Interesting Initial Media Reactions to the Eyjafjallajøkull Volcano Eruption

In the welter of initial media emissions on the (temporary) world-stopping Eyjafjallajøkull Volcano eruption (Rough Pronunciation: Ay-ya-fyad-la-OO-kootle) = Islands-mountain- glacier [courtesy of Wikipedia and the BBC], two pieces in the online version of The Times (London, not New York) for 19 April 2010 seem particularly worth sharing with those who may not have seen them.

[Later Note: In the light of comments on the pronunciation of that tongue-twister, especially from amused Icelanders mocking journalists’ pronunciations on You Tube, I have amended my original erroneous rendering and hope it is now closer to written and spoken reality. Apparently, the last two syllables (the jøkull, ‘OO-kootle‘ bit) mean ‘glacier’ and the first three syllables denote the volcano (or place name) itself (Eyjafjall, ‘Ay-ya-FYADL’).]

1. ‘Europe counts saved carbon emissions as flights stay grounded’, by Ben Webster, Environment Editor.
“The grounding of 63,000 flights over the past four days has saved 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, more than the annual emissions of many developing countries.

Aviation is responsible for about 2 per cent of global emissions of CO2, but accounts for a much higher proportion of emissions in European nations, which have many frequent flyers. Aircraft are responsible for more than 6 per cent of Britain’s CO2 emissions.

On a normal day, the 28,000 flights in European airspace emit about 560,000 tonnes of CO2, or a third of the world’s aviation emissions.

The Aviation Environment Federation calculated that the CO2 saving over four days had been greater than the annual emissions of Malawi, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and about 50 other
Jeff Gazzard, the federation’s spokesman, said: “The use of trains, ferries and video conferencing has skyrocketed as planes have been grounded. While volcanic eruptions are not an everyday occurrence, surely the take-away message from the past few days is that the world has not stopped revolving and people can find alternatives to air travel. We hope that this will prompt people to stop and think about whether their flight is really necessary.”

The total environmental benefits of the grounding of aircraft may be far greater because millions of business travellers have had to find alternative ways of communicating — and some are likely to change their working habits permanently.”
(Original version HERE.)

2. Before the safe arrival of the thousands of stranded travellers and the obligatory official inquiries, food for thought is offered by Libby Purves in the same Times Online issue: ‘Every volcano cloud has some silver linings’ (19 April, 2010)
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