Climate change: Can abandonment bring air?

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Dan Castrigano, a former teacher who now runs a climate organization in Burlington, Vermont, says he has always enjoyed traveling, but eventually began to worry about his carbon footprint.

He first tried to buy carbon offsets. In the end, however, he decided to simply stop flying altogether.

Why we wrote it

A small but growing number of people have given up flying due to climate problems. What supposedly surprised them is the joy they took out of the way.

“There was cognitive dissonance when I flew,” he says. “I taught about the climate of seventh and eighth graders and I was a little ashamed that I was going on holiday to Europe.”

As more and more people realize the impact of the aviation industry on the climate, and more and more people are interested in reducing their carbon footprint, a new ethos of “slow” climate-friendly travel is emerging. And those at the forefront of this movement – travelers like Mr Castrigano, who have pledged to be “no flying” for a year or more – claim that their new approach from the trip here to there is surprisingly amusing.

Waking up in a bed train at sunrise in Indiana on the way to Chicago is better than fighting the crowds at O’Hare International Airport, says Mr Castrigano.

“It’s extremely happy not to fly,” he says. “It’s liberating.”

The last time Jack Hansen flew was an junior at the University of Vermont. To return from a semester abroad in Copenhagen, he arrived from Denmark, stopped in Iceland and landed in New York.

But the next semester, one of his professors asked students to calculate their individual energy consumption. And when Mr. Hansen calculated that, he realized that only one stage of this international flight represented more energy and more greenhouse gas emissions than all the other things he had done that year – driving, heating, lighting and eating. and everything else.

He was startled.

Why we wrote it

A small but growing number of people have given up flying due to climate problems. What supposedly surprised them is the joy they took out of the way.

“I just couldn’t justify it,” he says. “It’s really extreme. It’s an extreme amount of energy, an extreme amount of pollution.”

So Mr. Hansen decided to stop flying. That was in 2015. Since then, he has traveled by train, bicycle and car and even wrote a song about trying to get home to Chicago by night bus. However, he was not on the plane.

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