Pollution travel without a purpose

VISITSUNNYCHERNOBYLI thought it’d be really fun to read Andrew Blackwell’s pollution travel book during my one month trip through Asia.

Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places does what it sets out to do. Blackwell chronicles his trips to some of the grossest places of the world that most people don’t want to think about. First stop is Chernobyl, the site of the disastrous nuclear power plant meltdown.

I didn’t love Sunny Chernobyl — in fact, I didn’t even finish it. For one, Blackwell never makes his point. He’s promoting pollution travel but I just couldn’t figure out why. The book doesn’t take on an environmental stance. In places like Chernobyl, he even argues that wilderness is now thriving because all the humans have moved out. But Blackwell makes it very clear that this was a manmade catastrophe for the local ecosystem.

Oil Fields in Cold Lake Alberta

Oil Fields in Cold Lake Alberta

The book confused me but it also didn’t give me enough. I wanted to learn so much more about each of the polluted sights which also includes the Canadian oil sands and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a possibly mythical patch of garbage floating somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

A while back, I read Stupid to the Last Drop, an in-depth expose of the Canadian oil sands. And I much preferred it over Blackwell’s book. Yes, Sunny Chernobyl is more entertaining and I appreciated the humour but I just wanted Blackwell to take a side.

Photo credits: edwardburtynsky.com & thaos.deviantart.com

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