Carbon emissions from tourism are rising at an alarming rate

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Carbon emissions from tourism are rising at an alarming rate

What truly spells trouble for human life on earth are unsustainable business practices.
Recycling is a bandaid. Fast fashion is a nightmare. Agriculture is one of the biggest causes of carbon emissions.

It is unfortunate that travel is creating such an impact but I personally get annoyed whenever I see an article try to make an individual feel guilty for their contribution to climate change. Nothing one person could ever do could hold a light to the amount of carbon released by industries. Not that you shouldn't recycle but I find it weak reporting to guilt individuals rather than actually talk about the real problem.

I feel this creates a bizarre boundary between "individuals" and "industries." "Industries" didn't just magically spring up, created by an unknown exogenous force. They are created by, for, and sustained by individuals.

I want a iPhone -> I buy it from Apple -> Apple sources said iPhone from a host of companies wrecking extreme environmental havok. Because I didn't directly create strip mine the precious metals required, I am somehow absolved of all responsibility for the effects of someone else doing it? To me this just seems like a big guilt laundering scheme.

It doesn't feel fair to lop on the blame on industries when we are consumers supporting them.

This is one thing that worries me about a potential "nobody-is-going-to-work" or just a future where a large group of the worlds population moves into the middle class.
What are people going do with all their free time. Big cities and tourist destinations are already cramped to the point where there are demonstrations and you have to shut them down because of the toll it takes on the environment.

I cannot imagine how bad this will be in 10-20 years.

1) Traveling is one of biggest value for money you could buy.
2) Sibling comment mentions traveling more, but not on plane. Some careers could afford that, I guess. Business owner can have a vacation, return after a year and continue where he left. But simple math and reason says we cannot all be in this priveleged position

I wonder how overlanding compares to flying for carbon emissions.
Next year, I plan on overlanding from Bali to London, possibly kicking on to New York and then the West Coast of the USA or Canada, depending on how much money I have and spend on the way.

It would be interesting to see how that compares to flying for carbon emissions.

Now I'm interested, so lets crunch some numbers:

The drive from Bali to London is roughly 18,000 km (Bali -> Bangkok -> Hanoi -> Beijing -> Ulan Bator -> Moscow -> London). Using numbers from a spreadsheet I found [1], a bus emits roughly 27 grams of CO2 per passenger km. So the bus trip is 490 kg of CO2.

Flying emits 280 grams of CO2 per passenger km (from the same spreadsheet), the flight is about 13,000 km (DPS-KUL-LHR). That's 3600 kg of CO2 emitted. Clearly I'm saving the planet by taking the bus.

However, it takes time to drive from Bali to London, and just existing causes CO2 emissions. According to Rome2Rio [2] it's almost 7 days (168 hours) of non-stop travel. Let's assume 12 hours of travel a day, because we aren't complete masochists, that's 14 days of traveling. The Rome2Rio route does include trains, but let's imagine that it's busses all the way and they're magically as fast as a train (which they are certainly not).

Apparently as a New Zealander I emit somewhere around 10 tonnes of CO2 per year [3], let's imagine that I continue emitting that much while travelling through the developing world. That's 27 kg per day. For 14 days that's 380 kg. So the total emissions from overlanding from Bali to London is roughly 870 kg of CO2, or around a quarter that of flying.

So, in summary: If you have too much time on your hands and want to save the world, don't fly, take a bus. Of course, it will probably take me closer to 3 months than 14 days to get from Bali to London, which would clearly tip the balance in favour of flying, but the trip isn't about getting from A to B, but getting from A to Z and visiting the 24 letters in between, to terribly paraphrase Grace Slick.

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