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Can The Airline Industry Survive Climate Change?Commercial airliners pump out 2.5 percent of total global warming gasses. The “flight-shaming” movement now sweeping Europe shows signs of driving would-be air passengers to other modes of transport. (www.forbes.com) More...
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The modern world is too dependent on air travel to move away from it.
True, but more efficient engines and aircraft designs are a good thing.
Yeah, but a 100% efficient machine is worthless without some energy to run it.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." This statement was true when Mark Twain wrote The Innocents Abroad in 1869 when most people lived their entire lives within a few miles of their birthplace, and it's even truer today in our mobile society. Although the airlines and aircraft manufacturers must continue to do everything possible to reduce carbon emissions, travel is far too important to reduce drastically.
The most overlooked fact is that fossil fuel reserves are far from infinite. At some point they will be depleted to where the ROI makes them unusable. At this time, we are nowhere close to a technology that will make it possible to use any other energy source for airplanes...or cars. Even if we manage to overcome electric energy storage limitations, the energy to charge batteries still has to come from somewhere. I won't hold my breath waiting for someone to figure out how to run an airliner on nuclear or coal power.