Holiday? More like a guilt trip

When did going on holiday stop being a guilt-free fest of sun, sea

With the increasing focus on the impact of global aviation on climate change, flying abroad for a bit of summer sun has become a major environmental crime.

In some circles, it seems that admitting you've handed over money to an airline would be seen as something akin to sponsoring terrorism.

So it's with some trepidation that I have to admit I'm guilty of funding a well-known budget airline and will be jetting off to sunnier climes in a couple of days.

And just to compound my guilt, this isn't even the first time I've been on a plane this year - I flew to Dublin in March for work. (Somewhat ironically, it was for a big environmental exhibition.)

In my defence, Your Honour, I haven't had a holiday in more than a year, and thanks to our Great British Summer, I don't think I've seen more than three sunny days this year.

But despite my carbon guilt, I haven't opted to travel across Europe to my holiday destination by another, more environmentally-friendly means, such as rail, or donkey or chip fat-powered car (see related story).

I might be prepared to give up luxuries such as my car or normal lightbulbs that don't buzz like a swarm of angry wasps, but I've found that the lure of cheap flights to the sun is too much to resist.

And if someone who spends five days a week writing about the need to cut carbon emissions can't stop herself getting on a plane, what's stopping Joe Bloggs from doing it?

Either something needs to force us not to see flying as an option, such as astronomical prices or heavy green taxes, or airlines need to pull their fingers out to find cleaner ways of getting us into the air.

And for anyone tutting in disgust at my Not-So-Green Goddess credentials, I've just looked at the ten-day weather forecast for the resort I'm going to, and it's supposed to be pouring with rain and thundering for half of the time I'm there, so I hope that makes you feel better.Kate Martin

Topics: Energy efficiency & low-carbon
Tags: aviation | crime | environmental crime | rail | weather
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