This is a guest post by Tom Bennion of stopflying.org, the first in a series in which he explores why he believes giving up flying is not only possible, but essential.
- globally, flying accounts for only a few percent of emissions, so why bother
- per kilometre, emissions are about the same as a family car
- offsets are possible
- biofuels are coming
- I am taking other (invariably much less effective) measures such as changing lightbulbs
- I am (now) very worried about the impact on tourism of x country if I do not fly
- you are making me feel guilty – stop it
- you want to take us back to the middle ages – stop it
- China and coal are the big problems. What we do as individuals doesnt really count.
- finally appreciating at a gut level that the future will be quite difficult for my children;
- finding out that CO2 emissions are persistent in the atmosphere and warm over an extraordinarily long time (around 1000 years) — so every emission saved today counts.
Why couldn’t I have my brother, who lives in Dublin, sitting virtually on my sofa, enjoying a live test match?
Imagine that we focus our efforts on generating a socially held belief. What would change in the way we present climate science?Well, for one thing we would become far more concerned about the communicators and their perceived trustworthiness. Trustworthiness is an elusive and complex bundle of qualities: authority and expertise are among them. But so too are less tangible qualities: honesty, confidence, charm, humour, outspokenness. The tiny network of maverick self-promoting skeptics play this game well – which is one of the reasons why they exercise such disproportionate influence over public opinion.