In today’s world a small elite takes multiple trips a year, turning vast energy resources into pollution, in journeys that don’t have a lot of value, even to themselves.
The Biden administration is about to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all U.S. visitors. The plan is likely to become unworkable in very short order. It is an attempt to get around a now very clear fact about widespread international travel: That travel has become a threat to all humankind.
Coronavirus has put the kibosh on frivolous travel for the moment, but we might want to do some reflecting before returning to business as usual. Prior to the outbreak, you were constantly told to put on your traveling shoes, cue up some good music for a journey (no, not the band Journey), and pack your bags. But maybe this is the perfect time to start a new conversation about travel and begin aligning our actions with our values.
Movement is a privilege viewed a right. Modern infrastructure in its many forms, from planes to trucking, one-day Amazon to instant Snapchat, is almost entirely built and run on uninterrupted flows of energy—which, for the past century-and-a-half or so, have been almost entirely fossil-fuel-based. In a way, it’s quite simple: throw fuel of unmatched power on the fire, the fire’s going to grow to unprecedented strength.
Nine years since John McDonnell dramatically removed the Speaker’s mace demanding a Parliamentary vote on Heathrow expansion,119 Labour MPs joined Tory MPs to vote for building a third runway at Heathrow airport.
Worldwide tourism accounted for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions from 2009 to 2013, new research finds, making the sector a bigger polluter than the construction industry. The study, which looks at the spending habits of travellers in 160 countries, shows that the impact of tourism on global emissions could be four times larger than previously thought.
We are so used to rapid progress in so many fields, especially in the communications devices and computers. It’s hard to imagine that there might areas of our lives in which progress has not only ceased but been reversed.
No matter how you stack it up, the notion that further expanding Heathrow makes sense falls apart as soon as you touch it, at least for anyone except the Airports Commission and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.
I’m a climate scientist who doesn’t fly…I’d assumed that electricity and driving were my largest sources of emissions. Instead, it turned out that the 50,000 miles I’d flown that year.
The airline industry has no future. The same is true for airfreight. No air carrier has a viable plan to make a profit with oil at current prices—much less in years to come as the petroleum available to world markets dwindles rapidly.