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Flygskam & Tagskryt August 7, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Less IS More, Sustainable Living, Travel & Leisure.
44 comments

Spurred by global warming, more and more travelers are spurning plane travel to ride the rails.  The savings in carbon emissions is considerable:

This is the season of flygskam, or “flight shame.” You don’t have to be Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist who recently announced plans to sail to New York in August, to recognize that a growing number of Europeans eager to reduce their carbon footprint are opting to limit air travel in favor of more environmentally-friendly means of transportation.

Significant enough that even airlines are taking note, flygskam–and its counterpart tagskryt, or train-bragging—is encouraging both European governments and private rail companies to consider investing in the return of long-distance night trains. But the revival of a form of transport that has long seemed consigned to the pages of Agatha Christie novels poses significant obstacles of its own.

Flygskam as a concept started in Sweden and is now taking off in the states:

The idea that acting responsibly entails flying less is even spreading to the United States. A jet propulsion scientist at NASA started No Fly Climate Sci in 2017 as a platform for earth scientists who wanted to make public commitments to reducing their carbon footprints. Kim Cobb was one of the scientists to sign up.

A few years ago, [Cobb’s] research into the large-scale destruction of reefs prompted the professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech University to examine her own carbon footprint a few years ago. “I was gobsmacked at how large a portion—85%—was locked in from flying, mostly for professional meetings and conferences, and, some for field research. As a scientist, I couldn’t unsee those numbers.”

In 2018, Cobb managed to cut her flight miles by 75%, going from an average of 125,000-plus a year, to 25,000 or 30,000.

To read more:

In Europe, the Movement to Give Up Air Travel Is Taking Off. Could the U.S. Be Next?

Aah . . . that’s better!