Smoking by any other Name

In the face of ever-worsening climate change[1], constant updates from the media on how quickly the Arctic is melting[2], and an utter failure of our society to mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions (rather, we’re still increasing them[3), why do we continue to fly when few other activities in our lives create more emissions?

Why I haven’t been flying (much)

Over three decades I have received many requests to travel across Australia and across the world to speak at a conference, teach a course or participate in some worthy event related to permaculture. My reluctance to travel long distances for short stays has meant I have had to turned down many of these invitations. In more recent years the reactions of invitees has moved from incredulity to understanding, and even admiration, as a small but growing list of public figures are choosing not to travel by air to highlight the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Why I’m marking passing 400 ppm by getting back on an aeroplane

I refuse to accept that the lurch to 500ppm, 600ppm, 800ppm is an inevitability. I refuse to accept, as Nigel Lawson tried to argue in his debate with the remarkably patient Kevin Anderson on Jeremy Vine’s radio show recently, that doing anything about climate change would impact on economic growth so we shouldn’t bother. I refuse to agree with Peter Lilley that the only way to preserve our economy is to allow unfettered gas fracking anywhere the gas industry decides it wants to drill because “there are simply no affordable renewable technologies available to replace fossil fuels”. I refuse to accept that we can’t do any better than what we have now, and that communities have only a passive role to play in doing something about this with the real work being done by governments and business. I refuse to give up while there’s still a chance.