Should Swedes fly less?

Sweden is caught up in a fierce debate over whether the Swedes should drastically reduce their air travel. The discussion began at the start of the year when the daily paper Expressen published a commentary that provoked a major reaction in the media.

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Expressen (SE) /

World's most expensive collective suicide

Journalist Jens Liljestrand writes in Expressen about the denial of the collective suicide that humanity is committing by destroying the environment:

“I'm so sick of living this way. I'm sick of working just so I can afford to keep putting my children on planes where we're all packed like sardines and given plastic food and after hours of cramped conditions and dreariness we arrive at our destination to take selfies with a dying world in the background. This is a lifestyle that goes far beyond idiocy. This is the most expensive suicide in the history of the world. I can tell my daughter how beautiful the coral was when I was a boy. The colours as vibrant as in the film Find Nemo. It was a fairytale world. But it's gone now.”

Svenska Dagbladet (SE) /

An arrogant tone

Author Josefin Holmström criticises the tone of the debate in Svenska Dagbladet:

“Must this discussion be conducted in such an arrogant tone? Are we not aware of our privileges? Historian David Lindén has described on Twitter how this debate stinks of class disdain: 'Normal Swedes don't have to fly to Thailand, but I simply have to be at this conference in Brussels.' I'm not going to defend weekend plane trips to Rome, Lisbon or Vienna. But I will question the self-aggrandising tone of this anti-air travel debate in which apparently all the participants belong to the well-heeled middle class living in the city centre or in villas in the safe suburbs. We understand that you're not dependent on your car. Your children can ride to school on their bikes because you don't live in the middle of nowhere or way up north.”