Dying Places

I metioned Angkor Wat just a moment ago as a place, along with the nearby town Siem Reap, that is experiencing some
incredible growth. Expensive hotels are going up everywhere and tourists are climbing all over the ruins themselves,
placing potential pressures on the place that could affect the ruin’s mystique.  There is a genuine threat, I
think, that Angkor could experience serious over exposure in the next couple of years. Well, along these  lines,
USA Today runs a piece
about the threats posed to
several major spots around the world due to changing environment, bad
management and over-exposure.

At the top of the list is Mount Kilimanjaro, the 19,340-foot-high African
behemoth, whose glaciers are melting at super speed. (i.e. global warming). Similarly, the polar bears of the Hudson
Bay are experiencing a loss of habitat, that is, a loss of sea ice, which they depend on for getting around and where
they find seals to eat.  

Another site in danger are the Ancient Egyptian archaeological sites on the
west bank of the Nile in Luxor, which are threatened by frequent flash flooding and the Egyptian government’s plan to
attract 10 million visitors to Luxor annually by 2010, a major and potentially dangerous increase.

I can
think of other places also in danger. Just take a visit to Yosemite valley in the summer, when hordes of people camp
out and make the valley like Disneyland. These are huge and important issues, and I confess I’d like to see a
documentary about this topic.