Wall Street Journal reporter Hannah Karp email interviewed me while researching her story The Stay-at-Home vacation. The article is about people who are concerned about their carbon footprint choosing not to fly, even if it means missing a siblings wedding or dream vacation. I take a slightly different stance:
That’s misguided, says Kelsey Timmerman, a 28-year-old Muncie, Ind., scuba-diving instructor and author. If he’d never been to the Great Barrier Reef, he wouldn’t care as much that it is dying from rising ocean temperatures. Decisions he makes as a consumer and a voter offset emissions resulting from his travels, says Mr. Timmerman, who visited Bangladesh, Cambodia and China last year. “Travel helps us care more about our world.”
I’ve heard rumblings of this debate, but had no idea the No-Fly movement was gaining so much ground. Really, I’m amazed that it is since flying represents only 4% of an individual’s average carbon footprint (Farting is probably more than 4%.) I can understand the desire to cutback on unnecessary travel, but missing your siblings wedding? My brother is getting married in Utah in March and if I told him that I wasn’t going to fly out for it because of my concerns of the planes pollution, I would sound like a jackass. I would be a jackass. I’m all for being their for the environment, but I’m even more for being there for my bro. As they say, “Bros before…CO’s.”
Here is the full answer I gave in an email to Hannah:
If I hadn’t been SCUBA diving on the Great Barrier Reef, I wouldn’t care as much that it and coral reefs around the world are dying because of rising ocean temperatures. If I hadn’t been hiking on glaciers in New Zealand, I wouldn’t care as much that it and glaciers around the world are melting because of rising global temperatures. If I hadn’t spent a month in Bangladesh, treated to the near limitless hospitality of the Bangladeshi people, I wouldn’t care as much that homes and lives are being swallowed by the rising sea.
Travel helps us care more about our world. I expect that the decisions I make as a consumer and a voter offset whatever negative impacts result from the fossil fuels burnt to get me from place to place.