Author Topic: Southend to Melbourne without flying...  (Read 2165 times)

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #25 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...

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #26 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.
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #27 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.
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #28 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.

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #29 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.

ian

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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #30 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.
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #31 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.

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #32 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.)
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #33 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.

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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #34 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?
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #35 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.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #36 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.....
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #37 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).
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quixoticgeek

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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #38 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.
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #39 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.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #40 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).
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bludger

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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #41 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.
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #42 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.
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2019, 04:27:03 pm »
I'd go in the Leaf. It's only 154 miles on the M25, M1.  ;D
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bludger

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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #45 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.
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #46 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.

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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2019, 08:45:08 am »
Wise words Ham.


My thoughts entirely but far more eloquently put.

ian

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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #48 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.
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Re: Southend to Melbourne without flying...
« Reply #49 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.
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