Climate Change and Air Travel: Professor Frank Gives an Interview

Design like our lives depends on it, but only design knowledge is gonna get us through the next one.

Listen to Dr. Frank’s segment

From minute 1:28 to 7:15

In this interview, Dr. Frank says the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the world with a tutorial on reducing our travel and connecting online based on necessity. In her closing remarks, she shared the hope that in the future, the lessons we have learned and the need to reduce flying can be applied in the ongoing battle against climate change.

Climate change has been a primary global concern for over three decades. Over time, numerous technologies and suggestions to ‘go green’ have been developed, including in the area of travel. While car manufacturers have made rapid progress to decarbonize their operations, environmentally friendly air travel is far from being realized.

 

Research has shown that aviation contributes significantly to global carbon emissions, both traveling for work purposes and discretionary pleasure trips. Few nations worldwide have implemented strategies aimed at reducing the carbon footprint generated by air travel. As such, the responsibility falls upon the shoulders of the individual to make choices that benefit the environment for the greater good of all.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world to learn to limit air travel and connect online, Dr. Erica Frank, Founder/Inventor of NextGenU.org, has been implementing these measures in her life for years. Dr. Frank recently shared with the CBC the actions that she has taken to drastically reduce her carbon footprint from air travel.

 

At age 58, Dr. Frank has already traveled to 69 countries worldwide for work and pleasure. Throughout her career, she developed a love for traveling, stating that traveling to low-middle-income countries, in particular, gave her a sense of mission and awareness that she acted on to make a change in the world.

However, over a decade ago, Dr. Frank was awakened to the reality of air travel’s impact on the environment. She revealed that it was “astonishing and humbling” to learn of the true relative carbon footprint of a single flight and expressed the sentiment that the pleasure and indulgence of travel paled in comparison to the pain experienced by the rest of the world as a consequence.

Her endeavors to be kinder to the environment included adopting a “profound diet” concerning air travel. This involved fulfilling professional and personal obligations by combining trips for maximal yield, booking economy class for greater fuel efficiency, and delivering keynote speeches remotely online – measures taken to drastically reduce her overall flying time.

NextGenU.org not only supports Dr. Frank in her efforts but follows in her footsteps as well. The team at NextGenU.org consists of individuals from various countries around the globe. Our online platform and workspace connect our employees daily, on personal and professional levels, with no need for air travel or even a daily commute! Our organization has proven that we can produce excellence, develop camaraderie, and maintain meaningful relationships remotely.

For more information on climate change and air travel, visit the following pages:

  1. Saxifrages
  2. Media Nature

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