Stay Home And Let Me Tell You About It

Kilimanjaro from Machame route by Brettocop on FlickrThe Guardian has a classic article in a genre I call Stay At Home And Let Me Tell You About It. This type of article comes around because the world has gotten flatter and people who in the past could never go anywhere very far are now traveling the world. It used to be if you were poor or middle class and interested in the world, you read books about it, now you have a real opportunity to go yourself.

The increased travel comes with a price, many glorious places in the world are fragile and the increased traffic to them brings danger of damage that must be watched for but when I read articles like this one, I get a stronger feeling of class than of environmentalism.

When you get to a certain point on this extinct volcano, it must come to resemble Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night. Indeed, it can only be a matter of time before Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the continent, is subjected to the ultimate indignity: a Scottish stag weekend or hen party.

This quote is the telling one to me. I can’t see the same thing being said about someone holding a high tea up on the mountain. I think the world’s great wild places need to be carefully protected, but I think that can be done without regard to the social standing of the visitors. Cans of spent caviar are every bit as damaging to the environment as spent cans of lager.

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