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98% of air passengers don’t care enough about climate change to buy a carbon offset

By Jo Nova

There’s another round of push-poll fake surveys telling us how much the public want action on climate change. Part of the aim is to scare politicians and trick them into thinking that voters won’t vote for skeptics and will be happy to pay more for electricity, food, cars, and everything. But the awful truth is that the voters “vote” with their own wallets every time they fly, and 98% of them don’t care enough to spend a single dollar. That’s even when the airlines do all the work and just ask their customers to “tick a box”.

So that’s six bucks to save the world but hardly anyone can be bothered

Climate change: Half world’s biggest airlines don’t offer carbon offsetting

By Dulcie Lee & Laura Foster, BBC News, May 2019

When airlines do offer a [carbon offset] scheme, generally fewer than 1% of flyers are choosing to spend more.

Prices vary but a return flight from London to Malaga, Spain, would cost around £4 to offset.

That tells us exactly how much the punters are panicking about climate change, and suggests that most western democracies are absolutely ripe-for-the-picking for any politician with the balls to make the case that changing the global weather will cost a fortune, and the costs will all go back to voters, and it’s an insane waste of money to even try.

The only reason voters ever tick the “we should do more” box is when they think “the government”, i.e. someone else, will have to pay for it.

And this dismal result is despite 30 years of non-stop propaganda and lectures. Even The Greta Effect is not making much difference. The headlines read “Greta Thunberg and ‘flight shame’ are fuelling a carbon offset boom but the truth is that it’s a small rise on a small number:

Verra, the biggest program for voluntary credits globally, has seen the monthly retirement, or usage, rate for offsets jump about 23 per cent this year to 3.8 million tons a month. — AFR, August 2019.

So 1% becomes 1.23%. Some “boom”? Shame on the Fin Review for forgetting to mention the startling nothing-burger that this news really is.

There is major social pressure to “be green” and yet still they fly…

Look at the Wired headline:

Carbon offsetting isn’t a cure-all for your filthy flying habit

Sabrina Weiss, Wired, 25th August, 2019

Susanne Becken, a professor of sustainable tourism, tells us flights are too cheap and we really shouldn’t just fly for fun:

The bitter truth is that there is only one way to reduce aviation emissions – to fly less, says Becken. “The key problem is of course that flying is far too cheap and too many people often travel for reasons that are not always necessary,” she says, highlighting that putting an end to the dump fares offered by low-cost carriers such as Ryanair would go a long way. Britons still take three to four holiday trips each year, half of which are to foreign destinations.

Next on the Green wish-list, obviously, flight bans:

Some governments have suggested going further. In Germany, the Green Party has suggested banning domestic air travel altogether to force Germans to travel by train, which pollutes less.

As long as the carbon religion hasn’t collapsed, the perfect storm is brewing. In 2018, the aviation industry emitted about 859 million tonnes of CO2, which is 2% of all human emissions, rising to 2.5% any minute:

Air travel emissions are rising faster than anyone expected

By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times

Over all, air travel accounts for about 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions — a far smaller share than emissions from passenger cars or power plants. Still, one study found that the rapid growth in plane emissions could mean that by 2050, aviation could take up a quarter of the world’s “carbon budget,” or the amount of carbon dioxide emissions permitted to keep global temperature rise to within 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

Nostradamus, where are you? Who would have thought holidays on tropical islands would catch on, or that people would rather spend a day in a plane than two weeks on a boat.