Top places to see before they're wiped out

Climate change threatens some of the planet's most beautiful islands, historic coastlines and largest cities

Humans love the coasts; the first civilizations were built along them, and along the rivers and lakes that flow into them. Humans do not love the coasts enough to protect them. Plastic waste washes up on beaches around the world, traveling from one continent to another and overwhelming whatever small group of people are responsible for cleaning it up. On coasts where there are no people, it collects. This is not the worst case scenario for everyone's favorite coastlines. The worst case scenario is extreme flooding (ask Miami Beach) followed by, according to most models, submersion.

What happens to a resort town when the beach suddenly moves a hundred yards inland? What happens when the waters move in on an island town where people struggle for food rather than with a greasy bottle of sunscreen? What happens when the subway tunnels of Manhattan flood beyond the pumps' capacities and the waters creep up to FDR Drive and the Westside Highway?

One inevitable consequence: the people on the coasts will have to crowd inland and the people living inland will not be happy about it.

Whether you believe that humans are responsible or not (we are), the waters are, undoubtedly, rising and with them, the future costs of flood defense and repairs. Famous beaches and coastlines could disappear. Tourism and farming economies in many coastal areas will suffer. Look at it a different way: the homes of millions of people—even entire countries—are in danger of rising sea levels. These are some of the stunning, important and delicate places at risk of disappearing.

Venice, Italy

Venice

Venice—Italy's romantic, legendary, literary, beautiful floating city—is sinking. Flooding has been a regular, fairly manageable problem for the city for decades but it is becoming worse due the rising water under and around Venice. According to city measurements, the Adriatic Sea and the Venice Lagoon have risen 5.5 inches since 1900. They will continue to rise, and more quickly, as global water levels rise. A city that has lost nearly two thirds of its full-time residents (as tourists sweep in as quickly as the waters) in a matter of decades risks losing more as its buildings sink and their foundations erode.

Venice is working on a system of hinged walls, called the Mose Project, that can be raised from the sea floor during floods to block the high waters from reaching the city. The system is unprecedented and officials hope it will work. Final cost estimates are now $5-6 billion. There are currently no alternatives. Visit Venice (just don't take a cruise) and, while you're there, spend money in the city—support its economy so that it can continue its survival efforts.

Kiribati (Charly W. Karl)

Kiribati

In the central Pacific Ocean, Kiribati is a country of just under 110,000 people that sits on 33 coral atolls). The biggest of which, South Tarawa, has a population density comparable to Tokyo. These atolls are low-lying and face extreme flooding from even small rises in ocean levels.

The president of these beautiful, Pacific Islands, Anote Tong, fears total "uninhabitability." He hopes to focus flood defense efforts on at least one island but acknowledges the impossibility of the task ahead. In 2014, his government bought five thousand acres in Fiji to give to the citizens of Kiribati who will be displaced by water in the future. Fly or float to the Kiribati islands and meet the residents of this Pacific island nation.

Maldive Islands

Maldive Islands

The Maldives, an archipelago spanning one thousand kilometers in the Indian Ocean, is the lowest-lying country in the world. Like Kiribati, the islands are made up of coral reefs and face immediate threats in addition to looming flooding. In addition to raising ocean levels around the world—the long-term, extreme danger for the islands—the changing climate has warmed the oceans and acidified them.

Earth's oceans absorb over 90% of the increase in the planet's heat. Warmer water forces algae away from the coral, causing bleaching events that, if too severe or frequent, could kill the coral. This would literally undermine atoll countries like Kiribati and the Maldives. In 2008, the president of the Maldives announced that he was in talks with countries such as Sri Lanka and India to buy land for the 300,000 Maldives citizens who could be forced from their islands by flooding. Next time you're planning an island escape, check out the resorts on the Maldives.

Solomon Islands (Facebook)

Solomon Islands

Northeast of Australia, another chain of atolls, the Solomon Islands, has already begun to disappear beneath the rising Pacific. The Sydney Morning Herald says its capital, Taro Island, could become "the first provincial capital in the world to be abandoned due to climate change." The island briefly disappeared during a tsunami in 2007, when 52 people died because there was no higher land to which to evacuate. Researchers have already recorded five Solomon Islands that have drowned completely and six more that are suffering extreme erosion. Their study showed that the rate of sea level rise in this area is three times higher than average. Visit the islands and learn more about how to help.

St. Mary Lake

Glacier National Park

Of the 150 ice sheets that, in the early 1900s, covered the mountains that make up Glacier National Park in Montana, less than 30 remain. On average, the glaciers in the park have been reduced by 39% in the past 50 years.

Not only do disappearing glaciers mean cosmetic changes for the national park named after them, but also a changing water supply. While populations continue to grow, the supply of fresh water usually stored by the glaciers is melting and struggling to refreeze in the way the ecosystem is used to. Fish and other animals that depend on cold streams and snow-covered forests will have to abandon the area and move increasingly northward. In 2012, 2 million tourists to Glacier National Park contributed $172 million to Montana's economy. All of that could change with the changing park ecosystem. Explore the park to learn about how to preserve it for the future.

Miami Beach

U.S. coastal cities

Some of the biggest urban travel destinations in the U.S. are also some of the country's largest population centers. Manhattan, Southern Florida and other coastal cities contain millions of residents whose communities and homes will be threatened by rising waters. Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the crippling effects of severe storm flooding in New York, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Sandy-sized storms ($75 billion in damage) have been and will continue to occur more and more often, according to a sediment study in PNAS.

East River, New York (Jared Verdi)

According to the projected 6-foot sea level change possible by 2100, New York, Queens, Kings, Nassau and Suffolk counties (including and surrounding Manhattan) are at severe risk for flooding or worse. This area includes hundreds of thousands of people who could be displaced. It also spells danger for the vast subway system beneath the boroughs. Beneath one station in Brooklyn, 650 gallons of water per minute pour from the bedrock.

Alan Weisman details the potential for catastrophe in his excellent book, The World Without Us: "'When this pump facility shuts down,' says [Paul] Schuber, 'in half an hour water reaches a level where trains can't pass anymore.'" Without the constant attention of hundreds of pumps throughout the city's subway system, flooding would be immediate and insurmountable, today. This will only get more dangerous.

Southern Florida also faces immense danger. In Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, 83.1% of its residents could be at risk. You can use the interactive Time map to explore the potential effects of climate change in your area.

This is not an East Coast problem; as many as 13.1 million people face danger along U.S. coastlines. A report by the NOAA and USGS warns that "all U.S. coasts are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as sea-level rise, erosion, storms and flooding."

Miami Beach

Cambridge, Massachusetts and Oakland, California are two more of the 670 coastal U.S. communities in danger of flooding. While local and federal politicians dance around the topic as if they fear some curse on their descendants (which their own political quarrels might, in the end, produce), some areas have already begun preparations for the inevitable. Since 2014, Miami Beach has been implementing a $400+ million electric pump system and raising its roads to save its picturesque residences and beaches.

Vacation cities and cultural centers around the world will be looking for solutions to the problems of rising waters. The futures of these islands, countries, cities and communities are not guaranteed. If you're the type of person who has an elaborate bucket list, it's time to start revising. Suddenly, some of your destinations might be places to see before they're gone. So go, see them, explore and learn, and, in the meantime, do whatever you can to help them survive.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com

Translator

A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.

Pilot

A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.


What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!

Travel

Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.