All entries for Monday 15 October 2007
October 15, 2007
Writing about web page http://www.seat61.com/CO2flights.htm
In this world so preocuppied by the environment and pollution, it’s quite nice and useful to bring things down to real and personal proportions.
What does global warming mean these days? It is obviously something nobody wants and it’s a trendy item of discussion in international politics. It scores points to declare yourself against it. But when we hear the white polar bear is to die out within a few decades, or that the sea level might rise, we may feel powerless to the point of apathy.
But are we really powerless? I would like to suggest that we look at elements in our own direct environment. This means not just regulating the heater and only boiling the water that you need for your cup of tea. True as it may be, that sounds just a bit dusty and a small drop in a big ocean. But what about flying? Continental flights are these days so cheap that many of us hardly ponder the decision to take a plane. I dare guess that today we use more flights under 3 hours than anytime ever before.
And what are the consequences? Well, have a look at the link attached above. I distilled a few examples for you here. Flying to Paris from London pollutes by 244kg of CO2. Whereas a train to Paris cuts this figure by 90%, and is actually faster too! Flying to Barcelona can be replaced by a night train cutting emission by some 85%.
In short: for the sake of pollutionary moderation, try to take a train instead of a plane when you can. The same website points at some decently prices deals, and if that’s still too much for you, there’s always the National Express and Eurolines.
Hope this points some people at the facts and the possibilities. The waiting is now for someone to come and disprove the figures. Reactions are welcome.