Mastodon Satire: Worldwide temperatures offers incredibly ‘hot’ travel deals | while Aviation promotes 'Sustainable' Aviation Fuels | Climate Citizen --> Mastodon

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Satire: Worldwide temperatures offers incredibly ‘hot’ travel deals | while Aviation promotes 'Sustainable' Aviation Fuels

Satirist Mark Humphries does some marketing for the aviation and international travel industry, taking into account current climate conditions in this new Age of Global Boiling. It reflects the amount of travel advertising reliant on boosting aviation, which exacerbates the climate crisis.

Voiceover: "Ironically emissions from air travel are part of the problem".

Meanwhile the Tourism and aviation industry pin their hopes for growth on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). But these fuels are problematic, not a silver bullet.

This comedy segment was aired on Australia's National broadcaster on the 7.30 Report on Friday 28 July 2023.

"Earlier this month, the world experienced its hottest day on record. Since then, parts of Europe and the United States have been sweltering in extreme heat. 

Satirist Mark Humphries and his co-writer Evan Williams present a particularly frank advertisement for would-be overseas travellers." said the video description.

Melbourne Airport 3rd runway

Melbourne airport currently has a Major Development Project for approval before the Federal Minister for Transport, for development of a third runway which will induce an increase in aviation demand.

 (Climate Citizen, March 2022) Aviation associated with Australian airports already contributes CO2 emissions equivalent to 5 coal power stations. A third runway will add the emissions equivalent of an extra coal fired power station.

The aviation industry has failed to meet nearly all previous targets for reducing aviation emissions. (The Guardian, May 2022)

By the end of this decade mid-size regional short distance commercial flights using battery-electric power should be available. (Climate Citizen, March 2020)

Sustainable Aviation Fuels?

For medium and long-haul flights the Aviation industrty places its hope in development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) .

New research shows, sustainable aviation fuel won't solve all the problems Even if the industry could make the shift, there’s not enough land or renewable energy potential on Earth to produce all the sustainable fuels airlines need.

The research highlights:

  • 12 aviation decarbonisation roadmaps rely on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF).
  • Bio-SAF would consume 30 % of sustainably available biomass in 2050.
  • SAF production is energy intensive with a risk of clean energy displacement.
  • All SAF emits CO2 emissions and re-sequestration can take decades.
  • Permanent removals of CO2 are potentially inhibited by SAF.

The researchers wrote up an explanatory article in May 2023 at The Conversation website: There’s a buzz about ‘sustainable’ fuels – but they cannot solve aviation’s colossal climate woes

They found that all the roadmaps they looked at largely omitted a number of fundamental problems with sustainable aviation fuels.
"The first is the huge amount of biomass and clean energy needed. On average across the roadmaps, producing sustainable aviation fuels would require about 9% of global renewable electricity and 30% of available biomass in 2050. Even then, about 30% of fuel used by airlines in 2050 would be fossil-derived."

"Second, the process of converting raw materials into sustainable aviation fuels leads to a major loss of energy, in the form of heat. In the case of e-kerosene, only about 15% of the primary renewable electricity remains to power the aircraft. Not only is this inefficient, it leaves less clean energy for other industries wanting to decarbonise."

"Third, producing sustainable aviation fuels creates greenhouse gas emissions. Growing bio-crops, for instance, requires the use of emissions-intensive fertiliser, harvest machinery and transport."

They also highlight that carbon dioxide is not the only aviation emission that contributes to climate change. We also need to be aware of emissions of nitrogen oxides, water vapour and soot which can all add to aviation climate impact. "Research to date is inconclusive about whether sustainable aviation fuels will improve this problem." say the researchers. (See Transport and Environment: Non-CO2 effects of aviation: Time to finally address aviation’s full climate impact)

The solutions are difficult and complex and prioritisation of resources are necessary. The researchers suggest what is needed:

"Private and government investment should instead be directed to lower-carbon forms of transport, such as rail. And for the travelling public, a shift in mindset is required, involving how often and how far we need to travel."

"Aviation is not the only industry that must rapidly decarbonise in coming decades. The whole global energy system needs to transition. That means airlines must not take more than their fair share of finite resources to claim the label of 'sustainable'."

European  NGO Transport and Environment argued in March 2022 that “flying less” offers the best path to sustainable aviation, but it requires Government, business, the aviation industry and the general public to all step up. This includes no major airport expansion, tackling growing use of private jets and travel by frequent flyers.


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