Sunday, 14 March 2010

Fly past?

Hurrah on one plane (sic) for Mary Robinson, returning to her native Ireland after working in New York for many years, in order to fight for climate justice. "The failure to get agreement in Copenhagen," she's reported as saying, "has put the whole world more at risk." But after Copenhagen, she thinks, governments aren't the way to go, if they ever were. The answer, for her, is "civil society". "I feel a terrible sense of urgency."

But sharing this awareness, will civilians ever think of flying - for instance - as an activity that we used to engage in - as opposed to one we hope and expect for more of? It's only possible to determine the answer to this for yourself: apart from our love miles to Japan and back last Autumn, it's more than forty months now since I flew anywhere, and indeed I am making no plans to fly again. But it's easy for me to resolve this, having travelled much, and to many different parts of the world in my 66 years. And I'm able (just about) to pay the premium required for rail travel when I go to Europe, as later this month.

King Canute came to mind after my chat with our nice postman yesterday morning: an avid Manchester United fan and season ticket holder, he was mulling over the possibilities for a new - for him - travel experience arising out of the coming Champions League draw. "Lyon would be nice," he said, "or Bordeaux: I don't much fancy Moscow" - but you can bet this wasn't on account of the air miles.

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