The jet plane has been one of the most historically progressive forces yet known. Undoubtedly it will be phased down-or-out as the piston engined plane before it was, but it's important not to let it fall to the wayside as though it has been a bad thing so far, a historically regressive anomaly like so much of the modern tech industry. The present push against aviation in general
is itself profoundly reactionary.
The risk that lies ahead of us is not that the number of flights will be cut - undoubtedly they will, and undoubtedly this is necessary - it is that the burden will be decided by the market, and thus disproportionately wreck the progressive achievements of aviation for ordinary people. That the average person's visit to a foreign country and culture, or the lifeline air links of far-flung communities will be destroyed by market pricing while business jets continue to fly the wealthy to unnecessary networking conferences. Flights on key business links like London to Paris may yet be continued even though there's a perfectly adequate rail service, while the people of the far flung pacific are told to make do with finding themselves several weeks by boat away from the rest of the planet, rather than the half-day they face currently. (PDF related, a map of major air routes and their travel times in the Pacific islands.)
I'm not disagreeing with you on the big issue - of the need to rebalance away from jets and to reduce the amount of travel - what concerns me is the principle, and the equity of how we approach that task. Fundamentally, it should be recognized that allowing ordinary people to experience foreign cultures in person - even in the cheap, tacky tourist form they often do - and generally shrinking the scale of the world are both massive historical gains, and it would be a mistake to regard them as a misstep. On the question of equity: Global air passenger numbers may be cut back to the levels of the 1950s, but that doesn't mean that the composition of travelers (in terms of finances and reason for traveling) should do the same. Transport networks should be integrated and rationed with a view to preserving the mobility of the average person, not simply priced at a market rate with the consequence of cutting the world to ribbons for for us while preserving the status quo for the wealthy. (And of course I'm not saying that's your
position, I just think it's a likely outcome and that it will be a tragic one.)
Obviously I'm in the Plane thread, so you can expect my position may come across as being the pro-Plane one - but it's not about preserving aircraft, it's about preserving mobility - which in some cases can only viably be air links. On such a principle I would trade the entirety of flights in the northeastern united states to preserve a twice-weekly air service to the Marshall Islands.