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kuai43

Skydiving fuel use - worldwide?

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Does anyone have a reasonable estimate of how much fuel is burned daily in jump operations worldwide, on an annualized average?

In other words, obviously, weekends, boogies, holidays, etc. would be averaged with days when jump ops aren't conducted and in the winter when ops are minimal or non-existent.

I had a debate regarding climate impact with my GF's son about unnecessary carbon footprints and I just threw out a gut assertion that an entire day of fuel use in jump ops worldwide wouldn't even be equal to the fuel used by one 737 trans-continental flight, or one day of commuter fuel use in any of the major metro areas: DC, Houston, LA, etc.

How far off base was I?
Every fight is a food fight if you're a cannibal

Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. - Anthony Burgess

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Probably not too far at all. Skydiving is small, the world is big. But its still no real excuse. Skydiving causes your personal carbon footprint to be much larger than it otherwise would be. It is a wasteful and selfish activity overall. And I love it!

World wide would be tough to figure the number. A rough estimate for annual US fuel use would be far easier. Just figure out a fuel per lift number that is realistic and multiply by the number of jumps done. I think USPA has an estimate of that.

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Dropzone.com published an article earlier this year on this very subject. Previously I had seen estimates that 100 jumps per year increased your carbon footprint about 10%, but based on the numbers in this article it would be closer to 6% (based on an average carbon footprint of 21.5 metric tons, which may not be that accurate).

http://www.dropzone.com/safety/General_Safety/How_Green_Is_My_Skydive_1360.html

I dont think you were that far off, big picture.
Max Peck
What's the point of having top secret code names, fellas, if we ain't gonna use 'em?

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Skydiving causes your personal carbon footprint to be much larger than it otherwise would be.


Depends on what you would be spending your time/money on if you didn't spend it on skydiving.
Based on the numbers from the article on dropzone.com linked above, making 100 jumps a year has a smaller carbon footprint than taking a 7-day cruise ship vacation. (Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421510000066) That said, I'm guessing there's not much overlap between "people who skydive" and "people who like to go on luxury cruises," but skydiving probably isn't the most carbon-intensive recreational activity you could possibly do.

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kuai43

Does anyone have a reasonable estimate of how much fuel is burned daily in jump operations worldwide, on an annualized average?

In other words, obviously, weekends, boogies, holidays, etc. would be averaged with days when jump ops aren't conducted and in the winter when ops are minimal or non-existent.

I had a debate regarding climate impact with my GF's son about unnecessary carbon footprints and I just threw out a gut assertion that an entire day of fuel use in jump ops worldwide wouldn't even be equal to the fuel used by one 737 trans-continental flight, or one day of commuter fuel use in any of the major metro areas: DC, Houston, LA, etc.

How far off base was I?



Meh if you feel guilty about it plant a couple of pine trees.
Confirmed cynical sarcastic bastard since 2003

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Iago

***Does anyone have a reasonable estimate of how much fuel is burned daily in jump operations worldwide, on an annualized average?

In other words, obviously, weekends, boogies, holidays, etc. would be averaged with days when jump ops aren't conducted and in the winter when ops are minimal or non-existent.

I had a debate regarding climate impact with my GF's son about unnecessary carbon footprints and I just threw out a gut assertion that an entire day of fuel use in jump ops worldwide wouldn't even be equal to the fuel used by one 737 trans-continental flight, or one day of commuter fuel use in any of the major metro areas: DC, Houston, LA, etc.

How far off base was I?



Meh if you feel guilty about it plant a couple of pine trees.

Or don't drink bottled water.

Seriously.

I drive truck and I've pulled loads (44,000 pound loads) of bottled water from the plants in Allentown PA, Indianapolis and north of Grand Rapids MI.

I would take them hundreds of miles to grocery distribution centers. Then another truck would take them to the stores.

That's a lot of fuel used to move something that comes out of a faucet.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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Or coffee made from K cups. A full load of them weights less than 10,00 lbs. Stacked to the roof. A load of plain old Folgers, or any other coffee is the full 40,000 plus. Far more efficient.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Iago

***Does anyone have a reasonable estimate of how much fuel is burned daily in jump operations worldwide, on an annualized average?

In other words, obviously, weekends, boogies, holidays, etc. would be averaged with days when jump ops aren't conducted and in the winter when ops are minimal or non-existent.

I had a debate regarding climate impact with my GF's son about unnecessary carbon footprints and I just threw out a gut assertion that an entire day of fuel use in jump ops worldwide wouldn't even be equal to the fuel used by one 737 trans-continental flight, or one day of commuter fuel use in any of the major metro areas: DC, Houston, LA, etc.

How far off base was I?



Meh if you feel guilty about it plant a couple of pine trees.

You missed my point.
Every fight is a food fight if you're a cannibal

Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. - Anthony Burgess

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Orthoclase

Quote

Skydiving causes your personal carbon footprint to be much larger than it otherwise would be.


Depends on what you would be spending your time/money on if you didn't spend it on skydiving.
Based on the numbers from the article on dropzone.com linked above, making 100 jumps a year has a smaller carbon footprint than taking a 7-day cruise ship vacation. (Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421510000066) That said, I'm guessing there's not much overlap between "people who skydive" and "people who like to go on luxury cruises," but skydiving probably isn't the most carbon-intensive recreational activity you could possibly do.



Cruising impact didn't even occur to me when we had the discussion. Interesting.
Every fight is a food fight if you're a cannibal

Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. - Anthony Burgess

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Meh if you feel guilty about it plant a couple of pine trees.



Better yet: Have fewer children:
https://phys.org/news/2017-07-effective-individual-tackle-climate-discussed.html


BTW: How do you guys get the nested quotes with "suchandsuch wrote:" ? Since there is only a simple {quote} tag, I can't figure that out for the life of me! (I could try nesting the {quote} tags, but that would still not give me the author headlines.)

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mbohu


BTW: How do you guys get the nested quotes with "suchandsuch wrote:" ? Since there is only a simple {quote} tag, I can't figure that out for the life of me! (I could try nesting the {quote} tags, but that would still not give me the author headlines.)



Hit the "quote" button on someone's post and it loads it automatically.

Alternatively, put their name in "quotes" inside the square brackets.

your name here

Like this



Also, anytime you want to figure out how someone did something, simply hit the 'quote' button on their post. The text, including whatever markup techniques someone is using, will show up in the text box.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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wolfriverjoe

******Does anyone have a reasonable estimate of how much fuel is burned daily in jump operations worldwide, on an annualized average?

In other words, obviously, weekends, boogies, holidays, etc. would be averaged with days when jump ops aren't conducted and in the winter when ops are minimal or non-existent.

I had a debate regarding climate impact with my GF's son about unnecessary carbon footprints and I just threw out a gut assertion that an entire day of fuel use in jump ops worldwide wouldn't even be equal to the fuel used by one 737 trans-continental flight, or one day of commuter fuel use in any of the major metro areas: DC, Houston, LA, etc.

How far off base was I?



Meh if you feel guilty about it plant a couple of pine trees.

Or don't drink bottled water.

Seriously.

I drive truck and I've pulled loads (44,000 pound loads) of bottled water from the plants in Allentown PA, Indianapolis and north of Grand Rapids MI.

I would take them hundreds of miles to grocery distribution centers. Then another truck would take them to the stores.

That's a lot of fuel used to move something that comes out of a faucet.

Yes, I hate bottled water as well. I save the bottles I do have to buy and just refill them if I can. It still sucks flying though since it's almost $4 for a Vitaminwater past security.

What I will do is pay 25 or 50 to refill the gallon jugs at a filter station. I did that in PR a lot as the water goes out on a semi-regular basis and when that happens crap can get sucked back into the pipes.

But yes, bottled water and K-cups generally suck. I prefer my French press.
Confirmed cynical sarcastic bastard since 2003

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AtrusBatleth

Dropzone.com published an article earlier this year on this very subject. Previously I had seen estimates that 100 jumps per year increased your carbon footprint about 10%, but based on the numbers in this article it would be closer to 6% (based on an average carbon footprint of 21.5 metric tons, which may not be that accurate).

http://www.dropzone.com/safety/General_Safety/How_Green_Is_My_Skydive_1360.html

I dont think you were that far off, big picture.



Excellent article. Thanks for including it. I heartily encourage everyone to read it.
Once again, Bryan Burke rules. Fun fact.. he ran my FJC in 1984 at Orange, VA, when he was a college student. I lived.
Every fight is a food fight if you're a cannibal

Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. - Anthony Burgess

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I once saw an argument that stated that to estimate a carbon footprint you should just convert the cost of a product/service directly to barrels of oil. The idea being that if you follow where the money goes down the production chain it is all eventually used to fulfil the needs of a human that starts (or continues) a new chain. The chains will keep separating and continue until they all end with an eventual purchase of oil.

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neilmck

I once saw an argument that stated that to estimate a carbon footprint you should just convert the cost of a product/service directly to barrels of oil.

That does not seem like an accurate way to determine it. For example, does building a $1M Ferrari produce 50x more carbon than a $20k Honda? Probably not even close.

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A Ferrari costs $1M because each car has an extremely high human input (design, sales, production, investor, etc). The idea of the dollar/oil measure is that it accounts for the carbon footprint of the humans required to supply the product.

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To clarify: you're saying that one's carbon footprint should be measured in dollars spent, not in terms of quantifying the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere?
I'm not really sure why you would bother "[converting] that to barrels of oil," since the price of oil fluctuates a lot. The "CO2 footprint" of a $25-30 ride up to altitude is pretty much the same regardless of what the price of oil happens to be that day.
Either way, it seems like a well-intentioned yet fundamentally flawed approach to me. I understand wanting to account for all stages of production (i.e. mining the copper to put in those solar panels ;) ), but there are far too many variables to simply reduce it to dollars.

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The idea behind the argument is the you need to take into account your proportion of the carbon footprint of the existence of each piece of equipment used to provide you a service. This includes the proportion of the carbon footprint of other humans whose individual carbon footprints need to calculated, and on and on. If you follow the chain it will keep separating forming a tree structure where each chain eventually ends with the money being spent on burning oil.
As the oil price fluctuates so will the way money is spent and the tree will change accordingly, and hence the carbon footprint required to provide the service will also change.

My gut tells me there is a flaw in this argument but my head starts hurting long before I am ever able to find it.

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20kN

***I once saw an argument that stated that to estimate a carbon footprint you should just convert the cost of a product/service directly to barrels of oil.

That does not seem like an accurate way to determine it. For example, does building a $1M Ferrari produce 50x more carbon than a $20k Honda? Probably not even close.

yeah, there is the fact you have to account for profit margins, but the energy cost to build a Ferrari is probably quite a bit higher than the Honda. Exotic materials like carbon fiber and titanium have high production costs because they take more energy to extract / produce. Even more by-hand labour translates to higher energy costs, as those labour hours costs result from energy needs of the worker.
It's flare not flair, brakes not breaks, bridle not bridal, "could NOT care less" not "could care less".

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To clarify: you're saying that one's carbon footprint should be measured in dollars spent, not in terms of quantifying the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere?



Well, he didn't exactly say that. He said "he once heard an argument" for that. It is both obviously incorrect but also makes the point that human consumption in general drives energy production. In the past as a nation's GDP increases you could expect an increase in carbon emissions.

But if you take that simple view of the future then it is pointless. We clearly are not going to willingly let our standard of living drop, we are going to move to more renewable energy sources. The relationship between spending and carbon is not a fixed ratio. But for skydiving it will be for the foreseeable future. Usable electric skydive aircraft are not feasible with any available technology.

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The actual fluctuations in the price of a barrel of oil on the global market throughout the year are generally far greater than the cost changes seen by consumers.

Here's an example:
On September 27, 2018 the price of a barrel of oil was $72.18. On December 28, 2018, the price was $45.33.
(Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/historical-prices/oil-price/usd

Let's say that on both of those days I drove to the DZ (99 miles from my home) and made five jumps ($25/ea).
So, I spent $125 to skydive plus $26.45 and $25.11 on gas (Sept and Dec, respectively, based on the average price of gas for both of those weeks as shown here: https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=EMM_EPMRU_PTE_Y48SE_DPG&f=W).
So, according to the "dollars to barrels of oil" methodology, the cost of this activity, in barrels of oil, would have been 2.1 barrels in September and 3.3 barrels in December.

Furthermore, that jump ticket costs the same whether there's 10 people on the plane or 16. While the reduced weight of a plane with 10 jumpers would make it burn less fuel than with a full load (I don't know how much, I'm not a pilot -- people with knowledge of this feel free to weigh in), the total CO2 emission from that load would be divided between fewer people, and thus, a little greater per person than if the load was full.

The flaw with the "dollars to barrels of oil" method is that it is overly simplistic and doesn't make any attempt to account for any of these kinds of variables.

That said, a line has to be drawn somewhere. Counting the number of people on each load to calculate that jump's exact contribution to your personal carbon footprint is probably too extreme and not worth the effort, but quantifying it in terms of money spent is illogical. As gowlerk pointed out, dollars to CO2 emissions are not fixed ratios.

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