Tourism – The False Economic Imperative

I am watching an article on Aljazeera about the wild fires that devastated Greece and Turkey last year. They say it was the biggest woodland loss since 1945. The end of World War Two!

Part of the problem was the waste left by visitors.

As the world gets hotter, which it certainly will for the next three or four years at the very least, the danger of wild fires grows ever more present.

Tourists and tourism is seen as a contributory factor to economic success. The Maasai people are being moved off their traditional lands under force of arms – people are being shot – for defending their rights to be there. Tourism is the excuse. The Kenyan government wants to increase the country’s profitability by creating a safari theme park.

Sadly this will only lead to further problems. It will not stop the trade in rapidly disappearing species and trophies. Nor will it serve to feed the people who have lived on those lands from time immemorial.

The same policy was used against the Inuit in Canada, not for the same reasons, but a whole family of people were moved from one site to what looked like a similar expanse, to those who lived in the cities far to the south, and had never visited the region. They moved people to a land they did not know and that had no means for sustaining the population. These people, the Inuit, were moved around from one site to another, until, exhausted, their numbers failed. No matter what pleas were presented to the governments, nor by whom these requests were made. That is genocide.

Now we see the same problem facing the Maasai. They will be moved to a foreign land, no matter how close it may be to their original lands. They do not know these lands, they do not know when the rains fall, nor where water or pasture are to be found.

But the global economy doesn’t care. Its sole purpose is to exploit and increase its own wealth, no matter who gets hurt in the process. It is very easy to bribe one or two officials to pass legislation to move people on.

Later generations will decry the abhorrent measures taken – we saw it with the Native Americans, with the Australian Aborigines, and many other people – but by then the traditional lifestyle of these people – and the opportunity it gives souls to explore a different world view – will be destroyed.

Why, when the process is known to be wrong, would one pursue it?

Now in the face of ecological disaster across the world why pursue ‘economic returns from tourism’ when those who are passing through the land have no care for the land itself. They leave their litter, they throw away their waste which then serves as fuel for the fires which devastate the land further.

We enter the age of Aquarius. It is the age, not of ‘universal forgiveness’, that is past. That was Jesus’ lesson. It is the age of Personal Responsibility. A great mirror has been erected which forces the results of one’s actions back into the face of those committing the actions. It isn’t merely Karmic, it is Dharmic.

Author: Keith Armstrong

Dance teacher, writer, film-maker, educationalist, enthusiast.