Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A new normal

Here's something I found over on Yes! Magazine:

Kicking the Habit: Air Travel in the Time of Climate Change

And here's the subtitle:

"Air travel is neither just nor sustainable. So how can environmental justice activists make a global difference?"

Here's a little bit:

A round-trip flight between New York and Los Angeles on a typical commercial jet yields an estimated 715 kilos of CO2 per economy class passenger, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization. But due to the height at which planes fly, combined with the mixture of gases and particles they emit, conventional air travel has an impact on the global climate that’s approximately 2.7 times worse than its carbon emissions alone, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As a result, that roundtrip flight’s “climatic forcing” is really 1,917 kilos, or almost two tons, of emissions....
One option is to use transportation that stays on the Earth’s surface, to accept traveling more slowly, and to make flying a very rare exception instead of the rule.
To do so today, of course, is far more difficult as jet travel has greatly weakened the passenger ship option. But what if, for instance, U.S. and Canadian activists and advocates going to Denmark for the Dec. 2009 climate summit had, instead of booking individual flights, organized to travel together by ship—with all promising to get to and from their ports of call by surface-level transportation? And what if they had publicized this effort as a way of setting an example for, and challenging, others?

This is radical stuff, really. I mean, it is today.

Stuff to think about. I wonder how many people are thinking about this issue?

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