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Piwoslaw 04-21-2010 03:28 AM

Volcano erupts on Iceland
As many of you have heard (and Europeans haven't heard about anything else) a cloud of ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano paralyzed air travel over most of Europe for almost a week. Since last week, airspace over a large portion of Europe was closed due to the risk of dust and ash damaging engines. Air travel was not banned only over a few southern countries.

With each day, the media are talking more and more about the costs of the ban, how much money and time was lost by airlines and by passengers, who is responsible for this, blah, blah blah. But it's hard to find anyone talking about the good sides of this event: I'm sure that 5-6 days with no flying had a good effect on the environment and people (emissions and noise). I found this nice chart:

So, with a volcano spewing gasses and ash just upwind from us we're still getting better air with no planes overhead. But are we really?

Airplanes don't just fly around empty, they fly because they transport people and cargo. If people need to get from point A to point B and flying is no longer an option, then they take a car or train. I have no info on whether train traffic increased, but on Friday most car rental companies at Polish airports suddenly ran out of cars, many were rented for international travel. For long distances, a car with 1-2 people in it, driving furiously to make it in time, probably pollutes more than flying does (per person). Of course, some people took a train while others just cancelled their vacation and stayed home. I'm not even trying to estimate the fuel used for driving back and forth to the closed airport.

I read this morning that postal and freight companies are throwing their cargo onto every truck and van they can find and driving it frantically across Europe. No mention of trains, which are the best way to transport bulk cargo over long distances. A book, DVD, or iPod does not have to get to it's new owner overnight, they're not organs ready to be transplanted. But spedition companies only think in the faster, faster, faster! category. (For an exception, see High seas hypermiling: even giant ships are doing it (slowing way down to save fuel). I read on BBC this morning that produce from Kenya is now flown to Spain and then trucked to the UK (Volcanic ash: Tesco delivers Kenyan produce via Spain). Tesco says that they are "helping Kenyan farmers by allowing them to send flowers and fruit to Spain, and collecting there." Now, how eco is that? And who is being helped: Kenyan farmers, or Tesco's profit?

I'm sure that if the flight ban was permanent, then trains would be used more than they are now. Unfortunately, airports are opening back up and everyone will be going even faster! to make up for the lost time. Business will go back to usual and nobody will stop for a moment to think.

Lazarus 04-21-2010 09:19 AM

Here's an intersting article on detailed analysis of the overall cradle-to-grave lifecycle of the transportation. With a link to the Cal Berkeley research.

CobraBall 04-21-2010 01:35 PM

And the point of the Nordic Volcanological Institute CO2 Chart is? Will the chart or institute have any effect on the volcano? Why not compared the CO2 production from Eyjafjallajoekull to the combined daily production of Male Bovine Feces of the US Congress, Executive branch, Danny Glover, and Al Gore!

Why not show the amount of CO2 saved if all airlines stopped flying in and out of Iceland.

Be true to yourself, only travel by sailing.

I wonder how the members/staffers at the the USGS, BBC, EEA, Nordic Volcanological Institute, or if James Key, Nicole Keller, Danny Glover & Al Gore are traveling by sail boat?

Imagine the population of Iceland 20 years from now if they ONLY transportation off the island was in a sailing ship.

With the rampant dishonestly at the CRU/U of East Anglia and Al Gore's mendacious & pompous proclamations, I question the validity of anything or anyone regarding "THE CLIMATE", CO2, the ice cap, polar bears, etc.. :D

If in doubt, follow the money!

jamesqf 04-21-2010 01:43 PM


Originally Posted by CobraBall (Post 171516)
And the point of the Nordic Volcanological Institute CO2 Chart is?

To refute all the pointy-headed denialists who immediately started their chorus of "But the volcano is putting out more CO2 than humans do, so there." So they're wrong (always suspected most of them never mastered elementary arithmetic :-)). It puts out much less than would the planes that aren't flying because of it.

gone-ot 04-21-2010 03:12 PM

...cause and effect.

bgd73 04-23-2010 04:43 AM


Originally Posted by Lazarus (Post 171488)
Here's an intersting article on detailed analysis of the overall cradle-to-grave lifecycle of the transportation. With a link to the Cal Berkeley research.

good stuff.

For those down on thier luck with an old machine good on fuel... this article shows why it is a winner.:thumbup:

the pollution facts of england, beyond air noise.. it is astounding...and I'd swear it was smaller than maine..the whole darn country...

I remember getting off the plane while still running in england, wind had exhaust blowing right at my damn face. I knew it was less than 30 seconds to guide it into its spot..I held my breath, but knew I had some in my lung. I looked over the fence.. and this little girl was with an old man..squinting the burning gas away. It is like I stared forever....of course I was high on a military uniform.
. did not expect to see a little girl there...
that vision haunted me. I like natures volcano. I bet some enjoyed some quiet time.
that is what it takes apparently.

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