Your reactions to “flight shaming”

The article “Flight shaming’s surprising power” [April 2020] is a good summary of the effect reactions to climate change might make on air travel. As more people become aware of the problems being created by climate change, some will change their actions from altruism.

What is missing in the article is an understanding of the real cause of climate change. When we use fossil fuel, we pay the cost of the production and delivery of the product, but we do not pay the “social” cost from the pollution coming out the tailpipe or exhaust stack. The result is a distortion of the true market cost, making the product too cheap, and leading to overuse. We need to fix this problem by using the Fee and Dividend, where a fee is added to extraction of fossil carbon and returning the money to people equally.

James A. Martin
AIAA associate fellow
Huntington Beach, California

Thank for the great article, “Taking stock of flight shaming.” This is great progress in a sensible response to the human-induced climate crisis. Writer Adam Hadhazy has been good about that in at least one prior issue of Aerospace America, too.

Shame is never a good thing, but shame is universal, so we develop a healthy shame resilience if we manage to be among the few to develop such skills. Brené Brown of the University of Houston has become famous for her work with such topics, all based on her research in sociology, as I recall. It is a paradox to make progress in response to the climate crisis with the phrase flight shaming. But as Greta Thunberg says, we need cathedral thinking. The solution is simple and complex at the same time, and we do not have all of the answers yet, so we must start the years of work on our cathedral project even if we have no idea yet about the final appearance of the ceiling and the top parts of our cathedral.

Douglas Yazell
AIAA associate fellow

I was disappointed and annoyed to see that a green advocacy article was included
in what I thought was a magazine that credibly featured things aerospace [“Taking stock of flight shaming,” April 2020]. Popularizing and legitimizing an emerging and threatening cultural issue doesn’t belong here, at least not without balance.

While I suppose in the big picture, we as aerospace engineers need to be aware of the environment that we work in, I was disappointed to see so much of what the author wrote was anecdotal or flat-out non-factual. None of the arguments were countered by Aerospace America with any narrative of substance or force. Your silence serves to validate the main theses of the climate movement, that climate change is human-caused and that the issue is settled science. Many scientists, some of whom are AIAA members, disagree with both tenets.

Richard Docken
AIAA senior member
Beavercreek, Ohio

Your reactions to “flight shaming”