'Take the Train', or 'Screw Them, Let's Fly'? - Guardian Vs Spurt


Discussion of aviation always seem to provoke a heated debate among Treehuggers (our post on George Monbiot's views received 80 comments!). It appears the issue is not going to go away, at least if the climate in the UK is anything to go by. Spurt (who we previously covered here) have been at it again, taking out full-page ads in national newspapers, and a billboard on the main railway approach to Heathrow Airport, declaring their motto "Screw Global Warming. Let's Fly." They have also been questioning government and industry figures on the true climate impact of aviation, claiming it may be as high as 18.5% of the UK's emissions footprint. Meanwhile, for those wishing to avoid flying, there are alternatives.

The Guardian recently published a list of 50 plane-free holidays. It includes some very sensible suggestions. Incredibly though, given the article's focus on ethics, many of it's top choices involved extended cruises as an alternative, with no mention of previous discussions in the same newspaper of the equally horrendous footprint of cruise liners. For those who are really serious about reducing their travel footprint, we would recommend the train wherever possible (some research suggests that the train from London to Paris, for example, emits 10 times less CO2 than the equivalent flight). Excellent information on global train travel can always be found at Seat 61 (covered, of course, by Treehugger here and here). Keeping it local would be even more effective in avoiding emissions, so why not unplug the phone and tell everyone you're in Barbados? We won't tell...