We all know that flying leaves a huge carbon footprint – but is that OK if we pay for carbon-offsetting each time we get on a plane? Philosophy Lecturer Luke Elson grapples with the morality of air travel in a new post for The Conversation.
I recently flew to Florida to visit family. My round-trip economy seat emitted roughly two tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to one carbon offsetting website. By contrast, the average person in Britain is responsible for roughly seven tonnes for the entire year, already quite high by global standards.
This makes me a climate change villain. Dumping such huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere seems clearly morally wrong, because of the harm this will cause others. But carbon offsets let me fly with a clear conscience – for now.