cumulus
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Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:48 pm

This is a interesting topic posted on the BBC website this morning.

http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thre...351&&&edition=1&ttl=20061018084551

[Edited 2006-10-18 09:48:52]
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Ikarus2006
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:40 pm

Hi guys,

Take a look at this related web site, about pollution of all air travel , not only cheap one, and some way to compensate for it.

http://www.greenseat.com/us/Hoofdpagina.asp
 
jorge1812
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:21 pm

Quoting Cumulus (Thread starter):
Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Is the human being destroying the Enviroment?

Georg
 
TurkishWings
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:42 pm

This is why we need larger aircraft and less frequency as well as usage of secondary airports. Well, many more needed to help the environment of course but giving up flying cheap airlines does not sound like a good option to me.
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cumulus
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:00 pm

Question (showing my ignorance here!):-

If you had 130 people drive London to Glasgow (a FR 738 hold 130 odd right?) I wonder the compative pollution would be assuming two people per car (65 cars) would be between the 738 in the air for an hour and 65 cars on the road for 6 hours.
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bringiton
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:58 pm

Quoting Cumulus (Reply 6):
you had 130 people drive London to Glasgow (a FR 738 hold 130 odd right?) I wonder the compative pollution would be assuming two people per car (65 cars) would be between the 738 in the air for an hour and 65 cars on the road for 6 hours.

Per mile a person flying a modern jet liner polutes less then if he had been going in a car !!
 
georgiaame
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:36 pm

Actually, it is the EXPENSIVE air travel, ie private jets like the ones Al "I Invented The Internet" Gore fly on, that wreck the environment and cause global warming.

Environmental wackos and crackpots don't have a shred of reproducible, reliable, objective scientific data to back up a single wide-eye, foaming at the mouth, hysterical claim they make.

Tick off a crackpot, and fly somewhere, and smile and dream of Kyoto as you lift off.
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:43 pm

Quoting Cumulus (Reply 6):
If you had 130 people drive London to Glasgow (a FR 738 hold 130 odd right?) I wonder the compative pollution would be assuming two people per car (65 cars) would be between the 738 in the air for an hour and 65 cars on the road for 6 hours.

180 people, and it would probably take you a lot longer than 6 hours, knowing the UK's motorways! Flying is much, much greener, the aircraft burn the equivalent of less fuel per mile than your average family car. Now think how many sports cars and high performance saloons there are out there which guzzle even more gas, so flying really is the best was in all respects. Ok, there is the train, but still they use fossil fuels somewhere along the line, no pun intended  Wink

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CODCAIAH
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:45 pm

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 8):
Actually, it is the EXPENSIVE air travel, ie private jets like the ones Al "I Invented The Internet" Gore fly on, that wreck the environment and cause global warming.

Not to defend expensive air travel -- but, please. This represents a comparatively much smaller portion of air travel today.

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 8):
Environmental wackos and crackpots don't have a shred of reproducible, reliable, objective scientific data to back up a single wide-eye, foaming at the mouth, hysterical claim they make.

Unfortunately, you likewise don't have anything to prove that cars, planes, and all the rest of it DON'T damage the environment in what could eventually be catastrophic ways. It's just not that simple.

I will never understand why people make comments like this -- such loud-mouthed reactionary statements that seem to be devoid of any careful consideration!
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keesje
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:58 pm

Quoting Cumulus (Thread starter):
Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

A cruel thing to ask aviation enthousiasts..

I thnink I'm not being political correct / in correct if I say it probably doesn't help the environment..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Alessandro
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:18 am

I say old planes and helos is worse, cheap air travel often means brand new fuel efficent planes.
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falstaff
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:21 am

Interesting question! The amount of air pollution caused by airplanes would vary by the type of plane and engine used. As far as fuel used air travel may be the way to go.

I travel between DTW-STL a lot. When I drive I use around 40 gallons of diesel or gasoline (depending on the car I am driving). I once used 104 gallons of gas when towing a car trailer with work's F350 with a 460. A DC-9 with a hundred passengers will use close to 14 gallons of fuel per person. If all of those people drove they would be using a lot more fuel.
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keesje
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:24 am

I think the thread starter was more specific; cheap travel.

People going on city trips / beech holidays just because it has become so cheap, cheaper then the train, destination close by. There is no real business necessity, just a fun opportunity.

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justloveplanes
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:40 am

Regarding Cheap Air travel - I saw SRB on HBO the other day, and he was remarking on how many tons of exhaust are emitted by a transatlantic flight.

Hydrocarbon (jet exhaust) by products are predominantly water (molecular weight of 18) and CO2 (molecular weight 44). Aliphatic Hydrocarbons (Use octane as an example molecular weight 114) burn their C8H18 chains at about a ratio of of about 1 octane to 8 CO2 and 9 H20 (the exact ratio is 2 to 16 to 18 with 25 molecules of O2 put in the mix with the fuel).

The math basically works out to about 3 times as much CO2 by weight is produced for every molecule of octane burned. When I heard SRB mention it the other day, I just heard the word "TONS". I just now checked my math (I believe it is roughly correct), and yep, its 3 times CO2 by weight. The reason for the porky exhaust is Oxygen (which "replaces" Hydrogen going from Octane to CO2) is about 16 times heavier than Hydrogen.

My point is that I think its more responsible in this day and age, that if you want to pamper passengers in business class, serve better wine, in seat massage, more exotic mushrooms, fresher lobster, johnny walker blue label or whatever. 35 inches in business class is I think a bit unecessary (I orginally posted this on the new SIA F class product thread where it describes business class at 35 inches of width). We should be reasonable in generating waste as a result of air travel.

It's easy to see now why SRB has such an interest in studying clean fuels...They are essential for the future...this 3 to 1 weight ratio for CO2 can't go on forever.

JLP
 
khobar
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:43 am

Quoting A3 (Reply 13):
EU is far more green than US .
Only have a look at the statistics. US is producing more CO2 per person than any other country in the world.
So before start blaming “cheep” airfares for the pollution start installing filters on the factories.

The US produces the highest levels of CO2 because the US is the most industrious country on earth, so we're guilty regardless of how big our cars are or are not.

The dirty little "secret" about global warming is that it would be happening even if man did not exist. Unfortunately that fact is getting lost on too many people who haven't bothered to take a look at what the IPCC is trying to suggest. The other dirty little "secret" is that global warming doesn't work quite the way so many have been lead to believe, but that's another discussion entirely.
 
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:22 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 12):
I think the thread starter was more specific; cheap travel.

People going on city trips / beech holidays just because it has become so cheap, cheaper then the train, destination close by. There is no real business necessity, just a fun opportunity.

I think what the thread starter further meant was all of the cheap charters to far off places form Europe where people typically go on holiday. Take a look at how many European and Canadian charters one sees in places like the Dominican Republic each winter. While not very far from Canada, the DR is a significant distance away from the UK, France, The Netherlands or Germany. Even tropical getaways to the Indian Ocean such as to Seychelles or The Maldives are a long distance away and charter carriers make these excursions VERY cheap for those in Europe. Further, charters usually involve older more inefficient and more pollution prone aircraft, so in that case there is at lease some validity albeit I don't agree with it entirely.
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osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:30 am

Quoting TurkishWings (Reply 3):
This is why we need larger aircraft and less frequency as well as usage of secondary airports.

Yes.. because clearly the size of the airplane impacts how efficient they are!!!!  sarcastic 

Quoting Bringiton (Reply 5):
Per mile a person flying a modern jet liner polutes less then if he had been going in a car !!

 checkmark  If someone really want to I'll be happy to work it out (when I have time LOL). It's not even CLOSE. If you want to cut down on global warming start by looking at the car not the plane.

Quoting CODCAIAH (Reply 8):
Unfortunately, you likewise don't have anything to prove that cars, planes, and all the rest of it DON'T damage the environment in what could eventually be catastrophic ways. It's just not that simple.

It's both. There is a natural cycle and we are nudging it along. Even worse than our emissions is our destruction of the carbon sinks in nature (TREES). And sometimes we're really smart and we burn the trees when we want to clear the forest!!!! yay us (us being people).
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supa7E7
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:41 am

Almost every country signed Kyoto. Aviation may not be included but there's no good reason why not.

If Kyoto pans out fully, aviation gets a carbon tax. That might be a 20% or 30% rise in prices to account for CO2 pollution costs, which today the world bears free of charge.

Until then, some will argue that aircraft pollute without paying the price (buying enough CO2 permits).

Yes, if you market a product to people - a $1000 vacation, $200 of which is kerosene they're gonna burn, that does result in pollution, assuming total world consensus on CO2 is correct.
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osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:49 am

Quoting Supa7e7 (Reply 17):
Almost every country signed Kyoto. Aviation may not be included but there's no good reason why not.

If Kyoto pans out fully, aviation gets a carbon tax. That might be a 20% or 30% rise in prices to account for CO2 pollution costs, which today the world bears free of charge.

Until then, some will argue that aircraft pollute without paying the price (buying enough CO2 permits).

Yes, if you market a product to people - a $1000 vacation, $200 of which is kerosene they're gonna burn, that does result in pollution, assuming total world consensus on CO2 is correct.

I think you've kidna miss the point here though. Planes are a *small* portion of a MUCH bigger problem. While not inconsequential, everyone is suffering from a typical short coming.. focusing on the WRONG things  Sad
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YULWinterSkies
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:08 am

A full airplane would burn on average 3-4 liters/100 km of fuel per passenger (sorry fellow Americans, miles per gallon is unknown to me...) depending on aircraft type and seating configuration.

This is twice less than a car, so twice less than if everyone on board would do the trip by driving alone, assuming small / midsize cars only and that kerosene, gasoline and diesel fuel all have the same CO2 production per volume (which is wrong as all these fuels are chemically distinct). Air travel wins the first dual.

Of course some people are flying together, so would drive together, so the real result would be lowered.

Now if these people ride on a bus, the environmental impact is for sure much less.

If electric powered train, virtually none assuming the electricity is made from clean sources. Air travel loses the second dual then.

However, the ground impact of air travel is limited to airports, whereas roads and railways have to be continuous from A to B, and the more people on it, the more lanes, the more the infrastructures takes to the environment. Environment conservation is not only about global warming. Air travel wins once more.

However, without cheap flights from -let's say- Germany to the Canaries or USA to Cancun, or Japan to Bali, whatever... who would actually drive there or take a train? Virtually no one. These "cheap flyers" would all stay around home and drive / take a train to the nearest beach resort. And even by driving alone, as distances would be considerably reduced, the environmental impact would be much less.
This is where the air travel environmental cost is the highest, air travel vs no air travel at all, in other words, need for quick long-distance travel vs no need.
Airlines are not the main ones to blame here, a market opens up, they take it, and they try their best to get the best fuel efficiency out of their machines. The system at the origin of such a demand is the one to blame. But this is all about changing our habits of wealthy westerners.

Same problem as cars' environmental impact: why live 1 hour away from your work downtown and have to commute in your car twice a day when you could live downtown and bike to work in 10 minutes?

 twocents 

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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:13 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 16):
If you want to cut down on global warming start by looking at the car not the plane.

Nothing does environmental damage like the car. Nothing.

Does the automobile carry people at long distances more efficiently than an aircraft? Nyet.

Now that said, my field is making things burn cleaner, so by all means keep making the regulations a little tighter every so often.  Wink

I grad school we had to compare the impact of various man made sources to nature. Sometimes man looked really bad, sometimes the sources that the media makes noise on... didn't matter. I still remember doing the integral of enviromental damage over 2000 years comparing nuclear to coal power. Nuclear power was far less damaging...

#1 way to cut pollution is tax cars more in the US. Say add a $1/gallon tax to gasoline. Put the money into a good bus system. Not only would that clean up the air, but it would free up a lot of real estate for better uses! (e.g., parks with... trees!). I once read that 75% of the land in Los Angeles is dedicated to the automobile, that's... scary (That's garages, streets, parking lots, car dealers, repair shops, car washes, freeways, etc.)

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osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:13 am

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 19):
If electric powered train, virtually none assuming the electricity is made from clean sources.

Which is NOT the case in MOST of the world (Canada and France are notable exceptions where a lot of electrical power comes from 'cleaner' sources (hydro, nuclear, etc.)

Plus you train can't fly over the ocean, nor can your cars, and of course ditto for the bus.

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 19):
Same problem as cars' environmental impact: why live 1 hour away from your work downtown and have to commute in your car twice a day when you could live downtown and bike to work in 10 minutes?

I live 1.25 hours from work. I take public transit (intercity commuter bus) from CYHM to CYYZ, and a 10 minute trip on the local mass transit to get to work. Total cost $7.70cdn (each way). I can't drive and park for that (and the route is identical to what I would drive so it adds maybe 15 minutes tops to my commute). It's a no brainer.

I'm doing my part. So leave my damn air travel alone LOL. (not directed at you YUL)
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supa7E7
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:16 am

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 20):
#1 way to cut pollution is tax cars more in the US. Say add a $1/gallon tax to gasoline. Put the money into a good bus system. Not only would that clean up the air, but it would free up a lot of real estate for better uses! (e.g., parks with... trees!). I once read that 75% of the land in Los Angeles is dedicated to the automobile, that's... scary (That's garages, streets, parking lots, car dealers, repair shops, car washes, freeways, etc.)

Fine, but don't forget to increase Jet-A by $1 per gallon. Or is aviation not fuel efficient enough to compete?
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osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:22 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 22):
Fine, but don't forget to increase Jet-A by $1 per gallon. Or is aviation not fuel efficient enough to compete?

Wow man, you're really missing the point. Aviation isn't the problem. The carbon load for Aviation would be EASILY sustainable by the planet if we didn't royally f*ck up the ecosystems.

Stop generating power from coal, reduce automobile traffic, stop dumping crap into the oceans and clear cutting the forests. All of those are MUCH more important than planes in the grand scheme of things. Why focus on a small part of the problem, when much larger ones exist.

For all the grief you'd go through to affect change in aviation you'd have a return for your efforts that did nothing in the grand scheme of carbon emissions.
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supa7E7
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:25 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 23):

For all the grief you'd go through to affect change in aviation you'd have a return for your efforts that did nothing in the grand scheme of carbon emissions.

If that is true, then aviation will easily pay the fees to continue the CO2 emissions in the context of the world economy you describe. I agree that aviation is important and that most people will pay.

But will casual vacationers / charter pax pay, probably not.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
HPLASOps
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:26 am

Why are people ripping on long distance flying so much? Low fares are found primarily on short haul flying - and short haul flying is more damaging to the environment. I'm not a dispatcher - perhaps one could back me up on this, but is the percentage amount of fuel burned just on take-off alone somewhere around 20%? It's like in a car, where if you're gonna use it again in 5 minutes, it's more fuel efficient to leave it running due to how much is burned just to get it going. The high-frequency-low-fare travelling is the one that does damage, not transatlantic flying.
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supa7E7
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:29 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 23):
Stop generating power from coal, reduce automobile traffic, stop dumping crap into the oceans and clear cutting the forests. All of those are MUCH more important than planes in the grand scheme of things. Why focus on a small part of the problem, when much larger ones exist.

You are right. That is why Kyoto was invented. In includes all industries on a unified framework. Aviation is just another industry. Even if it's not "the problem," it can do its fair share. Or if not, we can ask why not.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:32 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 24):
If that is true, then aviation will easily pay the fees to continue the CO2 emissions in the context of the world economy you describe. I agree that aviation is important and that most people will pay.

But will casual vacationers / charter pax pay, probably not.

Well before you suggest folks radically up end the entire culture of the planet now, what are you doing yourself?

Secondly, PLEASE do not forget that tourism is a driver for many economies. If you removed that, many countries would have less money, and use even older less efficient equipment for everything, quite likely offsetting any of the gains you would see.

Finally, what's country do the emissons fall under for a flight from say piss-ant tiny nation #3 to JFK. The US ain't going to pay for it (assuming they were signed on to Kyoto in the first place), and piss-ant tiny nation can't, nor could they enforce it. Who's balance sheet does it show up on. What if no one flew to your country because the country in which their airline was registered didn't want them to waste emmissons on you.

The whole carbon credits thing is the worst example of attempting to impose free market dynamics on something that is totally intangible and pretty much immeasurable.

I think green is a good idea. Global warming or not, I like nature on pricipal alone. However, it's fairly obvious you haven't thought all the effects through. You basically want to remove the access to air travel from a large part of the non-wealthy population. That would force several countries well back down the development tree (by removing their ability to compete globally) who have massive populations. As the income for those countries fell carbon emissions would go UP not down globally.
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osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:34 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 26):
Or if not, we can ask why not.

See my post above. Aviation is a driver for economic growth (as well as a byproduct). If you cut off poor nations from flight you kill their chances to advance and they will never cut emissions in the other areas.
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ikramerica
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:34 am

CO2 is the pollutant du jour, mainly because the USA produces a great deal of it. CO2 contributes very little to global warming. H20 contributes much, much, much more. There is more of it, and it has a much higher ratio of impact into the greenhouse effect that keeps our earth from being a cold ball of ice. And this environment does go through heating and cooling cycles without the help of man. At times, temperate zones were covered in glaciers. At other times, arctic zones were covered in swamps. Man didn't do this.

But man does have the unique ability among the animals to project all of the operations of the earth onto themselves, through their religions and their science, unwilling to accept that anything could be outside of our control or explanation. It is this futile attempt to control nature that keeps us going, and fighting.

But to answer the question, cheap air travel is likely destroying the environment. Not by adding CO2 to the air, but by transporting lots and lots of people to far off places where they feel it's their right to trample said environment. No places on earth are safe any more, and finding pristine, natural environments is very rare.

Further, cheap airfares lead to build up of resorts on every viable beach in the world, leading to pollution of the local shorelines, destruction of the reefs, etc.

Imagine if only the very wealthy could go to "paradise." It wouldn't be the so threatened. But that's too elitist. Tourism creates a lot of jobs, and helps make poorer people less poor by flowing money into their cities.

The question is really complicated, but frankly, everything mankind does does some damage to the environment. The real question is how severe, and is it permanent.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:36 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 29):
But man does have the unique ability among the animals to project all of the operations of the earth onto themselves, through their religions and their science, unwilling to accept that anything could be outside of our control or explanation. It is this futile attempt to control nature that keeps us going, and fighting.

I'd say we're kinda 50/50 on the global warming thing. But we contribute just by breathing. We've expanded like a virus in terms of population in the last 100 years and we put both water and co2 into the air every time we exhale.
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:40 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 27):
I think green is a good idea. Global warming or not, I like nature on pricipal alone. However, it's fairly obvious you haven't thought all the effects through. You basically want to remove the access to air travel from a large part of the non-wealthy population. That would force several countries well back down the development tree (by removing their ability to compete globally) who have massive populations. As the income for those countries fell carbon emissions would go UP not down globally.

There are many Caribbean nations (the Dominican Republic especially, and increasingly Cuba) that rely heavily on air travel to pull them out of the third world, and allow them to be part of the global economic community. Twenty-Five years ago the Dominican Republic ranked as the second or third poorest nation in the western hemisphere and the poorest of all in North America. Now look at it. Charter carriers full of Canadians and Europeans coming for three weeks at a time to "all-inclusives" have helped this country much more than exporting a few baseball players to the US/Canada. Think about that dynamic as well.
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osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:42 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 26):
You are right. That is why Kyoto was invented. In includes all industries on a unified framework. Aviation is just another industry. Even if it's not "the problem," it can do its fair share. Or if not, we can ask why not.

One thing I'm curious about (as an aside) is what are YOU doing. You're preaching, but what are you practicing. It starts with you. Do you chose to fly the carrier with the most modern fleet to the protect the environment, regardless of cost. Do you have a fuel efficient vehicle that you drive only when you have to, taking public transit the rest of the time. Do you recycle fully?

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 31):
There are many Caribbean nations (the Dominican Republic especially, and increasingly Cuba) that rely heavily on air travel to pull them out of the third world,

They were just one example (witness the part of my post re tourism being an economic driver).. then note my flag  Smile. I'm well aware of the problems and successes of many of the Caribbean nations.
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lightsaber
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:41 pm

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 22):
Fine, but don't forget to increase Jet-A by $1 per gallon. Or is aviation not fuel efficient enough to compete?

Good point, but cars pollute far more per gallon burned... so actually, the tax should be distributed asymetrically just based on that. Why? Gas turbines are continuous combustion devices, cars are intermitant combustion. CO2 is only one aspect of pollution. UHC, CO, NOx are all *far* more chemically reactive and thus do the disproportionate part of the environmental damage. How detailed do you want me to get? I'm a combustion engineer.

Personally, I am sad there is *not* public tranport to where I'm currently working.  Sad I do recycle and I end up *walking* quite a bit to avoid starting a car or otherwise adding pollution.  Smile

But there does need to be some economic cost analysis done on how the CO2 emissions are regulated. Why? Otherwise the economy could be shut down pretty quickly. Heck, let's see if the environment is as big of a concern for you in a year. (I'm very bearish on the economy right now... but that's another topic.) Cars... consume a lot more oil than they contribute.  Smile

Of course that gets to how does one get electricity (source) etc.

Lightsaber
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osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:05 pm

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 33):
But there does need to be some economic cost analysis done on how the CO2 emissions are regulated. Why? Otherwise the economy could be shut down pretty quickly. Heck, let's see if the environment is as big of a concern for you in a year. (I'm very bearish on the economy right now... but that's another topic.) Cars... consume a lot more oil than they contribute.

Of course that gets to how does one get electricity (source) etc.

Like I said we need to attack the true source of the problem, not some fringe aspect of it. The problem is even the 'clean' energy isn't. Solar Panels require gobs of energy and by and large leave a hideous mess of chemicals, etc. after manufacturing. Wind power is interesting, but god knows what would happen if we throw up too many of them (they could AT LEAST affect local weather patterns). Not to mention how much space they require that has to be free of obstructions, out of migratory paths, etc.

And don't even get me started on the joke they call hydrogen 'power'. Our best bet is the one most folks like the least right now IMHO, and that's good old fashioned (funny I'm calling it old fashioned) fission.

Fission and less of this whole 'I love my car'. Less of the 'I love my car' would also solve that whole problem of fat a** syndrome as folks might walk more than 10 feet a day
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ikramerica
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:31 pm

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 34):
Our best bet is the one most folks like the least right now IMHO, and that's good old fashioned (funny I'm calling it old fashioned) fission.

And this is what makes me so mad. For decades environmentalists fought tooth and nail against nuclear power plants, and by and large made them impossible to build in the USA. At the same time, those same people are advocates of more and more people entering the USA without any controls. And then they call us evil for producing so much CO2.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:44 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 35):
And this is what makes me so mad. For decades environmentalists fought tooth and nail against nuclear power plants, and by and large made them impossible to build in the USA. At the same time, those same people are advocates of more and more people entering the USA without any controls. And then they call us evil for producing so much CO2.

You have two mixed issues there LOL.. immigration and environmentalism. I'm an environmentalist, but I consider myself what I like to call a 'practical environmentalist'. I realize everything can't be peachy keen right away. I realize that treaties and the like won't work. It's up to everyone to do their part. And everyone starts with me. It also means I don't expect people to live in yurts and grow their own crops while worshiping the sun god.

If everyone did some simple things, things could get a lot better. If on a larger scale we could realize nuclear power is really the best alternative out there we could help ourselves out ALOT. Nuclear is the only way IMHO to do things like electric cars and trains and actually reduce (rather than relocate, which is what happens now) emissions.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
trintocan
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:38 pm

A very interesting debate. The trouble is that climate change is a very difficult thing to assess and one cannot even be sure if some of the global warming of present is due to Man at all or merely a long-term climatic blip entirely attributable to the planet. After all, the Earth has existed far longer than Man - if one put the entire history of the planet on a 12-hour clock, human civilization would represent about one-tenth of a second!

Truth be told, though, Man needs to be mindful of his activities. There are many other sources of greenhouse gases such as cars, industries, power stations and even farm animals. What sets the airliners apart though is that they fly at great altitudes, thus spewing their exhausts further up and thus giving rise to a more pronounced and rapid-onset effect compared to emissions released at ground level.

What the environmental lobby has failed to appreciate though, by and large, is that planes now are far more efficient than they used to be. Some of the ads used to highlight the eco issues still show vintage planes like 707s spewing out thick black smoke when the reality at any modern airport is far different. An up-to-date plane like a 737-800 or A320 is less polluting and uses less fuel on a flight like LHR-EDI or GLA per head compared to cars (assuming it is full or nearly full).

It gets more complicated, though, in terms of considering the transport options available to people. I will talk about the UK for now. If one returned to the London-Scotland routes, the options for getting there include flights on traditional airlines like BA and BD, low cost airlines such as U2, train services such as Virgin services from Euston or GNER from King's Cross, National Express coaches and driving one's car. If we then considered a group of 100 people and assume they are travelling in average groups of 2, we would need one plane, one train, 3 buses and 50 cars for each option. The planes invariably use the most fuel in absolute terms and thus appear to be the least efficient option. Despite this, when one considers that the average plane placed on Scotland routes holds about 150, if the plane is completely full then the fuel burn per head comes down considerably, well below that of the cars. The low cost airlines may even be considered more efficient than the traditionals by seating more per flight (no first class, which lowers total capacity and raises fuel burn per head) and using less-congested airports (STN or LTN rather than LHR!).

The trains are even more efficient though as they can seat far more (up to 400 or so) and use less fuel. Electric trains are more efficient than diesel ones but electrification of the UK network is very patchy, the East and West Coast lines are though (the lines to Wales are not). The trouble with the electrics arises in the source of the power used to run them, in the UK this often ultimately returns to coal-fired power stations - pollution hot-houses. The railways have had major problems in the UK though, what with old permanent way, perennial track works, many delays and cancellations to the point that in recent years the railways have haemorrhaged frustrated passengers to the airlines. Were the railways better run, fewer people would fly.

I would not consider the bus for very long; needless to say it would be more efficient than the car and probably comparable with the train but few would want to sit in a bus for that sort of time (7 or so hours) unless they had no other option (cost issues, for instance).

We thus see on one front that if railway services were more efficient in the UK the level of internal air travel may be reduced. What the campaigners also hit on are the increased numbers of flights to other EU countries and beyond. Again there is a viable rail option via the Channel Tunnel. Again major issues have shot this option down in overall efficiency, namely the enormous cost of building and running the tunnel and the high user charges imposed on the operators. This has meant high fares and perhaps lower levels of service than potentially available so that, even though the Eurostar has grabbed a huge share of the London to Paris market, it may not make further gains.

Finally, the increased wealth of consumers has seen more people travel more often. Eco-taxes may help to limit this though for many it may be seen as little more than a mild annoyance - but the poorer in society would be hit more and be less able to travel abroad. The overall impact of increased travel needs to be considered in terms of increased wealth in the host countries (eg the Caribbean) which tends to reduce some destructive activities (eg deforestation for subsistence agriculture) but may cause others (eg more car ownership).

In total, then, it is a very complex and multi-faceted matter concerning pollution, resource depletion and Man's impact on the Earth - far more complex than the over-zealous eco warriors pointing at the airborne orange flashes seem to want to admit.

TrinToCan.
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robsawatsky
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Sat Oct 21, 2006 5:10 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 30):
I'd say we're kinda 50/50 on the global warming thing. But we contribute just by breathing. We've expanded like a virus in terms of population in the last 100 years and we put both water and co2 into the air every time we exhale.

Yes, but we are part of a biological cycle that ingests carbon (food from animals and plants), water and oxygen (from air) so that there is no little or no net change to the various constituents in this interchange of elements. If we were living still as basic hunter-gatherers and assuming our population could be supported by the wild food available, then there would be no net change to CO2. The problem is when we unleash vast amounts of carbon in a relatively short period of time by using fossil fuels that have no balancing biological or geological counterpart. Global warming is an extremely complex subject that unfortunately is overly simplified by both proponents and opponents of the various theories. All of the ideas advanced here on the subject touch only upon small slices of the issue. I've done some digging around on the subject for personal interest and the best sites (but also the toughest to read) are scholarly research sites that make no emotional pleas pro or con but simply present the latest research and most importantly highlight the inconsistencies between the various theories, models and historic records.
 
vv701
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Sat Oct 21, 2006 5:42 am

My starting point is that I am not convinced that carbon emissions - primarily CO2 - are responsible for global warming. For example when the Romans invaded Britain 2000 years ago they planted vineyards. In the nineteenth century Britain certainly was not warm enough to grow the grape. Indeed then the River Thames used to freeze over most winters and it has only done so once in my recollection of the last 50 years. So we clearly had global cooling and equally clearly now have - for whatever reason - global warming.

The argument about CHEAP air travel destroying the environment is predicated on two factors. Certainly in the UK the introduction of LCCs has resulted in an explosive growth in air travel. Although aviation only accounts for around 5 per cent of the UK emissions of so-called greenhouse gasses, it is expected to grow and continue to grow rapidly.

In the UK it is politically correct to criticise the USA because it did not sign the Kyoto Agreement. We Brits are, of course, whiter than white because we signed it. The fact that our total carbon emissions are growing and we stand no chance of meeting the 2012 targets we signed up to is seen as almost being irrelevant!

If low cost air travel from the UK continues to grow at current rates it is almost certain that instead of reducing our emissions of 'greenhouse' gases they will grow.

However does this matter in a worldwide context? I recently read (Sunday Telegraph Travel Section, date?) that in southeast Asian countries like Thailand those in the travel industry are quickly trying to learn Chinese because within two to three years around 50 million Chinese will be taking foreign holidays. So how many will be taking them in twenty or thirty years - now there's a market for an enlarged model of the 380. But we are already likely to see explosive growth in Chinese travel and the resulting increased carbon emissions will put any reduction (or growth) in those of the already developed countries totally into the shade. And then, of course there is India. There the number of UK-India flights have already virtually doubled in the last 12 months!
 
khobar
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:29 am

"Ten years ago, Danish researchers Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christensen first hypothesized that cosmic rays from space influence the Earth’s climate by effecting cloud formation in the lower atmosphere. Their hypothesis was based on a strong correlation between levels of cosmic radiation and cloud cover – that is, the greater the cosmic radiation, the greater the cloud cover. Clouds cool the Earth’s climate by reflecting about 20 percent of incoming solar radiation back into space.

"The hypothesis was potentially significant because during the 20th century, the influx of cosmic rays was reduced by a doubling of the sun’s magnetic field which shields the Earth from cosmic rays. According to the hypothesis, then, less cosmic radiation would mean less cloud formation and, ultimately, warmer temperatures – precisely what was observed during the 20th century."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,220341,00.html
 
Luis777
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:38 am

I will not fly anymore, my next travel overseas I'll try to do it by ship, maybe an old vessel, caravelle or clipper would work, if I travel domestically then a donkey or a horse could be my choice.  spin 

Regards

LG
 
supa7E7
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:02 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 27):
The whole carbon credits thing is the worst example of attempting to impose free market dynamics on something that is totally intangible and pretty much immeasurable.

Again, Kyoto reflects world consensus and has been ratified. You're not just talking to me. It's 166 countries. It's not preliminary, it's a done deal.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 27):
I think green is a good idea. Global warming or not, I like nature on pricipal alone. However, it's fairly obvious you haven't thought all the effects through. You basically want to remove the access to air travel from a large part of the non-wealthy population. That would force several countries well back down the development tree (by removing their ability to compete globally) who have massive populations. As the income for those countries fell carbon emissions would go UP not down globally.

I'm not particularly insecure about Kyoto, which is a world consensus not my opinion, even if you think it's a foolish thing.

Maybe over on electricityfans.net they feel electricity is so nice we shouldn't subject it to Kyoto. Trainlovers.net, they love trains probably. So what?

Capitalist markets will delegate energy where it is needed most, just as they do today.

I agree with you that aviation is not likely to decline nor burn less CO2. It will keep its rightful place as a big focus for our energy use worldwide. But there is no moral being in charge of that. The capitalist system handles all these judgments automatically.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 39):
My starting point is that I am not convinced that carbon emissions - primarily CO2 - are responsible for global warming.

It is so odd that people feel remotely qualified to comment on climatology, advanced statistics, physics models etc before they have earned their PhDs on those topics. How is yours coming along?

Quoting VV701 (Reply 39):
But we are already likely to see explosive growth in Chinese travel and the resulting increased carbon emissions will put any reduction (or growth) in those of the already developed countries totally into the shade. And then, of course there is India.

China and India are energy efficient wonders compared to the West. They feed 2.4 billion people on less energy than the EU/USA consume. Their emissions will increase and it should be firmly controlled, I agree with you.

Quoting Trintocan (Reply 37):
An up-to-date plane like a 737-800 or A320 is less polluting and uses less fuel on a flight like LHR-EDI or GLA per head compared to cars (assuming it is full or nearly full).

Absolutely not. No jet can compete with an efficient 4-place car, filled with 4 people. That's 140MPG per person (35 MPG vehicle). For a 280 mi flight with 150 pax, that would give a jet only 300 gallons for the flight. Good luck, A320!! LOL.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
khobar
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:14 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 42):
It is so odd that people feel remotely qualified to comment on climatology, advanced statistics, physics models etc before they have earned their PhDs on those topics. How is yours coming along?

Earning a PhD does not free one from having a political agenda.

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 42):
China and India are energy efficient wonders compared to the West. They feed 2.4 billion people on less energy than the EU/USA consume. Their emissions will increase and it should be firmly controlled, I agree with you.

Are they eating on the same level as in the West? For example, does the average Indian or Chinese have the same level of choice as in the West?

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 42):
Absolutely not. No jet can compete with an efficient 4-place car, filled with 4 people. That's 140MPG per person (35 MPG vehicle). For a 280 mi flight with 150 pax, that would give a jet only 300 gallons for the flight. Good luck, A320!! LOL.

The car loaded down with 4 pax, their luggage, *AND* a profitable amount of cargo traveling 500 mph is hardly going to get 35mpg.
 
osiris30
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:36 pm

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 42):
Again, Kyoto reflects world consensus and has been ratified. You're not just talking to me. It's 166 countries. It's not preliminary, it's a done deal.

And many countries (including my own) have paid no attention to it since it was ratified. The fact that the biggest contributers of CO2 in the next 50 years *are not* a part of it speaks volumes to it's validity.

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 42):
I'm not particularly insecure about Kyoto, which is a world consensus not my opinion, even if you think it's a foolish thing.

At one time slavery was an accepted world practice (by and large). The world isn't always right. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for being 'green'. But I think we should FOCUS the efforts in the right places. Kyoto is a neat concept, but it's flawed in many ways.

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 42):
China and India are energy efficient wonders compared to the West. They feed 2.4 billion people on less energy than the EU/USA consume. Their emissions will increase and it should be firmly controlled, I agree with you.

They aren't part of Kyoto. And even if they are, how are you going to force them to play along. They will be just like the rest of the world when the catch up. It's only natural. The UK is way off the mark. Canada is also missing badly and both those countries signed on. Others I'm not sure of because I can't be arsed to check.

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 42):
Absolutely not. No jet can compete with an efficient 4-place car, filled with 4 people. That's 140MPG per person (35 MPG vehicle). For a 280 mi flight with 150 pax, that would give a jet only 300 gallons for the flight. Good luck, A320!! LOL.

Which brings me back to: What are YOU doing to help the cause? You haven't answered that question twice prior to this. Will this mark the third time you talk a good game but do nothing? I love how you quote the peak efficency for the car too. It's rare that a car packed with 4 people will even drive 140 miles non-stop, which is what the 35MPG is calculated on. Plus I'm dieing for you to tell me how the car drives *over* instead of *around* the giant lake.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
LuvAIr
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:07 am

Sometimes I feel that there is the notion that being environmentally-conscious equals being uneconomic. Quite the opposite is true, I think that the quest for more environmentally-friendly solutions is actually quite a chance to open up new economic opportunities. And being economic doesn't mean no fun either. Take for example cars: Recently built European automobiles are economic while at the same time being sporty and fun to drive.

Like it was said above, there are for example connections between growing prosperity in some lesser developed countries and air travel. If you were to reduce air travel the saved CO2 emission might easily be set off by these nations not investing in recent technology in other branches. So oversimplyfying and picking on certain 'culprits' is hardly the right approach.

Striving to optimize sustainability in every field, be it transport, industries or even agriculture should go a long way. We should stop bashing each other and take a more positive stance.

On a lighter note: this is my first post on A-net. Hello everybody!
 
LuvAIr
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:18 am

(Maybe my above example is a bit flawed, but I think it gets the point across  Smile)
 
LuvAIr
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:53 pm

(One more: I meant the growing prosperity/air travel relationship when I was refering to the maybe flawed example  Wink)
 
vv701
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:12 am

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 42):
Quoting VV701 (Reply 39):
My starting point is that I am not convinced that carbon emissions - primarily CO2 - are responsible for global warming.

It is so odd that people feel remotely qualified to comment on climatology, advanced statistics, physics models etc before they have earned their PhDs on those topics. How is yours coming along?

Of course. How silly of me. Fancy saying I am not convinced about something without having a doctorate in the subject. You are right. How can anyone without a doctorate dare to express an opinion? And of course no one with a PhD in climatology should express an opinion on anything but climatology. Where are the thought police?

Oh. And by the way back in the 1950s we experienced a prolonged period of cool, damp weather in the UK. In his BBC radio programme at that time the Fellow of the Royal Society and winner of the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Professor Sir Fred Hoyle, more than once predicted that we were entering the Third Ice Age. So it is equally clear that those who are eminently qualified can also express opinions that prove to be ridiculously erroneous. So they must limit their comments to what they can prove. Nobody should express an opinion, belief or conviction.

Yes. It can be proved that there is global warming. Similarly past Ice Ages and the Romans growing grapes in southern England and Victorian Londoners skating on the River Thames prove there have been previous periods of both global warming and global cooling. On most of those occasions I know that carbon emissions were not responsible. I know that the only carbon emissions prior to the nineteenth century were through the burning of wood. I also know that at worst wood burning is carbon neutral as the carbon emissions during burning can only equal the carbon absorbed during growth. Which takes me back to where I started. As global warming has clearly occurred in the past when man-made carbon emissions did not occur and despite not having a doctorate in climatology I am not convinced that carbon emissions - primarily CO2 - are responsible for today's global warming.
 
vv701
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RE: Is Cheap Air Travel Destroying The Enviroment?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:15 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 39):
My starting point is that I am not convinced that carbon emissions

Supa7E7 has criticised me because I expressed a lack of conviction over the CO2 global warming scenario without having a doctorate in climatology. I have now found one of the references that led to my lack of conviction. Just a year ago National Geographic published an article where qualified oceanographers expressed the view that we might be on the threshold of a mini ice-age:
http//:news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/11/1130_051130_ice_age.html