Is train a feasible alternative to flying?

 

As I write this I’m sitting on a train headed back to Sweden, pondering the result of a year’s experimentation with travelling by train instead of flying. Is this an effective way to reduce my carbon footprint? The jury is in! Read on.

One common rallying cry among climate advocates is to fly less (or ideally not at all). I consider myself a climate advocate (here’s my entry ticket), but I’m also a pragmatist. I’ve worked enough with behavioural change to know that it’s unrealistic to expect many people to change their habits unless there is a convenient and compelling alternative. For example, Spotify killed music pirating, not by attacking pirate sites, but by providing a better and more convenient alternative.

So what are the alternatives to flying, if you want to get from A to B?

  • Option A: Don’t go. Stay at A. This option won’t fly (pun intended) with most people. There’s a reason why they want to go from A to B, and only a small number of people will be willing to sacrifice that (kudos to those people though!).
  • Option B: Walk or bicycle. Not feasible. A distance that is long enough to take a flight is usually waaay too long for a walk or bicycle ride, unless you are an enthusiast with LOTS of time on your hands.
  • Option C: Car. This makes sense only if you travel in a group, or if you drive an electric car. If you drive alone in a fuel car, the climate impact is about the same as flying, just takes longer and is more dangerous and clogs up the road.
  • Option D: Bus. I haven’t found any long-distance bus options  to the places I go. Might be more feasible in other countries than mine.
  • Option E: Train. Is train a feasible alternative? Definitely climate friendly, but what about price, convenience, reliability, and time? Read on!

Continue reading “Is train a feasible alternative to flying?”

Second Climate Offset Investment – 42 tons CO2!

Now we have made our second community climate offset investment, this time in a project from Godawari Power and Ispat Limited replacing coal with waste heat flue gases.

Together we have offset 42 tons of CO2 this time! Thank you so much everyone!

Read more about the project here: https://offset.climateneutralnow.org/whr-cdm-cpp-1719-

More information and documentation about the project: https://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/SGS-UKL1204741333.52/view

View our certificate from investing in this project: https://www.goclimateneutral.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/1491461_2008.pdf

View our invoice from doing the investment: https://www.goclimateneutral.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/invoice_1491461_2008.pdf

Why is it so cheap to offset carbon emissions?

Many people are confused by the low price when offsetting carbon emissions. If it’s so bad for the environment to fly, can a few dollars really be enough to counteract the impact?

The answer is yes. At present there are all kinds of ways to reduce emissions very inexpensively. As an example, a low-energy lightbulb, available for $2 or so, can over the space of six years save 250kg of CO2 – equivalent to a short flight. That does not mean that a low-energy lightbulb make up for flying. The point is simply that the world is full of inexpensive ways to reduce emissions.

In the future, when more people and governments starts to offset, the price of offsets might gradually rise, as the low-hanging fruit of emissions savings – the easiest and cheapest “quick wins” – will get used up.

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/sep/16/carbon-offset-projects-carbon-emissions