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Looby Loo Feels Guilty About Flying

August 17, 2021
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood


h/t Ian Magness


Why is the BBC offering publicity to eco-loons like this one?




For Maggie Robertson, it was a long-haul flight to Texas that changed her mind about flying.

It was 2017 and she was having a great holiday. But then Hurricane Harvey came along – and she and her family narrowly sidestepped floods that cost more than 100 lives.

"That brush with natural disaster helped put things in perspective," she says.

Previously a regular flyer, visiting friends in Scotland and holidaying abroad, she says the penny dropped during that trip. And in the end, the decision was easy.

"It was a relief to say I’m not doing it any more," she says. "I knew that what I was doing wasn’t consistent with what I thought was right."

She is one of a small band of people who have found flying just too uncomfortable to contemplate any more.

Many more people are still boarding the planes, but wrestling with a growing sense of shame.

They now feel that their desire for a holiday in the sun or a far-flung adventure is playing a small but undeniable part in the growing crisis of extreme weather events, rising sea levels and melting polar ice.

Flying is only responsible for around 2% of global emissions. That may not sound much, but if you are a flyer, it’s a much higher proportion of your own carbon footprint. That’s because more than 80% of the world’s population never fly at all.

One flight from London to New York emits around 1.3 tonnes of carbon according to the offsetting organisation Atmosfair. Other organisations offer lower estimates, but even if you eat vegan and cycle everywhere, you’d struggle to make up for the emissions from a return trip, according to research from the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions, which last year calculated how individuals could reduce their annual carbon footprint.

Infographic - top 10 options for reducing your carbon footprint


Will Maggie Robertson give up her obviously very well off lifestyle? Will she go and live in a yurt and knit yoghurt? No, thought not!

And how does the BBC know that “many more people are still boarding the planes, but wrestling with a growing sense of shame”? Has the reporter gone to an airport and interviewed all the happy families off on their holidays?

The report then goes on to quote another “eco-expert”

"The industry has got a clear plan to decarbonise aviation, and there are a lot of opportunities and proven technologies that can do that," says Andy Jefferson, programme director at an organisation called Sustainable Aviation, which works on behalf of the government and the industry, including manufacturers and airports.

"Part of the solution will be the evolution of existing types of aeroplanes, as each time they come online, they’re in the region of 15% to 20% more efficient and better than the aircraft they’re replacing," he says.

In addition, things such as making sure a plane doesn’t carry more fuel or water than it needs, not maintaining planes in holding patterns as they wait to land, and keeping the engines well-maintained to ensure they operate efficiently, can all make flying greener.

Has it not occurred to him that the airline industry spends its life trying to make aircraft more fuel efficient, as fuel is a major cost component. As planes get more efficient, however, more people want to fly. Whatever a lobbyist from Sustainable Aviation or some potty bimbo with a guilt conscience have to say, the rest of the world will carry on flying around the world.

There is though a very pointed comment about carbon offsets:


But offsetting is controversial. In fact, Mike Childs, Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, describes it as "the greatest con on Earth".

"They’re trying to pretend that your emissions don’t count because you can offset, but the offsets aren’t real, they don’t last, they’re not permanent."

Nowhere in the article is there any comment at all to counter this eco-nonsense. Par for the course for the BBC, you might say!.

  1. Barbara permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:15 am

    Live in a BBC free world – get rid of the daily paper, do not take any notice of trite articles trying to change the ways of the masses of which you are one, Think for yourself, see what is going on and make your own reasoned decisions. But I guess I am preaching to the converted here!

    • August 18, 2021 7:52 am


      absolutely, but, unfortunately, the politicians, advisors to the government and the civil service will not be doing that. They will listen to the distorted view of the U.N. and continue as they say they will.
      How can we change that as so few have any realisation what is going on. I think there is an increasing doubt, but even the backbench parliamentary body querying the cost of net zero are wholeheartedly in belief CO2 is the main cause of AGW.

      • August 18, 2021 10:14 am

        Atmospheric CO2, that really scary poison that makes up 0.001% of all the carbon dioxide held in oceans, surface rocks, air, soils and life. No wonder the useful idiots want to get rid of it

  2. Jim Carless permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:18 am

    Off topic ish but how can Andrew Marr say this in the i –

    5 million a year dying of climate change !!!

    ”Australian and Chinese academics estimate that around five million people are dying each year from the effects of climate change. But in reality, trying to estimate the mortality at different rates of temperature increase verges on the impossible.

    To estimate crop failures, water shortages, the loss of marine biomass and the changing coastlines is one thing. But add wars over resources, the effect of mass migrations and the collapse of traditional communities, and you are entering the darker areas of science fiction (which may well come to pass), rather than scientific measurement.”

  3. August 17, 2021 10:20 am

    Ignorant people make ignorant decisions. The bigger question is how a nonentity like this manages to be featured in the mainstream press. A friend of the of the reporter or the Editor?

  4. GeoffB permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:35 am

    Maggie who? That well known expert on self publicity! Like anyone gives a flying fluck on what she does or does not.

  5. John M. permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:39 am

    Just kill yourself already. That should make everyone happy and dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.

  6. Cheshire Red permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:39 am

    It’s part of the human psyche to discover meaning or purpose which can then be burnished to all comers. It’s especially heartwarming if it involves a spot of self-sacrifice.

    He she is putting herself to great inconvenience, all for the sakes of others. How noble!

    This is her moment and selflessly, she wants the whole world to know it.

  7. Harry Davidson permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:41 am

    She is an Alarmist who practices what she preaches. That is very unusual, it’s always other people who need to change, but they are too important to do so. For that I respect her.

    • Crowcatcher permalink
      August 17, 2021 12:26 pm

      She should have started doing all that when she was at school all those years ago.
      I bet she didn’t take the tiniest bit of notice of any of her science teachers when she was there.
      Typical modern “twennie greenies” do as I say not as I do!!!!!!!

  8. William Bray permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:45 am

    Why should becoming vegan (a loathsome thought for me) affect the climate. Do the eco loons not realise that cows emit gas because they are vegetarians? Reduce the number of cows in the world and you will replace their gaseous outpourings with those of the vegans.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      August 17, 2021 3:32 pm

      Has anyone actually done a calculation comparing the gas emissions of Baffalo in the USA v cattle in USA? I would have said their numbers were similar. Or Eyropean Aurochs which featured in cave paintings or mammoths. The increase from prehistory to modern might not be as large as claimed

  9. Graeme No.3 permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:54 am

    Are there any figures available for the numbers of Britons heading south IN SUMMER by air, compared with those going to Svalbard or Baffin island?
    If those planning to kayak to the north were also included, I suspect that the average will be mostly for the south. Even if we include those, like Maggie R. who will travel only by magic broomstick I doubt that the percentage opting for a freezing summer would still be a minority.

  10. europeanonion permalink
    August 17, 2021 11:07 am

    The amazing aspect of this, to my mind, is the power, the intrusion, that we allow to green groups, so-called conservationists. That a number of like-minded individuals can declare their romances and for them to be quoted by broadcasters and governments, is rich. All that it demonstrates is a willingness to believe that story you heard from the man in the pub, applying selectivity. We need to know little about the rest of their lives. What actually persuades them to be so staunch in their cause? These purveyors of truth have learned in their narrative the way to push buttons, to subvert and insinuate, skills rather at odds with their declared cuddliness and humanity. They declare to be of a liberal caste (although such allegiance is now tarnished by Afghanistan), Mr Biden a liberal? I’d sooner say his mother was a wit.

    That a government can actively favour that which some collection of ordinary folk profess, why? This is but a preference that supports some aspect of covert policy which is struggling. For which coercion and gewgaws have failed to illicit the required ‘nudge’ effect. This is no more scientific or knowledgeable than a strategy deployed in Pelmenism.

    The studied blanking of the cogent argument that Paul professes is not a denial of what he states but describes that part of governmental system which will not be brooked. On the one hand, we are led to believe that the state hears each sparrow fall, while elsewhere steering the gross over-use loss of our green lands, where such sparrows might live (showing a bandwidth loss, the ability to hear, selectivity).

    Our ordinary people who propose fact, statistical analysis, stand little chance when up against charitable types offering cuddly toys to seduce a following, appealing to infantilism; a broadcaster self-styled ‘Auntie’, who, through the contortion of time, presents as beyond reproach. By some accident of fate, gifted the nation’s ear while holding-on tenaciously to its pudenda! But we know about the proclivities of charities. We saw their activities in Haiti and know for a fact that these purveyors of the liberal concept carry with them the plague of human fallibility.

  11. bobn permalink
    August 17, 2021 11:38 am

    Good. I’m glad that she and all her fellow loonies and luddites will no longer take up space on aircraft. More legroom for me.
    Likewise ‘Carry on Veganing’. That should bring down the price of beef, so I’ll happily up my number of roast dinners.

  12. Ian Wilson permalink
    August 17, 2021 11:46 am

    Living car-free supposedly saves 2.04 tonnes of CO2 per person per year, while using a battery car saves 1.95, almost the same. What about all the CO2 to make the thing and its battery?

  13. Kelland Hutchence permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:20 pm

    I’m so pleased to see the many ways by which I might reduce my carbon footprint. Do I give a damn? Not in the least!

  14. Pvenkman permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:41 pm

    Has anyone ever actually looked properly at the “environmental impact” of trains do these calculations include the emissions from the network or jus the train? An aircraft once in the air uses very little infrastructure, last time I looked network rail had a fleet of 3000 vehicles some tracks need replaced every 2 years ballast sleepers catenary etc the list goes on. A class 390 weighs weighs 466 ton with a capacity of 470 people a 747 with a capacity of up to 660 people weighs about 185 ton empty.

  15. August 17, 2021 1:05 pm

    Because the BBC are Eco loons. They run an echo chamber, remember. No balance is allowed under the 2006 Editorial decrees. so no scientific method is allowed, and everything is ipos facto partial.

  16. dearieme permalink
    August 17, 2021 1:14 pm

    “people who have found flying just too uncomfortable”: me too. It’s the lack of leg room I can’t bear. And the lack of shoulder room. Scandalous, really. No wonder Friends of Obama use private jets.

  17. Dave Ward permalink
    August 17, 2021 1:26 pm

    “People who have found flying just too uncomfortable to contemplate any more”

    I would rather be evacuated from a war zone, sitting on the floor of a C17 transport, than go through all the rigmarole involved with flying on commercial airlines these days…

    “Making sure a plane doesn’t carry more fuel or water than it needs”

    Don’t these these idiots know that battery powered planes (which they seem to think are the future) ALWAYS carry the weight equivalent of “Full Fuel” around with them?

    Further to my quote from the report, I used to frequent pilots forums, and a regular topic was “Budget” airlines being notorious for carrying the absolute minimum fuel. When faced with long holding patterns they would declare a “Low Fuel Emergency” so as to get priority landing clearance! They might get away with it on limited occasions, but what happens when everybody tries the same thing?

    • dennisambler permalink
      August 17, 2021 1:56 pm

      Battery powered planes give a new slant to range anxiety… how far is it to the ground?

    • JBW permalink
      August 17, 2021 3:10 pm

      The CAA mandates the minimum fuel requirements on all flights, including diversion reserves and contingency fuels. In BA we were always encouraged to take ‘min fuel’, but ultimately it is the captains duty to ensure the fuel load meets the needs of the flight, and the company has no defence if a captain takes more fuel which can be justified. Of course, it costs fuel to carry the extra fuel. So for a B777, an extra 30 mins holding at destination (2800kg) will require loading 3500Kg before departure, costing 700Kg over a 10 hour flight to carry said fuel. Management didn’t like it as it came off the fleet budget, but a diversion was OK as it was on some else’s budget – at least that was how it was explained to me.

      As Dave Ward says, playing chicken is OK until everyone is caught out, and you find that your nearest diversion field has just closed due snow.

      As the old saw goes the only time you have too much fuel is when you are on fire:-)

  18. Vanessa permalink
    August 17, 2021 1:47 pm

    Shame she does not follow her heart and refuse to fly again – leaving more room for the rest of us !! We wont miss her !

  19. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    August 17, 2021 1:57 pm

    Morons like this need to stop exhaling CO2 right now!

  20. Broadlands permalink
    August 17, 2021 1:58 pm

    “They’re trying to pretend that your emissions don’t count because you can offset, but the offsets aren’t real, they don’t last, they’re not permanent.”

    This is the same con as biofuels, which are only 10% renewable ethanol and 90% fossil fuel. They are designed to be used immediately in transportation. Unless the same amount of vegetation is grown to sequester that recycled CO2, all the offset is lost. And, biofuel agricultural land is in competition with human agriculture and land for solar panel farms. Not a very well thought out idea to “save the planet”.

  21. Gerry, England permalink
    August 17, 2021 2:09 pm

    I am not sure how many people would volunteer – or pay – to fly with airlines that didn’t maintain their engines properly. The aviation industry is just about the strictest in terms of monitoring servicing, parts and competence.

    In terms of the offset greenwashing, I read that there might be a crackdown on energy suppliers on this. Government wasting its time again given that all of them are pulling the same 100% green scam, and unless anyone is still charging a green premium, nobody will care.

  22. Ben Vorlich permalink
    August 17, 2021 3:21 pm

    When Harrabin, Shipman and Mcgrath travel to all disasters by bike and power their equipment using a dynamo on their bike i might consider that something might be going on.

  23. roger permalink
    August 17, 2021 3:25 pm

    or did she just fall out with her cantankerous friends in Scotland and dread passing through the interminable wind farms whose stark stationary arms litter the once beautiful landscape in a political display of childish disunified desecration.

  24. Colin MacDonald permalink
    August 17, 2021 3:38 pm

    2% of global emissions is just noise in the signal. In any case if we abolished flying, presumably people would still want to travel, and even trains have their own carbon footprint. In some cases the alternative to flying has a higher carbon footprint, I guarantee that driving from Aberdeen to Bristol is more polluting than flying.
    It wouldn’t surprise if the cement used in Chinese spec building has higher emissions than global aviation.

  25. Dave Fair permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:06 pm

    The old way for rich bitches to get their photograph in the newspaper was to attend lavish charity events. Things change.

  26. Huw Thomas permalink
    August 17, 2021 8:14 pm

    What can be done about the BBC? They produce a story about this rich green zealot and then they expect us to be impressed. What can be done? I received a reply from the Ministry of Truth ( ie BBC Complaints ) about the Cumbrian coal mine. It took them months to come up with this but they claim that Roger Harrabin is not biased. Despair!!!. In my opinion the BBC is one of the most dangerous organisations in the UK. They are well placed to be the mouthpiece of the forthcoming green tyranny.

  27. cookers52 permalink
    August 18, 2021 10:48 pm

    Not sure that her scarf matches the rest of her outfit, how can I take her seriously.

  28. August 19, 2021 2:47 pm

    How does the BBC get away with violating is Charter?

    Defunding or at least the threat is the best remedy for such disgraceful bias.

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