ED Voxpop: To Prevent Further Climate Change Would You Also Stop Travelling by Air Like Greta Thunberg?

By Ishita Bajpai:

ED VoxPop is where we ask people different survey questions and get responses to conduct sort of a poll of our own.

Everyone has heard about Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage environmental activist.

She first rose to fame back in August 2018, when she was just 15 years old for spending her school days outside the Swedish Parliament, holding up a sign that said ‘ Skolstrejk för klimatet’ (school strike for the climate).

She called out the present government everywhere for putting the future of the next generation in peril. Her efforts resulted in the movements “Fridays for Future” or ‘School Climate Strike’.

This international movement made school students everywhere take time off from class to participate in demonstrations, to demand action, and to prevent further global warming and climate change as they too felt the need to do something NOW.

Greta is extremely popular amongst the youth, who recognize her as the person who first made them aware that even ordinary school children can make their concerns heard to the nations of the world.

Say ‘NO’ To Aeroplanes

Thunberg tries to reduce her carbon footprint wherever possible and hence she refuses to fly. Earlier this year for a conference in New York, she sailed across the Atlantic ocean in a zero-emissions boat for 14 days instead of boarding a plane.

Around the world, aviation emits about 860 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, or about 2 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. These numbers will only increase in the future and hence, Greta has a good enough reason for her decision.

The impact of her decision can be seen in the decline in air travelers as reported by the Swedish airports.

This, some activists attribute to the “Greta effect,” a newfound awareness of humanity’s impacts on the planet and a desire to make a difference.

Shame In Flying

Flygskams ‘ is a word coined by Swedes for the shame that travelers are beginning to feel about flying.

However, refusing to use airplanes is not possible for everyone. Several jobs require frequent travel where buses, trains, and ships are not a feasible option. Some even argue that a drop in air travel will severely affect our economy.

I travel by bus or train most of the time. However, I remember one occasion when I traveled from Bangalore to Mumbai via bus and the dreadful and tiring 24 hours are still imprinted in my mind. Afterward, I always preferred airways for long-distance travel.

Now writing about this topic I am starting to feel ‘Flygskam’ too as I support Greta Thunberg, but I still won’t give up flying.

To get a better idea of the impact Greta Thunberg has had on Indian students, and how much they are willing to sacrifice for the sake of preventing further climate change, ED asked millennials their opinion on the question:

To Prevent Further Climate Change Would You Also Stop Travelling by Air Like Greta Thunberg?

So, the general opinion is that although a complete abolition of air travel is not possible, people are still trying their level best to reduce their carbon footprint.

They are aware of the consequences of climate change, but such extremism cannot be carried out by every individual. For shorter distances, everyone should prefer land transport instead of planes. But where longer distances and international borders are concerned, there seems to be no alternative to air travel.

Is your opinion similar to the above statements or does it vary?

Originally published at https://edtimes.in on October 18, 2019.