The BBC has spoken about its decision to fly a journalist to Sweden to meet climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
Thunberg, who recently became the youngest ever recipient of TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year accolade, has helped to spread awareness of “flygskam” – or flight shame – by giving up air travel in favor of more environmentally-friendly forms of transport.
In August of this year, Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth to attend climate change conferences in New York and Chile. She is also well known for taking trains when traveling within Europe.
However, the BBC decided that eschewing air travel wasn’t an option when presenter Mishal Husain was dispatched to Sweden to interview Thunberg for Radio 4’s Today program.
The 16-year-old climate change campaigner is guest editing a special episode of the program which airs on Monday, 30th December.
“We did discuss that among ourselves,” the program’s editor Sarah Sands told The Sunday Times. “It felt awkward but we did not have the time for trains or boats.”
Sands confirmed that the journalist’s flight caused no friction between Thunberg and the BBC, saying:
“Greta is not actually judgmental towards individuals, accepting that other people will not all conform to her high standards and asking only for people to do what they can. Change has to be collective.”
Seven women recently told Refinery29 why they have given up air travel because of growing flight shame.
Mikaela, 21, from Edinburgh, said:
“I wouldn’t say I’d completely never fly again. But for now, I’m not. I went on holiday to France with my partner in the summer and we went by train. It can take a bit longer but traveling to France by train used 99% less carbon than if we’d had taken a flight, so it was worth it.”
[CCD Editor: Apparently, they don’t have nifty things in the EU like teleconferencing and even admit that boats and trains aren’t ‘practical.’]
Read rest at Refinery29
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