This is a question Farhard Manjoo asked in his NYT piece entitled Do You Really Need to Fly?Do You Really Need to Fly?
The truth is no we don’t and yes videoconferencing is good enough to replace most business travel.
Also, we have learnt to fly and drive less to mitigate against covid. Now, as we look ahead, we know that our next major urgent global challenge is to reduce carbon emissions by 7.6% every year this decade to avert a climate catastrophe. Currently we are completely off track.
Yes aviation makes up a small percentage of the transportation sectors carbon footprint but we need every kg of reduced carbon emissions we can to get to meet the above target.
Ending needless commutes, whether those are by fossil fuel driven air or surface transportation is definitely something we can do immediately.