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Sun May 26, 2019, 04:08 AM

Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers

Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers

Growing numbers of travellers are abandoning air travel to help save the planet – even if it means spending 14 days on a train



It has taken Roger Tyers four days to reach Moscow by train from Kiev. His destination is Beijing: a trip that will take 14 days, with a couple of overnight stops along the way. Tyers, an environmental sociologist at the University of Southampton, is on his way to China to research attitudes to the environment, the climate emergency and personal responsibility. “Given that, I thought it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to fly,” he says over Skype from his hostel room.

It has been months in the planning – he had to convince his bosses to give him a month off to travel to and from China. Has it been a pain? “It definitely has. It’s a matter of getting your train schedule in line with your visa requirements. I didn’t realise I needed a visa to travel through Mongolia, even though I’m not stopping there. There have been moments when I’ve been close to giving up and either cancelling the whole trip or just booking a flight.” But he is glad he has stuck with it, he says. “I have to prove it is possible.”

The no-fly movement is a small but growing community of people who are drastically reducing the number of flights they take, or giving up air travel altogether. Many campaigners say they feel flying is about to receive the same attention as shunning plastic or eating less meat because of its 2% contribution to global carbon emissions, predicted to grow to as much as 16% by 2050. In Sweden, where the movement has taken off, a new term has emerged: flygskam, meaning “flight shame”. Siân Berry, the co-leader of the Green party, has called on people to take no more than one flight a year and suggested a tax should be imposed on further journeys. Berry hasn’t flown since 2005.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/may/22/could-you-give-up-flying-meet-the-no-plane-pioneers

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Reply Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers (Original post)
Demovictory9 May 2019 OP
mnhtnbb May 2019 #1
cwydro May 2019 #8
Phentex May 2019 #11
Sherman A1 May 2019 #2
Vinca May 2019 #3
sinkingfeeling May 2019 #4
Luciferous May 2019 #5
Thyla May 2019 #6
DFW May 2019 #7
HAB911 May 2019 #9
KentuckyWoman May 2019 #10
mnhtnbb May 2019 #12
KentuckyWoman May 2019 #13
mnhtnbb May 2019 #14
KentuckyWoman May 2019 #15
mnhtnbb May 2019 #18
KentuckyWoman May 2019 #21
mnhtnbb May 2019 #23
Aristus May 2019 #26
Akacia May 2019 #16
smirkymonkey May 2019 #17
SharonClark May 2019 #19
hack89 May 2019 #20
TheBlackAdder May 2019 #22
Aristus May 2019 #24
DFW May 2019 #35
MurrayDelph May 2019 #25
Ilsa May 2019 #27
House of Roberts May 2019 #28
Downtown Hound May 2019 #29
MineralMan May 2019 #30
Hekate May 2019 #31
trackfan May 2019 #32
mitch96 May 2019 #33
Skittles May 2019 #34
Liberal In Texas May 2019 #36

Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 04:43 AM

1. I am taking the train to NY in September

instead of flying.

The direct flight from Raleigh is only just over an hour in the air. I am taking a cruise that leaves from NY up to New England and Canada. Hoping to catch fall foliage.

No way I would chance flying in the same day. Not going to risk cancelled or delayed flight and miss the sailing. So I'm going a day ahead. Since I am, thought I'd take the train. I don't care if it takes all day and it will since we don't have fast trains. I was able to book a roomette so I will be very comfortable. I can nap, look out the window, walk around, and not worry whether a flight will be on time.

Going home the same way since the cruise returns to NY. Not going to spoil a lovely vacation dealing with airports and flying.

I hate flying. Used to enjoy it 20-30 years ago. Not any more. If I can get there on the train, I will take the train. Unfortunately, I can't take the train to the Caribbean!

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2019, 07:11 AM

8. I recently took a train from Charlotte to Seattle. And back.

It was fantastic.

Have fun!
This is the DU member formerly known as cwydro.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2019, 08:52 AM

11. I am a cautious flyer as well...

I never book the last flight of the day unless I'm prepared to miss my flight. I don't usually book a flight the same day as something important I might be attending like a graduation or a wedding. I don't mind flying at all but I try to prepare for the worst. I am the same when travelling by car.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 04:50 AM

2. I loved flying but

haven't been in the air since about 2005 on an airliner. I don't count the 30 minutes in a Ford TriMotor in 2009 as really flying. Environmental issues aside I have no real desire to deal with security theater.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 05:11 AM

3. I never liked flying - guess who stays awake during a red eye listening to engines.

At this point there are only a couple of places I would get on a plane for because I hate ships even more. It's got nothing to do with saving the planet and everything to do with phobia.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 06:30 AM

4. I will join as soon as we have train service across the US and passenger

ships leaving from multiple ports on a daily basis

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 06:47 AM

5. I haven't flown in at least 15 years, but we don't travel much.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 06:55 AM

6. I'd happily never fly again

Not for some type of moralistic reason I just hate it.

Having said that there isn't really any other viable alternative to get from Spain to Australia so at some point I'm going to have to man up.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 07:10 AM

7. As an American living in Europe with family and job center in the USA

That would pretty much make me unemployed tomorrow.

The radical wing of The Greens here in Germany once proposed a law forbidding people from flying more than once every five years. That went over like a lead balloon even in their own party.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 08:26 AM

9. I expect to never again fly

flew for years for work, very pleasantly. Now it's a cattle call with guys in sleeveless tank tops, cargo shorts and flip-flops cramming huge suitcases in the overhead bins, not to mention security hassles. the environmental concerns are the cherry on top. If I'm lucky, never again.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 08:33 AM

10. This doesn't add up.

A month off.
14 days there.
14 days back.
2 to 3 days there?

No. For making a statement. Ok. For vacation? No

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #10)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:00 AM

12. Those of us who are retired or self employed

and able to work anywhere due to the internet don't have to worry about long train trips. Obviously, not everyone can do this.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #12)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:03 AM

13. Very few

1% maybe

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #13)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:05 AM

14. The 1% aren't taking the train.

They are flying personal jets.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #14)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:10 AM

15. Not what I meant

The rich don't have to ask for a month off. Do I really have to explain to you how little time off 99% of working people get? I hope not.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #15)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:58 AM

18. You might want to ride the train before you start in on me.

I've been riding trains in the US all my life. Commuter trains in to NY from Jersey suburbs. Trains across country in the 50's and 60's because my father didn't like flying and wasn't going to drive from NJ to CA to visit relatives. Trains up and down the coast of CA. Trains from NC to DC and to NY and back. Next week I'll take the train to Charleston, SC rather than drive.

Most of the people I now see riding trains are folks who probably can't afford to fly or people with time (retirees or students) or people who may not have cars or prefer the train to a bus.

It doesn't take a month to go places on the east coast. It does take longer on the train than driving or flying, thanks to the fact we don't have fast trains in the US. We can thank the oil/gas industry and auto lobbies for that.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #18)

Sun May 26, 2019, 11:22 AM

21. I am not your enemy.

You seem to think I am, but that's incorrect. I don't disagree with anything in the post above, but that post has very little to do with the OP. A short hop regionally is not the same as an international intercontinental vacation that takes 4 weeks on a train and a mere 3 days at the destination for a working person who is tied to a specific location to work and is lucky to take one week a year let alone 4.

Asking people to do that for their trip of a lifetime is ridiculous. Asking people to consider regional vacations without air travel is fine and asking people to support bus and train for commutes is great. However, those are a different conversation than the OP.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #21)

Sun May 26, 2019, 11:53 AM

23. Your response to me was snotty.

Did you read the whole article? It's primarily devoted to Europeans and it does, in fact, suggest that people limit flying. Use trains--which are excellent in most European countries--unlike the US. Take more regional vacations accessible by train. The article is directed towards the middle class.

It's a much more difficult sell in the US because we don't have fast trains. We should, but we don't, thanks to the oil/gas industry and auto lobbies. (We also don't have single payer health care like many European countries do.)

I'm done.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #10)

Sun May 26, 2019, 12:16 PM

26. For me, the journey would be the destination.

See my post below.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:12 AM

16. in the past 30 years I have flown 5 times so

easy for me to do. I hate flying and the security issues make it even less attractive.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 09:16 AM

17. Easily. I hate to fly.

I will suck it up to get to Europe, but then train around once I am there. I love train travel and mostly just travel the northeastern seaboard anyway. I took a train from Boston to Baltimore for Thanksgiving and it was so much less stressful than flying. I was able to work on my PC for the entire trip and it was a very pleasant ride.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 10:49 AM

19. I'd love to give up flying, when teleporting is available.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 10:56 AM

20. No. My job requires I fly frequently. Nt

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 11:33 AM

22. Commercial aircraft get between 90-100MPG per average passenger.

.

Also, these planes have scheduled routes, regardless of being at capacity and carry cargo as well.

Not really saving much. If you're a family of four, that's equivalent to being in a car getting 25MPG.

===

The CO2 is multitudes higher though.

.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 12:14 PM

24. I just had two turbulent flights-from-Hell this last week to Colorado and back.

I'll take train travel any day.

Current time constraints don't permit it, but my dream is to cross the country by train. Take a nice roomy sleeper car with a shower and private toilet. Read, surf the net, watch our huge, beautiful country go by out the window, enjoy meals in the dining car, sleep to the soothing click-clack of the rails, etc. I've watched just about every YouTube video in existence concerning cross-country Amtrak sleeper-car travel. I want this so bad, it aches.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #24)

Sun May 26, 2019, 05:23 PM

35. Ah, but have you seen....

The Silver Streak?

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 12:16 PM

25. Unless it's going to take more than two days to drive there

I won't fly. And even then, unless time-bound, I'd rather drive and see the sights.

20+ years ago, I lived in L.A., and frequently taught in San Jose. Friday's class usually ended noonish, so I could be home five hours later. But since you couldn't count on the students not wanting to come back after lunch, if I flew, I'd have to book a 6pm flight that (after luggage and transport) would get me home aground nine.

Now I live on the northern Oregon coast, and several times a year drive to L.A., which is 15-17 hours of driving, not counting stops. And I'd rather do that than fly (and not just because the nearest airport is two hours away).

Two years ago, we drove from the northernmost corner of Oregon to Los Angeles, then through Zion, Bryce, Yellowstone, Badlands, Devils Tower, and Mount Rushmore, through Chicago, St Louis, Chattanooga, and Atlanta, down to Orlando and Miami. Then we came back by way of Orlando again, New Orleans, Memphis, Colorado Springs, the Colorado National Monument, and back.

That's a lot of scenery you can't see by air, and trains go where and when they are set to.

Allegedly.

The last time I traveled by train, was a trip we "won" on a radio show. It was L.A. to San Diego and back to see the Harbor Lights Christmas parade. We had to arrive at Union Station early in the morning, had "free time" in downtown San Diego until the show (that anyone could attend without tickets), and then had to wait another two hours before the train left. On the ride home, the train was siderailed for two hours, less than three miles away from Union Station. By the time I got home, the trip took 22 hours, for want would have been a three-hour drive each way.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 12:21 PM

27. I haven't flown anywhere in

Over 5 years. Feels great.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 12:30 PM

28. I was on a plane once.

It was a kindergarten field trip, and we didn't leave the ground.

I'd have to be the mechanic for the plane to even consider getting on one now.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 01:44 PM

29. Impractical ideas like this will not save the planet

Nothing more than feel good, bragging rights bullshit by Green Party type idiots so they can exult their moral superiority.

Renewable energy, electric or hydrogen cars, an end to deforestation, and carbon sequestration of the atmosphere are the things that will save us now. The article openly says that even if EVERYBODY gave up flying, it would only effect 2% of global carbon emissions. That wouldn't do shit in the long run to stop global warming.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 02:36 PM

30. It must be nice to have all that free time.

Most of us are not able to take so long to get places.

(Written while sitting at Gate 2 at the Santa Barbara airport after spending four days helping my 94 year old parents cope with yet another end of life issue. I flew here the day after my father called in a panicked state. )

Driving here from Minneapolis would have taken three days. I got here the next day, and was able to resolve the issue.

Feh!

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 02:59 PM

31. No. I'm sure it must be nice to have all that time and money and a boss who'll pay your way

...while you self-righteously choose the most expensive and time consuming mode of travel possible over multi-continental distances. However the vast majority of us don't have that option.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 05:06 PM

32. I last flew in 1983

so I guess it wouldn't be a problem.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 05:10 PM

33. Give up flying? Sure, but it would take some time to get anywere

Drive, Busses and trains..
Took a train from NYC to Ft Lauderdale... Amtrak...... painful.. 24 hrs..
m

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 05:13 PM

34. I cannot take two weeks to get somewhere, that's for sure

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Response to Demovictory9 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 05:46 PM

36. Flying isn't what it used to be.

It used to be almost laid back and comfy. They would serve meals and bring pillows and magazines to you. And people would dress as nicely as if they were going to the theater.

Now the seats are smaller and scrunched close the one in front (I don't know how large people cope) there is usually no food, people don't trust baggage handlers and insist on bringing their suitcases into the cabin to cram into overhead bins and it's always another wait while they unload the bins. Planes are almost always totally full these days. Gone are the days when you could find an empty row and stretch out. If you don't sit on the aisle, using the rest room is usually better done after landing in the terminal.

The lines through TSA are long and annoying. I have TSA Pre✓ which is as far as I'm concerned the only way to fly. You don't have to remove shoes, belts, jackets or have to be screened in the full body scanner ("put your hands up like this and hold still." ) You put any carry-on on the x-ray belt and walk through a metal detector. That's it (unless you get one of the random pull asides.)

I just got back from a trip that driving would have cost 2 days plus each way. And put a bunch of miles on my new vehicle. When you add the cost of staying overnight and the gas and extra meals the price of a plane ticket is very competitive. Train? I'd love it. But there are no trains going from here to where I went.

Not as nice as it used to be? No, but it got me there and back pretty quickly and safely.



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