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Originally published on June 13, 2005

Updated January 24, 2021

Contrails : blockheads above our heads!


Amidst second lockdown, while we hear everyone chanting the World After, we are still there:

In the middle of the French Basque country

Relocation and outsourcing champions, sex tourists or just careless consumers of "exotic" holiday products, do the users of mass aviation truly qualify for the plethora of privileges given by our governments ?

Airlines companies (above all the so-called "low-cost", which would be better called "postponed-cost"), can make profit only through the support of the numerous taxes imposed upon the whole collectivity for the benefit of the happy few. Their discount fares won't be discount any more when our successors will have to go on living on this planet. Jet planes constructors also get huge funding from the collectivity, in a blind competition for prestige.

The environmental cost of this silly game is never included in the ticket's price and wasn't even addressed by the Kyoto protocol!

Tax policies regarding air travel is an amazing though scarcely publicized series of gifts to the rich (see [13] (French case), [14] (German case)).

The following is the situation in France. Figures for other countries are welcome.

At the political level, a certain realization of this insane situation appeared with a proposal of a moderate tax on air tickets set forth by France.

This tax has been adopted, outside France, by Chile, Norway, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Brasil, and a few developing countries. The United Kingdom already applies a tax to air tickets, and will indirectly take part. India, Germany and Belgium representatives declared themselves interested. [15]

While, if one accepts the taxation paradigm, one may think that this action towards developping countries goes in the right direction, the fundamental problem of the environmental cost of this nonsensical game above our heads is in no way addressed.

We must go much further for the sake and health of our children !

This planet is the only one to allow for life billions of miles around, and most probably much further. We simply have no right to make children and jeopardize the only place where they'll ever be able to live.

Some (rather old) links :

    The exhausts from jet aircrafts and their impact on climate:

  1. NASA Scientists Use Empty Skies to Study Climate Change     
  2. Tutorial on NASA contrail research.     
  3. IPPC report - Aviation and the Global Atmosphere      
  4. Huge Resource Page on contrails and associated aspects      
  5. Thread between pilots about contrails, with links
  6. Actualités - Limiter les émissions engendrées par le trafic aérien - notre-planete.info (in French)     
  8. Contrails research overview      
  9. Airport noise impact on health:

  10. Extension of El Toro airport      
  11. Union Francilienne Contre les Nuisances Aériennes (in French)
  12. The Adverse Health Impacts of Airport Expansion with Particular Reference to Sea-Tac International Airport      
  13. Jet aircraft noise induced stress and cognition      
  14. Taxation:

  15. Repères sur la fiscalité pétrolière (in French)     
  16. Iniquity of taxes favoring air traffic over rail in Germany     
  17. Aide aux pays pauvres: 12 pays d'accord pour une taxe sur les billets d'avion (in French)      

Author: Alexandre Oberlin --- Your feedback

These photos were taken mid-january 2006 about seven miles away from the town of Menton (extreme south-east of continental France).

Click on a picture to enlarge it (1136 x 852).

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These pictures were taken close to the extreme south east of continental France. It is perfectly clear, in the east/west air traffic lane, that the contrails degenerate into cirruses of considerable extent, which produce a screening effect from the sun during the day and a greenhouse effect during the night.

Click on a picture to enlarge it (1136 x 852).

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These pictures were taken in may 2005, three miles away from the village of Larche in the southern Alps, very far away from the closest airport.

Click on a picture to enlarge it (1136 x 852).

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Where will this synergy of the greedy and the brainless lead us and our children if we let them do ?