Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Every cloud has a silver lining...

Move over election…all everyone’s talking about right now is that cloud of ash.

Its continued presence over Europe’s airspace is dominating the headlines and causing all hell to break loose on the ground.

Unlike the Eurostar debacle last Christmas, it’s not just the average Joe who has been affected by the flight ban. A whole host of celebs have been forced to unpack their Louis Vuitton luggage and chuck out their first class tickets.

Demi Moore has cancelled her press junket. Miley Cyrus can’t attend the premiere of her latest film. Katie Price is marooned in Egypt. And, shock horror, Whitney Houston had to brave the passenger ferry to Ireland.  

Joking aside, there are still over 150,000 British people stuck abroad, which probably isn’t the biggest barrel of laughs.  Especially if you’re travelling alone. There’s no doubt if it happened to me (being the drama queen I am), I’d have sent a melodramatic text to everyone in my phonebook telling them of my ‘horrific’ ordeal and warning them they may never see me again.

However, if there’s one thing us Brits are good at it’s pulling together in times of difficulty. I’ve heard all kinds of heart-warming stories from honeymooners giving up their luxury hotel suite to stranded pensioners, to triumphant backpackers cycling across Europe to get home. 

But let’s put things into perspective. Nobody’s been killed or hurt. The world hasn’t come to an end. Quite the opposite - the 6-day flight ban has actually saved around 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from being pumped into the Earth’s atmosphere. This is more than the annual emissions produced by developing countries such as Malawi and Rwanda put together.

We’re so used to having everything instantaneously at our fingertips we’ve forgotten air travel is a privilege not a right.  If the hullaballoo surrounding the flight ban teaches us anything it’s that Mother Nature rules. And she’s allowed to be bossy occasionally!

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