TripAdvisor. The portal will educate millions of tourists about the cruelties wild animals face for tourism entertainment. According to an independent polling commissioned by World Animal Protection, 85% of people agreed that wild animals belong in the wild and 75% said it was wrong for people to make an income from using wild animals for entertainment if the animals suffer.
One of the popular holiday activities TripAdvisor will stop selling tickets for are elephant rides, an activity World Animal Protection has revealed to be one of the world’s cruellest forms of wildlife tourist entertainment. Baby elephants are often taken from their mothers when young, are beaten and endure ongoing physical and psychological abuse during training to make them submissive enough to spend the rest of their long lives chained and giving rides to tourists.
Steve McIvor, CEO at World Animal Protection says:
“We congratulate TripAdvisor on taking this important step towards ending the cruel wildlife tourism entertainment industry – it’s also a great result for over half a million World Animal Protection supporters who took action with us to stop the travel site from profiting on sales of elephant rides, tiger selfies and other cruel wildlife tourist interactions.”
“We’re happy to be a part of their new initiative to help raise awareness among TripAdvisor users about these abuses and we will work with and continue to steer the company until all sales of cruel wildlife entertainment have been removed and their users know about every cruel wildlife attraction.”
Once people know the truth about these wildlife abuses they will choose to stay away because they love animals.
Although TripAdvisor’s announcement today is significant, certain venues that involves cruel entertainment attractions will still be bookable via TripAdvisor or its Viator brand. They say that they will end the sale of specific experiences where tourists have direct physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species.
Steve also adds: “We hope it will only be a matter of time before TripAdvisor will also come to realize that it has to end sales to all cruel wildlife attractions such as SeaWorld where the animals endure a lifetime of abuse and highly stressful training in order to perform. Until then we will provide the best education we can on TripAdvisor’s website to steer people away from cruel venues like these.”
In order to bring an end to this suffering of animals for tourist entertainment, World Animal Protection has been engaging with the travel industry, globally seeking for them to commit to not send their customers to venues where they can ride elephants or take selfies with tigers and lion cubs.
Over 100 global travel companies have already agreed to no longer offer visits to venues with elephant rides and shows in any of their markets. Among these are popular brands from across the world, like Contiki, Kuoni Travel UK, Intrepid and TUI.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
New Climate Change Report Emphasizes Urgent Need for Airline Emission Regulations
In less than two months, the United States has grappled with some of the worst natural disasters in its history. Hurricanes battered the south central United States. Fires destroyed homes throughout Northern California. Puerto Rico experienced some of the worst storms ever. A massive windstorm caused more damage to the northeastern United States then any other storm on record before winter even struck.
These recent incidents have spurred discussion on the dangers of climate change. A recent report from the University of London has shed some light on the discussion. The new report suggests that new regulations are needed, including stricter EPA regulations on Airlines.
Review of the new report
The new report was published in the British medical Journal, Lancet. The report concluded that climate change is a “threat multiplier” for a variety of social problems, including diseases and natural disasters. While numerous studies have processed the risk that climate change plays with creating natural disasters, University of London report is among the first to explore the relationship between climate change and disease.
The authors warned that the problems are becoming irreversible. They will continue to get worse if risk factors are not adequately addressed.
The most concerning part of the report is that these problems are having the most serious impact on the most vulnerable communities in the world. Countries that depend on agriculture and other issues will suffer the most if climate change escalates.
“The answer is, most of our indicators are headed in the wrong direction,”said Nick Watts, a fellow at University College London’s Institute for Global Health and executive director of the Lancet Countdown, one of the lead researchers of the paper. “Broadly, the world has not responded to climate change, and that lack of response has put lives at risk. … The impacts we’re experiencing today are already pretty bad. The things we’re talking about in the future are potentially catastrophic.”
Airline industry discovers climate change is a two-way Street
The airline industry is coping with the problems of climate change, while also coming to terms with the fact that it has helped accelerate the problem. Earlier this year, American Airlines was forced to cancel four dozen flights near Phoenix. Cancellations were called due to excessive temperatures. The air was over 120 degrees, which is too hot for some smaller jet planes to get off the ground.
One anonymous airline executive privately admitted that their business model has facilitated climate change. They warned that the problem may become twice as bad in the next few years if proper safeguards aren’t implemented. Representatives from Goindigo have echoed these concerns.
The EPA has stated that airplanes account for 11% of all emissions. They are expected to increase over 50% within the next 30 years. This could have serious repurcussions if newer, greener airplane models don’t become the new standard in the very near future.
This is driving discussion about the need for new policies.The EPA has been discussing the need for new airline regulations for nearly two years. An EPA ruling made in July 2016 set the tone for new regulations, which could be introduced in the next year.
The new policies may be delayed, due to the new president’s position on climate change. He hired an EPA chief that has sued the organization about a dozen times. However, the Trump Administration may not be able to oppose climate change indefinitely, because a growing number of people are pressing for reforms. Even younger conservatives primarily believe climate change is a threat and are demanding answers. This may force the EPA to follow through on its plans to introduce new solutions.