Years ago, while on a climbing course, I heard about a beginner who froze halfway up a rock face and refused to move. Fighting a rising sense of panic, he took out a comb and started to pull it through his hair. Kind suggestions from the instructors had no discernible effect. The climber remained stuck in place, teetering but well groomed.
The story brings to mind the response of many of us to climate change. There is a marked tendency to distract oneself from the challenges and the growing risks. In few areas is this more apparent than with regard to aviation. Can’t we just count on technological innovation to reduce the industry’s emissions while we carry on in our own sweet way? If not, what more can be done?
For anyone who has asked questions like these, Flying Green is a good place to look for answers. Coming in at just under a hundred pages of text – the perfect length for a long-haul flight – this slim book is an excellent overview of the current state of play and the possibilities for more rapid change.
Christopher de Bellaigue, an international correspondent who has reported for many years from Iran and Turkey, is the author of acclaimed books on the history of the Middle East. As such, he is someone whose career has depended on being able to fly and so is enormously appreciative