Thursday, January 15, 2009

Operation Insulation and the Lunacy of Expanding Aviation

The insulation has been laid in my front room now, and it already feels warmer, even before the floorboards have been put back on top!

I wondered for a while today why I'm bothering to make the effort though, when our government has today announced it was to press ahead with Heathrow Expansion, which would cancel out any carbon savings individuals make and put us well and truly on course for runaway climate change.

- Sorry Bangladesh, our government thinks BAA's business interests are more important than rising sea levels that will put your country underwater.
- Sorry Londoners, 1,000 of whom already die prematurely each year due to air pollution, but your government has just decided to make it all much worse and build an airport that will almost certainly be in breach of EU air pollution laws.
- Sorry to all those who already get woken up at 5am by the first planes overhead - for those of you who don't yet - stand by as it's going to get a hell of a lot noisier soon.

I am absolutely furious, and for me this is a line in the sand. I will do everything I can within the law to oppose this, but will also now consider taking part in direct action and if necessary risk arrest, as I think what the government is proposing is criminally negligent (and they didn't even have the guts to put it to the vote in parliament).

I haven't heard much from our 3 Lewisham MPs on this issue, but have written to Joan Ruddock MP asking for clarification of her stance on this, both as my constituency MP and as Parliamentary Under Secretary in the Department of Energy and Climate Change. By dodging having a vote in parliament on this issue, the government has tried to avoid embarrassment for any of its ministers with London constituencies.

Of course there is every possibility that we could end up with a Tory government after the next general election and if so they have pledged to scrap the plans for Heathrow expansion, but can we really trust them not to cave in to big business on this one? Clearly some of their members are less than supportive of their leaders' stance (not to mention being head in the sand climate change sceptics).

Good press release from the national party today and it was also announced that the Labour group leader on Bury St Edmonds Council has resigned from Labour and applied to join the Green Party in disgust at the Heathrow decision.

Finally, if you haven't already done so, why not sign up to Greenpeace's Airplot campaign, and declare a beneficial interest in a plot of land within the site of the proposed new runway? There is also a Flashmob at Heathrow Terminal 5 at midday this Saturday (17th).

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