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Author Topic: Planes, planes....too many planes  (Read 5185 times)

JimD

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Planes, planes....too many planes
« on: October 11, 2013, 05:51:44 PM »
Flying is for most people the worst thing they do in terms of carbon emissions. 

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One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person.

If you are truly committed to trying to prevent this oncoming catastrophe ceasing flying or at least flying only when it is truly essential is one of the first commitments you need to make.  Vacations or going to see the family on holiday does not count as essential btw.

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Boeing (BA.N) said it expects China to need more than 5,500 aircraft in the next 20 years, a six percent increase over last year's two-decade estimate, citing growing demand for single-aisle and small wide body planes as travel within Asia-Pacifc surges.

This is a tripling of the Chinese fleet and there is a significant pilot shortage at this time with pilots flying in China making up to $220,000/yr. 

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Despite uncertainties, 2012 passenger traffic rose 5.3 percent from 2011 levels. We expect this trend to continue over the next 20 years, with world passenger traffic growing 5.0 percent annually. Air cargo traffic has been moderating after a high period in 2010. Air cargo contracted by 1.5 percent in 2012. Expansion of emerging-market economies will, however, foster a growing need for fast, efficient transport of goods. We estimate that air cargo will grow 5.0 percent annually through 2032.



Yes that is 20,000 more planes added to the fleet.

And just to be a little more depressing we can look at the 1%'s contribution - the business jet.

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Flight International's 2011 business aircraft census, compiled using Flightglobal's ACAS business aviation database, reflects the industry's feeble performance in the 12 months from 31 August 2010. It reveals the world's active turbine corporate aircraft fleet climbed by just over 1% to 28,920 jets and turboprops, compared with 28,614 aircraft in 2010. Although the business jet fleet has grown by a modest 4%, the turboprop inventory has remained almost at a standstill throughout the census period, inching forward by less than 0.5% to 10,811 units.

So there are more business planes than commercial planes.  Worse yet this category is expected to grow by 55% by 2025.  Nice.

And last, but not least, in the depression category is general aviation (privately owned planes) which totals a global fleet of some 330,000 after subtracting the business planes above.  This category is expected to grow significantly over the next 20 years as well.

Sigh.



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/sunday-review/the-biggest-carbon-sin-air-travel.html?_r=0

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/05/us-boeing-china-idUSBRE9840BO20130905

http://www.boeing.com/boeing/commercial/cmo/

http://www.flightglobal.com/features/nbaa/census/

http://www.bga-aeroweb.com/General-Aviation.html

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 12:49:44 AM »
"If you are truly committed to trying to prevent this oncoming catastrophe ceasing flying "

This I have done for the last decade or so. I would be curious to know if anyone else has made this commitment, and what kinds of responses they have gotten from friends, family, work...In some cases it's been a bit of a 'bumpy ride' for me (weak pun intended :) ).

I would say the next biggest single thing would be diet--going veggie or vegan, or being sure all your meat is local and grass fed...

IIRC, Geoffrey Bacon, who sometimes posts here, started a "No Miles High Club" a while back. I'm not sure it is still active.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Neven

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 01:23:37 AM »
I personally haven't flown since I went to India 11 years ago (didn't really know about AGW etc. at the time). My wife and daughter flew from Austria to the Netherlands two years ago, because I had to stay home to work. Then again, my mother flies to us while visiting us once a year, because she can't/won't drive by herself, and the train takes too long...

Eating locally produced organic meat (mostly boiled, as that's the healthiest way of eating meat, and you can use the stock for making soups and sauces) once or twice a week isn't all that difficult, I find. A vegan diet is very difficult to do right.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

JimD

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 01:12:09 AM »
I'm with Neven on the vegetarian diet thing.  I have eaten vegetarian in the past for a few years but did find it difficult to eat right.  My son who has been a vegetarian for many years refers to vegetarians as pastatarians as that is what most of them eat - him included.  Not healthy at all. We do eat more vegetables and fruit than the typical Americans but we do eat meat.

I flew from Virginia to see my daughter in Phoenix for her wedding in 2012 and once before that in 2010 (we live 90 mins from her now so no more of that).  Before that the last plane flight was before work related  before I retired in about 2003.  I must admit with work and a little bit of vacation flying over my life I have made around 500 flights to all parts of the world.  I hate airports and airplanes.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 03:08:29 AM »
I know plenty of vegetarians and vegans that eat very healthily, on average probably much more healthily than the average American (which, admittedly, isn't saying much). But pasta is indeed an easy fall back. And some people do get stuck in other ruts that can become unhealthy, like eating too much soy...stuff pushed by the VIC (vegan/vegetarian industrial complex  :)).

One of the last flights I took was to Paris during the devastatingly deadly heatwave of '03. Experiencing it and reading about the literally tens of thousands of people that died in just a week or so helped pushed me to take a position that I had been thinking about for a while.

My family is experimenting with veganism this week. Yes, I had pasta--ok, twice so far. But we have a long list of a wide variety of other yummy stuff to get, if I can just get off my @$$ and get to the store to get it.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 05:23:20 AM »
I hate airports and airplanes.

Maybe the TSA and their "enhanced security screening" are doing a climate change service by putting at least some people off flying?

wili

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 12:00:36 PM »
lol. The same thought has occurred to me, ccg. A case of great minds stuck in the same rut?

On the topic of planes' emissions, does anyone have links handy to studies of the net effects of air travel. It is my impression that short term they may not have a great effect because of the cooling from particulates etc. But long term, iirc, they may have outsize effects even for their outsize emissions per mile since they put ghgs (not just CO2, but also water vapor) at levels of the atmosphere where those gasses are relatively rare, so the percentage increase is far greater than if the emissions were closer to ground level. That's what I recall, anyway; but I can't recall where I recall it from. :)

Any help for this aging, feeble mind would be more than welcome.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 02:48:55 PM »
On the topic of planes' emissions, does anyone have links handy to studies of the net effects of air travel. It is my impression that short term they may not have a great effect because of the cooling from particulates etc. But long term, iirc, they may have outsize effects even for their outsize emissions per mile since they put ghgs (not just CO2, but also water vapor) at levels of the atmosphere where those gasses are relatively rare, so the percentage increase is far greater than if the emissions were closer to ground level. That's what I recall, anyway; but I can't recall where I recall it from. :)

Any help for this aging, feeble mind would be more than welcome.

I think the main issue with planes ultimately is just the way in which they empower individuals to very rapidly dump literally tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? The tonnes emitted with planes mount up awfully fast. Some people will point out that the emissions per passenger mile aren't really that unfavourable compared to some cars (especially American ones!) - but that ignores the issue that most people don't take their car and drive thousands of miles a day at the speeds of a modern jet liner (and that cars are still a very serious source of carbon dioxide).

In my case, having operated a very fuel efficient car for only a few years (and no car the rest of the time) and having lived pretty frugally - my modest number of plane trips really hits my lifetime carbon footprint. In fact it's almost certain the tons of jet fuel I've burned are a multiple of the tons of road fuel, given most of those flights were long haul.

Flights are also unfairly cheap compared to other forms of transport because the airlines seem to get special tax breaks on the fuel they burn (at least in the UK). So for road fuel in the UK - you pay approximately $6-9/gallon (for example, but it is really that expensive). Do you suppose the airlines pay that? Certainly not.

So why should a person too poor to fly be paying far more for their fuel to commute to work and put food on their table than a person who is flying thousands of miles for a business meeting that could be done by telephone or for a fancy vacation? That said, maybe the increasingly considerably taxes levied on flying go some way to closing the gap - those aren't directly comparable (though I should note the cost of motoring in the UK is also extremely high, fuel is far from the only major expense incurred).

Flying makes a mockery of the very minor steps most people take to save energy. Buy energy efficient light bulbs, switch off your electronics, buy a fuel efficient car, insulate your house - then throw away all those savings and more with a single plane flight?

wili

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 05:46:33 PM »
"Some people will point out that the emissions per passenger mile aren't really that unfavourable compared to some cars (especially American ones!) - but that ignores the issue that most people don't take their car and drive thousands of miles a day at the speeds of a modern jet liner (and that cars are still a very serious source of carbon dioxide)."

Thank you. This is a point I try to make to those trying to argue relative carbon merits of various forms of transport. Flying just makes it too damn easy to go ungodly distances in next to no time at relatively inexpensive rates.

And those tax breaks for jet fuel are international, based on a multilateral agreement worked out in Chicago in the '40's I believe it was. Very hard to undo.

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Flying makes a mockery of the very minor steps most people take to save energy. Buy energy efficient light bulbs, switch off your electronics, buy a fuel efficient car, insulate your house - then throw away all those savings and more with a single plane flight?

Well put, and another point I try to make, but mostly to deaf ears.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2013, 04:06:27 PM »
Speaking of our TSA buddies, read this.

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Why I Will Never, Ever, Go Back to the United States

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/niels-gerson-lohman/us-border-crossing_b_4098130.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2013, 04:17:26 PM »
Wili

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On the topic of planes' emissions, does anyone have links handy to studies of the net effects of air travel.

Part of the reason I started this topic.

Some links with info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_aviation

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While air travel today accounts for just three percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutants that come out of jet exhaust contribute disproportionately to increasing surface temperatures below because the warming effect is amplified in the upper atmosphere....
...What worries environmentalists is the fact that the number of airline flights is on the rise and is expected to skyrocket by mid-century, meaning that if we don’t get a handle on airplane emissions, our other carbon footprint reduction efforts could be for naught.

http://www.enn.com/pollution/article/45746

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Airplane contrails worse than CO2 emissions for global warming: study

http://phys.org/news/2011-03-airplane-contrails-worse-co2-emissions.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2013, 05:19:05 PM »
Thanks, JimD!
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2019, 04:22:24 PM »
crandles,

We do have an Aviation thread with posts about electric planes:

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1551.msg205938.html#msg205938

I would think this “...too many planes” thread is for arguments whether planes should exist at all, or how awful it may be to use them.  ;)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 01:18:07 AM by Sigmetnow »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

solartim27

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2019, 07:23:42 PM »
I flew to NY to visit family, and assist my sons moving to a new apartment.  On my plane was a high school soccer team returning after a 3 day trip for a tournament.  Seems insane.
FNORD

Neven

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2019, 07:38:03 PM »
I was at an international basketball tournament here in Austria. There were two teams from the USA (and one from India, and one from China), and that was just for the girls U16 category. Totally depressing from an AGW perspective, otherwise great.
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kassy

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Re: Planes, planes....too many planes
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2019, 07:05:37 PM »
Contrails worse for climate change than plane's carbon emissions - study

...

The aviation industry is even worse for climate change than previously thought, with a new study revealing the damage being done by otherwise harmless contrails.

They're so bad, German researchers say, they're responsible for more warming than all aviation carbon emissions ever made - from the day the Wright brothers flew their first plane until now.

...

The researchers modelled the effect contrails would have up until the year 2050, when the skies are expected to be four times busier than they are already. While cleaner fuels will help keep aviation's impact on temperatures in check, the sheer amount of cloud cover formed by contrails will wipe out any gains.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2019/06/contrails-worse-for-climate-change-than-plane-s-carbon-emissions-study.html

Paper
https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/19/8163/2019/