Climate change, people; it’s a hot topic with a cold reality. Unfortunately in this modern world we live in, as a traveller I will occasionally jump aboard a plane and alas, make a contribution to it.
The good thing about today’s off-the-shelf society, is that you can buy repentance for your oily sins through a variety of ways. The opinion I adopt is that if you can avoid flying, then you should really consider it. Please? With cherries on top? Throughout The Trail I’ll be utilising cleaner transport as much as I possibly can. Not many modes of transport are totally clean (if it has an engine you’re pretty much a bad-ass) but naturally, most offer a healthier solution to flying.
Nevertheless, I will be flying and subsequently I’ve chosen to offset any flights I take through Climate Care and will keep you posted on the offset page as to my saintliness. Don’t be fooled, Climate Care is about much more than planting a couple of conifers in a barren woodland in Stoke. The projects undertaken by Climate Care offer real reductions in CO2, which wouldn’t have happened otherwise. As for the woodland in Stoke, this wouldn’t be backed by Climate Care; the trees simply absorb the carbon, once that tree meets it’s demise the carbon is subsequently released, ergo the tree is merely a storage unit delaying the consequences. Get me!
It’s not just the environmental benefits that I’ll be reaping from this eco-choice, consider how you would rather travel from say, Thailand to Australia? Staring at a monotonous cloudscape, or sailing blissfully through Indonesian islands, with Mother Nature blowing gently in your ear, while slowly caressing your sun-drenched… umm… yeah, avoid flying people. Fly from Beijing to Lhasa? Would you rather be choking on salty Kung Pao chicken 40,000 feet up; or leisurely alighting a train to explore the panda breeding centres of Chengdu, before scaling the worlds highest railway, from Qinghai to Tibet?
There are countless arguments and debates but the bottom line is, offsetting your carbon emissions is ultimately a good thing.
I will never completely stop flying, I think it has great economical benefits attached in certain circumstance. Both developed and developing nations rely on the tourism that air travel provides, often it’s their main source of income. But the stance I take, is that if you don’t need to fly, then there are tangible benefits to the environment and while I’m not convinced we’ll ever stop the beast, we can at least slow him down.
Do some research and see how you can diminish your own contribution through responsible travel but also consider, it’s not just flights that have an impact on climate change. Amen.