Car vs. Plane: Which Has Bigger Effect on Emissions?

carplane.jpgThere’s been a lot of talk about the high amount of greenhouse gas emissions put out by aircraft lately. I wanted to find out if airplane travel really is worse than automobile traffic, on a per person basis. This is the document I stumbled upon.
According to the FAA, including idling and taxiing, an airplane gets about 48 miles to the gallon per seat. That’s a heck of a lot better than I’d thought, though it obviously depends on a myriad of other factors: Long flights are more efficient, newer planes are better. But a rule of thumb suggests that traveling solo in an SUV is probably more harmful in terms of emissions than buying a plane ticket, but carpooling, even in an SUV, is probably better then flying.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.