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Should we all travel less?

Travel Forums General Talk Should we all travel less?

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11. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 10y

Hmmm, an interesting point of view coming from people that are now multi-millionaires. Perhaps next time I'll hitch a ride in their personal jet.

12. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Air travel is priced artifically low because the cost of renewing the resources used to travel by air is not included in the price (that's both the oil used to fuel the plane, and the cost of cleaning the air that is damaged from CO2 emmissions). If air travel was priced at a rate that was more in line with the cost of operating it, including the cost of consumed resources, it would be a much less attractive option.

Asking people to volunteer to travel less is probably not going to work. A solution more likely to get people to travel less (in the sense that the co-operation between LP and RG is asking) is to have governments lay a tax on air travel, the proceeds of which would be used to pay for renewing the resources consumed by a flying plane. Of course, individually no government would apply the tax, as that would hurt their tourism industry and airline industries. It would have to be a concerted effort, and given that we can't agree on Kyoto, we probably won't be able to agree on that either.

Greg

13. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 10y

Governments already lay huge taxes on air travel; noise, security, airport, etc its forms a big chunk of the ticket price now. LP and RG asking us to travel less is total bollocks because airlines want us to travel more; country marketing organisations want us to travel more; resorts want us to travel more - WE WANT TO TRAVEL MORE. And airlines aren't priced artifcially low, they're priced according to what we will pay; what the market will tolerate, and what - if they fill the plane - profit or yield they will make.

X airline spends it life trying to get clients from Y airline and so on. And how? Better service, regular service, cheaper tickets on 30% of the plane; incentives; frequent flyer clubs; credit cards. Its endless. The point is that a half empty plane in the air is better than an empty plane on the ground. Airlines will fight to the death to get bums on that half empty plane and get it on and off the ground as often as possible.

So LP and RG you are both in living in fantasy land.

14. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Quoting Sam I Am

All in all, it's already clear that 40% of the money paid does not go directly to offsetting your CO2 output, which is what people are actually paying to do. ...

I'd rather see more people take their own responsibility here and try doing things themselves to offset their CO2 output. Or governments taking more responsibility and offering bigger tax incentives to companies etc.

I never have such a problem with admin fees. I mean, if I want to go out and plant 150 trees, that would take me a lot of time to arrange, let alone actually dig all the holes and plant them all. I'd rather pay someone else to do it. Note that probably most of the money would go to that person's salary, not the actual purchasing of the trees. So it may be more expensive, but that's a price to pay for convenience. As long as it's a not-for-profit company, I am not too fussed. Those people deserve a salary as much as anyone else.

Quoting majito

X airline spends it life trying to get clients from Y airline and so on. And how? Better service, regular service, cheaper tickets on 30% of the plane; incentives; frequent flyer clubs; credit cards. Its endless. The point is that a half empty plane in the air is better than an empty plane on the ground. Airlines will fight to the death to get bums on that half empty plane and get it on and off the ground as often as possible.

It comes down to consumer awareness though. If consumers start to consider the environmental impact of air travel more seriously, then it won't be long before airlines start finding ways to use that in their advertising (ie, 'purhase a green flight and offset your CO2 emissions for an extra $100'). Green electricity schemes are an example of how something like this can attract customers.

We can only hope that this push brings about some quality discussion and consumer awareness. If people don't fully understand the consequences of their choices, what hope do they have of making wise ones?

15. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 10y

Quoting Peter

Quoting Sam I Am

All in all, it's already clear that 40% of the money paid does not go directly to offsetting your CO2 output, which is what people are actually paying to do. ...

I'd rather see more people take their own responsibility here and try doing things themselves to offset their CO2 output. Or governments taking more responsibility and offering bigger tax incentives to companies etc.

I never have such a problem with admin fees. I mean, if I want to go out and plant 150 trees, that would take me a lot of time to arrange, let alone actually dig all the holes and plant them all. I'd rather pay someone else to do it. Note that probably most of the money would go to that person's salary, not the actual purchasing of the trees. So it may be more expensive, but that's a price to pay for convenience. As long as it's a not-for-profit company, I am not too fussed. Those people deserve a salary as much as anyone else.

I'm not saying they don't deserve a salary, but it should be pointed out that when you're paying 10 dollars to cover your CO2, that actually only 4 is going to projects. So the math that the whole thing is based on is already fundamentally flawed. If someone really had a footprint that it would cost 10 USD to compensate, then with a 60% overhead, the amount the person should pay is actually 25 USD (40% of this is the 10). If the person is only paying 10, then they're only actually covering 40% of their CO2 footprint, and considering this is why they are paying for in the first place, that's a fundamental flaw in how the numbers are displayed imo. I just don't like it when you're paying for something that you're actually not getting....

Note that they do include an extra 10% in the CO2 calculation already to cover the cost of the LTD that gets 10% of their total turnover, so the above calculation is not 100% accurate, but you get the drift.

Note2. The 4 that go to the project include management fees etc. in the projects. I'm guessing this makes up a substantial part of this. It could well be that eventually less than 20% of the total money paid in goes to something that is actually reducing CO2 emissions.

My preference just goes out to non-profits that make clear statements regarding this. Something along these lines:

You pay us 10, 6 goes to office costs in the uk, 2 goes to project management and 2 goes to trees (for example)....

16. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Well, that's just a fundementally different way of looking at these things. The way I see it, the admin person is as much a part of the project as the person planting the tree, the person growing the tree and the person looking after the tree. Just say I wanted to plant a tree, theoretically it wouldn't have to cost me a cent. But I'm too lazy to propogate my own tree, so I would go to a nursery and basically pay someone else who has done it for me. In a tree planting effort, every step of the process is someone's salary.

Yes, there needs to be transparency in a non-profit company's spending, but I'm not sure I see the need for it to be at checkout. Maybe in an annual report would be more appropriate. I would assume if they say I need to pay $10 to make up for my CO2 emissions, that that actually includes any expense they need to incur, including management.

But I'm getting sidetracked now.

17. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 10y

Quoting GregW

Air travel is priced artifically low because the cost of renewing the resources used to travel by air is not included in the price (that's both the oil used to fuel the plane, and the cost of cleaning the air that is damaged from CO2 emmissions). If air travel was priced at a rate that was more in line with the cost of operating it, including the cost of consumed resources, it would be a much less attractive option.

Every good or service that you buy is the same Greg, not just air travel. All companies work out the cost incurred in producing the product (direct and indirect costs) apply a margin, and there's the price they charge.

18. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 10y

Quoting Peter

I would assume if they say I need to pay $10 to make up for my CO2 emissions, that that actually includes any expense they need to incur, including management.

I quite doubt that based on the wording in their FAQ, which is why I have a problem with the system as it is now. If you're asking someone to pay (note that in their FAQ they don't call it donating, but paying as you are paying them to provide a service, not just making a donation to a non-profit) then you should be providing them with accurate information on what they are paying for. But that's just my opinion ;)

Still a great concept though!

19. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Hmm, well that would be a little bit suspect. I don't know that company, I'd be using Greenfleet myself to do this. In fact, I think I will - they reckon 150 trees should just about appease the guilt :) hehe

Though in all honesty, a far better solution than planting trees is stopping them from being chopped down considering how long it takes to replace a fully grown forest. There's so many poor communities around the world that end up selling out to greedy multinationals who just bulldoze whole rainforests at a time, that it seems much cheaper to simply pay them to keep those trees for all of our benefit. This is when we hopefully start grasping what it means to be a global community.

Gee, I'm starting to sound like a real hippy now - excuse me, I'm off to go hug some trees before bed

20. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Quoting james

Every good or service that you buy is the same Greg, not just air travel. All companies work out the cost incurred in producing the product (direct and indirect costs) apply a margin, and there's the price they charge.

Yes. My point was that the airlines don't pay a cost for the CO2 emmisions, because it's not something that they have to purchase. Air is free right now.

Under some plans I have seen, companies have emissions standards that they have to meet, and those emissions standards can be sold and traded, so a company that needs to send more emmissions into the atmosphere can purchase from a company that doesn't, allowing them to do their business. However, there is then a price on the air that gets polluted. This way, the companies need to take into account the amount of their emmissions into the cost of doing business.

That being said, I doubt anything like that will happen. It would be too large a hinderance to business and tourism for a country to implement, unless all other countries implemented similar programs.

Greg