Membership card (2012)

Loyalty programme for air travel.

This is a so-called frequent flyer card, which was intended to encourage the use of air travel! The more you flew, the more perks you received: perhaps reduced prices on your next flight, skipping the queue when boarding or sitting in a special private lounge eating unlimited steak. For many of the people with a card like this, being a frequent flyer meant that you were a big deal—an important, high-status member of society.

This specific card belonged to a climate scientist working at Lund University. Originally from the US, she regularly crossed the Atlantic by plane to visit her family. However, by combining these sorts of trips with travelling to academic conferences and doing fieldwork in remote locations, she—and many researchers like her—flew up to six times more than the average Swede!

Given what she knew from her research, she was unable to ignore the implications. She decided to radically reduce her flying and became a pioneering champion of the “Flying Less” movement among scientists. She obviously met her family less as a result—but a few years after her decision, she and her partner sailed across the ocean to return to the US.

In addition, she wrote an acclaimed book about her personal sustainability journey that motivated many others to reduce their flying. The book led to a major boost for the "Staying on the ground" campaign, a movement of Swedes who chose to stop flying altogether.

This text is part of the future scenario and study material Beyond the Fossil Era.

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