The type of energy and the amount of energy we use has major impacts on the environment.
The challenges of climate change and ocean acidification are directly related to the amount of carbon emissions from our use of fossil fuels. In addition we have the issues of polluting our water supply from fracking, contaminating our streams from mine tailings, and polluting our air just to name a few. Continued dependence on fossil fuels also drains the economy of badly needed resources and threatens national security as well.
Fortunately, there are proven solutions to wiser energy use that happen to also be economically advantageous.
In the book Reinventing Fire, Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute provide a blue print for how the United States could get off oil by the year 2050 while increasing the GDP 158%, increase jobs, improve the environment, and seriously address the challenges of environmental issues such as climate change and ocean acidification.
Companies committed to Sustainable Tourism such as Walt Disney World® have already made a commitment to addressing climate change and cutting their net carbon emissions 50% from 2006 baseline levels by the year 2012. Once this target was achieved Disney has now set a target for another 50% reduction by 2020, and to then become a net carbon zero company.
Some of their programs include:
Becoming a "Energy Star Partner" which resulted in the first year enough energy savings to power the entire Animal Kingdom.
Using LED lighting for the Cinderella Castle using the equivalent of the energy to power 12 microwave ovens to light the entire castle.
Establishing a carbon solutions fund in 2008 which set a carbon tax on each business unit of the company. One year later $15.5 million was invested in carbon offset programs. The fund was used for such purposes as purchase of clean fuel vehicles, conversion of trains to run on biodisel wastes from restaurants, and collaboration with conservation international and Nature Conservancy to purchase $7 million to preserve forests in the Congo, Peru, and U.S.
Switching to more energy efficient light bulbs. Over 176,000 light bulbs have been replaced.
Commitment to increase its use of solar energy. Disney received an award from the Florida Solar Energy Center.
LED Lighting for the entire Cinderella Castle uses the same amount of energy that it would take to power 12 microwave ovens.
Each tourism operation has opportunities unique to their own situation for reducing energy. The examples of Walt Disney World® may be useful for some but not others.
Some other examples of sustainable tourism energy practices include:
use of solar photo voltaic energy systems such as the one in Joshua Tree National Park that reduced both pollution and operating costs by 90%.
use of wind energy For example the Taurikura Lodge in New Zealand is using wind mills to produce more energy than it needs and selling the excess back into the network.
carbon sequestration combined with native habitat restoration. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has restored 80,000 acres of land and acquired an additional 40,000 acres of land through this program
painting roofs white. According to California Energy Commissioner Art, Rosenfeld, painting roofs white have potential savings of 20% of a homes annual energy costs.
Painting roofs white can save 20% annual energy costs
Republican States Investing in Clean EnergyLast Updated on 2017-02-06 18:16:39Within an hour of Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20, 2017, the White House webpage on climate
White House web page on climate change.
change disappeared and has yet to make a reappearance. It has since been replaced with information on the “America First Energy Plan” that focuses on the expansion of shale oil, natural gas, and “clean coal” technology. While the Trump Administration may be dedicated to these stone age forms of energy, the same cannot be said of the states, even those that helped elect President Trump.
Illinois passed the Future Energy Jobs bill that will help “grow the economy, save customers money, and protect the planet.” This bill will double the state’s energy efficiency, which will lower electric bills and create tens of thousands of new jobs. Since this bill also funds the... More »
Harnessing Nature’s PowerLast Updated on 2016-09-15 18:38:57Scotland unveiled the first turbine for the MeyGen tidal stream project, the world's first large-scale tidal energy farm. The project will initially install four turbines, but will eventually have 269 turbines, enough to power 175,000 homes.
image Source: Andritz Hydro Hammerfest
Standing 15 meters (49 ft) tall, with 16 meter (52 ft) blades, weighing around 200 tonnes (220 tons), and each turbine has a 1.5 megawatt (MW) capacity. The project aims to install 269 turbines in hopes of having a capacity of 398 MW, enough to power 175,000 homes.
The Scottish government has funded the project with £23m. “I am incredibly proud of Scotland’s role in leading the way in tackling climate change and investment in marine renewables is a hugely important part of this,” said first minister Nicola Sturgeon. “MeyGen is set to invigorate the marine renewables... More »
Capitalizing Climate Change ChallengesLast Updated on 2016-05-02 03:05:39
John Tomlinson IDS6237-EC1: Capitalizing Climate Change Challenges... April 28, 2016
It is true, perception IS everything! Thus, in continuing along a similar logic, the framing of questions and/or statements is then of a critical importance, as it helps to direct the interpretation and —consequently, the general perception—of what ever the respective question and/or statement may be; of special note here is, the power of words cannot be understated. To further clarify, the specific framing of a question and/or statement serves as a guide of sorts for the reader, helping to direct their interpretation through the strategic utilization of known words with common preconceptions, with the objective of advancing the specific advocacy of the question/statement source [who are typically unconcerned with the rationale of such... More »
West Coast Best Coast...If There's Any Coast LeftLast Updated on 2016-04-18 08:47:06While there are many issues that are prevalent in the realm of sustainable tourism, coastal habitat protection is a predominant problem. It is incredibly important to promote the sustainable management of habitat protection and maintenance in coastal regions, as these areas are rapidly deteriorating and face regular threats.
To improve coastal habitat protection, the first and foremost matter of importance is to educate consumers in sustainable habits. By educating consumers, mitigation of impact can be attributed to the consumer, allowing for a heightened sense of responsibility and pride on the consumer side while visiting a coastal area. Educational programs offered by tourism operators for consumers (as well as other retailers and staff within the tourism industry) are extremely beneficial for all parties involved, as they can demonstrate the ideals and importance of coastal... More »
Mixon's Fruit FarmLast Updated on 2016-03-06 17:37:41
On a recent visit to Mixon’s Fruit Farm I was not surprised to see the parking lot full and the overflow across the street in the field was filling up fast as well. Mixon’s has been a part of Bradenton since 1939. They ship their citrus out of state and were a founding member of the Florida Gift Fruit Shippers. From their website they proclaim 350 acres and 120 employees. The gift shop is filled with souvenirs and there is a café as well. They have homemade fudge and other treats like orange swirl ice cream. It is truly one of the area’s most beloved spots. People come from everywhere and local bands and schools participate in weekend events. It is truly an iconic ecotourism spot in Manatee County. Oh yeah, they have a wildlife refuge too! The animal sanctuary is where they care for everything from alligators to... More »
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