The threat I pose to Tofino

My column in today’s Ottawa Citizen reflects on what it was like to visit Tofino, B.C. — a beautiful, magical place that I and 10,000 other people were threatening just by being there.

Tofino feels, in short, like a destination on the brink, a hidden treasure no longer hidden. It’s suffering from an insoluble conundrum of eco-tourism: the best way you can help preserve the place is by not going, but if you don’t go, hundreds of thousands of other people will and they’ll wreck it anyway. The district is isolated, which means getting to it is carbon-intensive, too: you can fly, or drive about six hours from Victoria.

Eagleintofino

One of the Broken Islands in Barkley Sound, off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
That’s an eagle sitting up there. 

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One response to “The threat I pose to Tofino

  1. Having just returned from Kenya, I know just what you mean – it’s a long flight to get there, with an associated environmental cost.

    Is it worth it, then, just to appreciate the wildlife and to gain a new and more informed perspective on Africa and its problems, and on our own place on this planet ? I think it was, although I must say that I enjoyed the sunshine and the Indian Ocean as well.

    I’ll be writing more about my trip soon. Words offer a poor rate of carbon offset, but there’s a very great deal to say about Kenya, and I’ll do my level best.

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