Everybody Flies Kind of Made Me Want to Quit Flying. By Brandon Topp.
Doesn’t it feel like every industry fueled by major corporations hides mountains of scandal and moral corruption from its consumers? Everybody Flies is a crisp and thoroughly educational film on the toxicity of the air on commercial flights. Taking time to watch will definitely leave you feeling well informed on the injustice, and all sorts of frustrated with the world at large.
What Everybody Flies Is All About
Essentially, the film exposes how the air passengers breathe when flying is contaminated by chemicals from the jet’s oil. These substances have infected staggering numbers of pilots, flight attendants, and passengers with a variety of illnesses. According to the film, everybody who flies breathes in these toxins, but some of us react harsher, and some flights produce more toxic air than others.
Retired pilot, clean-air activist, and filmmaker Tristan Loraine directed and starred in the documentary alongside frequent collaborator Beth Moran. Through well-researched breakdowns and stories, the filmmakers paint a picture that scratches a familiar nerve, while also presenting information on a scandal most of us aren’t privy to.
Tales Of Contaminated Flyers
In an effective and sometimes exhausting approach, Loraine and Moran spend much of the documentary interviewing pilots, attendants, and passengers with stories of how toxic air on planes was detrimental to their lives.
There are numerous reports that reflect on startling experiences like overexposed pilots becoming paralyzed in the air, flight attendants blacking out mid-flight and coming to hours later in the airport, and passengers with a variety of lingering health problems from flights. Many of these accounts also feature decades-long legal battles, and a major, general lack of empathy or responsibility from major entities in the aviation industry including British Airways, and the FAA.
One of the subjects sharing their story was director Tristan Loraine, who retired from being a pilot in March 2006. When he stopped flying, TCP—tricresyl phosphate, a central toxin often found in the air of airliners—was present in his blood, and he was experiencing numbness in his hands, chronic chest infections, as well as chemical blisters.
Tristan Loraine is an Exceptional Activist
Loraine didn’t let this stop him from being a productive member of society, but instead used it to fuel the next chapter of his life. Since flying, Loraine has spearheaded a growing movement of activists who relentlessly challenge the aviation industry to address this issue.
In addition to making this film, Loraine has also produced another documentary named Welcome Aboard Toxic Airlines. He’s also performed secret sample tests on aircrafts to attain scientific proof otherwise suppressed by the aviation industry, and organized the first conference on the topic—The Aircraft Cabin Air Conference.
If You Haven’t Yet, It’s Time To Go Watch It
Okay, if this introduction is enough to pique your interest, the next step is to go watch Everybody Flies. While it can be at times a bit monotonous and dry, the straightforward journalistic style is appropriate for exposing the issue with clarity and precision. The viewing doesn’t really fly by, but more eats at you and widens your eyes to hopefully realize how massive an issue toxic air in the sky is.
How Should We Carry On?
In addition to the environmental impact of the aviation industry, we know have this toxic air issue as another impetus to swear off flying altogether. That being said, even though almost no airlines use the proper filters to help prevent toxic air, the convenience of flying will long maintain a hold on us.
So, it’s bad for us. Would I smoke a pack of cigarettes to get from New York to Los Angeles in five hours? Probably, yeah. And that’s a problem, and why we have trouble really doing anything about the scandals people make documentaries about. That complacency and addiction to the poisons of our aging civilization is why Greta Thunberg has to shame us about the environment. It’s why everybody says to put out a fire in the Amazon, but nobody puts out a fire in the Amazon.
However, Tristan Loraine is trying his darndest to do something. Largely because of his efforts by Loraine and like-minded activists, EasyJet has promised to implement filters into its jets a couple years ago, and it added electric planes to a list of company goals last year. Also, lawsuits are piling up against major airlines, pushing them to take action. Also, I’m considering either not flying, or pretending I didn’t watch this film. Either way, for my viewing, Loraine accomplished every filmmaker’s goal—he made me think.
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