Techno distraction

Don’t we all love to see a sexy futuristic picture of a plane like this? Aviation knows this, and uses this kind of image to distract from the difficult truth that there is no way to fly long distances without causing massive carbon emissions.

There are increasingly frequent stories in the media about electric taxi planes*, hydrogen planes, and other hi-tech ‘solutions’. The images and narrative distract from the text of the articles, which are not claiming to replace anything but short flights in small aircraft. Journalists who should know better regurgitate these stories without any correction or review.

These stories appeal to the fantasist in us, whether we call them technoswerve – swerving away from the truth – or aero-herrings, or fantastech, or just #TechFixFantasies

*air taxis, even if they were powered sustainably, would still require many times the energy of surface transport