London – Paris return: 10.9kg

I’m off the Paris tomorrow, to see my lovely daughter. So I thought I’d try to find out exactly how much CO2 I’m going to be emitting in the process. Starting from London, the answer is 10.9kg, Eurostar (the train company) tell me. All independently audited, etc.

Compare that with 122 kg – 11 times as much! – if I fly! And the door-to-door journey time is not noticeably different.

Two questions naturally spring to mind:

1. Why on earth would anyone prefer to have a truly wretched time traipsing out to Heathrow, hanging about and queuing for an age, and then being stuffed into a noisy, uncomfortable and (relatively) dangerous airplane?

2. Why is even still legal to do take the plane when the environmental difference is so vast?

No, the answer isn’t freedom of choice. I don’t have the freedom to shout in other people’s ears in public places (though apparently advertisers do), so why should I have the freedom to pollute their air and endanger their planet? And the sooner we get used to that idea, the better for all of us. Especially for my daughter, her children and grandchildren.

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