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"Traveling alone in a large car can be as bad for the climate as flying, but driving with three in a small car could have an equally low impact as a train ride,"...

A new study compares auto travel to flying and using the train.

Planes, Trains, or Automobiles: Travel Choices for a Smaller Carbon...

Planes, trains, or automobiles: what's the most climate-friendly way to travel? A new study by researchers from IIASA and CICERO brings better estimates of how much personal travel impacts the climate.

A 1000 km trip alone in a big car could emit as much as 250 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2), the researchers calculate, while a train trip or carpooling in a small car could emit as little as 50 kg of CO2 for each traveler.

Tags: big car, car pooling, carbon footprint

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks; that's an eye-opening finding that gives new meaning to the impact of grocery shopping with an SUV!

(And I always appreciate your spot-on, eye-catching Photoshop illustrations!)

Another article about transportation choices, with a similar conclusion:

Flying vs. Driving vs. Bus vs. Train? Fastest, Cheapest, Safest

In addition to safety, speed, cost, and environmental impact, the article also discusses comfort. (For the author, trains win; cars are a close second because you can stop whenever and wherever you want, something that personally appeals to me a great deal!) It points out that time in a car, unlike time on buses, planes, and trains, is "wasted time" unavailable for reading, working, serious phone conversations, sleeping, etc.


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