Carbon confessions


South Korea from the sky


In March 2011, I wrote this typically self-aggrandising post about why I avoided taking planes to get between countries unless no alternatives were available - even if this meant entire days spent on sweaty buses driving through politically sensitive territory over what could only be described as 'roads' by an incredibly generous definition of the term. This was partly to save money, partly because I wanted to get a more authentic feeling of geography and distance as I crossed borders, and also because we all know unnecessary plane flights are evil, right?

I didn't take any flights for a further five months after writing that post, but once I ended up in Singapore, at the very bottom of the Asian continental landmass, I started taking a hell of a lot more of them to get between those isolated island countries. Then there are those domestic flights I took across Korea when I really could have paid a little more and taken more time out of my day by taking a bus or train. What kind of monster have I become?

In the interest of transparency and self-flagellation, here's a complete breakdown of all the flights I've taken since setting off in September 2010 - calculated using this dubious website (Update: Dubious website is no longer with us) and a bit of guesswork, so results are only approximate. I don't really understand what these numbers mean, but when they start talking about my fuel consumption in terms of tonnes it's probably time to get worried.

If it helps my chances when this goes to Climate Change Court, bear in mind that prior to this I hadn't flown since I was about three.


September 2010


Edinburgh (United Kingdom) to Venice (Italy)

Distance: 990.9 miles (1595.3 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 377.7 kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 513.9g
What's your excuse?: I was setting off, and wanted to go somewhere new, exciting and suitably far away. I'd crossed the channel before and seen the motorways of France, Belgium and Germany, so wasn't keen to repeat it. I'd already booked trains across Italy and a ferry to Greece, so I allowed myself this guilty luxury - plus, take-off was really fun.



I'm in the bloody sky!
Everyone should experience this at least once, but perhaps that's where it should end


October 2010


Athens (Greece) to Tel Aviv (Israel)

Distance: 746.7 miles (1202.1 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 284.6kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 387.2g
What's your excuse?: I stand by this one too - I spent ages trying to find a ferry from Greece across the Mediterranean, happy to go to Israel, Turkey, Egypt or anywhere that would take me. But it seemed the companies had all either gone out of business or closed up shop for the year in the previous month.


December 2010


Cairo (Egypt) to Doha (Qatar)

Distance: 1282.7 miles (2065.1 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 593.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 1.1kg
What's your excuse?: Yeah, I don't remember reading about my experiences in Qatar either. This was all part of an elaborate and expensive cross-planet journey from Cairo to Taipei that took almost 24 hours and three connections, but this first one was the most worrying as I wasn't sure how my Israel passport stamp would be viewed. The answer...?


Doha (Qatar) to Hong Kong

Distance: 3932.2 miles (6330.8 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 1.8 tonne
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 3.4kg
What's your excuse?: The passport stamp was fine, I didn't go through immigration and apparently this is only potentially a problem with Qatar Airways if you're from the US or Canada. Yes, because that makes sense. Hey look, Hong Kong! I saw the sea and some hills out of the window, but it doesn't really count as a country I've visited (yet). Not like Brunei counts. Shh!


Hong Kong to Taipei (Taiwan)

Distance: 504.4 miles (812.1 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 192.3kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 261.6g
What's your excuse?: The combined journey was long, expensive and helped to screw up our planet. But now I was in East/Southeast Asia for the long run, and it's not like I was going to make a return flight.


February 2011


Taipei (Taiwan) to Bangkok (Thailand)

Distance: 1574.1 miles (2534.4 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 600kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 816.4g
What's your excuse?: Taiwan is an island.


August 2011


Singapore to Bali (Indonesia)

Distance: 1800.9 miles (2899.5 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 686.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 934g
What's your excuse?: Bali is an island. I visited Java too, but went there and back by bus and ferry without taking domestic flights. Because everyone knows 14-hour bus journeys do no harm to the environment whatsoever, especially when their old exhausts occasionally make terrifying explosion sounds.



Indonesia from the sky.
That's right, this is basically an elaborate excuse to collect my plane photos together


September 2011


Bali (Indonesia) to Singapore

Distance: 1800.9 miles (2899.5 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 686.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 934g
What's your excuse?: Bali is an island. Singapore is not located on the same island.


Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 190.7 miles (307.1 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 72.7kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 98.9g
What's your excuse?: The most pathetic so far. This would be excused if it was just an annoying flight connection bundled into my itinerary - in a way it was, as part of my journey to the Philippines from Air Asia's KL hub, except that I booked both flights separately. If my flight hadn't been so early in the morning I might have considered taking the five-hour bus from Singapore to KL, but then I would have had to spend at least another hour getting from the bus terminal to the distant KLCC airport terminal, and I was too lazy. Plus, Air Asia flights can be disastrously cheap, which isn't much of a deterrent. So this time, you got me.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Angeles (Philippines)

Distance: 1531.8 miles (2466.2 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 583.9kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 794.4g
What's your excuse?: The Philippines are islands.


October 2011


Manila (Philippines) to Bohol (Philippines)

Distance: 393.8 miles (634 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 144.3kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 250.3g
What's your excuse?: There might have been a bus and ferry option between these two island destinations, but hostel staff told me there wasn't. For my part, I was lazier than usual and went to the nearest travel agent to find out the best way to get to Bohol, then accepted their return flight unquestioningly because the price was acceptable.


Bohol (Philippines) to Manila (Philippines)

Distance: 393.8 miles (634 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 144.3kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 250.3g
What's your excuse?: The Philippines are islands. They only let me stay 30 days, I wanted to make the most of my time.


Angeles (Philippines) to Kota Kinabalu (Borneo)

Distance: 704.4 miles (1134.2 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 268.5kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 365.3g
What's your excuse?: Borneo is an island, and based on the level of scrutiny I saw security officials give to some Filipinos in East Malaysia, I don't think they do ferries.



Manila from above. You will recognise it by the sodding rain clouds


November 2011


Miri (Borneo) to Singapore

Distance: 753.7 miles (1184.5 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 280.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 381.6g
What's your excuse?: I'm pleased that I crossed gargantuan Borneo by land before departing from the opposite side, proving that something like an all-day bus journey involving 12 border crossings isn't always enough to persuade me to look into domestic flights. Maybe I was finally back on form?


Singapore to Bangkok (Thailand)

Distance: 885.2 miles (1425.1 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 337.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 459.1g
What's your excuse?: Back on the continent, I could have taken the 48-hour 'direct' bus up through Malaysia and Southern Thailand, but earlier in the year I met a girl who was half-way through this journey (during my own, much shorter jaunt from Krabi to Georgetown) and she wasn't particularly enthusiastic about it. I was also working every day by this point, and didn't want to take off two full days (plus sleep-recovery time) for a trip I wouldn't even enjoy. This isn't the Trans-Siberian Express; I've seen Malaysia's motorways before.


December 2011


Bangkok (Thailand) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 737.9 miles (1188 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 281.2kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 382.7g
What's your excuse?: If it seems a bit stupid and disrespectful to Mother Earth to fly two hours south to KL just to connect with another flight going back in a roughly northerly direction a few days later, that's because it really is - but my Thailand visa would expire three days before my Korea flight, so I had to K(il)L some time. Though mainly, I blame it on Air Asia's prices again. Which I realise is like an obese person blaming their liver failure and colon cancer on McDonalds being too damn convenient.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Incheon (South Korea)

Distance: 2854.5 miles (4595.7 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 1.3 tonne
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 2.5kg
What's your excuse?: My first medium/long-haul flight in almost exactly a year (though nowhere near as long as the previous one), how else was I going to cross this distance? It's probably bad news for the environment that the six-hour flight cost me less than £100 in total - how's that supposed to deter me?



The chance of seeing some amazing views isn't much of a deterrent either.
Take a good look now, it won't be around for long


Seoul to Jeju (South Korea)

Distance: 281.8 miles (453.7 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 103.2kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 179.1g
What's your excuse?: Jeju is an island. Sure, there are almost certainly boat connections from destinations on Korea's southern coast, but I was on holiday. I also wasn't travelling alone, and I don't want to inflict my self-important principles on someone else. I do anyway, but I don't want to.


Jeju (South Korea) to Busan (South Korea)

Distance: 181.2 miles (291.7 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 66.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 115.1g
What's your excuse?: Same as above. I feel a little guiltier about this one though, as the flight time was about 40 minutes, which seems ridiculous. It used to take me longer to get a bus from my flat in Edinburgh to my workplace in Edinburgh. At least there was some water in the way to justify taking a plane, unlike...


Busan (South Korea) to Seoul (South Korea)

Distance: 205.5 miles (330.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 75.3kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 130.6g
What's your excuse?: This is the one that pushed me over the edge. We discussed taking the bus or train, but it would have taken a lot longer (not a problem for me) and cost a lot more (...okay). I've never taken a domestic flight across land before, and until I'm in a country with the insane proportions of Australia or China, I hope I won't again.


March 2012


Incheon (South Korea) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 2854.5 miles (4595.7 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 1.3 tonne
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 2.5kg
What's your excuse?: I had limited options for local travel in North East Asia - I didn't fancy the immigration hassle of Russia or China and I wasn't in the mood for Japan prices right now, so I went back to my less comfortable comfort zone.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Bangkok (Thailand)

Distance: 737.9 miles (1188 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 281.2kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 382.7g
What's your excuse?: I'm not going to stay in Kuala Lumpur again, Bangkok is a better waiting room between short haul flights.


Bangkok (Thailand) to Colombo (Sri Lanka)

Distance: 1481.7 miles (2385.6 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 564.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 768.4g
What's your excuse?: I narrowed my options down to India and Sri Lanka, because they seemed different enough to the South East Asia countries I'd got bored of, and Sri Lanka won out for having an easier visa. It's an island, so I needed to fly there.



I don't want to talk about Sri Lanka any more


April 2012


Colombo (Sri Lanka) to Bangkok (Thailand)

Distance: 1481.7 miles (2385.6 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 564.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 768.4g
What's your excuse?: My excuse for leaving Sri Lanka? You should wonder what my excuse is for spending four weeks of my life there. Sri Lanka is an island so flights are necessary, and I didn't want to spend longer in this part of the world, so back to the Air Asia hubs it is.


May 2012


Bangkok (Thailand) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 737.9 miles (1188 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 281.2kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 382.7g
What's your excuse?: They don't fly direct to Japan, you need to do this bit first. I'm too familiar with this route now.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Tokyo (Japan)

Distance: 3309 miles (5327.5 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 1.2 tonne
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 2.3kg
What's your excuse?: It's pretty obvious I'm not planning this. If I was, I'd be doing a lot less damage, though it doesn't help that it works out pretty much the same price to leave Japan and go back later as it does to take Japan's expensive trains between cities. Hopefully I'll stay a little longer this time.


June 2012


Osaka (Japan) to Incheon (South Korea)

Distance: 525.7 miles (846.4 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 200.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 272.6g
What's your excuse?: I considered spending longer in Japan, maybe travelling all the way south to Kyushu again, but I would have ended up in Korea anyway, and it felt like the right time to go back. I would have felt more pressure to stop by Hiroshima if I was American, but luckily I'm not, and I can just feel guilt when I visit 80% of the other countries in Asia instead.



I took the cleaner JR Beetle ferry last time I flitted between Korea and Japan, but then they had to go and launch a new budget airline, didn't they? (Image: Airliners.net)


Incheon (South Korea) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 2854.5 miles (4595.7 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 1.3 tonne
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 2.5kg
What's your excuse?: I wanted to go to Hong Kong next, and it was bizarrely cheaper to do it via Bangkok (via Kuala Lumpur as always), which is much further away.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: Unknown
Lifecycle CO2: Unknown
Lifecycle NOx+PM: Unknown
What's your excuse?: We got most of the way to Bangkok when we were informed that the airport had a power failure, and we were taken all the way back to Kuala Lumpur. I can't be angry at electricity, but I was a little pissed off when it took an extra 30 minutes to take off again after re-fuelling while they waited for catering supplies to be brought on board. WE DON'T CARE ABOUT SNACKS, JUST FUCKING GO.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Bangkok (Thailand)

Distance: 737.9 miles (1188 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 281.2kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 382.7g
What's your excuse?: Maybe I shouldn't always let 'cheap' make my decisions for me, this was a lot of hassle.


Bangkok (Thailand) to Hong Kong

Distance: 1072.6 miles (1726.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 408.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 556.3g
What's your excuse?: Travelling up over land through Laos, Vietnam and China would be impractical, tedious and extremely annoying, especially when direct flights are only £60.


July 2012


Macau to Bangkok (Thailand)

Distance: 1036.8 miles (1669.3 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 395.2 kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 537.7 g
What's your excuse?: I was surrounded by China.


September 2012


Bangkok (Thailand) to Hanoi (Vietnam)

Distance: 613.7 miles (988.1 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 233.9 kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 318.3 g
What's your excuse?: I'd been travelling around on night buses for a couple of months, so I don't feel too bad about this short haul flight across two borders. Until I looked at a map and saw how embarrassingly close Hanoi is to Luang Prabang, where I'd been about a month before. Hey, I had stuff to do!



Hanoi from slightly above. I was consciously contravening the airport's no-photography rule, so covering the place in a shroud of mist was a wise security precaution


October 2012


Hanoi (Vietnam) to Bangkok (Thailand)

Distance: 613.7 miles (988.1 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 233.9 kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 318.3 g
What's your excuse?: I would have liked to have travelled all the way south and taken this return flight from Ho Chi Minh city instead, but the person I was travelling with had other ideas. When did I start letting other people decide things for me?


Bangkok (Thailand) to Yangon (Myanmar)

Distance: 358.4 miles (577.1 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 136.6 kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 185.9 g
What's your excuse?: Overland access to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible. It wasn't a long trip.


November 2012


Yangon (Myanmar) to Bangkok (Thailand)

Distance: 358.4 miles (577.1 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 136.6 kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 185.9 g
What's your excuse?: Flights in and out of Myanmar are very limited. It was either Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, and I don't need to go there again.


Bangkok (Thailand) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 737.9 miles (1188 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 281.2kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 382.7g
What's your excuse?: You should know by now that I don't go to Kuala Lumpur for fun. This was a connecting flight. At least headed in the right direction this time.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Sydney (Australia)

Distance: 4113.3 miles (6622.5 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 1.9 tonnes
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 3.5kg
What's your excuse?: I had to choose a country where I was allowed to stay more than 30 days, and I'd seen most of Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan already. It was either here or Japan, and they're both quite a long way. I wanted to go to Australia, alright?



Australia's Down Under there somewhere. Honestly.


January 2013


Gold Coast (Australia) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 4121.3 miles (6635.3 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 1.9 tonnes
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 3.5kg
What's your excuse?: Returning from Australia to Asia via bloody Kuala Lumpur LCC terminal yet again. I should have made it a resolution not to come back to this depressing travel hub in 2013, but it's too late now. It strikes me as odd that this was a slightly longer flight than KL to Sydney, even though I travelled north a bit. Clearly I have a lot to learn about the spherical Earth. But hey, at least I travelled the negligible distance up the east coast by train and bus.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Cebu (Philippines)

Distance: 1606.8 miles (2587 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 612.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 833.3g
What's your excuse?: Time to give the Philippines another try. I'm heading to the south of the country this time, which is composed of small islands. Expect flights.


Cebu (Philippines) to Davao (Philippines)

Distance: 249.3 miles (401.4 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 140.5kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 243.8g
What's your excuse?: Having to fly a paltry 250 miles really annoys me, especially as Cebu Pacific is the worst airline I've experienced (so far - don't give up hope, terrible budget airlines, I'm not planning on stopping for a long time yet). Maybe there was a boat, but I was in a hurry to get to Davao really, so sue me. Or at least fine me for carbon or something.


February 2013


Davao (Philippines) to Puerto Princesa (Philippines)

Distance: 505.2 miles (813.4 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 284.8 kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 493.9g
What's your excuse?: I'm still in the Philippines. I'm only halfway through my flights. I promise to make up for this with gruelling cross-country bus journeys in the next country I visit, though if their exhausts are anything like those in the Philippines, that would probably be even worse for the environment.


Puerto Princesa (Philippines) to Cebu (Philippines)

Distance: 358.3 miles (576.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 202.0kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 350.3g
What's your excuse?: I was going to fly direct to Manila, which might have saved a little carbon (and meant a lot less airport and taxi hassle), but I wanted to see a friend in Cebu so made a stopover. I'd prefer to pretend this was directly on the flight path to Manila and so doesn't make any difference, but in truth the line is probably slightly skewed.


Cebu (Philippines) to Manila (Philippines)

Distance: 359.9 miles (579.4 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 202.9kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 351.9g
What's your excuse?: This was a mistake, as I wasn't ever really planning on spending time in Manila again but I blindly booked the flight in advance because I knew they needed to see a return flight before I boarded the plane to the Philippines and I couldn't be bothered to Photoshop another forgery like I've done sometimes. I tried to change the flight to go from Cebu, but the penalties involved worked out about four times the cost of just booking this connecting flight, so I bounced off Manila to head to Thailand. Cebu Pacific really are dicks.



Flying over enchantingly barren Australia, before they made me close the window.
I guess all airlines are dicks


Manila (Philippines) to Bangkok (Thailand)

Distance: 1373.8 miles (2211.7 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 523.6kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 712.4g
What's your excuse?: I wasn't sure of my next destination, but as usual, Bangkok's a more attractive place to kill time waiting for an Air Asia flight connection than Kuala Lumpur. Admittedly, only slightly more attractive, Bangkok's a bit horrible.


Bangkok (Thailand) to Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

Distance: 334.1 miles (537.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 127.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 173.3g
What's your excuse?: I was convinced I'd really be going to India this time, before the visa hassle got me down too much and I realised I never felt happy when I thought about the prospect of India. So I opted for cheery Cambodia instead, the southern part that's a bit too annoying to get to by land.


March 2013


Phnom Penh (Cambodia) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 622.9 miles (1002.8 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 237.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 323.0g
What's your excuse?: Kuala Lumpur is a flight hub. I wish it wasn't, but what can I do about it? Fly with a more expensive airline so I don't have to spend more of my life in Kuala Lumpur LCCT? I have thought about it.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to Manila (Philippines)

Distance: 1536 miles (2472.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 585.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 796.6g
What's your excuse?: For reasons I won't go into lest I sound whipped, I had to fly back to the Philippines to spend time with my girlfriend before she could leave the country herself, but she kindly joined me with a domestic flight so I didn't have to wait overnight for another connection to Davao. I wasn't delighted to be returning to Manila.


Manila (Philippines) to Tacloban (Philippines)

Distance: 356.5 miles (573.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 200.9kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 348.5g
What's your excuse?: Stopping off in Leyte before heading back to Mindanao. The Philippines is a load of islands, didn't I mention that?


April 2013


Davao (Philippines) to Manila (Philippines)

Distance: 608.2 miles (979.2 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 342.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 594.6g
What's your excuse?: Leaving the Philippines from any point other than Manila or Cebu requires a connecting flight. Unless you take an excruciating 26-hour bus between islands, which is how I got between Tacloban and Davao. I wasn't excited by the prospect of repeating it and adding another day or so to drive to Manila directly. I might not be a fan of domestic flights, but I like 600-mile cramped bus journeys even less.



Getting attached to someone who lives in an island country that kicks me out on a connecting flight every 21 days hasn't exactly been great for these stats


Manila (Philippines) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 1536 miles (2472.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 585.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 796.6g
What's your excuse?: If you'd been to Manila you wouldn't ask that question.


May 2013


Bangkok (Thailand) to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

Distance: 465.4 miles (749.3 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 177.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 241.4g
What's your excuse?: The south of Vietnam was the only place in the broad 'neighbourhood' I was really interested in seeing, and with the infamously dodgy roads and unnecessary visa of Cambodia in the way, hopping over that country from Bangkok was the sanest option. Though you could reasonably question my sanity for returning to Vietnam after last time. Still, points to me for making it up from Malaysia to Thailand by bus, right?


Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Distance: 627.2 miles (1009.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 239.1kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 325.3g
What's your excuse?: At least we went over some water this time. I don't need to go back to Vietnam again.


Singapore to Manila (Philippines)

Distance: 1488.3 miles (2396.2 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 567.3kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 771.9g
What's your excuse?: Returning to the Philippines for what turned out to be for keeps.


June 2013


Manila (Philippines) to Davao (Philippines)

Distance: 608.2 miles (979.2 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 342.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 594.6g
What's your excuse?: After wasting time trying to sort out visa-based things in Manila, we went 'home.' I haven't left yet...


January 2014


Davao (Philippines) to Cebu (Philippines)

Distance: 249.3 miles (401.4 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 140.5kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 243.8g
What's your excuse?: Oh come on, that was a really long break this time. Get off my back!


Cebu (Philippines) to Kota Kinabalu (Borneo)

Distance: 616 miles (991.8 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 285.2kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 529.7g
What's your excuse?: The excuse was a very attractive promo deal, until we missed the flight and had to buy a regularly priced one.



I hope you're holding each of these people individually accountable for the planet's death too


February 2014


Kota Kinabalu (Borneo) to Bali (Indonesia)

Distance: 1017.3 miles (1637.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 387.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 527.6g
What's your excuse?: At least Borneo is on the way to Bali. I've had dumber itineraries.


March 2014


Bali (Indonesia) to Kota Kinabalu (Borneo)

Distance: 1017.3 miles (1637.9 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 387.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 527.6g
What's your excuse?: Indonesia only lets me stay 30 days, so I had to go somewhere. It's islands.


Kota Kinabalu (Borneo) to Cebu (Philippines)

Distance: 616 miles (991.8 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 285.2kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 529.7g
What's your excuse?: Essentially a stopover.


Cebu (Philippines) to Davao (Philippines)

Distance: 249.3 miles (401.4 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 140.5kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 243.8g
What's your excuse?: A less attractive stopover on the way 'home.'


June 2014


Davao (Philippines) to Manila (Philippines)

Distance: 608.2 miles (979.2 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 342.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 594.6g
What's your excuse?: Air Asia pulled out of Cebu since the last time we flew, so we had to connect further away at Manila's more depressing NAIA instead.


Manila (Philippines) to Phuket (Thailand)

Distance: 1599 miles (2574.4 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 609.5kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 829.3g
What's your excuse?: A cheap promo to a place I hadn't been before.



Not so cheap after they piled on the taxes and other fees, admittedly


July 2014


Krabi (Thailand) to Singapore

Distance: 573 miles (922.6 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 218.4kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 297.2g
What's your excuse?: The closest airport to our island that operated Air Asia flights. We didn't fancy the 24+ hour bus journey after last time.


Singapore to Manila (Philippines)

Distance: 1488.3 miles (2396.2 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 567.3kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 771.9g
What's your excuse?: You have to go 'home' some time, even if your home is significantly less nice than the place you're coming from.


Manila (Philippines) to Davao (Philippines)

Distance: 608.2 miles (979.2 km)
Lifecycle CO2: 342.8kg
Lifecycle NOx+PM: 594.6g
What's your excuse?: The annoying end bit. Direct from Singapore to Davao would have been a lot shorter, if only there was an airline doing that that wasn't ridiculously expensive.


August 2014




My trusty carbon calculator is no more (was it even reliable? Have I just been filling this page with meaningless numbers?), and as I haven't been able to find a decent replacement that doesn't deal in awkward imperial measurements or also demand to know about my domestic electricity consumption, I think the message is clear:

Give up caring. It doesn't matter. If flights were really harmful, there wouldn't be penny-pinching budget airlines and ridiculous promo tickets, would there? Just enjoy yourself. Neee-yowng, wheeeeee! Look at me, I'm flying! Hey, where did the land go?



~ Fin ~

2 comments:

  1. I like the idea of avoiding plains when travelling. A couple of years ago I couchsurfed in Norway and my host said she was going to try and hitch a boat to Iceland with some fishermen. Carbon footprint aside I think not travelling by plane gives you more stories to write about - an Easyjet flight isn't going to make for interesting reading.

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    1. There are some parts of the world where boats are so obvious but they don't do them, like the bit of the Mediterranean between Greece, Turkey, Israel and Egypt. Sodding politics. Me having to take a one-hour flight across a bit of water is arguably one of the greatest tragedies in the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.

      Luckily there seems to be plenty here, I can theoretically sail between Korea, Japan and China no problem.

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