If you’re reading, Greta Thunberg and the Flygstam (or flying shame) brigade…
I can’t tell you how many air miles I racked up last year.
I only mention them over the other equally fabulous and welcoming destinations who hosted me because they were at the extremities of my Travel footprint.
Do I feel guilty, or should you? Well, yes. How could we not the way Greta goes on?
Of course there’s a multitude of evidence out there on the world wide web to back up Greta.
And like everything on the net you can find anything to support your view.
But I wax taken by the research done by https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/how-bad-is-air-travel-for-the-environment-51166834/ on the subject.
And their contention that air travel was better for the environment than car travel.
They estimate that the world’s drivers go through 1 billion gallons of fuel a day against 750 million gallons for air passengers.
Of course the fact that one form of transport is less harmful than another is not a strong enough argument.
Against that I would propose the positive effects of air travel… in expanding our minds, our frontiers and our appreciation of other peoples.
While fielding the accusations of the Flygskam brigade that the world is only in lockdown because of selfish air travellers who carried it across the globe…
In big monstrous metal birds.
Just imagine though a world in which our possibilities were restricted by a lack of air travel, or if you will, the past.
A world where we only learned about other peoples through the books and information we are given.
Now I’m not suggesting Boris Johnson or Donald Trump are feeding such a narrative but here is a cautionary tale of what could happen when we close ourselves off from others…
Legend has it that the people of Hartlepool in the north-east of England hanged a monkey who they mistook for a French spy during the Napoleonic Wars.
I have always believed that we are at our best as humans when we are being progressive rather than regressive.
While obviously being respectful of the world around us and those with whom we share it.
And being aware of our limitations with many a salutary tale out there from time immemorial of when to pull back.
Such as the tale of Icarus who flew too close to the sun only for the wax on his wings to melt.
But like Odysseus I have gone off on a tangent.
I will deal with the other forms of transport in the next parts of my ‘In Defence of’ series which will include cars,.
And no car hater me… how could I be? I should by rights be driving through the Florida Keys right now.
But to leave you on an up… the South Africans have discovered a balancing solution to carbon emissions under their feet.,, This plant can save the world.
And our shared history has shown too that our medicinal cures too can be found in the natural world.
So here’s to when we can all travel again.
And a shoutout to all our friends in the aviation industry who are our dreamcatchers… #DontPanicPostpone.#loveairtravel.