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The Best Air Travel Offset Ever

By Joe Romm  

"The Best Air Travel Offset Ever"

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southwest.jpgMy flight was canceled — and you thought I was a glass-is-half-empty type. Not at all — that’s why this blog is named Climate Progress.

On the bright side, I did get to spend seven hours in lovely BWI Airport. I won’t name the name of this airline that refused to let anyone know what was happening for hours and waited seven hours to cancel the flight — but I will say I was not free to move about the country.

On the downside, my drive to and from the airport was a complete waste of emissions. But back on the bright side, I have decided to go for the six-hour train ride today — not sure I could’ve gotten on a decent flight today anyway if I had wanted to risk it, but I didn’t wait around the airport at 9:30 pm to find out. I haven’t done the math, but I do think the train emits fewer emissions.

I was headed for a mini vacation, which has now been reduced in duration by 25%. I don’t expect to be blogging too much over the next few days, and I think in any case there is no point in further responding to the Deniers on an earlier post, since they keep repeating arguments that have long since been scientifically debunked (e.g. the sun is to blame for current warming).

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2 Responses to The Best Air Travel Offset Ever

  1. Well…, I really enjoyed our train vacation (from Ventura County to Seattle). During dinner and sleep, the miles kept going away (and I wasn’t driving!).

    Enjoy your time!

  2. Earl Killian says:

    You might find this document helpful in the future:
    http://cta.ornl.gov/data/tedb26/Edition26_Full_Doc.pdf
    Table 2.12 has the data in BTU per passenger-mile for 2004:
    Cars 3,496
    Trucks 4,329
    Motorcycles 2,272
    Transit buses 1,294
    Airplane 3,959
    Intercity rail (Amtrak) 2,760
    Commuter rail 2,569
    So your rail was probably 40% or so more efficient than the plane.

    FYI, I originally looked at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_efficiency_in_transportation
    but it appears that someone has edited that and made several mistakes; at least some of the numbers look quite a bit off to me. For example, it is not clear it is an apples to apples comparison. As much as I loved the EV1, I don’t think 168 Wh/mi is the right number to use from the cited reference (that even looks low for the battery pack output to wheels), and the 373 Wh/mi number that is also in the reference looks too high (drivers tell me that they got something around 250Wh/mi).

    It is also unclear that 1.3 passengers miles per vehicle mile is the right number for cars (the BTS data suggests 1.58 or so).