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Virgin Atlantic Abandons Ship on Carbon-Saving Plane Towing

Virgin Atlantic Abandons Ship on Carbon-Saving Plane Towing

March 12, 2008 —

With much green fanfare two years ago Virgin Atlantic airways announced its plan to tow planes to the take off runway. Normally planes taxi on their own jet engine power to the runway starting grid they are supposed to take off on. Towing the Virgin planes meant keeping their engines off, thus saving up to two tons of carbon pollution on every flight. Now, it has been discovered the company is reneging on its tow plan and environmental watchdogs are crying “greenwash.”

In December 2006 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave the green light to Virgin president Sir Richard Branson for the towing plan. But gradually over the past two years Virgin stopped towing their planes because the landing gear is weakened by the towing process. Further, some airports could not accommodate the starting grids necessary for the plan. Virgin, according to a Time of London report, has abandoned its plan.

Environmental organizations are now calling Virgin’s plan a greenwash: advertising green for market share while continuing pollution practices. Jeff Gazzard, board member of the Aviation Environment Federation, told the Times: "Virgin is using bogus green initiatives in an attempt to make passengers feel less guilty about flying and persuade regulators to allow the industry to carry on growing at its present unsustainable rate."

Comment on this article:

BAA says it is ensuring that

Submitted by Anonymous on February 5, 2010 - 11:04.

BAA says it is ensuring that energy efficiency is built into new facilities' design and educating staff to reduce their energy consumption. It also plans to boost its renewable energy use and wants aviation to be part of the EU emissions trading scheme. The burning of fossil fuel in flight is the aviation industry's biggest impact on climate change.

Wind can be used to do work.

Submitted by Anonymous on March 1, 2010 - 11:23.

Wind can be used to do work. The kinetic energy of the wind can be changed into other forms of energy, either mechanical energy or electrical energy.

When a boat lifts a sail, it is using wind energy to push it through the water. This is one form of work.

Farmers have been using wind energy for many years to pump water from wells using windmills like the one on the right.

In Holland, windmills have

Submitted by Anonymous on March 1, 2010 - 11:28.

In Holland, windmills have been used for centuries to pump water from low-lying areas. Wind is also used to turn large grinding stones to grind wheat or corn, just like a water wheel is turned by water power.

Today, the wind is also used to make electricity. Blowing wind spins the blades on a wind turbine -- just like a large toy pinwheel. This device is called a wind turbine and not a windmill. A windmill grinds or mills grain, or is used to pump water.

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