Facts: Americans do care about climate; Feelings: Climate dissonance; Action: How to cut your own flying, and shift the system.
Very timely. This is a hard one for me. I've just booked to go on a work trip that I know I'll find really worthwhile and that I couldn't do virtually. And because I live in New Zealand, it's flying or don't go. But with all the writing about climate change I've been doing, I can't go with a clean conscience.
The original plan involved one flight within New Zealand and the rest overseas, and I've realised that I could do the internal New Zealand flight on an overnight bus, even though it will take 12 hours. It's trivial compared to the rest of the flights I'll be taking, but it's the one flight where there's a practical alternative.
I love all these resources! I recently wrote about the benefits of American train travel (along with what needs improved) and have really touted public transit options since moving to the East Coast — where, admittedly, it is much easier to get on a train. I hope the rest of the U.S. soon sees more investments in rail and less investments in runways.
Thanks for sharing this "middle way". I have swung from one extreme to the other - 5 flight-free years (apart from a trip for a funeral) from 2007 to 2012 and then 5 years of increasing flights after my parents moved and travelling to see them by train got more difficult. During the flying years, I found it really easy to add on more and more flights because why not, we're doing it anyway. But I like the idea of having boundaries around flying. I am probably going to have an annual work trip to take which will involve a flight, but I can get to my parents' place by train, if I spread it over two days. As I work remotely, I can also consider staying longer i.e part holiday, part working.
Hello Kimberly, as this is my first visit to We Can Fix It I am a beginner at this. So please excuse me if my question is stupid. But I wonder wether train is always a better alternative. For example, some trains are diesel trains. And seeing a train from Halmstad going to Jönköping, on diesel and with just 5 passengers, that made me wonder. Surely, to be most effective we would need to go into details also on what energy source is really used? Or is everything always better than flying? I am sincerely interested and look forward to your answer. Thanks.
Thanks Kim once again for your fantastic newsletter!
So many useful resources and always appreciate your way of combining the personal life perspective with the scientific facts perspective!
The 'love miles' his me. I am Californian but live in Italy. So as my mom gets older I'm flying more frequently to see her. But living in Italy has it's benefits. We have everything one could want for holidays. I personally chose to remain childfree after going to an Earth Day celebrations in 1990. And I have been plant based since 1993. All due to meeting grad students with books and pamphlets at that Earth Day. Luckily in Italy train travel is easy and the cars are much more efficient than what we have in the USA. The one thing about Homo sapiens that makes me have hope is we are a species who innovates. We invented tools to make tools. We adapt. I think more important than not flying is making sure we elect politicians who understand the climate science and will work for the changes we need. It doesn't really matter how much I change in my own household if a Trump is elected.