Bleeding-heart jetsetters spell bad news for climate

Sep 01, 2008

The emergence of a new generation of ‘bleeding-heart jetsetters’ has disturbing implications for the UK’s spiralling emissions from air travel, according to new research by the University of Exeter. The results of the research by the School of Geography, Archaeology and Earth Resources and University of Exeter Business School were presented by Dr Stewart Barr at the Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual Conference.

According to a survey of over 200 people, along with focus groups and in-depth interviews, even the most committed environmentalists – identified by green trademarks such as shopping ethically, installing water and energy saving appliances and recycling – would not be prepared to accept extra ‘green taxes’ and are deeply sceptical of the carbon offsetting schemes designed to mitigate them.

Indeed, of those questioned, 59% were against the introduction of further taxes on air travel, whilst just 15% of those questioned had used carbon offsetting. The largest group identified from the survey, the ‘eco-hypocrites’ – those who operate green households yet also choose to fly – justified their jaunts by suggesting that recycling, using energy saving lightbulbs and buying ethically-sourced groceries were sufficient to ‘trade off’ the impact of their holidays abroad.

Even the most ‘eco-conscious’ were determined to keep flying regardless of environmental cost, believing that taxes and offsetting would have little impact on the reducing emissions from flying, the researchers found.

Dr Stewart Barr of the University of Exeter’s School of Geography, Archaeology and Earth Resources said: “Ironically, our research shows that even the most bleeding-heart jetsetters aren’t willing to reduce their flying habits significantly, despite their supposedly impeccable green credentials. Low-cost air travel has become embedded into our culture here in the UK, so trying to change everyone’s behaviour, when even the most eco-conscious amongst us have very little trust in the ability of either green taxes or carbon offsetting to reduce the impact of flying, will be a formidable challenge.”

Provided by University of Exeter

Explore further: New study details future of oil and gas development in the Western Amazon

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Australia set to pay polluters to cut emissions

Oct 31, 2014

Australia is set to approve measures giving polluters financial incentives to reduce emissions blamed for climate change, in a move critics described as ineffective environmental policy.

Solar project to bring energy to three D.C. institutions

Jun 24, 2014

The George Washington University (GW), American University (AU) and the George Washington University Hospital (GWUH) announced Tuesday that they will create a renewable energy project that brings solar power from North Carolina ...

Honda smart home offers vision for zero carbon living

Mar 26, 2014

Honda and the University of California, Davis, today marked the opening of Honda Smart Home US, showcasing technologies that enable zero net energy living and transportation. The home in UC Davis West Village ...

Recommended for you

Measuring phosphorus loss from Midwest crop fields

5 hours ago

Field runoff from farms in the Lake Erie basin is often rich in soluble plant nutrients, including phosphorus. When this nutrient-rich runoff reaches the lake, the phosphorus can support abundant algal blooms ...

FACT CHECK: Both sides in Keystone XL debate bend facts

18 hours ago

Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf, say the privately funded, $8 billion project is a critically needed piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs ...

Sao Paulo warns of severe water rationing

20 hours ago

Authorities in Sao Paulo, Brazil's richest state and economic hub, have warned they are considering severe water rationing if the country's worst drought in 80 years continues.

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

TheRogue
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 01, 2008
Wow! with a headline like that, the entire article becomes instantly slanted. And it is. "Bleeding heart" has become such a pejorative term I wonder why the editors didn't catch it. If this is supposedly a "scientific" list, don't we deserve better than such tacky editorializing by headline writers?
dirk_bruere
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 01, 2008
The reason is simple: we do not believe "environmental taxes" will actually be used to benefit the environment. In fact, they are just another excuse for raising tax in general ie those politicians are lying b*astards
GrayMouser
5 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2008
The sordid truth comes out.
Sophos
4.3 / 5 (3) Sep 02, 2008
Wow! with a headline like that, the entire article becomes instantly slanted.


Wow there is actually a anti-liberal bias media out there somewhere!! Rogue welcome to the conservative view of the world.
MikeB
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 02, 2008
I suppose even "bleeding hearts" realize that the UN and our own governments are not be trusted. They also, apparently, are beginning to see the truth. CO2 emissions are not harming the Earth. The scaremongering is having the opposite effect.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.