Posts Tagged ‘ecotourism’

South American Dispatch

By Hal Brill
This article first appeared in the March 2009 edition of the Natural Investing newsletter

Patagonia glacier

Greetings from Patagonia! Allison and I are exploring the southern tip of the Americas, learning about the many cultures and exploring beautiful but endangered natural wonders. This year marks my 20th as an investment advisor (and I’ve got the grey hair to prove it!), so it seemed like a good time to get back to my roots and reconnect with the inspiration that launched me on this path. I majored in Cultural Geography in college because of my curiosity about the world, which fed my passion for making a difference. Now, thanks to the Internet, I’m able to travel again and keep up with business. I’m carrying a little net book computer and you wouldn’t believe some of the places I’ve hooked up to wi-fi!

One reason to come all the way to southern Patagonia is to experience how global warming is affecting the planet—the impacts are more evident closer to the poles. On our first day we visited a penguin colony on an island in the Straights of Magellan. Very cute, and they seem to be thriving. Next, we went on a boat ride up a beautiful fjord to our first glacier. This is where you really see the changes. Our guides showed us old photos of the glacier – the loss of ice is staggering. Glaciers that used to extend to the sea now cling to the peaks. This week a new scientific report came out saying that sea levels will rise more than previously thought— about 5 feet—because of shrinking glaciers and melting ice fields. So any-one considering investing in ocean-front property might want to reconsider!

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