More and more people around the world are choosing not to fly to reduce their carbon footprint.
Today’s aviation industry is many things. One thing it is not, is clean. In the wake of the climate crisis, a growing number of people across the globe are thinking twice before flying, with some choosing to avoid flying altogether.
A UK sociologist chose to travel from England to China by train instead of plane.
Roger Tyers, a 37-year old research fellow at Southampton University who holds a PhD in Sociology/Green Behavior Change/Public policy, made the decision to travel by train from England to the Chinese port city Ningbo for academic research in May.
Not only was his journey more complex and took longer than air travel (a month on board trains), it was also over $2,500, a cost three times the amount of a return flight. Tyers told CNN that the reason he chose to travel by train instead of plane was the climate crisis. He felt he needed to stop flying after he learned of the UN climate experts warning that the world has less than 11 years to avoid disastrous levels of global warming.
Tyers isn’t alone in his decision to avoid air travel. Internationally recognized Swedish teen climate activist Great Thunberg also chooses to travel using methods other than flying. She famously crossed the Atlantic in a zero-emission boat back in August to attend the September United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.
Trains seem to be the transportation of choice among those who fear the climate crisis.
CNN reported that a survey released back in May by Swedish Railways (SJ), revealed that more survey respondents chose to travel by train instead of taking a plane where possible, compared to the group of survey respondents at the beginning of 2018. There was a 17% increase, with 37% of May 2019 respondents choosing to travel by train compared to 20% in 2018.
Eco-conscious travelers aside, more people are flying now than ever before and this number is expected to grow in the coming years. Currently, the aviation industry accounts for 2% of man-made CO2. However, if nothing changes in the industry, this is expected to increase to 22% by 2050.
Clean technology advances in many transportation sectors, including aviation, cars, buses, trucks, trains and ships, are needed to help combat the climate crisis and stop the Earth from warming at its alarming rate.