Feature

Staying put for the good of the planet

If Australians care about global warming they will give up globe-trotting, said Adele Horin in <em>The Sydney Morning Herald</em>. One round-trip flight from Sydney to London emits 9 tons of carbon dioxide per passenger.

Adele Horin
The Sydney Morning Herald

“Travel is the Australian birthright,” said Adele Horin. We are a “footloose” people, “unfazed by 24-hour flights.” When we’re young, we spend a few years tramping around Europe and America. When we have kids, we take them to the beaches of Indonesia. And when we’re old, we spend our retirement visiting our relatives wherever in the world they have settled. “It is no accident the best guidebooks to the world, Lonely Planet, emanate from offices in Melbourne.” But we’re going to have to change our ways. Frequent flying “is about the worst impact a single person can exert on the fragile environment.” One round-trip flight from Sydney to London emits 9 tons of carbon dioxide per passenger—the same amount of pollution the average person produces in a full year of “eating, driving, and heating and cooling their home.” Australians care more than most about global warming; after all, since we travel so much we can relate to the peoples whose habitats are imperiled. Can we make the ultimate sacrifice and give up globe-trotting?

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