I must be getting old, I’m starting to seriously think of switching our paper order from the Grauniad to the Times. Which forms a lead in to: this piece which provides two interesting points: In the National Statistics omnibus survey, conducted in August 2006, 39 per cent of people thought that cars were the most environmentally damaging mode of transport, while 35 per cent selected planes. When the same question was asked in August 2007 cars had slipped to 34 per cent and planes had risen to 40 per cent. and also Young people were much less likely to be concerned about climate change than middle-aged people. Among 16 to 24-year-olds 69 per cent said that they were very or fairly concerned compared with 86 per cent of people aged 45 to 54. People living in London were more worried about climate change than those in any other region.
On the latter point… my main thought was that us old folk are supposed to be worrying because of what we’ll hand on, since I at least don’t expect to see 2100 (though I hope to be here for 2050). If this young folk don’t care, then why bother? This is of course unfair, since 69% of them do care anyway.
More interesting, though is the cars vs planes bit. Lets find some numbers, for the UK. DEFRA sez that UK energy emissions for 2005 were 147910.142274798 (though they round off the decimals :-) in units of… something; I’m not really sure. It doesn’t matter for these purposes (though its actually “escaped lions”, not “the staid lion” [context]).
Where was I?
Oh yes, and aviation is 9548, somewhat behind bunker fuel at 11k and transport at 35k and energy industries at 58k.
So by all means protest against Heathrow expansion (even if you use it a lot yourself; after all I use the M11 since its there but would vote for it to be shut down). But don’t confuse people about what the main sources of CO2 are.
I guess I shouold also mention that the impact of aviation CO2 is some factor bigger than its CO2 emissions, due to dumping water in the stratosphere. Its a factor of something like 2, I think. But probably with only a 10-y lifespan.