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The development of air travel has been a primary contributor to globalization by collapsing distance and time. Since the mid-twentieth century, demand has consistently grown as flying has come to be perceived as a right of modern society. Global economies rely on transferring people, goods, and ideas with rapid speed, but what are the environmental costs of air travel?
Modern aviation is propelled by fossil fuel, consuming 5 million barrels of oil a day. The industry contributes to 2.5% of total carbon emissions and could rise to 22% by 2050 as other sectors emit less. Although aircraft are becoming more fuel-efficient and some airlines have introduced carbon offset programs, there is currently no green way to fly 8 million people a day.
As part of The Five Thousand Pound Life: Transportation series, this session will explore the future of air travel in the context of climate change. Experts in climate science, the global tourism economy, and airport design will share their work and ideas on what the possibilities are for personal and business travel with a radical reduction in greenhouse gases.
Designer Jesse LeCavalier and sociologist Daniel Aldana Cohen will serve as moderators and interlocutors for all programs in The Five Thousand Pound Life: Transportation series. This evening’s session will include Robert Chicas, Alice Larkin, and Arunima Malik.
The Five Thousand Pound Life
The Five Thousand Pound Life is the League’s ongoing initiative to rethink our collective future through design in the face of climate change.