Is it OK to fly if rail is too expensive?

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  • #51
jambaugh
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http://www.friendsofscience.org/" [Broken]
 
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  • #52
Office_Shredder
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No, you misunderstood my reason for laughing at the OP. The notion that a decision about whether to fly or to travel by rail is a heavyweight moral dilemma is what I find laughable. As in "Oh no, will I be able to live on myself aftr I left a lightbulb on, or after I left the toilet running? Am I a bad person now!?" To me it is obvious that this thread was started because worrying bout the environment is the socially 'cool' thing to do, not because anyone should really be concerned about this decision.
I see now.

You've misunderstood the point. If loggers and fishers were rational and had perfect information, then overlogging and overfishing would not occur. Therefore, since these things do occur, it follows that the actors are irrational or posess only imperfect information. The point is that, the irrational actors (climate change hysteria) and imperfect information (vaguery, uncertainty, and group think in climate science, and the massive misinformation campaigns in the media), do not form a coherent force in the free market.
Do you have evidence that people with better information will act to avoid a tragedy of the commons on their own?

No. Free markets can still have externalities. There are plenty of examples of markets with imperfect competition, but those are not examples of that -- they're example of tradgedies of the commons, which are perfectly compatible with the free market.
CR, I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Overfishing isn't an externality; it's a bunch of fishing companies fishing their way right out of business. I'm arguing that such a thing occurs because that's how people are, whereas ExactlySolved seems to believe it only occurs because they don't realize they're about to wipe out the fishing population
 
  • #53
neu
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No, you misunderstood my reason for laughing at the OP. The notion that a decision about whether to fly or to travel by rail is a heavyweight moral dilemma is what I find laughable. As in "Oh no, will I be able to live on myself aftr I left a lightbulb on, or after I left the toilet running? Am I a bad person now!?" To me it is obvious that this thread was started because worrying bout the environment is the socially 'cool' thing to do, not because anyone should really be concerned about this decision.
Why all the vitriol? You're extrapolating a lot from my post. Even if my motivation for reducing the impact of my journey was to look cool, would it matter?

not because anyone should really be concerned about this decision.
I take this to mean you're not an advocate of anthropogenic climate change; this is where we differ. I would be interested to hear why you think this. I'm not trying to antagonise/patronise I'm genuinely curious to hear your opinion.

Although this has drifted from the OP a lot and will probably be locked before your response.
 
  • #54
Moonbear
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This is probably one of those cases where the correct answer is, "It depends," in terms of which is better for the environment. If a particular route, on either train or plane, is popular enough to fill the train or plane, then the fares get lower because the operating costs are spread out over more people while a profit can still be made. If the train fare is much higher than airfare, it might indicate that the train is not running full. So, even if on average a plane is worse than a train for greenhouse emissions or energy usage, any particular route may not fit that category. If I'm on a train with only a handful of people, surely that can't be better for the environment than a plane that is packed to capacity. Similarly, running an entire train for one passenger is unlikely to be better than that person hopping into their personal car. On the other hand, running a full train is going to be better than every one of those passengers each driving their own car. I'd take a very low airfare as an indication that it's a popular route and full flights.

I didn't even think rail was better than flying for the environment. I choose which one to use based on convenience, routes, schedules, distance traveled, cost, etc.
 
  • #55
Why all the vitriol? You're extrapolating a lot from my post. Even if my motivation for reducing the impact of my journey was to look cool, would it matter?
The thing that bothers me is group-think, or 'hysteria of the crowds', and any situation in which people stop applying logic and start to do things because everyone else is doing them is inherently bothersome to me; it just bothers me to see people failing to apply logic in situations where it is appropriate for logic to be applied. The source of my bother is that I like progress, from the point of view of civilization as a whole.

Do you have evidence that people with better information will act to avoid a tragedy of the commons on their own?
That the tragedy of the commons results from a lack of perfect information is a purely logical consequence of the definitions involved. Therefore the proposition is known a priori, and so it would be redundant to list examples which are known a posteriori, especially when such examples (with perfect information) are unlikely to have ever existed. The point I was making does not depend at all on there having ever been a real situation where actors had perfect information.

I take this to mean you're not an advocate of anthropogenic climate change; this is where we differ. I would be interested to hear why you think this. I'm not trying to antagonise/patronise I'm genuinely curious to hear your opinion.
Regardless of my dis-advocacy, the arguments I gave depend neither on global warming being actual nor on humans being the cause; I argue that even if global warming is occuring and even if humans are the cause, that even if everyone choose to never fly a plane again this would have a negligible impact on CO_2 emissions, and so any moral agonizing on environmental grounds over the question which is the title of this post is thereby illogical, and thus bothersome to me.

Although this has drifted from the OP a lot and will probably be locked before your response.
Therefore I am not going to argue about climate science in this thread, since in GD discussions about drinking alcohol, kitty cats, small talk, and formulaic jokes/puns are always on topic, whereas unpleasant arguments are always off-topic. (note that this comment should not be moderated, since it is a formulaic joke that I made under the influence of alcohol :rofl:).
 
  • #56
mheslep
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  • #57
neu
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The thing that bothers me is group-think, or 'hysteria of the crowds', and any situation in which people stop applying logic and start to do things because everyone else is doing them is inherently bothersome to me; it just bothers me to see people failing to apply logic in situations where it is appropriate for logic to be applied. The source of my bother is that I like progress, from the point of view of civilization as a whole.
I don't personally know anyone who has made the same decision not to fly, I've made the decision based on sound evidence that flying short haul is unsustainable at the current rate. If I don;t need to fly short haul, then surely it would be logical not to. Yes trains can be as bad at medium-haul and at low capacity, but like for like over similar timescales there's no competition. Easy decision, easily made now I found cheaper tickets, and I get a day in Paris on each leg of the journey.

What's illogical about that? The premise is obviously where we differ.

I don't get you're gripe about logic and you're imagining about group hysteria, you think I'm trying to be cool and take the moral highground when you're doing the same thing.

Regardless of my dis-advocacy, the arguments I gave depend neither on global warming being actual nor on humans being the cause;
I would argue that your dis-advocacy is a determining factor in this discussion


I argue that even if global warming is occuring and even if humans are the cause, that even if everyone choose to never fly a plane again this would have a negligible impact on CO_2 emissions.
Have you evidence that this is the case? This is v.relavent to OP. Bear in mind I was refering to short haul.
 
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  • #58
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Have you evidence that this is the case? This is v.relavent to OP. Bear in mind I was refering to short haul.
Based on your own pie graph earlier, if every aircraft stop flying in the UK for one year (long and short haul), we would only reduce emissions by 7%. Whereas if you installed more wind turbines, wave platforms and solar systems, you could run huge sectors of domestic and industry from them, reducing the need for coal/gas/oil/nuclear. This would create the possibility of reducing the large red/dark yellow segments far more than 7% thus creating a larger impact on emissions and the greenhouse effect. This is why, you saying you wont fly because of your own carbon footprint I find laughable.

I argue that even if global warming is occuring and even if humans are the cause, that even if everyone choose to never fly a plane again this would have a negligible impact on CO_2 emissions, and so any moral agonizing on environmental grounds over the question which is the title of this post is thereby illogical, and thus bothersome to me.
Well I agree with ExactlySolved on this one, heres a rough calculation based on your own number for emissions and friends of the earths heathrow numbers (using these sources, as in people who support your view and yourself to avoid bias on my part):

I'd like to correct the calculation I did earlier, I have corrected it in the previous post, but here it is again for people who haven't seen it:
It's better to think of my individual carbon footprint. If I fly it would be the single biggest factor in my footprint.

And to take your example: if there are 1000 flights through heathrow, a 0.1% drop would be 1 flight. Hardly a massive reduction.
No, that is simply 0.1% drop in flights not carbon emissions. Because 7% is the UK overall from aviation. That means you take every flight into the UK. But for simplicity, lets say we only have heathrow. There are 480,000 flights into heathrow each year representing 7% of carbon emissions, which means each individual flight (ignoring aircraft type and load) represents ~1.46x10-5% (0.0000146%) of overall emissions. This means for a 0.1% reduction you would require a reduction of 6900 flights per year or 19 per day. Now, again not a particularly high number, but when you extrapolate that to each airport in the UK alone (a rough count gives me about 30 international/major alone) that proves you need to reduce somewhere in the region of 570 flights per day (207000 per year). Even if you allow heathrow as the largest and busiest, it still leaves somewhere in the region of at least 150000 flights per year. All for a 0.1% reduction in carbon emissions. That's a lot of people boycotting flying. All for a lot of nothing.
Your carbon footprint is tiny, like I said before, it would take everyone to boycott flying to have a noticeable effect. Whereas using the suggestions above could prove much more effective.

Just a quick one, if you again only use heathrow (ignore all other airports/flights), taking the figure of 1.46x10-5% for each flights carbon emissions, assuming an average passenger complimnet of 100 (again ignoring cargo), this would make an individuals carbon footprint somewhere in the region of 1.46x10-7% (0.000000146%) of overall emissions. Bring cargo and the fact most aircraft have a passenger compliment of around 250 and one persons really does become negligable. Once again, a massive boycott would be required. Of course that figure is for heathrow alone, if you bring in all other airports and extrapolate for the whole of the UK, you could take that figure up a few orders to say x10-8 or even x10-9. Thats how small each persons impact is. You are better off going for your own domestic improvement, and rallying for more sustainable energy sources.

Me, personally, I believe we need nuclear to continue but I am simply providing another point of view here and so lets not start a debate on nuclear.

It has really annoyed that people will sit and argue politics and definitions of things, yet when faced with hard figures in front of them they cannot respond to them and simply choose to ignore them as with my last post with the original calculation. The numbers give the facts and if someone was to provide me with the equivelant figures for trains (total number running in UK long and short distance etc) I would perform the same operation on them and get us a definitive answer.
 
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  • #59
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Another thing, if you work out the carbon emissions from electricity use per person, the figure would be much lower than that of per person for aviation. Meaning you would require many more people to have an equivelant impact on emissions. So on the face of it, aviation is worse.

However, you must remember that for a decrese in aviation emissions you would have to have a huge number of people to stop flying/using airmail etc. Whereas to reduce electricity emissions, you wouldn't require anybody to do anything. A power company could simply construct a number of sustainable sources and there is your reduction. The individual would have to make no changes.

Think about it, there are easy ways to reduce emissions and hard ways. Boycotting aviation on your own isn't an easy option.
 
  • #60
I don't personally know anyone who has made the same decision not to fly,
Whether or not you are trendsetter amongst your peers, it's hard to deny that the media and the polticians have been aggressively pushing this 'carbon footprint :yuck:' nonsense, and I myself have seen articles on this subject that specifically relate the 'evils' of flying in commercial jets. If you have not seen any of these materials and came to your decision all by yourself, then I apologize, and my vitriol should be seen as directed towards the (tens of millions) of people who read these articles and accept them blindly.


I've made the decision based on sound evidence that flying short haul is unsustainable at the current rate.
Yes, flying in jets is unsustainable because we are running out of petroleum. Climate change has nothing to do with sustainibility.


Yes trains can be as bad at medium-haul and at low capacity, but like for like over similar timescales there's no competition. Easy decision, easily made now I found cheaper tickets, and I get a day in Paris on each leg of the journey.
That's great; I really am glad that you made the decision which gave you the most personal satisfaction instead of letting the 'climate changers' tell you what to do.

If I don;t need to fly short haul, then surely it would be logical not to. ...What's illogical about that? The premise is obviously where we differ.
It was the original question 'is it OK', which is a request for moral approval. Asking for a comparison between which produces more carbon, or which is better for the environment, would be a logical question, but asking if either one is 'OK' implies that there are moral connotations attached to the decision of whether to fly or take a train, and it is these moral connotations that I am arguing against.

I don't get you're gripe about logic and you're imagining about group hysteria, you think I'm trying to be cool and take the moral highground when you're doing the same thing.
This statement of yours basically reads as "I know you are, but what am I?" The fact is that the media and the politicians in the US, the UN, and the EU are advocating this 'carbon footprint' nonsense. This is the group-think I was referring to. As for me trying to be 'cool', I doubt my argumenative manner is making me many friends, which is of little consequence since my main goal is to fight back against the misused moral pressure that the 'climate changers' apply.

I would argue that your dis-advocacy is a determining factor in this discussion
It's not, and I have made that clear by saying my arguments hold even if I grant for the sake of argument that the climate is changing for the worse and even if I grant for the sake of argument that humans are causing the climate change with our greenhouse gas output. Please understand this, since this is the third post where I have repeated it: I am about to present an argument that agrees with your premises (cc is bad and is caused by humans) but disagrees with your conclusion (individuals should be concerned with their 'carbon footprint :yuck:').

The argument is based on this: the Kyoto protocol will have a worldwide cost of over $1Trillion, and even the UN admits that it cannot possibly lower global mean temperature by even 0.1 degree Celsius by the year 2050. In fact, the UN's estimate is 0.07 degrees, and critics of their scientific methodology contend that the change will likely be about 0.01 degrees.

Therefore, even if climate change is caused by humans, no one will contribute to stopping it by 'reducing their carbon footprint :yuck:.' Even the governments of the world working together and spending such a staggering amount of money will have essentially no effect.

The typical response to this argument is "Yeah, but we have to do something, so lets make a lot of noise and spread misinformation with no real plan to accomplish our goal", which is obviously illogical.

Have you evidence that this is the case? This is v.relavent to OP. Bear in mind I was refering to short haul.
I have not done the calculation, but I made the statement on the basis of the grim outlook of benefits vs costs associated with the Kyoto protocol as described above.
 
  • #61
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"Have you evidence that this is the case? This is v.relavent to OP. Bear in mind I was refering to short haul."

Is anyone reading my posts? There is a basica calculation with neu's numbers and the number of flights from Friends of the Earth. If you cannot accept these numbers then you are being truly ignorant to the facts. Before 'Global Warming' even existed (before the media and government got on it), hardly anyone cared about emissions and CO2, but now everyone has jumped on the band wagon. The media has hyped up global warming to the extreme and the government only care because they can tax it. Full stop.

There was a report on tv last night that the earth is going to eventually collide with mars. Should we be panicking, trying to prevent the unpreventable? This is certainly a much greater risk with regards to life and a mass extinction than a slight raise in temperature is.

Why does nobody accept any evidence except that which supports their arguement?

Either base your judgement on facts, yes FACTS. Or make it on a personal basis and don't bother asking for others to approve of it because the fact is, your judgement is based on your own personal feelings. I have seen no evidence so far to suggest flying is worse than a train.
 
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  • #62
Is anyone reading my posts?
Definitely, and I am really glad you shared the link to http://www.friendsofscience.org/" [Broken]. Before, all I had were a few scattered, poorly articulated critiques of the 'climate change :yuck:' literature, but this website has put in the hard work that it takes to substantiate and extend all of the criticisms on the basis of peer-reviewed literature.

I do however, think that this thread is near the end of its on-topic life since the OP resolved their problem, and that unless anyone else asks me for further clarification I for one will probably let this thread sink away. On the otherhand, I look forward to someone else starting a new thread to argue about the role of carbon in climate change (I can't start it because most threads that I start are DOA).
 
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  • #63
2,685
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Definitely, and I am really glad you shared the link to http://www.friendsofscience.org/" [Broken]. Before, all I had were a few scattered, poorly articulated critiques of the 'climate change :yuck:' literature, but this website has put in the hard work that it takes to substantiate and extend all of the criticisms on the basis of peer-reviewed literature.

I do however, think that this thread is near the end of its on-topic life since the OP resolved their problem, and that unless anyone else asks me for further clarification I for one will probably let this thread sink away. On the otherhand, I look forward to someone else starting a new thread to argue about the role of carbon in climate change (I can't start it because most threads that I start are DOA).
Well, says it all doesn't it, I ask if anyone's reading my posts, one person responds with definitely and thanks me for a link I didn't even post!!!
What is the ******* point.

ExactlySolved, I would love to discuss carbon in climate change in a thread, however given this result I feel any input from myself based on hard numbers and facts would be pointless. People just don't want to know the truth if it disagree with their point of view. Selective reading I suppose.
 
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