View Full Version : Plane vs Train (+ Boat) to New Zealand

27th Nov 2007, 17:29
Now I guess the plane would get there first, but this is an argument over the "carbon emissions" (Oh no! Not that!).

My friend is very "environmentally-minded" but I definitely am not. Despite my views about global warming, I believe that an aircraft stands a good chance of producing fewer emissions than all of the trains and boats required to get to New Zealand.

I have seen on another thread (which I can't find) that you can do calculations to estimate the carbon emissions. I have also heard that doing over 800miles means that taking an aircraft is better for carbon output.

Please help me prove an environmentalist wrong (or maybe right). Could anyone in Jet Blast please do some estimates for the carbon output of the methods?


Oh! Also, does anyone have any one-liners I could use to strengthen my argument?

27th Nov 2007, 19:07
Well first off as a 'plane' is an tool used by carpenters he would sit on it for a very long time before he got to NZ.:}
Everyone doing this is sufferring from severely flawed logic. The aircraft is going anyway, so are the ships and trains. The only way we will cut down on carbon emmissions is to design more efficient engines. If he is truely that concerned about emmissions, then the statement should be made by choosing not to travel to New Zealand at all! Go to Buxton, or the Lake District. If you are concerned about carbon then do not travel a distance equal to going around the world, it is completely hypocritical.
How long does it take to get to NZ by boat?? Sea going ships account for a far higher percentage of global emmissions than Aeroplanes. Tell your mate to think of all the time he is on the ship, the energy consumed from all the fuel used, the meals he eats, the lighting, the ice in his drinks (I guess the trip is two or three weeks), the ports he will stop at, hotel rooms and then the train journey wherever that may be (why not just sail to Auckland or Christchurch).
If he or you or anyone else is going to go, then fly, and if he is going to go, tell him to stop bulls******g by trying to convince everyone that he is concerned about CO2. Sounds to me like for him it is a 'designer concern'.:ok:

The environmentalist should not be argueing for any of your options, but for not going at all!

27th Nov 2007, 19:31
Yeah, I used the word 'plane' because it sounded good with 'train.':)

I suppose what we're arguing about is: does the 'share' of the carbon for a flight account for more than the 'share' from the train and boat.

We both know that it is a flawed argument, because the aircraft, trains and boats are going anyway. However, I would love some proof to shove in his face:ouch:.

Your right, he is the type of person that would go on long trips to Canada, drive everywhere and buy goods from miles away, but he still tells us how he does it in the most 'green' way, and preaches how we should all "do our bit" and stop aviation:yuk::yuk::yuk:.

And I don't really care about all of this CO2 stuff. How can such a small proportion account for the predictions which people are making:confused: (but that's for another forum)


27th Nov 2007, 19:33
Couldn't agree more.
Ship bunker fuel is the filthiest and dirtiest diesel there is.
The notion that travelling by sea would be less C02 intensive is naive in the extreme... combine that fact with Tigs bag of the fag packet explanation about taking into account all of the peripheral carbon sources on the trip, and you've got your one liner.
The calculation you are after to compare both modes of transport is quite complex though if its to have any meaning.
Less C02 intesnive aircraft will only come about through step changes in technology... open rotor engines, geared turbofans, and ultimately in 20-30 years time, abandoning tube and wing planforms for blended wing bodies.
Tell your greenie friend to stick all that up his/her jacksie!:ok:

27th Nov 2007, 19:47

And I don't really care about all of this CO2 stuff. How can such a small proportion account for the predictions which people are making (but that's for another forum)


The Global Warming thread has a lot of info on it as regards the calculations, but there are many many pages, and I am know where near as adept at using this forums search engine as others. With luck, one of those edumacated persons will read this thread and help you convince this chap that his concerns can only lead to one environmentally safe decision... Do not travel further from your home than you can walk (look at all the emissions from making a bicycle)! Only eat what you can cook on a naturally picked deadwood fire (no food with plastic or paper wrappings). Either accept that or accept that playing about with 0.56% of the earths atmosphere is not mattering a bleeding toss. This is a natural cycle, and everyone is ignoring that very large yellow hot thing up there.

28th Nov 2007, 09:31
dont_ask, why bother arguing with people like that - they will never change their mind, they only believe what they want to believe - i.e what the "expert" that they like the sound of says, whether there is any science at all to back it up or not. You are adding more to greenhouse gases by arguing with them than any change you will bring about in their lifestyle.

Best one-liner would be "Kindly explain to me the first law of thermodynamics if you are such an expert on this". Shuts most people up.


28th Nov 2007, 09:37
Does this help?

brain fade
28th Nov 2007, 11:44
Kill the bastard and put him in the ships furnaces.

That should do the trick.

28th Nov 2007, 12:24
Does your pal drive a car?

On a trip like that the emissions per person per km will be about the same as a diesel Golf on a long trip with two occupants.

As for ships - show them an article from yesterday's Wall Street Journal (http://www.azcentral.com/business/news/articles/1127biz-shipping27-ON.html)