Quebec woman launches Flight Free 2020 Canada campaign to encourage Canadians to stay on the ground

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      Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate-crisis campaigner Greta Thunberg is refusing to take airplanes.

      More than 600 academics have also pledged to "greatly reduce flying" to do their part to contain the rise in greenhouse-gas emissions.

      Now, a Quebec woman is trying to encourage 100,000 Canadians to promise to refrain from flying over the next year.

      Nathalie Laplante, a resident of Val-David, Quebec, launched the Flight Free 2020 campaign earlier this month to try to save the climate.

      It's a Canadian version of initiatives already underway in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, France, and Germany.

      "We are of course hoping that everyone will choose to refrain from flying regardless if the goal of 100,000 in each country is reached, but you by signing up for Flight Free 2020 you only commit to do it if the goal is reached before midnight on New Year’s Eve," states a website created to promote the goal.

      Laplante told the Straight that she was living in Fernie, B.C., in 2007 when she first started thinking about the consequences of air travel on the climate.

      It came as a result of reading Guardian columnist George Monbiot's book Heat: How We Can Stop the Planet Burning.

      As a result of this book, she chose to take a train from Edmonton to Montreal that year rather than flying on a plane.

      In fact, her last plane trip was on Christmas Day in 2006.

      "I decided to start the campaign in Canada because I think flying is most often a choice, one that cannot be justified in this day and age" Laplante explained. "We must try to simplify our lives, see the world differently and decrease our carbon footprints. There are many ways to do this. Not flying is just one of those, but it's a subject that gets very little attention."

      The website pointed out in 2016 that aviation could consume one-quarter of the world's carbon budget if the average global temperature was kept to 1.5 ° by 2050 above the period before the Industrial Revolution.

      "Carbon dioxide is also not the only way aviation affects the climate," the website states. "Aircraft emit other gases and aerosols that change the composition of the atmosphere. They also produce 'contrails', which affect the cloudiness of the sky and how much solar radiation reaches the surface of the Earth."