Is ‘flygskam’, flight-shame, becoming a reality?

The original word comes from Sweden. Some celebrities have refused to use planes to travel. They use trains instead.

Greta Thunberg has not used a plane since 2015. The movement says that planes have a negative effect on the environment and trains are better for long distances.

Now, the Swiss bank UBS says that travellers are beginning to fly less because they are concerned for the environment. One in five people in the survey said they had cut their number of flights. However, the survey says that this will impact on the growth of air travel but won’t reduce current numbers of flights.

According to UBS, air travel is growing at between 4 and 5% per year, but if this trend continues growth will be reduced by 50%. Plane manufacturers, on the other hand, predict that growth will continue at 4-5% until 2035.

However, the climate crisis campaign is becoming more visible and is moving up the political agenda. If this continues, flight-shame might have a powerful effect.

If it doesn’t, we will have more conversations like this one:

A fellow-traveller was using his phone app for his ticket on a budget airline flight from Geneva to Scotland. He said it was his way of saving trees.

 

Questions

What is ‘flight-shame’?

Do you use less flights than before? Why/Why not?

Are there other things we can do to help the environment?


Vocabulary

Find words in the text that fit the definition. Highlight below for solutions

a celebrity – a famous person

to refuse – to say no to doing something

instead – in place of (something else)

a movement – a political or social group

the environment – the world around us

to impact on – to have an effect on

current – present (at this time)

however – [conjunction to link two contrasting ideas]

to move up the agenda – to become more important

 

 

Using the vocabulary:

·       How important are celebrities’ ideas and opinions in your country?

·       Can celebrity opinions have an impact on people’s decisions?

·       Should we feel ‘flight-shame’?

·       How could you travel instead of using planes? What is practical, what would be impractical?

·       Is the environmental movement an important force in your country, does it change people’s opinions?

 

Grammar

Reported speech

In the text we there are several examples of reported speech. In some examples the tenses change from the original statements. In others there is no change.

Can you find examples? Highlight below for solutions

The movement says that planes have a negative effect on the environment …

UBS says that travellers are beginning to fly less …

One in five people in the survey said they had cut their number of flights …

He said it was his way of saving trees.

Why do some sentences change and others remain the same?

He said it was his way of saving trees./ It’s my way of saving trees. The second sentence was said at a moment in time and is reported in the past.

In the sentences that don’t change, the statement is still being made: UBS says that travellers are beginning to fly less

More reported speech grammar

 


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