The sin of air travel.

Just to re-emphasise a point related to yesterday’s reader comment:

Let’s say you reduce meat consumption by 2 meals/student/week (lunch and dinner), or 90ish meals over the course of a 3-year degree. And let’s say that the average meat meal is 225 g (8 oz), so that’s about 20 kg of meat in total. By your quoted numbers, that would be equivalent to a flight of 2000 km, roughly equivalent to a round trip from Oxford to Munich, Vienna or Prague—hope you’re not planning on going on any trips.

All this does, actually, is flag just how outrageously destructive air travel also is, as the NYT documented over the weekend:

For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year; the average European, 10.

So if you take five long flights a year, they may well account for three-quarters of the emissions you create.

Hence the importance of carbon-offsetting, which you can calculate the cost of for any flight here. It seems to add around ten percent to the price of a ticket. The philosopher John Broome has argued for its moral necessity in his new book.

In other news, those desperate for a morning dose of protein no longer need to worry about the effects of eating eggs rather than meat:

Researchers reviewed eight prospective studies including 263,938 subjects and pooled the data for analysis. They found no evidence that eating up to an egg a day increased the risk of heart disease or stroke. The results were the same for men and women and in all age ranges.


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