September 22, 2014

It's A Bird, It's A Plane

A great way to reduce your carbon emissions is to stay home, or close to home. Although air travel only accounts for about 5% of global emissions, it is an amount that is increasing quickly as people fly to far flung places looking for greener grass.

An article in the NY Times highlights the impact flying has on our carbon footprint in an article titled "Your Biggest Carbon Sin May Be Air Travel".

"For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year; the average European, 10.

So if you take five long flights a year, they may well account for three-quarters of the emissions you create."

We have some difficult choices to make moving forward and many current behaviours will need to change. For one aviator it all came down to choosing between civilization's technology and nature.

Charles Lindbergh, interviewed shortly before his death in 1974 made his choice very clear.

"Lying under an acacia tree with the sound of the dawn around me, I realized more clearly the facts that we should never overlook: that the construction of an airplane, for instance, is simple when compared [with] a bird; that airplanes depend on an advanced civilization, and that where civilization is most advanced, few birds exist.  
I realized that If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes."

Me too.

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