A few interesting comments arrived in my inbox following the sustainable conference posting last week. You have urged me to say a bit more or berated me for not covering more about this important subject.
I bend to my reader´s wishes.
Especially to one chap who wonders if we should all stop flying. My thoughts are that air travel is not the biggest cause of global warming. The main culprits are power stations, especially coal fired power stations who waste two thirds of the energy they generate and account for about one quarter of emissions.
However flying is a fast growing cause of global warming — the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by air travel doubled between 1990 and 2004.
What to do? Fly less? If we stop flying than one in ten jobs around the world that depend on tourism will be threatened; many of the world´s poorest 50 countries who rely on tourism will be affected; and consequently much of the natural environment that is kept safe because of eco-tourism will be threatened increasing global warming. This is because eco-tourism has been effective in getting locals to preserve forests instead of cutting them down. If the tourism stops, the cutting down resumes, leading to deforestation, leading to more global warming.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Billionaire Richard Branson is "putting money where his mouth is´ by financing an attempt at finding an alternative fuel. We can do a few things such as:
1. Offset our carbon emissions through MyClimate.com
2. Stay at hotels that have a decent environmental policy
3. Hire hybrid cars or use trains and buses.
4. Vote for parties who advocate green policies
5. Switch off lights, don´t idle cars, walk instead of taking taxis
Lets keep doing things to help our earth and therefore help ourselves!
PS: To the reader who does not believe we should change our lifestyles or travel at all because global warming is a "crock of s—t´ and that we are all wimpy tree lovers. You are entitled to your opinion my friend, especially as I do love trees, I have a few wonderful shady ones in my garden. My colleague sitting next to me, believed I should say that he is welcome to keep his head in the sand, until the ground gets too hot to hide it in. However I am far too impartial and nice to say that.