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Musings: Last Chance Tourism

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Last chance tourism is the latest trend for globe-trotting travelers. The "last chance" doesn't refer to getting in on a good deal on airfare at the last minute, or scoring a seat on an overbooked expedition after being on the waitlist forever. Nope, last chance tourism is something a bit more somber: it has to do with climate change.

As Earth warms, we're witnessing the face of the planet change forever. Some areas are melting, some are parched, some are drowning. Ecosystems are shifting and changing and many species are in decline. Unique and irreplaceable places are being lost at an alarming rate, and it is to these places - the Great Barrier Reef, Antarctica, low-lying tropical islands like the Maldives - that tourists are flocking, in order to see these places before they disappear forever. Because let's face it: once the ice fields of Antarctica melt, they're not coming back anytime soon.

A recent article from the Sierra Club explains the paradox of la…