More trains, fewer planes? “A Modest Proposal to Make Air Travel Obsolete.”


I’d settle for just one passenger train, maybe Louisville to Indianapolis and Chicago, or Cincinnati. Planes are one thing, but why the fuck did we decide driving would be obligatory? You people and your cars.

A Modest Proposal to Make Air Travel Obsolete, by Feargus O’Sullivan (CityLab)

To reduce emissions from air travel, Germany’s Green Party wants to eliminate the need for domestic flights by making big investments in trains.

When it comes to reducing the environmental impacts of the airline industry, you can shame people into avoiding air travel, or you can try to make air travel the transportation of the past.

That’s the approach Germany’s Green Party is adopting, proposing that the country should work to make domestic flights obsolete by 2035. A party document released last week imagines a future in which there is no longer any practical or economic reason to fly between places in Germany.

As the Green Party currently holds no role in national government, these plans are purely aspirational. But as Europe’s largest green political body—and a frequent participant in coalition governments—the agenda nonetheless has substantial power to shape future policy. Right now, that policy is about preparing for a future in which trains have totally supplanted planes, making flying within the country a distant memory.