Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Irish Restricting Air Travel To Curb Global Warming - A Case Of Leprechauns Voting For Xmas?

Recently it's become fashionable to point the finger at air travel as a cause of global warming. Apparently the proportion of CO2 pumped into the atomosphere by airplanes is a bigger problem than the fact that everyone in China and India wants to own a car. People get very excited about this and it's not unusual to see sentiments such as this being expressed in the letters page of worthy newspapers such as the Irish Times:
When will we and our governments take climate change seriously? If the growth in aviation is left unchecked the increased emissions in the skies above will cancel out any reductions made on the ground. If we are to have any chance of saving the biosphere we need to reduce and impose limits on our activities. That includes weekend shopping trips to New York. - Yours, etc, BRIAN DILLON, Ballyline, Callan, Co Kilkenny.Source: IT, 28-Mar-07
There's a big, big problem with this line of reasoning.

If we are to restrict out citizens from traveling abroad in the name of environmental preservation then we also have to accept that the same constraints should be applied to
inward tourism as well. Any other course of action is quite simply daft. The logical conclusion to such reasoning is:

The Prevention Of Tourism Act 2011

Main Points:
  1. All tourism banned. Business travelers to be vetted by the immigration authorities and moved around in windowless vans.
  2. The state tourism agency Failte Ireland to be banned. Membership to be a criminal offence and the leadership to be rounded up and charged with 'Directing Tourism'.
  3. The Ardagh Chalice reburied in a secret location
  4. The Book of Kells to be sold on Ebay.
  5. Huge signs with such messages as "Keep Moving" and "Have You No Homes To Go To?" to be erected on the nation's coastline.
  6. Unemployed people to be paid to discourage interest in landmarks and major public buildings (see photo).
Obviously this isn't going to work. While the complete destruction of the Irish tourist industry would be both entertaining to watch and would ensure that neither I nor any of my descendants have to put up with the two week physical and financial survival course that goes by the name of 'Irish Holiday' I just can't see it happening. More's the pity. The last time I went on a 'Holiday' in this country I found that my 'Relaxing Shannon Boat' trip involved battling 2 metre high waves in a 10 metre long boat during weather that was like something out of a frozen fish commercial.

(enters rant mode)

And that was a considerable improvement on the previous boating adventure which involved me discovering that while Aran Sweaters are both aesthetically appealing and warm they instantly become incredibly heavy if they somehow manage to get wet, say if you fall into water. Why is that the Fishermen wear the damn things? Not that I'm speaking from experience. I never fell into the Portuma Harbor while wearing one. And I defiantly didn't almost get run over by my so-called 'friends' when they decided that the best way to 'help' me was to reverse the boat, which meant that the propeller would be the first part of it to reach me......

(leaves rant mode)

On a serious note: The entire Irish economy is critically dependent on the ability to get to and from Ireland cheaply and reliably. Restricting Air Travel will become an electoral 'Third Rail'' issue once people actually figure out the implications.

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