Environmentalists or Luddites?
Lately, environmentalists have become obsessed with air travel as the great evil of our time. Never mind that it brings families closer, or that it makes travel affordable for those who wouldn't have dreamt of travelling abroad 40 years ago. According to the Stern report, aircraft account for just 1.6% of emissions, so why all the fuss?
I often wonder whether environmentalists are more against technology than against the pollution it causes? Instead of demonising motorists, why not promote environmentally friendly cars such as hyprids and other cars that use alternative fuels? Instead of being anti-plane, why not promote incentives for airlines to reduce carbon emissions?
Environmentalists need to start being realistic, people are only going to give up their cars and their flights if there is a viable alternative. The other week, I had to travel from Hendon to Watford by public transport as I didn't have a car. I had to walk ten minutes, catch a bus, and then catch a train. The public transport was fast reliable and clean, but it still took three times as long to get there as it would have taken by car. Next time I'll be driving.
I walk wherever possible, I recycle my rubbish, I drive a fuel efficient car, and I like to travel by public transport wherever possible, but giving up flying is a different matter. My relatives live in Israel and Canada, so there isn't much of an alternative to flying. I already have to pay £130 in travel tax, and in February the taxes get even higher, but I have news for you Gordon Brown, I don't plan to give up flying.
Environmentalism isn't a black and white issue, it's in all of our interests to care about the environment, but when there's no alternative to flying or driving, we shouldn't feel guilty about it.