Travel by air clearly affects the atmosphere and our environment. A huge push for cleaner human practices has become part of almost every aspect of our daily lives.The ozone being destroyed and environmentalists are crying out saying that we need to take steps forward in our fight against pollution and become more environment friendly. Well, jetBlue a well known airline company just agreed to purchase 33 million gallons of renewable fuel over the next 10 years which is one of the largest agreements for renewable fuel yet. JetBlue claims that their primary purpose in making this agreement is to “diversify” their fuel supply and reduce our greenhouse gasses. According to the recent article jetBlue makes Biofuels Deal to Curtail Greenhouse Gasses, jetBlue is really only buying enough biofuel to cover 4 percent of their total network. The bio-fuel that these airline companies are being offered are not cheap and do not compete with the standard Jet fuel that is generally used today.
There are many different angles at which one could analyze this news story. Let’s analyze this piece from a virtuous standpoint. First it is important to have an understanding of what a virtue is and what it means to be virtuous. According to the famous philosopher Aristotle, a virtue is a skill or a habit that helps us to know what to do in certain situations. Aristotle also believes that in order to be virtuous one must have knowledge of what they are doing, they must choose to do the act for the right reason, and finally must proceed from an unchangeable character.
Now that an understanding of virtue has been presented we can analyze this article in a more logical way. So, the jetBlue airline company bought the biofuel and claims that it was because they wanted to help pave the way for the rest of the airlines to use biofuels. This act might seem virtuous to many, but let me explain why it is not. JetBlue only bought biofuel for an equivalent of 4 percent annual fuel supply and they are planning to use this biofuel over a 10 year period. Something just does not add up here. The statement that they are trying to make does not seem to match up with their passions, which is a crucial component to being virtuous. I do not believe that jetBlue is doing this act for the sake of depleting the greenhouse gasses, but rather a public relations move to get a better name for themselves in the airline industry. JetBlue is being somewhat deceiving and being dishonest to the public that their primary motivation is to help the environment. JetBlue would also violate Aristotle’s requirement of being an unchangeable character. Hypothetically if someone asked jetBlue to quit flying airplanes because it goes against their belief and that we should protect the environment, I doubt that they would do it because their primary motivation is to make money. Clearly jetBlue is not being virtuous in this case.