Reports from Spain today that there will be strikes at airports for a total of 22 days over the Easter period and during the summer is a disaster for tourism, still just about the biggest sector of their very fragile economy. They will probably be the most disruptive strikes in recent times with up to 12,000 airport workers protesting at the sale of 49% of Aena, the state owned airport system.
It is also a genuinely annoying for the rest of us as Spain is one of the five most popular tourist destinations in the world and regularly comes top of British lists as the best place for both weekend breaks and longer holidays.
Maybe, though, we should actually thank the strikers given that air travel is the quickest growing source of pollution in the world. The statistics are quite shocking. A return flight between London and Barcelona is about seven times more polluting than going by train (277 Kg of CO2 compared to 40 Kg of CO2 per person). In fact a single ten-hour flight per person is as polluting as running a medium sized car for an entire year (2.5 tons of CO2).
I Love Trains!
Travelling by plane was traditionally seen as the most convenient and comfortable way to travel, not to mention the quickest. Arguably, this is increasingly not the case though – in Europe at least. The combination of longer security checks, busier airports and greater number of strikes than ever before makes flying a less attractive proposition. Add to this the creation of a European wide high speed train network which means you can potentially get from London to Barcelona in about nine hours (or on an overnight sleeper train) and all of a sudden I am quite happy to support Spanish airport strikers.
|Notice how tourism and pollution are described in the first three paragraphs||To say something is number one we use the superlative. We make the superlative in one of two ways|
|the biggest sector of their very fragile economy the quickest growing source of pollution in the world||One syllable adjective: the + adjective with –est + in/of|
|the most disruptive strikes in recent times one of the five most popular tourist destinations in the world||Longer adjectives: the + most + adjective + in/of|
|the best place for both weekend breaks and longer holidays||Good and bad are exceptions. They become best and worst.|
|Notice how train and aeroplane travel are compared||To compare we use the comparative form which we make in one of three ways|
|seven times more polluting than going by train||Longer adjectives: more + adjective + than|
|longer security checks, busier airports and greater number of strikes than ever before||One syllable adjective: adjective with –er + than Good and bad are exceptions. They become better than and worse than|
|as polluting as running a medium sized car||as + adjective + as is used to say when two things are the same|