Antarctica.
Antarctica. AAP

Places to see before they disappear

THE book, 100 PLACES to Remember Before They Disappear, is more an exercise in global warming propaganda than anything else, really, though the photos of endangered beauty spots are certainly stunning.

The approach is illustrated by the two entries from New Zealand - the Franz Josef Glacier and the Bay of Plenty - both of which are likely to see out my lifetime.

The glacier is certainly retreating right now, but because of its unique situation it had until recently been advancing, and it's quite possible that this year's heavy snowfall could cause it to pause or even grow again.

And even with the gloomiest predictions of rising sea levels and more frequent droughts, the Bay isn't going to vanish any time soon.

Still, it is a timely reminder that if you want to see the world's most vulnerable places - the Sami lands of northern Scandanavia, the islands of Tuvalu, the Antarctic Peninsula, the canals and palaces of Venice - sooner is probably wiser than later.

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