Boring Holes In The Sky — Literally?


A UK environment advisory group, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP), which previously reported on the environmental impact of aviation both in 1994 and 1997, has decided that the contribution of aircraft exhaust to climate change supports a changeover from air to rail travel — especially for short-haul flights. The real culprits are of course carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur, water vapor, and hydrocarbons, all sharing the unfortunate quality of being deposited high above the Earth’s crust by jet engines, potentially affecting the climate. The commission is under the impression that by 2050, aviation could be responsible for 6-10% of climate change. The RCEP would like to see aviation emissions added to the Kyoto Protocol, which is the international agreement to address climate change, and recommends raising ticket prices by a climate protection tax, restricting airport development and restricting air cargo transport to perishable andsimilar goods.