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Is travelling selfish?

Travel Forums General Talk Is travelling selfish?

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21. Posted by cbt (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!


I have to agree with Peter and also Ikey.

Selfish to what?

The environment: Perhaps yes. Which along with Peter, I also select methods to offset this.
Third world countries: No, it promotes an understanding of these countries, brings revenue, attention and desperately needed help.

Surely it is more selfish not to travel? Imagine a world without it?

No foreign aid
No appreciation of cultures
No integration of society
No freedom of speech

and the list goes on and on ...


22. Posted by Rach-a (Respected Member 368 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

No it´s not selfish!! I agree mainly with the reasons that Charlotte gave. Also as for the environment - the other month I travelled to Costa Rica to be educated about how important it is to recycle and not to litter the country because it isn´t caring for the environment. Naturally I don´t need to be told this anyway because afterall it is a matter of showing respect and common sense. When you travel you either have this respect for the other communities, cultures and the environment or you don´t. The same happens if you don´t travel on how you act with the people and environment in your country! Some people are respectful, others aren´t. Anyway in Costa Rica I witnessed quite a large number of locals throwing rubbish everywhere, on the roads, out of their cars and then to top it off - locals were smoking in the rainforest!!! If that isn´t destroying the biological way of things I don´t know what is. I´m not saying most Ticos are like this but I am saying that I witnessed some were. My point is that if you travel or not it is irrelevent - the impact you have on the environment comes from within - and every action you take whether positive or negative will make a difference whether you travel or not!! Also with regards to flight schedules - planes are going to fly whether you book them or not. Flights won´t stop because they are half empty - so it doesn´t matter if you fly or cycle to your next destination - the consumption of fuel is going to be used up anyway!! An idea would be to find a more environmentally friendly way of using fuel for airplanes - but whether an airline will take this decision is another matter all together. Unfortunately I believe a lot of companies think of money these days and what is more economically friendly rather than what is environmentally friendly and I doubt this will change unless some sort of law is made.

Also Clarabell - that is a typical way that management thinks. It´s best to stay stum because they will state they know better and will make any excuse to burn money because they have too much money to burn. In my eyes I agree that a video conference or telephone meeting would be perfectly logical - however management are aliens!! :) I know this through 15 years of doing office work - they will never change. Just before I travelled to Brazil - I met an ex boss who I temped with who was just flying from the Isle of Man (which is near Liverpool) to London for a 45 minute meeting then flying straight back and complaining what a hassle it was!!! If I suggested a telephone or video conference - there would be some excuse!! :)

23. Posted by mtlgal (Full Member 1179 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Quoting james

Personally, I think that all rainforests should be cut down and the trees turned into disposable chopsticks. In their place, factories should be built. Preferably factories that belch out large amounts of smoke all in the name of making useless items like hot dog makers and foot spas.

All endangered animals should be rounded up and shot. If they are on an "endangered list" then chances are they will be gone in a few years anyway.

Further, travelling on public transport should be banned. People should be provided with an incentive to turn their air-conditioners on and leave their windows open. It should also be against the law to leave your house without first turning on every tap.

Finally, the amount of bubble wrap and other wrapping used on products should be doubled.

Any breach of the above should be classified as a criminal offence.

That's hilarious!! Love it!

24. Posted by cbt (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hey Rach-a,

Not all management are like that.

I oversee a team of over 400. I support a team of 11,000+ employees, across 50+ sites.

When I first started with the company people were flying about about everywhere for 1 hour meetings.

Now through education they realise the impacts, and after two years of education we use teleconference and video conference.

When I first started I was entitled to claim travel, and accommodation (which in 2 years) I have done 3 times.

I was also entitled to take a private car or a cab, which I refused and instead chose to pay for public transport myself, and I donate what the company would have paid to charity.

I am not trying to be self indulgent, just trying to say that there are some of us on management salaries and benefits that do not abuse the situation, and donate these perks to charity.

There are some 'management' folk that have travelled extensively and understand and appreciate how donating our fancy salaries actually benefit the rest of the world, whilst encouraging those that work for us, to do the same.


25. Posted by csfreixo (Full Member 83 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Yes, travelling is selfish, as everything we do.
About the environmental aspect of air travel, here I am posting the vision of IATA (International Air Transport Association).

Insight from Inside
Giovanni Bisignani
Director General & CEO

Debunking some persistent Myths about Air Transport and the Environment

o Myth 01:
 Air transport was excluded from Kyoto and doing nothing on the environment.
o Fact 01:
 Domestic aviation is included in Kyoto. International air transport was excluded but with a commitment to find a solution through ICAO by the 2007 Assembly.
 Airlines took environmental performance seriously long before Kyoto. Over the last 40 years emissions per passenger kilometer have decreased by 70%.

o Myth 02:
 Air transport is a major source of Greenhouse gas emissions.
o Fact 02:
 Air transport contributes a small part of global CO2 emissions – 2%. By contrast, the air transport industry supports 8% of global economy activity.
 The entire transport sector is responsible for 20% of total CO2 emissions. Road generates 80% of total transport emissions, while air is responsible for only 12%.
 Even if all air travel stopped, the result is only a 2% global improvement in CO2 emissions. But the impact on global economies would be disastrous.

o Myth 03:
 Air transport is the most polluting form of transport.
o Fact 03:
 Airline fuel efficiency improved 20% in the last decade, nearly 5% over the past 2 years alone.
 Today’s modern aircraft consume average 3.5 litres per 100 passenger kilometers. This is similar to a small compact car but with 6 times the speed.

26. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Interesting topic indeed, along with some very interesting comments.

I believe the question is a touch scewed - 'travel' as itself isn't the problem and not necessarily selfish. The reasons a person travels could be deemed selfish and also the way a person travels. But not 'travel'.

Some of the responses are troubling to me; it seems many people believe they can offset their dire effects on the planet by buying credits - or in some cases buying tree's. The problem with this is the same problem with the Kyoto program - the wealthy keep on doing the same thing they always do, but now they can justify it.

There was a recent study on the effects of tree's for carbon control. First off, there is not any where near enough land to plant enough trees to effectivley negate our hydro-carbon emissions. It would take millions upon millions of tree's. For example - for the people of Canada and the United States to offset their emissions through tree planting we would need to cover the entire continent with tree's - coast to coast to coast.

Second - tree's are very temporary solution. True that as a tree grow's and lives it takes in and holds vast amounts of carbon; however when the tree dies all of that carbon is once again released into the atmosphere. So yes we could control some of our emissions through tree planting - but in 70 to 120 years time the new generations would be no better off. (Unless of course we cover the entire of North America with tree's)

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 7, 2006 3:40 PM by Brendan ]

27. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Flying distance from Sydney to San Francisco = 11,940 kms

Aviation fuel used between Sydney and San Francisco = 215,745 litres

215,745 / 11,940 = 18 litres of fuel consumed per kilometre travelled

18 * 100 = 1,800 litres of fuel consumed per 100 kilometres travelled

1,800 litres / 300 passengers = 6 litres of fuel consumed per person per 100 kilometres travelled.

Therefore fuel consumption on a per-person basis by modern jet is comparable to fuel consumption of a modern car.

28. Posted by cbt (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

James .....

Is travelling selfish v's fuel consumption?

Fuel consumption is important.... but ..

we have more to talk about !

29. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Quoting cbt

James .....

Is travelling selfish v's fuel consumption?

Fuel consumption is important.... but ..

we have more to talk about !

You should try to get into the habit of reading all of the posts. Then you'll see the various sub-topic that have arisen and you'll be able to contribute to them in an intelligent manner.

30. Posted by cbt (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!


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