Friday, 12 April 2019

Climate Strange: Owing to “Flight Shame,” Some Swedes Feel Too Guilty to Fly

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What a civilization feels guilty about speaks volumes. In Sweden, it’s not stealing children and putting them in abusive foster care, proposing a special tax on just one sex, trying to compel boys to tinkle sitting down, or silencing dissent with hate-speech laws. But pangs of conscience over flying on airplanes and increasing your Carbon Footprint™ are a different story. In fact, Swedes even have a name for such shame: Flygskam (pronounced “fleeg–skaam”).

As the AFP reports:

Saddled with long dark winters at home, Swedes have for decades been frequent flyers seeking out sunnier climes, but a growing number are changing their ways because of air travel’s impact on the climate.

“Flygskam”, or flight shame, has become a buzz word referring to feeling guilt over the environmental effects of flying, contributing to a trend that has more and more Swedes, mainly young, opting to travel by train to ease their conscience.

Spearheading the movement for trains-over-planes is Sweden’s own Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate school striker who refuses to fly, travelling by rail to the World Economic Forum in Davos and the climate summit in Katowice, Poland.

A growing number of public figures have vowed to #stayontheground, including Swedish television skiing commentator Bjorn Ferry who said last year he would only travel to competitions by train.

And 250 people working in the film industry signed a recent article in the country’s biggest daily Dagens Nyheter calling for Swedish film producers to limit shoots abroad.

An anonymous Swedish Instagram account created in December has been shaming social media profiles and influencers for promoting trips to far-flung destinations, racking up more than 60,000 followers.

Why is this movement big in Sweden? Aside from it being the most godless Western country — and in accordance with this, perhaps the most left-wing one — a study of travel trends over the past thirty years found that Swedes “have five times the global average air emissions per capita,” reports “The study from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg shows that since 1990 emissions from international flights have soared to account for 61 per cent of this.”

So alarmists will applaud flygskam, claiming that Sweden is warming at twice the rate of other countries, and, in fairness, the nation does specialize in hot air. Not only has it officially declared itself to have a “feminist” government (thus formalizing the transition from Vikings to Viqueens), but has registered another first: Sweden passed a 2017 law stating it must be completely carbon neutral by 2045.

Of course, given reality and recent trends, it’s more likely it will be completely Muslim by 2045.

Regardless, Swedes might feel less guilty if they traded the alarmism for climate realism and considered the following inconvenient truths:

• Climate data appear very unreliable, and many scientists say that the temperature ceased rising approximately 20 years ago. Moreover, one report indicates that Arctic sea ice is the same thickness now as it was 75 years ago.

• Insofar as the climate is changing, there’s no proof man’s activities are the cause. Note here that the only constant in climate is change. During the Cryogenian Period, for instance, the Earth was perhaps entirely covered with snow and ice; during another era, snow and ice were entirely or almost entirely gone. At one time the oceans around Florida were 100 feet higher than today (which would just about completely submerge the very flat state); at another they were 300 feet lower.

• The claim that “97 percent of scientists affirm” man-caused global warming was always false. There’s much disagreement on the matter, and, besides, “consensus” isn’t a term of science, but politics.

• CO2 is not a pollutant, but plant food, which is why botanists pump it into greenhouses and why crop yields are greater when levels are higher; it’s why the age of the dinosaurs, when CO2 levels were five to 10 times today’s, was characterized by lush foliage everywhere. Also, calling CO2 “carbon” is like calling H2O “hydrogen” — it’s a propaganda term.

• In fact, astrobiologist Jack O’Malley-James warned in 2013 that life on Earth will end because of too little CO2 (in approximately one billion years). Plants can’t photosynthesize when levels are too low.

• Some scientists believe that we’re actually poised to enter another ice age; this would be truly dangerous because people and animals generally fare better in warmer temperatures.

• Danish statistician Bjørn Lomborg, the head of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, calculated in 2017 that reducing the global temperature three-tenths of one degree by the century’s end — meaning, postponing so-called “global warming” less than four years — would cost $100 trillion (no, that’s not a typo).

• Climate models have been consistently wrong, yet alarmists still want them to shape policy. Is this rational? Would you take a “hot stock tip” from a broker who’d been consistently wrong for more than a generation?

If Swedes would still scoff at the above, however, there is an upside. One beneficiary of their going off the rails mentally and to the rails literally may be national rail operator SJ, which “reported a 21 percent boost in business travel this winter,” the AFP informs.

Another beneficiary may be us. After all, since there isn’t yet a train from Stockholm to New York, at least the leftist Swedes may stay on their side of the pond.

Image: guvendemir via iStock / Getty Images Plus

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