Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Message to Easyjet

As aviation continues to grow completely unchecked (see here), Easyjet made the unbelievable claim that flying with it represents an environmentally friendly solution, because it's allegedly more efficient than other airlines.

Excuse me, but flying is environmentally damaging, full stop, so don't pretend you can pick an airline and magically negate all the damage you're doing to the planet. The founder of the Rough Guides equates the current travel industry to that of the tobacco industry when it made aggressive attempts to suppress the emergence of facts revealing just how damaging smoking was for your health. If the analogy stands it would be like claiming smoking a particular brand of cigarettes has no effect on your health at all.

People need to stop pretending that you can somehow fly without causing damage to the environment. That's not to say people shouldn't fly at all, but the numbers of people I know who are regularly taking three, four or even five flights a year is growing, and it's those people who are doing more damage than those who take one flight a year or less. Christ, I could talk - from August 2004 to September 2005 we flew four times - three long haul to Canada and the US (never mind the internal flights we took inside the US). It's not something I'm proud of, but it is something I'm determined to correct. Last September's flight to Canada was the first flight since then, and it'll be the last for some time. I'm not saying we won't fly again, but it won't be this year and then hopefully only sporadically (say once every two years or so) - if at all. The world won't end for us - we're going to Paris in May for the French Open via Eurostar, and then to Edinburgh in August via rail too.

Of course, the irony to all of this is that in the middle of his rant about the tourism industry, said boss of Rough Guides then revealed he "limits" himself to one long-haul and two or three short-haul flights a year. Talk about undermining your argument before you begin...

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