Environmental studies major authors op-ed about environmental impact of air travel Twitter
Macquarie Simon ’21 wrote a piece proposing frequent airline fliers be taxed, not rewarded, for the environmental impact of their travel.
Simon initially wrote the piece as an assignment for Voices of Environmental Justice, a course taught by Sarah Dimick, assistant professor of environmental studies. She submitted it for publication to the San Francisco Chronicle.
In the op-ed, Simon explains how flying is one of the most emission-intensive travel methods and proposes that frequent fliers be subject to a tax to discourage unnecessary flying and that frequent fliers and companies pay for environmental damages caused by their travel.
“A voluntary carbon tax offset can be added to the price of your airline ticket, but the airline industry is not doing enough to hold travelers accountable for the adverse effects they are imposing on the environment,” she writes. “Implementation of a progressive tax system has the potential to spare an enormous amount of emission output and increase accountability from frequent fliers. Because the effects of climate change are felt most directly by individuals who contribute the least to it, a progressive tax system would address the environmental injustices that stem from elite world travelers.”