Time to End Cheap Flights 450

African cities generally use less electricity than their European equivalents, as people own fewer appliances and have greater need for thrift. Jet engines are essentially the same as turbines used for electricity generation, and the engines on a single jumbo would power a small African city had they generators attached. Remember that next time you fly.

Worldwide aviation emissions pump slightly more pollution into the atmosphere than the entire United Kingdom economy, and aviation emissions continue relentlessly to increase year after year. Air transport is simply far too cheap for the damage it causes and the resources it consumes. You cannot cause more damage to the Earth’s atmosphere with £30 worth of resources, than by buying a £30 Ryanair ticket to Barcelona. If you spend that £30 on fuel for your diesel car, or on coal and burn it in your garden, you will not come close to the damage caused by your share of emissions on that Ryanair flight.

The fundamental reason air travel has expanded to be so harmful is the international understanding that tax and duty is not charged on aviation fuel – unlike vehicle, train or maritime fuel. Even citizens of Saudi Arabia or Venezuela no longer can access fuel as cheaply as you do in effect when you fly.

The notion that it is impossible to tax aviation fuel, as a plane could fly off and fill up elsewhere, is nonsense. There would be a cost to that flight scheduling, and in any event countries could tax planes on untaxed fuel landed in their fuel tanks, not to mention the scope for international agreement on enforcing fuel levies.

The fact that aviation fuel is not taxed is indeed not the sole reason why it is, ludicrously, cheaper for me to fly from Edinburgh to Bristol or London than get the extremely more fuel-efficient train – for which fuel is taxed. The farce and greed of rail privatisation is also a large part of it. But the fuel tax question undoubtedly is a very major factor, and the sole reason you can fly to Barcelona for £30.

The question has become mixed with notions of democratisation of leisure. This should be tackled head on. There is no human right to go by air and have a sun soaked holiday on the Med dirt cheap. The Earth cannot afford to indulge the pollution caused by massive air tourism. The unpopularity of saying this means that few people in politics ever do, but it is nonetheless true. In view of climate change, for the public to expect Ryanair fare levels is obscene.

Mass air travel for leisure needs to be stopped. Maritime, rail and other more eco-friendly means of international communication need to be encouraged. As mankind has not even the political will to tackle these most straightforward of measures on climate change, I really do begin to despair for the future.

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450 thoughts on “Time to End Cheap Flights

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  • Nigel Beynon

    The old Churchill jibe about Americans applies: Mankind will do the right thing after exhausting all alternatives…

  • Andy Williams

    There is some truth to this and as a frequent air traveller for business I would certainly be very happy to see leisure air travel banned. Nothing grinds my gears more than screaming infants on planes. Why these miniature people need to be moved thousands of miles at a time and at high speed is beyond me.

    • Ishmael

      I would sooner see business abolished. Money grubbing x…..s is what motivated this tech. At least some may enjoy the cultural experience/exchange & be of some value.

      Same with trains, who are now the main users/abusers of this public service. Most all paid for by ordinary workers who now can’t afford it.

      O I forgot, Making money it’s what life is all about, “The Merry dance of death and Trade”. Silly me.

    • ADHD

      Air travel for business will also have to subject to compulsion and rationing and in a way that in directly comparable to leisure travel. There is in fact no difference between leisure and business travel; they are both conducted by business for profit and are both responsible for unacceptable level of emissions.

    • Jože Marinček

      For those who don’t want to mingle with these miniature people there is always a chance to purchase business or 1st class ticket on serious airline. There you can enjoy your self-greatness among peers.

  • laguerre

    Of course, £36 to Barcelona doesn’t really mean that, as alluded to but not actually said earlier. Also the price of priority boarding, without which you may not get on the plane, or the baggage. It’s only the headline price. It’s easy to end up paying a standard airline price.

    Yes, airlines should pay tax on their fuel, if a way can be found of doing it. The issue is deeper than that, though. Worldwide transport, in little time, has become the norm. Difficult to go back on that. A neighbour works in China, but his wife lives in France, and his family is in England. Do we think that is going to be made impossible?

    • Jiusito

      Yes, it is going to be made impossible – if not by human decision in short order, then by the catastrophe that nature will impose in due course. You can’t negotiate with the laws of physics – and you certainly can’t make them go away by ignoring them.

      • laguerre

        Yes, a lot of people seem to want to go back to small minimal immobile communities, much as in the Stone Age. You seem to be one of them. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen. People work and live all round the world now, not just living in Manchester and working in London, and that’s only going to increase. What can happen is that we move beyond kerosene-swilling jet aircraft, and I hope we do.

  • DiggerUK

    The article with its accompanying comment stream, reveals a very unpleasant elitist attitude that is condemned so often at this blog.
    Cheap flights mean that trips abroad are available to more of the less well off. This seems appalling to most here, including the author.
    Comments are made that castigate this no tax regime on air fuel as an unnatural, and very visible, hand in the market. Why not instead raise the demand that train fuel be tax free
    What exactly are massive subsidies for inefficient wind and solar generation, if not a skewing of the market…_

    • MightyDrunken

      “What exactly are massive subsidies for inefficient wind and solar generation, if not a skewing of the market”

      The point is we want to “skew” the market. Sometimes things lie outside market forces, externalities. The subsidies are not huge, they add 8% to the average duel fuel bill according to Ofgem, this includes schemes to improve insulation and provide backup for variable renewable power.

    • N_

      The rich are interested in money first and foremost. We should stick our fingers in our ears when those bastards talk of saving the planet. Scratch the surface and they are all Malthusians and Social Darwinists underneath. They are the ones who’ve f***ed up the planet.

    • Gary Weglarz

      DiggerUK – Ah yes, “the market,” the “invisible hand” that “raises all boats,” “all knowing,” “all seeing,” etc. etc. etc. Tell the poorest half of the world’s population that the five richest men on earth have as much as wealth as they do collectively, because that’s “just the way the market god rolls.” The market god “works in mysterious ways” – if consistently concentrating wealth upward seems “mysterious” to anyone anymore.

      Using the term “markets” as in referencing some imaginary “free market” which magically guides neoliberal capitalist plunder is essentially today’s equivalent of formerly debating how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, or perhaps believing in the infallibility of the pope and the divine right of kings. In other words, it is being held captive to a dead ideological construct that creates mass delusion while it maintains power structures of extreme inequality.

      • N_

        Adam Smith supposedly got the idea of the “hidden hand” from Islam. I haven’t checked this, but I read a piece about it by someone who seemed serious and not at all nutty and apparently it’s confirmed by other references in his crap-arsed “Wealth of Nations”.

    • Jože Marinček

      Note also that those who belongs to these elites are more likely to have incurred a greater environment degradation in their past and present quest for glory and fortune that these unworthy beings have had. So it is all wrong to try to save the planet by allowing only the destroyers to destroy it further.

  • Anon1

    I’ll tell you something, Craig. Every time you fly business class to Accra, you’re using up two seats. But that’s right, it’s all the fault of the plebs on Ryanair packed in like sardines (actually quite a fuel efficient method of travel on modern aircraft).

    • Dungroanin

      i’d fly business/first class if possible or indeed on trains and ships – being cattled long distance is not conducive to arriving ready for work or refreshed from a great holiday.

      Is there too much unnecessary flying is the question?

      Look here if you dare

    • Andyoldlabour

      You make a very valid point there. It is not the 300 people on a cheap holiday flight which is the problem, it is the one or two politicians/celebrities on a private jet which is the problem, and also the military jets which are constantly flying around.
      Then we have the hard facts that the 6 largest container ships in the World cause more pollution than half the World’s diesel cars.

      • Dungroanin

        An interesting fact about most airlines is that it is the first/business class passengers and freight that pays for the costs of the flight – the hundreds of us great unwashed stuffed in the spare spaces make not much difference – we are carried to provide profits from the ancillary activities associated with that sardining – the airports/ hotels/ resorts / foreign exchange etc .

      • N_

        @Andyoldlabour – Do you believe that the top elite of this world are mainly politicians and celebrities?

        • Andyoldlabour

          you can add the industrialists and royalty to that list, the global elite who own 95% of the wealth, and dictate to the rest of us how we should live our lives – making money for them, obeying the rules which strangely do not apply to them.

  • FranzB

    According to data from 2010 for the UK, civil aviation accounts for 1.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, whereas passenger cars account for 68.0 million tonnes. Total emissions for 2010 are 588 million tonnes – a fall of 12.5% against 2000. So civil aviation represents 0.3% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Power generation accounts for 157 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.


    • N_

      I’m told that farting spiders emit a greater quantity of greenhouse gases than the whole of industry.

      The bourgeoisie doesn’t represent the general interest of our species, and a good rule of thumb is that everything it says when it presents itself as doing so is c*ck.

      • glenn_nl

        N_: I’m told that farting spiders emit a greater quantity of greenhouse gases than the whole of industry.

        Oh FFS… you’re told that by WHO?

        There is such a lot of utter horseshit put about by the denial industry, and just repeated as if it were accepted wisdom – by intelligent people that I respect, like N_ – that I don’t believe we have a chance against the disinformation movement.

        Clark – forget about it. Just kick back, and enjoy the show. The few of us with a clue are going to make zero difference at this point.

        • Shatnersrug

          1960 is the cut off point – born after it and you accept global warming as a human catastrophe, born before it and it’s an unacceptable lie. Not everyone obviously. Not sure why but as a rule of thumb that seems to be it. Same with Brexit too

          • N_

            I was born a few years after 1960 and I accept that on average the world is warming up, as it has done many times before. There have been many catastrophes before too. It would not quite be right to say that gradualism has replaced catastrophism in geology. Regarding the “denial industry”, it cannot rightly be denied that a lot is spent on pushing the line that climate change is human-caused and can be human-stopped.

          • glenn_nl

            It appears curious logic, N_ , that if the media is “pushing” a topic then it must be a lie. Wasn’t the notion “pushed” quite a bit that smoking causes lung cancer, despite the efforts of the denial industry that no link was proven?

            The MSM have actually been rather slow in acknowledging climate change, and scientists have generally been way too conservative and downplayed what they observed and predicted.

          • glenn_nl

            He should be ashamed of himself in that case, talking nonsense like that. I understand he’s a denialist. Shame, in other respects he seemed like a reasonable man.

  • Anon1

    Flying in millions of immigrants from basket-case countries to enjoy Western standards of consumption = good.

    Ghastly plebs going on cheap holidays = bad.

    • Ishmael

      Maybe they’ve a right to enjoy the fruits of their local recourses “we” steal (after leaving their own area a basket case). ?

      Not that they do really enjoy it, being on the lowest rung of “Western standards” …that many of us know the taste of. Or lack thereof.

    • SA

      I thought most immigrants and refugees come in crammed energy efficient motorised dinghys. I have not heard that the come in ‘swarms’ a favourite expression of some, by air. Do you have data to prove that?

      • ADHD

        It’s such a ridiculous faketistic it’s laughable. It has an obvious intended purpose, its directly appealing to the unpleasant side. I’m being more circumspect that I would normally be because I did a long response to this very post (deriding Anon1) and the Moderator just immediately deleted it and left Anon1’s garbage untouched.

        I saw another post which was religious and that got deleted also. So it seems religion and humour are not acceptable but this garbage is fine.

        • Babuška

          It wasn’t just religious it was especially psychological : psyche meaning logos of the soul. Pertinent to us all.

          I enjoy reading your views ADHD

        • Ian

          Yes, ADHD, amazing what they tolerate around here. I would hardly have Craig down as an alt right supporter.

  • Hatuey

    Hmmmmm. To be honest, the thought of planes full of disgusting fat common people going to burn their sweaty flesh in the med’ is almost enough to make me agree with Craig here.

    But even if you banned planes completely, they’d just go do something else en masse that fucked up the planet in some way. I hate the whole en masse trend that prevails these days. People don’t just go jogging or climb a hill any more, they do it with 8 billion other bores at the same time — screwing up the road and rail networks in the process.

    The problem isn’t planes, it’s the quantity of thick people who insist on doing things en masse with other thick people.

    I could live with the damage to the environment if they were respectful and traveled for meaningful reasons along the lines of sampling other cultures, seeing the world, etc. But 99% of them go because of some irrational notion of success along the lines of getting pissed in the sun and smoking cigars.

    I’ve done a lot of traveling. I’ve been to over 40 countries in the last 19 years. Most of those countries were what you’d call second and third world. The people in poor countries are better than us. I’d much rather share a coffee and a chat with a kitchen worker in Estonia than some middle class know-it-all from Hemel Hempstead.

    This is one of the main reasons I disagree with the central tenets of socialism. The last thing I want to do is give more thick people the opportunity to consume more and get in the way.

    • Ishmael

      The consumption of ordinary people (even “think” ones locally) is tiny compared to the rich. THE central tenant of socialism is workers control of the means of production. = eroding class differences. So no middle or upper class or lower would exist.

      Sounds like you’ve experienced the BS version.

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      What was it Harold MacMillan said about Thathcher’s cabinet;”More Old Estonian than Old Etonian”.From what you say, she may have been onto something(rather than ‘on something’ as certain of the current crop seem to be).

      • Hatuey

        Estonian people in my experience are really great. And most of them speak better English than the English people you are likely to meet abroad, or at “home” for that matter.

        I’d take Estonians before Etonians any day.

      • N_

        Harold Macmillan’s comment about “Old Estonians” was anti-Semitic. He didn’t mean literally Estonians. He probably thought he was being terribly witty. It wouldn’t surprise me if calling J__s “Estonians” was a running joke at Eton, the school he attended. (David Cameron’s later exhortation to “pull together” was probably a reference to the Eton Boating Song.)

        A similar comment to Macmillan’s without even an attempt at wit, nasty or otherwise, was made by “Lord” Denning who called Leon Brittan a “German J__” as if there is something wrong with being a German J__. “I think you’ll find he’s a German J__, telling us what to do with our English law” is what he said. (Brittan’s parents were from Lithuania.)

        Anti-semitism, like other forms of racism, is almost always right wing.

        Many people in the current business are lying. The Z__nists are lying, as they normally do, being a gangster organisation of extreme-racist Ashkenazi thieves. The right-wing Gentiles whether Tories or right-wing Labour are also lying. Many of them take Z__nist money (they’d take anybody’s money: money rules) and they help I__ael but they are nonetheless still anti-Semitic. Most of them wouldn’t want their daughters or sons marrying either an Arab or a J__.

    • Andyoldlabour

      so it is OK for you to do as much travelling as you like, but not for fat, common, thick people to do the same thing.
      You are a real piece of work mate.

      • Hatuey

        My travels had purpose and enriched my being. And now all the wisdom I acquired on those travels is being shared here and enriches others. You might benefit too if you’d stop trying to moralise.

        As for the fat common people, I’ve yet to hear anyone sensibly explain what they’re for in an age where menial labour is surplus to requirements and there’s no realistic prospect of great wars.

        Outside of factories, mines, and trenches, it’s difficult to see where they fit in.

        And look at the cost. Elephants, tigers and thousands of other species wiped out, along with so many of the most beautiful habitats imaginable, so that hoards of obese dolts can indulge their most primitive fantasies.

    • ADHD

      Hatuey, Can I clarify whether it is all English, Scottish & Welsh people that you hate or is it just the working class ones?

  • Rob Royston

    There are plans for electric aircraft on passenger routes. Norway hopes to have all It’s short haul flights electric powered by 2040.

  • N_

    How about making everything more expensive to “save the planet”, huh?

    Meanwhile, the Torygraph reports that “Theresa May has ordered officials to start work on a British satellite-navigation system to rival the EU’s Galileo, in a show of strength as Brussels threatens to block the UK from its project.” Are they trying to ratchet up the craziness? What’s next? Will they promise to build a “New Sonning” on Mars?

    • N_

      That’s a New Sonning complete with Mini cars, red phone boxes, classic telephone handsets, cricket on the village green, and frequent prole hunts.

  • Photios

    Right on Craig. Cheap air travel is not for plebs the like of us.
    Air travel should be reserved for grandees like Gore and (er) yourself.

    • Runner77

      There’s an interesting point here. If Craig were to give up flying between Accra and London, it would save an infinitesimal proportion of our CO2 emissions. But if all governments were to take joint action, as Craig is arguing here, then something more significant would be achieved . . .

      One cannot stand outside the system and criticise it from an idealist position. We have to critique the system from within – which is where we all are. This is not a matter of hypocrisy, as has been implied here, but of recognising that the power in these matters exists at a higher, more inclusive, level of the system than any of us individually can access. The appeal to ‘individual choice’ is a mystification used by politicians to justify collective inaction.

      • Clark

        – “…recognising that the power in these matters exists at a higher, more inclusive, level of the system than any of us individually can access. The appeal to ‘individual choice’ is a mystification used by politicians to justify collective inaction

        I’m making a note of that to use as a quote.

  • Matt

    the type of global economy we have is run on the underlying premise of continuous growth,
    due to the nature of fiat currencies it has to continue to grow or it will collapse,
    we must always have more to be able to pay the interest on the money we borrowed to do stuff,
    a 747 costs a staggering sum, is bought on finance and has to operate pretty much constantly for decades just to pay for itself and give a return at the same time,
    the global economy is teetering on the brink of collapse due to the end of growth anyway,
    fossil fuel energy is the multiplier of human effort that has enabled the rapid and exponential growth since the industrial revolution got going,
    British coal production peaked in the early 20th century, US oil production peaked in the 1970’s, global oil production is peaking now,
    although there is fossil fuel still available to use it is increasingly difficult/expensive to extract and is sought by much wider consuming markets than ever before due to the emerging asian markets,
    the flat lining of global growth atm is because the fossil energy is becoming too expensive to use, it’s increased cost has eaten into any potential profit that may have been derived by it’s utilisation,
    improved efficiency reaps less impressive savings at each step towards peak efficiency,
    globalisation managed to reduce labour costs by off shoring manufacture to offset the rising energy costs and their drag on profits,
    the world has been in recession since before 2008, only monetary ‘magic’ obscured this reality, since 2008 vast sums of debt (quantitive easing) have been thrown into the economy to mask the fact that we just don’t have a profusion of CHEAP energy anymore,
    the game has nearly run it’s course, the global ponzi scheme is on the verge of failing,
    no one who has any element of control in this lunacy will be the first to stop and go another way, he who blinks first loses and none of them want to lose,
    when it does collapse they will all lose together as their asset values crash from the current bubble inflated by debt, money borrowed from a future that the planet doesn’t have the resources to provide to enable it to be repayed, their assets will crash back to the real world value of their assets, a fraction of their value now,
    they won’t allow it to stop,
    they don’t care that all of the environmental costs are externalised and ignored in the current financial model, if they were considered and included they would have all been bankrupt decades ago,
    we knew this was coming when I was a child,
    in 1972, the club of rome published their report ‘the limits of growth’
    exxon had spent millions of dollars on scientific research and by 1977 knew perfectly well what was happening to CO2 and the climate,
    they can’t ‘afford’ to stop,
    we peasants can’t stop them because ‘they’ have captured all the western governing bodies, US Gov. UK Gov. EU Gov. central banks, WTO, IMF, etc.
    politicians go to Davos to fawn and grovel in front of the self styled masters of the universe who have captured everything,
    the only thing that will stop the madness is the coming crash, the longer it’s offset by manipulating markets and currencies and printing money at an ever increasingly hysterical rate, the greater and more disruptive the crash will be,
    the dark forces that lurk in the shadows may resort to any lunacy to keep this folly going, they cheer the melting of the icecaps as it unlocks new potential regions for oil exploration,
    the rage directed at russia by the establishment in the west is their fury at not having free access to plunder russia’s natural resources,
    the western financial animal is a cornered beast, it could do anything, no matter how awful, to save itself from a death brought on by it’s own fundamental contradictions,
    the last desperate throw of the dice in this game of thrones is thermo nuclear war, the unthinkable is considered by some an option,

    the world is 4.5 billion years old, it took a couple of billion for life to get going, during the millions of years of sea life and then plant and insect life spreading over the land masses, life captured solar energy and laid it down in the oil and coal deposits that we have exploited and used in a mere 100-150 years,
    the dinosaurs ruled for millions of years,
    if the life of the planet up till now was a day, 24hrs, then the human race only appeared at a few minutes before midnight, the human race stumbled along at maybe a million souls for approaching a million years until a fortunate warm inter-glacial period started around 10,000 years ago and allowed human civilisations to arise,
    by the time of the roman empire maybe 100 million humans existed on the planet,
    in the middle ages the global population was approaching half a billion but got knocked back by bubonic plague,
    we only got to 1 billion in the late 1800’s
    the access to fossil fuels from that point on allowed us the leverage to expand the global population to approaching 8 billion today,
    that energy leverage bonanza is ending, there are no alternative sources ON THE SCALE of fossil fuels to take over, yet we have the population that relies on it for agricultural production and all the trappings of the modern world.
    life on this planet has always been solar powered, we have squandered a vast, one off, bonanza of stored up solar energy in the form of fossil fuels, we have to return the global population to a level that can be supported by the solar carrying capacity of the surface of our planet,
    whether this is achieved by nuclear war, climate change or conscious measures enacted by the human race is for us to decide,
    if we disappear in the blink of a geological eye the planet will recover, in a million years or so, the planet has several billion years to go before the sun swells and burn the planet to a crisp,
    there are bacteria that can munch through radioactive waste given enough time, another glacial period may come and go, glaciers will grind the earth surface and create new soil to replenish that which we have eroded in a few thousand years, the ecology will recover and evolution may even produce another sentient life form to people the planet, there is plenty of time,
    the Earth doesn’t really need us, we may have been a bit of an evolutionary cockup,
    but we do really need the Earth.

    well that’s how I see it,

    • N_

      we have to return the global population to a level that can be supported by the solar carrying capacity of the surface of our planet,
      whether this is achieved by nuclear war, climate change or conscious measures enacted by the human race is for us to decide,

      “Conscious measures”. What do you have in mind? Extermination camps? Mass forced sterilisation of everyone who wears glasses or can’t punctuate?

      • Matt

        well it’s up to you to decide,

        if you do nothing then probably the biggest reduction will come from disease and famine,

        throw in regional conflicts over dwindling resources or maybe just go for the biggie, nuclear holocaust followed by nuclear winter,

        or you could try to think of something reasonably gradual, socially acceptable and humane,

        or you could just be snarky?

    • IMcK

      The great hope of course is nuclear power generated electricity – currently fission with fusion a constant 50 years away.
      Won’t solve air travel of course, at least not based on chemical based electrical energy storage.

      • James

        “Nuclear power generated electricity” should read “nuclear power” or “nuclear generated electricity”. Craig sets the tone for a preposterously pleonastic style on here, which we’re all quick to deride when used by the tabloid press. Let you off.

        “currently fission with fusion a constant 50years away”, presumably means “nuclear fusion has been predicted to be fifty years away for the last half century”. Fission chips? Electric current?? Think you’re beginning to lose your way there, that was no typo.

        The final sentence asserting that “chemical based electrical energy storage” is anathema to aviation application is less easy to correct, but obviously wrong. Avgas (a chemical) is already used in a maximally efficient way for air travel.
        Kerosene could be (and has been) manufactured using electricity, carbon dioxide and water. You would not then burn it to drive a turbine to generate electricity in an aeroplane, but would use a turboprop, or turbofan to burn it to produce thrust. Cut out the electrical “middleman” and gain much efficiency.
        Sorry to come across as a grammar Nazi, but as ever the devil is in the detail. Don’t say, or worse still think “but you know what I mean”, as I don’t really.
        Just more vacuous and curiously opinionated tosh-tosh that reminds me to desist from “enjoying” the crack cocaine effect of posting here.
        Sorry, mate but it’s Cobblers’. Or should that be cobbler’s? It all awls, in any case.

    • Dungroanin

      Oh dear, Matt, you started well with the cosmology, and scienceyness and then disappeared up the bs Malthusian fundament.

      You are wrong.

      Rather than take it line by line i’ll point you and all other dystopian over populanists here to the late great Professor Hans Rosling. Please take a few hours listening and watching his lectures then see if you still think the same. Here’s a couple of links to get you started
      Hans Rosling

      • joeblogs

        Just paste links to who-knows-where: so much easier for you than critique his excellent comment, hey?

  • aletho

    And violating the freedom of movement of the less fortunate is so much more achievable than reducing the vastly greater fuel use of military adventures.

  • Deb O'Nair

    I enjoy reading Craig’s posts, and the accompanying comments, I am however baffled at this latest one. Can I assume that Craig has not been successful in securing himself a cheap getaway?

  • GT

    Quite homines, tot sententiae. What would you say to a young person, but “Enjoy it while you can”? Get on that plane, and ride, before they make it illegal ( See Generation X).

  • Screaminkid

    We already have . Despite living in a country that is suffering massive drought problems and ever hotter temperatures year on year, our ignorant Government and politicians of all persuasions (except for the odd Green) continue to ignore the blatant advantages of crucial renewables and battery storage investment, in favour of Coal? In fact many Gov ministers (with Fossil fuel investment portfolios), along with their mates in the fossil fuel industry, are lobbying heavily for NEW coal fired power stations to be built, despite the fact that Coal is globally dead?
    The situation has been made even more Dire and insane with the selection of a Murdoch driven, IPA think tank advocate as prime minister this week, outing the incumbent instead of calling an election so the people could Democratically choose their next Prime minister. This deceptiom was all achieved by Conditioning of the public, through the national broadcaster, by Murdoch chosen hacks. Not one in depth interview has been done since this LNP coup?

    • Screaminkid

      Sorry- Not one indepth interview of the Oposition Labour leader has been done since this LNP coup?

      • Hatuey

        I’d rather interview a slice of burnt toast.

        Corbyn is to England what Sturgeon is to Scotland — a poll-watching dullard who converted the massive political opportunity offered by Brexit into an own goal.

        Under different leadership, leadership with say a stance on something political, or at the very least a pulse, England would probably have a labour government with a strong majority, Brexit would be dead and buried, and Scotland would be planning for its independence.

        I wish they’d both step aside and make room for people who had something to say.

          • Hatuey

            In Scotland, Jean Freeman. She’d wipe the floor with May and her merry band of weirdos.

            I’d make a suggestion for England but I wouldn’t want to give the impression I cared about that cesspit.

  • Owen

    The first hurdle to this problem is Capitalism, and its need to force people to take holidays at the same time, And also the fact that workers have so few days off from their labor. More and longer holidays and people won’t mind taking the boat to europe and taking the great trains to the south. Let the Train take the strain. Better that he hellish airports.

    • Charles Bostock

      I suspect from your post that you have never travelled any distance by train to a destination of any distance in Europe together with a wife, two children and a few suitcases.

  • Colin Carr

    The technology to produce unlimited clean energy at very low cost exists. Unfortunately, Big Oil and Big Coal spend $Billions to suppress it.
    Don’t believe me. Do a search for Quantum Vacuum Energy or Zero Point Energy. Also learn about Stan Meier, the Searle Effect Generator etc.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Colin Carr, Have you read HG Wells – or seen the film War of The Worlds
      , cos my wife tells me, that they are doing a Stage Play of it, and we know the main actor

      The ticket prices are rather high…Someone must be making some money out of it, but it is highly unlikely to be the actors. It’s a tough profession

      The Physics behind the concept of Free Energy, seems to work better if you go to Imperial College rather than Oxford University….but none of these people have yet produced a working model, and most of them are still skint well like students when they were 18 going on 90. They are not thick. They just can’t get Free Energy to work. It does not conform to the basic laws of Thermodynamics. It’s like a hot body, moving to a cold body. I am about to warm up my wife.


    • joeblogs

      Quite right Colin.
      And that is why we have a patents office. Big Corporations can buy all the new ideas up, patent them, lock those patents up and throw away the key. Anyone found trying to seriously exploit the alternatives would find a ‘cease and desist’ notice in their letterbox from some Philadelphia lawyer. Nokia’s battle to introduce it’s alternative to the landline, for example, is illustrative of the technique.
      It’s not by accident that the internal combustion engine is practically unique in being the only piece of technology that has survived fundamentally unchanged for more than a century.

  • Boy from Bogside

    I did an academic study of this phenomenon a few years ago. Our principal conclusion was that people so love flying – going on holiday really – that they’ll make sacrifices in other areas of their lives before they cut back on flights. So you’ll really need to jam up prices a great deal before you have any effect. And even then – banning people from going on holiday sounds like a sure-fire vote loser.

    Maybe a more sensible solution is this: a moderate flying tax yes – and invest the funds raised as first loss funds for rolling out ever more renewables. And R&D into ever better renewable technologies.

    We should be aiming for a Chinese-style ecological civilization – if we’ve got be really clever about how we do it.

  • Sharp Ears

    There is one fewer war criminal on the world.

    There are also doubts on his version of his Vietnam experiences which were rehearsed on this blog some years ago.

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig is listed here. As an ex ambassador to Syria apparently! I keep getting an error message?


    Kester Ratcliff – Medium
    https://medium.com › @kesterratcliff
    Read writing from Kester Ratcliff on Medium. EvoBio MSc student at RUG in Groningen, refugee solidarity volunteer, activist, political thinker. Every day, Kester Ratcliff and thousands of other voices read, write, and


    h/t TLN

  • Dungroanin

    While we piss about with bs projects like HS2/3 instead of getting on with world wide future transport strategy – the Chinese are powering ahead.
    For example the 1,500-km high-speed rail link between Bangkok and the Chinese southern city of Kunming.

    Btw – the article shows the pointlessness of trying to control countries via trade embargoes.
    If you can’t import from China but can from Thailand, how you going to stop the Chinese building factories in Thailand?

    Air travel is a boon for family ties across continents and will only increase in demand
    The solution to the pollution involved has more to do with type of fuel used not just taxation.

    We all live on the same little blue dot in a massive solar system. If we want humanity/life on Earth to last another millenium and into the far future and expand into space than the old noxious technologies must be surpassed – why are we waiting? Where are the fuel cell engines for all purposes? The old industrialists are wringing every last drop of profit from the rusty old infrastructures and causing the environmental chaos. Instead of trying to control demand (which won’t make the suppliers change their industries) why not just get on with it – like the Chinese and Indians are?

  • Monster

    Just ban alcohol. On my flights to Prague I am usually serenaded for the full two hours by stag partygoers who monopolise the attentions of the flight attendants to the extent that they order us to sing happy birthday to some bloke dressed up as a chicken. Another time I had to move seats to allow a solid block of 12 men to act contiguously in their drunken pantomime, which at one time involved a conga line down aisle. I got a free drink though.

  • Yossi

    Possibly already mentioned but do you intend to voluntarily cease all flying from now on Craig? I agree with your remarks but think that someone professing these views should abide by them themselves. Al Gore lost all credibility for me when he preached his eco messages whist contravening them himself.

    • James Charles

      “For climate change, there are many scientific organizations that study the climate. These alphabet soup of organizations include NASA, NOAA, JMA, WMO, NSIDC, IPCC, UK Met Office, and others. Click on the names for links to their climate-related sites. There are also climate research organizations associated with universities. These are all legitimate scientific sources.

      If you have to dismiss all of these scientific organizations to reach your opinion, then you are by definition denying the science. If you have to believe that all of these organizations, and all of the climate scientists around the world, and all of the hundred thousand published research papers, and physics, are all somehow part of a global, multigenerational conspiracy to defraud the people, then you are, again, a denier by definition. 

      So if you deny all the above scientific organizations there are a lot of un-scientific web sites out there that pretend to be science. Many of these are run by lobbyists (e.g.., Climate Depot, run by a libertarian political lobbyist, CFACT), or supported by lobbyists (e.g., JoannaNova, WUWT, both of whom have received funding and otherwise substantial support by lobbying organizations like the Heartland Institute), or are actually paid by lobbyists to write Op-Eds and other blog posts that intentionally misrepresent the science.”

      • Moocho

        James, Anyone who quotes NASA as trustworthy is someone who places faith in known, proven charlatans, liars and thieves. To prove this, beyond all reasonable doubt, take a good look at this official NASA image of Apollo 14, “on the moon”. https://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/apollo/apollo14/hires/as14-66-09277.jpg Rub your eyes, look again and, please correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears to be made from grey paper, some kind of gold foil, and sellotape.

        • Clark

          Whereas you, in your wisdom, know that space vehicles should look like they do in the movies.

          So you’re telling us that the US cheated in the Space Race – which was a proxy for missile development – and the USSR and China etc. all just let them get away with it? Amateur astronomers the world over preferred to go along with it rather than blow the whistle? Geologists were all fooled by the samples brought back? There are no laser reflectors, or the scientists who use them are just lying?

    • Ian

      Haha, an alt-right, holocaust denying, Tommy Robinson supporter who cites Piers Corbyn in her screed of cobbled-together climate denialism.

  • Dave

    The scam is promoted for political rather than scientific reasons and is very detrimental to the environment. For example, the recycling agenda promoted to save the planet has made waste disposal so expensive, due to high landfill taxes to make recycling economic, its led to an epidemic of fly tipping everywhere.

    In the old days rubbish was simply that rubbish and collected and burnt as fuel in incinerators or taken to landfill. I.e. the rubbish had value as fuel, but not as a recyclable raw material, because raw material costs are a fraction of labour and transport costs.

    So to make recycling economic landfill taxes were raised. I.e. If you don’t want to pay the landfill tax recycle the rubbish, but instead it just gets dumped, including in the oceans when it shipped to poor countries to be ‘recycled’. The plastic in the oceans, as it indestructible, is the evidence of the dumping going on.

    • Ishmael

      The old days are dumpind in the ground to leach into water systems, and just reckless waste of recourses is really not good.

      Again this is not the right focus. If people weren’t so bombarded with the crap they need to sell to keep this system viable? ..There’s no such thing as rubbish. It’s the mentality/system of infinite resources & infinite garbage can the west embraces.

      “raw material costs are a fraction of labour and transport costs”.

      What? The Army exploiting the would is cheaper ? Do you know the pollution of the military? Not to mention the death destruction & rebuilding of whole countries.? Though it seems we’ve given up on the rebuilding part.

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