Impact matters, every action counts and everybody can make a difference! Thank goodness, we are a growing crowd, and it makes us very happy to introduce Henry Mooney to you. Henry is our first destination:development blogger-member, a young man who is as passionate about responsible travel and sustainable development as we are. He will share his views and experiences regarding sustainable development and tourism, and bring new important aspects to our Blog. But we had rather let him speak for himself:
Hi there! I’m Henry. Originally from California, I’ve grown up with a love for the outdoors. I teach surfing, mountain climb, spearfish, snowboard, hike; if it’s outside, chances are I probably do it. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Stony Brook University, in New York, and five weeks after graduating early I flew to South Africa, where I’m currently going after a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development.
I joined Destination:Development as an opportunity for both personal growth, through exposure to more aspects of sustainable tourism ideology, and to contribute what I’ve learned throughout my academic career to bring a wider diversity of ideas to the NGO.
Tourism, in my view, is a topic which does not receive enough attention in the context of sustainable development. Millions of people driving or flying all over the world each year have immense impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, local economies, environmental degradation, an increase in consumerism (and an increase in waste streams), infrastructure, electricity usage, and the globalization of cultures. Sustainable tourism, to me, would maintain respect for local cultural traditions, prioritize the preservation of the natural world, and promote access to clean infrastructure, access to electricity, and clean drinking water.
My degree will be in Sustainable Development, and I’m focusing in renewable energy. The reason I chose this path is because it combines a transdisciplinary range of topics, which essentially study what I like to simplify as, “the future of the human race.” From atmospheric science to mechanics, biology, economics, psychology, law, policy, finance, philosophy, chemistry, or even artistic expression, my undergraduate and graduate career has exposed me to a wide range of important topics. This degree combines those concepts which interest me, namely the sciences, and applies them toward a greater good to the benefit of all humanity.
My favorite motto to live by is: “Whatever you are, be a good one.” I’m a firm believer in the idea that almost anybody of sound body and mind can achieve their goals if they have the right time management, support, and information resources. I’ve never subscribed to the idea of just “getting a job,” because simply aging in complacency isn’t what life is about, in my opinion.
If I could change one thing about the tourism industry, it would be the carbon footprint of the transportation methods to used to get around the world. Alternatively-sourced fuels (like algae biofuel) have already been created, tested, and successfully tried in existing airplane engine technology. Now, we just need the investment and awareness to take action.
My perfect holiday destination is somewhere with perfect surf and a rich diversity of marine life. Speaking from experience, the Indonesian islands are pretty close to perfect in my eyes.