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Does Air Travel Cause Global Warming?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 26th, 2019 10:21 pm
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
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MexiCanuck wrote: Reality is much more complicated that the above simple statement. In fact, the opposite is often true. The distance travelled, the number of passengers in a plane or car, type of car, etc. contribute to the calculations.



https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/ ... s-driving/

Of course, driving with three or four passengers in a BEV would be far, far preferable.
My understanding is that planes burn the most fuel during takeoff and the least during cruising at constant speed. So for short trips where take off and landing are more important, then cars are less CO2 intensive. But I guess on trips longer than a few hours, planes come out ahead.

But that's an irrelevant discussion, imho. Beyond a certain distance, land travel is just not practical.
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Feb 4, 2018
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MexiCanuck wrote: What terrible sacrifices for the most privileged generation in the history of homo sapiens to make in order to give future generations a planet that is merely livable.

Addressing climate change will be complex. It will involve reducing or eliminating unsustainable activities, modifying activities that are damaging but otherwise desirable, and developing technologies to permit the continuation of activities that are damaging but necessary.
Would adopting Cuba's system of government be the solution?
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Aug 8, 2005
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At the end of the day we are all just slaves to the lizard people.
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Aug 26, 2001
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Honestly, "traveling" and "tourism" is so important to the global economy (esp. a number of the smaller developing countries) I can't see the Green movement shooting its own foot by advocating for a 25% tax on air travel (for example) to discourage people from taking plane trips.

It's one thing for the price of gas to increase by a small amount, or to encourage people to buy "cool" electric cars like Teslas, it's another thing entirely to make such widespread changes to the economy which would essentially put tens of millions out of work (with no replacement industry) and deny people the chance to travel and "see the world" (or just hang out at a beach/pool).
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May 9, 2007
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Vancouver Island, BC
RSole wrote: Suzuki, Gore and other climate change hypocrites never mention airplanes as possible contributors to climate change because they would never take the train or a bus to their many profitable talk destinations.
I don't know how much, if at all, you follow the writings and appearances of Suzuki but I have heard him openly discuss this dilemma. In a recent interview I heard he spoke about the difficulty of trying to do speaking engagements by video and that many times organizers advise him that he will not be able to reach as many people unless he attends in person.

He also discusses the issue in this National Post article.
What do you say to critics who lambaste you for flying around the world?

Well, we’re not living the way we’re going to have to live. And there’s no question that there are contradictions. I just flew in from Japan. And flying is a very carbon-intensive activity. For almost 10 years now, I have offset my carbon emissions by paying these gold-standard offsets where I pay for every mile I fly, drive or take a train. I contribute to putting green energy in continents like Africa. This is just to compensate for what I’ve put out – it doesn’t mean I’ve reduced my footprint. I’ve just tried to equal that in green energy. I’m supporting that by paying for it. But right now, we don’t have alternatives, and I think the important thing is to spread the information, and to inform people. And unfortunately, the only way I can do that now is by flying.

Give me a recent example of an interaction with someone who disagreed with you.

I was in Calgary at the airport, taking a leak. This guy pulls up at the next urinal, and says, ‘I hope you flew in on a solar-powered plane, otherwise you’re a g–damn hypocrite!’ And I say, ‘Look, we haven’t got the infrastructure to enable people to live the way we’re going to have to live. And I’m busy trying to urge that we get going, so that we have the alternatives that are not emission-intensive.’
If you are interested in reducing the adverse effect of your flying, there are two websites related to this.

https://www.less.ca/en-ca/

http://www.carbonzero.ca/calculate

I have found them easy to use.
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“Our house is on fire.” Greta Thunberg
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May 9, 2007
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Poutsounia wrote: Would adopting Cuba's system of government be the solution?
I don't think so. Regardless of political system, human's have embraced the convenience of fossil fuels. I think the changes we need are far more fundamental than just going from one system of fossil fuel dependency to a different system that includes fossil fuel dependency.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair

“Our house is on fire.” Greta Thunberg
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Mar 11, 2019
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Water vapor stays in the atmosphere for around 9 days. CO2 is estimated at 30-90 years with some portions much longer. Same with other GHG they stay in the atmosphere much longer. Electric trains would be a better option vs flight.
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Feb 29, 2008
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jintau wrote: Water vapor stays in the atmosphere for around 9 days. CO2 is estimated at 30-90 years with some portions much longer. Same with other GHG they stay in the atmosphere much longer. Electric trains would be a better option vs flight.
Continental travel only. Transcontinental becomes a bit problematic.
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Feb 4, 2018
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MexiCanuck wrote: I don't think so. Regardless of political system, human's have embraced the convenience of fossil fuels. I think the changes we need are far more fundamental than just going from one system of fossil fuel dependency to a different system that includes fossil fuel dependency.
Do you believe that taxing people's (and company's) fuel consumption will resolve the issue? The Cubans seem to have it right. Their system world wide would certainly drastically reduce carbon emissions.
Sr. Member
Aug 4, 2003
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Edmonton
We should be shutting down the aeroplace and car industry in Canada. Only way to stop pollution.
Temp. Banned
Jul 23, 2007
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Vancouver
Will world leader ban flying around?
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Aug 16, 2010
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I say we go back to stone-age hunting and gathering and just hope that farts don't warm up the climate too much.
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DiceMan wrote: I say we go back to stone-age hunting and gathering and just hope that farts don't warm up the climate too much.
don't eat too many brontosauruses... their farts release methane which screws up the ozone.

and don't use fires to cook your food - use a microwave

and don't use torches, use LEDs running on rechargeable batteries.

haha

bjl
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Oct 14, 2017
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Human caused global warming is a fraud. Climate change is a religion.

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