Among the solutions Nelson suggested are finding ways to power airplanes through less polluting fuels and using electric power, describing the push as both morally and financially incentivized.
She specifically brought up clear air turbulence—turbulence that comes out of nowhere and can cause serious injury or death—as one of the climate-related concerns for her union members that is likely not understood by people outside the industry.
A study from Reading University Professor Paul D. Williams succinctly lays out the danger:
Nelson said that flight attendants, who are on their feet for most of the flight, are particularly in danger from the turbulence. They can be thrown across the plane and injured or killed by flying debris caused by the air currents.
“It’s something we cannot prepare for,” said Nelson. “It’s a major occupational hazard.”
With climate change worsening the issue, cutting down on emissions is one of the most important solutions. And she believes the industry can do it.
“When you have that kind of leadership and focus and priorities set from the government, there’s a natural exponential increase in implementing many of these innovations,” said Nelson, “finding and implementing them.”
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