Hello my name is Rick. I am a recovering flightaholic.Let’s face it, cheap air travel is a modern obsession. For most of us it is not essential; it is a luxury. The trouble is air travel is too cheap. If the cost of indulging in this luxury were to reflect the damage it does to the environment, it would definitely not be a boom industry: It would be the privilege of a super-wealthy elite – just as it was 50 or 60 years ago. In recent years, commercial aircraft manufacturers have been competing with each other to present themselves as environmentally responsible. European collaboration has produced the world’s biggest commercial passenger airliner, whereas Boeing have produced the world’s lightest: Both trying to compete for the headline of the most environmentally-friendly aeroplane. However, let’s face it, aircraft manufacturers are not interested in environmental protection, they are interested in only one thing – selling more aircraft than their rivals. It doesn’t matter whether you consider the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or the Airbus A380, they may be more fuel-efficient and less noisy than any other plane on the planet but, they are both on a flight from the reality of Jevons Paradox. Whether it be bigger and better aeroplanes or airports, building more capacity, just encourages more demand; whereas what we need is demand (and expectation) management. Unlike heroin, it is unlikely that air travel will ever be made illegal. However, just like fossil fuels in general, air travel needs to be made prohibitively expensive. It would, of course, also help if airlines paid tax on the fuel they use. But, none of this is likely to happen any time soon for the simple reason that our governments are fixated on growth; and pandering to the interests of business. Preserving a habitable planet for future generations of humans is very low on their list of priorities. As for me? Well, in my 47 years I have flown comparatively little; and for most of that time I have flown in ignorance of the damage that this technological marvel of our age is doing. For example, I was extremely fortunate to fly to Australia at the tender age of 10 – back in the 1970s. For someone who had grown up going to places like Bognor Regis – and considered a ferry trip to France to be an adventure – flying half way around the world was almost incredible. However, today, I do not demand that people stop flying; and I have not stopped flying myself (although it is extremely rare – no more than 8 flights in 10 years). All I ask is that it cease to be cheap. We cannot get rid of traffic congestion by building more roads; and we will not meet the demand for more air travel by building more airports. As I said before, we must discourage people from driving cars and flying in planes by pursuing the same strategy we have done to discourage smoking: We must confront people with the reality of the damage it does; and make it a very expensive habit. This is what psychologists might call behaviour modification therapy. Based on what I said yesterday, you might want to call it “when in a hole stop digging” therapy. Talking of holes, of course, that brings me back to the other issue that recently prompted people to label me a hypocrite; namely the mere suggestion that I might consider applying to work for someone who might have coal miners amongst their clients… Well, I have not had an interview for such a job; let alone an offer of employment. Therefore, my position remains a pragmatic one; I will try extremely hard to avoid being put in that position but, whether I do or not, the coal will undoubtedly still be mined… Therefore, whether it be fossil fuel mining or fossil fuel burning – on the ground or in the air – what we should be doing is focussing on finding alternatives and, if there are no alternatives, we should accept that environmental protection comes at a price; one we should acknowledge, accept and expect to start paying in full. One thing is sure, we cannot avoid the cost… We either pay now or we will pay later; and all the evidence suggests the cost is going only one way – exponentially upwards towards oblivion.