Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Take-off clearance

Sometimes I travel for work... To get to where I am supposed to be, it is expected that I fly there.
Right now I'm in Ramingining... It's been raining and the roads are quite muddy. It makes sense to fly right?

Well sure it makes sense to fly from an immediate needs pragmatic perspective and out here everybody does it but... It's completely unsustainable and somewhat outside my preferred mode of transport. I don't drive my car, partly because I like to ride my bike but it's possible that I got to like riding my bike so much because I'd made a decision to reduce my carbon footprint and stop driving the car... at this point it's not that important which came first, the point is that I'd prefer to burn as little fuel as necessary in order to get where I'm going.

My Youtube account is full subscriptions to amateur film makers documentaries, mostly promoting the virtues of riding bikes, sailing and generally doing stuff that is designed to reduce fuel consumption like This Go Small video:

I am actually quite ambivalent about flying. If you take the fuel consumption and pollution elements away I'd have to admit I actually love flying... It's like most things we like, things such as sweet food. We like eating it but we don't like having decayed teeth wrenched from our mouth. Flying is like that.

I used to love travel... now I just like it a lot. One thing I was looking forward to about going away is that I'd have a little free time to read (since I don't have to look after the kids). So I've brought along my new favourite book Rules For Radicals by Saul Alinsky, which I thought would have nothing to do with my environmental concerns until I read this:

A Pilot speaking to his passengers prior to receiving Take-off clearance:
"Incidentally, I will let you know when we get the take-off clearance and from the instant you hear those jets roar for the take-off until the instant of lift-off, we will have consumed enough fuel for you to drive an automobile from Chicago to New York and back with detours as well!"
(Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals (p82)


Incidentally today was a new record in last minute booking for me. I called the airline 1 hour before take-off and asked if they had any tickets left. They did and gave me 20 minutes to get my act together and check in.
I grabbed my laptop computer and a few documents from work, sped home to get a change of underwear and a couple of T-shirts, blurted out to Sam that I've got 5 minutes to get to the airport, jumped in the car, she surprisingly quickly behind me and made it to the airline hangar just 3 minutes later than they'd advised.

We flew into Ramo over shimmering weltands through thick cloud cover and landed in the middle of a heavy shower. I stepped off the plane into ankle deep water and begged a ride into town with a family who had room in their troopy. I hope the meeting won't be too formal. My only footwear is an old muddy pair of thongs!

I love flying... ;)

No comments: