For now, we can debate the green-ish merits of air travel vs. driving. But in 50 years, traveling by air will cease to be a problem for the environment (on a CO2 level) if the airline industry reaches a goal set forth in the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Seattle this week. And you thought the hydrogen economy was a long way off.

Some officials at Boeing (the source here is a Seattle paper), say a more near-term and industrywide approach is what's required. Mike Cave, vice president of business strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told the Seattle Times that, "Fifty years is a long time. Do we have a vision today for what technology will bring us to a zero-emissions airplane? We don't."

Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive of the IATA, on the other hand, called the zero-emissions aircraft "absolutely achievable."

Cave suggest the airline industry should instead work towards being carbon neutral in the near future (using more efficient engines, better taxiing procedures and a global carbon-emissions trading system, for example).

There's lots more details in the Times article, and here are some more thoughts on greener flying:
[Source: Dominic Gates & Susanna Ray, Seattle Times]

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