Transport and the environment: what to do, what to do, what to do? / Columns / The Foreigner

Transport and the environment: what to do, what to do, what to do?. Is it environmentally better to fly, travel overland, or take a boat? As always, the answer is that it depends. Consider Oslo to Bodø. A ninety-minute flight burns a lot of fuel per passenger. Each airport covers a large swathe of land. The noise pollution is debilitating for the area. ** Norwegians’ holiday habits bad for the climate **

transport, cars, planes, environment, climate, co2, globalwarming, greenhousegases, paywall



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Transport and the environment: what to do, what to do, what to do?

Published on Thursday, 3rd November, 2016 at 11:01 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

Is it environmentally better to fly, travel overland, or take a boat? As always, the answer is that it depends. Consider Oslo to Bodø.

Landing in Bodø from Svolvær
Landing in Bodø from Svolvær
Photo: Ilan Kelman


A ninety-minute flight burns a lot of fuel per passenger. Each airport covers a large swathe of land. The noise pollution is debilitating for the area.

** Norwegians’ holiday habits bad for the climate **

Would it be better to take a train, bus, or private vehicle? From calculating the direct fuel cost, perhaps.

Driving the vehicle requires a road or railroad which are narrow with a small noise and safety exclusion zone on either side. But each extends over a thousand kilometres.

** Northern Norway leaves Tesla flat **

Consider the energy and materials for constructing and maintaining this length. Would it add up to more or less than the totals for two airports? What about aircraft dangers compared to hitting a moose?

Alternatively, travel via water. You just need two ports and something that floats. If you are not sailing, then your ship will need plenty of fuel while emitting plenty of pollution.

Plus it takes time. Even factoring time to, from, and in the airport, flying Oslo-Bodø is remarkably swift compared to all other travel modes, individually and combined.

** Walking far in airports is good **

Other journeys differ, such as Kristiansand-Stavanger, Bergen-Trondheim, or Kirkenes-Alta. For Longyearbyen-Tromsø, some options are unavailable.

Ultimately, it is a balance amongst time, cost, energy, and materials. Or stop calculating and stay at home!

Ilan Kelman is a Reader in Risk, Resilience and Global Health at University College London.



Published on Thursday, 3rd November, 2016 at 11:01 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

This post has the following tags: transport, cars, planes, environment, climate, co2, globalwarming, greenhousegases, paywall.





  
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