As concern over climate change and rising temperatures grows, the airline industry is taking heat (pun intended). Flying accounts for 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions; that’s lower than car travel and maritime shipping, but still a chunk worth acknowledging.
In some parts of the world people have started “flight-shaming,” that is, giving up air travel themselves and encouraging others to find alternative means of transport that are more climate-friendly. Sweden’s national flygskam campaign, which started in 2017, even led to a nine percent decrease in domestic air travel.
It’s possible to cut back on air travel, but given the globalized nature of business, the economy, and even families and friendships, we’re not going to stop needing a fast, relatively pain-free way to get across countries or around the globe; some things simply can’t be done over Zoom.
An unexpected potential solution is being floated (again, pun intended) by companies that believe people will be willing to trade a lot of time and money for a more planet-friendly way to travel: by airship.