As for feeling guilty about travel: I know that in the scheme of things my personal carbon footprint is small potatoes. And according to this website
, the entire tourism industry contributes only (only?) 8% of the world’s carbon emissions. (Can’t verify that figure, sorry.) A lot about mainstream tourism is wasteful and carbon-intensive and eco-not-friendly, even if hotels want you to feel you’re “doing your part” by using your towels more than once.
Still, a lot of people depend on the travel industry for their living and there’s much to commend about getting out of our bubbles and coming in contact with other kinds of people and places. How to do it meaningfully, sustainably, and thoughtfully? I know there are good souls working on more sustainable travel options, but I don’t know much about those initiatives yet. I’ll try to find out more and get back to you.
Honestly, I don’t love traveling. I hate planes and feeling cramped and living out of a suitcase, and I always miss home. So I’m almost sorry to tell you that we’re turning right around and leaving again in a few days, this time for the UK, where I’ll be presenting at an academic conference. Nothing to do with Refugia Faith or climate or anything; the conference is on the seventeenth-century poet George Herbert–one of my scholarly specialities. The conference has also been postponed twice because of Covid. Finally we get to do it!
Even though I’m not wild about packing up again, I’m not complaining. We’re going to make the most of this opportunity, and I’ll be sure to learn and notice and write down things that might be interesting to you. We’ll be visiting Iceland and Scotland as part of the deal. Meanwhile, I’ll catch up on climate news and work on some key stories for next time.
For now, I’m so glad to be home to check on the progress of our little refugium in the back. There’s plenty of weeding to do, but we’re getting our first blooms from the Golden Alexanders. Hairy Beardtongues are not far behind.