New research uncovers the ‘myths’ behind aviation’s climate change crisis

From the UNIVERSITY OF SURREY and the “I’ll believe air travel pollution is a big climate problem when Bill McKibben and Leo DiCaprio stop flying around the world to tell us how bad it is” department.

Josh_greens_go_by_air

Reliance on technological solutions in cutting emissions are ‘myths’ propagating inaction by industry and government

  • Damaging emissions from aviation will rise despite assurances from airline industry that air travel will soon become sustainable
  • Reliance on technological solutions in cutting emissions are ‘myths’ propagating inaction by industry and government
  • Technology could help cut harmful emissions, but must be viewed alongside stronger regulation

A new study published in the journal Transportation Research Part D has explored the ways in which new technologies have been ‘hyped’ by the aviation industry and media as the key to sustainable air travel, perpetuating a culture of non-accountability for increased emissions and subsequent environmental damage.

Researchers from the University of Surrey, in collaboration with NHTV Breda, Netherlands and the University of Otago, New Zealand, explored how new technologies such as alternative fuels, solar flight and a range of aircraft design options are presented by industry and media, alongside the subsequent level of success in practically applying these technologies. The researchers argue that discussion around these technologies creates ‘myths’ of zero-emission flight, shielding the aviation industry from closer scrutiny of its sustainability policies.

“Air travel has experienced substantial growth over the last 40 years. By 2050 energy use in aviation will have tripled, accounting for 19% of all transport energy use in 2050, compared to 11% in 2006,” Dr Scott Cohen, of the University of Surrey explained.

“This is in sharp contrast to pledges by industry to reduce flight emissions through technology, aiming for ‘zero emission flight’ through overly hyped developments such as solar planes and hydrogen fuels.”

“The way in which new technologies are presented constitutes a ‘myth’, a form of propaganda which denies the truth that progress in climate policy for aviation has stalled. The use of these technology myths by industry and government relieves anxiety that nothing is being done, by pointing to future ‘miracle’ solutions, which in reality are unfeasible.”

The team analysed how new aviation technology such as solar flight has been presented by industry as key to sustainable flight. While presented as a possible solution to high-emission flight, the research explored how in fact solar flight is highly unfeasible, with the creators of the first solar plane to fly around the clock admitting that solar planes would “never replace fuel-powered commercial flights”.

Paul Peeters, Associate Professor Sustainable Transport and Tourism, NHTV Breda: “We see a definite pattern when it comes to the hyping of these technologies. Take solar or electric flight. Through the media, the industry successfully presented these technologies as major breakthroughs that would have beneficial implications for future, zero-emission flight. In reality this is rhetoric that takes headlines away from the fact that emissions policy is failing, and continually points to a ‘better future’ just around the corner.”

“While these inventions are fascinating from a research perspective, they won’t act as a panacea for the harmful, climate damaging emissions that the aviation industry is increasingly releasing into our atmosphere. Industry will always wish to present an optimistic view of their role in this issue, but our research has also shown that some politicians are complicit in propagating these myths and need to stop relying on rhetoric and start referring to facts.”

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114 thoughts on “New research uncovers the ‘myths’ behind aviation’s climate change crisis

  1. Emergency Alert. Jonova’s site has been hijacked on MSN. When you put in JoNova.com you get some business softwear site which has hijacked her web address. You can still get it by putting in
    JoanneNova.au.co, but, as we all know Microsoft is pro global warming. I suspect chicanery.

      • I am aware of the joannenova website. At this time yesterday when I put in jonova.com in MSN I got JoNova. Suddenly I get some business website advertising softwear. Jo is aware of this and thinks that the website has gotten more traffic so has jumped her. I refuse to believe some business softwear site has gotten more traffic then one of the most important skeptical websites in the world. I am not a conspiracy person, but knowing microsoft’s attitude on global warming, I suspect skullduggery.

  2. Hmmm. So if they are admitting that solar powered flight is just hype, why not solar-powered power grid? The inconsistency looms large!

    • That’s just the kind of common sense logic that will help bring this madness to an end. :D

      • The Maldives could not give a crap about carbon emissions by planes. If they did then why ask people to visit? Are most people going by boat? Solar powered planes? What a load of utter sh!t.

        Welcome to the disaster zone. The disaster zone for fools who visit the underwater paradise by plane. You cannot make up this BS.

        Welcome | Maldives – the sunny side of life
        Sunny all year long, Waves like nowhere else, Underwater beauty like paradise! Visit Maldives for a perfect holiday……

        Welcome to the Maldives, where sands are white as the smiles of the locals, where fish swim happily in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, where the weather is a dream, and the deep rays of the sun waits to engulf you in their arms………..

        Reputed airlines operate daily flights to the Maldives. Hence, reaching the Maldives is an uncomplicated affair, aboard excellent airlines offering world-class services. There are international and domestic airlines offering air travel services.

        The following is a list of International Airlines that operates flights frequently to and from the Maldives:

        1. Aeroflot

        2. Air India

        3. Austrian Airlines

        4. Bankok Airways

        5. British Airways

        6. Cathay Pacific

        7. China Eastern

        8. China Southern

        9. Condor

        10. Edelweiss

        11. Emirates

        12. Ethihad Airways

        13. Fits Air

        14. Fly Dubai

        15. Hainan Airlines

        16. Hongkong Airlines

        17. Korean Air

        18. Xl Airways

        19. Maldivian

        20. Malaysia Airlines

        21. Mega Maldives

        22. Meridiana Fly

        23. Neos

        24. Oman Air

        25. Qatar Airways

        26. Sichuan Airlines

        27. Singapore Airlines

        28. Srilankan Airlines

        29. Spice Jet

        30. Thomsonfly

        31. Transaero Airlines

        32. Turkish Airline

        Domestic Airlines

        1. Maldivian

        2. Flyme

        Seaplane Operators

        1. Trans Maldives

        2. Maldivian

        Charter Flights

        Charter flights also fly to the Maldives from various parts of the world. The International Airports in the country are capable of accommodating charter flight operations.

        For daily updated information about domestic and international flights to and from the Maldives click this …..fis.com.mv

        OK! Now here is their rubbis dump built up by tourist visitors. Is this a fravd???

      • From the Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation

        There are four international and six domestic airports in the Maldives.
        http://www.visitmaldives.com/en/pages/airports

        From the Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation from same link as above.

        We must fight ‘climate change’ and the causes of ‘climate change’. Now where do we start???

  3. Contrails are known to dampen temperatures, ameliorating the highs and cushioning the lows. So if fewer “extremes” are desired, we need to keep the planes flying. Albedo reflects incoming sunlight at wavelengths that CO2 cannot intercept, and the vapor redirects Long Wave radiation coming from the ground. The additional CO2 helps plants grow too, so the question is: Whats not to like???

      • Parrot. Since when is soot produced by planes? And glaciers are better melted than not.

      • Those are B-52G models, long since retired. Straight turbojets. We’ve had turbofan B52H’s since 1960. And no, they don’t use JATO rockets. They have more than enough power to get off the ground in a hurry.

      • The B52H does use the TF33 P&W engine which is somewhat better (but not much on a cold day start with JP5) and not nearly as clean (appearing) compared to the TF39 higher bypass engine that was proposed at one time. However that engine would be close to a runway cleanup model with lots of potential FOD. Still amazing that this aircraft is planned out to 2044 (at a minimum) as the fancy new low observables and computer controlled aircraft don’t always appear to be as useful or, like the B1, have a historical multitude of other issues. The B1, for example, in addition to it’s fits with reliability also has bomb bays forward of the engine inlets making for potential engine damage upon bomb bay door opening if everything isn’t tied down properly or any small pieces of anything are left in that area. I have read that the B52, unlike newer stability controlled aircraft, is quite exciting in it’s low altitude under-the-radar mode with even the tail flapping and shaking.

      • prjindigo March 6, 2016 at 12:28 am
        “Primary source…”
        Primary Source means No 1, which doesn’t make sense as there are only about 74 B52s still in service. No matter how smokey they are there just aren’t enough to compete with the nearly 1 billion road vehicles, or the 50,000+ merchant ship, or all the diesel rail locomotives, or all the coal fired power stations etc.

  4. OK, so maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but I don’t recall the airline industry actually making any claims about zero emission flights or commercially viable solar airplanes. Have I been asleep at the switch, or are these guys debunking a claim that was never made by the airline industry?

      • The industry is pretty much on board with the climate change community, at least giving the notion serious lip service. Fuel efficiency is definitely a priority, though. That’s why you’re seeing those fancy winglets popping up on the wingtips of new airliners.

        Aviation Week & Space Technology, the ‘WUWT’ of aviation, seems to have a bunch of true believers in its editorial department, contrary to what you’d expect from a bunch of engineers.

      • What is not mentioned in the Wiki article is that the entire world air traffic control system is changing although they do mention ‘direct routes’. Instead of aircraft flying along airways that were structured in the past and often like major roads can be busy in one direction and empty in another, aircraft will be allowed to fly ‘business trajectories’ that follow the most efficient route taking into account distance, wind, temperature and altitude as well as the airline business requirements. In recent experiments in Atlantic crossings, savings of over a ton of fuel a flight were possible with just simple changes toward efficient trajectories. By 2025 European and North Atlantic airspace should have no predefined routes or track structures allowing all aircraft to fly more economic trajectories. The saving in fuel burn and emissions for all airspace users will be considerable.

      • Mike McMillan, you’re right. Aviation Week was once my favorite magazine. Penton Publishing bought them and now there is usually AGW propaganda somewhere in each issue.
        I won’t be renewing.
        AW&ST has gone the way of National Geographic. SELLOUTS.
        I’m on my last subscription after almost 30 years.

      • Working on fuel efficiency has nothing to do with being on board with climate change. It is purely a business decision in an attempt to drive the cost of doing business down.

      • Mark T, that’s kinda the point. I’m completely fine with planes burning less fuel, making less noise, being more comfortable, as long as they don’t, for example, start slowing them down by 100knots to do it. I’m fine with my ticket prices being lower, too.
        I’m NOT fine with people forcing us to be inconvenienced in the name of a ridiculous and repeatedly disproved hypothesis.
        So they’re doing it to bring prices down, but paying lip service to the warmists. That’s good business, unfortunately the PR tends to reinforce the delusional.

  5. I grew up in Holland and I have never heard of the NHTV “University” of Breda The last two letters “TV” makes me wonder. and what is the journal “Transportation Research Part D “? Anybody ever heard of that one?
    Paul Peeters, Associate Professor Sustainable Transport and Tourism, (?? my question marks the rest is a quote) NHTV Breda: “We see a definite pattern when it comes to the hyping of these technologies. Take solar or electric flight. Through the media, the industry successfully presented these technologies as major breakthroughs,
    I am sorry Paul, these claims have not been made by the Air industries they have made their planes vastly more efficient and cleaner compared to just a decade ago.
    As far as I can see you now blame the failure of ANY solar tech on the bad guys, I think you should start looking a the Gore’s of this planet and the solar scams ( and wind scams) that have failed everywhere.

    • Nobody in the aircraft industry would propose solar or electric as an alternative to fossil fuel or bio fuel.
      Biofuel is maybe a feel good proposal and has some legs in the PR stakes but that is about it.
      The Climate Gabfest in Paris last year specifically wedged transport use of Fossil Furl in the “Too Hard Basket”. The recent round the work flight using a plane with giant solar wings was merely a stunt on par with trying to break the world pie eating contest.
      I would say this whole press article is an April Gool attempt that is out by a few weeks.

      • Rasa
        Agree
        Maybe “The World Steak and Strawberry 400 gram Pie Eating Record”.
        Must be specific, I hear.

        Auto – no slouch at pies . . . . .

    • jonova.com has belonged to Jonova consulting in Seattle since 2001 as far as Whois tells. JoanneNova.au.co (or rather au.co) don’t exist. As you note the usual url works fine. Spam I fear.

  6. Well, who would have thunk it !! I could have written this in third grade.

    Aviation is one of those industries where a set amount of energy required to get from A to B, and no amount of fudging this basic issue is going to fool the great god of energy conservation. (Aircraft and their engines are already quite efficient, so any further efficiency gains will only be incremental.) The basic problem with the alternatives is replicating the energy density found in aviation fuel, which is fairly high.

    Batteries:
    Nowhere near the required energy density to power a commercial airliner. And even if you did find such a power-pack, if it takes 12 hours to recharge at the destination, the whole concept is a non-starter. Recharging most commercial aircraft takes 30 to 40 minutes. (An A380 can drink 320,000 liters when refueling, that’s 84,000 gallons in Medieval units.)

    Solar power:
    Err, a non-starter. Compare the wing area of an A380 (850 m2) with the amount of energy you could generate from solar panels with that, over a 10-hour flight. What percentage of 320,000 liters of fuel is that? 0.001%? (I am guessing, but a comparison would be interesting.)

    Hydrogen:
    Actually, hydrogen does have the energy density in terms of weight, but not in terms of volume. You would end up with a very fat aircraft, like the Boeing hydrogen drone pictured below. That bulbous fuselage is not for passengers or instrumentation, that is the fuel tank. And then you have the problem that hydrogen can escape from any tank, of any material. Hydrogen can seep right through steel, aluminium or carbon fiber, which makes it pretty dangerous in aviation usage.

    Biofuels:
    Quite possible. Jet engines will run on any fractionation of fuel, from petrols (0.70) to heavy diesels (0.85). And they will run on gas, as do many gas pipeline power plants. The Honeywell AGT1500C engine in the Abrams tank will run on all sorts of fuels, and yet this is also a commercial aviation engine. The same engine was used on the Bae 146, which is why it was sometimes known as the ‘tank’. (And sometimes Bae was translated as ‘Bring Another Engine’, as the failure rate on early models was quite high.)

    Nuclear:
    Well the MX-1589 project did try to make one. The HTRE-3 nuclear jet-engine used a molten fluoride salt reactor, not unlike a Thorium reactor, powering a liquid sodium secondary circuit at 850ºc, which then powered the combustor annulus in two J47 jet engines. See the image below. But I am sure you can imagine the complexity, danger, and weight problems involved.

    But the main problem with most of these alternative energy systems, is you have to generate the ‘battery’ (fuel) before loading it onto the aircraft. So is burning a fossil fuel any better on the ground, than in the air? Until we go 100% nuclear, there is really no point looking at ‘battery’ alternatives to a standard jet engine, which are actually very efficient. By the time you have generated, stored and used that energy in a ‘battery’ like hydrogen, you have ended up generating MORE emissions and MORE pollution than if you had just burned the fuel in an aircraft jet engine.

    More often than not, the Greeneey brigade cannot see the bigger picture.

    Ralph

    The Boeing hydrogen drone:

    A nuclear jet engine:

    • Ralph, this is an excellent reply. I knew the facts in general, but you have put the case well.
      -P.

    • Re: the nuclear jet engine……

      Anyone else notice that the 50s to 80s were dominated by the Physical Sciences, whose scientists were dreaming up mad schemes to justify their huge budgets (while hidden in remote desert locations in Navada, stroking their white cats).

      And since the 90s we have been dominated by the Earth Scientists, whose scientists are dreaming up mad schemes to justify their huge budgets (while hidden in remote locations in Antarctica, stroking their white cats).

      R

      • That’s absurd, I’ve never seen a white cat at a remote location in Antarctica.
        Then again, I suppose that they blend in.

      • No, Mr. Powers, I expect you to die…all by yourself in an overly elaborate death situation which you might possibly escape from but no one will stick around to watch.”

      • Are we surprised that a generation brought up on Thunderbirds (with rockets and spacecraft), was more dynamic than a generation brought up on Teletubbies (with green housing and windmills) ?? Lets hope the new Thunderbirds film generates renewed interest in high technology, and lifts childhood perspectives and visions back towards the stars.

        The original Thunderbirds intro:

        .
        The new Thunderbirds into:

    • ralfellis-

      Great comments above. You write-

      “Solar power:
      Err, a non-starter. Compare the wing area of an A380 (850 m2) with the amount of energy you could generate from solar panels with that, over a 10-hour flight. What percentage of 320,000 liters of fuel is that? 0.001%? (I am guessing, but a comparison would be interesting.)”

      It is more like 0.1%, but still one-comma short (factor of 1,000 or 60 dB).
      :-)

    • It may be interesting to note that they actually developed a successful nuclear rocket engine in the 1960s. There was an old joke that if the Soviet Union got to the moon before the U.S. did we’d be on Mars today. Indeed, it’s probably not a joke. There actually was a contingency plan to attempt a manned Mars flight by 1985 if we did lose the moon race. And nuclear rocket engines were developed for just such a mission. I’m not home right now so I don’t have the reference in front of me so I have to go on memory. I believe the fuel was either hydrogen or kerosene just as in a regular chemical rocket engine. However the fuel wasn’t burned. It was passed through an array of nuclear rods which would heat it to combustion temperatures and thus develop propulsive thrust out a relatively conventional rocket nozzle. The advantage conferred was that the rocket did not need to carry the additional payload of oxygen. These engines were not theoretical; they were successfully test fired in the Nevada desert back in the middle 1960s.

      While the elimination of the oxygen component of a rocket engine would give no advantage over an air breathing turbofan there is, however, no reason a transcontinental transport has to be bound to the atmosphere. But, I wonder if the public would tolerate nuclear powered transport.

      • On Nuclear rocketry – look up Project Orion. Imagine a spaceship propelled by a series of nuclear EXPLOSIONS! (I believe that Kubrick’s 2001 spaceship was supposed to be an Orion type).

    • ralfellis March 6, 2016 at 12:06 am
      Hydrogen:
      Actually, hydrogen does have the energy density in terms of weight, but not in terms of volume. You would end up with a very fat aircraft, like the Boeing hydrogen drone pictured below. That bulbous fuselage is not for passengers or instrumentation, that is the fuel tank. And then you have the problem that hydrogen can escape from any tank, of any material. Hydrogen can seep right through steel, aluminium or carbon fiber, which makes it pretty dangerous in aviation usage.

      Which is why it’s a preferred fuel in space flight, where the drag isn’t a factor.

      Biofuels:
      Quite possible. Jet engines will run on any fractionation of fuel, from petrols (0.70) to heavy diesels (0.85). And they will run on gas, as do many gas pipeline power plants. The Honeywell AGT1500C engine in the Abrams tank will run on all sorts of fuels, and yet this is also a commercial aviation engine.

      This takes me back, I recall working as a consultant with Lycoming on the design of the AGT, the key part was having a multi fuel capability (on a battle field you may have to use any fuel you come across), also much less smoke than a diesel which could lead to detection by the enemy. Gas Turbines are intrinsically more efficient than reciprocating engines and airliners typically get about 75 passenger miles/ USgal.

  7. Err….I thought it was the greens who presented pointless activities like solar aircraft as the future…

    • Hey Geez, remember when anti-gravity pods were supposedly in the foreseeable future? That’s what solar powered airliners are to the present generation.

  8. Trains are cleaner:

    And they don’t need all those runways all over the countryside:

    • You have it all wrong, trains were much cleaner back in the age of steam. Those were the good old days, that we should be headding back to. /sarc.

      The Flying Scotsman’s first run, after a recent renovation.

      • Like those who show pictures of power station cooling towers you don’t say how much is steam.

      • >>Steam.

        If you see how much shoveling is required to keep the Scotsman going, you will realise that a lot of those emissions are not steam at all. No scrubbers or filters on the Scotsman.

        R

      • Is it not the steam (pressure) from the boiler that is pushing the “smoke” particulate out the locomotive’s smoke stack?

      • Steam powered train engines recycle the steam as much as possible, with all losses coming out of the piston area. What you are seeing is the smoke from the fire that turns the water to steam.

      • The “boiler” is actually a bundle of tubes, not a big reservoir of water sloshing around. And yes they do use some exhaust steam added to the smoke to create a forced draught.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire-tube_boiler#Locomotive_boiler

        “A locomotive boiler has three main components: a double-walled firebox; a horizontal, cylindrical “boiler barrel” containing a large number of small flue-tubes; and a smokebox with chimney, for the exhaust gases. The boiler barrel contains larger flue-tubes to carry the superheater elements, where present. Forced draught is provided in the locomotive boiler by injecting exhausted steam back into the exhaust via a blast pipe in the smokebox.”

        My father was fireman for Canadian National starting in the 1920s and an engineer sometime later. He shoveled ~18+ tons of coal to get the train one division, one way, which was about 120 miles on the prairies. A heck of a lot more was required if the line was “hilly”. We laughed about Merle Travis’s “Sixteen Tons” song (a very fine song though). My brother and I made a few trips on the head end with him when we’re 10 – 12 years old. We had to run and climb up real quickly when he signaled that the coast was clear (naturally it was against regulations). He had built a log cabin on a lake on the main line just into western Ontario near Reddit, ON. an hours boat ride to our cabin. We got to blow the whistle at crossings, bridges, towns, etc. It was great fun.

    • David,
      The steam in the stack comes from any hydrogen in the coal or diesel that is burned into H2O

    • You mean a train driven by atmospheric pressure?

      Pahh – Isambard Brunel built one of those back in 1844, to go from Exeter to Plymouth. But the tube was plagued by failing seals, and you could not have a junction between lines. All problems that Elon Musk will shortly come across.

      The original tube for Brunel’s atmospheric railway.

      .

      Ok, so the train did not run inside the tube, but a large piston attached to the train did. So it is the same principle.

      Ralph

  9. What do we learn from all of this. For me, I have learned that a tiny number of people from the University of Surrey, in collaboration with NHTV Breda, Netherlands and the University of Otago, New Zealand, have through some considerable effort managed to dismantle the misconception that a solar plane might at any point offer a potential alternative to fuel-powered aircraft.
    What is astonishing, is that this is presented as “research”, or as a “discovery”.
    In order to “discover” that a solar plane is not a realistic alternative, firstly a person must not realize that that is plainly the case.
    And what is worrying, is that it is quite possible that nobody involved in this “research” did realize this fact until they had either performed some preliminary, back of envelope, calculations. Or spoken to the makers of the Solar Impulse, who they claim “admitted that…”
    It’s not an admission. I’m pretty sure that none of the engineers on the Solar Impulse team thought that one day a scaled up version would carry 300 people and luggage.
    It’s only an admission if the fact was at some point concealed. It wasn’t. It’s plainly obvious.

    However making fuel on the ground from renewable sources and then fueling aircraft with that fuel is a perfectly sensible proposition. Although not currently cost effective this may not be more than a few decades away. Best wait and see. And leave it to the markets and innovation.

  10. I much prefer trains to planes. Planes crash and not just in the ocean or at air ports, they crash into cities and towns and other places, one of my previous homes was the site of a plane crash after I left. Plane crashes kill far more people per crash than even very super fast trains like the recent derailment in Germany.

  11. Then you have the madness of our Prime Minister here in Quebec fighting as hard as he can to stop the construction of the Energy East Pipeline that would bring Canadian crude oil to Quebec’s refineries (and shut out misogynistic Saudi oil in the process) while pleading for yet another handout from the Feds to keep Canadair alive so that it can continue building fossil fuel-burning aircraft. Another “selective” greenie.

  12. The Democrats should listen to John Hartford’s song – Steam Powered Airplane (the wheel goes down and around, inside and then back again.) One might also refer to Rube Goldberg type of machinery when referring to the warmist idea of flying on renewables. Non Sequitur?

    • The Space Shuttle burned hydrogen and oxygen, so that was steam coming out of the engines. A Mach 25 steam-powered airplane.

      • Maybe that’s why they don’t use them anymore. All the GHG they produced.
        Wait a minute. They don’t model water vapor.
        “Never mind.”

  13. It’s easy to believe air travel pollution is a big climate problem because President Obama has grounded Air Force One.

    … What ? He didn’t ?

  14. “our research has also shown that some politicians are complicit in propagating these myths and need to stop relying on rhetoric and start referring to facts.”

    How ironic is that quote ! I guess they only consider data & research to be “facts” if they support their AGW arguments.

  15. The Malthusians are going to have to realize that things like planes and electric power do have some downside but overall the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
    Every single thing humans do has some effect on the planet and that will never change until we’re all gone. Their anti-progress mentality has to be purged from policy and the education system. They need to be shoved aside for the sake of humanity, ridiculed at every opportunity for real human progress to happen.

  16. This is a set-up. Create a problem and then solve it with your agenda.
    The only solution to evil air travel “created problem” is to limit travel of humans, “real agenda”.
    The governments (any and all governments) and lefist activist will not sleep untill they have control over all aspects of ones life. This is and always will be the great fight for humans: freedom to manage our own lives vs. those who must control it.

  17. How about the holier-than-all-of-us hypocrites in their unmaintained diesel vehicles, aka deep-fryer asthma bombs, who are so busy promoting “sustainability” that they fail to see the trail of COPD and nausea in their wake?

  18. I was shooting clays near Surrey University this morning, didn’t see anything green go by. I could have waved.

  19. “Through the media, the industry successfully presented these technologies as major breakthroughs that would have beneficial implications for future, zero-emission flight. In reality this is rhetoric that takes headlines away from the fact that emissions policy is failing, and continually points to a ‘better future’ just around the corner.”

    That seems reasonable to me since … through the media, the CAGW industry successfully presented failing climate models as reality with horrific implications for future. In reality this is rhetoric that takes headlines away from the fact that climate models are failing, and continually points to a ‘catastrophic future’ just around the corner.

  20. ‘From the UNIVERSITY OF SURREY and the “I’ll believe air travel pollution is a big climate problem when … Leo DiCaprio stop(s) flying around the world to tell us how bad it is” department.’

    Aw c’mon, aren’t you being a little hard on our dear Leo (Ludicrous Environmental Ostentatiousness)? As the attached link will demonstrate he doesn’t really travel by air. No, he travels by boat, so he practices what he preaches. Ok, it’s not exactly a boat; it’s a yacht but, when you’re on the open ocean a boat just won’t do. And, it’s not like he owns it; poor Leo had to rent it. Most importantly, you’ll see that he’s got that boat, er yacht, in the tropics: another example of his conservation of fossil fuels. Just as Obama has said; we just can’t live wherever we want and have our AC and our heating. And, as you can see from the lack of clothing on his guests Leo has chosen an area that minimizes his electrical and fossil fuel use.

    Speaking of lack of clothing you’ll also notice Leo’s got a gaggle of undernourished young ones with him. What a Good Samaritan, providing housing on his yacht for those poor young ones; almost as if he’s converting that yacht to section 8 housing, eh? And, notice his generosity, taking them shopping, buying them suitable clothing: suitable for saving energy by bathing in surrounding waters.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2897667/Leonardo-DiCaprio-s-Titanic-New-Year-party-goes-class-passenger-aboard-400-000-week-super-yacht-gaggle-girls-tow-float-boat.html#ixzz426V4k39k

    By all means try to disregard the SUV transport on those shopping trips. I’m sure it’s just an anomaly.

  21. I will believe this is real when the UN ambassadors meet virtually, and all the offices worldwide are razed and made into parks.

  22. Solar flight?? Isn’t the aircraft performing a solar circumnavigation of the globe still stuck in Hawaii? Over a year and still counting? Lenard DiCaprio could have his yacht sail it in substantially less time and likely for less expense. Well, I would have predicted that if they didn’t die in the attempt they would certainly have broke down in Hawaii rather than, say, Uzbekistan!

  23. I don’t recall any articles about solar flights replacing fossil fuel flights. Even the UN has ignored transport in its intent to reduce emissions. Quite simply renewable fuels cannot do the tasks FF does in transport. It is an engineering impossibility. Bio fuels are simply feel good area of research.

    • The media hypes any solar powered aircraft accomplishments as if they are “breakthroughs” on the way to solar powered aircraft for anything other than publicity. What they never say (possibly because of the basic ignorance of the reporters) is that the only “breakthroughs” are in lightweight construction and materials. The problem is that the weight of the actual cargo and passengers can’t be reduced through any kind of lightweight technology.

  24. Word problems have a tendency to throw me. Is Dr Cohen saying that by 2050 aviation will be 33% more fuel effecient?

    “By 2050 energy use in aviation will have tripled, accounting for 19% of all transport energy use in 2050, compared to 11% in 2006,” Dr Scott Cohen, of the University of Surrey explained.

  25. If airline pilots come under radiation exposure regulations, there could conceivably be temporary shortages of available pilots and crewmembers due exposure limits having been exceeded.
    I feel that the increasing CR levels as we enter this grand solar min. will trigger changes in aviation industry engineering and human resource practices, affecting the availability and expense of high altitude flights. This appears to be ‘higher on the radar’ than carbon emission reduction at present.

      • Pocket a dosimeter for a month and see how funny you think it is. This cloud chamber movie is only 2877 meters up. Imagine the dose at 250 miles on the ISS. It’s a serious issue, not a joke. Aircrew cancer has been an issue for a long time.

      • A UK airline ran a dosimeter for six months, and said everything was OK to the flight crew. But would not give anyone the resulting data. It is a worry, as I have 19,000 hours at high altitude.

  26. A generation that grew up on Captain Planet cartoons could almost be forgiven for thinking large-scale solar-powered flight was feasible. The Planeteers had their sleek, solar-powered, emissions-free Eco-Cruiser, after all. When you’re grade school age, devilish details like energy density calculations typically don’t occur to you. Neither do questions like, “Why don’t they just tell the rest of the world how to build Eco-Cruisers, the selfish bastards?”

  27. It’s hilarious to see Gang Green pointing fingers at who’s responsible for green myths. For every finger they point, a hundred get pointed back at them.

  28. The black “smoke” from the B-52s is actually unburned fuel particles due to water injected into the engines to increase thrust during takeoff.

  29. “you’re right. Aviation Week was once my favorite magazine. Penton Publishing bought them and now there is usually AGW propaganda somewhere in each issue.”

    That long preceded Penton’s acquisition of AW&ST and related properties. They’ve been on that bandwagon for years.

  30. I don’t get it. If they’re concerned about pollution from airplanes why are they spraying all that stuff in the sky? I live in Central Coast California. About every 3 days 2 planes fly exactly the same path close to my house. Occasionally one forgets to turn on his white trail and I see him do it. At specific times they fly grids in other parts of town. After it rains we have a lovely deep blue sky w big beautiful white clouds. Then they write these white trails that slowly spread over the whole sky, leaving it sort of whitish, dismal & usually cloudless.

    • “….Turns on its white trail….!” It’s called Condensation and whether or not it appears is entirely dependent upon the outside air temperature at the altitude that the plane is flying at, not a switch inside the plane. Its the exhaust from the planes engines. Same thing you see from a car exhaust on a very cold morning. Air currents (also called wind) at altitude disperse the condensation over time. Also if the temperature at that altitude happens to rise slightly, which it will when the sun shines, just like it always has since the planet gained an atmosphere, can also cause the trails to disappear.

      • David, this began about 4 years ago & these aren’t exhaust. These trails are very thin & you can watch them spread across the whole sky. Previous to this we almost always had deep blue skies. Now we never do, except after a rain– until they come & do it again. This is open country with lots of farmland and no industries to pollute. We have only a couple of quite small airports. Exhaust doesn’t spread across the whole sky; that’s ridiculous.

  31. “Damaging emissions from aviation”

    Damaging what? Are you actually talking about carbon dioxide emissions?

    If so, do you have any way of accurately explaining Earth’s surface temperature with radiation calculations? If not, I for one do not accept that extra radiation from one molecule of carbon dioxide in 2,500 other molecules (these other molecules holding 99.96% of the thermal energy in the atmosphere) could raise the already-warmer surface temperature. So I don’t accept the IPCC concept of adding the flux of back radiation to the flux of solar radiation and then calculating the surface temperature using Stefan-Boltzmann based on uniform flux (night and day) supposedly striking a flat Earth surface supposedly acting like a blackbody.

    Do you subscribe to a belief in this false physics, Anthony Watts?

  32. Solar powered flight carrying hundreds of passengers. hahaha. The politicians and greens bought THAT? Yeah it’s possible… if it’s a zeppelin!

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