In the past several years I have taken no more than one round trip by airplane per year. This has been challenging because my family lives in Europe and on the opposite U.S. coast. I am also expected to participate in academic conferences. So far, I have found ways to meet and communicate with my family and stay active academically despite the restrictions I have imposed on my airplane travel. To me, it is important to avoid flying as much as possible because of safety concerns: Are airlines and airports able to guarantee safety, adequately maintain equipment and attract qualified pilots and other aviation professionals with the salaries they are able to offer given the low ticket prices we pay? I am also very concerned about the large amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are created by air travel, which contribute to extreme weather and make our lives, including air travel, less safe. By letting people know that I try very hard to reduce flying, I hope to alert others to these problems. My hope is that more people will forgo air plane trips that are not really necessary but purely for leisure or pleasure. Perhaps people will be able to find less carbon-intensive ways to spend their time thus allowing the economy to re-allocate resources to more environmentally friendly industries.
Assistant Professor of Finance with an interest in ecological economics, Saint Joseph’s University.