Temporary Travel Office Title


Thanks for visiting the Temporary Travel Office's Blog. Here you can read news about our projects and discussions about critical tourism practices and other developments related to travel and tourism.


Thursday, July 10, 2008


Pollution Tourism

We were just sent a link to Visit Sunny Chernobyl - a blog about "Pollution Tourism". Not sure why we hadn't come across that one before, but we're glad we have it on the radar now. They have a post linking to Good Magazine's piece on man-made disaster tourism spots. The place we're most interested in (not sure why, exactly) is the underground coal fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania.

Centralia was just another sleepy northeastern Pennsylvania town until the local coal mine was filled with a raging inferno that burned unabated for decades. Even that didn't disrupt the peaceful Centralia life until 1981, when a smoldering sinkhole nearly swallowed a 12-year-old boy. In the wake of the national attention that followed, Centralia became a cult travel destination. To this day, the subterranean fire is still burning. "You can drive through and not even notice," says Chris Perkel, who produced a documentary on the place. "But when the fire's close to the surface, the trees are blackened, and steam and smoke billow from the rocks."
The area's anthracite coal stoked the furnaces of the industrial revolution, but by the mid-19th century, companies left the region - and their messes - behind in favor of cheaper energy sources like petroleum. In 1962, burning garbage in an abandoned strip mine sparked a fire. In the years that followed, the flames grew as debate raged about whose problem it was to fix (the debate remains unresolved). Suddenly appearing sinkholes and carbon monoxide poisoning continued to threaten residents until
the 1980s, when Congress paid to relocate them and bulldozed their houses - though a handful of hard-core Centralians can still be found there.

posted by ryan griffis  # 1:05 PM

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 |

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?