The Habit of Flying

[PREAMBLE: Many people are suffering during this pandemic, especially those on lower incomes. Helping those most affected should be our immediate priority. For the next while however, I will be sharing posts about some of the silver linings to this pandemic. In particular, what we learning and what unique opportunities we have now to create a future that’s more sustainable, nature friendly, equitable, fulfilling and fun! ]

Copyright to Maureen Howard

The huge reduction of flights globally during this pandemic presents an opportunity for system change that may not come again for a long while.
What system changes could we bring in that are low carbon, nautre friendly and more equitable?

Personally I would love to have more affordable rail and greater uptake of intercity buses for land travel, as well as low carbon passenger ships for those oceanic journeys to visit whanau on the other side of the world. Cruise ships are not the answer as their carbon footprints are around four times greater than flying economy class! (on a per passenger basis).

One barrier to travel by ship is time. There are not many workplaces allow us the time needed to take journeys that take some months. But this could be changed, as it has for maternity leave. For example workplaces could offer a year of unpaid leave every five years, that people could use or not, for travel or projects, and have their job kept for them when they return.

Articles popping up in the media

9th April in The Guardian Flights are grounded – is this the moment we give up our addiction to flying? By Nicole Badstuber