Monday, 8 November 2021

Squeaky bum time? Hmmm you tell me...

And so according to the news reports travel to the US is OK again. So, a stampede now to get onto the planes. The MD of British Airways was proudly pronouncing ‘We will fly to 23 US cities this week and 28 the week after’. Great stuff sir, thanks for killing us! I am despairing with the shallowness of people like him and the crank standing next to him from Virgin Airways. But what can you say when you have a boss who thinks nothing about flying off to space. For heaven’s sake - Why? Was he on a suicidal mission? Thinking to open the doors and stepping out? Is it not time if people are not even intending to alter their behaviour, governments will have to prohibit all travel? If anyone wants to find out how much CO2 is put into the air have a look at to see how many planes are in the sky. Next look at some fact sheets - like EESI.ORG - and you will see that aircraft emissions are some 3.16 kilogrammes of CO2 per 1 kilogramme of fuel consumed. On top of that there are other gases like nitrous oxide. Now multiply that by the number of planes flying at any moment per hour. I looked at - they had some figures from 2016 that showed 12,856 planes carrying 1,590,929 people where in the sky. I am sure that figure about planes has quietly increased as some other data suggests that it could well be over 20,000 at the present.

Now you might think - so what? But let’s take it further. How much does the average plane take in as fuel? Well, the Airbus which is a very popular plane takes 140,000 litres. Turbine fuel is about 6.7 lbs/gallon, there are 3.79 litres in a gallon so 6.7 lbs is 3.04 kgs. Basically divide 3.79 by 3.04 and the answer is 1.25 kgs. 1 litre of aviation fuel weighs 1.25 kgs. Therefore 140,000 litres of fuel then weigh 140,000x1.25 giving 175,000 kgs or 175 tonnes. It equates to 175,000x 3.16 = 553,000 kgs of CO2. My calculations could be wrong but if so, then someone put it right. But from where I am sitting it is an extraordinary figure and multiplying that by 20,000 planes gives 11 million tonnes! Do you now see why it is important to curb air travel? Then take into consideration cars and heating and you now know why all the ice on Earth is melting and the storms pouring billions of tonnes of rain onto the land. It makes difficult reading. Yes, it is squeaky bum time!

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