To fly or not to fly

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Evilcat, 29 May 2008.

  1. Evilcat

    Evilcat Senior Member

    This is not intended to be a Soapbox-style climate change argument...but, assuming that air travel is a fairly big contributor to climate change, what level of flying (if any) is acceptable?

    To put this in context, I used to fly a lot for work: weeklies to Glasgow, monthly to the USA and so forth. I don't do that anymore, but I can't seem to shake the flying bug. Sure, we take plenty of UK vacations: bikes on the back of the (diesel) car and off to Cornwall/Wales/Scotland etc. And we are considering northern France or Holland via ferry for the next one. But there's something far more glamorous about flying and arriving in a place so different from home. I love the complexity of airports, the in-flight service, catching up on the crappy films you'd never pay money to see, and the challenge of dealing with very different languages and customs at our destinations.

    We've historically spent time in the US, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, India, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia and many other places, often on round the world tickets, and usually managed to fit in a spot of cycling along the way. But is this a luxury the planet cannot afford? Should we be limiting our flights to only the necessities and looking for alternative transport to nearer climes? Or is managing one's own carbon output in other ways acceptable? We don't have kids, mainly use public transport, have an energy efficient house and energy efficient appliances, recycle what we can and so on. Is that enough?

    Thoughts appreciated. I'm in a moral dilemma at the moment, with a stack of frequent flier miles that are begging to be used!

  2. Night Train

    Night Train Maker of Things

    Greater Manchester
    Personally I love flying but I don't anymore. I only discovered flying a few years ago and have flown on three holidays. I can't justify that anymore as I can do other things for a holiday. However, sometimes there is no option and so fly you must.

    I think it is a matter that only you can decide on as to what is important enough to fly for and what isn't. I wouldn't work on the basis of 'I've been good the rest of the time so I can fly' as flying unnecessarily isn't justified in my book. You may feel different.
  3. Blimey that's a lot of flying. I travel to Canada once, maybe twice a year, and this year I'm going to europe a couple of times, all on business, but generally I holiday in the UK and drive, cycle or take trains because if I want to have fun I don't fly!

    Personally, since the terrorist paranoia has hit home I don't think there is anything glamourous about flying. You just get shoved from pillar to post, poked, prodded, questioned, subject to all kinds of scrutiny, aggressively marketed at, sit around, sit around some more, and then get crammed into a glorified tin can with a load of strangers and forced to eat and drink crap. If you're not being treated as a danger to national security you're treated as a mindless consumer and I find the whole experience a bit pants. I was going to say degrading then but I think that's probably a bit strong.
  4. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    My view is that t isn't for the "little-man" to manage how much civil aviation is carried out. It is for society as a whole, forces beyond our control, governments, international organisations, but not for individual people like you and me to boycott it. We won't get anywhere doing that.
  5. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    Bloody hell....I think I agree with bonj. :biggrin:

    ...and some humour as well (maybe not meant :tongue:)
  6. Maz

    Maz Guru

    Yeah, tell me about it. When airport staff read my name in my passport they go all ashen and call their colleagues over.

    We went to Granada last year and my wife had to open every one of our daughter's jars of baby food and eat a spoonful, to prove it wasn't an explosive substance. By the time we got to Spain, all the food was off and we had to chuck it. Our little'un was very hungry too. :tongue:
  7. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    Don't tell me, you're called Michael Winner :tongue:
  8. Maz

    Maz Guru

    I wouldn't give up the flying. I tend to alternate now between holidaying home and abroad. It eases my conscience, anyway.
  9. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Don't get bullied into doing things that you don't want to do by the environmentalists. They have their agenda to stop everyone else from having fun while they carry on doing whatever the hell they want to, but we don't have to give in to them.
  10. Maz

    Maz Guru

    "Calm down dear, it's only a commercial airline".
  11. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    I dont see it as a problem..what are we to do, [shrugs shoulders]..all stop taking holidays in warmer countries..[/shrugs shoulders]

    I travel for work...nothing can be done about that, without me, or someone else in my place, a facility in another country wont operate as efficiently, and in very simple terms, you wont get your fruit at the supermarket so cheaply.
    I travel for my holidays...who's going to tell me i must'nt. Its a free world. i choose to use my car extremely sparingly.....i also choose to enjoy the luxury of a foreign holiday.
  12. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    You should use that as your avatar ;)
  13. Amanda P

    Amanda P Veteran

    Evilcat, it's a matter for your own conscience. But if you find yourself thinking that hard about it, probably your answer is: don't fly, and you won't have to think up excuses why you did.

    I've never enjoyed it, though I have to fly now and again for work. For European jobs, I take the train these days. Far more relaxed than flying and you can actually enjoy the journey. European sleeper trains aren't all quite the Orient Express, but they're pretty damn good.

    For the US, there's really no alternative, but I don't go there more often than I have to.
  14. Cor! What a poxy pic sure know how to welcome someone to the thread ;)

    Finished your strained apples yet - you naughty boy?!
  15. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Guru

    I used to fly a bit with my last job. In the last few years I always used to find myself flying to North America once or twice a year. Although there wasn't much alternative, and I enjoyed travel and the ego boost, it also made me feel rather guilty. I was pretty good otherwise, but this undermined everything I did. I wouldn't fly for a holiday.
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