Global Warming is a topic we have been hearing more and more about especially in the last few years. The message is we need to act NOW not aim for slowly reducing emissions down the track.
I believe we should be taking major steps in reducing emissions ASAP and even though there has been a major push on it recently, I have always thought about it. I'm a stickler when it comes to turning off lights and electrical devices when they are not needed. Recycling as much as possible. Yet, I am a user. Computers, TV's, Stereos all play a part. My biggest passion, espeically of the last few years has been my travelling, that means using air travel. So here I am screaming that were doing wrong yet hypocritically adding to the problem.
The exact amount of carbon emissions given from air travel is debatable but there is little doubt that if all air travel ceased around the world, there would be a massive difference. I do actually make a conscious decision to travel ecofriendlier. Especially in Europe where I have been travelling most recently, if I have to make a trip somewhere, I will opt for the bus, train or ferry as opposed to taking a seemingly pointless 40 minute flight. Sure buses have their emissions as well but not as much as air travel, thats a fact.
Something Cumberland Sausage said caught my eye. With China being a major offender on the emissions world stage, it is true that we can't force them to reduce emissions but it is worth noting in their defence that they are also one of the leaders in implementing "greener" power. There is a certain city in China (I can't remember which one) that I saw on a documentry that has basically rehauled how and which power is supplied to the city making it on of the most advanced cities in the world for reducing carbon emissions. The country itself has taken bold steps in cutting back on coal use. Officials in Beijing have established 40 "Coal-Free" zones in the city centre and have made plans to construct natural gas pipelines. In 1999 they also ordered all city vehicles to change to clean burning liquefied petroleum gas. We could all learn from China's example, however as for India, well it is true that they need to do something and drastically yet to look at their emissions as opposed the major players like the US, China and the EU, it is not the biggest concern.
As for travelling in the future, I think to reform which fuel planes use or to totally redesign them is the only real long term solution. Sure it would be a massive task but if we as a world want to survive and are serious about taking on global warming, we need to do something like that and now.
Travelling now is a concern as it is getting cheaper and easier for people to trot across the globe. Yet who says a round the world trip needs to use huge amounts fuel. Travelblogs very own Bikepacker is travelling from England to Singapore... on a push bike. Sure so it's not for everyone but maybe that is a way to reduce emission. Maybe not round the world trips but do some smaller trips like the length of Vietnam or around the UK.
There is no way to totally stop carbon emissions but there are steps we can take. In fact if we all (I mean governemnts and citizens alike) take decent steps to reduce emissions we can acutally cut our emission levels to below what our levels in the 70's were. This point is proven in the very thought provoking "An Inconvenient Truth" Al Gore's wake up to the world. See the documentary, read the book or attend the slide show. Anyone who hasn't, do it. Yet after all his statistical nagging he neglects to mention the main theme of this forum, air travel.
I'm afraid to say that I believe that there will be uncomparably major sudden drastic world wide steps taken to stop global warming when we realise it's too late. So at the moment do what we can as individuals, buy energy efficient light globes and turn them off when they are not needed. Buy a car with a smaller more efficient engine or better yet sell your car and take public transport if you live in a big city. Better still, buy a push bike or walk. There are small steps we can all take but dare I suggest on a forum on travelblog... travel less??
Hmmm... nah! But do it responsibly