Saving the world, one souvenir at a time

Newsweek: Vanishing Acts

This article discusses the wonders of the world, and how, due to various factors, we are losing them. It concludes that one of the major forces of destruction might be molded into a savior.

A world awash in tourists can be a curse for its endangered treasures, or a source of funds to save them. Getting the balance right could be the difference between future generations beholding the living wonders of the world, and merely reading about them in a story book.

It seems to me that the world has always been changing, and things we would call landmarks today disappear regularly throughout history. But I suppose there is more of a global awareness now that might make it seem as though everything is vanishing all of a sudden.

As the world changes, new things replace old things. Even if we go back and try to preserve something, we ultimately have to sacrifice something else. Is the 1970s concrete block of a building worth less than the 1950s house it replaced? Aren’t both icons of their time period? How do you choose which to restore?

This is not to say I don’t think we should try and save the wonders of the world–it’s just that I find the perspective of this article to be a little naive.

I am personally a big fan of tourism done right. I would like to see more tourism here in Augusta, for the history and beauty rather than for the Masters. The idea that tourism could be used to “save the world” is attractive to me.