miércoles, 24 de mayo de 2017


Credit: Blanca I. Ruíz Sánchez.

By Gundhramn Hammer, Yudit E. Ruíz Sánchez & Blanca I. Ruíz Sánchez
May 24, 2017

In the beginning there was no engine. But then one day man invented the engine. As time went by, he came up with the idea of putting four wheels to a petro-fueled engine and voilà, he got a car to go around without wearing out his own biological engine. 

And soon he was completely engined. So much so that he now can´t live without these engines. 

Today, practically from day one till his death, he has his own butt stuck to some of these engines: To his beloved cars. He even makes babies inside these metallic babies!

Moreover, people are taught that a car is a symbol of progress (Thorson, 2007). 

Cities, modern man´s favourite living place, are packed with cars. It has gotten to the point that, from an urban planning perspective, the ideal city is that which achieves the maximum number of vehicles circulating for each square metre and hour, optimising the circulation with traffic lights (Thorson, 2007).

But wherever any human goes with one of these petro-fueled engines, he surely leaves a toxic fartprint behind him, one which when taken as a whole worldwide is killing him.

No corner of this world is left undisturbed without being farted up by his engines. Not even the corners of the Himalayas (Video 1):

Video 1. Tourists contaminating pristine waters with their 4-WD vehicles. Uploaded by TravelsYeti.

Now, the odd thing is that this messing up of mountain pristine waters with 4-WDs vehicles (Fig. 1, Video 1) is sometimes referred to as "sustainable tourism" by some people.

Figure 1. Contamination of rivers by tourists. Credit: Milagros S. Trullén.

What do you think about this, mon Capitaine?

Firstly, mon ami, it does not have anything to do with "sustainable tourism". Secondly, there is no such a thing as "sustainable tourism". For example, in some parts of the world where water is scarce, tourists make a great deal of demand on water supplies. Thus, water will go to the tourists and the poor folks end up with less water or dry wells (e.g., Zanzibar, Tanzania; Gössling, 2001).

Let us face it, technologised modern man is only sustainable when dead, mon ami. And many a times not even in the cemetery, for folks at funeral homes inject various toxic chemicals (e.g., formaldehyde, phenol) into human cadavers, enough time to keep them from rotting for the farewell ceremony. An embalmed human dead body is a source of contamination once is put to rest underground in the cemetery. Embalmed human cadavers may contaminate aquifers 

Furthermore, this picture becomes more complicated along polluting lines when the dead person was an alcoholic. An alcoholised body + embalming fluids = more pollution at the cemetery, provided that the body is not incinated. If so, the air will be contaminated, mon ami. And back to square one.

So, mon ami, honestly this kind of vehicle-derived tourism done in Nepal (Video 1) or anywhere else is a good example of an unsustainable human activity


Gössling S. (2001). The consequences of tourism for sustainable water use on a tropical island: Zanzibar, Tanzania. J. Environ. Manage., 61: 179-191. DOI: 10.1006/jema.2000.0403

Thorson O. (2007). El poder del coche. La Veu del Carrer, gener-febrer de 2007, número 100: 44. 

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