As more and more of us fly around the globe, aviation is taking an increasing toll on the environment. Is there a way to make our trips to far-away islands or family across the country more sustainable? In this feature series, my co-author Gerhard Richter and I went on a journey to Think-Tanks and innovation labs, to find out more. Here is an excerpt translated from German into English: The Dream of Green Aviation weiterlesen
When I was a little kid, I loved to travel and see new places. My father worked at the airport, and so it seemed only natural to fly to places during holidays. I remember we took two transatlantic flights and later mimicked the „Thank you for flying Ammmerican Airlines“ of the on-board video.
In 1994, at age 16, I hopped on a one-way trip to Boston to spend some time in Massachusetts. The location was completely out of my mind’s range. Massachusetts? Never heard of it. Yet it took only a few hours to get to Logan airport in Boston and from there to the rural, soft New England hills. Thousands of kilometres away, but accessible in a day thanks to that metal cabin over the clouds. My favorite class at the school was, ironically, ecology.
This week, delegates from allover the world flew to Doha to meet at the climate change summit. I stumbled upon an article by Laura Cowen on her 2010 „No-fly year“. She writes:
„The single most significant thing an individual can do to reduce their impact on climate change is to stop flying.“
In the article, Laura Cowen calculates her CO2 emissions of past year’s flights. Curious about how my travels add up, I calculated my flight CO2-emissions from that first solo trip until today.