Until recently, flying was considered a prestigious and comfortable way to travel. But now many people in developed countries talking about the so-called “shame for flights”. This concept appeared in 2019, and it is due to the fact that “iron birds” produce large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, transporting its passengers. That is, people familiar with the problem of global warming, worry about the fact that their travel harms the environment.

the Term Flygskam, which translates as “the shame of flying”, first appeared in Sweden. There is the eponymous movement, which stands at the origins of environmental activist Greta Thunberg. The movement advocates the abandonment of the travel by plane for the sake of improving the environmental situation in the world. But it seems that the idea caught the attention of the media, rather than real followers.

recent data show, people want to get rid of feelings of shame for fly, but… while continuing to fly: last year alone, the number of air travelers in the world grew by 3.3%.

earlier studies have shown that traveling by air is the fastest way to increase your carbon footprint is the aggregate of emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. For comparison, during one flight the plane is released into the air by 90% more greenhouse gases than a train going on the same route. According to forecasts, over time, aviation will account for almost a quarter of the world’s CO2 emissions.

So, in the UK, people are increasingly concerned about aviation emissions, but they are in no hurry to reduce the number of flights. Not surprising, because the plane is a convenient and fast way of moving long distances. Besides, ticket prices are on average 61% lower in real terms than in 1998.

However, marketers quickly respond to the aspirations of the people, so the industry associated with civil aviation, quickly responded to the emergence of the concept of “shame for the flights”. Now sites such as Skyscanner flight options can be compared not only by price, distance, number of transfers and travel time, but the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced by a particular flight.

Usually the most “eco-friendly” options are flights with direct flights, airline deals that have more modern aircraft, can carry more passengers at one time.

At the same time the most harmless option is to continue with the journey by train. However, in 2019, the same Skyscanner ceased to show its users such options.

“Shame for flying” is also forced to talk about the problem of airlines. So, Ryanair argued that due to efficiency and utilization of their aircraft, their fleet can be considered the most “green” in Europe.

But as they say, there is truth and there are lies and there are statistics. By 2019, the fleet of Ryanair had a total of a total of 450 cars, compared to 250 units in 2010. This means that, despite the fact that the aircraft companies have fuel efficient (and therefore emit less emissions), the amount of aviation kerosene, which burns the entire fleet is greater. In the end, the experts called Ryanair one of the top ten polluting companies in Europe.

in Addition, in 2019 many companies have introduced a so-called compensation for the carbon footprint. Its meaning is that, since passengers may not opt out of flights, they can at least compensate for damage to nature by paying a company extra money for the ticket. These means the airline will be able to invest in environmental projects, thereby making the flight “carbon neutral”. On this way have gone British Airways.

By the way, an act of charity, do a few eases the conscience of passengers. According to the survey, people who were aware of the fact that the airline they fly, offset the carbon footprint were more satisfied with their flight, than customers who had no such options.

However, passenger satisfaction is still not talking about the true benefits of these donations for the environment. Critics, in particular, confuse the delay time positive effect, especially planting trees.

They correctly point out that the tree, planted even in the day of your flight, you will not be able to compensate for the damage caused to ecology on a flight for another few years. With regard to projects that protect the forest from logging, to prove the benefits of the funds invested in these programs is also problematic. For example, to confirm the facts that these trees would not have survived without additional funding, is almost impossible.

in addition, airlines often claim that their fees will compensate for the emissions at a low enough price. For example, the airline Easyjet is investing a total of three pound sterling (246 Euro 11.02.2020) per tonne of carbon released into the atmosphere a particular flight. However, the intergovernmental panel on climate change States that the minimum price per ton should be 105 pounds (8.5 thousand rubles at the exchange rate on 11.02.2020). Only in this case we can talk about compensation for the damage.

Perhaps it is donations that make the passengers, force them to think, thus they solve ecological problem, that’s why “shame for flights” does not reduce the number of flights.

in addition, many hope that the aircraft will sooner or later begin to fly thanks to solar energy. However, we can hardly expect that, without the active interference of the public this will happen in the foreseeable future. The fact that aviation fuel for international flights is not taxed, which leaves little financial incentive for companies to invest in major technological developments.

according to forecasts of Boeing, by 2038, their engineers will produce 44 thousand aircraft, which will look and pollute Primright as well as the present.

However, environmentalists do not lose hope. Major natural disasters are becoming more common, and hence a real change in the attitude of people to the “shame for the flights” not far away, many experts believe.

By the way, earlier the authors of the project “Conduct.Science” (nauka.vesti.ru) wrote about how to reduce your carbon footprint using water cremation, and that the researchers assessed the contribution of Russia to global warming.

Text: To.Science