Provocation: Tackling Climate Change

Posted by chichi | Climate Change | Monday 26 October 2009 11.02 am

Climate Change

Professor Callum Thomas, Chair of Sustainable Aviation, Centre for Air Transport and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University puts forward this provocation on tackling climate change:

The air transport industry has over the past 50 years driven patterns of trade and migration and in so doing helped create the Global economy and multicultural society.

The twin issues on climate change and peak oil are a threat to the future growth and development of aviation and the role it will play in the second half of the 20th Century as at present there is no alternative to carbon based fuels for air transport.

So will we get a step change in technology to carbon free flight or will we take our holidays in Blackpool rather than Benidorm?


What are your thoughts?  Please share them in the comments below.

Image credit: Weayaya

7 Comments »

  1. Comment by Liz — October 28, 2009 @ 9.48 am

    This is a subject that really annoys me – sustainable air travel! Since when has the right to cheap and easy air travel been an essential human right that should be protected beyond all else? I think it is actually a significant problem causing a real hurdle for progress in climate politics because every politician knows it is a sure vote killer to suggest that people need to think about flying less, if at all.

    “So will we get a step change in technology to carbon free flight or will we take our holidays in Blackpool rather than Benidorm?”

    A statement that kind of misses the point as far as I can see in the context of all the changes that we need to make to make the world more abundant, equitable and sustainable. Not to say that research shouldn’t be made into this area but in no way should it be a priority for resources when there seem to be much more important issues around the agenda of climate change than this one. For example, we face significant questions over an ever growing population and food security that are much more critical to the challenge of climate change and the future of our species. We also have to get away from the idea of continual growth in business and finance that is in conflict to the direction that we need to follow to secure a viable future. Why not measure national success in terms of citizen happiness instead of financial wealth? Surely a much more relevant aspiration for the post industrial era we are moving into…?

    And just for the record…I’m committed and positive about our future and to support this belief in a better future I haven’t been on a plane for more than 5 years – I don’t see how I can really live sustainably if I do. Instead I travel slowly and can safely say that I would much prefer a relaxed trip to Blackpool than a flight to Benidorm any day.

  2. Comment by Ruza — November 6, 2009 @ 1.46 pm

    I tend to disagree with Lisa on this. One cannot expect that the lifestlye of the whole world will be changed as easily as stopping air travel by one individual. Some countries have little or no alternative to air travel due to geographical locations, wars, or political “bad-will”. Should they simply stop using air-imported goods, like grain, and exporting what they can, like gold? One does not substitue for the other…
    So I do think that alternative energy soruces for air travel, as well as for any other non-sustaintable activity are essential.

  3. Comment by Shows in Blackpool — April 13, 2010 @ 9.49 pm

    While the UK doesn’t have a great climate we really do need to cut down on air travel holidays. So what’s the solution? Well stop building runways, the more runways we have the more possible flights we can accommodate. So the price for take off slots is currently low, decrease take off slots and they become more expensive. So we end up with a situation were flight prices go up. This will reduce air travel and at the same time help the British economy! As people will holiday in the UK. So the Gov gets more Vat and British businesses make more money and then pay more tax.

  4. Comment by Luis Howard — May 1, 2010 @ 5.11 am

    Climate Change is really scary, now we have super typhoons and a lot of flooding going on some countries….’

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