Will flying ever be green?

The world has got far smaller since the advent of the aeroplane. While many people that are writing on environment and wildlife (like me) would encourage you to avoid flying, By all means reduce it as much as possible, if your journey can be done in the car or by train do it this way. I understand the desire to fly – in just a few hours you can be on the other side of Europe.

Currently in development, while not a passenger jet, could replace many of the private jets around the world, with a rang of about 250 miles and carrying 11 people

However, most European trips can be done either on the train or in the car. Indeed, by train it is often faster than by plane – when you include the waiting time, baggage reclaim, and the time taken getting to and from the airport.

So why do I argue against ending flying all together? Currently, the worlds most effective model for paying for the protection of wilderness, is tourism. If green-minded people stop flying, this may well have a huge impact on emissions elsewhere – if rainforests and savannahs do not bring in enough money, they are likely to be used for livestock and crop growing.

If we take it for granted that flying cannot disappear what next? Well, after stopping flying at any time where there are other possibilities, that still leaves a lot of flying.

It the past, I have spoken about electric planes. Now of course, this merely brings us back to a clean energy grid – but assuming fully electric planes are still some distance away, and the speed of cleaning up the grid continues, it is likely to get their soon. Certainly, we are in a far better position with electric planes – they have the potential to be 100% clean, fossil fuelled aircraft don’t and never will have this capability.

Will we ever be zipping around in autonomous drones? Perhaps, but i think that apart from ending short distance helicopters they wont have a big impact.

So what progress is there? Well, easyjet is still making great strides, and should be flying electric planes within 10 or so years.

With current methods, long distance flight is not going electric, but I am sure that this will change over time.

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