Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fly me to the moon

One of the most difficult hurdles in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is air travel. Unlike with the automobiles, there are currently no clear alternative fuels or propulsion systems for airplanes. And air passenger miles are expected to double in a decade or two.

So it is not surprising to see environmental groups in countries committed to cutting GHG emissions start doing the math on their government's air travel habit (from the Independent):

The inevitable head-on collision between Britain's climate change and aviation policies moves a step closer today with figures showing the total distance flown by the Government's own ministers and senior officials last year alone is equivalent to 14 return trips to the Moon.

Tony Blair, his cabinet colleagues and their officials clocked up 6.5 million air miles, according to the Cabinet Office's list of flights during the 2005-2006 financial year - and in doing so pumped almost 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, analysis shows.

I'd be curious to see this result for a US election campaign, in which the candidates, especially the presidential candidates, seem to crisscross the country almost daily (are travel logs or schedules readily available?). New York-San Francisco is about ten times the distance of London - Brussels.

At least now some fuel is being saved by cutting out all that evil shampoo and toothpaste that was being carelessly toted onboard.

No comments: