I’ve been living with this nagging issue for a few years now. After a long period of many intercontinental business trips and working assigments as well as foreign vacation travel from a UK home, I’ve had a self-inflicted period of choosing to live and work abroad in Australia, USA & Norway. I have thereby been travelling by air more often (and paradoxically with ever cheaper airlines) for domestic or vacation reasons, and family members as well as myself.

I still firmly believe that everyone who wants to hold an international opinion, needs to get out more and see the world – I’ve been very “lucky” in that respect.

But of course the carbon-footprint and oil-dependency of air-travel is inescapable in both global-warming and energy sustainability terms. (Funny just typing that I can just see my Dad saying, some oooh 35/40 years ago, whilst looking up a high-altitude vapour trails criss-crossing the skies , that the scale of aircraft environmental damage was obvious.)

I also firmly believe that even with increasingly sophisticated remote-team-working possibilities, that if international working is part of our economy, then there is still a need for person-to-person working in the flesh to achieve shared understanding and concensus in decision-making. But that brings economic globalization itself into the sustainability equation too.

Anyway, the relative significance of air-travel to other carbon-footprint contributions is plain to see. It was Sue Blackmore that I first saw pledge to give-up air travel – I wonder how close to completely giving-up she actually achieved.

So as well as pledging not to contribute further to the primary problem of global population 😉 I intend that my next move, will be “home” and to a working pattern that can be conducted satisfactorily close to home with less remote team-working needed within one year. Minimal if not zero air-travel. (And I’ll consider voting for anyone that pledges to tax air travel generally – and penalize the cheap carriers disproportionately – and specifically subsidize educational exchange travel with 20% of the take.)

5 thoughts on “Pledge”

  1. air flight is the least of our problems china are reportedly building one coal fired power station a week no one will stop it because they have never contributed to global warming in the past

  2. Not sure about the relative / absolute numbers, but I get your point. All part of the global sustainability issue – how to handle the economic scale of the “developing contries”. At least China has recognized population and consumption as the root cause. We share the same planet.

  3. yes well i get the impression from the uk government and others in the west 1 can not stop these countries from emerging for the previous reasons. But the sacrifice will be in the west, with good reason also for the previous reason. My problem is that the western populace are not listening. ok we have the infrastructure rail road tram systems and air flight. We also have the technology for remotely working from home. and a lot more, i fear a life on benefits for many until they get to grips with what is available, all i see is people playing games on computers when the processing power of even a small notepad is vast, Many are going to miss the boat and that saddens me but it is their own fault and nothing i say will alter that, The problem is that western users of computers see them as toys or entertainment items and could not even conceive of them as work tools. Ok this audience on here are more likely to be a bit more savy but i am talking about the man in the street. Ok i have worked at grass roots level for the most of my life so maybe i am looking at it from the wrong angle but i do not think so. I posted this on one of my own sites i watched the miners strike and thought why are they bothering if you can buy it somewhere else for less that is what will happen no contest. and ps i did not agree with how it was done. but it had to be done, i am pretty sure the general population is being sold out but there is no choice in the matter get smart or get on benefits the information is out there so i suppose you can not argue with it. ok i will sum it up the general population would not understand how much work they would have to put in to get to a situation where a computer will provide them with a living, but once it does that is it forever and that is a fact on a lighter note i am not an academic but learnt it by doing it again and again and in truth that is all it is practice and it does not cost anything well very little

  4. On the use of IT – I agree with you. We can use by simply doing – using it for more than mere entertainment – as we are doing here. In terms of working with people remotely, it clearly helps and creates new opportunities, but as I said, it is not a complete substitute for human relationships, working or otherwise.

    In terms of developed and developing nations it’s not a matter of “us” preventing or permitting “them” from anything, but “we” needing a sustainable future.

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