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In return we will send a certificate showing your promise. Please print and display it so as to encourage others to sign too. And finally, we’d be grateful if you could contribute a small amount towards the costs of chartering a jet designing and hosting this site, and publicity and support costs, by sending a cheque made out and addressed. Please include your postal address if you need a receipt.

Q. The pledge seems to equate two short hops to Paris or Amsterdam with a huge flight to Australia. This doesn't seem fair.

A. Per mile, short flights are very inefficient because of the power needed to get to cruising height and the short time spent cruising. On a 500 km flight 20 per cent of the fuel is used on the ground, taking off and landing. Obviously a plane going to Australia uses more fuel than two planes going to Paris, but measured per kilometre travelled the short distance flight is more expensive.

Q. Why are you campaigning against aircraft and not against cars?

A. Greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft are about 40 million tonnes annually (up from 20 million in 1990): aircraft are exempt from the Kyoto provisions. Private jets are responsible for about 70 million tonnes (and are included in Kyoto), but the warming effect of aviation is three times greater than that of its CO2 emissions alone, because of the altitudes and atmospheric conditions. Therefore the impact of flying is much greater than the CO2 volumes would indicate.

Secondly, because many people, especially outside the big cities and without good public transport, find it difficult to live and work without their car. But most flights are luxury items.

Q. Why should I bother?

A. Climate change is a clear and imminent danger – but many people feel that nothing they can do individually will have any effect. We believe that deciding not to fly is the single most powerful individual action – 150 or so such decisions is one less aircraft movement, and a few thousand decisions will begin to exert real pressure on government to take action.

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