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Posted by
12203 posts

Provocative article; makes one stop and think. Thanks for posting.

Posted by
1879 posts

Yep, very good article. And, yes, very thought-provoking.

There are ways even those of us who try to live an environmentally friendly life can improve..... a lot. But, the actions we ARE taking are beginnings.
Rick has taken a little step forward for his company, but it still does not eliminate the pollution from the travelers....but a step forward nonetheless.

While little steps forward do not solve a problem, no one should be criticized for taking those little steps. Little steps can begin to snowball and "something" is better than "nothing."

And, of course, his company will not "eat" the million, it will, of course, likely be passed on via pricing.......and there are always the tax deductions from's business afterall.

Posted by
31289 posts


That is a somewhat thought provoking article, and I'm assuming Rick will have seen it by now. I think it's great that he's being proactive on this issue and while it may not solve the problem, at least it's a start and a step in the right direction.

Posted by
3888 posts

Thanks for posting! The author makes great points, tho I appreciate that RS is at least trying to have a positive impact similarly to what he has done in other areas. Unfortunately, with many things, its a travel is a choice with cost and benefits.

Posted by
12203 posts

It is all too easy to rationalize, "that plane is going to fly in any case. I may as well be on it."

Found this in the news archives: SAS is going to halt the sale of duty-free goods on the plane, to save weight.

I have never understood the appeal of buying luxury goods on the plane. No one seems to buy anything. We haven't flown SAS since they dropped their Seattle route, but when we did it seemed so odd to see the flight attendants dragging that big card down the aisle, hawking the wares. Seems so demeaning . . . I'll bet they are happy to be done with it.

Posted by
361 posts

I don't think any of us would believe taking individual steps to reduce carbon emissions will reverse global warming trends or leave the climate safe and secure. They key is to understand our own efforts contribute to a collective campaign to help make a difference - we contribute and add what we can to countless other organizations, individuals, and groups doing the same, and that does make a difference. If everyone rationalizes doing nothing on account of their not making much of a difference individually, the collective effort goes nowhere.

So I'm very happy to see Rick Steves doing what he's doing, as well as doing so publicly - promoting it on the website and through his social media accounts, reminding people that climate change is a very real threat and we can all contribute to the collective effort to make a difference. There is actual, practical value to having the discussions, reminding people the issue exists, and letting people know not just why but how they can help.

I'm inclined to think, pragmatically, we're less often looking at option A being someone travels, and option B being no one travels. Rather, we're more likely looking at option A being someone travels, and option B being someone committed to reducing their carbon footprint and helping make a difference travels. Same goes for other areas of travel, also - if we feel tourism can often harm local areas, disrupt their authenticity, and so on, do we abandon and swear off tourism entirely or do we make an effort to travel responsibly, in a way that supports local communities and their residents? Do we travel with no more in mind than acquiring selfies and tchotchkes, or do we seek out cultural exchanges, enlightenment, and broadening our horizons and worldviews?

As committed and passionate travelers, we have the opportunity to pick companies that share our values and commitments to responsible travel. We have the opportunity to encourage hotels to be more responsible with our patronage, encourage fellow travelers to be more responsible with our example, and encourage airlines to be more responsible by our choosing some over others. Again speaking to the pragmatic, I don't believe all issues come down to Yes or No, All or None options - they're more nuanced and complicated. Accepting that, and committing to making a difference regardless within that nuanced context, can make very real differences.