Gone are the days where camping consisted of a shelter tent for two carried in a backpack. Today, in Australia and many other parts of the world, camping represents a huge quotient of carbon dioxide on wheels.
Massive internal combustion vehicles with extremely poor fuel economy and huge emissions of greenhouse gases and other toxic to life particulates (eg from diesel) are now the motoring norm. Towing a luxury hotel suite on big wheels is now being promoted as a patriotic “staycation” in Australia. I hate to have to point this out, but such carbon-based tourism in a severely carbon constrained world is no longer ethically acceptable.
To have a proposed tax deduction for such camping is the same as promoting a tax deduction for luxury cruises or first class flights to overseas holiday destinations. Covid-19 is but a glimpse into how our lives and our so-called freedoms have to be limited in order to achieve a public good (a Covid free or Covid minimal society).
In order not to have our society come crashing down around us a similar undertaking must apply to all forms of non-essential travel, including ‘camping’ holidays. A global good (a livable climate) will only be achieved by public policy that rewards fossil fuel replacement with clean, safe, renewable energy and private decision-making that puts the ethics of a good future for all humanity and all other biodiversity ahead of short-term pleasure.
Freud, in Totem and Taboo (1919) presaged our modern dilemma. We want out of the constraints imposed because of Covid-19 and desire a holiday as a reward for our abstinence. However, the desire for a holiday simply transfers what was “forbidden” into an even larger domain … the Earth. Covid is replaced by Carbon.
Ziggy put it this way:
“A holiday is a permitted, or rather prescribed excess, a solemn violation of a prohibition. People do not commit the excess which at all times have characterized holidays, as a result of an order to be in a holiday mood, but because in the very nature of a holiday there is excess; the holiday mood is brought about by the release of what is otherwise forbidden.“