Avoiding CO2 Emissions
Sometimes I wished people (including myself) would think a bit more before they write. Looking around for CO2 sins, it is fairly easy to point the finger to flying. Indeed, aviation has tax privileges that hide the true costs of this means of transportation. This should be stopped. But in terms of CO2 output, modern airplanes are not that bad. Only the railway and especially travel buses are better. A car must be packed with at least 3 persons to beat the most modern airplanes. And airplanes should be used on distances only where cars or travel buses cannot compete at all.
The arguments usually continue with a claim for more railway connections. This, of course, does only help if the railways are (1) driven by regenerative energies and (2) replace other means of transportation. If those conditions are not met more and cheaper railway connections only add to the CO2 footprint of mankind. The most efficient way would be to stop driving our own cars and using travel buses. We should not think that individual traffic can go on like now in the future world of eleven billion people. An option is to reduce traveling before we are forced to do so. The means to achieve this are local economies and the net.
Moreover, traveling in total adds only 15% to the global CO2 emissions if my numbers are right. And flying is only a small part of traveling. By far the major emissions come from the industry, power plants and housing. And this will be rising due to the eleven billion people that will need basic resources to live. We should have stopped that growth earlier by education, fair chances, equal rights for women and shared welfare. But now my kids have to find a way to get the planet through this sickness called „mankind“. And there are ways to do it. We need new thinking and much more science, and a new awareness of the challenges we are facing. We don’t need a brutal business that ignores all warnings.
And we do not need simple solutions which ignore all statistical facts.