Well, shortly after the world become aware of the existence of Warming Island, a travel company is offering guided tours (at $5,000 a pop) to go and see the island for yourself – led by the man who discovered the island himself, no less.

Well it was only a matter of time, really. Global warming isn’t that much different from any other biological phenomenon – it may be a complex environmental, political and socioeconomic issue of great importance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a buck off it. Some profit by producing wind turbines and solar panels, others by planting trees and selling carbon offsets – and others by offering climate change-themed travel packages.

The Independent published a furious piece on the trip, remarking in the photo caption that “the brochure for trips to Warming Island cashes in on a phenomenon reported by The Independent last week” … neglecting to mention the fact that The New York Times reported on the island before them, back in January (oh, BURN!).

The Independent features a quote from “the world’s first global warming tourist” Mark Lynas, who opines: “The idea of global-warming tourism is full of ironies. If enough people expend enough fossil fuels to visit one Warming Island, they will ensure that there will be many more.”

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but well, I’m gonna:

Dude. Lighten up.

Cheap air travel, and our love of cars, and deforestation to raise cattle, and our wasteful western lifestyles in general are most certainly contributing to climate change, and in a big way. But high-end trips to the poles? Come on – there’s no way that’s going to have a significant impact on climate change. Relax, guy.