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Thursday, 11 November 2021

Contrails

A few days ago, Tom Stephenson posted an early morning view from his window. Here is ours.

We are close to the border between West and South Yorkshire, beneath transatlantic flights to and from Europe and further afield. For many months our skies have been reasonably clear but this week the U.S.A. removed covid travel restrictions.

Here is our view this morning. Each flight emits several hundred tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. 

32 comments:

  1. Crikey. A veritable cats cradle of carbon.

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    1. So it would seem, repeated every 10 or 15 minutes.

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  2. It is indicative of what the future really holds. Carry on as usual.

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  3. "Business as usual." As Greta Thunberg says, "Blah, blah, blah."

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    1. If things change, they can't be expected to change immediately.

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  4. It's the same here - the skies were empty for months last year but now all con trails again. Although I guess going to Europe rather than USA

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    1. I haven't checked the detail, but imagine you get transatlantics coming from the southern and eastern parts of Europe.

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  5. Yes Tasker I noticed precisely the same thing from my front window as I was having breakfast. Plane after plane going Notth West

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    1. Perhaps this morning the conditions were that you could see them. Thy are so high up as to be hard to spot if they don't leave trails.

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  6. It is a dilemma isn't it and of course one we're all conscious of at present. We can't shut down international travel and indeed it has huge benefits for trade, for freedom, for culture... and yet, and yet... Sometimes I wish I had a wand.

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    1. It would (and did) create jobs havoc if it stopped immediately. I wonder, though, if long distance travel will come to be regarded in the same way as before 1960. Rare and for those that can afford it.

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  7. It can start with the driver who drives to go for a walk. We live in a country of hypocrites. I have no objection to anything because I believe in climate change happening just as it always has. But I don't write blame posts and I am not a hypocrite. The ozone layer has closed and nobody knows why. The ozone layer was of concern in the 1970s. I doubt whether this has even been reported. I wouldn't know. The town of Dunwich disappeared into the sea hundreds of years ago. Sometimes we see the church spire. Whimprell did the same. We see ruins in the sea. We have paid green taxes for 20 years, we have cleaned up HGVs. VW lied for decades about engine emissions. And all the time we are blamed. We made the world a better place, we don't deserve to be blamed. We know how to make things and mend and make them last.

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    1. I've been careful to be factual rather than judgmental, although I am persuaded by the human activity arguments, which I suppose is the implication. I can't see how to get my footprint down to the recommended 2 tonnes. Even to get nearer would involve immense cost and hardship. I'm not having a useless heat pump, for example. Yes, I pointed out there are hypocrites as well as big hypocrites on YP's blog.

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    2. Well you mentioned a name, or some initials here, I didn't. Interesting.

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  8. I started writing an epistle then decided against it. You are correct. We are pumping millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. How, if and when we stop doing that will, unfortunately, still be being argued about long after we are gone.

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    1. There are no easy answers, are there. The COP conference will no doubt be described as a failure by some, but I they are probably doing as much as they can.

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  9. Didn't know about all that volume of pollution Tasker. It makes you question if we should fly doesn't it?

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  10. Wow. To have gone through a prolonged period of travel restrictions, I can imagine now again seeing such emissions in the sky must be a bit jarring.

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    1. I'm not sure it matters whether it's visible or not, it is there. I guess most of it blows elsewhere rather than fall on us.
      I remember reading that after 9/11 when flights were banned, the skies over New York were much clearer too, and the temperature actually increased.

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  11. We have the same problem here with car emissions - only one does not see them as stripes in the sky. But I get angry when I see so many big cars in Berlin carrying one person (or very very big cars with a chauffeur carrying one MP...) - though in Berlin we have undergrounds and buses and trams.
    On the other hand I see that many people in rural areas in Germany cannot use a train, because there are no trains. They need their car to go to work.
    Flying for 15 Euro from Berlin to Florence in my view is immoral - and though I am a very optimistic person I think that you can "educate" people mostly via their money - they must pay more. Of course it is not fair that a rich person doesn't have to care whether it has the money to fly or not - but many "average" citizens will think twice when it costs a a lot more.

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    1. I agree with Rachel that you cannot blame people for doing what is legal, convenient, cost effective and easiest if it works for them. Only governments can change that by the constraints they control. Trouble is, none of them dare go as far as what some say is necessary.

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  12. That be aliens trying to send you a message, that be. It are the plan of a new intergalactic sports stadium, right there up in the blooming sky, you daft twazzock.

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  13. As you know, I don't own a car - and in my day-to-day life, I don't need one. But others, like O.K., need one to get to and from work; there simply aren't the public transport services that would make the daily trip feasible where he lives.
    When it comes to flying, living so close to Stuttgart with its relatively large airport of course makes the difference very visible, too; from completely clear skies, we are now back to a criss-cross of trails like in your area.
    The only flight I am considering at the moment is to Yorkshire next summer. I have not seen my family and friends there since 2018, and I really miss them. If it weren't so bloody far away and complicated, I'd much prefer going by train all the way.

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    1. If I were still working, a car would be essential. Actually, where we live it stll is. I did use buses at one time but they cut and combined the services so there is now one bus per hour at inconvenient times that takes an hour to travel 6 miles because of the roundabout way it goes. And my wife once commuted to Bradford, recently identified as the worst city in the UK for transport. When you compare public transport in the south east of England with elsewhere the difference is massive.

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  14. Wow, that's quite a lot of air traffic. We get contrails here too, of course, with so many airports around. I like the way they look, in an abstract sense, but yeah -- they're ominous indicators of carbon emissions.

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    1. I imagine over London they all combine to create a haze, which must reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the ground. I prefer a plain blue sky.

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  15. I love the word "contrails". It's quite poetic but as you suggest that sweet poetic note hides a darker truth.

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    1. Your task is to write a poem using the word 'contrails'.

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