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09 Jul

Should we be ashamed of flying?

When two harbor a same thought, that's still far from the same thing: The environmental demonstrations under the global slogan "Fridays for Future" in line with Greta Thunberg from Sweden a lot of attention have achieved. Nobody can pass it by. And this despite the fact that the idea of generation responsibility for environmental protection has been formulated more frequently. However, it had previously but never been a comparable response.

For example, the German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst last report in December last year in his video "message to his grandchildren" of the International Space Station impressive about the state of our blue planet and a reminder to care: https://www.rnf.de/mediathek/video/alexander-gerst-nachricht-an-meine-enkelkinder/ .

Even Hollywood stars like Dew Barrymore and Robert Redford are committed to environmental protection. And Leonardo DiCaprio has founded the Foundation "Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation", which supports both the welfare of the world's people and planet Earth. Already in 2006, former US Vice President Al Gore addressed the impact of greenhouse gases and the related impact on global warming in his much-acclaimed film, An Inconvenient Truth’.

Mostly, such actions only provide brief attention in society. Very quickly, it goes back to the day policy and the 'constraints' back. Environmental protection pales in the public perception again and again in favor of refugee, economic or fiscal matters.

It was only with "Fridays for Future" that a sudden and sustained "jolt" through society made environmental protection a dominant topic. Environmental protection is becoming a crucial issue, especially in small and medium-sized nations. Unfortunately, this realization is often reluctant for some heads of state and government.

And what do we, the citizens, have to do with it? - The holiday season is just beginning and we travel by plane to the most beautiful holiday regions. But let's keep in mind that for a short-haul flight over 400km, the amount of CO2 generated is the same as for 40,000 train journeys of the same distance? If the train is a real alternative for distances of a few 100km, it is certainly less attractive for distances from about 1000km due to time constraints.

On the other hand, one can ask oneself whether vacation is really only "far away" beautiful. Even in your own country, there are many holiday regions with lakes or mountains. The journey is often much more comfortable and possibly healthier. Today is even pedaled on cycle routes through impressive landscapes completely climate neutral.

Whereas in the past, the level of relaxation of the holiday was "measured" in terms of the degree of "tanning" of the skin, we now know that too intense sunbathing not only tans the skin, but also ages and makes many a face and décolleté of fair-skinned Europeans a "bellows". - Not to mention the risk of cancer.

Whether we travel by car, train or plane, everyone has to decide for themselves. Even though the holiday trip is long since booked in 2019, we should ask ourselves whether flying "just for fun" in times of "Fridays for Future" is still appropriate. This behavior is certainly becoming increasingly critical. On the other hand, it would bring a lot, if we used at least once a year, the plane for the holiday. - In this sense, relaxing holidays, wherever and how you will spend.

Whether we travel by car, train or plane, everyone has to decide for themselves. Even though the holiday trip is long since booked in 2019, we should ask ourselves whether flying "just for fun" in times of "Fridays for Future" is still appropriate. This behavior is certainly becoming increasingly critical. On the other hand, it would bring a lot, if we used at least once a year, the plane for the holiday. - In this sense, relaxing holidays, wherever and how you will spend,

With Best Regards

Walter Thieme
WTH Managing Director