Monday, 21 May 2007

What is Richard Branson doing for the environment?

Okay - one of the largest conflicts I face over the entire desire to travel - is the concerning impact all of those flights may have on the environment...

Carbon emissions from planes are a growing concern among scientists and environmentalists alike. It's also an area which shows the largest potential growth as Japanese and Chinese travel more and more, and India sees the launch of their own low cost airlines. Flying is becoming increasingly accessible to the masses, meaning that carbon emissions are on the increase, at a time when we are desperately trying to reduce them.

Now - I think it's fair to say that the World is not going to stop travelling. Certainly, even though I would like to remain an upstanding citizen and protect the environment, I am hypocritical to say the least when it comes to flying. Having tasted what the rest of the World has to offer, and having become a scuba diving, beach hut, and hammock junkie - the concept of not flying, makes many of my dreams somewhat near impossible.

It seems logical to me that the answer is not to stop people from flying by increasing taxes and scaring us about the impact on the environment - but to provide us all with an environmentally friendly, cost effective alternative. With the technology that we have developed as a race already, I find it hard to believe that this is an unreasonable and impossible suggestion.

Imagine my relief then when I discovered that one man at least - is definately reading from the same page as me. So much so that he's prepared to plunge all of his profits from the travel industry (amounting to billions of dollars) straight back into research for an alternative fuel.

Sir Richard Branson - the papa of the Virgin group, has now added Virgin Fuels to his portfolio of projects - all of which have been built on his underlying driving force to challenge the norm, and create positive change for consumers.

Now there has been much controversy around his decision, with many people referring to him as an egomaniac, or saying that his announcements were a publicity stunt - BUT lets face it - he's got his finger on the pulse. The World is just not going to stop flying - even if he does decide to close his own flying business - Virgin Atlantic. It goes completely against the grain of the psyche of the world, as we become more and more accustomed and adjusted to globalization - there is no way we're going to do a u-turn. So what better than to invest in an environmentally friendly fuel. By taking such action of course Sir Branson has something to gain - he's protecting his own future, and as always is working towards constructive change for the masses.

Aside from investing in research for an alternative fuel, Richard Branson has also joined Al Gore in offering a $25 million prize to the individual or group who come up with a workable method of withdrawing carbon dioxide from the environment. Trees and plants do it naturally - so what is there to say we can't find a way to counteract the damage we are doing...?

In addition to these quite revolutionery projects, Virgin Atlantic are also doing everything they can to reduce current carbon emmissions by employing energy efficient methods wherever possible in land based operations, and by reviewing where carbon savings can be made on current flights.

I don't know about you, but for me, it makes sense to fly Virgin whenever possible. At least I know that the profits from my flight are going straight back into finding alternatives to protect our environment. Richard Branson has always delivered eventually in his projects, and he has always thought in an alternative manner... I believe in his convictions, and I have faith that he will do all he can to make it happen....

Click on the logo to go through to Virgin Atlantic and receive quotes for your air fairs...

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