The news items in this podcast are all about China, including the Great Wall and the "Great Green Wall", which is designed to stem the rapidly expanding Gobi Desert. Historically, the invading nomadic tribes from Central Asia periodically brought havoc to the settled agricuturalists of China. In the long run, Chinese culture overcame these invations by acculturating the nomads and making them "Chinese." The advancing desertification from Central Asia today probably threatens the heart of Chinese civilation more than any invading group ever had. We will probably know sooner than later (like by the 2008 Beijing Olympics) whether or not the Great Green Wall will have any hope of stemming the advancing deserts.
This issue leads into the main topic of today's podcast -- the projected impacts of global warming on the major tourism regions of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a very upbeat topic. But it is one that needs to be discussed and addressed to prevent the environmental, social and economic chaos that could result from global climate change within our lifetimes.
Links to items discussed in today's podcast:
- China to Spend Staggering Amounts on Surveying the Great Wall
- Patrols to Protect China's Great Wall
- The Green Wall of China
- Climate Change and Tourism (Final Report UNWTO .pdf)
- Climate Change Poses Risk to Tourism WTO Warns (press release)
- Tourism and Global Environmental Change Ecological, Social, Economic and Political Interrelationships, by edited by Stefan Gossling and C. Michael Hall