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Green Flight

As much a carbon offset scheme as a pancake is a waffle.
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Unless you’re laying waste to large areas of forest or driving a hummer 24/7, flying long-haul is likely to be one of the most environmentally damaging acts that you will do in a year. And yet we still do it. There are meetings that just won’t have the same impact if we’re not there in person, family and friends to see, and places in the world that I feel enriched for having visited. After all, even environmental activists need to get around.

It’s the last of these that made me think of this. An environmental activist flew to an environmental summit to speak and was promptly excoriated on Twitter for having done so. The trouble is, the same people would have taken her to task for not having attended. It did my head in: there seemed to be no way to win here.

Enter the Green Flight ticket (name TBC). This would be a travel booking organisation that would audit travel and would partner with environmental charities to repair the damage done. They would book your flight, audit the environmental damage done by undertaking it and the cost of putting right that damage. No corporate half-measures here: a serious look at the full impact of your flight upon the world. Finally they would charge you for the flight and three times the cost of the damage. Once for you, once for a random stranger, and once to raise funds for environmental research/awareness and to cover the audit and their costs, plus a declared fixed amount of profit.

Finally they would supply you with a huge ticket with a recognisable logo that you can prominently carry at the airport, showing all the media-hungry jackals exactly what you have done. This would be ticket with a logo big enough to show up in any shots of you that are papped at the airport. A condition of ticket purchase would be to make your flights a matter of public record after the fact, lessening the effect of people mocking up big green tickets to signal non-existent virtue.

But, I hear you say, isn’t this just a carbon offset scheme: they already exist. Yes, in the same sort of way as a pancake is a waffle. :) It’s a way of providing a thorough published audit of flying, of mitigating long-haul flight and getting politicians and media celebrities to put their money where their mouths are.

Would airlines do this? Well, they’d try to jump on the bandwagon when it had enough momentum but they’d never be first. Airlines thrive on people burying their heads in the sand when it comes to the consequences of international travel and there is no way they would want to publicise this.

Will airlines try to rubbish this organisation, attempt to trivialise the research and make ad hominem attacks against its founders? Almost certainly. Would it be worth it? Well… *that* is the question.

st3f, Jul 05 2019

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       Oh no it isn't. The question is, "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them."
  

       // flying long-haul is likely to be one of the most environmentally damaging acts that you will do in a year. //   

       Compared to, just as example, clearing large areas of vegetation by using a flamethrower fuelled by palm oil and a bulldozer, then covering the cleared area with a thick layer of concrete so as to amke it sutable for parking numerous classic motor veehicles and a large pile of coal for the steam traction engine ?
8th of 7, Jul 05 2019
  

       How many classic motor veehicles exactly?
pocmloc, Jul 05 2019
  

       There's a clue to [8th]'s origins in the manner in which he spells "veehicles".   

       And how exactly are we defining classic?
normzone, Jul 05 2019
  

       A "classic" car is defined as an e-Type jaguar.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 05 2019
  

       //e-Type jaguar//   

       Oh so only cars that have to be towed into place?
unhelpful_fool, Jul 07 2019
  
      
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