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How much does flying heat the planet?

#1
How much does flying heat the planet?

According to NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus:

"Hour for hour, there’s no better way to warm the planet than to fly in a plane. If you fly coach from Los Angeles to Paris and back, you’ve just emitted 3 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, 10 times what an average Kenyan emits in an entire year. Flying first class doubles these numbers."

"However, the total climate impact of planes is likely two to three times greater than the impact from the CO2 emissions alone. This is because planes emit mono-nitrogen oxides into the upper troposphere, form contrails, and seed cirrus clouds with aerosols from fuel combustion. These three effects enhance warming in the short term. (Note that the charts in this article exclude these effects.)"

"Given the high climate impact, why is it that so many environmentalists still choose to fly so much? I know climate activists who fly a hundred thousand miles per year. I know scientists who fly about as much but “just don’t think about it.” I even have a friend who blogged on the importance of bringing reusable water bottles on flights in order to pre-empt the miniature disposable bottles of water the attendants hand out. Although she saved around 0.04 kilograms of CO2 by refusing the disposable bottle, her flight to Asia emitted more than 4,000 kilograms, equivalent to some 100,000 bottles."​

Continued in: How Far Can We Get Without Flying?
by NASA Climate Scientist Peter Kalmus

How Far Can We Get Without Flying?

Related articles follow:

The Guardian
Why did climate scientists emit 30,000 tonnes of C02 this weekend?
Peter Kalmus

Why did climate scientists emit 30,000 tonnes of C02 this weekend? | Peter Kalmus

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Truthout
Dahr Jamail | "Do We Really Need to Fly?": Meet the Climate Scientists Walking Their Talk
Thursday, February 01, 2018 By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report

Dahr Jamail | ''Do We Really Need to Fly?'': Meet the Climate Scientists Walking Their Talk

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Climate scientist calls out 25,000 colleagues for flying to conference

Climate scientist calls out 25,000 colleagues for flying to conference
 
#3
Thanks, David, for this.

Just before Christmas, Atlanta airport experienced a blackout which resulted in the cancelation of many flights for an extended time (shorter than a day as I recall). Reading about this, I learned that Atlanta airport is the busiest in the country with about 121 million passengers a year. Here are more statistics about air travel in the United States. For example, there were more than 24 million aviation flight hours in 2015. Everday, more than 2.5 million passengers fly in the United States. Etc.

Of course, those who have taken a look at the post-WWII Great Acceleration statistics as the immediate causes of the planetary crisis known that air travel really took off after WWII, a process W.W. Rostow, the anti-communist economist, celebrated in his Stages of Economic Growth.

Small wonder then that to save the world, we need to stop and reverse this trend and junk the lifestyle and technologies going along with it. We need a much smaller human population, living with a much more modest means, generated in local economies to ensure comfort, health, and happiness if we are to avert our own extinction.

Best,

Kamran
 
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