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guilt trip: shall we all stay home this year

guilt trip: shall we all stay home this year

May 13th, 2006, 03:42 AM
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guilt trip: shall we all stay home this year

If you are as addicted to travel as I am, the almost daily complaint about air travel and global warming will come as sheer anathema. Yet, can we continue to travel and not suffer extreme guilt. George Monboit writing in the Guardian (28.2.06) under the headline ‘For the sake of the world’s poor, we must keep the wealthy at home’ , criticises the frequent air traveller making a plea that we stay put. I must confess that this year alone I will have or am about to fly to Rome, London, Dalaman, and Nice, and I don’t feel good about it. Is there anything I and others can do? Is it about giving up the love of my life, or cutting down, or offsetting some of the damage by running fuel economy cars, banning the standby button, giving up air conditioning, funding ‘plant a tree’ projects. Is anyone else going through the same turmoil, can anyone help me feel any better?
stevelyon is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 04:12 AM
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I haven't read the article - so what was the chief complaint about travellers? Fossel fuel consumption from planes? If so, what about the positive effects on various countries' economies through the spending of tourist dollars... There are always pros and cons to every situation.

Sorry, I'll need more to keep me away from beloved Europe (and I can be prone to the guilts).

Why don't you feel good about it? If it's personal travel, well no one is forcing you. If you do go, enjoy yourself - the world always needs more joy!
Venetian30 is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 04:20 AM
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PS - I forgot to add. "Wealthy" is relative as most people here know. Does George Monboit also give a serve to car owners, etc? A lot of travellers would consume less than their neighbours to afford the 'luxury' of travel.

I heard an amusingly on target quip in a preview for the kids movie "The Hedge" recently. Think it was Disney. An animal (raccoon?) was describing an SUV to other animals. When asked how many people it holds, the response was 'usually only one' (or words to similar effect). How very true.
Venetian30 is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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Hi S,

>‘For the sake of the world’s poor, we must keep the wealthy at home’ ...

Did the author explain how that would help the world's poor?

I am at a loss to understand how my not flying would help the people of Darfur, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, etc.

ira is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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Politically, we could do a lot right at home in the U.S. and the results would end up helping a lot of people, poor and otherwise, both here and abroad, and you could still take a vacation IMO.
Intrepid1 is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 06:09 AM
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Where does one draw the line with feeling guilt for the plight of the poor? Unless you are ready to sell everything you have including the clothes on your back and move out into the streets to live as a true "poor" person donating everything you have to charity, then I don't quite understand what your being able to travel has to do with the poor, any more than your being able to eat real meals while millions can't. Does your guilt extend far enough to make you want to give up eating too?
May 13th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Oh no, I agree with stevelyon -- but we should be able to take just ONE more trip. And then stay in Europe!!

swandav2000 is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Money needs to circulate. While I'm not crazy about chain hotels - and try not stay at them - I do try and stay at small family owned hotels (with the occasional splurge but only for a few nights). What's making me look at giving my business/money to smaller family run hotels (2 star) is that I'm not in a postion to drop $250 a night on a hotel room (of course I will drop $250 on a good meal - yes, I'm sure I have a time share in hell on ring #4) As long as you're not buying designer t-shirts for $500 and you're making some monetary contribution to a favorite cause/charity - I say keep the money circulating by traveling.
Carta_Pisana is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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I think it is pretty silly to say that it is okay to enjoy a $250 meal, but it is not acceptable for someone to spend $500 on a designer t-shirt. I don't have a problem with either, but to a poor person both actions seem frivolous.

wtm003 is online now  
May 13th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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I would strongly suggest you seek immediate professional help for your guilt about traveling. Mike P.S. I have a strong "feeling" that you will overcome your turmoil and board those airplanes.
barbmike is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 07:01 AM
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I've thought about this issue a lot when, on these forums, people are so quick to suggest flying between destinations in Europe when the train would be as convenient (if not more-so).

According to sources on responsibletravel.com "a train journey typically creates 1/8th of the emissions of a flight" To read more about their take on the guilt of flying, go to:
G_Hopper is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 07:01 AM
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Those planes are still going to fly so tell yourself you need to fill that empty seat or it would be a waste!!!
carylspall is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 07:27 AM
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wtm003 - I very aware of my double standard (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) but paying for a good meal which invariably involves artisinally grown products, waiters, kitchen staff, not to mention a good meal that nourishes the body/soul seems a better way to spend money compared to the fashion/rag industry which manipulates the ego, and feeds a person's vanity. I love seeking out the small family run restaurants - I also love an extravegant meal occasionally. How many pairs of designer jeans or shoes do you really need? (By the way, I love Etro as much as a good meal)
Carta_Pisana is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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Theory..foreign travel ( and most domestic )will come to an end as excess oil/gas supplies runout. New borns will travel on wind borne ships if they want to visit 'olde Paree'. The world macroeconomic conditions will be unaffected by anything you do. Travel now!
GSteed is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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I'd rather feel guilty now, than regretful later.
E_M is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Don't rent a car when you travel, take public transportation (both when travelling & at home, if possible), drive less at home, get a more efficient car, use less electricity (lots of ways to do it), whatever it takes to cut back on energy consumption (which basically equates to fossil fuel burning, except occasionally in the case of electricity) if it makes you feel better. Or just think that the plane will fly whether or not you're on it, and your weight makes essentially no difference as to how much fuel is burned.
grsing is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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If you really wish to make a contribution, stop driving a car; it consumes more energy than everything in your house combined.

Don't worry too much about flying on vacation. The vast majority of air travel is business-related, and often unnecessary. If the only air travel in the world were for tourism, the world would be a much cleaner place. It's the business trips that waste most of the fuel.
AnthonyGA is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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I think a lot about the environmental impact of the flying I do. I've been looking in to organizations like www.greenseat.com, where they approximate CO2 emissions based on how far you fly. After that, you 'buy' back your CO2 consumption at a rate of EUR 13 per ton of CO2, money that is used to run forestry projects around the world. Considering how expensive flights are these days, this is a pretty inexpensive (and worthwhile) add on to flight cost. There are several similar organizations out there (GreenSeat is the one I've heard the best things about, I think some of the others have had problems getting forestry projects set up).
ashields is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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I ate all those vegis when I was a kid and 40 years later there are still poor people! Mom was wrong and so is this guy. Like someone said, "money is meant to circulate." Why in the world would I want to put all of those nice people in the travel business out of work?
There are solutions to poverty but I don't believe that not traveling is one of them.
I've always found that guilt is a useless emotion.
L84SKY is offline  
May 13th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Maybe we should all stop traveling completely. Then when a few million workers who used to work for airlines, trains, hotels, restaurants, and related industries are sitting around unemployed, we can all be proud we helped do that.

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