The Lancet: Air travel for global health: flying in the face of sustainable development? (3)

24 December, 2019

Basically, you should just stay home and go vegan. And while you’re at home, cooled by ozone depletion and warmed by climate change, you shouldn’t use aerosols or plastic bags, and you should upgrade your fridge. You should dump the microwave, bin your electric toothbrush, and switch off the LED lights. You should figure out what to do with that ever-changing array of old computers and phones (clue: don’t send them to Ghana or Kenya as eWaste), and don’t save your digital ravings in the cloud (so-called “cloud” computer farms are very terrestrial and are projected to use about 14% of global energy at current rates). Say no to planes and keep the seasick pills handy (but only for sailboats, not cruise vessels, so you’ll have to plan your conference attendance a year in advance). Say no to cars and hello to bikes, but ideally bikes without tires (Americans discard 285 million tires a year, a major source of microplastic pollution, malaria breeding grounds, etc.). Walking or running is fine, but ideally in canvas trainers. No cigarettes, vapes or barbecues, let alone that marshmallow-toasting campfire or the romantic fire on the beach

Just making a partial little list like this shows how far we have come down the wrong roads - and what a long way back it’s going to be.

Chris Zielinski

Blogs: and

Research publications:

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT

His publications are at and and his blogs are and