Flying Kills…

Not going to make too many friends with this one. Heh heh.

The phrase ‘Flying Kills’ comes from George Monbiot, brilliant & massively articulate British writer/activist, who wrote a column with the title ‘We Are All Killers’ back in February 2006. You can find it on-line here

I myself have had a life-long “thing” with flying, having been born to a Canadian pilot father (bomber pilot during WWII, actually) & having flown about with considerable abandon in my younger days – back in those years when one was not thinking anything at all about one’s “carbon footprint.” Indeed, like the term “dysfunctional family,” the concept of carbon footprint had not yet been … invented.

But, times change, don’t they?

One becomes an environmental activist (or perhaps one does not; I, however, did!). And one digs further & further into one’s assumptions & attitudes & behaviour, & makes many changes, & chooses & learns gradually over the years to “live more with less,” & then eventually, one makes the fatal mistake one day of calculating one’s carbon footprint & learning how very much carbon one adds to it when one goes about taking off on airplanes, hither & yon. (& then one takes a very, very long bus ride to the other coast of Canada. Three nights on a bus. Challenging. Yet cheap. And, well, not so very, very bad…)


No one ever said life would be simple, yet I’ve always wished it would prove to be more so. Instead, it grows ever more complex by the day. Choices I used to make reflexively now need to be re-considered, & I find myself agonizing over actions I know others don’t give even a second thought.

To some degree, my life is simpler than other people’s. My income is very, very tiny – thus rendering thoughts of exotic vacations the stuff of other people’s dreams. I simply don’t think about flying here, there – or anywhere. For one thing, I made a pact with myself not to fly anymore. For another, I really can’t “afford” to do so anyway! One simplifies, & then things become simpler. (I know all the while, btw, that I may yet break my pact. Things happen, hmmm?? This life is like a wrestling match. It can turn on a dime… It’s complex, too. I know that.)

Meanwhile, I wish more of us would at the very least give some thought to such things as our driving & flying habits. A bit less…cavalier-ness. A little more thoughtful consideration.

The oil is running out. Climate change has become positively scary.

The status quo is really no longer an option…is it?


P.S. Good blog post on this topic from Feb. 2008 here

P.P.S. George Monbiot in a 4-minute YouTube on air travel & “love miles” here