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Link: “What would a flying-free world look like?

Original post found at: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220519-what-if-we-all-stopped-flying

This was an interesting article. As it itself acknowledges, we probably wouldn’t totally get rid of planes or flying. But for climate reasons, we should definitely look to replace as many flights as we can with train journeys (high-speed and/or overnight sleeper trains), teleconferencing, electric bus coach journeys, etc.

As an Australian, it definitely seems clear to me that there will always be airports and flights here. To reach any other land from here will require flying (or, as the article suggests, a return of passenger ships – but the time-consuming nature of that means it’s not very likely to become popular again). Far-flung cities like Perth, Darwin or Cairns will also probably need scheduled passenger flights. But that said, currently a huge chunk of Australia’s aviation emissions are short-distance flights between cities in Australia’s southeast (Melbourne-Sydney, Sydney-Brisbane, etc. – and Sydney-Canberra is absolutely not a route that should ever have existed, the cities are like three hours apart by car!) and this is where high-speed rail would absolutely be a boon. Among infrastructure wonks here it’s kind of a meme, everyone loves the idea of high-speed rail, politicians love promising “feasibility studies” for a temporary boost in the polls, but it’s just not economic. Well, maybe if we actually factored in the externalities of all these fucking short-distance flights, suddenly it would be economic 🤷🏻‍♀️

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