Travel and the climate – A cause for concern

It’s a bit of a double edged sword so to speak. If seeing the world helps ruin it, then should we just stay at home? You wouldn’t think that it costs roughly 0.11 tonnes of CO2 to fly to Amsterdam one way, then imagine the cost of your dream trip to Australia and back, quite the pollutant one might say.

We are currently living in the age of global warming, and where travelling by car, boat and plane is a fraught choice – the world beckons. So what do we do in terms of seeing this world? Because Googling a picture of Bora Bora doesn’t cut it if you ask me.

The eco-conscious individual is always caught in between the middle of two moral ideologies. *The glaciers are melting* – “Quick! I need to see them before it’s too late” you might say to yourself, before another thought pops in your mind reminding you that it is a selfish decision and you are contributing to the fact that it is melting at an exponential rate in the first place.

For the people who love to travel, travelling has become a battle between ones self. The art of travelling used to be known for escape, adventure and self-discovering, but now it can be seen in the same light as harmful and the epitome of self consumption at the expense of our home.

And yet, the governing bodies who have shown in recent times they can do what they want whenever they want… Cough *lockdown* cough… the prices still begin to drop on air travel and increase on train travel.

The cost of train travel to me is bewildering, you can effectively board a plane and go 30,000 feet in the air at 500 mph for an hour to the same destination for a cheaper sum than hopping on a train for 6 hours.

*The comparison of train and plane fares to Amsterdam are one of many comparable situations between the two forms of transport.

But as always, money talks and once again the industries bad for the environment win again.

If you think about it, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to make travelling by air greener. You could carbon offset your flights, choose direct flights instead of chain (most fuel is used when taking off and landing) and fly economy to fit more people in per flight.

But, in general, there isn’t much the industry can do itself to become sustainable. They can preach all they want about becoming green and what not, but unless they can fly a plane off tap water then travelling by air is a about as grey as it can get.

I understand, you understand and we all understand that our actions have impacts. However, on a personal level our actions are so microscopically incremental that we fall into a one flight won’t hurt or a one coffee cup won’t hurt mentality and while we mean no harm, the opposite takes place. I’m a culprit myself and fully aware that I slip up, just like any human being at anything. Cristiano Ronaldo still misses a penalty from time to time.

The point is, your next flight, car and boat trip WILL contribute to global warming whether we like it or not. But in the time where we are reflections of the world around us, we have the responsibility to do what we can to travel differently and responsibly.

Carbon offset that flight, save a little bit extra for a little bit longer to travel by train, make sure it is a direct flight and don’t think you are some kind of celebrity and get back into that economy class! Because although you can’t see it, there is someone out there in a coastal town who’s home has been flooded recently due to rising sea levels.

Be responsible in your travels and you aren’t a bad person for wanting to see the world. Times change, thus so does our response!

Credit: William Wand – The Figure Head

Author: The Figure Head

Bringing you all the latest environmental news.

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