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With so much of the planet’s future endangered by our hubris and by our desire to live in comfort, it would be only natural for us to attempt to save the planet in other ways. But no, as long as we can make a profit or simply have it slightly better, we’re going to sacrifice anything that gets in the way – at least speaking generally.
Of course, there are those that are fighting against this trend, but they don’t seem to be all that successful, at least not with the balance of power tilted towards corporations and other very profitable polluters. Still, that doesn’t mean that these environmental organizations should stop doing their thing.
Western Governors’ Association
In fact, some of them are actually helping, regardless of whether the progress is clearly visible or not. For example, in their attempt to save and protect as many of the state’s endangered species as possible, a conference this weekend looked at ways in which Hawaii could protect species without harming tourism.
Of course, with the state relying so much on tourism for its economy, harming it would put a serious dent in pretty much every local business. But also allowing the huge amount of endangered species on the islands to die off would also truly be a great tragedy. So a balance has to be found between the two.
Hawaii’s unique species
Even though it only makes up somewhere around 0.2 percent of all United States land masses, Hawaii is the home to over 10,000 species that can be found nowhere else on the planet. In fact, despite its size, the state accounts for more than 44 percent of all of the endangered species in the country.
Mostly threatened by climate change, invasive species, and habit changes, all these unique plants and animals are also under threat because of intense tourism. As it happens with tourists pretty much all over the world, some don’t really take into consideration the imposed regulations, directly or indirectly leading to the deaths of plenty of endangered life forms.
No conclusive results
Even if the conference proved mostly fruitless, with the most definitive thing discussed being a strategy of focusing on constrained areas rather than on the whole state at once, it’s obvious that the natives really do care about their state as it is; this means that it will prove difficult to balance keeping a safe environment and helping tourism prosper.
With tourism responsible for some $15.3 billion in revenue in 2015 alone, as well as for the jobs of some 641,400 people, it’s understandable that people are reticent to make any changes to it. But they’ll eventually have no other choice, since if the rate of the die-offs continues like this, many of the state’s unique flora and fauna will soon be gone.
Image source: Wikimedia