Christmas shopping trip?

On the Geneva English radio it was reported that flights from Switzerland to New York are heavily booked, in part for Christmas shopping trips.

Self-interest 1 : Ecology 0 !

The report was on the English language radio station "World Radio Switzerland", and it specifically stated that the heavy bookings were partly to profit from the strong Swiss Franc and fairly weak Dollar to make economies. Of course, this must be for people making substantial purchases: the flights still cost a few hundred Swiss Francs.

The lady presenting this programme did express a certain amount of surprise at this activity. However, I was a little disappointed when she stated that she would instead go to London for her shopping: one can probably fly there and back for not much more that 100 Swiss Francs. Of course, it might be because she is visiting family in England.

On a related subject (low-cost flights) I remember hearing, on a programme about school-sponsored trips for schoolchildren, that the simple idea of a week on a camping trip somewhere in Switzerland is now frowned upon by some parents. Instead, it has to be a "cultural" trip somewhere in Europe, or even further afield, again by low-cost flights.

In these days when global warming is becoming ever more evident (terrible floods in Thailand, ice storms on the US Eastern seaboard in October and bad droughts in many places right now), can we justify such extravagances? Of course, the all-powerful aircraft lobby will continue to insist that aircraft emissions, even at high altitudes, have little or no effect. They will also keep resisting all efforts to tax aviation fuel.

By continuing the extravagances, we simply encourage the "developing" nations to want to emulate us. If/wnen they (China, India, Brazil and others) do so, and we understand the consequences, it will be too late: the genie will be out of the bottle!

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