Thanks for your thoughtful response, Michael. I know travel has an immense environmental footprint, as I acknowledged in my original essay. Yet I'm unwilling to restrict myself from only going as far as my own two feet can carry me.

To me, expecting a spartan, off-the-grid existence is unreasonable. I think we need to ask all privileged people to moderate their behaviors. Instead of insisting that 0 flights per year is the only standard, I think asking privileged people to limit their impact by choosing one international flight per year (or maybe 2-3 shorter-range domestic flights) is more reasonable.

I also wasn't sure why you pointed out that first-class international airfare emits more emissions than most people emit during an entire year. Having never flown first-class, I don't know what would make that ticket emit more emissions than an economy passenger on the same plane. The fancy food they get to eat?

I drive a hybrid electric car but prior to that drove my gas-guzzlers for 10-13 years (selling them when the cost and frequency of repairs started to get annoying). I sincerely hope my current hybrid electric car lasts for 10+ years but it may be that I choose to replace it with an all-electric vehicle once the need for repairs increase. I'm not the kind of person who buys new cars/appliances every 5 years. We use them until they no longer work and/or become too expensive to frequently repair.

I also want to point out that I haven't spent my life going on annual international trips and didn't go on many flights at all for maybe 35 of the 45 years I've been alive. Yes, I am a privileged person/American to have even experienced domestic flights and some international flights. Yes, there are environmental costs. Yet I think the target should be to think carefully about ALL our decisions and not just demonize the person who chooses to take one international trip per year.

9X Top Writer. Proud grad of CA public schools. Committed to justice & leadership development. Wife & mom of 2 girls & 2 big dogs. Love to eat almost everything

9X Top Writer. Proud grad of CA public schools. Committed to justice & leadership development. Wife & mom of 2 girls & 2 big dogs. Love to eat almost everything