So, a few nights ago, I was working the night shift at work (10 PM until 3 AM) and I came across a magazine that sparked my interest. It was a special edition Newsweek that was labeled “100 places to explore before they disappear.” Being intrigued, I picked up the magazine and started to read, and read more, and more. It had some locations you would not think to be in this kind of article. I went to buy it and here we are now. This is the theme for today, well known place on each major continent to explore before they disappear.
Let’s start on my side of the world and go to the jazz center of New Orleans, Louisiana. This is a beautiful city with some very unsightly bad luck. This city has been struck with so many bad storms that it can barely recover before the next one hit. Ever since Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, the city has been struggling to rebuild among the rising tides and the booming tourism that it is known for. The city is currently 5 to 10 feet below sea level depending on where in the city you are, meaning if the tides keep rising and another storm hits, whether big or not, the city could be flood worse than a decade ago, which could make it near impossible to repair the town. So, if I were you, I would head to the French quarter asap for some beignets while you can.
In South America, The Amazon Rain Forest is our stop. The whole area is home to more than 40,000 plant species, more than 2,000 animal species, and almost 2.5 million kinds of insects, making it one of the world’s largest habitats. But in the last century, deforestation has cut down much of the forest, destroying the home of these species and making many of them endangered or extinct. There have been many efforts to slow down the cutting of these trees and ecosystems and they have been helping, but the fact still remains that 20% of the rain forest has been cut down in the last 40 years, and many experts say that the forest may no longer exist in the next century. So, head down to Brazil and check it out if you can, because while I hope it is there forever, we cannot know what the future will hold.
In Europe, there are A LOT of well-known places on this list, such as Venice, Paris, and all of Portugal apparently, but I am going to talk about a place I have never mentioned on this blog, Denmark, or more specifically, it’s capitol of Copenhagen. Denmark is considered to be the Happiest country in the world, rated 7.6 out of 10 in the United Nations 2013 world happiness report. They are also a very green minded people, biking to and from work, taking a metro instead of driving, and recycling as much as they can. But Denmark, being on a peninsula, has a problem…the country is sinking. You have heard that correct. In the southern regions of Denmark, the ground is sinking due to its low-lying landscape and the changing climate. Luckily for us and the people of Copenhagen, there has been a plan created to help prevent this in the future, so it is likely that the Danes will still have their happy city in the many years to come.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Heading south to Africa, there were a few surprising editions to the list (including Morocco which kind of bummed me out) but on my list, I am going to tell you about Mount Kilimanjaro. “How can a mountain disappear? Can it even disappear?” I hear you typing. My answer: yes and no. while the mountain will still be there, the look of it will be completely different. Let me explain. Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, and the top of it is completely covered in ice and snow. What is happening is that with the temperature rising around the world, more ice and snow has been melting off of the top of the mountain, changing the look of it completely. It is said that the mountain has already lost about 80% of its icecaps and that the rest will be gone by 2030. It would be weird to see it without any snow on it, but I guess we will just have to see what the future holds in store.
Now to Asia! I am going to tell you a little about 2 locations. My first is Israel. I am going to avoid any political ideas on here since I don’t want to start any arguments in the comments, but there is a constant fact about the area even when there isn’t any conflict: Water. Water has always been scarce from this area, as told in the holy books of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and it is also said this will bring a lot of trouble in the long run for the country. My second location and one of my favorite cities in the world, Tokyo, Japan. This is said to be one of the greatest cities in the world and a glimpse at what the future holds for us. But the city is heating up at an alarming rate. In the past years before the UN announced a plan to reduce pollution, both China and Japan were putting a lot into the air, which would float over into other countries, such as the USA, The Philippines, Southern Asia, and Japan. The greenhouse gasses in the city have caused the temperature to rise 5 times faster than the rest of the globe. While I don’t think that these places will just become abandoned, I do think that measures will be taken to reduce and control the problems in these areas.
Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan (Left) and Jerusalem, Israel (Right)
And Lastly, Oceania. Fiji is a place we all have wanted to go to. It is the location mentioned in television shows and constantly referred to as the perfect getaway. While this place is Honeymoon Central, rising ocean levels threaten to Submerge the entire Archipelago, leaving less happy newlyweds and welcoming more newly-WETS (bad joke I know). Some towns are already being forced to relocate to different parts of the island or to a new one altogether. Everyone wants to visit this location, so be sure to take a look at it while you can. People say you won’t be here forever, and most would say, neither will Fiji.
While this is a terrible topic to talk about on here, I can happily say that many people have been working towards stopping the rising tides and rising temperatures. Hopefully these great places will never go away, but I have said many times already, the future is not certain. If we want something to happen, we need to work for it. The same goes for this. It doesn’t matter if you are in the middle of the USA or the middle of Asia, you can help in your own way, just find out how.
Well, that is it for today. Thank you, guys, so much. If you liked this post please give it a like and if you want to stay up to date on my new posts, feel free to subscribe below. I post on my Facebook page almost daily so feel free to follow me on there as well thank you guys and I will see you all soon!!!
Ni Mingtian Jian!
Photo Credit: New Orleans: http://wallpapersdsc.net/cities/new-orleans-30626.html
Mount Kilimanjaro: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kilimanjaro