Talk about Newsnight

Ethical Man - Justin Rowlatt

Have you given up flying?

  • Newsnight
  • 22 Sep 06, 11:54 AM

plane_203.jpgFor Justin Rowlatt's next Ethical Man film, he'll be looking at holidays and flying. When he had his carbon footprint taken at the start of this project air travel for his family holiday accounted for a massive chunk of his emissions - so, he's mended his ways and given up flying for a year. Of course, he thinks he's pretty special for doing that - but is he alone? We've heard quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that other people are ditching the wings in favour of other kinds of holidays and travel. Are you one of them? Have you quit flying for good? Let us know and we'll bring you the results of this most unscientific of surveys in October.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:35 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Elaine wrote:

In the real world, plenty of people don't hop on and off flights at the drop of a hat. On average over the last ten years I've probably flown once every two years, the last time being around 18 months ago.

  • 2.
  • At 12:36 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Mark Griffiths wrote:

Yes, I've given up.

  • 3.
  • At 12:36 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Jane Harris wrote:

I have not flown since the beginning of this year ans recently went to the South-West of France by Spain. it was lovely - we stopped in Paris for lunch. The last hour of the 5 hour train journey was a bit arduous, but it's all well worth it. Am now off to Amsterdam by train next week - it's actually just as quick as flying once you take into account getting to and from the airport at both ends.

But we can't just rely on the actions of individuals to tackle climate change. We need far faster trains - the 5 hour journey I did in France could have been done in 3 hours if the faster trains used in South East France had been used. And Britain's even worse.

  • 4.
  • At 12:37 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Emily wrote:

I went to Cornwall on holiday this year - planned well before the disruption to flights, but I was glad of it once that happened. I partly wanted to not fly to go on holiday for green reasons (last holiday I did the Trans-Siberian express - so only flew one-way: does that count?!), and partly wanted to explore more of my own country before spending hours travelling to discover somewhere else. I've long thought that gap-year students might be much better off travelling the UK - both the beautiful isolated and the urban disadvantaged parts - before trying to get their 'life experience' somewhere they'll never live and probably never go to again.

  • 5.
  • At 12:38 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Peter Hughes wrote:

Neither terrorists nor global warming will put me off flying. (I wonder how many people fear the former, but state the latter.) I wish to live in a world where people move about. I should prefer to fly in a plane fuelled by bio-kerosine, and would pay 10% more to do so.

I have only ever flown once, in a light aircraft when I used to run a Venture Scout Unit.
Otherwise all of our holidays have been taken in the UK in the last 10 years.
Why on earth would I want to go abroad? I havent finished being surprised by what this country has to offer yet.
Oh, and I run my (15 year old) car on bio-diesel and have done for a number of years.

  • 7.
  • At 12:39 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Barry Morris wrote:

Hi Newsnight,

I have given up flying altogether, I have never been a real fan of flying but after recent incidents I believe the risks are too great. Ny holidays are now taken by car and boat, however, I have to say that security measures in place for boat travel leave a lot to be desired. I recently travelled to the Channel Islands and there was no searches of any bags or luggage. I believe this is another area which could be exploited by terrorists. When I travelled that day there were 750 people on the boat, significant target ??

Barry Morris

  • 8.
  • At 12:39 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Jim wrote:

I haven't quit flying but I've decided to use alternative methods whenever possible and only travel whenever necessary. Environmental concerns form a big part of this but the clincher for me is the recent hysterical reaction to security concerns. It has become a very unpleasant business and I now only fly whenever work requires it.

No, I haven't given up flying, in fact I bought another airplane after going ten years without. My credit card buys the fuel and gives me frequent flyer miles for those times when I have to fly comercially, like across oceans or over thunderstorms.

  • 10.
  • At 12:40 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Nicholas J Dear wrote:

No - I haven't given up flying. Giving up flying is one way of reducing emissions but I think in the longer term (and for economic prosperity too) we need to find alternative fuel sources which are far cleaner for the environment. There's no doubt that aviation is a big contributer to CO2 emissions but I think we should be focussing on challenging aircraft manufacturers to *urgently* produce alternatives rather than dismissing flying altogether.

  • 11.
  • At 12:40 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • john pennington wrote:

Usually 2 holidays abroad ( long haul ) Not this year or for the forseable future. The hassle at airports plus a twinge of concience made us find alternative holidays in this country.

  • 12.
  • At 12:41 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • David Hoey wrote:

Absolutely not.If I had to give up flying my business meetings on the mainland would have to reached by ferry/car. Quite apart from the hours parked on Britain's motorways, and finding parking in London, and the ability to predict travel times (bad enough with the short car hire journeys), the cost of doing business would rocket.

Holidays. The further away the better.

  • 13.
  • At 12:41 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Tony Gillingham wrote:

I used to fly to Brussels every week and then onto other cities. Now I either drive or take the train, it's not only more environmentally considerate but it's actually easier and more comfortable and doesn't take that much longer.

  • 14.
  • At 12:41 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • tareke alemu wrote:

I received your message as soon as with in a few minutes later. and i am happy now as usual time. please don't late.



  • 15.
  • At 12:42 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Hugh McCallion wrote:

My friend is an avid recycler and announces at opportunities about how concerned he is with the environment etc. He also goes on numerous low cost fares every year. I do neither and feel better for it.

As an acoustic consultant, working all over the world I find it impossible to avoid flying altogether but I have so far managed to cut down by using video conferencing and image transfering software to put myself with the client.
Cheap travel has enabled many business people to expand their customer base enormously and therefore the British economy has certainly benefitted, although I noticed an increased flow in the other direction, especially high quality, well desgned products from Italy and Germany.

  • 17.
  • At 12:44 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • mark heal wrote:

Yes I have given up air travel.
I used to visit New England and Catalonia several times a year.

  • 18.
  • At 12:44 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • S Clarke wrote:

We have certainly cut it down and take ferries when we can (ugh!). However, I am not convinced by what I've seen so far and would like more detail of how the figures for emissions related to flying are arrived at in terms of each individual. It does seem to me that sardine-tins flying out to Torremolinos for the annual holiday are a different proposition from company flights across the oceans.

  • 19.
  • At 12:44 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Duncan Rogerson wrote:

I've given up flying, unless I have to travel for work and there's no good alternative. I'd like to say it was because of my green conscience, but it's actually because I just don't want to deal with the paranoia inspired security at airports, or spend more endless hours crammed into an aeroplane seat. There's lots of places in the UK and Europe that I've yet to see which can easily be reached with cars, trains and ferries.

  • 20.
  • At 12:44 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Ray wrote:

Yes for both safety and enviromental reasons - as an added bonus we've rediscovered the joys of domestic holidaying and the beauty of this country having recently vacationed in the Lake District and Devon.

No more hanging about at airports, restrictions on hand luggage, delays or cancellations, being ferried around the complex like cattle, inconvenient journey times, etc., etc., for us!

  • 21.
  • At 12:46 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • John wrote:

My family and I gave up flying for holidays/pleasure five years ago. The reasons for this are a combination of environmental issues and travelling with young children, as well as a keen desire to show our children what a beautiful country we live in.

That said, I have not stopped flying for business, as a senior lecturer and research associate I travel to Canada and SE Asia once a year for the purposes of teaching and/or research (topic: Sustainable Development). On a positive note, my University pays for the Carbon ofsett for the journey through the company "Climate Care".

  • 22.
  • At 12:47 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • rachel wrote:

I have tried as hard as possible to give up flying. I've not managed entirely but I basically try and stick to the code of not taking flights if it's to anywhere within Europe, even if that means spending an extra day getting there on the train. If it's a transatlantic trip I will fly but because they're so much more expensive anyway they don't happen very often, so by cutting down on my inter-Europe flights I'm chopping out 90% of my flying as it's been up to now.
I've only been doing this since Jan 07, after a 6 month period where I was flying between the UK and Germany about once a month, and feeling terribly guilty about it.

  • 23.
  • At 12:48 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Mike wrote:

I have not given up flying - but I do think carfully about going.

I think the world economy needs air transportation so we need to find new fuels .... are there new fuels suitable for aircraft?

  • 24.
  • At 12:48 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Stephen Jones - Penarth, UK wrote:

I have not flown for the last four days. I have given up for a whole week and so only three more days to go before I can get back into the air. I so enjoy paying the ever increasing air taxes and queuing at check in snake. Being shouted at by surly, brusque, arrogant and incompetant security staff. I also miss paying the very high prices at the inefficient and crowded airport shops, although £7.50 for a sandwich does seem to be cheap. But it is all worth it to queue at security screening after check in for up to one hour. Just how long does the queue have to be before the airport manager opens all the available security channels? Nice thing is, when plane delayed - more time to spend at airport. Bliss!! "Ethical Man" don't you mean "Selfish Man" ?

  • 25.
  • At 12:48 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Paul D'Ambra wrote:

I haven't quit flying for good as I have a very close friend that lives in the states - I would be remiss if I never visited (although this will be at most once every other year).

Hwoever, I will never fly within the UK or Europe again.

I recently used eurostar to travel for my honeymoon and found that the cost and travel time were similar enough to be negligible and the journey was much mroe relaxed. As well as avoiding the security checks that planes now require.

  • 26.
  • At 12:48 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Simon Jones wrote:

My wife & I gave up flying and our car just over a year ago. We haven't missed it at all - Britain has loads of places to visit (by train) and some beautiful countryside.

With peak oil and climate change, the airline industry's days are numbered. Eventually, no-one will be able to fly. Might as well get used to it now, rather than trashing the planet for a few more years.

  • 27.
  • At 12:48 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Alan Marsh wrote:

After my last experience of Heathrow I will not be flying again for a very long time. It takes so long to get through booking in and all the checks, followed by an endless wait, mostly without seating, a flight of any duration becomes an exhausting marathon.

It is far more dangerous to drive to the airport than it is to fly. Do we really need to make flying so difficult? Can we not just keep all the security for American flights, and relax a little when going elsewhere?

  • 28.
  • At 12:50 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Peter Sas wrote:

Yes, we have given up flying and our annual holiday for the past four years (two adults, two children) consists of driving through Europe to what used to be Yugoslavia (round trip of around 2,500 miles).

We originally decided to try this because we were simply not enjoying flying and thought if we had the time for a longer holiday we would be able to see some wonderful places en route. In 2002 the cost of driving and family hotel accommodation was not much more than four people flying.

This year, as the children get older and want their own room en route, the cost of our grand tour has soared, whereas flights are getting cheaper.

To be honest, the carbon footprint argument was not a consideration for us four years but, as we see more wind turbines across Europe, it is becoming more of an issue now for the family as a whole.

The key element is time. If we had to go to Budapest for a weekend, we would probably bite the bullet and fly. But if I can secure four weeks holiday from work, we will make car our first choice before train and definitely not fly.

  • 29.
  • At 12:50 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • scubadiver wrote:

Unfortunately I am unable to stop using flight for some travel requirements, but I recycle nearly everything and have reduced water and heating as much as possible. Also have made my office more aware and they now recycle nearly all waste, cut electric usage, etc. Deepsea the Rogue Diver

  • 30.
  • At 12:50 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Nic Marks wrote:

I sometimes (3 or 4 time a year) get invites to speak internationally, and have just decided to now say that I will only do them by video-conference. This is symbolically very important as well reducing my ecological footprint - and I will emphasise this in talks - businesses, societies have to move to low carbon lifestyle. My first one will be next month.

  • 31.
  • At 12:50 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Jim B wrote:

A better question would be: 'How much tax should there be on air fuel?'. Cost is a much better way to prevent the vast majority of people doing things.

Most business flights are redundant: use free videoconferencing instead.

Most weekend breaks are unnecessary: go local instead and save flights for 'special' occasions.

  • 32.
  • At 12:50 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Steve Law wrote:

I have decided to pay a carbon tax for all future flights. However I shall try to use the train where possible, mainly for domestic and close continental travel. I would be willing to use the train more were the rservice in UK brought up to the standard of TGV being introduced throughout W Europe, and if fares were set at these levels as well. I do not understand why the UK has the most expensive train fares in Europe and yet one of the most backward systems. Why are we not part of the TGV revolution affecting the rest of Europe. TGV could decimate UK domestic flights.

  • 33.
  • At 12:51 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Chris Rook wrote:

I have not given up flying, but when possible I will use the train,or the car even when going abroad

  • 34.
  • At 12:53 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Thomas Evans wrote:

I have given up flying for short flights at least. This summer when I went to Spain I went by train, taking the eurostar then the TGV through France. Which was very comfortable, and there was virtually no waiting around. Also I would avoid going a long way, where a flight would be neccessary; but there are a lot of places I would like to see on Earth so I will probably take a long flight at some point.

  • 35.
  • At 12:54 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Neil wrote:

I have been flying much more recently. The low cost airlines are currently offering air fares at rock-bottom prices. I live close to Stansted airport and have taken several day trips by plane this year. I went to Berlin for the day (37 pounds return), Dublin for the day (26 pounds return), I got a free ticket to Valencia from use of my RyanAir credit card (but I had to pay the tax - 32 pounds return), I have been to Derry a couple of times (1p each way plus tax) and Northern Spain for the weekend.

Considering that a one day travelcard during peak time from my local station (Bishops Stortford) is 22.50 and a first class return is 32.80 (essential if you actually want a seat for your journey to and from London) it is sometimes cheaper to go abroad than to London. This bizarrre situation is not sustainable and so I am making the most of it while I can.

  • 36.
  • At 12:56 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Steve Tupper wrote:

My wife and I have not given up on flying. We will probably be cutting down on it by cutting down by moving a city break to the UK. My work sometimes takes me from Cardiff to Amsterdam, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Train or road is just too lengthy, so I will still fly there.

  • 37.
  • At 12:58 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Andrea Chipman wrote:

I would love to cut down on flying substantially, but as an American living in England with a British spouse, I have to fly long-haul to see my family. It would be great if someone could figure out how to speed up trans-Atlantic boat travel....

  • 38.
  • At 12:58 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Emma Sangster wrote:

I am not sure I have given flying up for good but my passport ran out a few years ago and I haven't felt the need to renew it. I am thoughful about the carbon cost of air travel and there are so many parts of the UK I would love to visit.... I am sure I will want to go abroad again but I would explore other ways of getting there rather than just assume I will fly.

  • 39.
  • At 12:59 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Dee Branigan wrote:

I live in the United States in Atlanta, Georgia and, no, I have not given up flying. One, given the vast distances here, it would not be practical and, two, it would be giving in to terrorists.

  • 40.
  • At 01:00 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • sarah wrote:

I've given up flying too - an absolute ban for nearly two years now. It has impacted on how I live: living in the Western Isles, and with all of my family in Canada, and with a great desire to travel, I might otherwise find flying to be quite a useful concept. Time is the real problem: given that and the cost involved in getting off this island, I'm actually travelling much less (in fact, hardly at all) for business or pleasure. My little self-imposed ban seems to attract nothing but derision from my co-islanders!

  • 41.
  • At 01:00 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • The Beard wrote:

After considering a winter sun holiday this year we have decided that this is not necessary given the environmental impact and are now looking at cottage holidays within a couple of hours drive of home.

However, my partner has relatives in Ireland and the only practical way to visit them given time constraints and busy lives is to fly, so we feel that there is a justified case for flying in these types of circumstances - a practical necessity if you like.

Finally, we are planning to marry next year and spend the next two years travelling around the world. We are going to take every endeavour to travel over land and sea, starting with the train to Moscow and then the Trans-Sinerian Express to China, which apart from the fact that it can be as cheap or cheaper than flying should prove to be a fantastic and rewarding experience, experience the lands that we travel rather than just flying over them. Of course we have the luxury of time on our hands to do this kind of thing.

We hope to eventually end up in New Zealand and then journey home via South America. However there will be a cost factor involved and if flying is the only praqcal option fopr some of this journey then we will conceed and fly for some legs of this journey, but we will make every attempt to minimise.

Please note I have not given real name as work do not yet know I am leaving next year to travel the world!


I will never give up flying. The airplanes will continue on their routes, meaning that the peole who give up flying will simply become isolationists. The Americans proved that a bad concept, or was it? I shall fly Virgin Atlantic and support Richard Bransons efforts at prodding societies into alternate fuel sources, such as bio-fuel from corn and waste products. Besides, he has a great airline, and I want to live life, not be in fear of it. Scientists also tell us now that EVEN IF all carbon emmissions were halted tomorrow, it would take more than one hundred years to impact the atmosphere. Let's advance to the future, and find better, less-polluting sources of energy. Putting heads in the sand only guarentees one thing, and if I have to tell you what that might be, perhaps you are too ignorant to understand anyway.

  • 43.
  • At 01:03 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Roger wrote:

I decided last year not to add to the increasing demand for air travel and to fly only when an emergency demands it. A recent business trip from Paris to Cardiff was organised for me flying from Charles de Gaulle airport via Amsterdam. I sent the tickets back and asked to go by train. Even though the up-front costs were slightly higher my mission office agreed. Leaving central Paris at the same time I arrived in central Cardiff perhaps 45 minutes later than I would have done, and the trip was far less hassle and more comfortable and interesting. This was possible only because of the huge investments in Channel Tunnel and rail infrastructure. Without more of these investments I don't think we will see a lot of Ethical men or women swapping planes for trains.

  • 44.
  • At 01:03 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Mikkel Lund wrote:

No, I haven't given up flying alltogether but am alot more conscious
of the security messures taking place in the airports bearing in mind the recent planned terror plot, which was fortunately discoved before anything happened.

  • 45.
  • At 01:06 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Lesley Allsop wrote:

As a family we have agreed to restrict our flying holidays to once every 5 years.

However, until we have an eco-friendly aviation fuel I think flying should be restricted at least to current levels. Each individual and each business would have their own 'flying allowance', these could be traded so we could sell our family allowance to a business for example.

It would really make people stop and think about the importance of their flights, think more about video conferencing, and put pressure on airlines and Governments to press on with research into alternative fuels.

  • 46.
  • At 01:07 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Brian Gale wrote:

Hi Newsnight;

Travelling abroad to look at the wildlife on 'ecotours' can be an environmentally unfriendly experience. Wildlife Travel solves the problem by organising tours that use Eurostar to get to the Pre-Alps - and then walk amongst the magnificent flora & fauna of the hills.

Brian Gale.

  • 47.
  • At 01:07 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Christopher wrote:

After returning from my sisters Wedding in NZ earlier this year, I calculated my footprint and was aghast to see what that trip, combined with several trips to and from the USA contributed to my overall position.

I decided that it was time to put my `money where my mouth is' and stop flying. I have looked in to alternative methods of transport for when I can get out to the USA and NZ but I know those trips will be infrequent, financially expensive and a long way off. I am content to spend my time travelling closer to home, but I am in a position where I have travelled a fair bit over the years.

I do feel that the lack of `cause and affect' leads to a reluctance on many people's part to give up flying. I am not optimistic for the future. I fear getting people to give up this means of transport, one that has given us so much, will be about as succesful as efforts to have folks use the car less.

  • 48.
  • At 01:08 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Rob Smith wrote:

I cant be bothered with flying any more. Who wants to spend hours queuing in an airport. I went to the Isle of Wight this summer - fantastic scenery, great walking, there and back in the time it would take me to queue for the plane.

  • 49.
  • At 01:09 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Alastair Ross wrote:

Hello Newsnight

No I have not given up flying. Firstly I enjoy it as a private hobby - as one of a group of 12 owning a 4 seater. And we get taxed to death on it too - unlike airlines we get no tax concession on fuel and are forced to pay up to £1.50 per litre.

As to business and personal leisure - I don't fly as much as I did. But a lot of business success still comes through personal presence. If you live in London then a taxi or tube is easy. If you live in more distant places then flying remains the best option for reaching the major cities. My last trip would have added 2 days travel, and added a lot of risk and expense. Or does the government think we should all live in London?

Business decisions are still too centralised in the major connurbations. Solve that, and we might make some headway.

  • 50.
  • At 01:10 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Doreen Richards wrote:

I have never been fond of flyingand the recent terrorist threat has finished me for good

  • 51.
  • At 01:10 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Caroline wrote:

Yes, for all personal trips, no more aviation! And it feels pretty good, although this new resolution has only been tested for a few months, which includes a 2 week holiday in France using a ferry. Obviously the key question is why, and that's easy, its simply wrong to pollute on the scale of aviation for personal enjoyment reasons. Having easy access to cheap flights to Europe to play golf is not a human right, its a human wrong.

  • 52.
  • At 01:12 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Craig Walker wrote:

These people are idiots..

One of the greatest aspects of modern day life is the cheap and fast method for international travel. It allows this generation to view the world as a much closer community and will hopefully enbed them with greater tolerance and respect for other society's. I believe the minute percentage of increased carbon in the atmosphere is a price worth paying.

  • 53.
  • At 01:13 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Ken Fryer wrote:

I've given up flying but not because of any green issue, I object to being squeezed into a tiny seat and treated to conditions that we would not allow an animal to experience.

We've been visiting relatives in Holland for many years and have always flown from Bristol. But now, to help reduce global warming and because I object to the 'cattle herding' approach of the budget airlines, we've given up flying. So next Thursday my wife, 2 year old son and I embark on a 10 hour train journey from Taunton to Rotterdam via the London Underground and Brussels. It's more expensive, it takes longer and its a bit daunting but I hope it will be a worthwhile adventure into 'alternative' travel. And for our community radio station ( I'm being our own ethical man and taking minidisc and mic to record our journey. Any tips Justin?!

In the last five years I've travelled from Manchester to Madrid 3 times without using a plane. Once by train, enjoying stopovers in Paris and Barcelona, once by ferry Plymouth to Santander, once by coach. I must say the first two were enjoyable and relaxing.

I've also enjoyed three ferry-based holidays to the Isle of Man and Dublin.

I haven't totally given up flying though, but I will continue to reduce my reliance on it for holiday travel.

  • 56.
  • At 01:19 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Jeremy wrote:

Yes, I have. And lots of my friends have a problem with it.
I'm in my early 30s and I am one who took advantage of cheap air travel in my 20s. I went to South America and over to Spain. I returned home and decided to go on shorter trips abroad. Flying of course! Thinking that's it's more sensible to take shorter trips. I met a german girl in a community in Northern Spain and she told me she wasn't going to fly again. I was perplexed but I admired her spirit, however unrealistic.
Now 8 years later I'm doing the same and others are reacting in a similar way.
It's a nice idea to fly less, but how will I see my friends in Tenerife or Austria let alone, Australia or Colombia! People start to think you're snubbing them.
So what's to be done, say goodbye to foreign friends, travel by land, or to simply grin and bear the overall unpleasantness of flying (security checks, feeling like livestock, bad food, rampant consumerist malls in the departure lounged, the enourmous amount of energy to fly and all the energy to support and sustain the industry).
If air travel prices reflected it's true cost then I would feel differently about using it - I would really appreciate the luxury of it, and travelling by land would be financially more attractive and more investment would be put into it, by that I mean trains!
We are presently subsidising this 'right' of 'modern' society, it won't last much longer like many of our society's luxuries.

  • 57.
  • At 01:20 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Clive Gifford wrote:

I have reduced my flying on holidays, less for the carbon footprint (why are those who tell us it is so bad still jetting around the world to meetings - there is video conferencing, so lead by example) more for the hassle and waiting around at airports which outweigh relatively short flights.

  • 58.
  • At 01:21 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Christopher wrote:

I have no intention of giving up flying.

I have wasted too many hours stuck on a train to see it as a reliable alternative to a plane when travelling in the UK and abroad.

climate change is just a band wagon that everyone is jumping on. What about the research that shows we might soon be facing a mini ice age which will cool the planet - what do we do then? Burn more to heat up the planet.

I flew from Miami to Jacksonville Florida in 2006. [My first flight in 18 years]. I would not mind trying it again.

For me, the risk of being held up for hours or days is more significant than the risk of being bombed. I understand that security measures are necessary--but flying usually isn't. As the hassle and discomfort of flying increases, people will hopefully travel less, or at least turn to less polluting and more pleasant forms of transport.

As for ferry security vs flight security: with a ferry, passengers away from the bomb site would probably survive. Casualties would be (say) in the targeted onboard restaurant, just as they would be if the targeted establishment was on dry land.

  • 61.
  • At 01:24 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Anya wrote:

I used to be flying at least once a month on business as I was working in the UK for the Central European market. Since March, I have a UK only role, and do not fly any more. We are not flying for family holidays at all, as my husband has fear of flying.
I first felt really good about less emmissions, but I am driving around 800 miles per week on business now, so I am not sure whether that is better.

  • 62.
  • At 01:25 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Duncan Smith wrote:

I have travelled to France by train for the last 4 years for holidays. Its a nice way to travel - relatively stress free, and you get to see the landscape whizzing by.

I have also however travelled twice to the US in the last four years by plane to LA and to New York. Getting to the US without using a plane is impractical.

  • 63.
  • At 01:26 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Michael Ashby wrote:

I have given up flying for lots of different reasons. The main reason is that I don't like the experience of flying and since giving it up (five years ago) there has been more awareness and more reasons not to go back on that decision. I feel that ticket prices need to reflect more acurately the long term costs to the environment - our so called 'low cost' airline culture is a classic example of us borrowing from the future. There is a price to pay for everything and the cheap tickets we are seeing now will have to be compensated for at some point down the's a serious issue - present day travellers should not be subsidised by future tax payers.

  • 64.
  • At 01:30 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Jack Lavender wrote:

I've given up flying between London and Edinburgh. Switching to the train costs £800 more per year.

What's THAT all about?

  • 65.
  • At 01:31 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Helen wrote:

I feel guilty about doing it but sometimes have to, mainly domestic/Europe for work. It would be totally unacceptable to refuse to attend a meeting/event because flying is unethical - my manager would laugh her head off. Then fire me! We usually holiday in UK. I'd love to commit to never flying again, but can I really commit to never taking my daughter to the US/Europe/Asia - all those places I want to share with her...? No, I can't! It's a big moral dilemma.

  • 66.
  • At 01:32 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Clive Gifford wrote:

I have reduced my flying on holidays, less for the carbon footprint (why are those who tell us it is so bad still jetting around the world to meetings - there is video conferencing, so lead by example) more for the hassle and waiting around at airports which outweigh relatively short flights.

  • 67.
  • At 01:32 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

Luckily for my conscience, I cannot afford a foreign holiday for my family - at least not in term time and that's the only time we could go.

I work for a large US multinational and occasionally I'm required to travel to the US on business, which I heartily resent - having to take off your shoes and getting your iris scanned etc. is ludicrous.

I'd much rather the US government spent $22bn on working towards solutions for global warming than lining the pockets of the bulging-eyed paranoids of the homeland security industry.

But I have got to admit that video conferencing isn't a patch on being there in person - it just doesn't provide the impromptu opportunities to network.

we will just have to do without these things in the future.

  • 68.
  • At 01:33 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Josh wrote:

I try to avoid flying unless it's necessary. I recently flew to the US for a family wedding, but other than that have made only one flight in the past 4-5 years.

In that time I've also made journeys to France, Spain and Northern Ireland by train, coach and ferry. However, wider availability and lower costs of such means of transport to Western European destinations would make it much easier to make journeys like this and still be able to go on exciting overseas holidays without flying.

But the answer is not in individuals like me making choices, it's in action from government. At the moment, the aviation industry is subsidised and this needs to end, together with better investment in more sustainable transport choices. Also, more businesses that involve a lot of travel to meetings should start to do more by telephone and video conferences.

  • 69.
  • At 01:35 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Julian wrote:

One argument that is always omitted from this debate is the great benefits of air travel. Air travel has played no small part in the enormous growth in world wealth of the past 10 years which has lifted millions of people out of poverty around the globe. From personal experience, I can also say that international travel is the best way of understanding different countries and people – something that is sadly lacking around the world today. By all means look at ways of lowering emissions – but before dumping air travel why don’t we look at completely frivolous human activity? For instance, what is the impact of all the tonnes of tinsel, fake trees, packaging, unwanted presents, cards etc we generate every December on the environment – and for what?

  • 70.
  • At 01:35 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Julie Cully wrote:

We bought a VW camper van 5 years ago and have only been abroad once since then. We go all over the UK and have seen some fantatstic places which I might never have otherwise seen. I used to fly on holiday three or four times a year. What I don't understand is that we are told we "must" expand our airports becaase more people want to fly. If there are only so many flights, then only so many people can fly. Its simple, and the only way of containing the problem of emissions. Why is the government therefore encouraging the expansion of the air industry?

  • 71.
  • At 01:38 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Simon Bullock wrote:

My last flight was in summer 2003. I can't see how I can fly by plane given the impacts of climate change on other people. I don't think anyone can live a "perfect" eco-life, but I'm determined to cut out the most destructive things I could do.

  • 72.
  • At 01:38 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • David Holman wrote:

I used to be a frequent traveller both for business and pleasure, but gave up the pleasure bit about 10 years ago when the Health Nazis drove smokers out of both aeroplanes and airports.

I have now reorganised my life to avoid flying completely and have now managed nearly a year without being treated as sub-human.

  • 73.
  • At 01:41 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Ros wrote:

In our case it's not so much 'given up' as 'never wanted to start'. This isn't through lack of funds (we're not rich, but since it's about the cheapest way to get on holiday, we'd probably have saved lots of money by travelling that way), or a fear of flying, but a conviction that the availability of cheap flights is just one of the 'personal choice' aspects of life leading us to unsustainable levels of personal consumption. We didn't want our children to get into habits it will hurt them to stop - and surely we will have to stop, as I read that you can now sail a boat through where the North Polar ice sheet used to be.

We have always had brilliant holidays all around the UK, or by coach/train to Paris etc, and next year we might take the (quite big now)kids to Italy - by train.

They have been on school trips to Belgium, France Germany and Poland. My son wants to travel to Africa in his gap year but will do it by train and boat if he can. I don't feel, and I don't think they feel, that their horizons have been lowered or opportunities have been lacking.

I believe, as mooted in your original question, that more people are beginning to feel this way.
Now we just need our political representatives to rediscover the old idea that the common good is more important, moral and sustainable than the 'personal choice' agenda that has hijacked so much of what was decent about society. Leaving a planet in good shape for our children will not be an option unless we rediscover that.

Go on a train, tram, bus. It seems to work for most other European countries. Talk to people. It's really nice, and even the annoying ones can be entertaining. If not, plug in an MP3 player and chill. That's what our kids will be doing.

  • 74.
  • At 01:42 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • c j noble wrote:

I make a conscious effort not to fly. It is not necessary; all journeys can be made by other means which are more comfortable, convenient and without that awful airport experience. Leave flying to the birds, they are better at it.

  • 75.
  • At 01:43 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Norman Sawers wrote:

I've cut back on business flights within the UK and now use the sleeper from Glasgow to London most weeks.

With regards to leisure travel, that's a bit more tricky. We have family in Germany and The Netherlands and there's just not enough free time for long car or rail journeys.

  • 76.
  • At 01:45 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Jessica Wheeler wrote:

Not given up - my parents live in Trinidad, and to visit them once a year for a two week holiday requires a flight. Of course I could go for longer and travel over land, which would be an adventure, but I would have no holiday entitlement left. I do try to avoid travellng by air these days, either by using other means, or not doing the trip. Conference this year for 3 days in Maastricht achieved with multiple trains, and not too bad. I do go for train/bus routes before looking at flights (so long as the journey doesnt take longer than the trip I'll go by train and if its longer and not for work, I'll go somewhere else). Does mean the world is far less accessible and not quite so small after all, but there's something romantic about taking time to travel to far off lands over land and sea. Just takes more planning and better holiday entitlement. Meantime I'm happy to explore closer to home.

  • 77.
  • At 01:46 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • SenorKelly wrote:

I gave up at the beginning of this year, taking my last flight in May (it was booked last year). I won't fly again unless it's an absolute emergency. I've always travelled and love to fly, and see it as a real sacrifice.

The thing that has been surprising is the amount of hostility this has aroused in others. Some people are purely baffled (though less and less as climate change and the horrific consequences are played out daily, across the internet and on TV). Other, more informed people don't understand why carbon-offsetting isn't enough for me (I think it's a silly cop-out, and doesn't solve anything). But a lot of people are really affronted, and have been very hostile. It may be they really think I'm an idiot; I like to think they realise why I'm doing this and feel guilt about their destructive lifestyles.

I have been really careful not to preach on this point. My decision not to fly is my own, and to be frank I don't want to try to influence or persuade other people. They need to make their own mind up. It's a tough step, especially if you're used to travelling widely. But I hope they do.

  • 78.
  • At 01:47 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Debbie Ward wrote:

As a family we have always taken the decision to holiday in the UK. We also recycle or compost everything we can, buy organic and save water. I use baskets or cloth bags when shopping (I walk into my local town) and clean with as little environmental impact as possible. I have a 6 year old daughter for whom I want to protect the planet but sometimes, when I see the selfishness of other people and their total lack of interest in humanity's home, I wonder who I am saving the planet for and whether there is any point at all...

  • 79.
  • At 01:47 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Karen wrote:

Not at all! It simply doesn't seem like a real holiday if I haven't taken a plane trip.

With flights getting cheaper all the time (well, inter-Europe and short-haul ones at least, along with the odd one across the pond), I don't see myself quitting flying anytime soon.

We have consciously decided to take flying out of the holiday equation mainly due to environmental considerations. Living in the Netherlands we can easily take high-speed trains, which are substantially cleaner, to a variety of destinations. On a recent and unavoidable work trip to Singapore I apparently generated over 2 tons of CO2, or about 20% of the annual household CO2 production.

  • 81.
  • At 01:50 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Jo-An M Partridge wrote:

Why should we give up flying? No one thought of giving it up during the height of the hijacking hostage taking 70s.

So what has changed, have we become a world of wimps?
Fightened off at the drop of a hat.

Cheers Jo-An

  • 82.
  • At 01:52 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • gordon kadatz wrote:

My wife and I had tickets to fly from Albany NY to Prague mid October. We cancelled since we had to travel through LHR. The thought of very long flights and delays caused us to change our plans and the tickets were FREE.

  • 83.
  • At 01:55 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Rik wrote:

I'm not that concerned about aviation emissions at the moment - they currently account for a small (but admittedly fast-growing) amount of current emissions (they'll be a problem if they continue into the future). The real problem is with the domestic sector - how is it we have so many homes that don't even match up to the minimum standards in scandinavia for insulation - the technology is there, its relatively cheap and would make huge carbon savings almost at an instant - with little or no pain to the consumer? Slap some more VAT on heating fuel and electricity and use the proceeds to insulate everyone's home. Do that over the next ten years and we could all keep having our holidays in Benidorm. Whether you believe them or not the Government probably have got the idea of balance right - question is where it should lie. I'm flying whenever and wherever I can before the oil price makes it too expensive...

  • 84.
  • At 01:56 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Joe Brady wrote:

I work in a supermarket, and I was speaking to someone the other day, and she was saying that although she recognises the problem of global warming, she thinks that no-one from m generation (I am 19) will be prepared to sacrifice their lifestyles, in order to save the world. I said to her, that I had signed a flight pledge, which means that I don't fly for a whole year. Then she went silent.
Everyone should at least think about, sign up at
In my mind, the problem is, that we are witnessing the last, dying years of capitalism, in which it is doing its utmost to sell itself to the masses, to survive, and that includes destroying our one world for profit.

  • 85.
  • At 02:06 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Dr Sibani Roy wrote:

After 9/11 disaster, I prefar travelling either by road or by sea.

  • 86.
  • At 02:09 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • cris smith wrote:

I have got pretty fed up with the hassle of flying altogther. The getting to the airport with luggage and often children can be a major effort lasting several hours, often starting at unsociable times is matched with keeping children amused for, what amounts to up to nearly half a working day before even taking off! Its not as if getting aboard is usually a particulaly comfortable or enjoyable event. Having read recently that the individual carbon quota was 1 flight per lifetime im now looking to avoid flying as much as possible and have reduced my last years total of around 10 return flights too zero so far. Next years sking i am planning by car/eurotunnel.

  • 87.
  • At 02:10 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Marco Masciooli wrote:

No I have't given up and I still fly two or thre times a year.
However, I'm with Jeremy Clarkson (by the way, get well soon Richard!) on this one and I only fly when it's unreasonable to use anything else.
I travel regularly to Germany and I don't understand why people here think that it's not unreasonable to consider travelling from London to Newcastle by car, whereas they think it's silly to do do it to9 go to Frankfurt. It's more or less the same distance. And I can't even dream of driving the types of cars Jeremy uses in their show.

Living in the US, we've given up flying because if you're traveling under 350 miles by car, its almost just as quick to go by car as it is by plane, once you factor in the delays and security checks, and secondly because we've been priced out by all the fuel surcharges and security taxes. If we want to visit my family in the UK, it costs us nearly 1200 dollars, compared to 800 just a short time ago.

  • 89.
  • At 02:17 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Ruth wrote:

I'm rationing myself to one return flight a year. With all these cheap flights about I would be tempted to fly much more, but I don't feel it's ethical to pollute in this way.

  • 90.
  • At 02:22 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Martin Tapsell wrote:

Good! - a great excuse for NOT flying - to save the planet! I never liked flying and now you spend an extra 3 hours waiting to board and in some cases a wary reception at your destination, I'm off the hook for life. The only exception I'll make is the crossing to the Scilly Isles by boat, which can be rough, so I might stay with the helicopter, but that takes only 20 minutes. It is a pity a new mode of flying transport not using fuel has'nt been invented - did not the aliens who landed at Rockwell gives us any tips?

  • 91.
  • At 02:35 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • lis wrote:

Tiziano Terzani, an Italian war/foreign correspondent did it and wrote a book about it "A fortune-teller told me". Don't know about the English version but it is a good read in Italian.

  • 92.
  • At 02:40 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Sarah Redfern wrote:

I think I've gone one step further, following earlier concerns about airport hassle, the environment and terrorism - I've moved house to somewhere really nice (Somerset) and work from home as much as possible too. So, some of every day is a holiday and my family simply don't need to travel for so many holidays. My choice of somewhere to live had to be close to a good direct rail route to London and I think the UK is pretty badly served by fast trains and has too few early trains for long-distance commuters.

I switched to train for Europe, but had to fly to Budapest recently because the train was a two-day mess in a tight schedule. I've cut my US flights to one per year, and am looking for a way to do it by ship, but it's bloody expensive. I don't fly for leisure at all. I also cycle around London, and gave my trucklet to my son, who is a builder.
Before I sound insufferably smug, I should say that
one reason I cut flying is that I'm sick of being bossed around by people in uniform and having my instrument ( a small guitar) endangered every trip
The reason I use a bike is because it's cheap and reliable, so really any ecological virtue I might have attained is probably incidental.
As far as global warming is concerned, people around here aren't going to change anything until Notting Hill is an island, and then they'll just buy huge gas-guzzling boats to take the kids to school.

  • 94.
  • At 02:44 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Stephen Shaw wrote:

18 months ago I gave up flying. I have since taken holiday within Britian. We have a beautiful and interesting country that is worth touring around.

I also recently had a holiday to France, Switzerland and Italy which I did by train. It was a bit more expensive but it was great fun and I loved it.

I have a very good friend who has moved to New York and I also want to tour the USA and then South America. I am looking into an Atlantic crossing by container ship, and so far my research shows this can be done. I see it as more potential for fun and adventure.

To any climate change skeptics I request that they a) read the IPCCs 2001 Climate Change report, and if this is a bit too tough/long/dry/hard to understand then b) watch Al Gore's new film "An Inconveneint Truth".

  • 95.
  • At 02:47 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Barbara Kendall-Davies wrote:

Two years ago I left London for good and although I now live on an island I try to avoid flying.I can take a boat to France but visits to the UK are rare. I do not like holidays; I need a good reason to travel. Incidentally,I have never had a mobile phone, nor a dishwasher. I had driving lessons as a teenager but decided never to drive. I do have a bike. I was born a vegetarian and
without really trying, my life is quite a green one

  • 96.
  • At 02:47 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Josh wrote:

I've never been a big fan of flying, and my girlfriend less so. She's now feeling smug as it turns out it's much greener not to fly.

Her antipathy of flying means that we have never in our 12 year relationship been on a plane for a holiday. This means we have done extreme non flying - including a round the world trip that we enjoyed a few years ago.

We travelled entirely by surface - by container ship to New York, then across America on various trains, then another ship to Hong Kong from Seattle, then by train (with numerous stops) to Helsinki, then by boat from there to Stockholm and from Sweden by ferry back here. It only took four months!

It was only when we were caught in a force 10 north of the Aleutian Islands in the middle of December that I thought wistfully of Jumbo Jets. Otherwise feeling every mile was way better than just miraculously being there with attendant jetlag.

The chance to really get to know people at a more leisurely pace is much better than the alienated world of headphones and tiny bags of peanuts.

I know this is not possible given the normal length of holiday, but we visited Yalta in the Ukraine by train last year, which was a leisurely three weeks. We've also been to Budapest, which was a ten day trip including four days there.

  • 97.
  • At 02:57 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Viki Johnson wrote:

I've worked in the field of climate change for over 5 years, and try and live as much of a low carbon lifestyle as I possibly can. I don't want to fly, but I also want to see the world, and I wouldn't want to deny my future offspring from seeing the world too. Why is it so difficult to stop this high carbon habit?

When I have spoken to the 'public' in my job as a climate change officer and suggested they stop driving or flying causes very negative attitudes and the respondents often become extremely defensive and 'switch off'. But this is also true for the public sector. Many local authorities see the growth of airports as a way of driving their economy, which is true.

Charging the individual more to fly through increased taxes is anti-poor and those who wish to fly will do so in the face of virtually any barrier. Introduction of a personal carbon allowance would allow the individual to use their allowance in the way that they chose.

Rather than driving negativity about climate change within the public, I believe the answer is to tackle unecessary business trips abroad and encourage the use of the advanced communication technology available.

A recent report by the Tyndall centre showed that aviation emissions will become a large proportion of European carbon emissions by 2020, and there is unlikely to be a cleaner lower carbon fuel alternative until at least 2030. There is alot of research also going into sustainable aviation and this includes improving passenger fuel efficiency, improving air traffic control and reducing emissions from ground operations. I suggest coupled to a personal carbon allowance, this would be the best way to reduce emissions in the short-term.

Well I am trying to increase my carbon footprint, roll on global warming.

Olive trees here in the UK, no freezing winters - anyone want to donate their plane tickets to me?

  • 99.
  • At 03:10 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Jessica wrote:

I have given up flying. I'm not going to say that I will never fly again, but I have decided that I will not fly at all until I do a once in a lifetime round the world trip.

I want to see the world, but plan to take a couple of years off some day and make as much of the journey oversea and overland as possible. If I HAVE to take one or two flights in the course of this trip I will, but I don't plan on going on any short holidays where I'll have to fly again (and I have only flown once in the last 9 years).

I will take trips to France and Spain by rail and explore all the lovely places in the UK. Although I think it's important that we investigate new sources of fuel we have to realise that we cannot keep taking forever, the environment has limits which we have already exceeded.

It is easy to say 'It's not up to me, the aviation industry should become more sustainable', but isn't now the time to start making personal sacrifices if we really care?

Does anyone need two weeks in Australia so much that they'll damage the environment to do it?

Do not forget many people cannot afford to fly.

My autistic son and I have been saving now for 6 years to be able to fly to the States to visit our only relative.

  • 101.
  • At 03:20 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • alex wrote:

It's perfectly possible to travel without flying - it just takes some time. Like the person above, we went right round the world without flying. It took 3 years and was all the better for it.
Give up air travel - its a horrible way to go. But well done Richard Branson for his efforts. If I do fly, I will try to make it with Virgin.

  • 102.
  • At 03:32 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Gerry Elliott wrote:

I have no quams about flying but was surprised at the number of people who are afraid as of yesterday a comment I heard was" who knows if there is someone on the ground with an RPG ,especially in europe"
this aside from global warming

  • 103.
  • At 03:42 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Martyn wrote:

I've pretty much given up - not totally committed to saying I'll never fly again, but it will take a lot to make me

I have in the past flown to south america, north africa and china on long backlpacking holidays, but don't particularly feel I'm missing out now. I can still take the train to the Alps for skiing (much better than charter flights anyway), as well as get to some great cities across Europe if I need to.

But the biggest pleasure has been rediscovering just how great parts of the UK are - Lake District, Cornwall, south west Wales, Dorset etc. I always thought it was a shame Blair had a special UK holiday to show the coutnryside was open after foot and mouth, but has never done anything like this to promote UK tourism for environmental reasons.

  • 104.
  • At 03:44 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Peter wrote:

When you compare air and rail fares (Virgin, in particular!) it is little wonder that so many of us take to the air. We flew to Rome recently. Security at Manchester was extremely tight but at Fiumicino there was little concern. The experience was exhilarating.

Incidentally is there global warming or are we simply in another inter-glacial period?

  • 105.
  • At 03:53 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Leandra wrote:

Yes, I have given up flying. It's boats and trains for me, from now on. We always used to - and now we can again !

  • 106.
  • At 03:54 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Bev wrote:

I heard at a recent meeting that the fuel consumption travelling by train was 30 passenger miles per gallon. My (supposedly) envionmentally unfriendly 4x4 does 30 mpg. So, when I go on holiday, with 3 of us in the car, we are achieving 90 passenger miles per gallon - very eco friendly.

We don't fly for leisure because we didn't like the hassle at the airport even before all this additional security - love the Tunnel (motorway to motorway in 57 minutes last time, but do fly for business sometimes to get from Bristol to Inverness or Glasgow (but even then would prefer to drive if possible.

  • 107.
  • At 03:56 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Trevor Herrington wrote:

I was going to fly to Portugal but drove down instead from UK. My rerason was because of the stringent security measures in place. The drive was more costly than flying but the upside was, I brought far more with me in the car than I could have carried on the plane.
I flew to the USA earlier this year and even on their internal flights the security measures are very tight.
I concluded that the Terriost has won because we don't have the freedom of walk on walk off travel.
Who do I blame?
Bush and Blair. Between them they have done more to disenfranchise the law abiding public than any terriorist with their foreign policies. Plus both Governments have failed to monitor terriorist groups in the correct way.
The sooner both are out of office the better off we will all be.

  • 108.
  • At 04:06 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • syd atkinson wrote:

Not only have I given up flying, but I've sold the car and bought a pony & trap. This is not only reducing the carbon emissions but has allowed us to create a useful small business as a special taxi service for weddings and funerals, where speed of arrival is unimportant. As a secondary activity, the wife is now providing fertiliser to the neighbouring allotments using a barter system whereby we get all our veggies free. I can only say Three heargty cheers for Sir Richard Branson, soon to be elevated to the Upper House.

  • 109.
  • At 04:16 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Jo Palosaari wrote:

We don't travel by plane nowadays if we can possibly avoid it. No point in adding pollution to the world, and stress to our own lives at the airports. There is no pleasure in flying now. And the air congestion makes it very unsafe, never mind the terrorists!

  • 110.
  • At 04:19 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Colin wrote:

Never started, to poor to go to my Villa!, i knew it was a bad buy.

  • 111.
  • At 04:22 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Geek wrote:

I haven't given up flying, although I've never flown regularly. My last holiday did involve 3 flights each way though Birmingham-Dubai-Bangkok-Phucket.
My wife likes to fly the 320 miles to Glasgow but I much prefer to Drive. I'd love to take the train but 3 hours including check in to fly, 7 hours including breaks to drive, and not much less than 6 hours including 3 changes my train, and the train was the most expensive and least flexible. My main objections are based on flexability and cost of flying not really environmental

  • 112.
  • At 04:27 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Colin wrote:

We went to Switzerland this year by Eurostar and TGV. Superb trip, very comfortable and relaxing, and none of the hassle found at airports. We'll be using the train in future!

I prefer public transport now, from when I was younger. Living in Japan for 10 years got me into the habit of using the train to take the strain. I like not to rush these days, also it is a chance to get things done. Traveling for me is more than getting from a to b. I want to experience in between and feel the change of the landscape and people. So this year I traveled around Spain/Portugal/France using the rail network and bus service. I started of flying to Barcelona but I wish I had taken the boat to Spain now. Then there is the environment to consider. Do others though have the luxury of time. Can they, or do they wish to, sacrifice the time in getting to where they want to go. It is not only the time in traveling but the extra time planing your alternative route. A Lot of my time on holiday was working out the transport to take next. I was on my own for most of the trip so this was okay, but others with children or older people to look after it would be too much of a strain. Also the transport system in Europe is not fully integrated and the in depth knowledge required can not be found of the internet. Also the stress of getting to stations on time , and connecting trains , has to be considered. Also the cost specially when it comes to the UK. I had to pay 109 pounds to London to Edinburgh because there was no more cheap day tickets. You have to plan weeks in advance here, the week before tickets were 35 pounds. Train tickets should be at a fixed cost. To help us save the environment the transport companies need to help us. All good for the Virgin to give money away, I would say reduce the prices instead. Public transport should be ran by the public at cost.

  • 114.
  • At 04:34 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • william mckendrick wrote:

Probably but on health and finamcial grounds . insurance and fares toget antwhere from Alberta are prohibitve

  • 115.
  • At 04:45 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Alastair Pocock wrote:

I work for a Danish organisation and work all over the world. I have no choice other than to fly - although 160 flights a year is more than I would like!

  • 116.
  • At 04:47 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Alistair Montgomery wrote:

I live in Brazil and made euqiries to travel by passenger liner to Europe when Costa Lines finishes the summer season on the Brazilian Coast. eight months before sailing date the ship which carries over 4,000 passengers is completely booked. The security checks at airports in Britiain put me off as I hate being treated like a potential terrorist by the security staff . I am sure if they brought international regular passenger ship services people would flock to them especially as there so many retired people who can enjoy the trip

  • 117.
  • At 05:03 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • DL (Deryck Laming) wrote:

Sorry to be a wet blanket on the matter of giving up flying, but does anyone seriously think they save any fuel if they do not catch that flight? All they do is make themselves feel virtuous.

One person or even a group not occupying aircraft seats results in one of two things: (1) the seats are taken by other passengers if the flight is busy (= no fuel saving at all); (b) a minuscule amount of fuel is saved because of the slightly reduced take-off weight.

To be really green about this one would have to go to everyone in the check-in queue and persuade them to cancel their reservations, thereby making the airline abort the flight.* The airline officials might take a dim view of any such action, probably call the police, and most passengers booked on the flight would be very reluctant to cancel at short notice. Result: no saving of fuel.

Of course, if you had an imitation AK-47 rifle and persuaded people that way, the result might well be that the aircraft would not take off, saving all the fuel that would otherwise be burned. But again, the police would almost certainly be involved!

* I was once the only passenger on a flight from Miami to Montreal (it was midnight Christmas Eve, but I had to get to Canada). I had met the pilot at a party beforehand and he had persuaded me to switch from Air Canada. But he didn't know that but for me the flight would have been empty. Anyway, as he told me, he had to fly because of the passengers booked on the return leg next day.

  • 118.
  • At 05:11 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Mike Joseph wrote:

I fly regularly to central Europe, mostly on business. Once I am there, I invariably travel between continental destinations by train - swift and civilised. You meet the locals, relax, eat decent on-board food, and see the places you travel through. You arrive relaxed in the city centre, not some windswept airstrip an hour's overpriced taxi ride away.

So why not go the whole hog and travel between Wales and the continent by train too? I have done this just once - Fishguard to Switzerland, by Arriva Trains Wales, First Great Western, tube, Eurostar, Paris Metro and TGV.

That list of rail operators is in geographic order, but sadly it is also in order of speed, comfort and reliability, the French TGV at the civilised end, and Arriva Trains Wales at the despairing end. If the order was reversed, I wouldn't fly again.

As it is, KLM, EasyJet and RyanAir have plenty to thank our decaying railways for.

Humankind is quite capable of dealing with global warming. Our intelligence and ingenuity has created a quality of life that would have until recently been unimaginable. And there is no imaginable limit to the quality of life we can create.

Today there are more scientists, technologists and problem-solvers alive than ever, and our knowledge is incredible. We we are a in a great position to deal with any current problems we solve.

Giving up flying is completely tokenistic and useless gesture that serves only to show one's piety. It also reflects a certain middle class snobbery around ordinary people being having been admitted to the 'jet set' by the low cost airlines.

  • 120.
  • At 05:27 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Alain Job wrote:

I have simply haven't even got that privilege, sound weird with the variety of low cost airlines available nowdays.But that is just the reality for some of us.

  • 121.
  • At 05:54 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • karl gregory wrote:

I agree with the last comment posted, an element of middle class snobbery is at hand here.
If you live in a grimy, urban hellhole and work loke a slave to meet your mortgage payments on your 2 bedroomed terraced house - like most us ordinary people do - to hop on a plane and take a couple of weeks in paradise is a life afirming, life saving human right.
I travel by plane now more than ever before, and I plan continue this trend, until they tax air-travel to the point where it is only available to middle-class journalists, politicians and footballers.

  • 122.
  • At 06:08 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Steve Catchpole wrote:

Yes, i've given up flying. it really made my arms ache and i kept hurting myself when i hit the ground...seriously though, i have stopped travelling by plane. the evidence of it being such an environmentally damaging form of transport seems incontrovertible. living in suffolk and seeing the sun being hazed over by thousands of vapour trails, makes it even more obvious. I've also got a conscience and feel that my grandchildren wouldn't thank me for adding to the environmental problems they're already facing.

  • 123.
  • At 06:26 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • sheila wrote:

I have traveled all over Europe from about 1968 till now visiting hundreds of beautiful places all by train and local buses.

Flying used to be out of the question as it was far, far more expensive.

Now that it is rediculously cheap to fly it is a great temptation. However, I have made an effort still to travel by coach and train for environmental reasons. I recently went to the Czech Republic by coach which allowed me to spend a day in Brussels and another in Prague. I also went to Paris - the return trip costing only £40! I then took the train from Paris to Rome and back which allowed me to see the Alps up close and get to know European students.

I do need to go by plane to see my relatives in America but would love to go by ship instead - as I did once when it was still possible. A beautiful and luxurious journey and much less damaging to the environment.

  • 124.
  • At 06:27 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

I haven't given up flying but am glad we went on holiday early this year prior to the recent terrorist threat. I am not as good a flyer as I used to be and almost want to kiss the ground each time I land safely. As for the green issues re flying I have to say they don't enter the equation as flying is the simplest way to get a long way quickly and that's just the way it is.

  • 125.
  • At 07:21 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Steve Catchpole wrote:

Yes, i've given up flying. it really made my arms ache and i kept hurting myself when i hit the ground...seriously though, i have stopped travelling by plane. the evidence of it being such an environmentally damaging form of transport seems incontrovertible. living in suffolk and seeing the sun being hazed over by thousands of vapour trails, makes it even more obvious. I've also got a conscience and feel that my grandchildren wouldn't thank me for adding to the environmental problems they're already facing.

  • 126.
  • At 07:23 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Claire wrote:

I'm not flying within the UK anymore, it's too inconvenient since I can't take a small handbag in addition to my laptop! Despite the fact that the two items combined are far smaller than a roller case (which is now allowed) is. Flying as a female is no fun anymore.

  • 127.
  • At 07:47 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Andy Sardeson wrote:

I’ve flown four times in my life – but my “fear of flying” is now that of environmental damage. I’ve been to Guernsey on holiday aged 12, and to Dublin at age 20 in the early 1980’s.

If I were going to Europe anywhere today, I’d use the ferry – it’s often more expensive. If that’s more environmentally friendly, then the taxation / subsidy situation should be adjusted. The same applies to travel on trains under the channel. This would require a consensus across Europe, and might be damaging to our tourism industry.

I don’t know what we should do, but know it must be taken seriously. I just know that my “carbon footprint” (no car!) is better than most of the population!

  • 128.
  • At 07:50 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Emily Gray wrote:

If I never have to take another flight in my life I will be a happy person.

I have given up flying as far as I possibly can for a few reasons:

1, The environmental impact of ever-increasing air travel
2, The stress and general unpleasantness of low-cost flying
3, Safety issues - increased flight numbers, terrorism, very bad experiences on cheap flights
4, I would rather spend my time and money in England - I simply don't understand the desire to travel round the world to go on holiday when there is so much in our own country to see and do and it's so much more pleasant usually!

My husband and I were given money by our parents to pay for our honeymoon as a wedding present - we could have gone anywhere in the world. However we decided to drive to Cornwall, hire a gorgeous cottage and eat at Stein's restaurant for a week!

If we really need to fly somewhere in the future we will pay for a proper full-price flight - but we will never again support the cheap-flight industry that is ruining the environment and encouraging people to travel out of this country unnecessarily.

  • 129.
  • At 08:18 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Ewa wrote:

I gave up flying over 30 years ago, because it makes me very ill. I spend 2 days completly deaf and with a terrible head ache after every flight. When I first gave up flying everyone told me I was stupid. Now I feel extremely holy, and I love travelling around Europe in my car.

  • 130.
  • At 08:21 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • humphrey wrote:

i have only flown once,and that was to South Africa but i have not given up yet.I will fly again if i have that chance again.

  • 131.
  • At 08:23 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • John Shirley wrote:

I used to fly about 4 times a year (14 was the record). In the past year I've only flown once. We went by train to Germany for football, and it didn't take any longer when you take into account getting to the airports and waiting for flights. We go on holiday more in the UK now.

  • 132.
  • At 09:06 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Pat Lowe wrote:

Won't bother me if I never get in a plane again. They ought to make it too expensive to fly!

  • 133.
  • At 09:17 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • geeker wrote:

I work for a big American company and my job requires me to travel around Europe, to the Middle East & the US several times a year. Last year I travelled by plane more than 50 times :-( I knew when I took on this job a couple of years back that I would have to fly a huge amount so I sold my car and use my bicycle to go to my UK office, to the train station to go up to town or for my own personal travel needs. I understand that my low car useage does practically nothing to offset the vast carbon footprint my airline travel causes, but it makes me feel as if I am doing something at least.I am focussed on cutting down my airline travel. With the recent security restrictions it is now almost as quick for me to travel by train to Paris or Brussels and I intend to do so. I am trying to do more conference calls or web meetings rather than flying but I know I will still have to travel by plane much more than I would like. It's business travellers like me who are doing most of the damage. Lots of business execs use airline travel as much as I do and I guess, like me, even if they are concerned about their impact their is little they can do to significantly reduce it. Companies should be required by law to pay a carbon tax or offset their staff air travel carbon imprint.

I gave up on autos and planes and fell in love with my bicycle. It is alot cheaper on gas and I do not have to worry about plan crashes.

  • 135.
  • At 09:54 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Paul D wrote:

No. I hate flying. I would far rather get on a train at Waterloo, go to sleep and wake up wherever the following day. The bottom line is that I will stop flying when the alternative is affordable and not until. If that is what the politicians want, they should stop pontificating about what we - the public - should be doing and address the issue of providing the public services that we pay for.

  • 136.
  • At 10:30 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Mark Nash wrote:

My wife and I gave up flying 2 years ago - and cancelled a planned holiday to see friends in Chile. As priests, we can't justify preaching care for the environment to others if we're not prepared to make a little sacrifice ourselves. Visiting family in France next month - by ferry.

  • 137.
  • At 10:38 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • Ann Hamilton wrote:

No Flying is giving us up. It has become increasingly impossible for people who were born before W W 2 to get insurance to travel so I can safely say the above. However I do think that it would be as well for the government of what ever persuasion to think carefully about
travel and charges/taxes on fuel. If they cause us to stop travelling by flight, so we holiday at home in the UK. Whoosh up goes road travel. Catch 22 again.

  • 138.
  • At 11:16 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • John Sniadowski wrote:

I used to be a frequent flyer to the USA and less to to other parts of the world. When you are up there in the sky looking down you get a sense of how small, yet how big the world is. Its hard to imagine how much energy its taken to get you up there and how much to get you safely to your destination, let alone be compare that with boiling a kettle for your next cup of tea or turning up the heating on a chilly winters night.

How many people stop to think about the amount of energy their trip is going to consume, lets face it when you are buying a ticket, the idea of energy consumption is probably never going to cross your mind. Even if it did, the response to the thought will probably be - well other people fly so why not me? Thus the thought is banished from the here and now, and the machinery of air transport continues to gobble resources unabated.

So next time you are in your plane seat flying above the clouds, take a look down at our beautiful world and wonder what it will look like when it has been trashed by the ravages of global warming. Maybe then the idea of how much you are personally contributing to global warmimg might just make you think twice - especially if you have children with you who are going to inherit the mess you have contributed to.

There's only one of me, so I can't do anything about it can I?...

  • 139.
  • At 11:51 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • andy wrote:

Twice we drove to Budapest to see relatives. Now we use low cost airlines as it's cheaper; so the answer is NO. However I wonder if flying is any worse than driving for 20 hours with two in the car? Probably the same.

  • 140.
  • At 12:37 AM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Mark Spence wrote:

I am an MSc student studying Urban Design in Belfast. I therefore have considered opinions regarding the issues surrounding sustainability and the real world 'workability' of these ideals.

Flying is but one part of our carbon footprint and an absolute necessity in an increasingly global society. Personally I would see it as a negative if the global community were segregated due to environmental concerns. Indeed this would be unworkable due to the interactions and transfers of capital, goods and culture between nations, without which post-modern industrial society would collapse.

I therefore take a pragmatic approach. My girlfriend lives and studies in Edinburgh. Instead of flying I take the bus from Belfast to Edinburgh including a ferry journey (no mean feat and very time consuming). When I travel to cities such as Berlin, Amsterdam and Strasbourg I fly because there are no viable alternatives in Northern Ireland. My philosophy quite simply: if an alternative exists (appealing to my 'go slow' sensibilities) I will use it.

The problem is not time and it is not money. The problem is selfishness and thoughtlessness by the individual. Simply by thinking about alternatives and doing a little ground-work most internal flights in the UK could be abolished with little impact for most users, after all we can still work on the train en-route to that all-important business meeting. For longer distances it becomes economical to use larger planes with fewer scheduled flights making them far more efficient resulting in vastly reduced emissions.

We as the public are sold and largely buy into a consumerist ideal/myth/lie about freedom of choice at ever lower prices. This falsehood nets few people an awful lot of money to the environments and future generations cost; there is after all no such thing as a free lunch.

* “The agreed definition of Sustainability as outlined in the 'Brundtland Report' is to meet the needs of today without adversely impacting on the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

There was a time when I used to look forward to and relish the almost magical thought and anticipation of flying.

Now? The thought of the pergatory awaiting me at the Airport before a flight shared possibly with a religeous nutcase intent on wholesale murder who is intent on taking his fellow passengers with him to meet his maker?

No - Flying? - never again for me. I can easily enjoy again the delights of our own country

  • 142.
  • At 08:22 AM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Robert Tan wrote:

You can make a new survey on people's psychological attitude towards flying, and the result, I believe, will show that many people, a high percentage, including very rational ones, still fear flying in this century. If it is not for job or business duties, not many people will be flying. I often hear that flying is very safe, or the safest means of travel. This opinion may be scientifically challenged. Sometimes we hear comments that more people die on roads than in air accidents. Let me answer: If all cars could fly today, there would be more car accidents in the air than on land. Isn't it for business interests that words are spread to persuade and encourage people to fly on the reason that it is safe and fast. It is fast and safe, but how safe it is, that still remains a question with an uncertain answer. I have been flying, at least 8 to 10 times a year, and down in my heart I know what it is about its level of safety and comfort. Last month there were several fatal plane crashes and mid-air engine problems. When a plane crashes, what can be expected? You know the bad answer. All, including many children and babies, who do not know their whereabouts and who are expected to have a life to live, will be gone unprepared in a horrible manner.

Flying can be safe but the discomforts during a take-off, during an air turbulence, landing, and the fatal risk of a crash far outweigh the sense of safety and comfort in the mind of many travellers.
I think if airlines can ensure a 100% (full) safety and more flight comfort for each flight, more people will still choose flying for a holiday. A holiday is meant for de-stressing but if flying for it is so stressful, it defeats the good of it. Some air travellers try to find peace of mind and courage by leaving their destination to the determination of fate. What do you think would happen if airlines and plane manufactures operated on this principle?

  • 143.
  • At 10:24 AM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Tom Fletcher wrote:

I have no intention to stop flying, I'd rather see a reduction to traffic on roads, cheaper more reliable public transport, would cut down on traffic on major roads which globally has to be a major factor to pollution of the environment and public health.

  • 144.
  • At 11:59 AM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Louise Watson wrote:

I would like to give up flying but as I live in Menorca the only realistic way of getting to the mainland is to fly unless you have 16 hrs to spare to take the ferry. I am in a dillema. Should we stop people living on islands to combat global warming or should we first force the USA, India, China, Japan etc to face up to their obligations in saving the planet. Maybe even the western world should be looking at helping out the nations which are in full industrial revolution at the moment to improve their infrastructures rather than saying well if they are not going to change what is the point. (By the way I ride a bike and have no car how many planes do that allow me to take a year without ethically suffering?)Of course there is only a bus service in the tourist season here, good job tourists fly and don't bring their cars or we wouldn't have a bus service at all! Oh there are so many things to correct. Anti car day was a great success here. There was one road closed off, so all the cars went another way and caused a great traffic jam. How many people left their cars at home???

  • 145.
  • At 04:01 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • Fran Bury wrote:

I gave up flying three and a half years ago, as did my boyfriend, a close friend and my mum. All of us have had fun travelling without flying, inlcuding to Turkey and Scandinavia, and exploring places we once flew over on our way to more exotic destinations. It makes you realise that flying is rarely necessary.

  • 146.
  • At 11:07 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • James N. Jolly wrote:

Several years ago I became so disgusted with the present indignities of air travel that I began driving for any trip that was ten hours or less. This parameter quite covers most of my ski and golf trips. I do still fly to Canada because of the time involved. My major motivation is not so much a worry about safety as it is just a rejection of the unpleasantness of current commercial air travel.

  • 147.
  • At 11:50 PM on 23 Sep 2006,
  • ed walls wrote:

we wanted to travel to northern ireland for oct half term by train and ferry instead of flying.

the first problem we found was that the train and ferry websites seem more difficult to use. 2 sometimes you have to book each part of the journey separately. 3 the choice of travel times seem very limited. London to Northern Ireland involves either going via Liverpool and having to get an additional train to the ferry, or to Stranraer having to change trains and the journey is quite long.

wish it was easier to book, had faster direct trains, had less hassel between train and ferry.

this time we gave up....too dificult to plan and book, was more expensive and journey looked difficult, especially with children.

  • 148.
  • At 10:04 AM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Ida Buchanan wrote:

Environmentally conscious youngsters who are short of cash should consider inter-rail.You can travel all over Europe on a sixteen day pass for the same price as flying to Spain zoo class.Freedom from all parental pressures except the odd long distance phone call to stop the oldies from worrying.I think its available to travellers of any age these days.Much less risky from the terrorist perspective as well.

  • 149.
  • At 12:40 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Simon Fox wrote:

I am flying back to Britain on Wednesday from Berlin. I vow to make this my last flight for a very, very long time.

During the summer I travelled overland from London to Beijing. Flying does not compare to land travel as a means of experiencing what wonderful things our planet has to offer, as I found out on the return flight.

As for those above who praise Richard Branson so warmly, please keep in mind that he runs an intercontinental airline. While it is good to see people investing in alternative energy sources, his planes are still going to be producing the same amount of polution! See for more.

  • 150.
  • At 12:41 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Charmaine Westwood wrote:

Unfortunately I cannot give up flying because I have to travel to the US at least once a year. However, I have wherever possible used alternative ways to get to the UK from here (in France).
I am convinced that the environment continues to suffer from the noxious emissions caused by irresponsible use of autos, planes, etc.
We need now to pursue alternative fuels - shale was the big subject in the 1970s but seems to have been ignored ever since.

  • 151.
  • At 01:55 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Rinky Hubber wrote:

But what about global dimming? The day we stop flying thw world is gonna heat up even more quickly, because all the particles in the air reflect sun's rays/heat. Is it possible to meet Justin's producer Sara - she sounds hot.

  • 152.
  • At 02:37 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • VIP wrote:

Terrorists is not the reason that I will stop flying but global warming is a consideration that may stop me. Persoanlly, I'd like to see the end of £30.99 'no frills' flights. The cost to the environemnt should mean that the number of flights should be limited. Travel should continue to be promoted though. When people actually work hard to secure funds...i am sure that the holidays will be even more enjoyable.

  • 153.
  • At 02:38 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • VIP wrote:

Terrorists is not the reason that I will stop flying but global warming is a consideration that may stop me. Persoanlly, I'd like to see the end of £30.99 'no frills' flights. The cost to the environemnt should mean that the number of flights should be limited. Travel should continue to be promoted though. When people actually work hard to secure funds...i am sure that the holidays will be even more enjoyable.

  • 154.
  • At 10:15 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Sherry Morris wrote:

I haven't flown for almost 2 yrs, when I flew from Tampa, FL to Newark, NJ to spend Christmas with my brother and his family, and visit friends in Manhatten. I would probably fly again to visit them or for vacation, but have no plans to do so anytime soon. I'd rather take a cruise to the Carribean or Mexico. We are making car trips, most recently, in August/Sept., to visit friends and tour in New Mexico. Plans are to visit family and friends in upstate New York and Florida in the next 6 months. We will travel by car.

  • 155.
  • At 10:26 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Gisli jenkins wrote:

I have flown a lot and feel bad about it. Global warming is a real and present danger and I have given up flying whenever possible. I will not be flying on holiday again and if I need to go to the USA to work again I will think long and hard about it.

  • 156.
  • At 11:37 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Lisa Richards wrote:

My husband and I have decided to radically curtail our flying and this decision will have a major impact on our future.

Having grown up in a migrant family with relatives in many parts of the world, I have flown on long-haul flights since the age of 2. As a young adult I developed a love of international travel and happily flew around the world learning about other cultures and seeing exciting new places. In 2000, my husband and I migrated to Australia to experience a new country and a future in the sun.

Now, after 6 years we look back with horror at the environmental damage we have caused. For years my husband and I (in our mid-30s) have been left-wing in our politics, and green in our daily life - all the while quietly ignoring the lengthy flights we had to take every year to see family and friends, excusing our actions by being environmentally "good" in all other aspects of our lives.

As our parents get older and less able to travel, we have faced a critical decision. The idea of never seeing those relatives in the interest of not flying is not an option for us. We can no longer hide from the horrendous damage we are causing the environment through our long-haul trips, and are now planning to leave Australia and return to the UK.

This is not a decision taken lightly, but I honestly believe that there is no easy fix to the problem of flying. I believe the problem lies not just in the fuel used but in the sheer number of planes in the sky (see George Monbiot's views on the effect of high cirrus cloud). However, I am fearful of a massive swing towards xenophobia as people retreat from a global perspective of the world to look no further than their own backyard.

  • 157.
  • At 09:16 AM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Almuth Ernsting wrote:

I stopped flying altogether after the European heatwave of 2003, which we now know killed some 52,000 people. I have had a number of nice holidays, including one abroad since then and see no need and no justification to ever fly again.

  • 158.
  • At 10:02 AM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Jeremy Birch wrote:

I have given up flying for holidays - and have largely given it up for business (have one more or less compulsory trip per year). I would dearly love to never fly again.

Travel by plane does not broaden the mind in the most part - you find hotel rooms the world over are the same, you don't get to see the wat people really live or see the environment. I have far more enjoyed my recent family holidays by train because the stress is far lower, you do get to see where you are travelling through and so on. No doubt the tickets are more expensive, but the impact is lower.

  • 159.
  • At 11:08 AM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Alan Pinder wrote:

I try not to fly any more than I have to, and haven't flown for several years. This is partly because of the environmental cost, but also because flying is such an unpleasant experience.

Last year my wife and I went on holiday to southern France by train - Eurostar across to Paris then TGV. The travelling was much more pleasant than flying, and we got there in one day. By the time you have got to the airport checked in, flown, collected baggage and travelled on from the airport, flying takes almost as long. The trains were a bit more expensive than some very cheap flights, but we managed to get cheap tickets by booking early.

I don't understand why flying is cheaper than trains. It makes no sense.

  • 160.
  • At 11:36 AM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Jane wrote:

I haven't flown for over ten years and will never set foot on a plane again.

  • 161.
  • At 12:30 PM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Mrs Susan C Carson wrote:

Mobility impaired travellers are denied access to planes so, even if I wished to fly it is unlikely I would be able to.

  • 162.
  • At 01:38 PM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Penny Walker wrote:

I haven't flown for pleasure for over ten years, and not for business in the last four years. Recent teleconferences have involved people from Australia, Brazil and Oman. Holidays are by car, train or bike. My partner has a great fear of flying (predating recent terrorist incidents) so we've got used to holidaying in other ways. Upside is that our carbon footprint is lower.

I'd love to have cheaper rail travel, so we can take our two kids on a family inter-rail holiday around Europe over the summer holidays. Ahh, perhaps with our bikes too. Now wouldn't that be an adventure!

My mother spent six months in Italy last year, and travelled there and back by train, so as to avoid flying, because she's concerned about environmental impact of emissions and new runways.

yep. i gave up flying about 6 years ago, when i could no longer justify flying for business or pleasure. i had been grinding the mental cogs and wheels about the environmental impact of flying, and i was already sick of the physical humiliation of "cattle truck" flying for business, which smacked of useless air pollution, when it was possible to do meetings by conference call. i had continued to fly for personal trips, because i considered it essential for going on exciting travel abroad. it was a particularly diastrous flight between istanbul and vienna that was the last straw, as it taught me that the torture of flying is not balanced by the holiday fun. it tipped me into my decision (and a long train trip home). there is no way to compensate for the greenhouse gas mess up, not even with carbon offsetting, because growing trees takes too long. the broadening of my mind is now no longer done by plane. "but how will you get to the states ?" my acquaintances ask. "i don't need to go to the united states", i reply.

yep. i gave up flying about 6 years ago, when i could no longer justify flying for business or pleasure. i had been grinding the mental cogs and wheels about the environmental impact of flying, and i was already sick of the physical humiliation of "cattle truck" flying for business, which smacked of useless air pollution, when it was possible to do meetings by conference call. i had continued to fly for personal trips, because i considered it essential for going on exciting travel abroad. it was a particularly disastrous flight between istanbul and vienna that was the last straw, as it taught me that the torture of flying is not balanced by the holiday fun. it tipped me into my decision (and a long train trip home). there is no way to compensate for the greenhouse gas mess up, not even with carbon offsetting, because growing trees takes too long. the broadening of my mind is now no longer done by plane. "but how will you get to the states ?" my acquaintances ask. "i don't need to go to the united states", i reply.

  • 165.
  • At 03:38 PM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Lisa Eyers wrote:

I flew from London to Dublin for a weekend earlier this year. I felt so bad about it that I decided not to fly anywhere for my summer holiday. Instead of the standard package in Spain, we chose to drive and ferry over to Normandy, camping instead of hotel. I then paid to offset the carbon emissions (which was only around £1.50). It was a brilliant, relaxing and guilt-free holiday, and we plan to do much the same next year, possibly going to Holland instead.

Pretty much, yes. Used to fly a few times a year maybe a holiday and a couple of weekend breaks, but haven't flown in about 2 years now. I love long train journeys though and have done the trans-sib. I'm planning to take the overnight train to Barcelona sometime soon as my partner will be over there. Enjoying taking holidays in the UK and Europe by train and exploring the UK on weekend breaks too. Have always wanted to go to Iceland though, and without flying this would be a 2-day ferry trip and 7 hours by bus to get to Reykjavik, so may make an exception for that, given that I was sick on the ferry to Lundy Island this year!
A couple of useful websites:
The man in seat 61:

  • 167.
  • At 08:09 PM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Helen wrote:

Since learning of the significant impact of aircraft emmissions at high altitude on global warming, this awareness has altered my perspective on flying.

Recent increased air passenger security measures are a nuisance although absolutely necessary of course.

I do find flying exhiliarating and we seem to continue to have this great love affair with air travel and the romance and escapism of it all

However, as a holiday traveller I seek minimum hassle and maximum relaxation opportunities and have resolved to research the alternatives such as cruising.

This is my future vision and I see great business opportunities for lower cost cruise liners to go back & forth across the Atlantic while at the same time perhaps aspiring to recapture the elegance of a bygone age?

Perhaps this alternative way to capture the romance and exhiliaration
combined with the relaxation which will surely benefit our health while travelling is the way forward?

  • 168.
  • At 08:31 PM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Helen wrote:

Since learning of the significant impact of aircraft emmissions at high altitude on global warming, this has altered my perspective on flying.

Recent increased air passenger security measures are a nuisance although absolutely necessary of course.

I do find flying exhiliarating and we seem to continue to have this great love affair with air travel and the romance and escapism of it all

However, as a holiday traveller I seek minimum hassle and maximum relaxation opportunities and have resolved to research the alternatives such as cruising.

This is my future vision and I see great business opportunities for lower cost cruise liners to go back & forth across the Atlantic while at the same time perhaps aspiring to recapture the elegance of a bygone age?

Perhaps this alternative way to capture the romance and exhiliaration
combined with the relaxation which will surely benefit our health while travelling is the way forward?

  • 169.
  • At 08:29 AM on 26 Sep 2006,
  • ian rowden wrote:

My contribution is to promote ethical and sustainable tourism by travelling in a small Camper. A L.P.G. conversion produces almost zero emissions.Most of the time you can generate your own power for domestic purposes.Water consumption is minumal.Eco-friendly products can be used.Using small establishments helps local economy.

  • 170.
  • At 02:21 PM on 26 Sep 2006,
  • Steve Kinsella wrote:

Given up flying.

Bicycle + train is relaxing and comfortable for door-door long distance travel.

But we need better and more trains in UK and the continent. Most importantly better provision for taking bicycles is needed - particularly on Eurostar where bikes can't be taken at present. On French TGV many trains don't take bikes.

Trains and long distance buses or coaches need to change so they take the same or more luggage that one get take on a plane.

And good catering facilities needed on trains, not a worse provision as First Great Western is proposing.

  • 171.
  • At 04:33 PM on 26 Sep 2006,
  • Riki Kittel wrote:

Clive and I holidayed in Italy and France this year, travelling by train and hiring a car. We never fly if we can help it. I want to go to Nepal next year and I am thinking of driving......

  • 172.
  • At 04:39 PM on 26 Sep 2006,
  • Sölvi Eysteinsson wrote:

As I live on an island (Iceland) with no rail connections and extremely limited sea connections with the outside world I naturally fly quite frequently, often twice a year. I cannot visualize my country without air travel. For us it is not a question of giving up fossil fuel when travelling to other countries, but waiting for, or developing, a technology that would make air travel possible without it. Even though such a technology is not foreseeable at the moment. I strongly believe it will come (hydrogen power, nuclear power, whatever). The future holds holds absolutely amazing technological advances with resulting solutions to the global warming threat. I have no patience for today's doomsday prophesies.

  • 173.
  • At 10:43 AM on 27 Sep 2006,
  • steve wrote:

I used to fly regularly with work on domestic routes and fly aboard at least once a year on holiday (one year I took 16 vacation flights). I have now vowed to do everything I can to avoid flying. Not as a direct result of either terrorism or global warming (a train to Scotland from London probably uses a similar amount of CO2 per passenger). But because over the years the hassle factor and time have increased dramatically.

I used to be able to arrive at Heathrow T1 15mins before my flight to Edinburgh, walk straight onto the plane (and this was during IRA terrorism activity) and be there in about hour. Now the schedule time has been extended to 1 hour 30mins and it is often late. Add in the extended check-in / security delays and the congestion getting to / from airports, it now makes little sense to fly within the UK. Provided you can afford to train, the door to door time via train is now often only marginally longer than flying, but is a much better easier journey.

As for holidays, I now have children and it is much easier to keep them entertained, and a more relaxed start to the holiday, on a ferry crossing to France or Spain than to fly.

  • 174.
  • At 12:52 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • Rebecca Lush wrote:

Yes, I have given up flying, and have a couple of times persuaded other friends not to fly. Last year I cajoled five of us not to fly and instead we went by train to the south of France. It was really enjoyable. This year, four of us went to Spain on the Train Hotel overnight. Although it was hard to sleep, it was very enjoyable and cheap at £160 return with a cabin It is very easy to organise too. See .

The comic/activist Robert Newman has suggested that people who insist in taking short haul flights instead of bus/train should be served with ASBOs. His reasoning is that, in the face of growing global warming and the amount of CO2 pumped out by airplanes, short haul travellers are doing us as much damage as any other anit-social element in society.
Rings true for me!

  • 176.
  • At 04:11 PM on 28 Sep 2006,
  • chris rumbold wrote:

as a pilot i obviously have a biased view, i do not claim to know everything on the issue but perhaps if less people travel on aircraft less money will be spent on alternative greener flight perhaps a boycott of air travel is not the best way to go but laws on emissions and increased taxes, which will obviously bring up prices of tickets would have a better effect on the emissions of aviation, another point is the airline my father works for often flys with very low numbers of passengers on board, the 30 seat aircfaft has more than once had just one passenger, and a company i have worked for had a boeing 737 normally configured for 100 passengers plus, but in its private configuration had seats for 19. please correct me if i am wrong

  • 177.
  • At 08:17 AM on 29 Sep 2006,
  • Sean wrote:

I gave up flying about 3 years ago.

I've found the train far better than flying for journeys to France and Belgium.

There are so many beautiful places to go in this country that I really don't feel hard done by.

  • 178.
  • At 09:00 AM on 29 Sep 2006,
  • Mary Warwick wrote:

Recent years have seen flying become the most uncomfortable method of transport.... however, it's a bit difficult getting out of Australia these days without flying. I wish there was another way!

  • 179.
  • At 11:44 AM on 29 Sep 2006,
  • James Clayton wrote:

I want to both see some foreign countries, like South Africa and the USA, as well as be environmentally friendly. It is hard to justify on green grounds, but I would like (as someone in their early twenties) to at least see some countries outside Europe. Can I justify a plane journey every 3 - 4 years, if the purpose of the visit is responsible, culturally sensitive tourism, rather than merely lying on a beach in the sun and drinking cocktails?

  • 180.
  • At 12:29 PM on 29 Sep 2006,
  • Alan Fleming wrote:

I have given up flying completely since it causes climate change which threatens the existence of humanity. I believe, for all our faults, we are are worth trying to save and so to fly would be to give up hope. The good thing about flying is that it is something that we can give up without any loss of comfort or happiness. I would like to commend the comment above about "gap-years" in the UK; we need these ideas to show that we can develop without destroying ourselves. There is no techno-fix round the corner to make continued flying possible: see,,1877251,00.html

  • 181.
  • At 12:58 PM on 29 Sep 2006,
  • Suz wrote:

My last flight was to China this summer and I vow never to fly again because I am concerned about the effects global warming. Never liked it much anyway - lots of waiting, boredom etc. Travelled across China by train and it was far more relaxing and fun.

  • 182.
  • At 10:05 PM on 30 Sep 2006,
  • Carolyn wrote:

I have never in my life been on a plane. Why go abroad when Britain has so many beautiful holiday spots? We go to South Devon every year, and we adore it. There's no need to go to a different country when you haven't even explored the one you live in.

  • 183.
  • At 03:47 PM on 01 Oct 2006,
  • David wrote:

I chose train/ferry from London to Dublin last week for ecological reasons ,and found it much more enjoyable than flying - watching the scenery and having time to read. The only misery was the leg-room on the Virgin train was just sufficient for my 5'6" companion but I actually couldn't get into the seat at 6'1". Surely trains can have more leg room?

  • 184.
  • At 02:51 PM on 02 Oct 2006,
  • ian lander wrote:

YES. Once you know how close we are to runaway global warming, which could mean the end of life on earth, for rather a long time. Our morality is making us an offer we can't refuse.

Yes it's rather irksome to listen to just about everyone else you know (including 'greens') talking about their dirty cheap weekend break with Obnoxious Air, but their you go - bite the bullet, this one isn't silver, it's just about going without, which is what our climate changed post peak oil world is going to be all about. It's about social justice and equity and contraction and convergence and nothing to do with living in caves, wearing hair shirts.

We all want to carry on, as before, but the world has changed. The people of Bangladesh and Tuvalu, etc, etc want to live above sea level, they to want to carry on as before.

  • 185.
  • At 04:47 PM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • Flashtrash wrote:

I recommend train travel totally. No patronising airport staff, treated like cattle, move here, stop, sit down,etc. Trains are smooth, have cafes/bars, toilets etc. But i will fly when necessary, i have no truck with the global warming debate. Yes emissions have increased but the effect is uncertain. The computer models forecasting are totally absurd, a fantasy, a mere wild guess because no computer is powerful enough nor is fed the fantastic terebyte of information necessary to predict with any certain the effect of just a 1% increase in carbon dioxide emmisions. The scientist know this, they know the models are highly speculative.

  • 186.
  • At 11:34 AM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Peter Sanderson wrote:

I dont plan to fly again - their is no justification for it now we know the damage it is causing. Scientists no-longer debate whether climate change is happening, that is an accepted fact. The debate has moved on to how the severe and impacts can be minimised. Carbon rationing must be part of our response.

  • 187.
  • At 11:37 PM on 10 Oct 2006,
  • Brian Putman wrote:

Putting aside any consideration of the carbon emmissions caused by taking a flight to get from A to B, what an incestually boring way of travelling. You see Airport A and Airport B...unlikely to be two places that bring peace to ones soul to see. But a train journey across countries and continents with the experience of all the sighhts, sounds and smells that are between A and B has to be a more intrinsically humane method of travel. Travel should not be merely a way of getting from A to B, it should be a journey. Try reading 'The Great Railway Bazaar' by Paul Theroux, it will get my point across to you.

  • 188.
  • At 02:04 PM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Jamie Slimmon wrote:

Hello, yes i've given up flying too. It's been nearly a year now. I recently went to visit friends in Finland, but rather than fly, I figured a way through Germany by train, then completed my journey by ferry. piece of cake.

  • 189.
  • At 12:52 PM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • Geek wrote:

I've about given up on this blog never mind flying! Any chance of an update this month?

  • 190.
  • At 04:03 PM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • Harry Wells wrote:

Trains are - I agree - a lovely way to travel.

One point that is noteworthy however, is that Commercial Airline travel may actually be assisting in keeping the temperatures down, rather ironic: but I distinctly remember some evidence relating to water evaporation experiments, that showed that since the 1950's when aircraft travelled ever higher in the atmosphere and in rapidly increasing numbers, they have in fact been slowing the evaporation rates around the world, [sic] global cooling: to the extent of causing some alarm.

So the many flyers who will continue to do so, could just be helping the rest of us out. But yes, train travel can be a marvellous experience, and I have to agree that it is quite likely the better, more enjoyable and real way to travel.

If only they still had whistles, the smell, and the chuf chuf of the old days - so romantic.

  • 191.
  • At 11:27 PM on 17 Oct 2006,
  • Simon Marchant wrote:

Aircraft emissions should be multiplied by, conservatively, 3 to account for the altitude at which they are emitted.

The offset value doesn't include the building and running of the airplane, hotel, golf course etc

I don't fly.

You can't grow enough plants to fly or power cars. it would take most of the farm, and other, land. so we would all starve.

Offsetting doesn't reduce demand and we must all reduce demand for most things because most things are based on the oil economy.

global warming will make summers here worth staying home for - see 2006, 2005 etc...

Do it now or wait until its too late,
I should not care I have no children.
One day things will be different and you will be talking about far more important things than your annual hols in foreign parts.

  • 192.
  • At 12:55 PM on 18 Oct 2006,
  • Cathy wrote:

Yes - my partner and I gave up flying 2 years ago when we just felt too guilty about the damage we were causing to the environment through our self-indulgent actions. Since then I have found out a lot more about how flying is the biggest growing cause of increased climate change and how the single most important thing anyone can do to try and preserve the human race from extinction is to stop flying. I have become an aviation campaigner and held demos against the expansion of our local airport.

By the way all you lovers of trains - I hate to tell you this but those TGV fast trains you love are almost as polluting as planes - see George Monbiot's new web-site launched with his book 'Heat' =

  • 193.
  • At 05:48 AM on 16 Nov 2006,
  • Richard Dews wrote:

In the past year I have flown about 130,000 miles, that’s over 5 times round the world. I do not intend to give up flying, either on business or pleasure trips even if practical alternatives were available.

Am I selfish, irresponsible? Possibly so, but I resent didactic lectures by so called ethical man/woman. The root cause of all negative environmental impact, including but by no means limited to climate change, is overpopulation. How many of these holier than thou greens have children? Can we expect them to encourage a moratorium on breeding in the near future? I seriously doubt it!

  • 194.
  • At 10:11 AM on 12 Dec 2006,
  • Michael wrote:

I'm amazed to hear all of those people who are giving up flying because of "all the incidents" or "safety concerns".

Flying remains far safer than trains, boats and especially cars.

Millions of people fly everyday, and in the last 5 years (aside from 9/11) the only serious plane accidents have occured in third world countries where safety is not properly regulated.

And what a joke to say "Why on earth would I want to go abroad? I havent finished being surprised by what this country has to offer yet."

There's a whole world out there of cultures and people's vastly different to anything ever seen in the UK.

I once heard someone day, "not to travel, is like reading one page of a book".

  • 195.
  • At 04:18 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Chris Lee wrote:

I have not flown for over 3 years due to environmental considerations

  • 196.
  • At 04:59 PM on 26 Jan 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

I decided to take one very long vacation in Europe to minimize all of the costs (environmental and economic) associated with long-haul flights from Australia. I use the UK as a hub for land-based (car/ferry/train)trips around the British Isles and Europe. I also do a lot of long distance walking trips in the UK which really aren't as feasible in Australia.

However, UK Home Office really doesn't like people doing this and grumbles about me staying away from my country for too long. None of the other Euro nations seem to care though, but they do place time limits on those of us doing their gap year over age 30, even when we're well-heeled enough to manage it. This does place them at odds with the tourist-attracting efforts of Visit Britain...

  • 197.
  • At 02:05 PM on 31 Jan 2007,
  • Abbie wrote:

Only recently i have been worried about global warming due to the fact i am doing an A Level course in Travel and Tourism on the impacts of flying on global warming. I will still go on holiday every year abroad on a plane but i feel that more people need to know about the impacts of flying.

  • 198.
  • At 10:08 AM on 04 Mar 2007,
  • Kevan wrote:

In the past I took a long-haul flight for an annual holiday, but these days I use the train to explore Europe. I have found this a far more comfortable and leisurely way to travel, and at times (e.g. travelling through Switzerland) you start to feel sorry for those travellers a few thousand feet above you who are missing the spectacular scenery.

Having said that, I don't think it is realistic to expect everyone to stop flying overnight, and demanding nothing less than this is likely to switch people off. If circumstances dictate that I need to fly again then I will strongly consider carbon offsetting, despite the concerns that others have raised about its viability, as this seems a realistic way of reducing the impact of carbon emmissions if used in conjunction with an overall reduction in air travel.

  • 199.
  • At 02:12 PM on 08 Mar 2007,
  • Dana Decent wrote:

More and more people are flying planes, namely because flight has become an rapid, convenient and affordable way to travel. And it's really nice. I know a lot of people that use flights for their business, and who love the fact that they can spend the weekend in Vienna or Venice without having to take time off or pay exhoribtant funds. Flying airplanes is only going to increase in the future, not decrease.

Instead of trying to convince people to stop flying, we should concentrate our efforts to create more efficient planes. I am not going to give up flying because at the moment it is the easiest way for me to travel. I would on the other hand be prepared to pay extra if I knew that the plane I was on gave off less carbon dioxide.

We need a change of policy, and we need it now.

  • 200.
  • At 02:54 AM on 19 Mar 2007,
  • Bob Bramwell wrote:

I fly as little as I can manage, maybe a couple of flights a year. What puzzles me is where all the extra passenger-miles are coming from. Predictions are for greatly increased air travel over the next decade: who is doing the travelling, and why?

  • 201.
  • At 12:41 AM on 06 Apr 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

I have flown once in my lifetime to Spain. I was in awe at the experience, being able to observe the surface of the earth from such a unique almost divine perspective. Much as I describe the contraptions of air travel the submarines of the skies, I found the experience breathtaking. I was immensely anxious to step inside the fuselage of such an immense piece of engineering, but was glad to have had the opportunity. Should I fly again, which I intend to within the next few years, most likely transatlantic or transasiatic, I will be able to visit lands otherwise unreachable. I will meet people of distant cultures to add to the repertoire of my life's experiences. I feel that everyone should be able to experience this at least once in their life. I hope future generations will be able to share my experience. I feel that it is a luxury, and that the technology is being abused for poor reasons. Not only are journeys being increasingly made by air for leisure, which provides happiness to fliers, but more alarmingly so for business users who sit for hours at a laptop, and might as well be sat in a toilet cubicle of a fast food restaurant. This appalling situation is present due to various factors leading from poorly maintained public transport infrastructure to aviation tax free fuel. India is now copying us, and former train travellers now consider it more environmentally friendly than travelling by train. What's more, air freight is set to quadruple in the next few years, this surely reflects the economic situation relating to the respective modes of transport. I run a small economical car that does 6,000 miles a year at 40 mpg, and I'll be darned if I'm going to sacrifice the benefits this makes to my life so that arrogant idiots like Richard Dews who by judging by the contents of his recent blog I suspect would make a particularly obnoxious co-passenger of the sort who oblates the limbs of his already bloated torso onto the unfortunate passengers that happen to inhabit his neighboring seats. Air travel is a glorious technology and should not be abused in such a selfish way. Air travel is an awesome technology, lets not make it the extravenous drug of the twenty first century.

  • 202.
  • At 10:47 PM on 26 Oct 2007,
  • Cassie Mayer wrote:

I used to fly quite a bit and there are still many places in the world I would like to visit. However, once I started to read about and study the science behind climate change predictions, I decided the only right thing to do was to cut back drastically on flying. Originally I was going to limit myself to one long haul or two short haul flights a year - but in fact I have only flown once (to Italy) in the past two years. I now feel morally uncomfortable about flying at all - the environmental crisis is too severe and aviation too damaging.

  • 203.
  • At 02:58 PM on 29 Oct 2007,
  • Georgia Valentine wrote:

Ok, so enter my thoughts.
Firstly let me just condem those people who do not give up flying at all and instead continue to fly more than 2 return flights a year. Do you really think your career is worth more than the earth? You are extreamly selfish people and the world as it stands would be better off without you.
Then to you "flying shouldnt stop, airlines should be creating better fuels."
Why would companies want to invest millions in finding out cleaner ways to fly if your still handing over your money to them everytime you want to go away? Then, think about this now...
Just sit back and think, to develop a fuel, that is to power a aircraft into the sky, that is to replace the aviation fuels, this will take time.
A lot of time, have you not thought that maybe people are somewhere in hundreds of labs in different countries franticlly trying to save the earth. Give them a break and help the world out. Stop flying for a bit?

This debate annoys me greatly, because people seem to be ignoring what is staring them in the face.
We are not the only creatures on this planet and when we die it still all carries on for who is left.
Is your need to get to italy on tuesday morning really worth an entire generation of everything on this oncegreen earth?

People really annoy me.

Land can be seen in a most wonderful way by flying closely over it. Everything look like a painting when I fly.

  • 205.
  • At 01:05 AM on 08 Nov 2007,
  • Graham Tattersall wrote:

British Prime Ministers are FOREVER jetting off around the world, often for what is little more than a photo opportunity to further their OWN status. Most of their journeys are TOTALLY UNNECESSARY and could be completed far quicker and cheaper by a simple telephone call.
When a PM does fly overseas it isn't just one "bum on a seat" but their whole entourage of hangers-on, PLUS another plane load of media representatives keen for stories and photos.
So while our PM is responsible for pumping TENS of THOUSANDS OF TONS of CO2 into the atmosphere as a result of numerous "waste of time journeys" that the British Tax Payer has to pay for, he then has the NERVE to tell us to cancel our summer holiday in order to "save the planet".

  • 206.
  • At 11:25 AM on 08 Nov 2007,
  • mike byford wrote:

I have given up flying but individual acts of conscience just allow the selfish and greedy to prosper.
The main issue is why is aviation not taxed?
This would reduce the problems overnight..
It pays no fuel tax so gets kerosene at less than 20 p per litre.
No VAT on tickets
No VAT on purchasing planes
Gets subsidies for building new airports and facilities and granted planning permission despite local objection
This is why flying is cheaper than any other form of transport.
Freight flights are an even bigger source of chemical and noise pollution but no Government has even mention taxing them! Flying plastic packets of nitrogen with a few salad leaves from Chile to the UK is obscene!
Wake up guys there is no possible alternative "fuel" for aviation so ultimately it will cease but not before it has done irreparable damage to the environment and the quality of peoples lives who have constant aircraft noise day and night like East Midlands airport.
Car and lorries can be fueled by hydrogen and electricity if the oil industry didn't have such a vested interest in stopping their development.
The thrust needed by planes cannot be generated any other way unless we change the laws of physics.

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