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bluecat


bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere

Total posts: 5300
Posted:so, i was just reading the rabbit hole thread, and was feeling very pleased that all my friends were in more or less the same place, having a great time, when suddenly i became despondent, and realised that they had not only flown there, but were flying all over the place to see a different lovely beach, etcetc.

now, my apologies to those involved in that particular thread, I'm only using it as an example because of its currency, not picking on you. i could point the finger at myself for flyng to, and within australia last year. or to hundreds of other examples.

how can we expect people to to be environmentally responsible if we are not? there is only so long that you can say 'well, i don't do it much, so it's ok'.

I feel like a killjoy, telling people what not to do, but can't reconcile my belief that if we don't change our ways we won't have a beautiful earth to continue visiting ubbcrying

for those who agree with me, feel free to join me in pledging to make no flights, or reduced flights at http://www.flightpledge.org.uk/
br>
i will be recommending alternative means of transport to anyone who is coming to uber, too biggrin

i would end my rant here, but i'm interested in HOP flying figures.... so please pander to my whim, and fill in this poll:


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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TinyPixie
SILVER Member since Apr 2006

TinyPixie

enthusiast
Location: in the clouds..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 394
Posted: Written by: bluecat


I watched An Inconvenient Truth yesterday.

that man should be president ubbcrying



True frown frown And brings to mind how important it is that governments around the world feel pressured into using more renewable energy or even less energy (as Stout said, however, this is unlikely) so that we can bring about global change.

I'm not saying that what we do on an individual basis doesn't make a difference, it does, but that to significantly slow down or even halt climate change, we have to make our governments take responsability and change... Anyone up for a march outside paliament? smile


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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 4525
Posted:I'll march with you smile stomp stomp stomp.

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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TinyPixie
SILVER Member since Apr 2006

TinyPixie

enthusiast
Location: in the clouds..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 394
Posted:yay for Jo! *stomps with Jo*

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:stomp stomp stomp :rollsmiley:

When will we (as a whole) ever learn?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:no excuses from me - I'm pretty well travelled - and I know about the polution and I still travel (ironcially, sending this message from an executive transit lounge in Kuala Lumpur) - I understand the hypocrasy in this, but also submit something of a counter-argument -

I think that there are more open minded people among the group of friends that I have that are regular travellers (not tourists) than there are among the stay at homers (of which I also have a group of friends). I shudder to think what the world would be like if the stay at homers with their TV controlled ideas about the world and culture ruled because no-one travelled. But then again, is it a chicken and egg? do open minded people seek out travel - or does travel help people to be open minded?

Personally I think I've seen people become a lot more open minded after travelling - and usually the most selfish people I know are the ones that have never known anyone or anything outside of their suburban existance...

Josh


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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Point_Blank
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Point_Blank

Sneaking
Location: Free falling through time, Uni...

Total posts: 1207
Posted:Personally, I don't drive as I'm not getting a drivers license (they cost too much and I'm not rich enough to afford it), I seldom fly unless going overseas, when travelling around town (i.e to work, to go out for a few, to get to a gig) I walk or take my skateboard.

As for travelling within a country, I find it easier and less expensive to hitchike (I just got from Queenstown to Auckland in a mere 3 days of hitching, for those of you that aren't aware of NZ geography, that's pretty much from one end of the south island to almost the other end of the north island).

But I do agree that pollution is a high price to pay for convenience, if we could all settle for a little less it would do a world of good (sorry for the bad pun biggrin)


Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Owned by clarence_quack

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animatEd
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK

Total posts: 3540
Posted:Josh has raised a good point.

Through my own travelling, I certainly have a greater tolerance and understanding of many things. In fact many, if not all, of the nicest people i have ever met, have been quite well travelled.

I've kept out of this conversation because, I travel quite a bit at the moment. Between Spain, UK, India, Germany, UK etc etc...

Another thing I think of, These planes are going to fly anyway, whether I'm on them or not. Is it not better to fly a full plane than a half empty one?

Agreed the issue of pollution etc is a great one. I'm so looking forward to visiting Switzerland again (and maybe even one day settling there. It really is such a beautiful and clean country.


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:What's the difference between a traveller and a tourist ? Really what it boils down to is the difference in their daily budgets, nothing more.

So....If I go to the odd march against the government, and don't take that much money with me when I do fly for a holiday, I can use the justification that I'm doing something ( by marching ) and trying to make myself a better person ( by exposing myself to other cultures ) , I can justify having an ecological footprint the size of Godzilla ?

Ok...I can live with that. smile

And given that I equated one return flight to Bangkok as being the equivalent of six years worth of driving around that gas hog of a V6 that I own, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to Mother Nature but I'm sure she'll understand that society as a whole is better off if I do take that trip the the Maldives.

After all, who's to say that by me buying a ticket is actually creating demand for air travel anyway ? the plane flying to India just might have been going anyway, and with an empty seat no less, so maybe I won't be part of the problem anyway.

It's a win win situation, and I can call myself an environmentalist again. woooot


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Sym
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1858
Posted:Wooot! Yay!

I'm glad that's sorted then, and you're right, they would fly anyway, so you may as well fill out those empty seats.

Actually, you're being MORE green by doing that, because you're reducing the per person emissions on flights!

Cool, lets all fly more!


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:More Green ? Why of course, the per person emissions, I hadn't thought of that. In a way I could envision myself as helping to actually heal the lump on Mother Nature's boob.

Sym..I like your thinking. Any ideas on how I could morally justify owning a Hummer ?


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Sym
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1858
Posted:Sure, they allow you to travel to more remote places, and that makes you more 'open minded' therefore you are making the whole world a better place!

wow, this is a lot more simple than using real logic!

wink


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:*waves handbag*
Ooooooooooooooooooo!

wink


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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bluecat


bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere

Total posts: 5300
Posted:at dawn, i tell you!!

ubblol


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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animatEd
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK

Total posts: 3540
Posted:This is exactly why I stayed out of this conversation. People can be damn childish. I even stated that I had been travelling a lot recently, and so wasn't the best person to enter this conversation. All I was doing, was trying to provide a positive side to travelling.



The one question i asked, required a simple yes or no answer. Instead I get people being, well, dickheads really. there's no need.



Never in my post did I say something along the lines of 'Screw the environment, I'm flying anyway, and don't give a sh!t.'



I could be just as childish and say: Instead of bitching about it on the internet, do something useful about it.



rolleyes


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:I'm one of those that care but evidentely not enough.

Just More Food for Though


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Mascot


Mascot

enthusiast


Total posts: 301
Posted:Ugh

This whole issue is so frustrating

The big difference between the people driving big 4*4's and people flying is that the people flying are, on average, more environmentally and politically aware. They are us. We shouldn't fly...it's that simple, but we want to so we make excuses. If we have the right to fly just to go to exotic places for what amounts to a holiday can we really say that the suburban American can't drive an overpowered monster one miles to the shops every day. You have to practice what you preach and I have enormous respect for people like Rob (Bluecat) who do that.

The "The planes would have flown anyway" arguement is such a load of [censored]. If the planes were flying half empty then after a short while there would be less flights. the number of flights that there are responds to demand and by flying...you're creating demand.

Oh...and the diffrence between a traveller and a tourist? the tourist sees what he goes to see, the traveller sees what he sees.


Walls may have ears but they don't have eyes

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:No need to get upset LTC, we was just funn' with logic. This threads all about looking at our own lifestyles and comparing them to the stereotypical view of those who we see to be causing the "real" damage to the ecosystem. So...If you're blasting around the planet on a jet, and you stop for a moment and actually think about your carbon emissions then over the course of a few years, you might just realise that you, are just as much of the culprit as those who you love to hate.

So, how can you justify your anger towards the "real" polluters, yet still call yourself "enviro-hippy" ? You can't really, not flying for a holiday anyways.

It's all just a part of a much larger issue. One that, according to stories in the media, and discussions on HoP needs to be addressed, one that needs to be solved. And if we're not willing to solve it as individuals and are merely content to go to the big protest to demand that somebody..........do something, then so be it. Just keep that in mind when you're pointing fingers.

I've admitted to being part of that problem, I'm not claiming moral high ground here, merely pointing out what should be obvious. Sure, travel broadens your horizons, so to speak, but what we're on about is the environmental aspect, not the spiritual...... hence all the sarcasm.

Neon Shaolin....firespinning's environmentally hostile, sure but by comparison, it's insignificant when compared to a plane trip.

Mascot, interesting description with the traveller/tourist but I guess it depends on where the stereotypical tourist and stereotypical traveller are. In a nice safe place like Thailand, both see the same things, but in a place like Colombia, the tourist risks getting shot if they leave the all inclusive.


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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:granted the 'planes would fly anyway' argument is bunk - but I dont think you can just say that building inter-cultural understanding ala open-mindedness is a worthless or self-ish goal - is anyone going to argue against this point or just around it?

Additionally, I dont believe you can use such a simplistic argument as 'you fly on planes therefore you = evil'. Surely the rest of people's efforts towards a better future for the world should also be taken into consideration.

For the record - I dont think just going on a few marches constitutes a significant effort towards improving things - a lot of people I know go on the marches as a social event.

How many people have planted more than one tree in the past 12 months?

Josh

PS I agree Stout - its very difficult to 'see' Thailand if you dont know any Thai people and cant speak Thai (at least, thats what my experience was). Try India tho...I think being a Tourist there would be pretty tricky actually, India almost forces you to experience - rather than just consume.


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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tim_marston


addict


Total posts: 614
Posted:i collect seeds every year and have lots of saplings of different sizes waiting for homes,unfortunatly they grow so slowly i find it hard to believe they offset my farts never mind my flights,

as for travel opening peoples minds,there is no doubit it had that effect on me,however doesnt that make it worse if i continue to fly,how can we ever expect the less aware to care if we who claim to be artists and hippies use weak justifactions to continue our long hauls?
perhaps we should all march more,fly and drive less,pay slighty more for our energy,stop buying so much plastic,unfortunatly its seems many of us would be willing to this as long as we know everbody else will do it at the same time and we dont have to stop doing anythying we like..........................god help us all


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bluecat


bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere

Total posts: 5300
Posted:josh: openmindedness is all very well, provided you still have a planet to be openminded about: rather than spending time becoming more openminded, it would be more productive to campaign, plant trees, encourage renewable energy use, and then, when we're surethe planet is going to survive (barring a catastrophic unforseen event), we can go visit wherever we like, and have a great time, and see the wonders of our world.

travelling and justifying it because it makes you more openminded, while ignoring the environment, is like having gangrene and ignoring it because its more important to go to a party.

now, at NO point in this thread did i state that flying was the only bad thing, nor that it makes us evil.

flying is one of many awful things we do to our environment. we need a vast and wideranging change in our attitudes to wards the environment. do you think tesco would pledge 500,000,000 to 'greening' itself if we weren't at a critical point in our time????

as for it making us evil? it doesn't. it makes us ignorant. many flights are taken with the best intentions, and many are justifiable. however, the vast majority are for people wanting to 'become more openminded' (by flying to torremolinos) wink or for business (because email, calling, and video conferencing aren't enough).


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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Sym
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1858
Posted:Ed hug chill out. I'm sorry if you thought I was being a dickhead. I was actually replying to Stout, but I guess he was making the same point as you and in turn Josh.

So, I'll address his point first:

 Written by: Pyrolific


no excuses from me - I'm pretty well travelled - and I know about the polution and I still travel (ironcially, sending this message from an executive transit lounge in Kuala Lumpur) - I understand the hypocrasy in this, but also submit something of a counter-argument -

I think that there are more open minded people among the group of friends that I have that are regular travellers (not tourists) than there are among the stay at homers (of which I also have a group of friends). I shudder to think what the world would be like if the stay at homers with their TV controlled ideas about the world and culture ruled because no-one travelled. But then again, is it a chicken and egg? do open minded people seek out travel - or does travel help people to be open minded?

Personally I think I've seen people become a lot more open minded after travelling - and usually the most selfish people I know are the ones that have never known anyone or anything outside of their suburban existance...




 Written by: LTC


Josh has raised a good point.

Through my own travelling, I certainly have a greater tolerance and understanding of many things. In fact many, if not all, of the nicest people i have ever met, have been quite well travelled.




I agree that traveling can lead to open mindedness. I say can because I have seen many people traveling both in the UK and abroad who don't interact at all with the country they go to; opting to stay at the 5 star hotels and only seeing a tiny modern part of the country they go to. I know that this is only a very small per cent of people, but the point is the traveling doesn't equal open mindedness in all cases. I think the point is that it can open your mind if your mind is open to it. wink


This sort of ties in with the traveler vs tourist definition; a typical traveller to me could be from any background, be traveling for longer than a month and be more or less always on the move, stopping only for maybe a week max in each place. On the other hand a typical tourist will normally be middle class from a rich first world country, they are the sort that buys guide books rather than hanging out with the locals and they seem to use the new surroundings to add support to who they thought of the world before they left rather than using it to change what they thought. There is a huge middle ground, and I wouldn't want to draw the line anywhere.

I have two friends who went to India for a significant enough time (over a month both doing aid work of some sort). They both moved about a lot and from what I can tell they must have had the option to have about the same experience. One of them thought that the people were great and loved the whole time there whilst the other one came away hating it. They are about the same age, but I know that the one who loved it tends to project her view of the world on to people whilst the other tends to take in what is there. I could be totally wrong, I admit, they could have gone to different areas or seen different things etc. There is no limit to the counter arguments here I know, but it still remains interesting that 2 people can come away with wildly different opinions about a place they have both spent a good deal of time in.

As I said before, it can make you open minded if you're open to it, but it can booster arrogance if it was there before you left.

Despite all that I think traveling is important for the individual, their society, and the societies they visit. I've not traveled as much as I would like to, but I have gained a lot from what little I have done. It is partly due to this that I have a deep respect for the world and therefore a keen interest in preserving it.

Here is my question:

How important is traveling to you? It is important enough for you to do it and spend (I assume) quite a bit of money and time on it, but you seem to use that as a good reason for flying: an activity that is destroying the places you a visiting more than any other form of transport. Why don't you use other forms? A common argument (one that you have not made - yet - I know, but it is made a lot so I feel I need to address the point) is that the other options are too expensive or take too long. They are good point in that it does cost a lot more to travel without flying, but I thought it was important? Are the cultural ties and experiences you are getting only worth so much, and as it happens, they are not worth paying 3 times as much for? If air travel stopped tomorrow, would you stop traveling or would you start using other means to get about? Do you pay extra to offset your flights? If so, do you know where that money is going to and how effective it is?


 Written by: LTC


I've kept out of this conversation because, I travel quite a bit at the moment. Between Spain, UK, India, Germany, UK etc etc...




I'd say that is a really good reason to come in to this thread: you are closer to the counter arguments than 'we' non-flyers are. From what I know of your situation, you are more or less only in the position of traveling about a lot because travel is a lot more easy now than it was 100 years ago. That is to say 100 years ago there is a high chance that you wouldn't have gone to uni in spain in the first place because it would have been a lot harder to get there and so on. You wouldn't have had those options open to you.

You are now in this potentially tricky situation of either flying and seeing friends and family or not flying and not seeing the people you love.

This is one of the main problems with selling the argument for powerdown. People have to make sacrifices to a greater or lesser extent. I'd say Ed's is a big sacrifice to make, but it will one day need to be made. Ignoring the environment for a while, peek oil is coming fast. No one knows when it will come - the changes are we wont know until after it's happened, but we are running out.

At the moment there is no viable alternative to air fuel (see Dreams comments above) and if any other options do come about there is a very high chance that it will be far too expensive for every day people to use for things like holidays. This is a real issue that I expect to see in my life time and I count myself lucky that I am not going to be directly affected by it. What these change will do to the economy is anyones guess, and I fully expect everyones lives to be less industrialized in almost every aspect.

 Written by: LTC


Another thing I think of, These planes are going to fly anyway, whether I'm on them or not. Is it not better to fly a full plane than a half empty one?




Do you really want me to give you a counter argument?


 Written by: LTC


I could be just as childish and say: Instead of bitching about it on the internet, do something useful about it.




Anyone in this thread who is a) bitching and b) doing nothing to save the environment should stop it and do something. I don't think there is anyone here who qualifies for that, but it's a warning to all the bitchy environment harmers who might come in smile


Dave: maybe this should go in that thread, but from what I can tell a 747 burns about 12,000 liters per hour. That is about 40 liters per hour per passenger per hour if the plane had 300 passengers.


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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Sym
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1858
Posted: Written by: bluecat

do you think tesco would pledge 500,000,000 to 'greening' itself if we weren't at a critical point in our time????







Simply, yes I do.



I have to say that when it comes to big business I am cynic as a knee jerk reaction. I think Tesco will do anything they can to get one up on the competition and make more money. It is a good thing that they happen to be spending money on being more green, but I don't think it has anything to do with them having some moral feeling that they should do it.



http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,1996687,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=29


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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tim_marston


addict


Total posts: 614
Posted:some beautifully put points..very inspiring,
is there anyway i can pay to effectively offset my flights?or should i just accept the fact i cant fly and be green??

as for the tescos etc,im absoluty sure they are going green for financial reasons not moral ones,being more efficient should reduce overheads,and being green will attract more custom
but does it matter what their motivations are as long as they put less carbon out there??


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Josh, I'm arguing around the idea and I agree, you can learn much from travelling, including developing a stronger appreciation for the place you live in too..I'm not calling those who fly on planes 'evil" nor am I trying to downplay any-one's other efforts towards sustainability, merely raising the point that a long haul flight may negate those efforts resulting in what still could be regarded as a large ecological footprint.

When I travel, I usually go as the stereotypical traveller ( stay in one star places, eat street food, take the bus..etc.) and I've run into many many "tourists" and come to the realisation that I'm not really having a*superior experience* to theirs even though I was trying to convince myself that I was.

India's number two on my list of places to visit , number one's The Galapagos ( I want to dive under a school of hammerhead sharks ) but a trip like The Galapagos, is going to have me firmly within the realm of the tourist, whereas India ( or China ) would put have me going as a traveller. I agree though, that in Thailand if you don't speak the language, then what your really getting is a manufactured Thai experience. If I meet one more Thai guy who introduces himself as James Bond........

Bluecat..I just googled Torremolinos and today's description doesn't sound anything like it did back in the era of Michner's The Drifters frown but that is a great book, not only for exploring the spiritual/social aspects of travel, but also the traveller/tourist dichotomy as presented as the *generation gap* I've got to say, Michner's my all time favourite author.

tim marston...Your someone I see as being completely *with the program* when it comes to this issue. The planet needs more guys like you. beerchug

Sym.. I don't buy guide books ( like The Lonely Planet ) mainly because I don't want to have to carry one with me, but I do borrow them from other travellers occasionally, but much prefer to rely on word of mouth recommendations from other people who've just been to where I want to go. They do serve a valuable purpose though, as they can be viewed as a comfort item that carries a little bit of home and familiarity in an otherwise alien land.

How important is travelling to me ? Very.
Can I get to a place like The Galapagos using alternate transportation ? No.
Would I fly there ? yes.
Would I admit that I'm wrecking the very place I'm travelling to, just by travelling there ? yes.
Is this a selfish attitude on my part ? yes.
Will I listen to an argument against firespinning coming from a frequent flier?..no
Will I listen to arguments against SUV's coming from frequent fliers?. no
Would I use frequent fliers as a justification for buying an SUV? no.


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Sym
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1858
Posted:Stout: 2 points:

1) I'm not saying that buying guide books is bad! I'm saying that buying a book RATHER than talk to local people is 1 thing that CAN mark the difference between 'tourist' and 'traveller'. The Lonely Planet guides to me many interesting places, but so had talking to locals and making friends: trying to soak up the surroundings.

2) Do you offset your flying or do you plan to? What makes you decide either way and if you do offset who do you use?

hug


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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animatEd
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK

Total posts: 3540
Posted:Sym: Thank you for a really good reply. hug

True, if travel wasn't so much easier and readily available nowadays, I wouldn't be in Spain, because I doubt universities would offer that option at all. I wouldn't have seen many of the places I have seen, had the experiences I have had, or even have the Swiss girlfriend i have.

After being in India for only two weeks, My outlook on life has changed. There, I had to live in some of the poorest conditions, that at first, because I was so used to western standard of living, I found really damn hard to get used to. Then I saw how everybody else in that country managed, and how happy they were. it was then that my ideals changed. I can't really say at the minute how they have changed, because I need to study them myself a little. but i can certainly detect a significant change.

Although to me, my living conditions were that of extreme poverty, in their eyes, I was living like a king. My tent had carpet. I had electricity. I had bottled water to drink, and my food was prepared by somebody else. We had a western toilet, whereas everybody else used a hole in the ground. we had people to clean our tents (sweep the carpets daily, clean our dishes and our tables etc). As well as bottled water, we had a tap that gave water from a tank for washing. To me now, I can see that i was living in quite luxurious conditions.

I look at the way us westerners live, and all the little things we have come to take for granted. Things like packaging on products, people who won't buy certain oranges because of a mark on the skin, or the shape isn't perfect. I see how corporate businesses have changed the way we think, and even changed the way we consider our basic needs. This is also how they have trapped us into believing that flying everywhere at high speeds is what is needed, when i can see that it is not. However, i do have the dilemma of my studies being in another country, not being able to see the person i hold the dearest because she is so far away...

Being based where I am in Spain makes it awkward for travelling. especially for me. To get back to the UK would take at least a full 24 hours driving. I have trouble sitting still for two hours and forty minutes. ten hours on a plane to india, and iwas going crazy. CRAZY. sitting in a car for that length of time would be too much. train would take longer. then, also, being a student, i have to think about money, and my relatively low income...

Pssssh... I'm rambling...

hug


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Sym. Point #1 taken, and I agree. Locals and especially others tourists/travellers, notably Germans, are the best sources of real time information.

Point #2. No I don't use offsets. The reason being that I haven't flown anywhere in three years and it's only recently ( here on HoP ) that I've come to know about the idea. In the future I will purchase offsets, just how, and what, I'm not sure yet as there's no flights in my immediate future ( the hammerheads will just have to wait ) but when I do, my realization that this is basically a band-aid on a brain tumour solution will preclude me from claiming any bragging rights over it.


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Sym
BRONZE Member since Sep 2004

Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1858
Posted: Written by: Stout

Germans are the best sources of real time information.



ubblol hug


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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LazyAngel
GOLD Member since Jul 2004

LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 2895
Posted:I'm not sure what I can contribute to this discussion really, but here goes: recently I took a flight from London to Shanghai, Shanghai to Guilin, in the interests of going to teach English to kids in China.

What this thread has got me questioning is whether what I'm doing is really worthwhile. I mean, in theory I'm teaching english so that the kids are open to more experiences (able to understand English articles, watch films and generally communicate) but when we reach peak oil prices, what will that really be worth to them? Even now, travelling out of China is MUCH harder for the Chinese than people may appreciate, and in some ways, i'm glad, because the thought of Easyjet or somesuch operating here scares me, frankly (in terms of envronmental consequences), but what price do you put on communication?

Following on from that, China is a really wierd mix between people behaving in an environmentally conscious manner and not:
1) Right now, the temperature is in single figures or low tens. But what do they do? open up their houses and welcome in the cold: because I'm in south China, the cold season lasts a couple of months, so central heating doesn't exist here. But air con does: not that people use it much, cos it's so expensive.

2) people do recycle here, in fact there are people who come and sort through the rubbish and take away the recyclable materials. However, the rest of the rubbish is often burnt, sometimes filling the school with choking fumes (which the students really dislike, obviously)

3) Because petrol is already seen as expensive here, people are quite conscious about the way they use it. The public transport is the best I've ever seen in this small town, for one yuan you can get a ride on a minibus into town, that will stop wherever you ask on the set route, and on average carry about 4-5 people plus driver (i've been squeezed into a minibus with seven people in the back and one in the front before: people really do jam themselves in like sardines). There are also regular buses, as well as a few taxis and many mototrike taxis. Also, as there are many hills in China, it's quite common for people to save petrol, by not using the engine going downhill.

4) the children in the school are very environmentally conscious, and know how to express environmental problems in English. We've even had a student try to present a plan to the headmaster to improve recycling (although maybe it could have been thought out better). All the students want to travel, but they also want to stop pollution. A lesson done on the subject of environmental problems had students writing about how the rivers in their home town had become polluted: several mentioned going swimming as a child, but said this was no longer possible.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I have a point to make here, just wanted to see what people's views were on the above.


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Sym..Funny yes, but also very true. I know it's a stereotype, but Germans really are very organized and informed.

LazyAngel..thanks for that insight into current attitudes regarding environmental awareness in China. that's inspiring to read that the Chinese do consider it an issue and serves to dispel a few myths we have around here concerning China's attitude toward the planet.


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