Hotels encourage you to fly out for a stay while they replace single use plastic toiletries with bulk wall mounted shampoo, and offer to let you skip housekeeping, telling you these cost saving measures are out of their concern “for the environment.”
The Dutch government wants to ban flights between Brussels and Amsterdam for the environment since apparently it’s more environmentally friendly to connect at Heathrow or Frankfurt.
Ponder whether you should fly at all, while you continue to have kids and eat meat (China Southern has actually tested offered miles for skipping the inflight meal though they don’t claim it’s ‘for the environment’).
Modern jets are far more efficient than their predecessors, driven in part by $100 a barrel oil we saw at the start of the decade, and biofuel flights are closer to reality than many realize. Aircraft engineering advances do a lot of environmental work, and there have been over a dozen commercial flights powered with biofuel while Qantas begins using a biofuel mix next year. IATA has committed to carbon-neutral airline growth starting next year, and a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.
Tyler Cowen argues that giving up flying isn’t even good signaling of environmental commitment, with all flying accounting for about 2% of carbon emissions.
It is plausible to expect a lot of progress on solar, wind, nuclear and even fracking to cut carbon output. The use of more electric cars and possibly hydrogen vehicles will also help reduce emissions. Food production could be improved significantly if people simply ate less meat.
If you want to raise the status of environmental concerns, you can buy carbon offsets (although many of these regimes seem questionable), “take a stand in favor of nuclear power…educate the public on carbon sequestration…” The more we fly thought he more pressure there is to save on fuel cost driving the sort of advancement that makes flying better for the environment than it is today.