Should druids travel by plane?

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Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Dru* » 26 Apr 2019, 20:53

Badgerheart wrote:
25 Apr 2019, 13:39
If we should try and eliminate certain harmful practices, I think "should Druids travel by plane?" is a more relevant question to ask.
Badgerheart does ask a very important question and one that certainly deserves its own thread. With the summer gathering coming up, druids will be getting on planes from all around the world to come to Glastonbury (I've heard significant grumblings on that subject recently).

And it's hard to argue against the premise that, as earth-loving souls, we should seek to limit the damage we do to the beautiful world that nurtures us. And yet my personal decision to fly or not doesn't stop the plane taking off, burning fuel and dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Even if I managed to reduce my personal carbon emissions to zero over my lifetime, I'd only shave milliseconds off the coming eco-apocalypse.

So this can't be all up to me or you. So what to do instead? Glue myself to a DLR train or sit in a pink boat in Oxford Circus? Shout at the government to change? Support companies who take try to improve their environmental record? Blow up power stations? Or retreat from civilisation to high ground where the sea level rises won't reach me, and stockpile canned goods?

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Badgerheart » 26 Apr 2019, 23:40

Thank you for picking up my comment! I think you are asking good questions. I have been thinking about those for a number of years without really finding a good answer. I think it's especially hard when it comes to traveling - I love to travel, and I'm sure going to other countries has been important for my awareness of the world and its environment. Still, we know that the current volume of mass travel is not sustainable.

My starting point is that consumers are not as powerful as we are told. We cannot save the world by buying the right products. In order to change society with intention, collective, political action is needed.

That being said, this is not an excuse for not taking responsibility for our personal actions. In our current age of mass consumption, this also matters. Especially when there are seven billion of us (and that number will probably peak at 10-11 billion in my lifetime).

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all of this, and even more easy to think that is does not matter anyway, so why bother?

I think one of a good perspective on this comes from the witch and activist Starhawk, who wrote: “We can make personal choices that reduce the greenhouse gases we each produce. It’s important that we do this not out of a sense of guilty or resentful obligation, but as an affirmative choice to more deeply integrate our values and our everyday actions.”

I have started to think about it like that. I wish to live in a world where people live within the limits of the ecosystem, therefore I will myself try to modify my behaviour in that respect. I will probably not be all successful - many factors are beyond my control as an individual. But some are not. And by starting with those, I am becoming more like the person I want to be.

(I still travel by plane sometimes. But I am trying to limit it, both personal and work-related. And I am learning something about the pleasures of slow travel.)

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Corbiniane » 27 Apr 2019, 09:44

I've found that I don't have a deep desire to fly to Hawaii or Bali or India, but visiting the British Isles is very much on my bucket list. Going on holiday generally is proving too expensive for our family of four, so my carbon footprint in that regard is excellent.... but not making up for my mom's excessive travelling, not to mention what the rest of the world is doing. Having a private plane to fly to meetings? Flying to New York for a weekend of shopping? ? In today's climate (pun very much intended)!!?? Should be banned outlawed fined, together with gravelling your front lawn.
Just read in the paper that the number of passenger flights has gone up another...what was it?... three or four percent. Frankfurt Airport's new runway will have planes taking off all over my neighbourhood. Meanwhile, the last of our bits of wood will be razed to make way for another railway track, so the city can be connected to the fast ICE train system too. Yay.
Communities all over the landscape have been squabbling and trying to pass those buckets (who gets the tracks? Who gets the planes?) for years and years now.
And here I am, getting flak from all sides because I let my 9 year old daughter ride the bike to school, alone.
I'm going back to bed now.
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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Runefang » 27 Apr 2019, 11:14

At last a valid argument for me to justify staying at home. :)

To fly or not to fly, depends upon how much you do it I suppose. Some countries are so large that they have to go by air if it’s any distance, the time taken otherwise would be cost prohibitive in the business world, but the voluntary holiday flights etc. Well do you really need to go abroad five times a year just because you can?(UK perspective here where the world is divided into the British and the foreigners.)
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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Corbiniane » 27 Apr 2019, 11:46

Well do you really need to go abroad five times a year just because you can?(UK perspective here where the world is divided into the British and the foreigners.)
You British are never far from the sea (which might or will turn into a disadvantage of course) and the sea is more or less why I travel. Unfortunately it's 600 km to the North or Baltic Sea and 1000 km to the Mediterranean or Atlantic from here. So every few (four? five?) Years we pack up the caravan .....
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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Elfie » 27 Apr 2019, 16:37

Hi, my personal opinion is flying is a choice not a necessity whether it be for work or holiday. There is surely enough things to do and see for holidays in a reasonable area, if we are passionate enough about our planet we could work closer to home or use alternate transport and most importantly adapt the way we live to accommodate this. I know it sounds simple but is that not what we should be aiming for, a simpler way of living, back to basics.

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Heddwen » 27 Apr 2019, 18:12

Elfie wrote:
27 Apr 2019, 16:37
Hi, my personal opinion is flying is a choice not a necessity whether it be for work or holiday. There is surely enough things to do and see for holidays in a reasonable area, if we are passionate enough about our planet we could work closer to home or use alternate transport and most importantly adapt the way we live to accommodate this. I know it sounds simple but is that not what we should be aiming for, a simpler way of living, back to basics.
Hello Elfie,

I noticed that you have no Bardic Grade underneath your name here and just wondered if you have registered? If not, then please take a look at this thread... viewtopic.php?f=345&t=47704 If you could let me know then that is grand. :)

Cheerio,

Heddwen.

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Jen88 » 16 Jul 2019, 11:16

I think the problem is that:
1. We are using a broken system to live by, in terms of how we value things, people,
who gets what, when and why.

I'm just one person, so I don't know how to make it better.

I accept that it can't be perfect, but it could be su much better!

2. There are way way too many people using that broken system and it's really
really hard/impossible to get out of it.

And it's not just a developed verses developing countries thing when it comes to the over population question.

Many factors, including religious and cultural reasons, push/encourage people to have many children.

Also lack of empowerment to women and girls, but also men in some cases.

I'm not saying at all that people shouldn't have children, it is something that after all, is wired in to most of us and after all if our parents didn't have children, we wouldn't be here today.

This isn't just about a few families who choose to have many children, it is a global issue, where people are not empowered, or do not have access to the right services to make informed choices about how many children they bring in to the world and when.

Again, not bashing anyone on here with multiple children, the issue is bigger than just the folks on this forum.

The same argument could be applied to me, as an assistance dog user.

But surely, I can use a long cane to get around, so I should do that instead of having a dog, because even though it's less efficient for me (in my opinion) it's much less carbon footprint than having a dog!

However I still have my trusty wonder hound.

I personally probably wouldn't have children, but I feel the current climate crisis has totally taken that choice away from me.

I am angry that I live in a broken and over used system, that I can't escape from.

I feel that no matter what I do, I'm still never going to get to where I want to be, because of the system.

And yes, I know some folks on here do live super amazing green lives, that's great. but again, we can't all do that due to disability, lack of funds, not having the skills etc.

As for doing something like protesting, even if I felt that it wouldn't get wrecked by a few people who would cause things to get way out of hand, I can't afford to lose my job, as being blind, it's hard to get employed, even in the UK in 2019.

So what to do???

Sorry this is a huge rant and way off the original thread subject, but this has been building up for a few days now and I just need to get it out.

I guess the Fire gwers have really done some work!!!

Peace and best wishes,
Jen.

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Runefang » 16 Jul 2019, 17:38

I think that is a very balanced and well adjusted analysis Jen. It is not given to all to be able to live the perfect life, that is perfect from a low impact to the planet point of view, more power to those who can but not at the expense of a more righteous than thou attitude. After all, are we not Druids together. :)
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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Corbiniane » 16 Jul 2019, 18:18

It's the hardest to fall short of one's own expectations. In the end we have to accept that we can only do as much as we can and only live within the boundaries of what is possible for us. "If only" and perfectionism in general can be very harmful.
No one would begrudge you your seeing eye dog.
The only way to reduce our carbon footprint to zero would be to die quietly and let ourselves be eaten by wild animals. In the meantime we can do as best as we can.
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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by DaRC » 16 Jul 2019, 20:25

In another world, on a very different type of forum, the members used to mark & critique a rant :D

10/10 a well thought, un-capitalized, well reasoned and, dare I say it, on-topic rant :applause:
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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Jen88 » 17 Jul 2019, 10:53

Thanks everyone for your responses :D
I am doing the best that I can do currently, and always trying to do a bit more, without guilting myself if I don't make the best choice one day, or haven't in the past made the best choices.

I also want to change the system we are all living by/under, so that we can do more and live a live that's in harmony with the planet, without everyone needing to feel so hard done by because they can't necessarily get their favourite to go meal in the flavour they want every day...!

Not quite sure of the best way to go about that.

I've explained why I can't/don't want to protest before, and also I feel that usually a small minority seem to use protesting as a way to create destruction and fear, so that the underlying reason for the protest gets lost.

This is of course not helped by reporting that is sometimes bias, but ...

So what should I do? Try to get in to politics?

But again, I feel that system is perhaps in itself broken, so I might be fighting on two fronts.

Of course no system can be perfect though, there is nothing that's going to be totally equal for everyone and everything 100 percent of the time.

I read something about how because of environmental changes, a woodland is never totally stable as it were, it's always evolving and changing.

Best,
Jen.

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Runefang » 20 Jul 2019, 17:36

Should Druids travel by plane? No, they should travel by astral plane. :) Simples.
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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Gwern » 20 Aug 2019, 21:41

I'm late to this conversation but feel that it is not too late to contribute. There is a beauty to the way that the exchange grows and develops over time.

I'm about to set off on European travels. in the last few weeks I have felt increasingly guilty about my personal carbon footprint. My work requires a significant amount of travel, which I try to do, as much as is reasonable practicable, by public transport. I have also tried to make much better use of video conferencing, to reduce the need to travel. Nevertheless, I still need to do a great deal of face to face work, particularly when I am working with larger groups of people.

Ceasing work travel is not an option for me. I am too heavily invested in what I do to earn a living and I'm looking towards reducing my time at work and retirement. I am however able to make choices about my leisure travel. These are hard choices.

I think that the further I progress along the path of Druidry and better connect to the things that are really important, I realise that is is essential to live to one's beliefs and values. I value Badgerheart's quoting Starhawk, - “We can make personal choices that reduce the greenhouse gases we each produce. It’s important that we do this not out of a sense of guilty or resentful obligation, but as an affirmative choice to more deeply integrate our values and our everyday actions.”

Jen88 asks if she get involved with politics. I agree with Badgerheart: I think that is essential, although I accept that it is perhaps not for everyone. Green politics is a way of both working within the system to achieve change and outside the system to change the system itself.

Dru* asks us how we should respond to the dilemmas we face. At this point I have chosen to offset my carbon emissions. An online calculator gives me the cost. I now need to identify the best tree planting scheme.

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by CaribouKai » 21 Aug 2019, 02:28

I think the big thing is we, as individuals, are hardly a blip on the radar when compared to the waste produced by corporations and the politics that allow it. Every single one of us could go 100% green and the situation would barely improve.

Political activism, even if it's just as far as making certain to vote, is far more effective at helping the planet than not traveling on a plane that's going to fly with or without you anyway.

Now, if you're frequently taking flights when a train or drive would be sufficient, emergency situations aside, that's a different matter.

Being in the US, I long to one day visit Stonehenge and visit the lands of my ancestors. I can't get there by swimming and I refuse to feel guilt for taking a flight.

To each their own, though.

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Badgerheart » 21 Aug 2019, 04:48

My problem with this is that almost everything is hardly a blip on the radar. I see the same argument being used to justify my own country (Norway)'s oil addiction, for example -- we're so small, it doesn't matter what we do, anyway. The way I see it, we have to do lots of different things, almost all of whom does not solve the problem by itself. Climate change is a classic collective action problem.

The trick is to manage this while at the same time retaining a sense of proportion, and not losing your mind. In Scandinavia, the expression "flight shame" has entered the language. I recently read a comment about this that I felt put some sense og proportions back into the discussion: "Flight shame: Sending bombers to Libya and the purchase of new F-35 fighter planes".

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Gwern » 21 Aug 2019, 10:52

I hope that one day you get to visit Stonehenge, CaribouKai. It is on my list of places to visit too and I am much nearer than you! I'm sure our Druid community here in the UK will make you very welcome. There are also other wonderful stone circles, if you are planning a trip.

I think the discussion about guilt is interesting. If I really felt guilty I could make choice not to fly on my forthcoming vacation. My trip is purely for leisure. I would however feel guilty if I did not make an effort to offset the carbon emissions and also if I did not try to make the personal steps that I can to reducing my carbon footprint..
Badgerheart - you are so correct in arguing that, as our own small contributions cannot, in themselves be sufficient, we need collective action. I think it is interesting to speculate how a spiritual path can contribute to the collective consciousness that will stimulate collective action.

I thought I would share this letter to the newspaper that I read. It succinctly makes the point:

Letter in the "Guardian" Thursday 18th July 2019
 
Your editorial (If organised mainstream Christianity is on the way out, what will replace it?, 16 July) poses a question of profound importance concerning the kind of society and culture we hope our grandchildren's children will live in. Perhaps a hint of the direction of travel is to be found on the letters page (13July), where the Director of Cafod (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) describes recent practical action and political campaigning by thousands of members of faith communities. She cites Pope Francis, who in Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home (2015) made clear that the mission of the church now includes an urgent priority to support efforts to prevent further environmental deterioration and to achieve a sustainable lifestyle.
 
Developments in ecology and religion and "spiritual environmentalism" give an advance glimpse of a future in which humankind rediscovers our capacity to wonder at the "sacred" mystery of the emergence and evolution of life in the universe, and reinstates our neglected relationship with the natural world on which our survival as a species ultimately depends. Perhaps an "eco-theology" is the future to which the last 2,000 years of history have been pointing?
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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Badgerheart » 21 Aug 2019, 14:53

I very much agree with you Gwern, that
Gwern wrote:
21 Aug 2019, 10:52
I think it is interesting to speculate how a spiritual path can contribute to the collective consciousness that will stimulate collective action.
I think the path that eventually led me to paganism and Druidry began with environmentalism, and with a love of mythology.

I am an activist in Extinction Rebellion and Friends of the Earth, and I find climate change a frustratingly difficult issue to tackle politically. One of the reasons is that cause and effect is separated. There is a significant gap in both time and space between emissions and their effect, and the link between them it is really not visible unless explained to us by scientists. Most issues are much more straightforward: Don't go to war, build this, don't build that. "Stop climate change" is much fuzzier. movements such as XR and the school strikes have gained a lot of support, but once you start discussing HOW to stop climate change, everything becomes more technical and complicated.

The essential dilemma of a collective action problem is that every individual contribution does not really make a difference, so it is in a certain way rational not to contribute. Opting out is easy. But the sum of all the contributions does matter.

One Norwegian politician famously formulated the collective action problem like this:

"The system is precisely not characterized by collective wisdom. It is like a large sporting event, where one person stands up in order to get a better view. Immediately some people will have their view blocked because of this and will also get up. More and more people stand up, and everyone is worse off because they have to stand. But the single person who sits down is of course the stupidest of them all, for he will not see anything. The challenge is: How do we get everyone to sit down again?"

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Gwern » 21 Aug 2019, 16:51

That is a great analogy, Badgerheart! It beautifully explains the problem.

I have enormous respect for the people who are involved in XR. In the UK there was a very large, and I think successful, XR demonstration in London recently. I think it brought greater awareness of environmental issues for the general public. It has however provoked a very aggressive prosecution policy from the police authorities.

I think we, and by this I mean humans and all existences, are in a great deal of trouble because of the failure of political leadership, the collapse in democracy and democratic institutions and the rise of populism, particularly with its antagonism for for anything that is science or knowledge based.

I myself have recently joined the Green Party, which is small here compared to our European neighbours. The UK's current first past the post electoral system is strongly biased against minority parties, so it is difficult for us to get any representation in Parliament.Our politics are anyway dominated by Brexit at present, which, since 2016, has pushed out any other policy development. I think that we need to see the emergence of a radical economics that will address environmental issues. I guess FoE may be active in this area?

I'm particularly interested in the "Green New Deal", which is being promoted in the UK by a think tank called the New Economics Foundation (NEF). It is based on a US model, so I would be interested to see if our Druid friends on the other side of the Atlantic have any views on this. NEF have a pamphlet about this on their website.

As Druids, I think there is value in exploring what the spiritual dimension to this might be and how that might act as the voice the encourages the crowd to sit down

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Re: Should druids travel by plane?

Post by Badgerheart » 21 Aug 2019, 22:16

Funny you should mention it, as I actually resigned from the (Norwegian) Green Party yesterday, after being a member for eight years. My resignation has to do with a frustration over the party growing increasingly into a green growth, pro-market, techno-optimistic orientation. I am finding my way (back) to the Socialist Left Party, which has adopted the NEF's call for a Green New Deal. Of course, I have the luxury of living under a real multi-party system. :)

The spiritual dimension is sorely lacking in this discussion. Across the political spectrum, nature is seen as something that should primarily be appreciated for its instrumental value to humans. It is as we lack a proper language for discussing and thinking about it in any other way. This is one of the things I like about XR; they do have a sense of spirituality in their approach.

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