Welcome to the lower carbon, non-flying world

It’s pretty scary right now isn’t it?

As I write all UK airports are still closed due to the Volcanic ash in the air over Northern Europe.

And they may stay that way for a while. My uncle is a senior British Airways engineer, and says the ash can be seriously dangerous for aeroplanes.

Under the wrong circumstances the glass in the ash can shred aircraft turbines, causing power loss, apparently.

As the back log of flights, ferry passengers and Eurostar customers builds up, there’s talk of using the Royal Navy to move people across the English Channel. Echoes of a ‘reverse’ Dunkirk.

We don’t know how long all this might last, weeks or months perhaps.

I bet many people working in the world of sustainability had similar thoughts to my own over the last few days.

That is, if we get really serious about climate change and decarbonising our lives, flight restrictions like this may be a reality at some point

If the science is right, carbon restrictions, which presumably would affect flying, should be imposed in the next decade, if politicians can sell the idea to voters.

This could be either by ‘rationing’ carbon (if you can do that, which I doubt) or via a combination of better trains, ferries, and much higher flight prices.

A friend of mine who works in sustainability for a big consultancy often points out that the UK’s carbon reduction targets, if they are to be met, will mean a complete revolution in how we power our homes and move around goods and people in the UK.

Surely flying as it is today cannot be totally immune from change.

None of us can see it ever being as bad is it is right now in terms of flight restrictions.

But there may have to come a time, if we are in the UK not to rescind the Climate Change Act of 2008, when we get used to flying an awful lot less than we do today.

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