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Cheap air travel adding to global warming woes

Source:  Copyright 2002, Reuters
Date:  June 26, 2002
Byline:  Sujata Rao (Reuters)
Original URL: Status ONLINE

London publisher Peter Cole does some business in Cornwall but couldn't face the four-hour train ride to the southwest tip of England. This month, he flew down on a budget airline's new flight -- at a fraction of the cost of a rail ticket.

"It takes just 45 minutes -- I wouldn't have made the trip if they hadn't started this new flight," Cole said.

But while Cole and millions of fellow Britons are thrilled with the cut-price fares from budget carriers, environmentalists are not so happy. They say cheap tickets encourage people to fly instead of using more eco-friendly rail transport.

Aviation is the world's fastest growing man-made source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere -- seen by many as a major contributor to global warming. Some 16,000 commercial aircraft pump out 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Never has the world seemed smaller or air fares lower.

And never has it been more ...

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