“In August, Crystal Cruises embarked on the first commercial cruise through the Northwest Passage. For $21,855, the cruise line promised a unique journey “through majestic waterways, spectacular glaciers, and towering fjords … where nature is truly wild and landscapes are absolutely breathtaking.” This triumph was made possible in part to rapidly declining ice in the Arctic region.
As climate change reshapes the planet and opens up once unreachable locales, it is only natural that tourism would follow. These areas aren’t just interesting to travelers because they offer adventure and scenic vistas; they also offer a kind of experience that could disappear forever if climate change continues unabated. Now these opportunities are creating profound ethical dilemmas—for travelers as well as ethicists.”
This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Natasha Geiling on Smithsonianmag.com. To read the whole story, visit Visiting melting glaciers can be profound. But is it morally wrong?