Saturday, August 4, 2012

Drive or Fly - That is The Question

The simple answer is that driving a car of relatively low consumption of fuel usually generates less greenhouse gas emissions than traveling by plane.

This is what raises the environmentnews website, They assessed the impact on global warming of a voyage from Philadelphia to Boston (to 480 kilometers). The calculation would indicate that lead they would generate about 104 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2).

 This is considering a car's normal size that uses fossil fuels (i.e. do not consider the different options of vehicles with alternative fuels) and occupied by a passenger only. While flying a commercial aircraft could produce a few kilograms 184 of CO2 per passenger.

What this means, of course, is that while even driving alone only be slightly better from the point of view of the greenhouse gas emissions than flying, the shared use of the car really makes a difference for the environment.

Four people sharing a car as a whole would be responsible for the emission of only 104 kilograms of CO2, while the same four people taking four seats on a plane could generate some 736 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Of course, the amount of emissions from an individual traveling on a bus (the journey shared in its maximum expression) or on a train would be significantly lower.

In a comparison between the alternative of the train through the United States (linking the coast East and West) would generate about half of the emissions of greenhouse gases than if the journey covered by car. The only way to travel greener might be the bike or walk, but - certainly - the distance of the journey is long enough to make that idea almost impossible.

Only because driving is more "green" to catch a plane, this doesn't necessarily mean that it is at all times the most advantageous option, if we consider other factors - so valued in our societies today - as the money and the time.

With fuelprices currently so high, it would cost much more money - following our previous example - United States from coast to coast in a car that fly nonstop that same journey. And that's even without taking into account the money that will be in restaurants and hotels along the way. Needless to say that the trip is much but much more durable.

What then, conclude in this dilemma on what is the best way of travelling ecologically? Because certainly public transport going to the head of the elections when talking of short distances, or otherwise the alternative more convenient is to share a car (either with family or friends, or through networks of carsharing).

If our destiny is distant, then probably the plane is travel system to choose, above others slower and costosos… Here is where you can develop awareness of how necessary it is - according to the case - make travel so little ecological, when there are always great and marvelous things to see more to the fingertips.

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