Gransnet forums


Is it so wrong to fly?

(98 Posts)
infoman Sat 04-Jan-20 08:59:39

If any one decides to say take the train to Paris instead of the airplane.
Has any thing really changed?
No carbon dioxide has been increased or reduce,
it just might make us feel better.
We don't get any awards for reducing our carbon foot print.
If all those who my be travelling to New York (for example) decided not to fly the plane wouldstill have to fly to NY.
What annoys me is those persons who can afford to fly in private jets and helicopters.

lavenderzen Sat 04-Jan-20 09:02:03

Wouldn't stop me flying. If I was fit enough I would be going on my usual holidays to Spain in an aeroplane.

Hetty58 Sat 04-Jan-20 09:08:44

The main problem is unnecessary commercial and business flights but every single trip makes a difference.

With less demand, less flights will happen. We need to stop buying food that's flown in, increase videoconferencing, reduce unnecessary journeys, really consider alternative means - each and every one of us.

Reducing our carbon footprint is about caring for our own (and everybody's) grandchildren, future generations, slowing the destruction of the planet - not about awards!

Luckygirl Sat 04-Jan-20 09:32:00

I so agree about business flights - there is very little that cannot be done by Skype or conference calls. It is just a jolly.

And the out-of-season food whizzing about the world for no good reason.

"the plane would still have to fly" - as people give up air travel, fewer planes will fly (see hetty above).

And as for the pontificating Saint David Attenborough - he makes his living from flying around the world!

MawB Sat 04-Jan-20 09:38:37

I don’t like being dictated to, but would choose Eurostar over a flight any day! St P’s so much easier to get to than any of the so- called London airports which practically need another flight reach. No problems with luggage, hand or otherwise, and if you upgrade to Standard Premier (for not very much) a free meal with wine brought to your (comfortable) seat!

M0nica Sat 04-Jan-20 09:38:50

In the war there was an advert that said 'Is your journey really necessary?' I think that is what should guide our decisions now.

When families are spread all over the world, there will always be family meetings and a desire to see each other. IS there any one on GN who would voluntarily decide that their only contact with a grandchild, say in Australia (for Uk based members) was by skype? I doubt it.

It is the same with business. Many meetings can be and are by skype (few companies can afford to pay for unnecessary overseas visit), but many require site visits. DH, currently has three, four or more skype meetings a week, but at least once a month he has to fly out to a shipyard to survey a barge and issue a certificate to the insurers that the barge meets every requirement for it to safely carry windfarm components out to sea. That is not something that can be done on skype.

Many small foreign countries, island groups especially in the West Indies and Pacific are economically dependent on tourists.

It is a compex subject and the follow up to 'Is your journey really necessary?' must widen to ask 'To whom is my journey absolutely necessary?'

Oopsminty Sat 04-Jan-20 09:43:17

Aviation contributes about 2% of the world's global carbon emissions,

I shall be flying off this summer

I won't feel hugely guilty

I've read somewhere that cars are a far greater problem

Urmstongran Sat 04-Jan-20 10:13:00

We do fly out to Spain regularly but once there we aren’t using a car. I like to think that over a month out there, walking and using trains that that balances out our carbon footprint. Hopefully.

Chestnut Sat 04-Jan-20 10:17:12

Good post MOnica and I'd like to add that there are a lot of people who will undertake a long flight for a short visit which is wrong I think. I met a man some years ago who said he was off to Barcelona for the day. He was travelling from London. That's a huge carbon footprint for such a short visit in my opinion.

suzied Sat 04-Jan-20 10:18:04

The agriculture industry, particularly meat production , is far more environmentally damaging than all forms of transport put together. Give up eating meat, if only for one or two days a week makes a more significant difference than cutting down on flights , which most people only do once or twice a year,

PamelaJ1 Sat 04-Jan-20 10:23:57

Well I’m off to Australia next month to visit my DD and family. We go every 2 years. Whist we are away we won’t be using any oil to heat the house and most of our appliances will be off, including the fridge/freezer.
I won’t be working so my workspace won’t need heating. A lot of my clients take their cloths off so it needs to be warm!

This trip will be the last thing I would give up.

I’m happy to take the bus into town, the train to London, I don’t really do short haul trips any more so I am refusing to feel too guilty. ( unfortunately it is inevitable that a bit creeps in😥)

Grandad1943 Sat 04-Jan-20 10:28:57

For business, there is a problem with video conferencing in that it is a soulless experience for all involved. There is no atmosphere in those screens which is the total opposite of a conference room where all to often you can feel what people are thinking just by the atmosphere in the room.

Therefore in commerce for the foreseeable future, I cannot have any vision the video conference replacing an actual conference even when that involves much travel.

Employees working from home could substantively replace the daily commute for many thousands of office workers. However, as our own business has found that does not suit a large number of people for very many reasons, with many just wishing for the experience of leaving the home and working among others.

Sadly I feel that things will not easily change in the world of commerce or in people's attitudes to working life or even life in general.

lucywinter Sat 04-Jan-20 10:31:00

I don't think we should worry about flying for our annual holidays, but if we all stopped using cars for short trips, that would make a tremendous difference.

vinasol Sat 04-Jan-20 10:38:43

As long as there are aeroplanes then it'll be flying for me.

Grammaretto Sat 04-Jan-20 10:40:07


Urmstongran Sat 04-Jan-20 10:40:17

That’s good to know suzied about consuming meat. We have made a conscious decision these last few weeks to have a couple of meat-free days a week.

Then I worry if we all cut down meat eating by a third, would animal farmers, butchers and food producers go out of business?

It’s not easy - this eco decision making is it?

Grandad1943 Sat 04-Jan-20 10:40:40

As private Fraizer of Dads Army would say.....Doomed We Are.......Doomed. 🙄😄

maddyone Sat 04-Jan-20 10:45:29

Commerce is a big problem re flights. Foods and goods are now flown in from all over the world where previously this didn’t happen. For example, flowers are flown into Britain from places such as Kenya. Kiwis flown from New Zealand. Out of season strawberries flown in from various hot countries all year round. It is really necessary? Can’t we live without out of season strawberries, or flowers, or kiwis?

Callistemon Sat 04-Jan-20 10:46:51

Oh great!!!

Well, if I could get on a train, be guaranteed a sleeper, and get to Australia in 2 or 3 days, I would.

Same as Pamela, we don't go often but then don't nip around the world several times a year by plane for holidays (or picking up my Oscar) either.

Callistemon Sat 04-Jan-20 10:48:46

Kiwis are grown in Spain and Italy now apparently, far away but not that far.

Luckygirl Sat 04-Jan-20 10:49:01

The circuitous arguments over which is worst for carbon footprint get us nowhere really - e.g. I will fly because it's not actually flying that causes the worst pollution etc.

All these things cause pollution and they ALL need to be reduced!

Grammaretto Sat 04-Jan-20 10:55:41

Absolutely Luckygirl

Urmstongran Sat 04-Jan-20 11:00:34

But what is the answer? Walk everywhere, wear a hair shirt and live in a yurt? No wonder we end up feeling stressed out and anxious about it all.

Calendargirl Sat 04-Jan-20 11:04:06

Well, if I want to get on a plane and fly to Australia to see my daughter and grandchildren, then I will. Will also fly premium economy. I do my best in other ways to help the planet. Life’s too short to miss out on such things.

Alexa Sat 04-Jan-20 11:09:28

Monica wrote:

"In the war there was an advert that said 'Is your journey really necessary?' I think that is what should guide our decisions now."

It is completely appropriate to compare the urgent emergency state of climate change to war time conditions. The war time frame of mind may be the only way people can stop over use of carbon fuel.