Arthur Frommer usually writes guide books about where to eat and visit in Paris, but even this super-enthusiastic traveller is getting worried about the state of the world's environment. To explain the rationale behind the latest guide book, called "500 Places to See Before They Disappear", the author says: "The devastation wrought by climate change and direct man-made interference is familiar to all of us. But this book is a carefully chosen list of last-chance destinations that eco-conscious travellers can enjoy - if they move sharpish - for possibly the last time." So put aside guilt about the flying for the moment and let's dream about the most beautiful, striking and unspoilt places to be visited on this last trip of their lifetime.
Locations are listed by topic, not country, so there are subjects such as Sea & Stream, From the Mountains to the Prairies, Big Skies, Going to Ruins,City & Town, Where History Was Made, Tarnished Gems of Architecture, and Disposable Culture. This one includes vanishing structures like wigwam motels in the southwest of the USA. The natural wonders include the Hill of Tara (pictured) in Ireland which is under threat due to a proposed highway running close by, and the Dead Sea in Israel because it may run dry.
The guide also includes many architectural spots that are under threat due to redevelopment pressures. This includes New York's Little Italy, and the Taj Majal in India. Others are in danger due to lack of money for restoration, such as the oldest parish church and the Battersea power station in England.
In the US, the Everglades are in trouble because of agricultural and development pressures. Lower water levels and pollution haven't help either, with the number of bird species falling by a whopping 93%. Fenway Park in Boston, built in 1912, and the oldest baseball park in the major leagues, is on the list due to threat of demolition. Frommer's 500 Places to See Before They Disappear Via : The Observer
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