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Climbing, Flying and Carbon Emissions Poll

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Prompted by the various discussions on flying and carbon emissions, I thought I would do a poll to see how peoples' flying habits are changing in response to climate change. I'm not convinced the threads necessarily give an accurate impression!


Which option best describes your climbing and flying habits?

My flying has not really changed.
I have cut back a little
I have cut back a lot
I have stopped flying
Login to vote
5
 henwardian 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

It's been quite a few years since I last flew (I think, I can't actually remember) but I think it's fair to say that that has more to do with holidaying in the van being incompatible with planes than to do with a concerted effort to be more green.

In reply to henwardian:

Yes, probably the main reason I am thinking of driving to Spain rather than flying in January is that I now have a small van.

In reply to Robert Durran: I’d guess that climate change is not the main reason for many peoples change in flying habits. COVID 19 pandemics, cost of living crisis, buying a van, driving more, personal circumstances…all probably bigger factors, but you knew that anyway. 
I think the real issue is to look at whether people have consciously reduced their carbon footprint.

Personally, I have reduced my weekly steak intake.

4
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> I’d guess that climate change is not the main reason for many peoples change in flying habits. COVID 19 pandemics, cost of living crisis, buying a van, driving more, personal circumstances…all probably bigger factors, but you knew that anyway. 

Yes, though I was asking about carbon emissions, so I hope people have tried to control for other factors.

> I think the real issue is to look at whether people have consciously reduced their carbon footprint.

> Personally, I have reduced my weekly steak intake.

I have cut back on meat and domestic fuel and try to drive more economically, but, to be honest, more because of cost that being green*. I am convinced the way to reduce flying significantly is to put up costs rather than depend on peoples' morals.

*In fact more to budget so that I don't need to cut back on travel as a priority!

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, though I was asking about carbon emissions, so I hope people have tried to control for other factors.

Thats optimistic.

> I have cut back on meat and domestic fuel and try to drive more economically, but, to be honest, more because of cost that being green*. I am convinced the way to reduce flying significantly is to put up costs rather than depend on peoples' morals.

> *In fact more to budget so that I don't need to cut back on travel as a priority!

Ive cut back on domestic fuel and bought Mrs Haworth a nice new coat for her birthday.

In reply to Robert Durran:

Some general takeaways on how you can reduce the carbon footprint of travel:

Walk, cycle or run when possible – this comes with many other benefits such as lower local air pollution and better health;

Trains are nearly always the winning option over moderate-to-long distances;(but totally unreliable in the UK at the moment)

If travelling internationally, going by train or boat is lower-carbon than flying;(again not too reliable at the moment)

If travelling domestically, driving – even if it’s alone – is usually better than flying;(600miles is where it switches)

If it’s a choice between driving or flying internationally, flying economy class is often better;

Car-sharing will massively reduce your footprint – it also helps to reduce local air pollution and congestion;

Electric vehicles are nearly always lower-carbon than petrol or diesel cars, especially in a country that produces much of its electricity by renewables or nuclear.(modern diesel generally better than petrol)

Post edited at 18:51
1
In reply to Robert Durran: Apologies for hijacking your thread, but one last point: I think the answer to reducing emissions from flying is for planes to use renewable fuels.

11
In reply to Robert Durran:

https://uk-cms.parkindigo.com/wp-content/uploads/CO2-Emissions-9.png  

Really boils my piss when people think like this. It's not 'flying' that's the problem. 'Going a long way' is the problem. Driving a van to Spain, unless you have 3 or more people in it, is probably at least as bad as flying there.

Also poll needs an option for 'my flying has not really changed because I hardly ever did and still don't.'

6
In reply to Robert Durran:

I haven't flown to the Alps to climb for 10+ years. Partly climate related, partly wine supply related!

In reply to MG:

> I haven't flown to the Alps to climb for 10+ years. Partly climate related, partly wine supply related!

I've never flown to the Alps for "proper" alpine climbing - too much stuff to take. Bus throughout the 80's, then driving. Flown rather than driven everywhere else though.

Post edited at 19:23
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

As soon as you have 2 people in a typical car you win substantially driving, and more so if flights are indirect (the take off but is where the fuel is used most). Obviously not going is better still, yes.

 Mike-W-99 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Your also retired so have the luxury of not burning annual leave any more!

In reply to MG:

> As soon as you have 2 people in a typical car you win substantially driving, 

Hmmm... Didn't click the link, did you?

Other sources are available, eg https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/carbon-footprint-travel-mode , but I'd still say you still need 3 people, certainly so in a van, before you can claim you 'win substantially'

Post edited at 19:29
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Hmmm... Didn't click the link, did you?

I did. It's vague. 

Put some numbers in here. I did Manchester Geneva.

https://calculator.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx?lang=en-GB&tab=3

In reply to MG:

> I did. It's vague. 

Is it?! 

On that infographic short haul flight is <100. No van is < 200. So pretty easy to say 2 up in a van doesn't beat flying.

Cars are more debatable but still, you're not saving the planet by driving to siurana. And then there's people who think they're doing a world a favour by taking the ferry instead of the tunnel FFS. 

Inconvenience is not automatically planet-saving.

Post edited at 19:36
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I don't know why you are taking a van! But anyway, I've given you a link to a detailed calculator. Ignore it if you wish .

4
 Siward 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> Apologies for hijacking your thread, but one last point: I think the answer to reducing emissions from flying is for planes to use renewable fuels.

I don't think so. The answer is to stop emitting carbon into the atmosphere, not kidding ourselves that it's renewable /offset/ sustainable.

1
In reply to MG:

> I don't know why you are taking a van! But anyway, I've given you a link to a detailed calculator. Ignore it if you wish .

The OP mentioned a van. Cars are on both the charts I linked too.

I haven't ignored it. I looked at it. Also sent you links to two other resources that I'm not ignoring either, but you are. These things don't all agree but if you look at more than one of them, and check their sources, a picture comes together. 

Post edited at 19:38
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> The OP mentioned a van. Cars are on both the charts I linked too.

And I specifically said "2 people in a typical car".

> I haven't ignored it. I looked at it. Also sent you links to two other sources that I'm not ignoring either, but you are.

You original link was a vague info graphic. I have looked at the later link, no 

4
In reply to MG:

...but another vague graph I now see. It's pretty easy to get accurate information, as above.

2
 Wilderbeest 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

We’ve stopped and can’t see us taking a flight again unless absolutely essential.

Cut car use down to once a week. 

Vegetarian but have just cut our milk/cheese consumption.

The temperatures this past November were shocking and I think everyone needs to give some serious thought to their choices that contributed to this.

1

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> How is it vague???

Model of car? Size of engine? Accurate distance of flight? Is it only CO2 or other warming effects? 

> You're ok with typing a number in a box and trusting whatever comes out as gospel, but charts giving numbers and citing their sources is "vague"??!

Well it is vague. 

> You might be beyond help.

I think you need to calm down a bit.

2
In reply to MG:

How is it vague???

You're ok with typing a number in a box on the webpage of a professional greenwashing company and trusting whatever comes out as gospel, but charts giving numbers and citing their sources, with links to tabulated numerical data, are too "vague"??!

You might be beyond help.

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Ha! You deleted to write something even more.unhinged!!

1
In reply to MG:

> Accurate distance of flight? 

It's g of co2 per passenger kilometre. Can you even read? Same number your infallible calculator is multiplying by the straight line distance between two airports, which you were ok with.

> Well it is vague. 

How could it be less vague??

In reply to Siward: Very good point. I suppose we need a fuel that doesn’t emit CO2, like hydrogen, or nuclear powered planes. Neither of which seems likely at commercial scale in the near term. Totally agree with you on off-setting, it’s not the answer.

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> It's g of co2 per passenger kilometre. Can you even read?

Can you conceive that the number might vary depending on the length of the flight?I explained why above.

I don't see why you are so angry! Clearly making estimates for specific trips is preferable to an arm waving infographic average 

2
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> Very good point. I suppose we need a fuel that doesn’t emit CO2, like hydrogen, or nuclear powered planes. Neither of which seems likely at commercial scale in the near term. 

Perhaps not near term, but significant developments

https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.sky.com/story/amp/guilt-free-flying-rolls-royce-and-easyjet-test-aircraft-engine-running-on-hydrogen-12757257

1
In reply to MG:

> Can you conceive that the number might vary depending on the length of the flight?I explained why above.

That's why there's a different number for long haul, short haul and domestic.

> I don't see why you are so angry! Clearly making estimates for specific trips is preferable to an arm waving infographic average 

Haven't read the FAQ for your calculator either, have you? I'll paste it for you, since you're obviously not great at this "research" thing:

"Firstly the distances are calculated between the airports selected, using the greater circle method. This is then multiplied by the appropriate emissions factor specific to the type of flight (UK domestic, short haul or long haul) and the class of seat taken (e.g. economy class, business class etc.). "

So, to interpret that for you, what your beloved calculator of infinite truth is doing, in fact, is multiplying the "arm waving infographic average" by the distance between the two airports. 

Yeah, that's loads different.

In reply to MG:

> Perhaps not near term, but significant developments

As long as you don't ask where the hydrogen comes from

2
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Seriously calm down!!

As it happens I have read it, and am looking at the underlying Government document just now.  

Post edited at 20:15
1
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> As long as you don't ask where the hydrogen comes from

Sigh. "The hydrogen in the test engine was produced using tidal and wind energy from the Orkney Islands."

1
In reply to MG:

> Sigh. "The hydrogen in the test engine was produced using tidal and wind energy from the Orkney Islands."

a) "In the test engine". Make it at scale without using methane and I'll listen.

b) Even if you do, that's still using renewable electricity that needs to be replaced by, let's be honest, burning gas, until we have a fully renewable grid and/or significant grid storage capacity. Which we don't.

The only reason they're making hydrogen on Orkney is because their interconnect is too shit to export all the wind power they make, and there's no political will to fix that, so it's going to waste otherwise. It's not a viable process anywhere you could sell the eleccy.

Post edited at 20:49
6
In reply to Robert Durran:

I find most climbers say they do care about climate change and the environment, but a majority (of my friends, hardly scientific!) climbers are not prepared to make sacrifices and carry on flying like there’s no tomorrow 

In reply to Ramon Marin:

> I find most climbers say they do care about climate change and the environment, but a majority (of my friends, hardly scientific!) climbers are not prepared to make sacrifices and carry on flying like there’s no tomorrow 

Blows my mind how many climbers I talk to have gone vegan (~1000 kg co2e/yr) citing climate reasons but sustain themselves mostly on avocado (400 g co2e each), have a dog (770-2500 kg co2e/yr) and travel to Greece/Spain two or three times a year (~800 kg co2e/trip). We all know what's damaging and some things we can all do to help, but it's not clear to me that people understand the relative impacts.

Post edited at 21:33
3
 henwardian 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> I think the real issue is to look at whether people have consciously reduced their carbon footprint.

Yeah, that's more the point. So I can definitely say that I consciously eat cow rarely now and I try not to drive very far or fast and I don't use very much heating and I only heat the part of the accommodation I'm using, the rest of the house/appartment/etc. can just stay cold mainly, eat roadkill, get rid of the freezer to save on electricity... probably all the same stuff everyone is doing.

1
In reply to henwardian:

Another thing worth considering is the embodied carbon in any home upgrades. Cement, concrete, steel, glass etc all have large quantities in. It's easy to use a year's worth of normal emissions on quite a small project.

 Misha 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Good point re dogs. May be it’s a lockdown thing, may be it’s a wealth thing, may be it’s due to more people having no children or having them later in life, but people seem to have more dogs and cats these day. Vegetarians or vegans having pets which are fed meat (well, some kind of chopped up meat related products) is particularly amusing.

I suggested to my ex that her cat was a bit of a waste of resources. That didn’t go down well…

2
 Misha 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Ramon Marin:

Agree. This will change when flying becomes more expensive. Which it will.

I’ve not flown since Covid, apart from a work trip to Aberdeen - plans to go by train were blown apart by the train strikes. Have also kept to about 10k miles a year since Covid, mostly due to not doing crazy Scottish winter weekends. Not claiming to be particularly virtuous but at least it’s something…

In reply to henwardian:

The freezer is another potentially non-obvious case. Ballpark it'll be 40kg co2e/yr to run. If it can be used to prevent significant food waste it has potential to be a net win. 

(That's not just food you might throw out yourself, you'd also count short dated stuff you might be able buy and freeze, preventing the shop throwing it out, and all kinds of other scenarios)

In reply to MG:

Here's another way of looking at it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_economy_in_aircraft#Example_values

Your seat on a modern aircraft is getting about 100mpg in US gallons. So like 120mpg to us. It's not quite apples apples because petrol isn't jet-a but you have to car share enough to roughly match that.

Flying isn't bad because it's inefficient; it really isn't. It's bad because you do thousands of miles of it.

 climbingpixie 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I haven't flown since 2017, a decision made specifically to reduce my carbon footprint. I've holidayed in the UK instead and had an Alpine skiing trip on the train. I haven't given up flying forever but I felt it was impossible to reconcile casual short haul holidays with my work on climate change, especially since I live in a very inefficient house and drive a diesel car, neither of which are easily affordable options to improve. 

 Ramblin dave 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

>. I am convinced the way to reduce flying significantly is to put up costs rather than depend on peoples' morals.

I think this might be true of a lot of things, but I can basically see three reasons to take action on your own anyway. The first is network effects / peer pressure. The more people stop flying off their own bat, the less normal and expected it becomes to do loads of foreign trips and the more flying becomes something that people feel a bit guilty about. Maybe there's a bit of a snowball effect.

The second, which is kind-of related, is that government action to put up costs of something that a lot of people like has the potential to be an unpopular decision, and the more people have already given the thing up voluntarily, the easier it becomes politically.

The third is basically just that I want to be able to look young people in the eye in X number of years time and say "hey, I tried, I didn't superglue myself to anything but at least I didn't just carry on like nothing was happening or act like my holidays were more important than your future."

1
 bpmclimb 04 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Blows my mind how many climbers I talk to have gone vegan (~1000 kg co2e/yr) citing climate reasons but sustain themselves mostly on avocado (400 g co2e each), have a dog (770-2500 kg co2e/yr) and travel to Greece/Spain two or three times a year (~800 kg co2e/trip). We all know what's damaging and some things we can all do to help, but it's not clear to me that people understand the relative impacts.


I'm vegan, I don't fly, rarely eat avocado, and don't have any pets. I know a lot of vegans who are broadly similar in their other choices, which isn't so surprising, really - if you make one big lifestyle change of that sort, others do tend to loom larger on your radar. That you have talked to so many vegan climbers who tick all those other boxes that it "blows your mind" I find very surprising, to put it mildly.

2
In reply to Ramon Marin:

> I find most climbers say they do care about climate change and the environment, but a majority (of my friends, hardly scientific!) climbers are not prepared to make sacrifices and carry on flying like there’s no tomorrow 

That is my anecdotal impression as well (hence why I set up the poll). So I am finding the results interesting - apparently my anecdotal impression of people I know is at odds with the UKC picture; I would have guessed "cut back a little" to be the most common choice.

Post edited at 02:06
In reply to Mike-W-99:

> Your also retired so have the luxury of not burning annual leave any more!

I'm not actually sure what you mean by that!

But my recent retirement has certainly made me think about how it affects my travel patterns with respect to cost and carbon footprint. After all, for me, pretty much the whole point of being retired is the freedom to travel and to climb - I can't see myself cutting down on burning diesel to make use of the freedom to be where I want to be at any given time in Scotland (obviously I'm away more, but the freedom to stay away means my total mileage has stayed about the same at an average of about 450 miles per week), but I have certainly given some thought to how to modify my foreign travel as a time-rich person.

Post edited at 02:37
 deepsoup 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> ..but sustain themselves mostly on avocado..

Nobody, vegan or otherwise, sustains themselves mostly on avocado.

 Petrafied 05 Dec 2022
In reply to MG:

> Seriously calm down!!

> As it happens I have read it, and am looking at the underlying Government document just now.  

What did you find? I had a quick scan of the pdf it claims to use as the basis of the chart, and the UK gov figures figures did seem to support Mr Angry above, even if mostly pertinent to 2011.  Bit surprised by some of the factors they use, although the document is a methodology and guidelines for company reporting (so I would argue not intended for the purpose the chart creator is using it for) and I wonder if there is some angle to this that means it doesn't actually reflect the real-world especially accurately.

Post edited at 05:37
 girlymonkey 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I still find this obsession with flying to be very blinkered. 

Yes, flying is bad, we should all do less. 

But overall, it's a tiny bit of our carbon footprint. Why aren't people up in arms about the gear reviews on here which encourage us to buy new stuff all the time? Why aren't we sharing all our best finds to move away from gas heating? Why aren't we constantly lobbying the government on how they use resources on our behalf? Etc. 

Here is a rough breakdown of average UK person's carbon emissions

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Breakdown-of-the-UK-average-carbon-footprint-This-information-and-accompanying-figure_fig3_258169307

1
 Mlewis 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I just go with the cheapest option, normally substantially cheaper to fly.

I've driven to the Alps for a ski holiday before only as it was New Years and flights were extortionate. 

1
 Elsier 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I've cut down my flying a lot since the pandemic. I went to Austria this year by ferry and sleeper train. We didn’t need to hire a car whilst there either as Zillertal has a great bus and train network.

It took a bit longer to get there but I really enjoyed the journey. It was also a bit more expensive, but not prohibitively so.

Definitely still a lot more I could do to reduce my carbon footprint (I have two cats, will probably not get more when these die) and I will hopefully get to not flying at all in a couple of years. 

It is difficult I think as majority of my friends still fly loads and social media is still full of photos of people posting photos from all over the world, which makes it harder, because I do miss travelling more. I wish there were more people I could follow who post more inspiring stuff closer to home. 

In reply to Petrafied:

I was looking here, which is the methodology the link posted uses. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-conversion-factors-for-company-reporting 

I don't particularly disagree driving vans and travelling a long way is bad, but also don't think using very broad brush infographics gives useful data. LSRH seems to have details of avocado emissions at his fingertips so clearly does know this, I assume he was just being awkward for some reason.

1
 veteye 05 Dec 2022
In reply to climbingpixie:

I hadn't flown since earlier than that, but I was scuppered by my daughter, who announced with short notice that she was getting married in the month of June this year....................... in El Salvador. Thus I did not miss that celebration, and the only option was to fly. My flights were reasonably organised, and did not deviate too much from the shortest route (for instance coming back by Texas). Yet due to her husband being stuck in El Salvador, my daughter is going over there for Christmas, and the way in which she is coming back is via Toronto; which cannot be energy efficient. Things like this ought to be taxed in some way, but it would be a difficult system to police.

Post edited at 08:22
 MischaHY 05 Dec 2022
In reply to girlymonkey:

> But overall, it's a tiny bit of our carbon footprint. Why aren't people up in arms about the gear reviews on here which encourage us to buy new stuff all the time? Why aren't we sharing all our best finds to move away from gas heating? Why aren't we constantly lobbying the government on how they use resources on our behalf? Etc. 

Something I find utterly bizarre is the massive propagation of cotton-elastane clothing (esp. trousers) despite the durability and thereby useable lifetime being absolutely crap.

With heavy use of 2-3 times climbing per week plus some casual wear these items are starting to look faded/have holes forming after a year and are properly done by 2-3. They're also a pisstake to repair because of the elastane meaning it is far harder to stitch/patch (although my wife has managed). 

In comparison a pair of fully synthetic pants is vastly more durable. I've got comparable pairs from E9 where the only difference is the material used. The cotton elastane are absolutely threadbare and knackered, whereas the synthetics look exactly the same as the day I bought them 7 years ago and will easily do another 7-10 years. They can also be stitched easily if damaged. Once they do get retired they'll end up in the plastic recycling and be incinerated for energy production with strict emission management laws in place.

With this in mind we have a synthetic product with a lifetime ~6x that of the cotton-elastane product meaning that you would end up contributing the same amount more emissions from the production/transport/consumer related output which is the lions share of the overall carbon debt from the garment. 

I point this out regularly to brand reps at work and they always look bemused as if what I'm saying isn't obvious or logical. These are the people who literally spend their time producing and selling clothing. It's so bizarre. 

Post edited at 08:24
 veteye 05 Dec 2022
In reply to MischaHY:

But how many particles of man made material do you dump in the water supply every time that you wash your otherwise ideal trousers?

3
 S Ramsay 05 Dec 2022
In reply to girlymonkey:

Aviation gets a bad press because it constitutes a reasonable percentage of our total emissions, approx 7% in the UK with the majority of that being toursim and it is easy to cut the tourism bit to almost zero with limited side effects, you just don't do it. After all, many people get by without flying at present, they just have to put up with using trad gear to climb anything decent and hearing French accents in Disneyland. In a society that cared about climate change there wouldn't be mass aviation. Most other thing significant contributors are far more painful to cut back on, heating, road transport, shipping etc

Once you start going long haul the numbers do become much larger, a retun flight to the east coast of the US and you've pushed your annual emissions up by approx 20%

https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Sector-summary-Aviation.pdf

Disclaimer, I have flown in recent years for work, which I can defend easily, and to see family, which is harder to defend

3
 MischaHY 05 Dec 2022
In reply to veteye:

> But how many particles of man made material do you dump in the water supply every time that you wash your otherwise ideal trousers?

Good question. Research suggests that high quality polyester fabric releases the least overall microfibers and that fiber release levels off significantly with lifetime which supports the idea of having a longer lasting product. You can also reduce fiber output by up to 90% by using a fiber catcher like this one.

Existing water treatment facilities have been shown to be highly effective at removing microplastics - the study concludes the following: 

"Surprisingly, the importance of effluent filters in the removal of MPPs appears to be minimal. Microplastic particles were found to be removed mainly in the primary treatment zones via solids skimming and sludge settling processes. The results of this study further suggest that effluent discharges from both secondary and tertiary wastewater treatment facilities may be contributing only minimally to the microplastic loads in oceans and surface water environments."

Considering this I'm inclined to view the win from a potential 6 fold reduction in clothing production/transport as a higher priority.  

In reply to veteye:

> and the way in which she is coming back is via Toronto; which cannot be energy efficient. 

I think you need to look at the great circle routes to El Salvador; they probably go over Canada.

 LastBoyScout 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I am flying up to Glasgow this week on business.

I'm flying, because it is the quickest and easiest way of getting there.

Train would take me ~7 hours each way with at 2/3 stops, plane about half that (including getting to/from/through airport) and costs more than the flight.

I don't fancy driving that way on my own and I'd have to faff around with parking when I get there.

4
 Wilderbeest 05 Dec 2022
In reply to girlymonkey:

Thanks for this…

“Here is a rough breakdown of average UK person's carbon emissions”

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Breakdown-of-the-UK-average-carbon-footprint-This-information-and-accompanying-figure_fig3_258169307

What I find interesting about the figures is that how people could easily reduce their carbon emissions by a third and not really suffer too much..

We all need to live a simpler life essentially.

Post edited at 09:34
4
In reply to Wilderbeest:

> We all need to live a simpler life essentially.

Or, the alternative which doesn't get enough press, would be to get on with a low carbon economy. Just stop faffing and build windmills and solar farms, which we already know how to do, then enjoy cheap, guilt free energy and improve our quality of life even further. Hard to see why we're doing it but doing it so slowly.

 pdone 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I have cut back a lot

In reply to Robert Durran:

Oooh! Just back from the crag. Great races for first and second and for third and fourth.

The voting pattern definitely surprises me though.

 Marek 05 Dec 2022
In reply to MG:

> Perhaps not near term, but significant developments

Not sure. They're just moving the problem around: It takes a lot of power (from somewhere) to generate hydrogen. Yes, perhaps good in some terms (pollution), but you have to look at the complete energy flow to be sure. Just like "zero emission" electric cars: Yes, no emissions from car, but increased emissions from - albeit more efficient? - power stations (today). If we had overcapacity in wind-power it would be different, but that's not today or in the near future. "Zero-emission" is currently a marketing term.

In reply to Marek:

Well they are talking 2030, so it's a while away.  There are vast quantities of wind power going in, for example, the North Sea.  I was at Nigg today, where they have recently upgraded the dock and there are just now about 30 huge towers for 200m diameter offshore turbines waiting to be installed.  This is only a tiny fraction of what's happening and will continue.  Ardersier and Glasgow and both getting huge investments in harbours to accommodate this

 mutt 05 Dec 2022
In reply to MG:

Meaningful amounts of green hydrogen generation requires nuclear reactors and they won't be online anywhere close to 2030. And if you collect together all the carbon intensive  industries that think that hydrogen is their carry on operating joker you will see that hydrogen is green wash. If we have to wait for green hydrogen to come along in time to service them all the 3degree disaster will have been steamrollered and we will all be swimming 

In reply to mutt:

Maybe.  I would put aviation as a priority for hydrogen though, given there don't seem to be any viable alternatives.

1
 Marek 05 Dec 2022
In reply to MG:

> Maybe.  I would put aviation as a priority for hydrogen though, given there don't seem to be any viable alternatives.

Err, how about 'not flying'?

What proportion of air-miles are really necessary as opposed to convenience, habit or '... because I'm worth it'?

4
In reply to Marek:

> Err, how about 'not flying'?

> What proportion of air-miles are really necessary as opposed to convenience, habit or '... because I'm worth it'?

Up to a point. Realistically I'm struggling to imagine an aviation-less future though.

 Marek 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

As with many other people, my main change has been due to factors other than climate awareness: I've retired (so no monthly flights to US west coast, no daily commute into Manchester = more time on the bike). Covid has been quite 'habit breaking' in terms of foreign travel and I've not been too desperate to renew those habits. I suppose I'm greener as a result, but that's not been the primary driver.

 Marek 05 Dec 2022
In reply to MG:

> Up to a point. Realistically I'm struggling to imagine an aviation-less future though.

I'm not trying to. But the majority of air-miles (I think) are 'luxury' items we may have to do without. That'll make a far bigger impact on the climate footprint of aviation than "zero emission" fuels. Perhaps not good for the industry, but better for the planet.

 mutt 05 Dec 2022
In reply to MG

> Maybe.  I would put aviation as a priority for hydrogen though, given there don't seem to be any viable alternatives.

Priority ahead of what exactly. Your proposition is that air travel has priority over farming and space heating does it? Neither of those can continue in their current form and electrification of everything that can be will use all of the sustainable electricity for decades to come. 

Shipping want to use hydrogen too. Will we be able to break out addiction to owning things so that we can travel fast and long distances. 

Green hydrogen is an absolute joke. All it does is provide a tech fig leaf for industries that just wouldn't exist if hydrocarbons didn't have 100 times the energy density of batteries. 

We are going to have to live very different lives. And I am perfectly happy with that. Our compulsion to buy stuff, and pander ourselves with cross cultural (poverty tourism) disgusts me. cars kill thousands of us so lazy people can continue to sit down. It's a shitty world we have created off the back of free fuel and good riddance to it. 

2
 redjerry 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think the notion that individual action is relevant in the solution to climate change is badly flawed and, overall, probably does more harm than good.
If you want to do something about climate change, vote for politicians and political parties that are committed to doing something about it. The simple fact is that climate change requires a co-ordinated national and international response.

If our societies (US & UK) decide to set up rules that ration flying in some way, I'm fine with that, I'd even vote for it. Until that time I see no point in me or anyone else self-rationing.

 

7
In reply to Robert Durran:

My personal flying habits have been scaled back a lot - partially out of concern for the planet, partially because there's something significantly more exciting about going on big adventures by train, and partially as a result of my hobbies and priorities shifting slightly. This summer I managed all of my holidaying by train - to the Pyrenees for a few weeks, and then on the sleeper to Scotland for a few weeks. Next year I'm planning a big rail-facilitated European winter trip incorporating climbing and hiking in Spain, and ski touring in the Pyrenees, and in summer I'm very tempted to go back to the Pyrenees to give the Haute Route a crack as a single push.

Unfortunately my work flying habits haven't changed much at all

1
 Offwidth 05 Dec 2022
In reply to tehmarks:

We made a lot of progress at work in the years after 2010. Firstly I was incentivised by the number of overseas visits various institutions wanted me personally to make was impossible and secondly I felt at my institution we should be reviewing our policy on overseas partnerships' quality assurance using video conferencing much more: to save staff time and overall costs, significant reduce carbon impacts, and increase flexibility and emergency response. Some work did require travel for face-to-face contact, especially some aspects around setting up collaborations and meeting minimum requirements from National or Professional bodies. I was very pleased we managed to achieve this change as an institution and as a bonus it made my role a lot easier and more interesting, despite working on more collaborations.

 artif 05 Dec 2022
In reply to LastBoyScout:

Is it much quicker ie door to door.

I fly a bit with work and find the door to door times for Western europe aren't that different even considering the Channel crossing.

ie my current trip to Germany would have been seven hours driving, but should have taken 11 hours flying (due to a  cancelled flight and its taken 23 hours).

Time getting to the airport plus check in/security checks etc all add up quickly.

p.s off topic but a website I've previously linked to showed real time carbon emisions, it showed the uk as emitting 3% of the world's domestic carbon emissions. Gas c/h anyone??? 

Post edited at 17:13
 mutt 05 Dec 2022
In reply to redjerry:

That sounds like a convenient way of excusing yourself  of the obvious sin of vandalizing the planet for your own pleasure. The reason of course that flying won't be regulated out of existence is that is by it's very nature a transnational issue. Therefore even puting tax on airfuel is impossible. And that is why flying is the only means of transport that does not have it's fuel taxed and that is why buses and trains can't compete. This amounts to a subsidy that only goes to the rich in society. The poor have to play fuel duty for every journey they take. 

1
 redjerry 05 Dec 2022
In reply to mutt:

You're making an assumption that is not correct. I don't fly very much ... so no, not  "making an excuse"... thats just you talking out of your arse.
"very nature a transnational issue"...hence I said "national and international"

 Misha 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I seem to recall that because plane emissions are high up in the atmosphere, they are particularly damaging. 

In reply to mutt:

> In reply to MG

> Priority ahead of what exactly. Your proposition is that air travel has priority over farming and space heating does it?

For use of the likely limited quantities of hydrogen produced from renewable sources, yes.  Farming and heating don't require hydrogen - there are alternatives.

> We are going to have to live very different lives. And I am perfectly happy with that. Our compulsion to buy stuff, and pander ourselves with cross cultural (poverty tourism) disgusts me. cars kill thousands of us so lazy people can continue to sit down. It's a shitty world we have created off the back of free fuel and good riddance to it. 

You might think, most people don't.  I'd be interested though which period you regard as better than currently?

 Marek 05 Dec 2022
In reply to redjerry:

> If our societies (US & UK) decide to set up rules that ration flying in some way, I'm fine with that, I'd even vote for it. Until that time I see no point in me or anyone else self-rationing.

I'm not sure that a strategy of waiting for a right-minded set of politicians is likely to work well. Most politicians tend to do whatever gets them into power and what keeps them there. A better strategy may be to demonstrate that you're actually serious about climate change being a immediate issue on which you are prepared to make stand - both with your vote and with your behaviour. Otherwise you look like your saying "I know what needs to be done, but I'm not going to do it unless you do it first". A bit of a (primary) school playground position?

In reply to mutt:

> The reason of course that flying won't be regulated out of existence is that is by it's very nature a transnational issue. Therefore even puting tax on airfuel is impossible. And that is why flying is the only means of transport that does not have it's fuel taxed and that is why buses and trains can't compete. This amounts to a subsidy that only goes to the rich in society. The poor have to play fuel duty for every journey they take. 

That’s not entirely correct. Flights into and out of the EU are subject to carbon emissions charges under the EUETS, which is effectively a tax on their carbon emissions from the fuel they burn, current price is around £70 per tonne CO2.

 Offwidth 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Marek:

I think redjerry has a valid point. The people who are flying most and haven't tried hard to modify that, clearly don't care that much; and unless a large proportion of non frequent fliers stop flying, emissions will probably barely change at all (seats on flights will be filled by others or their weight by freight). Increasing flying costs (some type of carbon tax is essential) and better regulation of aircraft will help a lot, but that will often need international agreements.

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2021/11/new-research-indicates-that-about-90-of-uk-domestic-flights-are-taken-by-2-of-the-population/

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/nov/17/people-cause-global-aviation-emissions-study-covid-19

The most effective thing individuals can do is to campaign and lobby (and will obviously need to behave in a way that is consistent with that). If all UK climbers silently stopping flying to climb it may not have any noticable effect on emissions at all.

Post edited at 18:38
In reply to Offwidth:

> The people who are flying most and haven't tried hard to modify that, clearly don't care that much.

I'm not sure that is even necessarily true. I think it is possible to care but for a burning desire to travel and climb to overrule a feeling that one should stop flying.

3
 Marek 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> The most effective thing individuals can do is to campaign and lobby (and will obviously need to behave in a way that is consistent with that)...

That's my point: If your behaviour isn't consistent with the lobbying, then the lobbying will - not unreasonably - be ignored. "Well, they obviously don't actually believe what they preach."

In reply to Marek:

> That's my point: If your behaviour isn't consistent with the lobbying, then the lobbying will - not unreasonably - be ignored. "Well, they obviously don't actually believe what they preach."

And they would often be wrong. Many people would vote for higher taxes to better fund the NHS but aren't about to voluntarily give money to their local hospital or whatever, and many people would vote for higher taxes on flying while happily taking advantage of cheap flights.

2
 redjerry 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Marek:

That is a logically inconsistent position that is strangely common on this forum.
We live in a society, we abide by the rules of that society while at the same time having every right to fight to change those rules?
Nothing childish or hypocritical about taking full advantage of that structure while at the same time fighting to change it.

And I would add that it's a way of thinking that probably makes it harder to do something substantive about climate change.

Post edited at 19:31
6
In reply to redjerry:

Do you apply the same thinking to large organisations exploiting entirely legal tax loopholes?

 MeMeMe 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> The most effective thing individuals can do is to campaign and lobby (and will obviously need to behave in a way that is consistent with that). If all UK climbers silently stopping flying to climb it may not have any noticable effect on emissions at all.

Major change at governmental level is politically difficult without cultural changes in society in terms of our use of Carbon, that cultural change happens slowly and it sure won't change without people actually changing their behaviour.

If all UK climbers stopped flying then I don't think it would be a silent change, there'd be conversations with loved ones, colleagues, friends etc and these conversations are more important than the actual savings on emissions.

We are currently normalised to fly (and do lots of other environmental destructive things), we need to change that.

[Edit to add - And these types of threads on UKC are a really important part of that conversation and (hopefully) change]

Post edited at 19:59
 ianstevens 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> I’d guess that climate change is not the main reason for many peoples change in flying habits. COVID 19 pandemics, cost of living crisis, buying a van, driving more, personal circumstances…all probably bigger factors, but you knew that anyway. 

Agreed, way to many confounding variables here.

In reply to Elsier:

> It is difficult I think as majority of my friends still fly loads and social media is still full of photos of people posting photos from all over the world, which makes it harder, because I do miss travelling more. 

Cheap flying does seem to still be booming. I am in Wadi Rum at the moment. With the budget airlines now flying to Jordan people are now able to fly further to here for something like the cost of the usual European venues. Wadi Rum now feels much more mainstream with quite a lot of climbers rather than the niche venue with perhaps a handful. Loads of people seem to be getting their winter sun in Morocco too. And of course all the standard euroclipping areas are still stuffed with climbers.

 timjones 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Or, the alternative which doesn't get enough press, would be to get on with a low carbon economy. Just stop faffing and build windmills and solar farms, which we already know how to do, then enjoy cheap, guilt free energy and improve our quality of life even further. Hard to see why we're doing it but doing it so slowly.

Can you explain how windmills and solar farms would improve our quality of life?

11
In reply to timjones:

Avoiding (even more) serious climate change sounds pretty life enhancing to me.

1
In reply to timjones:

By providing cheap, guilt free energy

2
 Siward 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Misha:

> I seem to recall that because plane emissions are high up in the atmosphere, they are particularly damaging. 

Yes, this has been commented in for years but is convenient to ignore 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.euronews.com/green/amp/2022/05/04/co2-emissions-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-for-the-climate-cost-of-air-travel

 timjones 05 Dec 2022
In reply to redjerry:

> Nothing childish or hypocritical about taking full advantage of that structure while at the same time fighting to change it.

How can it be anything other than hypocrisy to act in a way that does not live up to your states beliefs?

1
 LastBoyScout 05 Dec 2022
In reply to artif:

> Is it much quicker ie door to door.

Train: On the quickest train, leave house 9am to walk to station, 3 changes, arrive Glasgow Central 4pm, arrive in office about 4:30. Ok, I can work on the train, but that assumes I can get a seat.

Plane: Leave house 9am and drive to airport, arrive Glasgow 1pm (guaranteed seat), in office by 2pm.

Large allowance on plane for traffic and getting through security - should theoretically be able to shave an hour off that as only hand baggage, but can do an hour on laptop in departures.

I did try and look into car pooling with a couple of colleagues, but it just won't work - not local enough and there's insurance issues with sharing driving.

2
 Elsier 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yes I guess I am not surprised it's still booming. I am sure there would be some fascinating studies to be done around behavioural economics with regard to travel and flying. Social pressures can have a big influence in both directions. Few will be willing to stop or reduce flying when they feel that no-one else is. 

It was a hard personal decision for me, but I just felt like I could not do nothing. I bought the arguments about change needing to be political for years, but I think in recent years when the impact became more stark I just felt like I wanted to do something however small to make a personal contribution to reducing climate change.

 timjones 05 Dec 2022
In reply to MG:

Taking into account the fact that Longsufferingropeholder was replying to a post that suggested that we need to live  simpler lives do you really think that is what they meant?

1
In reply to timjones:

It is what I meant. We can stop emitting carbon and have nice things, but that's almost never presented as an option. The cutting back and going without is what gets all the press, and it's right to do that while we're burning dead things to power our lives, but another option would be to stop burning dead things to power our lives, and use renewables instead.

2
In reply to Robert Durran:

I've just come back from a trip to Hawaii and California, so cannot lecture anyone, although I only travel long haul about every 10-15 years.

I've really enjoyed travelling around Europe by train, whilst it is a bit more expensive than flying, especially if you live anywhere outside south east England, time is the main constraint.

Biggest change we have made is going from having two cars, each doing more than 10,000 miles a year, to having one car and driving less than 5,000 miles a year in it. We also have a lot less meat in our diet than we used to.

In reply to redjerry:

> Nothing childish or hypocritical about taking full advantage of that structure while at the same time fighting to change it.

Surely on some level you must appreciate the hypocrisy of 'taking fullest advantage of' a morally unjustifiably heavily subsidised and massively damaging form of transport while 'at the same time fighting to change' egregious environmental damage from that very same thing?

Imagine if we all began from the same idealistic utopia of considering and minimising our impact on the world around us as our means allow. That doesn't even need to mean an immediate ban on any and all leisure flying - but you're not allowed to pretend that it doesn't have an impact, and that being a component of the demand that continues to fuel unsustainable air travel doesn't have an impact.

 Marek 05 Dec 2022
In reply to redjerry:

> Nothing childish or hypocritical about taking full advantage of that structure while at the same time fighting to change it.

I think I would beg to differ except in the special case when the 'taking full advantage' is in order to support the 'fight'. Shouting about climate change whilst flying on holiday? Yes, that's hypocritical. But I suspect we all do it to a greater or lesser extent. I know I'm guilty of it.

 LastBoyScout 05 Dec 2022
In reply to The New NickB:

> Biggest change we have made is going from having two cars, each doing more than 10,000 miles a year, to having one car and driving less than 5,000 miles a year in it. We also have a lot less meat in our diet than we used to.

About 8 years ago, I went from doing 175 miles/week commuting to around 45 miles/week due to an office move (happily bringing it within cycling range) and now, since the advent of Covid, 0 miles most weeks. I do now have to go into the office occasionally to provide cover for colleagues on holiday (first aid/fire marshall).

I have wondered about keeping 2 cars, but mine only costs about £250/year to keep on the road + fuel and it is handy sometimes to have 2 when we need to be in different places at the same time.

1
 Offwidth 05 Dec 2022
In reply to MeMeMe:

I agree with you but that's a type of extended lobbying. I'm also old, experienced and cynical enough to know some climbers will never stop convenience flying.

 Misha 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Plus tidal. In the UK this has to have massive potential. There’s a study going on off Ynys Mon to look at what’s feasible. I think one of the issues is the turbines getting gunked up with barnacles etc. Of course as the contractor base next to the turn off for South Stack demonstrates, building and indeed maintaining these things has an environmental cost but over time renewables cover that cost while fossil fuels just add to it. 

 Marek 05 Dec 2022
In reply to Misha:

> Plus tidal. In the UK this has to have massive potential. There’s a study going on off Ynys Mon to look at what’s feasible. I think one of the issues is the turbines getting gunked up with barnacles etc.

Another being biodiversity since tidal schemes would often involve destruction of wetlands. That inevitably splits the 'green' vote on these issues.

 Misha 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Marek:

It might do if it’s a tidal barrage but these are turbines tethered to the sea bed. Not many wetlands on Ynys Mon.

 Misha 06 Dec 2022
In reply to redjerry:

Surely the answer is to do both?

 Misha 06 Dec 2022
In reply to LastBoyScout:

It depends where you are. For example, from Birmingham the equation changes. It’s 4.5h and one change to Glasgow, 4h direct to Edinburgh. Considering I can work on the train and the train station here is a 10 min walk away and the train gets me to central Glasgow or Edinburgh, it would be a no brainier.

I’ve not had occasion to do this trip for work but once got the sleeper up to Aviemore for climbing and then standard trains with an overnight in Edinburgh - I was home before midday on the Monday and worked quite successfully on the train. The sleeper was awful though as I didn’t pay for an actual bed, just a not very reclining seat. The one time I got an actual bed, it was great. 

 redjerry 06 Dec 2022
In reply to MG:

I really do.
The corporations taking advantage of the loopholes aren't the problem, it's the tax structures that, often by design, allow for the loopholes that are the problem.
The onus is on us, as voters and as a society, to find a way to create a more honest tax system that better fits our goals.

It's a good analogy because I'd say that the 6kw PV system sitting on my roof is about as effective at addressing climate change as donating extra dollars to the IRS would be in producing a fairer tax system.
What's required for both is political will.
 

1
In reply to Elsier:

> It was a hard personal decision for me, but I just felt like I could not do nothing.

I have been thinking about it quite a lot, especially having retired and now being in a position to change the pattern of my climbing trips without the restriction of fixed school holidays. So far I admit I've not made changes - three trips to Europe this year and now Wadi Rum (longer trip than my previous ones). I would find it really hard to accept never climbing in the US again or to give up on returning to, say, Patagonia or Greenland and I can't really imagine not keeping coming back to Wadi Rum. And then there are new places to visit...... Realistically, the most I can see myself doing (unless costs become prohibitive) is taking fewer but longer big trips and switching, where practicable, to car or train within Europe now I have the time.

Apart from that, I can't see myself cutting back on driving within Scotland - I'm simply not going to be sitting at home when the weather is great in the NW!

I suppose at least I live fairly frugally and without daft consumerism apart from the travel.

3
 peppermill 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Ramon Marin:

> I find most climbers say they do care about climate change and the environment, but a majority (of my friends, hardly scientific!) climbers are not prepared to make sacrifices and carry on flying like there’s no tomorrow 

Yes I find this rather depressing. 

COP26 in Glasgow last year was outstanding. Social Meeja spray of the "COP26 message, we need to act NOW!"

3 months later..........look at me on my ski holiday!

In reply to Misha:

Not sure about tidal. There have been noises about it for years and there's definitely energy there but nobody has got it to work economically. Whereas wind and solar are getting cheaper every day.

If we built the 5GW fish blender across the Severn maybe it would pay for itself but there are some pretty obvious downsides to that.

In reply to redjerry:

> I really do.

> The corporations taking advantage of the loopholes aren't the problem, it's the tax structures that, often by design, allow for the loopholes that are the problem.

Fair enough but that seems an odd view to me. Why not exercise personal  responsibility rather than waiting for orders?

> It's a good analogy because I'd say that the 6kw PV system sitting on my roof is about as effective at addressing climate change 

It all helps.

In reply to Robert Durran:

I moved to the Alps two years ago. I haven't made it back for Christmas for the last two years, for various COVID reasons. This year I have the Eurostar booked, as well as the connection via Paris. But now I'm trying to dodge rail strikes in France and the UK as well as Eurostar staff, all on different dates. Flying would resolve these issues, and be much cheaper. They don't make it easy for us to do the right thing

2
 LastBoyScout 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Misha:

My nearest train station is on a smaller, slower line - it's ~20 min walk there, then into Reading to change to get a train to anywhere useful, so either up to Oxford or into London and go from there.

Friend of mine used to use the sleeper train from London to Scotland a lot, but it's a lot easier if you work in central London to start with!

Post edited at 08:46
2
 timjones 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

The problem is that not everybody defines their quality of life by their possessions.

You have to convince those that don't crave a lot of "nice things" that it is worth plastering the planet with wind turbines and solar panels.

4
In reply to timjones:

You are being deliberately awkward. "Nice things" doesn't mean lots of rubbish, it means things like heat and light, food supply, health,  biodiversity, cities not under water.  You'd be pretty peculiar not to want that sort of thing.

 timjones 06 Dec 2022
In reply to MG:

> You are being deliberately awkward. "Nice things" doesn't mean lots of rubbish, it means things like heat and light, food supply, health,  biodiversity, cities not under water.  You'd be pretty peculiar not to want that sort of thing.

I am explaining my thoughts, if you believe that is being "deliberately awkward" then there seems little point in any debate.

The post that I first replied too suggested that we could "improve our quality of life even further".

Do those who are already doing the most damage need to improve their quality of life or should they be aiming to live simpler lives so that others can have a little more?

3
 Wilderbeest 06 Dec 2022
In reply to timjones:

I’m with you on this. My view is that living a simpler life does not mean a poorer quality one….just involves less consuming of “stuff” and getting enjoyment out of doing things locally.

 S Ramsay 06 Dec 2022
In reply to LastBoyScout:

Not really aimed at you but as you mentioned sleeper trains, its important to remember that diesel sleeper trains where you purchase a berth aren't really green. The article below reckons that London-Glasgow you're going to be looking at approx 200 g/km, nominally worse than flying although flying has non CO2 warming effects which probably make flying worse overall. Just purchasing a seat rather than a berth on a sleeper is going to substantially reduce your CO2/km figure. Making sure that you travel on a daytime electrified train makes that much greener again but that is where you get into a moral quandary, to what extent should the differing emissions of different rail services be the concern of the customer? At least with trains there is the potential of electrifying all lines in the future with further investment whereas to my mind (some on this thread appear to disagree) it is not plausible that air travel can be made to be widespread and low emission in the next 50 years

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/jan/22/greenwash-train-travel

 timjones 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Wilderbeest:

> I’m with you on this. My view is that living a simpler life does not mean a poorer quality one….just involves less consuming of “stuff” and getting enjoyment out of doing things locally.

The things that MG lists such as heat, light, water and food are what I would describe as simple necessities. I tend to think of nice things as the luxuries that we gather on top of the necessities.

It's a shame that it is not possible to ask an easy  question to clarify what someone means without being accused of being awkward.

1
In reply to timjones:

Compare life before the industrial revolution with life after. See any improvement on quality of life ?

3
 timjones 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Definitely, but can those of us who are amongst the better off in the world realistically expect our quality of life to continue improving?

Or does our quality of life need to ease back a little so that others can have a little more whilst we all continue to live within the limitations of the planet that we all share?

1
 jkarran 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I don't climb anymore and I can't afford the the other holidays I used to enjoy, I no longer have the excuse of flying out to tag a euro city break onto my wife's work travel, fly less for work, have a young family, there's been a pandemic and I no longer live on a little island. All of which means I do far less flying as a passenger than I used to. Climate concerns are a minor part of that in reality, life just got a bit smaller by default.

On the flipside I actually do far more hours in the air and I guess about 50 flights a year currently but since it's almost exclusively in gliders and on my doorstep the fuel burn is less than for even the domestic fraction of my previous climbing habit.

jk

 Misha 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I understand the Ynys Mon project is looking at precisely this - how to make tidal feasible. Think the idea is to try out a few different technologies. It might not work out but certainly worth exploring. Agree wind is also a no brainier in the UK. Solar seems to be taking off as well, guess the panels are now good enough even for our climate.

 Phil1919 06 Dec 2022
In reply to timjones:

I think there is a discussion to be had around quality of life and quantity of life. Just being rather than doing or having has a lot going for it.

In reply to timjones:

Not sure how you're still missing this point. We could have loads of clean energy, way more than we generate now, still well within the limits of the planet, and nobody has to ease back or go without.

2
 Misha 06 Dec 2022
In reply to LastBoyScout:

Yeah, as always location is key. Win some, lose some depending on destination but certain places are generally better connected than others. I think the key question is whether travel is necessary in the first place, for both business and leisure. Different people have different ideas of what is necessary. Robert apparently considers three Euro trips and a Wadi Rum trip plus maybe some US and Greenland trips in future as necessary. Others might be happy with going to their local crag. Most people will be somewhere in between. 

In reply to Misha:

Yeah, but it's not the first such project. There have been many. It's not there yet, whereas wind and solar very much are, so what are we waiting for?

 jkarran 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Siward:

> I don't think so. The answer is to stop emitting carbon into the atmosphere, not kidding ourselves that it's renewable /offset/ sustainable.

If the carbon you emit in burning (a nuclear/renewable powered) synthetic fuel came from the atmosphere in the first place then there's no kidding involved, it's circular. Sure it'd be better from a climate change control perspective to use every joule we can harvest to stabilise and bury atmospheric carbon but then we have to give up all the great things our engineered world has opened up for us and frankly that's not realistic given human nature.

Hair shirts won't fix climate change in the long run, engineering and economics will. Or it won't. Depends if politics gets in the way.

jk

2
 magma 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

it's the top 1% that needs curbing..

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2022-wealth-carbon-emissions-inequality-powers-world-climate/

Post edited at 11:14
1
 Wilderbeest 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Not sure I’m missing the point more that I feel I need to do something personally and do my bit to help.

We can have lots of green energy but we are not there yet and it will take a while to come online.

The Paris agreement was set at 1.5c.

“Our latest climate predictions show that continued global temperature rise will continue, with an even chance that one of the years between 2022 and 2026 will exceed 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels,” said Dr. Leon Hermanson of the UK Met Office, who led the report.  
https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/05/1117842

Post edited at 11:35
1
 jkarran 06 Dec 2022
In reply to timjones:

> Can you explain how windmills and solar farms would improve our quality of life?

Seriously, is this some pedantic point about the actual machines having no direct positive impact on your quality of life?

Machines that harvest energy from the sun allow us to reduce the rate at which we're destabilising our climate, something we need to do if that is not to have a negative impact on our quality of life. We could just do without energy of course instead of replacing the fossil burners but most of us would die horribly as a consequence so that's a pretty tough sell.

jk

Post edited at 11:59
 Dave Cundy 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Curiously, I've noticed that us retirees have a bit to answer for.

1)  we ain't limited to four weeks holiday a year anymore.

2)  many of us can afford the travel costs (insufficiently taxed as they are).

3) no mortgage and/or no kids to feed.

3) we have been to many of the nearby climbing spots, so ones further away have more appeal

4)  we are at the stage in life where our climbing grades are about to slide.  I'm aware of a desire to go and get those big routes on the tick list done while i still can.

One of my friends had TWELVE foreign trips, a few years back.  Justified by saying they have no kids, so no carbon emmissions in years to come.

I think this misses the point.  Carbon emmissions in thirty years time are irrelevant (sort of).  If OUR generation don't curb our desire to travel NOW, the world climate will be buggered by then.

I'm willing to play my part.  I've had just one flight this year, to Italy (taking the bike).  For my other trip, to Provence, I took the TGV.  A bit of a faff, admittedly, but doable.

On the plus side, I'm getting to hate the whole airport thing.  I can see me using the TGV again.

Post edited at 12:04
 magma 06 Dec 2022
In reply to jkarran:

talking of solar, what are your thoughts on space-based solar power and solar geoengineering (radiation modification)?

 Dave Cundy 06 Dec 2022
In reply to magma:

As a former engineer on the HOTOL spsceplane project, I suspect that space-based solar power is pie-in-the-sky.  You'd have an enormous embedded footprint in manufacturing the rocket used to get it there, plus the facilities producing the cryogenic LOX and hydrogen.  The spacecraft would constantly burn propellant to keep it pointing at the ground station, so that might constrain its operating life.

Apart from that, the only benefit is that there is more room up there.  Are we that short of space down here?

 jkarran 06 Dec 2022
In reply to magma:

Orbital solar: I don't know much about it. I presume from the interest of serious people/organisations over the years that the power downlink is technically viable. I don't intuitively understand the scale of the risk of the whole system collapsing into a huge orbiting debris cloud but I presume if it's a technical possibility then it will eventually happen (same logic I apply to strategic nuclear weapons). That seems potentially bad. After that it's a numbers game, energy cost of putting the stuff up there vs the lifetime performance gain of being outside of the atmosphere after link losses. That's changing all the time but I have no real interest in space stuff so couldn't hazard a guess if we're close or not. If I had to bet on the century ahead I'd go for 'orbital solar power will prove unnecessary and uneconomical'. Beyond that, who knows!

Radiation control: Giant space parasols? I don't see it happening. I can see surface, ocean and atmospheric geoengineering taking off bigtime by the latter part of the century, if we get there.

jk

Post edited at 12:36
 magma 06 Dec 2022
In reply to jkarran:

> Radiation control: Giant space parasols?

more like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratospheric_aerosol_injection

In reply to peppermill:

You are so right. Sharing my life with someone who's doing a PhD on barriers to adaptation for climate change and also running a carbon accounting firm, I have a fairly cynical view on all of this. I do think that if us, white, well educated, prosperous, environment-loving climbers living in the global north, can't or won't adopt the measures, and stomach the sacrifices (which are not insignificant, but hardly as bad as having to relocate your country's population i.e Fiji ), to tackle the climate crisis, we have no hope in hell in surviving as a human species in the long run. It's one of the reasons I decided to not have children, as I wouldn't cope with the anxiety. That's not to say I'm not doing my bit, but seeing that we have an 8 year window to revert it and with the current attitude of "ride it like you stole it", the future looks pretty bleak in my view.

Post edited at 13:07
1
 jkarran 06 Dec 2022
In reply to magma:

Yeah, I think that sort of geoengineering probably will become commonplace and an important climate control tool but also a potential flashpoint between nations.

jk

 Iamgregp 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I clicked the "not really changed" as I tend to fly short haul a couple of times year and have flown long haul only 3 times in my life.   

When you've got very little to cut back on, any reduction makes a big difference.  Cutting back a little for me would mean giving half my foreign trips!

For those who have clicked on the "I have cut back a lot" who have taken multiple long haul trips over recent years (and I know who some of you are!), give the sanctimonious posturing a rest.  You had more to cut back on, you're a bigger part of the problem and you're probably still not at the level of us frugal flyers.  

This isn't aimed at you Robert, you've been very open and honest btw!

6
 Ramblin dave 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I have been thinking about it quite a lot, especially having retired and now being in a position to change the pattern of my climbing trips without the restriction of fixed school holidays. So far I admit I've not made changes - three trips to Europe this year and now Wadi Rum (longer trip than my previous ones). I would find it really hard to accept never climbing in the US again or to give up on returning to, say, Patagonia or Greenland and I can't really imagine not keeping coming back to Wadi Rum. And then there are new places to visit...... Realistically, the most I can see myself doing (unless costs become prohibitive) is taking fewer but longer big trips and switching, where practicable, to car or train within Europe now I have the time.

I don't want to sound like I'm haranguing you here, but it does seem interesting that you "would find it really hard to accept" doing without an amount and type of international travel that would, AIUI, have seemed like unimaginable to most climbers for a large part of climbing history.

(Edit: I do mean interesting as in "oh, it's interesting that this is a point that we've got to" there, not interesting as in "it's interesting what a terrible person you are", by the way...)

Post edited at 13:37
 Brev 06 Dec 2022
In reply to S Ramsay:

Those numbers are quite out of date. I believe the sleeper train route nowadays is at least partly electrified (and the electricity grid is powered by more renewable energy than it was in 2009). I looked into this a couple of years ago. It was difficult to find accurate numbers, but best guesses were that current emissions from the Caledonian sleeper are about 30-50g CO2/km.

 kathrync 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Pre-pandemic, the majority of my air miles were for work. Those decreased, but are now slowly increasing again as the various conferences/workshops I attend/run are going back to being in person. For workshops in particular, it's very clear that they are much more effective in person, but collectively we try to reduce the flying (e.g., we'll fly 4 instructors from the UK to Montevideo rather than flying 40 participants from all over S. America to the UK).

I was flying domestically 3 or 4 times a year to visit my family. I have more or less stopped doing that now, and tend to take the car instead (Glasgow to SE England). However, driving (or indeed taking the train) mean that this is no longer really feasible in a weekend, so I will fly occasionally to attend specific events if I can't get the time off work.

For holidays, I generally holiday in the UK anyway, or I'll combine a holiday with a work trip so that I only need to fly once. That hasn't really changed. For the occasional European trip (maybe 1 every other year) I'll look at alternatives to flying and use them if they are sensible, but I will fly if they are not. For example, I've booked to do a skiing course this year. I looked at the train, but if I were to use it I wouldn't get back from the course in time to do the teaching I've committed to the following week, so flying it is.

I would comment that the real problem with flying isn't people who go off on a little jolly once or twice a year - it's the people who use short-haul flights for business meetings multiple times per week. I would hope that the pandemic has shown that there are other ways to conduct those meetings...

2
In reply to Misha:

> Robert apparently considers three Euro trips and a Wadi Rum trip plus maybe some US and Greenland trips in future as necessary. 

No, I didn't say they were necessary - of course not! I just said that I would find it hard to accept giving such trips up.

1
 S Ramsay 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Brev:

You are correct, I thought that I had seen the sleeper recently and that it was still diesel, but it was the one to Penzance that I saw and that is indeed still diesel:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Riviera

In reply to Iamgregp:

> For those who have clicked on the "I have cut back a lot" who have taken multiple long haul trips over recent years (and I know who some of you are!), give the sanctimonious posturing a rest.  You had more to cut back on, you're a bigger part of the problem and you're probably still not at the level of us frugal flyers.  

I suppose it depends whether people have interpreted "a lot" in absolute or in percentage terms.

In reply to Ramblin dave:

> I don't want to sound like I'm haranguing you here, but it does seem interesting that you "would find it really hard to accept" doing without an amount and type of international travel that would, AIUI, have seemed like unimaginable to most climbers for a large part of climbing history.

Yes, of course. I think it is human nature to find it hard to give up what one is used to, not what one's ancestors were used to.

In reply to kathrync:

> I would comment that the real problem with flying isn't people who go off on a little jolly once or twice a year - it's the people who use short-haul flights for business meetings multiple times per week.

A good point (though my poll was meant to be specifically about climbing jollies).

 LakesWinter 06 Dec 2022
In reply to kathrync:

My feeling is that work flying is different to leisure flying in that you often have no choice about it, although with current propulsion methods in planes no flying could really be counted as good flying.

 Iamgregp 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Indeed.  It's all relative isn't it?

I just hate being lectured by sanctimonious types who have taken more long haul flights in the last five years than I've taken in my lifetime about how much they've cut down etc as if they're some kind of green hero, yet they've done and still continue to do more air miles than I've ever have.

Yet I'm the bad one because I haven't changed my habits?  Nah, not having that.

4
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Yet I'm the bad one because I haven't changed my habits?  Nah, not having that.

I doubt they would call you the bad one of they knew they were still doing more flying than you. Obviously my poll is too blunt a tool though!

In reply to kathrync:

> I would comment that the real problem with flying isn't people who go off on a little jolly once or twice a year - it's the people who use short-haul flights for business meetings multiple times per week. I would hope that the pandemic has shown that there are other ways to conduct those meetings...

Not really. It would be nice if we could just blame someone else but honestly it's more or less as simple as total air miles*. So if you go off on a little jolly to California you're responsible for just as much damage as someone doing London-Paris 25 times.

* - short haul economy and long haul economy are pretty close together on https://uk-cms.parkindigo.com/wp-content/uploads/CO2-Emissions-9.png and https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/carbon-footprint-travel-mode

 Misha 06 Dec 2022
In reply to timjones:

You can have a ‘simple life’ but you will still use energy for heating, light and transport, so you’ll need those wind turbines after all. Unless you live in a cave off a vegetable plot. 

 Misha 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I agree, I’m suggesting as well as rather than instead of wind and solar. 
 

What we are waiting for is a change of government…

 kathrync 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Not really. It would be nice if we could just blame someone else but honestly it's more or less as simple as total air miles*. So if you go off on a little jolly to California you're responsible for just as much damage as someone doing London-Paris 25 times.

Right - but imagine a company that sends 10 people on a return internal flight three times a week. If that company can reduce their travel by 2/3, then in a very short time that will have saved more carbon than I will have saved by not going to California once.

That's not to say that I shouldn't take personal responsibility for my jolly to California - but it is to say that companies operating like this have the potential to make a bigger impact than the majority of individuals are able to.

1
 Misha 06 Dec 2022
In reply to S Ramsay:

Clearly there are other benefits to travelling by train such as reduced congestion and hence reduced pollution and indeed higher average mpg in cities. Reducing everything to a notional CO2 number is rather simplistic. Not least because those CO2 numbers are estimates which depend on a number of assumptions and the methodology used. For example, is the CO2 cost of getting to and from the airport / train station taken into account? Airport will be less local for most people. What about the CO2 cost of running an airport vs a train station, even a large one? Lots more to these things. 

 redjerry 06 Dec 2022
In reply to MG:

"Why not exercise personal  responsibility rather than waiting for orders?"

Have you been reading this thread? C'mon man, get real.

3
In reply to redjerry:

> "Why not exercise personal  responsibility rather than waiting for orders?"

> Have you been reading this thread? C'mon man, get real.

Well yes?  Quite a lot of people cutting back - seems real.

 Ian Carey 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

There is not an option for 'I'm flying more'.

After many years of trying to do my bit I have given up.

I am now making plans for some long & short haul flights over the coming years.

I have taken the view that it's too late to stop or control global heating.

Too many people just don't care, so I have decided I don't want to miss out on the international travel.

I was at the Kendal Film Festival recently  and many of the films and talks involved flying.

If it's okay for them, it's okay for me.

17
 LakesWinter 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Ian Carey:

Goblin mode alert

1
 peppermill 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Ian Carey:

> I was at the Kendal Film Festival recently  and many of the films and talks involved flying.

> If it's okay for them, it's okay for me.

Are "They" anyone worth paying attention to though?

In reply to Robert Durran:

I ticked “a lot” because I used to do typically a flight a year for climbing trips, usually within Europe, but last time was 2016. I haven’t stopped flying altogether because I still do the odd flight to visit family.

There is a “but”: I do a lot more paddling, cycling and more recently sailing than climbing these days, and living in Scotland have been able to take advantage of opportunities close to home. I do like self propelled travel “aka slow”, which isn’t to everyone’s taste

I still occasionally think about climbing further afield while I’m still able, and if anything I probably wish I’d done more of it before climate change loomed so large.

In reply to Ian Carey:

> I have taken the view that it's too late to stop or control global heating.

> Too many people just don't care, so I have decided I don't want to miss out on the international travel.

If I am brutally honest, I sort of agree. Part of me thinks "the world is screwed anyway, I have, with luck, twenty more active years and, not having children, my genes and carbon footprint die with me, so, in the meantime, I might as well enjoy myself". On the other hand the guilt......

5
 Siward 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Indeed.  It's all relative isn't it?

> I just hate being lectured by sanctimonious types who have taken more long haul flights in the last five years than I've taken in my lifetime about how much they've cut down etc as if they're some kind of green hero, yet they've done and still continue to do more air miles than I've ever have.

> Yet I'm the bad one because I haven't changed my habits?  Nah, not having that.

Damn right. 

4
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If I am brutally honest, I sort of agree. Part of me thinks "the world is screwed anyway, I have, with luck, twenty more active years and, not having children, my genes and carbon footprint die with me, so, in the meantime, I might as well enjoy myself". On the other hand the guilt......

You probably win this thread then  https://www.dw.com/en/carbon-emissions-germany-europe-environmental-research-letters/a-39688915

 Nick Bullock 06 Dec 2022
In reply to Elsier:

"Social pressures can have a big influence in both directions. Few will be willing to stop or reduce flying when they feel that no-one else is."

"I think in recent years when the impact became more stark I just felt like I wanted to do something however small to make a personal contribution to reducing climate change."

Spot on...

 Phil1919 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

A good little read, thanks.

 Red_And_Black 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Phil1919:

Pretty much stopped flying, last flew 2016. Now I go away less but go for longer and get the train. I will fly again next year, but then likely not again for years.

We just need to stop basically, or make it a very rare event.

We also need to ban private car ownership/usage replacing it with better free/subsidized public transport, walking, cycling and car shares (with exemption for people in remote areas/disabilities), massively insulate homes, etc. - basically fundamentally shift how we live and work.

Will it happen? No I think sadly not. Too many people making too much money as it is now. And deep seated cultural resistance to change (you can see it here, especially rife among middle aged middle class men). Some of the changes will happen, but too little and too late, and we (although mostly younger people) are going to have some very, very harsh decades ahead.

Post edited at 08:04
4
 Offwidth 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Ian Carey:

I'd say it was the most environmentally conscious Kendal festival I've been to. Even Mombiot was talking ( I certainly flew into a queue when I saw he was booksigning  ).

 Phil1919 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Red_And_Black:

Just walk, cycle, whenever you can and 'selfishly' soak in the experience. The future isn't ours as they say.

 timjones 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Not sure how you're still missing this point. We could have loads of clean energy, way more than we generate now, still well within the limits of the planet, and nobody has to ease back or go without.

I understand your point, I'm just not sure that it is correct if everyone is going to have the same lives as we do.

 timjones 07 Dec 2022
In reply to magma:

> anyone in favour of a personal carbon allowance? (uk gov says no)

I aim to keep within the limits of personal carbon calculators but I don't think I would trust any government to monitor and enforce it.

 timjones 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Misha:

> You can have a ‘simple life’ but you will still use energy for heating, light and transport, so you’ll need those wind turbines after all. Unless you live in a cave off a vegetable plot. 

I'm not against wind or solar, I just doubt that it makes sense to view it as a guilt free way for those who are already very well off I'm global terms to further boost their already good quality of life.

1
 mrphilipoldham 07 Dec 2022
In reply to timjones:

It's not. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2019/09/30/net-zero-carbon-dioxide-emissions-by-2050-requires-a-new-nuclear-power-plant-every-day/?sh=fea40e035f7e

We need to be bringing online the equivalent of one new nuclear power plant every day until 2050, or 1500 wind turbines for the same duration just to meet current expected demand - and unless I'm mistaken, we haven't so we're 3 years behind already.

 springfall2008 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

There is plenty of climbing in the UK so I don't really need to fly abroad anyhow.

But for family holidays I'm back to the normal 2 trips a year. When they ban private jets I might consider changing my plans.

5
 Moacs 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Pertinent factoid: if people only took one flight (return) a year, 80% of flights wouldn't happen.

I.e. a very small number of people drive a huge proportion of the issue

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Sounds dramatic if you're thinking about just the UK, but that is a global figure. 

1
 ExiledScot 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Moacs:

> Pertinent factoid: if people only took one flight (return) a year, 80% of flights wouldn't happen.

> I.e. a very small number of people drive a huge proportion of the issue

Better still, don't have a 2 week holiday every July, fly every other year and stay for a month. Instant 50% reduction in air travel, no impact on local tourism, same amount of time spent overseas etc.. 

 ExiledScot 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> I'd say it was the most environmentally conscious Kendal festival I've been to...

That you've been to. 2020's online event was more environmentally friendly, but the standard of some of interviewing was painful. Although this year some like the bike night weren't much better. 

They want to be paperless, but in many of the venues it's hard to get a signal to show tickets, make payments etc.. and free wifi is limited. 

In reply to Robert Durran:

Thanks for doing this poll, really interesting! 

 HeMa 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Martin Haworth:

You forgot family...

So buying 4 tickets instead of 2 sort of doubles the budget, which have been a lions share of the costs for say Spanish vacations. Obviously not all have such hindrances. But some do.

So I'd wager if people are changing their habbits, it's because:
1. Costs (in which Covid and such have affected)
2. Changes in your life (kids, vans, hassle with Brexit for ye)
3. Ideology (so emissions etc.) 

This is based on nothing, just a general feel and observations.

 mutt 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

I'm curious, which of us sanctimonious types have taken more flights than you? 

> I just hate being lectured by sanctimonious types who have taken more long haul flights in the last five years than I've taken in my lifetime about how much they've cut down etc as if they're some kind of green hero, yet they've done and still continue to do more air miles than I've ever have.

> Yet I'm the bad one because I haven't changed my habits?  Nah, not having that.

Your proposition is sounding a bit QAnon, we need names.

5
 mrphilipoldham 07 Dec 2022
In reply to midgen:

Yes, I know it's a global figure - it's a global problem isn't it? How many wind turbines were brought online globally yesterday? How much fossil fuel generation was decommissioned?

Post edited at 12:36
 springfall2008 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Red_And_Black:

> We just need to stop basically, or make it a very rare event.

We will have electric and hydrogen powered planes soon.

> We also need to ban private car ownership/usage replacing it with better free/subsidized public transport, walking, cycling and car shares (with exemption for people in remote areas/disabilities), massively insulate homes, etc. - basically fundamentally shift how we live and work.

No thanks, that sounds awful. 

I'm all for better public transport, but it's still not suitable for all trips, lots of things you can't do on it including going climbing/camping!

6
 Iamgregp 07 Dec 2022
In reply to mutt:

Not interested in naming names, and won't be goaded into it.  If the cap fits wear it.

3
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

You can probably get a ballpark figure from here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_by_country

The answer is, ultimately, not enough, but it doesn't stop it being the right course of action. 

If we hadn't fallen for Putin's bait and become drunk on cheap Russian gas we might not have let nuclear power become so neglected, but alas, it has been an awfully long time since we had a competent government.

 S Ramsay 07 Dec 2022
In reply to springfall2008:

In 2019 the UK was burning 267,000 barrels of oil equivalent of aviation fuel each day [1]. Each barrel contains 1700 kWh of energy [2]. Multiply those two figures together and multiply by 365 and you get 166 TerraWh of energy being used for aviation in the UK each year. For reference the UK produces about 333 TWh [3] of electricity per year. So, to continue aviation as we do currently while hitting our Co2 targets we need to A, decarbonise the whole grid, electrify all land based transport and heat and enlarge the grid sufficiently to meet this increased demand, and then add another 50% of the size of today’s grid to meet aviation demand. It’s just not credible. People use all kinds of justifications for flying, but ‘it will be green soon anyway’ just isn’t realistic. Show me a plan of we achieve that. This analysis also ignores the inefficiencies of turning electricity into hydrogen or the problems of the huge weight of batteries, both of which which will make green aviation even harder to achieve

[1] https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/United-Kingdom/jet_fuel_consumption/#:~:text=Jet%20fuel%20consumption%2C%20thousand%20barrels%20per%20day&text=The%20latest%20value%20from%202021%20is%20100.97%20thousand%20barrels%20per%20day.

[2] https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/barrelofoilequivalent.asp#:~:text=There%20are%2042%20gallons%20(approximately,hours%20(kWh)%20of%20energy.

[3] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1094628/DUKES_2022_Chapter_5.pdf

 Fiona Reid 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I'm flying about 50% less than pre covid and basically doing longer trips instead of one week ones - part of that is due to now living further from an airport but it's also a been conscious decision to reduce my impact.

I also almost never fly for work now as a change of employer a little over 3 years back means no European trips. I was doing 3-4 short haul trips for university EU funded projects a year. I found these bonkers as so much money and travel was involved for a day or 2 of meetings but you had to attend.  Now I work for a UK based company and almost no travel is required and when possible it's by train.  I've only flown once for work in the last 3 years. 

If I didn't work I'd do holidays using public transport but whilst I am working I have limited annual leave I'm just not prepared to lose 2 days at either end of a two week break in travelling. My employers are not likely to allow 3 or 4 weeks leave in a block to mitigate the extra travel time plus if I'm honest, mentally I actually need more than one decent break from work a year. 

Post edited at 14:41
2
 mutt 07 Dec 2022
In reply to springfall2008:

> We will have electric and hydrogen powered planes soon 

No we really won't, the physics will not allow it. I was part of the team who created zephyr for Airbus. The only way to use electricity to keep anything aloft is to store it in batteries which have to be perpetually recharged by solar power and can hoist just 5kg into the sky or by generating it in a standard engine and converting the rotary motion of the internal combustion engine into electricity to turn a propeller. 

Hydrogen is generated from methane so even if you fly your plane on that (with all the attendant explosion potential) you are just moving the emissions elsewhere. 

 Green hydrogen is a myth because it requires such a huge amount of energy we'd have to stop using it everywhere else.  Who is going to turn off their heating and lights to allow some rich t##t to fly to new York? Not me that's for sure 

 Andy Cloquet 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

I hold much interest in the results of this sort of glossed-over, snap-shot of peoples' choices but find the comments folk are tempted to write are far more revealing. 

Aren't the results too flimsy to be really anything other than interest?

For example, when the thread contains unsubstantiated claims on which we might be tempted to think is/are a good idea - quote: "Electric vehicles are nearly always lower-carbon than petrol or diesel cars, especially in a country that produces much of its electricity by renewables or nuclear.(modern diesel generally better than petrol)". Before an owner reduces their C/F-print, the extraction of raw and rare minerals, production, transportation and all other pre-ownership factors have to be considered before anyone can claim a reduced or neutral C/F-print...and that's before we start including the cost of the charging infrastructure. 

Anyway, the dash for EV is simply unsustainable as already the power generation capacity we have doesn't support mass EV ownership. Take Switzerland who is considering banning the use of private EV's over the Winter to reduce the strain on their grid. 

 mutt 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Andy Cloquet:

I'd be interested to know how many of the 33percent who haven't reduced the airmiles actually didn't have any airmiles to start with. If that were the case the poll is heartening. In reality these threads are dominated by those who have a point to make but it's the bahaviour if thiose who stay silent that really matters.

 springfall2008 07 Dec 2022
In reply to S Ramsay:

>So, to continue aviation as we do currently while hitting our Co2 targets we need to A, decarbonise the whole grid, electrify all land based transport and heat and enlarge the grid sufficiently to meet this increased demand, and then add another 50% of the size of today’s grid to meet aviation demand. 

It's perfectly possible, just depends on political will. Planes wouldn't be powered from the grid, more than likely it will be hydrogen and bio-fuels for longer flights and electric only for short ones.

4
 springfall2008 07 Dec 2022
In reply to mutt:

> No we really won't, the physics will not allow it. I was part of the team who created zephyr for Airbus. The only way to use electricity to keep anything aloft is to store it in batteries which have to be perpetually recharged by solar power and can hoist just 5kg into the sky or by generating it in a standard engine and converting the rotary motion of the internal combustion engine into electricity to turn a propeller. 

Eh, the solar, nuclear and wind energy will be on the ground not in the air!

> Hydrogen is generated from methane so even if you fly your plane on that (with all the attendant explosion potential) you are just moving the emissions elsewhere. 

No it will be generated from electric, probably in locations such as deserts (for solar), wind farms and near nuclear power plants.

1
 springfall2008 07 Dec 2022
In reply to mutt:

This company has a product for example:

https://www.weflywright.com/

The Wright Spirit builds on a proven 4-engine, 100 passenger platform: the BAe 146. By leveraging Wright’s megawatt-class propulsion system, we transform it to an all-electric, zero-emissions aircraft serving one-hour flights.

4
 mutt 07 Dec 2022
In reply to springfall2008:

> This company has a product for example:

> The Wright Spirit builds on a proven 4-engine, 100 passenger platform: the BAe 146. By leveraging Wright’s megawatt-class propulsion system, we transform it to an all-electric, zero-emissions aircraft serving one-hour flights.

And by their own admission this is entirely speculative depending on some magical innovations that overcome all the problems with physics. 2021 and 2022 are development of which 0 percent have shown any additional capability. 

Take it from me, after 30 years working in RandD it take more that a white paper and fancy webpage to defeat reality. It is however sufficient to ratchet out investor money and US DoD money. 

100 people will never fly 100 miles together on stored electrical power only. 

Using a aero engine to generate electricity doesn't help at all, but might well make the plane quieter. 

 Marek 07 Dec 2022
In reply to springfall2008:

> This company has a product for example:

> The Wright Spirit builds on a proven ...

No it's not. It's a 'design', nothing more. And as for 'zero' emission', as other have said that's just a marketing term. Zero emission vehicles just move the emissions somewhere else.

 springfall2008 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Andy Cloquet:

> For example, when the thread contains unsubstantiated claims on which we might be tempted to think is/are a good idea - quote: "Electric vehicles are nearly always lower-carbon than petrol or diesel cars, especially in a country that produces much of its electricity by renewables or nuclear.(modern diesel generally better than petrol)". Before an owner reduces their C/F-print, the extraction of raw and rare minerals, production, transportation and all other pre-ownership factors have to be considered before anyone can claim a reduced or neutral C/F-print...and that's before we start including the cost of the charging infrastructure. 

Lifecycle emissions are reducing year on year and are already lower than a petrol car:

https://reports.electricinsights.co.uk/q2-2019/how-clean-is-my-electric-car/

> Anyway, the dash for EV is simply unsustainable as already the power generation capacity we have doesn't support mass EV ownership. Take Switzerland who is considering banning the use of private EV's over the Winter to reduce the strain on their grid. 

That's not actually true, oil refining takes more electricity than powering an EV to travel the same distance.

Switzerland is not banning EVs over winter!. They were talking about a worse case scenario if they run out of power for a few days they would stop people using their EVs, at the same time as many other energy saving measures which includes shutting down manufacturing plants. It speaks more about the governments incompetence in managing gas supplies that anything else. 

3
 springfall2008 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Marek:

> No it's not. It's a 'design', nothing more. And as for 'zero' emission', as other have said that's just a marketing term. Zero emission vehicles just move the emissions somewhere else.

Zero emission means the vehicle doesn't emit any emissions, it's pretty simple - that's what it means.

And then making the electric zero emission is a different problem.

2
 springfall2008 07 Dec 2022
In reply to Marek:

> No it's not. It's a 'design', nothing more. 

I assume it's a design that physics do allow?

When I was at Fully Charged Live this year there was an electric airplane on-site, one that was for sale. Yes it was just a 2 seater but it worked.

2
 jimtitt 07 Dec 2022
In reply to mutt:

> No we really won't, the physics will not allow it. I was part of the team who created zephyr for Airbus. The only way to use electricity to keep anything aloft is to store it in batteries which have to be perpetually recharged by solar power and can hoist just 5kg into the sky or by generating it in a standard engine and converting the rotary motion of the internal combustion engine into electricity to turn a propeller. 

> Hydrogen is generated from methane so even if you fly your plane on that (with all the attendant explosion potential) you are just moving the emissions elsewhere. 

>  Green hydrogen is a myth because it requires such a huge amount of energy we'd have to stop using it everywhere else.  Who is going to turn off their heating and lights to allow some rich t##t to fly to new York? Not me that's for sure 

So you aren't part of the team buillding the Airbus hydrogen refuelling station or their hydrogen engine program with Rolls Royce?

 mrphilipoldham 07 Dec 2022
In reply to springfall2008:

If a government is still incompetent at managing gas supplies after 100 years, what hope do you have for throwing all your eggs in the electricity basket? Electric heating, electric cooking, electric travel, all gone on the cock up of one minister. Whilst I’m all for reducing pollution as much as possible, and as a climber, there’s a hell of a lot to say for redundancy, especially in energy supply.

Post edited at 19:05
 springfall2008 07 Dec 2022
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> If a government is still incompetent at managing gas supplies after 100 years, what hope do you have for throwing all your eggs in the electricity basket? Electric heating, electric cooking, electric travel, all gone on the cock up of one minister. Whilst I’m all for reducing pollution as much as possible, and as a climber, there’s a hell of a lot to say for redundancy, especially in energy supply.

Well indeed.

A home battery and a backup generator maybe wise.

3
 mrphilipoldham 07 Dec 2022
In reply to springfall2008:

What’s your generator going to run on when fossil fuels have been phased out?

1
 Marek 07 Dec 2022
In reply to springfall2008:

There's a world of difference between physics and engineering.

 Misha 07 Dec 2022
In reply to timjones:

I don’t think it’s a case of boosting those who are already well off in relative terms, it’s a case of replacing energy sources - and this is needed worldwide but we can lead the way. Reducing energy use through better insulation etc is also important. 

 Misha 07 Dec 2022
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

There is redundancy in electricity generation because there are different ways to produce it. Including gas at the moment (to be phased out) and even coal as back up in an emergency (I believe a few coal plants have been mothballed just ok case). It’s oil and gas where there is no redundancy. I suppose you could try running your car on cooking oil…

 girlymonkey 08 Dec 2022
In reply to mutt:

> No we really won't, the physics will not allow it. I was part of the team who created zephyr for Airbus.

Is there any potential for adding solar panels to the top of new planes to add a little power while in the air? It clearly won't power the whole plane, but once you get above the cloud line surely it could reduce the fuel required for cruising? This way you (presumably, going off my zero knowledge of anything technical!) wouldn't need to factor in the extra weight of a battery so all electricity generated would add to the propulsion power? 

1
 Offwidth 08 Dec 2022
In reply to mutt:

>Green hydrogen is a myth because it requires such a huge amount of energy we'd have to stop using it everywhere else. Who is going to turn off their heating and lights to allow some rich t##t to fly to new York? Not me that's for sure.

Don't be ridiculous. There are loads of issues with hydrogen, not the least of which is very little of it being green, but small green hydrogen economies are already in place where we have excess generation capacity, and the idea is easily scaled. This is a UK example:

https://www.orkney.com/life/energy/hydrogen

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