Link: “One percent of the world’s population accounts for more than half of flying emissions”

Original post found at: https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/one-percent-worlds-population-accounts-more-half-flying-emissions

I can’t say I’m surprised; it’s always seemed like those to blame for aviation-related emissions are not really ordinary people who jet off for the occasional holiday,1 but business travellers who fly multiple times a week (and as this article says, especially those with private planes).

Of course, I think wherever possible, high-speed trains should be used ins­tead of planes, being considerably less polluting as well as way more pleasant to travel on. Australia could eliminate the need for sooooo much flying if we had a high-speed line connecting every city from Adelaide around to Bris­bane. But not everywhere is easily accessible without flying (think about islands, or relatively isolated cities like Perth…). Sometimes I see “environmentalists” online basically arguing to abolish aviation, but it’s not really a huge problem if people occasionally take a long-haul flight, or a flight to one of these isolated/island places. The bulk of the emissions are from frequent flyers, who are predominantly concentrated on short-haul routes like Mel­bourne-Syd­ney that could easily be replaced with trains.

  1. Although note, the article also says that only 11% of the world’s population flew at all in 2018 (as a representative, recent pre-Covid year), so this definition of “ordinary people” is definitely skewed towards the “ordinary people” of relatively affluent, developed countries. But still. ↩︎

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.