Overland travel adventure
Overland travel adventure
Overland travel adventure.
Am trying to do a travelling adventure without flying. This is quite a challenge considering the world seems set up for flying...
There is no technofix to the disastrous impact of air travel on the environment - the only answer is to ground most of the aeroplanes flying today. And unfortunately flying dwarfs any other environmental impact a single person can exert.
Air travel is now the fastest-growing contributor to climate change, and avoiding a flight when there are easy alternatives is probably the biggest single thing that any individual can do to cut their carbon footprint and limit their own impact on the environment.
Eurostar has done its homework and commissioned independent research to assess the CO2 per passenger produced by a London-Paris Eurostar journey versus that emitted by a passenger on a London-Paris flight. The conclusion was remarkable: Taking the train to Paris instead of flying cuts CO2 emissions per passenger by a staggering 90%...
Incidentally, the environmental benefit of taking the train instead of a plane is probably much greater than 90%. Airliners emit their CO2 directly into the upper atmosphere, where it is likely to do over twice the damage of the same quantity of CO2 emitted at ground level (estimates vary between 2 & 3 times the damage, but 2.7 is the factor normally used). This factor isn't included in the Eurostar findings.
And with airport security tightened, check-ins up to 2 hours even for a 1-hour flight, plus the time and cost involved in getting to and from remote airports at each end, taking the train city centre to city centre, there are clearly other benefits.
For more information on air travel emissions and reducing your carbon footprint, see www.co2balance.co.uk or www.flightpledge.org.uk.
Alternatives to flying...
The alternatives to flying are easier and more practical than you may think. For step-by-step instructions on how to plan and book train travel all over the world, you can use www.seat61.com
Doing yourself a favour, as well as the planet...
'I didn't start seat61.com to avoid flying, either for environmental reasons or otherwise. I started it because overland travel by train can be so much more enjoyable and fulfilling than today's commercialised air travel experience. In an increasingly globalised world, where every flight is the same stressful non-experience, trains and ships show you more of the country you're visiting and its culture. On business, train travel can be productive, with room to work and powerpoints for laptops on many trains at first class seats. On leisure journeys, time together on the train can actually be quality time with your loved ones. You might just find a train journey a more interesting and rewarding experience that in reality doesn't take that much longer than flying...'
Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today. Rising global temperatures will bring changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather. The effects will be felt in the UK and internationally there will be severe problems for people in regions that are particularly vulnerable. Most at risk will be many of the world’s most vulnerable people in developing countries whilst the developed countries are responsible for producing 80% of climate change driving gases.