More talking points to persuade people to cut down on flying; use bus & train

Comments I’ve posted recently in response to fellow eco folks’ comments on social media:

“[W]e’ve spent a few decades voting with our wallet by not flying, and it’s made absolutely zero difference. I think we need change at the system level – governments, local authorities, national and international companies, that sort of level. And I just don’t know how we achieve that in the necessary timescale.”

— I actually think the airlines have been systematically working to undermine buses and trains, but I don’t have any data about that.

I think the key is that in addition to our own behavior, we have to try to find ways to communicate publicly in such a manner that certain types of consumption become unfashionable.

Lately on social media, for example, I have been posting comments about how unpleasant flying is, and how much more pleasant it is to take the train. Nothing about carbon footprint and all that; just emphasizing the comfort and enjoyment aspect.

And of course now there have been some scary airline accidents so maybe some more people will become averse to climbing into a flying object.

“The only trouble with taking a train vs flying is that it can end up a lot more expensive. And usually takes a lot longer without high speed rail.”

— True, so the people we reach will tend to be people who prioritize comfort, and who don’t like to be up in the air with no escape.

And people who like to not have to worry about having their shampoo thrown away, And people who are done with not being able to bring anything from home to drink for the trip, etc. Some years ago, the last time I flew, I couldn’t even bring in a sealed store-bought smoothie. That thing was pricey and I wasn’t going to give it away to the security dump, so I had to sit there and drink it in line which was silly but at least I got my vitamins. 😆

Trains are so much more civilized in such a basic way. Also I find that the various airport hassles (Including having to get to and from the airport) ends up taking up so many hours that the train trip doesn’t end up being that much longer.

Also, on a train or bus, a person can keep their electronic devices on and get work done if they need to. I have done entire webinars aboard a train trip.

Much harder to do that on a plane.

Air travel is really quite grueling. Plus there is the fact that you’re stuck up in the air.

Regarding cost, I have noticed that plane tickets these days are shockingly inexpensive.

The cheap ticket prices totally do not reflect the damage that we are doing to the planet, and to our own transportation security/resilience, by flying. I suspect that the airlines are systematically undercutting ground transportation.

It seems like bus and train service is getting eroded with each passing year. More people should really be more alarmed about this. I know I am.

Actually alarm may not be the right word. I’m actually quite furious, disgusted, heartbroken, and outraged.