Saturday, August 18, 2007

Why I'll be taking part in the protests against airport expansion tomorrow

I'm getting up unusually early for me on a Sunday tomorrow, as I'm making my way up to Heathrow to the Climate Camp protests. Yes, I know, I'm doing climate camp lite, and haven't done the whole week camping in the field thing, but I couldn't get the week off work and I'm still cleaning the mud off from the Big Green Gathering (and that wasn't very muddy, I'm just slow to clean my things). Anyway, why I'm going to the protest:
  1. I'm angry at the ridiculous, hysterical coverage the camp has received in certain sectors of the press.
  2. It needs to be big, otherwise the aforementioned press will deem the protest a 'failure'.
  3. Aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases.
  4. We need to reduce our carbon emissions to 90% by 2030 to prevent the worst of climate change.
  5. More runways equals more planes equals more pollution and carbon emissions, which is incompatible with the above.
  6. Airport expansion will increase the noise pollution and air pollution in London, not to mention destroying villages to build the runway, car parks, departure lounges etc.
  7. Far too much of this country is already concreted over for cars - we don't need to concrete over even more for runways.
  8. Our government talks green but seems to think we can carry on with business as usual with just a little bit of tinkering rounds the edges (eg we can just keep producing and consuming more but as long as we recycle we'll be ok).
  9. A sizeable chunk of the population also seems to think the above and a worrying number of people still question the scientific consensus about climate change (perhaps because it is easier to pretend nothing needs to change?).
  10. Because I am sick of people saying "there's no point in us doing anything if China and India don't do anything" (d'oh! never heard of contraction and convergence? why should we consume vastly more carbon per capita than the Chinese?).
  11. Reducing your carbon footprint isn't some lifestyle choice that you can adopt for a few months until the next fad comes along.
  12. I want to show some solidarity with the protestors.
  13. Lots of my friends and fellow Greens will be there and it will be nice to see them.
  14. I'm curious, it should be inspiring and empowering.
  15. We have a democratic right to protest and I intend to use it, however intimidating the policing may be.
  16. Should some opportunist read this and decide to write to the local paper and say that I was swanning off protesting in north London and neglecting the people of Ladywell, it will give me a great opportunity to write a response summarising the above. ;)
  17. Lots of other reasons that don't spring to mind right now.
PS: Good article in today's Independent by Johann Hari.


Dan said...

Good for you! Did you stick around for the action on Sunday?

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan
Yes, it was just Sunday I went to.