The Ontario EcoSchools 2019 ...Read more
Many years ago I took many, many business flights around the world and used my accumulated points to take many, many vacation flights until my son point out to me that my flights were generating lots of GHG emissions. I justified my flights by saying the planes were flying anyway and what difference would one more passenger make. I was indulging in denial because I had family and friends overseas. In 2006 I could no longer deny my contribution to the climate crisis (although I hadn't yet realized what a crisis it would be and how rapidly it would develop) and stopped travelling by air.
Recently Peter Kalmus, a climate scientist who decided not to fly, documented his conversion from denier to believer in this post. Here is a quote from it along with some powerful charts.
"I’m a climate scientist who doesn’t fly. I try to avoid burning fossil fuels, because it’s clear that doing so causes real harm to humans and to nonhumans, today and far into the future. I don’t like harming others, so I don’t fly. Back in 2010, though, I was awash in cognitive dissonance. My awareness of global warming had risen to a fever pitch, but I hadn’t yet made real changes to my daily life. This disconnect made me feel panicked and disempowered.
"Then one evening in 2011, I gathered my utility bills and did some internet research. I looked up the amounts of carbon dioxide emitted by burning a gallon of gasoline and a therm (about 100 cubic feet) of natural gas, I found an estimate for emissions from producing the food for a typical American diet and an estimate for generating a kilowatt-hour of electricity in California, and I averaged the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Environmental Protection Agency estimates for CO2 emissions per mile from flying. With these data, I made a basic pie chart of my personal greenhouse gas emissions for 2010."