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Ward off Climate Change

About the author

Gary Warden was raised in the Perth Hills. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Geology, Gary joined BHP Billiton where he spent 18 years working in a variety of roles in a number of locations around the world. Prior to leaving BHP Billiton in December 2006, Gary was Global Manager for the company's US$1Billion business improvement program.

While he was originally sceptical about the claims relating to climate change, he became convinced of the urgency of the issue in early 2006. He left BHP Billiton primarily to spend more time with his young family, but also to dedicate himself to creating a more sustainable life for himself and his family and to support others in making that change.

In September 2007 he was trained by Al Gore and has delivered the "Inconvenient Truth" lectures to thousands of west australians since then. In November 2007 Gary ran for the senate in the Federal Election representing the Climate Change Coalition.

In addition to his climate change lectures, he has facilitated Living Smart workshops across Perth. Between 2008 and 2009 he was on the Executive Committee of the Conservation Council of Western Australia including one year as Vice President.

Gary co-founded and is Executive Director of the very exciting Days of Change program, one of the largest sustainability programs in Australia and is now General Manager WA for Eco-Kinetics, one of the largest Solar PV companies in Australia and subsidiary of ASX-listed CBD Energy.

Reducing Your Air Travel Emissions

If you live in a remote area, it can be difficult to avoid air travel, however for many people, air travel is largely discretionary.

Airplanes produce at least as much greenhouse gas emissions per kilometer travelled compared to travel in a medium sized car. However if you travel in Business Class or First Class, the emissions can be 2-3 times the equivalent emissions from a car. The problem is then exacerbated by the huges distances travelled by plane.

Most frequent flyers will find that the emissions associated with their flights far exceed the other emissions for their household. In my previous job with BHP Billiton, I travelled 363,000km during 2006 - all in either Business Class or First Class. This represented 90% of my overall emissions.

The key with air travel is to reduce it wherever possible.

For example, if you travel for work to participate in a meeting, look at opportunties to participate in the meeting via teleconference or videoconference.

If your travel is for a holiday, think seriously about whether or not you could travel somewhere closer to home.

If your travel is less than 1000km, then give consideration to travelling by bus or by train. While it is true that this will be slower, you will produce less than 10% of the emissions of flying, and you will have the added benefit of being able to take more gear with you than is feasible when flying.