Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => OT Knowledge => Topic started by: Wowbagger on August 20, 2019, 04:00:49 pm

Title: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Wowbagger on August 20, 2019, 04:00:49 pm
Now that Aunt Phyllis has shuffled off this mortal coil, the subject of visiting our daughter in Melbourne has cropped up. We will probably make the trip next year, and I don't think it is something that we will repeat.

As some may be aware, we have done (probably) quite a lot more than the vast majority of people in the last 20 years or so to reduce our carbon footprints. So getting on some bloody great plane in order to travel half way round the globe does tend to stick in the craw rather. I am exploring the possibilities of doing as much of the journey as possible without recourse to flying.

At the moment, booking train tickets from London to Moscow, followed by Moscow to Beijing, and flying from there, looks like a pretty decent way. But it would appear that it is extremely difficult to do the last bit of the trip from Indonesia to Australia without the use of air travel. I understand that it is possible to travel further south by train, to Singapore, with a bit of bus travel in Cambodia or Vietnam. But it would appear that that carries with it some rather greater risk of buses falling into ravines and that sort of thing. This could, of course, be utter bolleaux, but the experiences of people I know who have been to Vietnam tell me that road travel there is pretty scary.

I wondered if anyone else had done this trip, or anything similar, without flying, or at least keeping the flights to the bare minimum? I have been reading the pages of The Man in Seat 61...
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: sib on August 20, 2019, 04:22:41 pm
Can't answer your question directly but if Race Around the World is still on iplayer it's worth watching.
They travelled London to Singapore without flying and use a fair amount of rail (and not too many scary bus/boat/car trips).
Quite entertaining and might give some ideas. (just watch the last two episodes for the far east section -  Huangyao, Koh Rong, Singapore.

Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 20, 2019, 04:26:52 pm
I remember talking to someone who'd travelled round Indonesia hitching on trucks. I'm not suggesting that's suitable for you but clearly it is possible to travel around there by bus, if not train. That still leaves you with the problem of a boat to Australia and I guess that might even be easier from Singapore. Or you could get some sort of antipodean cruise? But I dare say the GHG emissions and other pollution from that are actually worse than flying.

Meanwhile, here's an article about a bloke who travelled to Shanghai by train: https://theconversation.com/southampton-to-shanghai-by-train-one-climate-change-researchers-quest-to-avoid-flying-120015 He says the trains in China were the most comfortable of the lot.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 20, 2019, 04:32:17 pm
1) Melbourne (in fact, all of the Australian capitals) are a f*ck of a long way from anywhere else. Unless you are going to spend weeks on a sailing ship you will be flying thousands of miles. Just the length of the WA coast is half the width of the Atlantic, and that doesn't even get you to the adjacent country.

2) Add up the carbon cost. Planes are terrible, yes, and also surprisingly efficient per passenger. Better than buses. Not as good as a good train. Spending weeks on a train might be worse than taking two flights.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: ian on August 20, 2019, 04:39:15 pm
You could just plant a load of trees, it's what I do. Lots of little flights will add to the carbon cost, they burn a lot more fuel getting up in the sky (and they're also heavier).

It's pretty difficult to get from SE Asia/Indonesia to Australia (and a long way not to mention wet) and then, as said, Australia is big and Melbourne about a far as you can get without tumbling into Tasmania.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Karla on August 20, 2019, 05:05:08 pm
Vietnam: if you stick to the main road down the cost, you won't see any ravines and tbh it's fairly lightly used for its size.  I had zero concerns doing it on a bike so you should have no problem in a bus.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: PaulF on August 20, 2019, 05:09:14 pm
Vietnam: if you stick to the main road down the cost, you won't see any ravines and tbh it's fairly lightly used for its size.  I had zero concerns doing it on a bike so you should have no problem in a bus.

There’s also a railway that runs most of the length of the country
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Chris S on August 20, 2019, 05:14:58 pm
Do it in your Leaf. Write a travel book - you're a learned chap with some skills with words; I'd read it!

I haven't researched it, but how about trans-continental to Hong Kong, then containerised transport to Darwin, and a nice drive from there? Charging points might be an issue in some places, but there aren't many without ANY electricity these days, so the limiting factor is time. Or I'm talking bollocks - like I said, I haven't researched it.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Kim on August 20, 2019, 05:46:42 pm
Do it in your Leaf. Write a travel book - you're a learned chap with some skills with words; I'd read it!

I haven't researched it, but how about trans-continental to Hong Kong, then containerised transport to Darwin, and a nice drive from there? Charging points might be an issue in some places, but there aren't many without ANY electricity these days, so the limiting factor is time. Or I'm talking bollocks - like I said, I haven't researched it.

This guy has: https://plugmeinproject.com/

I reckon he'd have done better in a modern designed-as-an-EV car with better ground clearance / waterproofing, some electro-fu to reduce the car's fussiness about supply quality (he was stranded for days in an Australian truck stop because their generator's frequency was way out of spec, eventually he managed to get it going because the kitchen was running flat out and dragged the frequency down a bit), and there's a strong argument for lugging a few square metres of photovoltaics around a la The Martian if you're trying to cross the Outback.  A bag with an assortment of Socket'n'See products would also be on my list - once you get away from first-world electrical regulations, the locals can do creatively unhelpful things with three-phase wiring.

Many of his challenges were zero-budget and just-in-time planning related, rather than a result of using an EV, thobut.

The videos are well worth watching, if you can get over the bit of crud on his camera's sensor for most of the trip.  Some of the early ones are in Dutch, but they switch to English after a while.  :)
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 20, 2019, 05:50:24 pm
containerised transport to Darwin,
Are you suggesting Wow hides in a shipping container? Do you want to get him sent to Nauru as an undocumented immigrant?  ;)
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: PaulF on August 20, 2019, 05:55:51 pm
containerised transport to Darwin,
Are you suggesting Wow hides in a shipping container? Do you want to get him sent to Nauru as an undocumented immigrant?  ;)

Or go in a cardboard box lie Waldo Jeffers in The Gift.

On second thoughts perhaps not.... ;D
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Chris S on August 20, 2019, 05:56:53 pm
... there's a strong argument for lugging a few square metres of photovoltaics around a la The Martian if you're trying to cross the Outback.

That would be frickin' AWESOME!

I imagine a website with a sandy red picture of Mars Australia entitled "Where's Watney Wowbagger"?

Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: bludger on August 20, 2019, 07:01:19 pm
There's an account in the Rough Stuff Archive book of UK to Australia, done via bikes and boats. I will take a look when I get home.

see: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jun/13/break-the-cycle-britains-oldest-off-road-club

Quote
The Fellowship is being celebrated in a hardback book curated from the club’s extensive archives. The photographs mark historic firsts, such as when Phill Hargreaves and David Clarke set off in 1984 to cycle from Derby in the UK to Derby in western Australia. They completed the first trip fully by bicycle to Everest’s south base camp along the way. Other pictures showed a group completing the first traverse by bicycle of Iceland’s mountainous desert interior in 1984 (club records record that the group rationed themselves to half a bar of Kendal Mint Cake per man every second day, as well as an ounce of margarine daily)

Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Pedal Castro on August 20, 2019, 07:23:50 pm
High speed train Beijing to HK then fly the last bit maybe?
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Canardly on August 20, 2019, 07:50:17 pm
P and O cruise part of the way. Round the world tend to be a bit spendy.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: andrewc on August 20, 2019, 07:50:31 pm
Josie Dew has form for long distance travel by freighter, but probably more polluting than a flight.


http://josiedew.com/about-me (http://josiedew.com/about-me)
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 20, 2019, 07:57:35 pm

Freighter? These can be a cost effective way to get across oceans, if you're not in a hurry.

J
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Chris S on August 20, 2019, 08:06:47 pm
To be fair, Wowbagger is after keeping his carbon footprint to a minimum, and freighters are about the dirtiest diesel things known to man.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Jurek on August 20, 2019, 08:07:53 pm
^
This.

ETA - But if it is sailing anyway........ ?
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 20, 2019, 08:12:18 pm
To be fair, Wowbagger is after keeping his carbon footprint to a minimum, and freighters are about the dirtiest diesel things known to man.

Yes, but as it's going anyway, adding a passenger, isn't making it any worse...

J
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Chris S on August 20, 2019, 08:15:57 pm
To be fair, Wowbagger is after keeping his carbon footprint to a minimum, and freighters are about the dirtiest diesel things known to man.

Yes, but as it's going anyway, adding a passenger, isn't making it any worse...

J

That's always been my self-justification for using any carbon-based transport; "It's going anyway, whether I'm on it or not".

AvGas is just kerosine, so in terms of particulates per passenger, flying is not that bad at all, probably even compared to (diesel) trains or oil-derived electricity, and certainly compared to diesel-powered ships, provided you fly on recent hardware.

A modern airliner is much more efficient than its forebears. Trouble is, you don't get to choose when you book a flight. I guess you can choose an airline who is more likely to use a modern plane, like Emirates for example. Of course, Wow being a politcally thinking chap might have other reasons for not flying with Emirates.

Travel is so ethically complex!
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Greenbank on August 20, 2019, 08:17:54 pm
Yes, but as it's going anyway, adding a passenger, isn't making it any worse...

It will make it slightly worse. The question is by how much. This is the same with most travel. An aeroplane is already going from A to B, but getting on it makes it slightly worse compared to an empty seat and none of your luggage.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Jurek on August 20, 2019, 08:19:35 pm
Yes, but as it's going anyway, adding a passenger, isn't making it any worse...

It will make it slightly worse. The question is by how much. This is the same with most travel. An aeroplane is already going from A to B, but getting on it makes it slightly worse compared to an empty seat and none of your luggage.
Succinct and (I suspect) accurate.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Greenbank on August 20, 2019, 08:27:45 pm
a) One person alone is not going to affect anything really.
b) But if everyone has that attitude then nothing changes.
c) You can't use that as justification for not changing your behaviour.

If enough people stop wanting to fly from A to B then instead of 10 flights per day it might only be profitable for the airlines to put on 8 flights per day from A to B and the environmental impact of those changes is much more considerable.

(I say this as someone who took 8-16 hours of flights per WEEK for close to two years. I now take 8-16 hours of flights per YEAR [and I'm still trying to reduce that.])
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Wowbagger on August 20, 2019, 08:28:25 pm
The most significant part is the encouragement it gives the polluters. Once enough people start to boycott the worst-polluting forms of transport then they will stop happening... if that ever does happen.

This is where I really struggle. How can I contribute so massively to climate change and still look my grandchildren in the eye? They are both in such terrible danger as a result of what my generation has done.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Chris S on August 20, 2019, 08:34:00 pm
This is where I really struggle. How can I contribute so massively to climate change and still look my grandchildren in the eye? They are both in such terrible danger as a result of what my generation has done.

Don't travel. Simple as.

And yet...
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Greenbank on August 20, 2019, 08:37:55 pm
This is where I really struggle. How can I contribute so massively to climate change and still look my grandchildren in the eye?

If they live in .au and you live in .uk then unless one of you does that journey then you'll never get to look them in the eye (in person).

Is it worth missing out on seeing them in person in order to not make a (relatively) tiny impact on the environment?

So the first question is whether you think the journey is necessary. You don't need to justify it to anyone else but yourself. Seeing grandchildren would count as a 'yes' for me.

Then it comes down to frequency. Going to see them (or them coming to see you), say, every 5 years is not a huge extravagance. Flying over to see them once a month is over the top.

Mitigating some of the worst pollution by getting a train for some of the journey (i.e. UK to Moscow/China and then flying) might be an option. But then extending your journey from 24 hours each way to 7 days each way might be unbearable.

As ian says, might be better to find the middle ground (i.e. minimising the flying somehow) and do some offsetting/tree-planting to assuage the guilt/damage.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Basil on August 20, 2019, 08:51:25 pm

Don't travel. Simple as.


This.

The only way to get to Australia is by flying, or by spending a very long time getting there.
Trips to any part of the world we care to are just not justified simply because we live in an affluent country.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Jurek on August 20, 2019, 08:54:12 pm

Don't travel. Simple as.


This.

The only way to get to Australia is by flying, or by spending a very long time getting there.
Trips to any part of the world we care to are just not justified simply because we live in an affluent country.

I see that as a difficult call  / heartbreak for a grandad.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Chris S on August 20, 2019, 08:58:21 pm

Don't travel. Simple as.


This.

The only way to get to Australia is by flying, or by spending a very long time getting there.
Trips to any part of the world we care to are just not justified simply because we live in an affluent country.

I see that as a difficult call  / heartbreak for a grandad.

Well, that's the point isn't it?

Either Wow doesn't travel, he offsets his planetary impact, or he does it in as carbon neutral kind of way as he can. Hell, they can walk and canoe there for ZERO impact, but it's not very practical.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: ian on August 20, 2019, 09:11:04 pm
I doubt many of us want to face it, but the ultimate problem is travel. There's no non-polluting way to do. And it not just us, it's the goods that travel around the world. It's popular to blame air travel as it's convenient bad boy, but really we spew out more carbon and other pollutants driving to work from our houses where increasingly everything is Made in China. Well, actually the problems is probably living in the developed world. But try getting people to give that up. How much do we reckon the data centres that let us tap way online to write this, do a Google search etc churn out? Guilty as charged your honour.

If you want to go to Melbourne, there's always going to be a cost no matter how you chose to get there. I've been busy planting trees to offset my rampant lifestyle, though I'm running out of garden. I may have to guerilla plant them elsewhere.

Of course, having kids in the first place is enviro-crime. Having kittens, less so, though believe me, having been on the receiving end their individual carbon emissions, I have had olfactory cause to regret that decision.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Chris S on August 20, 2019, 09:20:53 pm
I'm probably the worst person to be commenting on this thread, to be fair.

To my mind, nature hates imbalance, and does a decent job of correcting imbalances in the medium term. Homo Sapiens as a species is wholly and utterly out of balance with its surroundings, and nothing that I, or you or Wowbagger does is going to change that now.

I'm perfectly at ease with this. It's how things are supposed to work. There will be a mass extinction event at some point, and Planet Earth will lumber along just fine, like it did before after previous ME events.

In the grand scheme of things, I reckon Wowbagger should just go visit his family; fly - do the things people do, there's nothing to feel guilty about.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Greenbank on August 20, 2019, 09:36:45 pm
Of course, having kids in the first place is enviro-crime.

The problem is that too many children are born each year (not that too many people have children, or too many people have too many children).

A large number of children are necessary, or that's a self-inflicted ME event for the entire human race.

... do the things people do, there's nothing to feel guilty about.

The problem is that most people do too much. Doing something occasionally might be ok, but because not doing a particular thing at all is inconceivable for many it means too many people use the same justification to do it too often. (e.g. in my example, Wow flying once every, say, 5 years to see his grandchildren is a lot different from flying once a month to see them.)
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Pedal Castro on August 20, 2019, 09:37:13 pm
The most significant part is the encouragement it gives the polluters. Once enough people start to boycott the worst-polluting forms of transport then they will stop happening... if that ever does happen.

Very true, but unfortunately the vast majority of people only make a stand as long as it doesn't inconvenience themselves too much.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 21, 2019, 09:21:01 am
Freighter v flying is easy in my mind: You'd need a whole container load of Wows to make an appreciable difference to the load on a freighter (and even then, they carry thousands of containers so it's a tiny difference) and it's not increasing demand for passengers travelling by ship cos basically there is none. The freighter travels cos Australians want Chinese toys for Christmas (or maybe it's an ore or coal carrier going to pick up ore or coal to take to China because... ) not cos people want to visit their grandkids. Whereas the plane flies to take people to Australia, so buying that ticket increases demand, etc. As for the extra time taken, Wow will be breathing, eating, etc, whether that time is spent in the South China Sea or on land. As he has the leisure of time and the money to travel, that's his choice and makes no enviro-impact either way.

Or he could find a yacht. Josie Dew travelled to Japan on an Outward Bound yacht in order not to fly (and she hated it!). But I reckon Kim's suggestion of an overland Leaf trip is the most exciting. Perhaps there's a sponsorship angle to wangle?
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Greenbank on August 21, 2019, 09:43:36 am
There are secondary carbon considerations to make though (although I agree that freighter would be far better for primary carbon emissions).

You'll eat a whole lot more food during a multi week freighter trip than a 24h plane journey and it'll be likely that extra food will have a lot more food miles on it that the food you would have eaten if you'd stayed at home and not gone at all (one would assume that Wow applies similar consideration to the food he buys as well as his mode of transport).

An overland leaf trip has the potential for being responsible for way more carbon emissions than the plane journey. Just because it's an electric car doesn't mean it's automatically carbon neutral. It's also far far far less efficient (in terms of energy) to drive the bulk of that journey than it is to fly. Plus its electrons still have to be generated somehow and there are a fair number of countries that you'd have to drive through that have precious little renewable energy generation infrastructure.

Electric vehicles are good as an alternative to the same journey in an ICE because they are guaranteed to have a lower carbon footprint than the ICE. Up against an aeroplane for a long haul flight like that, I doubt it.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: andrewc on August 21, 2019, 10:06:38 am
The largest countries you'd be travelling through, Russia & China are pretty nasty on a political level & Russia's government especially  is a major climate change denier.  Surely you don't want to give them implicit support by spending your money there ?   

Then there is your destinations coal exporting industry & their governments stance on environmental matters.....
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 21, 2019, 10:20:39 am
I'm not sure whether Wow's aim is simply to travel to Australia in the least environmentally-damaging way possible (however measured) or also to show that there is an alternative to flying, in the hope of inspiring others on journeys which are easier to do by non-flying (and where the overall benefits are clearer).
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 21, 2019, 10:27:17 am
As someone who hates airports[1], but who likes travel, I've often researched the ways to get to various places via surface based routes.

It's actually got harder in recent years, there used to be a direct train from .NL to Moscow, but now there are multiple changes to get there. But from Moscow to Vladivostok is a single train, and from Vladivostok there is a ferry that runs to Japan, and from Osaka, freighter would be possible to anywhere on the pacific rim relatively easily.

The big problem with this is of course that Russia is not a good place for a dyke like me. It's not a safe country.

So what's the alternative route? Well go the other way! Freighter across the Atlantic is one option, but there are actual commercial options on this route. Cruise ships. Ye gods their environmental impact is atrocious, but they don't involve flying! Then it's just a question of crossing the US via either Amtrac, or Greyhound. Get to Long Beach, and Freighter to the destination of your choice...

Only it appears that the US is not a good place for a dyke like me. It's not a safe country...

Bugger...

Anyway, the researching of such things has helped keep me amused during many a night of insomnia...


Of course, you could always take Sarah's approach - http://amzn.to/2i3XHcE

J

[1]I dislike flying on environmental grounds, but it's airports that piss me off about flying the most.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: mike on August 21, 2019, 01:45:58 pm
Flying is awful in every way, apart from the time you get at the other end.  Travelling any other way will eat into the main reason for the travel, so I'd bite the bullet and book it but then offset the carbon by donating to a tree planting project here in the UK

That's what I just did for a trip to Texas to see little brother and his 2 (well, was meant to be 2 but the youngest is about 3 weeks overdue, so it was 1 and a massive bump :D ).  Its hard to know how much ££ relates to how many trees being planted, but I typically donate 10% of the ticket price of all my flights to the woodland trust.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 21, 2019, 01:53:11 pm
Tree planting is good in several ways but it doesn't stop the CO2 being emitted in the first place, it's very much a mop up several years in the future. But I think Wow needs to clarify (in his own mind and if possible to us) whether his primary goal is to not-fly or to not-pollute, as the two are connected but not necessarily identical (not-flying is obviously much easier to define).
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: bludger on August 21, 2019, 02:04:06 pm
It's actually got harder in recent years, there used to be a direct train from .NL to Moscow, but now there are multiple changes to get there. But from Moscow to Vladivostok is a single train, and from Vladivostok there is a ferry that runs to Japan, and from Osaka, freighter would be possible to anywhere on the pacific rim relatively easily.

I was very disappointed to find out that the passenger ferry from Denmark to Iceland is now firmly dead. The only way to get there without flying is to charter a boat/work as a hand or persuade a lorry driver to go there as a freight passenger.

I've just come around to accepting that there are places I'm not going to be able to go. I do occasionally google freight liner trips to south america/north america and 'how to get a job as a hand' but that's for another time.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: trekker12 on August 21, 2019, 04:00:05 pm
Which for those of you who have the flexibility of retirement or otherwise a more flexible approach to work (forgive me Bludger I don't know what you do) can fit but those of us on PAYE with 25 days a year holiday (less three at Christmas) makes long distance travel by any means other than flying very difficult.

We had an original plan to ride the Danube from it's source to Budapest this summer but it got cancelled for a variety of reasons not least because it was going to take us two days each way by ferry/train from Harwich to anywhere near it's source and we are not fast enough to then get to Budapest, enjoy our holiday and get home in time to get back to work. I've got a good boss and he'll give me three weeks at a time if I need it but that takes out nearly all of my holiday in one go. We did Munich Venice by ferry/train and bike the other year and it was a huge success but you have to be selective which people who go by aeroplane don't have to.

I know I can travel most places by train - there is simply no need to travel in northern europe from the UK by plane but going that bit more exotic is very difficult indeed.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Jaded on August 21, 2019, 04:27:03 pm
I'd go in the Leaf. It's only 154 miles on the M25, M1.  ;D
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 21, 2019, 04:31:46 pm
It's 5 hours 40 on the Hamilton Highway and B140.  :D
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Melbourne+VIC,+Australia/Southend+SA+5280,+Australia/@-37.7542043,140.3016431,7z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x6ad646b5d2ba4df7:0x4045675218ccd90!2m2!1d144.9630576!2d-37.8136276!1m5!1m1!1s0xaa9fe2d216da5385:0x4033654628eed40!2m2!1d140.1251596!2d-37.5704456
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: bludger on August 21, 2019, 04:40:02 pm
Which for those of you who have the flexibility of retirement or otherwise a more flexible approach to work (forgive me Bludger I don't know what you do) can fit but those of us on PAYE with 25 days a year holiday (less three at Christmas) makes long distance travel by any means other than flying very difficult.

Formerly PAYE, now doing my MSc and self-employed doing gig work to pay the bills so no fixed holiday allowance. Before that I was one of the mob always eyeing up my holiday allowance...

I do sympathise with the dilemma and think it's greatly to blame for our situation which pressures everyone to get to places fast fast fast. I would support a company which offered extra days off time for travelling not-by-air or even permitting 'working from train' en route to a holiday destination. I also blame the government for subsidising the air travel industry by >8 billion quid a year (https://fullfact.org/news/does-government-subsidise-airlines-10-billion/) which makes us opt for jumping on a jumbo as a no brainer. My former employer used to actually be very flexible with WFH so I don't see any good reason why they could refuse someone who can maintain the same internet link while on the train to Vienna or wherever.

Workism is a terrible thing. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/02/religion-workism-making-americans-miserable/583441/ I expect to have to 'go back to the real world' within the next calendar year, weighing up my options of how to avoid the old life again, it was dreadful and I blame it for robbing me of much of my hair.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Ham on August 22, 2019, 08:09:20 am
Wow, as someone who happily lives in the modern world, albeit with your own accommodations to conscience, I think you are beating yourself up unnecessarily.

First, the actual CO2/pollution question. Long haul on an A380 chances are that your CO2 footprint might be lower than travel by train, at around 100g/mile, especially when you take the nature of the railways you'll be using into consideration (ignoring for the moment the increased impact of air travel). So, it is all about perception and emotion, which is fair enough. But, there's a point where your sensitivities impact on others, and that's the time to wonder if you shouldn't just swallow it. Your kids are halfway around the world, there's nothing you can do about that, and principle shouldn't come in front of people.

Then there's the question of what should happen with carbon usage and air travel. Suggesting that all air travel should stop completely is a little... draconian? and entirely unrealistic, just as lighting your home with tallow has fallen into disuse. Instead, there needs to be some rationing - Do you need to travel? Why? You have a reason, to see your family, which in my book would get you a ticket.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: PaulF on August 22, 2019, 08:45:08 am
Wise words Ham.


My thoughts entirely but far more eloquently put.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: ian on August 22, 2019, 09:52:03 am
Honestly, I wrestle with air travel – I've changed jobs and gone from flying a couple of times a month to a few times a year which has removed some of the guilt. That said, I am keen on travel, I've been a lot of places and there's plenty I've not been to, and selfishly I want to go, and realistically the only way to get to them is to fly. Plus I have a wife who's less negotiable on the issue, she's going and I'm going with her, husbands – she'll remind me – are a renewal resource. I would have hated not to have seen all the places I've been and lived, I have the one life, and come from a family that thinks seven miles is a once-a-year excursion.

On the counter, we don't really drive, don't have kids, hopefully make reasonable environment choices, etc.

Ultimately, we live privileged first-world lives, and that will always have an impact, however we divvy it up and justify it. Air travel seems to be totemic, but it's a modest cause of carbon emission (I know it's slated to grow) compared to most other sources. I think in part because it's easy to declare against (and make little exclusions for the annual holiday or to visit relatives, or because, well, you're a selfish sod like me).

We're, as this thread ought to tell, ultimately unwilling to give up the trappings of our lifestyle (and the developing world want the same lifestyle) and I'm not sure abstention ever works as a policy. That makes us very dependent on technological solutions and smaller societal nudges.

Of course, errant children are best kept chained in a basement or an attic. That way you don't have to worry about them moving abroad.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Mr Larrington on August 22, 2019, 10:11:51 am

I was very disappointed to find out that the passenger ferry from Denmark to Iceland is now firmly dead. The only way to get there without flying is to charter a boat/work as a hand or persuade a lorry driver to go there as a freight passenger.


The Smyril Line's web site doesn't seem to think so.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 22, 2019, 10:16:05 am
Air travel seems to be totemic
That might be the reason Wow's determined to avoid it? (Or maybe not, I don't know.) To act as a totem himself for others.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: trekker12 on August 22, 2019, 11:14:32 am
Personally I'd see it as a great adventure rather than trying to tie it in with morals and ethics.

I fly for work about twice a year, I use trains as much as I can in the UK and occasionally go on European trains for holidays. I also fly when I see no better option (see post about about working and holidays). Flying is a horrible experience, you are treated as cargo from the moment you arrive at the airport to the point at which you are dumped in a horrible sparkly lounge full of consumer designer crap, before sticking you in a tube with a thousand other miserable (or drunk) people, all of whom are hoping the whole experience will end soon and they can get on with their holiday.

However, a long distance train journey such as Wow is considering would be just brilliant. You see the world changing at every stop, you'd meet new people as you went, you'd be travelling at exactly the right speed to get somewhere but slow enough to appreciate it.

We shouldn't feel guilty about the fact we are here. Life is about experiences and this would be a far better experience than sitting in an aluminium tube for 18 hours.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: ian on August 22, 2019, 11:58:38 am
I won't argue with the fact that flying is a grim experience of iterative queues, boredom, and discomfort. Sure, it may be vaguely palatable if you can spring for a couple of thousand quid extra to get into business or higher, but since there are limits to how airlines can distinguish those elevated classes of travel and make them even vaguely financially justifiable, it's mostly just easier to make economy class worse. This has the benefit of being cheaper to the airline. Fly business or spend eight hours being waterboarded, that's passenger choice. The best thing about first is that you get a control panel that allows you to pick a seat in economy and then manipulate the discomfort level of whoever is sitting in it.

The downside of business and first-class (and as for the airlines that call it 'envoy' or 'diplomat' class, they're not, and there's a special place in Hell for those who thought of it) and first they don't mention is that it's generally full of self-important dickheads that you'll want to kill (that primarily the reason they restrict even vaguely sharp implements on planes). Premium economy is a con, you pay a couple of hundred quid for an inch of extra legroom and, if you're lucky, a small glass of cheap fizz when you sit down, and you can tell everyone you're not in economy which is about the least impressive brag ever.

All this said, I wouldn't want to be in economy all the way to Australia, it's bad enough in business with a tiny bed and staff that have to remember your name and who have been specifically trained not to look at you like you're an unexpected discovery of human excrement. Of course, business/first are not only vastly more expensive, but there's also proportionally a lot more impact.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Ham on August 22, 2019, 12:22:41 pm

All this said, I wouldn't want to be in economy all the way to Australia, it's bad enough in business with a tiny bed and staff that have to remember your name and who have been specifically trained not to look at you like you're an unexpected discovery of human excrement. Of course, business/first are not only vastly more expensive, but there's also proportionally a lot more impact.

For the record, one of the best business class options to Oz or NZ is Air Malaysia. Book early and it is 50% of the cost of any other. The route via Kuala Lumpur is one of the most direct with the break at midway, with A380 Heathrow to KL. As an added non-very-eco-conscious-bonus as they are a One Word Alliance member you get instant AirMiles to bump you into Silver.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: ian on August 22, 2019, 12:33:57 pm
Singapore is my favourite, but Air Malaysia business is nearly always cheaper and not unpleasant.

It's really not a trip to split unless you plan on spending time visiting those places, there's nothing grimmer than sitting around at airports in a journey that will take >24 hours...
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Martin on August 22, 2019, 12:37:22 pm
I did a bit of flight shaming calculation a couple of weeks ago; here's my annual sin just travel (negligible ferry use)

Flights 6 return within EU (I put Barcelona as an average)
1.12 tonnes of CO2e
Car 5000 miles pa
1.35 tonnes of CO2e
Bus & Rail 76 miles commute 5 / 7 x 46
1.35 tonnes of CO2e 
Total = 3.83 tonnes of CO2e
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Greenbank on August 22, 2019, 12:47:46 pm
All this said, I wouldn't want to be in economy all the way to Australia

Have done that and didn't have a problem, but I'm not tall (only 5'9") and was used to spending a lot of time on aeroplanes. I watched films, read books, slept, drank, etc.

I can understand why others might hate long distance flights but I've never had a problem with them, but then I'm happy sitting on my bike for 40+ hours at a time so I'm used to dealing with mild discomfort and boredom.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: trekker12 on August 22, 2019, 01:13:25 pm
To be fair the flying bit is actually OK. I've been a lifelong aviation enthusiast and plane spotter so I like the engineering of it all and I always have to know which aeroplane I'm on. It's airports (whom have all replaced their viewing platforms with more shopping areas) and the attitudes airlines have towards their cattle passengers I have an issue with. I have rose tinted glasses we should all be treated in the same way airline passengers used to be in Cary Grant movies. Train companies in many cases aren't much better but you can get up and walk the length of the train.

I flew back from Singapore a few years ago and the entire row from Singapore to my transfer in Dubai was empty in economy, I could stretch out across four seats - but I'm only 5'4 so I will never pay just to get more leg room, I'm lucky that way. For the leg from Dubai back to heathrow the plane was full to capacity of British tourists and their duty free, it was horrible.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: andrewc on August 22, 2019, 01:52:44 pm
I did a bit of flight shaming calculation a couple of weeks ago; here's my annual sin just travel (negligible ferry use)

Flights 6 return within EU (I put Barcelona as an average)
1.12 tonnes of CO2e
Car 5000 miles pa
1.35 tonnes of CO2e
Bus & Rail 76 miles commute 5 / 7 x 46
1.35 tonnes of CO2e 
Total = 3.83 tonnes of CO2e


That makes me feel slightly less guilty about my occasional city break. I’ve not driven for 20 years & commute by bike or foot. 
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: ian on August 22, 2019, 02:30:16 pm
All this said, I wouldn't want to be in economy all the way to Australia

Have done that and didn't have a problem, but I'm not tall (only 5'9") and was used to spending a lot of time on aeroplanes. I watched films, read books, slept, drank, etc.

I can understand why others might hate long distance flights but I've never had a problem with them, but then I'm happy sitting on my bike for 40+ hours at a time so I'm used to dealing with mild discomfort and boredom.

I dunno, I mostly fly economy, I can only justify to the Far East and beyond, even LA doesn't make the grade these days. There's a point about three movies in where I start to go a bit mad, and there's that bit in the seat that just won't stop digging, digging, digging and oh god, miss, MISS, can I have another gin and tonic? It's nice to at least stretch out, though I can never really sleep in plane beds either. Plus economy is prime fart zone, at least up-plane there's fewer people packed in.

I'm not that tall so legroom isn't an issue, but my wife is taller and thus makes that my issue. I got business back from KL the other year (and she came out to see me at the end) but as it was a late booking she was in economy. I'm still hearing about this grand ignominy. It's even eclipsed The Durian Incident.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: trekker12 on August 22, 2019, 03:16:04 pm
It's even eclipsed The Durian Incident.

Oh yeah Durian  :sick:
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Martin on August 22, 2019, 03:31:10 pm
I did a bit of flight shaming calculation a couple of weeks ago; here's my annual sin just travel (negligible ferry use)

Flights 6 return within EU (I put Barcelona as an average)
1.12 tonnes of CO2e
Car 5000 miles pa
1.35 tonnes of CO2e
Bus & Rail 76 miles commute 5 / 7 x 46
1.35 tonnes of CO2e 
Total = 3.83 tonnes of CO2e


That makes me feel slightly less guilty about my occasional city break. I’ve not driven for 20 years & commute by bike or foot.

The car use is the most surprising, 5000 miles is quite low by National standards (don't use it for commuting or even to go to most Audaxes, although I do organise 3 events which require it)

Not sure how they work out train, it doesn't distinguish between diesel and electric, and in the case of electric whether coal gas or nuclear generated
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 22, 2019, 03:31:58 pm
For me, the environmental impact of flying isn't actually the biggest issue with why I don't fly unless absolutely necessary (1 flight since 2005).

I hate the way luggage is handled, that you have to pass it on to the custody of some disinterested min wage worker, to throw it about and hopefully load it onto the right plane. There's no choice on the matter, and when there is damage or loss, the airline just goes *shrug*, we accept no liability for what we made you do by providing no other option.

I remember seeing a BBC program about environmentalism, and they took a family and gave them train tickets to Spain on sleepers and the like to see if it was a viable alternative. The main comment was about having to lug their luggage and they said "if we could check in luggage and have it appear at the end". I just found myself screaming at the TV that defeated one of the biggest plus points of rail travel over flying.

As for the security theatre they make you go through to get on a flight. ARGH!

It looks like inside the next 10-20 years short haul flights (~1000km) will be battery electric. Longer flights are likely to shift to synthetic kerosene.

Won't solve airports. Airports suck. I fscking hate airports...

J
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: andrewc on August 22, 2019, 04:25:37 pm
Likewise, not an airport fan, especially when taking a bike. Other luggage I don’t worry about.
I’d like to use Eurostar more for travelling, but having to get down from Liverpool to St Pancras adds 2 hours plus to the journey.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Wowbagger on August 22, 2019, 04:31:12 pm
I'm still quite inclined to use the trans-Siberian express, if for no other reason that it would be one hell of a journey - something I'm never likely to repeat. It will take quite a bit of planning though.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Polar Bear on August 22, 2019, 04:32:20 pm
Plug Me In (https://plugmeinproject.com/)

Nissan Leaf - Mongol Rally (http://pluginadventure.com/mongol-rally-2017-10000-miles/)
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 22, 2019, 04:46:24 pm
For me, the environmental impact of flying isn't actually the biggest issue with why I don't fly unless absolutely necessary (1 flight since 2005).

I hate the way luggage is handled, that you have to pass it on to the custody of some disinterested min wage worker, to throw it about and hopefully load it onto the right plane. There's no choice on the matter, and when there is damage or loss, the airline just goes *shrug*, we accept no liability for what we made you do by providing no other option.

I remember seeing a BBC program about environmentalism, and they took a family and gave them train tickets to Spain on sleepers and the like to see if it was a viable alternative. The main comment was about having to lug their luggage and they said "if we could check in luggage and have it appear at the end". I just found myself screaming at the TV that defeated one of the biggest plus points of rail travel over flying.

As for the security theatre they make you go through to get on a flight. ARGH!

It looks like inside the next 10-20 years short haul flights (~1000km) will be battery electric. Longer flights are likely to shift to synthetic kerosene.

Won't solve airports. Airports suck. I fscking hate airports...

J
I returned from Australia with a bronze resincast sculpture in my luggage. Wrapped in enough bubblewrap that I would have been quite happy to have bounced it like a basketball on concrete. Placed in a semi-hard suitcase (hard plastic side shell), padded by loads of clothes.

It came out smashed. The suitcase was crushed as if it had been driven over by an arctic.

Sculpture had no value other than sentiment; it belonged to my parents and meant a great deal to them (and hence, to me).
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Greenbank on August 22, 2019, 05:07:51 pm
I remember seeing a BBC program about environmentalism, and they took a family and gave them train tickets to Spain on sleepers and the like to see if it was a viable alternative. The main comment was about having to lug their luggage and they said "if we could check in luggage and have it appear at the end". I just found myself screaming at the TV that defeated one of the biggest plus points of rail travel over flying.

I can kind of see where they are coming from. I'm off to Annecy on the train soon and that means lugging bags across Paris on the RER/Metro from Gare du Nord to Gare to Lyon. Even then when you're on a train you've got to keep an eye on your bags at each stop in case someone decides to steal them (no chance of storing luggage sized bags near your seats on the long distance trains). Air travel is much nicer in comparison as you get rid of the big annoying bag very early in the airport process and then free to wander around the airport with just hand luggage for the next couple of hours. (I don't mind airports at all.)

I couldn't really give a shit about the stuff in my bags. It's just stuff (clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc). It'd be quite annoying but I don't take anything on holiday that wouldn't easily be replaceable at my destination, anything valuable goes in hand luggage. (Yes, reimbursement is a different issue, but my travel insurance would cover me for that.)

Luggage is less of a problem with a sleeper if you have your own couchette although having to change trains at the French/Spanish border (thanks to the gauge differences) was the biggest pain, especially as it is was just past midnight.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 22, 2019, 06:01:53 pm
I think the luggage problem is in part down to the way of travelling, not the mode of transport. It wouldn't be a problem if we travelled in short hops, spending a little time in each place along the way. Neither would the change of gauge etc. But we travel in big leaps, because we want to get to the Spanish beach or our relies in Oz. For most of us with a week or two to spend on holiday in $place before going back to work, there isn't really much alternative to this (other than making moving around the holiday itself, or only holidaying in places not more than a few hundred miles away, but most people don't fancy those). It would be more expensive too. But Wow has the luxury of time and money. He can make this the holiday of a lifetime, taking in the Trans-Siberian, then exploring China, SE Asia, hopping across the Indonesian islands till he finally reaches Australia. Then again, his reason for going there is to see family. If they weren't in Australia he wouldn't, AIUI, be motivated to visit any of those places.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: ian on August 22, 2019, 06:09:31 pm
Luggage, tbh, has got a lot better. If you travel regularly you assume the worst and pack on that basis. I often check in my bag because I can't be bothered lugging it around the airport. I use a hard-shell, and yes, it wears its baggage handling scars with a degree of pride. It's not often it gets lost these days (what does it look like sir? A suitcase, that's what) and they often look online and declare, that yes, we've found your case, sir, no need to worry. In Bogota. It'll be back in a week, after it's seen the sights and tried the local cuisine. Security theatre is tedious but it is what it is, just have your stuff ready to go, and expect some gruff person to tell you 'no not that' or 'leave the laptop in the bag.'

I got the Eurostar the other week to Lyon, generally more civilised, sitting there, some good tunes and a book watching the tapestry of France scroll by. The only annoyance was on the way back having to get off, with bags, in Lille so we could go through security and passport control, and then line up to get back on the train.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 22, 2019, 06:33:00 pm

I can kind of see where they are coming from. I'm off to Annecy on the train soon and that means lugging bags across Paris on the RER/Metro from Gare du Nord to Gare to Lyon. Even then when you're on a train you've got to keep an eye on your bags at each stop in case someone decides to steal them (no chance of storing luggage sized bags near your seats on the long distance trains). Air travel is much nicer in comparison as you get rid of the big annoying bag very early in the airport process and then free to wander around the airport with just hand luggage for the next couple of hours. (I don't mind airports at all.)

The design of both London and Paris for interchange between stations is a right pain in the arse, having to connect between stations to take long distance trains is a poor design choice.

I'd rather spend the train journey looking at my bag on the train, checking it at every stop, than having to worry that the throwers at the airport are looking after it properly. I can also take my bike on the train without dismantling it.

Quote
I couldn't really give a shit about the stuff in my bags. It's just stuff (clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc). It'd be quite annoying but I don't take anything on holiday that wouldn't easily be replaceable at my destination, anything valuable goes in hand luggage. (Yes, reimbursement is a different issue, but my travel insurance would cover me for that.)

I give a shit about the stuff in my bags. It's things I've saved up for to buy, it's stuff I've carefully chosen to meet a purpose. Some of it might not be made any more, some of it is expensive, some of it is hard to find. I can't just replace it like for like at a tourist trap anywhere on the world. And then there's my bike...

J
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Kim on August 22, 2019, 07:51:53 pm
The Scary Devil Monastery solution to avoiding your luggage being damaged or going AWOL is to check in a firearm (they'll have a procedure for this, involving copious amounts of extra paperwork), and put whatever it is you care about in with that.  For some reason, they're suddenly really careful...

Threads passim elseweb make me glad that I don't have to fly with a wheelchair.  "ZOMG batteries!" doesn't cancel out "Will it fold?  Oh, it does now." tactics.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Wowbagger on August 22, 2019, 10:09:13 pm
We are not planning to take bikes with us. We may well hire when we are out there.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Martin on August 22, 2019, 10:21:45 pm
sorry Wow for posting about bikes as it's not relevant to your trip; will move  :)

Re the Trans Siberian Express, is it still available as a normal public train as it seems to be on everyone in the World's ( I won't say bucket as I hate the term) list?
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on August 22, 2019, 10:40:06 pm
This is pertinent. It won’t help much with your travel conundrum, as it’s mostly looking at travel in the future, but there are some interesting numbers:

https://theconversation.createsend.com/t/ViewEmail/r/3B198A7EB72026A72540EF23F30FEDED/C67FD2F38AC4859C

Quote
Meanwhile, the aviation industry is predicted to double by 2040 – doubling the number of flights and the number of people taking them

Thinking about climate catastrophe in general, it is remarkable that while social media and the news are full of reports related to concern for the planet and politicians waffle on, behind the greenwashing, global industries are planning massive increases in output of all kinds. Plastic production, for example - the petrochemicals industry is forecasting enormous increases in demand over the next couple of decades. I’m listening to planes closing in on Heathrow - the sound is constant at the moment - and the plan is, in effect, to add an airport the size of Gatwick on to it in the not too distant future.

It’s not so much that we are not slowing down fast enough. We are accelerating.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: bhoot on August 22, 2019, 10:42:04 pm
Not sure whether there is anything of interest in this but I remember reading it a few years back.  Sounds like a similar dilemma

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/the-green-way-to-get-to-australia-412892.html

Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Greenbank on August 23, 2019, 10:24:24 am
The Scary Devil Monastery solution to avoiding your luggage being damaged or going AWOL is to check in a firearm (they'll have a procedure for this, involving copious amounts of extra paperwork), and put whatever it is you care about in with that.  For some reason, they're suddenly really careful...

Combining G*n C*ntr*l and P*bl*c Tr*nsp*rt (ish) in one post. Brave. Looks like 1999 was the last time I was there. Blimey, how time flies.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: grams on August 23, 2019, 10:39:51 am
sorry Wow for posting about bikes as it's not relevant to your trip; will move  :)

Re the Trans Siberian Express, is it still available as a normal public train as it seems to be on everyone in the World's ( I won't say bucket as I hate the term) list?

You're suggesting people actually do the things on bucket lists rather than just post to Facebook about them?
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: FifeingEejit on August 23, 2019, 11:53:18 am
You will need to find a container ship with space for and willing to take passengers, Singapore or Malaysia are probably the best chance of that.

There are travel agents that specialise in sorting this sort of trip out.

You can also do the entire trip on a freighter from Southampton!

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Chris S on August 23, 2019, 12:01:47 pm
It’s not so much that we are not slowing down fast enough. We are accelerating.

It's a guaranteed outcome; the entire basis of the global economy is based on growth.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: quixoticgeek on August 23, 2019, 12:19:57 pm
It’s not so much that we are not slowing down fast enough. We are accelerating.

It's a guaranteed outcome; the entire basis of the global economy is based on growth.

Is now the time to mention: https://amzn.to/2ZqMrAp

J
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: bludger on August 23, 2019, 02:33:56 pm
Quote
It's a guaranteed outcome; the entire basis of the global economy is based on growth.

That is the dominant perspective, offered and reiterated by people on the payroll of massive organisations and "think tanks" (read: propaganda) but there is a huge degrowth movement which has been making convincing arguments against a money-first agenda and a human habit protection agenda instead, for decades.

You don't even need to reject conventional economics to get it, you can just insist that e.g. the negative externalities of climate change, which are gargantuan, are priced into the maths. So instead of just talking about how e.g. 'the aerospace industry employs lots of people' you do an equation of 'it employs lots of people but will maim and kill more through its environmental impact in the course of the 21st century'.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: chrisbainbridge on August 23, 2019, 02:43:46 pm
I did wonder this morning whether Brazil could charge the world for the oxygen it supplies.

Imagine if every car, plane, coal or gas plant in the world paid a realistic subsidy to Brazil and any other large rainforest country to stop commercial development..

Alternatively if the countries bordering the Sahara started really planting trees subsidised by the same polluting agents.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 23, 2019, 03:28:43 pm
Quote
It's a guaranteed outcome; the entire basis of the global economy is based on growth.

That is the dominant perspective, offered and reiterated by people on the payroll of massive organisations and "think tanks" (read: propaganda) but there is a huge degrowth movement which has been making convincing arguments against a money-first agenda and a human habit protection agenda instead, for decades.

You don't even need to reject conventional economics to get it, you can just insist that e.g. the negative externalities of climate change, which are gargantuan, are priced into the maths. So instead of just talking about how e.g. 'the aerospace industry employs lots of people' you do an equation of 'it employs lots of people but will maim and kill more through its environmental impact in the course of the 21st century'.
By chance I happened to hear of some "sustainable finance" ideas a couple of days ago, in which they are doing just that. Further, they are not just screening out bad stuff but using "impact investment" to invest in positive changes (education, health, decent housing). Bringing us back to Wow's trip, this fund is based in Australia.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: bludger on August 23, 2019, 04:00:32 pm
I did wonder this morning whether Brazil could charge the world for the oxygen it supplies.
Imagine if every car, plane, coal or gas plant in the world paid a realistic subsidy to Brazil and any other large rainforest country to stop commercial development..

This is a concept known as payment for ecosystem services https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payment_for_ecosystem_services

Quote
By chance I happened to hear of some "sustainable finance" ideas a couple of days ago, in which they are doing just that.
There are people who are serious about it - but what real power do they actually have? For instance my former employer had some very real greenies but they were kept at arms length from the people with the actual purse strings. They were wheeled out to give talks and whatnot and say all the right things but the reality... Be particularly wary about hearing about 'money allocated for x'. The actual data point to be interested in is money actually disbursed which can be a big disparity!
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 23, 2019, 04:19:39 pm
Yep. From what I could make out these people were serious (and also going into quite a lot of almost philosophical detail eg on animals' rights in different circumstances) but as they said "we don't have scale".
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: FifeingEejit on August 23, 2019, 04:59:57 pm
sorry Wow for posting about bikes as it's not relevant to your trip; will move  :)

Re the Trans Siberian Express, is it still available as a normal public train as it seems to be on everyone in the World's ( I won't say bucket as I hate the term) list?
It is not and never has been a public train, in fact it has never been a train.

Russian trains are numbered, the full transsiberian route is covered by trains 1,2,3 and 4 iirc but the manner they do it differs.

The trans siberian route is covered by a number of trains over the distantce as well as others that follow other routes (trans manchuria and trans Mongolian)

If you're taking a single train with no lay overs planned then you want the "transmanchurian" or "transmongolian" trains to bejing not the "transsiberian" as finding yourself in vladivostock is rsther unhelpful if you are aiming for Australia.

The advise is generally to pick towns to visit along the way, there are guide books that go into detail and worth reading.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Mr Larrington on August 23, 2019, 06:27:13 pm
It's not, by Western standards, an "express" either.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Davef on August 26, 2019, 07:34:16 am
Don’t know if it has been mentioned above, but there are agencies that organise freighter passenger travel. http://www.freightercruises.com

Otherwise minimal flying is probably Bali to Darwin


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Pickled Onion on October 13, 2019, 09:48:34 am
That makes me feel slightly less guilty about my occasional city break. I’ve not driven for 20 years & commute by bike or foot.

I was looking at this food-CO2 calculator (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46459714) and selected "beef, once a day". Apparently the carbon footprint of 75g of beef daily is the same as 8 return flights to Málaga a year or driving 11,000 km.

On a personal level, I don't eat meat and cycle commute over 11,000 km, so if I take fewer than 16 European return trips* this would have a lower carbon impact than someone who eats meat daily and drives to work.

It does seem as if the impact of flying is being over-emphasised, or the impact of food is being under-emphasised. Switching to meat alternatives (Impossible/Beyond Meat) would have more impact than not flying on holiday a couple of times a year and probably be easier to convince people to do.



* I don't fly that much, BTW.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Oscar's dad on October 13, 2019, 10:11:38 am
I'm still quite inclined to use the trans-Siberian express, if for no other reason that it would be one hell of a journey - something I'm never likely to repeat. It will take quite a bit of planning though.

I've just spotted this thread and it's interesting as I know Wow has been anti-flying for years.  My own two pennies...

If I was Wow I'd go on the Trans-Siberian Express because it must be amazing.  Then I'd fly and fly back.  I get your environmental concerns Wow and good for you.  But there's something more important, you have to see your family and especially your grand kids.  You say you're worried about what they might think as you're buggering up their future by knackering the environment a bit.  I doubt it will even cross their minds as they will be too busy loving their time with you and Jan.

Buy the tickets... TODAY

Being a morbid for a moment (sorry  :'( ) we have some REAL LIFE going on and someone close to us is not well at all.  That's bad enough except said person is likely to become a grandparent for a second time any day.  But the chances are the two will never meet.  None of us know what's around the corner so spend time with your loved ones whilst you can and bugger the cost.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Wowbagger on October 13, 2019, 11:03:23 am
The grandchildren are in Maidstone, Steve. We can get there and back without charging the car now!

I've been thinking about this "family stuff trumps principles" and I don't agree tbh. This thread was always going to have politics in it because, well, everything has politics in it. Relatively few people appreciate how serious the problem facing the planet/humanity is. That's because it's been censored from the news.

XR argue that we should be carbon neutral by 2025. I think it's essential that we are, and even then there's a severe risk that we have already set off such a massive methane release from the Arctic that whatever humans do now, it may well be too late to save our civilisation.

I don't see ho we can contemplate a journey of such a damaging effect with the well-being of people on a different part of the planet whose livelihoods are being wrecked by our profligate activities.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Oscar's dad on October 13, 2019, 11:12:05 am
Fair enough Wow. What does Mrs Wow think if you don’t mind my asking?
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Polar Bear on October 13, 2019, 11:13:46 am
Have to agree with Wow: it's a tough personal decision but an easy societal and humanitarian one.  Personal travel has a huge impact on the environment and the sustainability of the planet with regard to human survival.  It's our childrens and our grandchildrens futures that we are playing with.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Wowbagger on October 13, 2019, 11:38:07 am
Fair enough Wow. What does Mrs Wow think of you don’t mind my asking?

Neither of us fancies 24 hours cooped up in a hermetically sealed container in each direction. It woud be a journey of duty more than pleasure. A trip to Aus hasn't ever really appealed to me to be honest. If we go (and we may well do, simply because I think it would really upset our daughter if we didn't) we wouldn't go for less than 6 weeks and I would also want to go to NZ, which has appealed to me.

The fact is that we would both have preferred our daughter to have stayed in this country, but our reasons are purely selfish. Her academic qualifications are as good as anyone's as is her ability to promote herself for work. She's got a fantastic job - well, two, actually, because she's teaching at Melbourne Uni as well as her normal job, and she was always going to be able to pick her city to live. Being a Global Mover & Shaker was what her Masters prepared her for. She was having a shitty time in London, at the mercy of bloody landlords, so, having spent 6 weeks in Melbourne as part of her Masters, she decided to settle there. That was 4 years ago and now she's got permanent residency and will probably have dual citizenship within the next year.

She will be coming to Europe (Belgium, I think) for a conference early next year, and I hope that we will be able to see her then.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Oscar's dad on October 13, 2019, 11:57:19 am
Good stuff Wow. This will be an interesting story to follow.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Paul H on October 13, 2019, 12:26:07 pm
That makes me feel slightly less guilty about my occasional city break. I’ve not driven for 20 years & commute by bike or foot.

I was looking at this food-CO2 calculator (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46459714) and selected "beef, once a day". Apparently the carbon footprint of 75g of beef daily is the same as 8 return flights to Málaga a year or driving 11,000 km.

On a personal level, I don't eat meat and cycle commute over 11,000 km, so if I take fewer than 16 European return trips* this would have a lower carbon impact than someone who eats meat daily and drives to work.

It does seem as if the impact of flying is being over-emphasised, or the impact of food is being under-emphasised. Switching to meat alternatives (Impossible/Beyond Meat) would have more impact than not flying on holiday a couple of times a year and probably be easier to convince people to do.

* I don't fly that much, BTW.
We're all drawing our own lines and they're all arbitrary.  Wow won't fly but drives around in his own personal motor vehicle,  same hypocrisy can be pointed at me, I don't fly but buy stuff that has...  I doubt any of us are doing anything like enough to make a significant difference, or that it's likely to change, not until it's way to late anyway.  All the hand wringing is just part of the game, if we were serious about   a sustainable lifestyle there wouldn't be time for it. 
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on October 13, 2019, 12:33:22 pm
I fly several times a year for work and occasionally for holidays, mostly to other continents, but prefer taking trains/ ferries to Europe for holidays. We have a car but do less than 5000 miles/ year. On the other hand, I have no kids, so that is a major factor in limiting my emissions.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Wowbagger on October 13, 2019, 07:59:22 pm
That makes me feel slightly less guilty about my occasional city break. I’ve not driven for 20 years & commute by bike or foot.

I was looking at this food-CO2 calculator (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46459714) and selected "beef, once a day". Apparently the carbon footprint of 75g of beef daily is the same as 8 return flights to Málaga a year or driving 11,000 km.

On a personal level, I don't eat meat and cycle commute over 11,000 km, so if I take fewer than 16 European return trips* this would have a lower carbon impact than someone who eats meat daily and drives to work.

It does seem as if the impact of flying is being over-emphasised, or the impact of food is being under-emphasised. Switching to meat alternatives (Impossible/Beyond Meat) would have more impact than not flying on holiday a couple of times a year and probably be easier to convince people to do.

* I don't fly that much, BTW.
We're all drawing our own lines and they're all arbitrary.  Wow won't fly but drives around in his own personal motor vehicle,  same hypocrisy can be pointed at me, I don't fly but buy stuff that has...  I doubt any of us are doing anything like enough to make a significant difference, or that it's likely to change, not until it's way to late anyway.  All the hand wringing is just part of the game, if we were serious about   a sustainable lifestyle there wouldn't be time for it.

A motor vehicle that for almost 6 years has been fed almost exclusively by Ecotricity electrons. They are pretty much the most sustainable energy company available.

But you are right though about hypocrisy. We have no reasonable alternative but to live in a consumerist society (see a recent Monbiot article) and the available choices are all geared towards the economic-growth-at-all-costs model which we know doesn't work. Hence XR.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Oscar's dad on October 13, 2019, 08:12:54 pm
Possible Unhelpful Comment Alert...

So if we’re already doomed why not fly to see your daughter?  Particularly when land transport might have a high eco cost if not as high as air transport.  From what I’ve read here it seems like the most eco-friendly solution is to not travel to Aus / NZ by any means.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Polar Bear on October 13, 2019, 09:02:26 pm
To quote of the of the planet destroyers, ...

Every little helps.

If we adopt a defeatist attitude and just roll over we are no better than Trump or Johnson, ...

I've finally gone vegetarian inspired in part by Greta and her can do attitude but also in part by becoming properly aware of the damage done in meat production, especially beef.

We don't have a car, we don't fly.  We buy our gas and electricity from apparently renewable suppliers.  We don't just 'shop', we've been working to better insulate the house over the past few years and we've been shopping fair trade and organic for many years.  Yet, here I am unnecessarily burning fuel in making this post.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Oscar's dad on October 13, 2019, 10:02:57 pm
I’m in no doubt that climate change is a thing and radical action needs to happen now. Greta and XR etc are 100% correct.  But we need governments across the world to pass legislation which will bring about the required changes assuming it isn’t too late already. Unfortunately I can’t see governments passing the required legislation because they don’t have the mandate from we the voters, nor will they have until the world is on the absolute brink of collapse, by which time it will probably be too late.

So Wow might as well buy some plane tickets.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: ian on October 14, 2019, 09:24:25 am
To be honest though, while people may indeed support the necessary changes in principle if the inconvenience becomes more than abandoning plastic straws, they're unlikely to vote for it. And with increasingly populist governments that's going to be a problem. You can't remove a single parking space these days without umpteen years of consultation and objection.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Oscar's dad on October 14, 2019, 09:32:21 am
To be honest though, while people may indeed support the necessary changes in principle if the inconvenience becomes more than abandoning plastic straws, they're unlikely to vote for it. And with increasingly populist governments that's going to be a problem. You can't remove a single parking space these days without umpteen years of consultation and objection.

My point exactly.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Wowbagger on October 14, 2019, 09:41:32 am
The Monbiot piece I referred to above is here:

https://www.monbiot.com/2019/10/11/oil-strike/

Quote
But the biggest and most successful lie it tells is this: that the First Great Extermination is a matter of consumer choice. In response to the Guardian’s questions, some of the oil companies argued that they are not responsible for our decisions to use their products. But we are embedded in a system of their creation, a political, economic and physical infrastructure that creates an illusion of choice while, in reality, closing it down.

We are guided by an ideology so familiar and pervasive that we do not even recognise it as an ideology. It is called consumerism. It has been crafted with the help of skilful advertisers and marketers, by corporate celebrity culture, and by a media that casts us as the recipients of goods and services rather than the creators of political reality. It is locked in by transport, town planning and energy systems that make good choices all but impossible. It spreads like a stain through political systems, which have been systematically captured by lobbying and campaign finance, until political leaders cease to represent us, and work instead for the pollutocrats who fund them.

Within such a system, individual choices are lost in the noise. Attempts to organise boycotts are notoriously difficult, and tend to work only when there is a narrow and immediate aim. The ideology of consumerism is highly effective at shifting blame: witness the current ranting in the billionaire press about the alleged hypocrisy of environmental activists. Everywhere I see rich Westerners blaming planetary destruction on the birth rates of much poorer people, or on “the Chinese”. This individuation of responsibility, intrinsic to consumerism, blinds us to the real drivers of destruction.

I'd go further. Anyone who sticks their head above the parapet and tries to affect the political process outside of the normal party system is liable to end up with the full force of our "democratically elected leaders' " wrath coming at them. Thus it was that I found myself in the Royal Courts of Justice trying, without representation, to defend myself and 11 others from the Southend Borough Council and some of our number ending up paying a large legal "bill" for trying to exercise our democratic rights. Julian wrote a blog piece about it at the time. I'll ask her if it still exists.

Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Polar Bear on October 14, 2019, 09:44:07 am
Thanks for the link Wow.
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Ham on October 14, 2019, 10:13:44 am
It is odd that people can contemplate their own inevitable demise with reasonable equanimity (I don't want to live forever, FTR) yet have a problem with the - equally inevitable in geological terms - demise of humanity. But think of the children! (those we shouldn't be having to conserve the planet, that is).

Humans and humanity carry the seeds of our own destruction. Entropy is all.


(And no, I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try to make our environment last a little longer, just observing, that's all)
Title: Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
Post by: Arminius on October 15, 2019, 09:34:50 am
It is odd that people can contemplate their own inevitable demise with reasonable equanimity (I don't want to live forever, FTR) yet have a problem with the - equally inevitable in geological terms - demise of humanity. But think of the children! (those we shouldn't be having to conserve the planet, that is).

Humans and humanity carry the seeds of our own destruction. Entropy is all.


(And no, I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try to make our environment last a little longer, just observing, that's all)

I don't have any issue with the long term demise of humanity - as you say, it's inevitable in geological terms, and even in the shorter term it may not be a bad thing for the rest of life on the planet. I do, however, have an issue with the amount of suffering that will happen as a result of climate change. I can easily imagine millions of deaths as water and food shortages spur mass migration to places that don't want / can't cope with the migrants. It's already happening now, to a lesser extent. If we can avoid that by making big changes now, I think we should. (I'm also aware that I'm being pretty hypocritical in some ways, sitting here in my centrally heated house with two laptops switched on in front of me.)