Support ‘Flight Free 2020’ https://www.flightfree.co.uk/
We all know that flying is extremely damaging for the environment, but you only really know once you hear that flying abroad for a single holiday can cancel out all the other efforts to reduce carbon emissions and more than double the size of a household carbon footprint. So one of the most effective things we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint is to fly less.
What is Flight Free 2020?
Flight Free is a campaign that started in Sweden by Maja Rosén in 2018, through the website www.westayontheground.org, and has since spread to different countries including the UK, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark and Norway.
The UK campaign, Flight Free UK https://www.flightfree.co.uk/ , is asking people to pledge not to fly at all in 2020. Their website also gives ideas on how to travel without flying. The UK aims to get 100,000 people to sign up. At the time of writing, its website had 2,161 signatures.
There is Not Enough Time for Wishful Technology Fixes
Hopefully sooner or later we will work out how to fly using renewable energy, but as we only have 11 years to avert the climate catastrophe, the best way right now is flight free. Currently there is technology being developed to make aviation less damaging such as electric jet engines and solar panels to fly around the world but we are still decades away from real commercial flight, so the only way to really reduce carbon emissions is not to fly in the first place. For some people it may not be possible to give up flying completely however it would be a good thing if people start to change their habits for flying several times a year for pleasure.
The Government is Failing to Protect Us
A controversial third runway at Heathrow has been planned. I am appalled by this decision; just as much as the Extinction Rebellion Climate activists. Like all of us who care about the Climate, they fiercely opposed the idea of this third runway as they say ‘it would make the airport the single biggest carbon emitter in the UK.” Surely if the UK government was serious about the climate emergency it would think again about going ahead with it? Are they not serious about zero emmission targets? From a recent Guardian report, the Committee on Climate Change had recently criticised the government for doing a terrible job at tackling the climate crisis. They are “shocked that the UK has no proper plans for protecting people from heatwaves, flash flooding and other impacts of the climate crisis”.
Given the climate is about to collapse, we must refrain from flying. If we are serious enough perhaps we could stop this expansion going ahead.
Spread the Word to Raise the Awareness
Spread the word by talking about this issue with your family and friends. If enough of us do it, we can forget about airport expansion and start talking about airport contraction instead. And by the way, cruise ships are just as damaging, but trains are not as bad. Obviously there are times when flying is more necessary than others; I would never want to ban people from flying to another continent to visit family for example. But I really want to raise awareness to this campaign. I believe we, as young people can have a major influence over our parents to have staycations instead.
I think those who are making this commitment are brilliant. Perhaps, people may find rationing flying a lot easier than going totally vegan (even though reducing meat consumption would be a good idea). Anything we can do as individuals to slow down the climate catastrophe should be applauded, however small. It all adds up.