Monday, February 2, 2009

Britain Prioritizes

Britain has a heavy reliance on the financial sector, and with the global economic crisis, it is in a troublesome predicament. Foreign Policy magazine tags them as possibly the next Iceland:

The financial crisis has gotten so severe in Britain that it has earned London a new nickname in the international media: Reykjavik-on-Thames. The question in Britain is no longer when the economy will enter a recession, but when it will enter a depression, with many bracing for a slump that could rival the 1930s in severity.

A very severe position indeed. So what are the public doing about it? Storming parliament? Lynching bank managers? No, they are blocking a project to build an extra runway for Heathrow because of global warming.

But while the airline industry frets about Heathrow falling behind its European rivals, climate change activists' fears were nothing short of apocalyptic. Passenger jets, they warned, pump tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. expanding Heathrow would only make that worse, speeding along global warming and putting the entire planet in peril.

Leila Deen is with the group Plane Stupid. In December 2008, its members stormed the runway at London's Stanstead Airport, shutting down arrivals and departures. Deen said her group is against "unnecessary flying," which would include most short-haul flights within Europe. It may take longer for people to take a train or a bus to their destination, Deen argued. But that's a small price to pay.

"Of course, people have time limited lives. But making more times to do things properly is a reality of how we're going to have to respond to climate change," Deen said.

"And we have to remember that when we talk about inconvenience, we're talking about it in the context of the massive, massive inconvenience being felt already across the world by those suffering the impacts of catastrophic climate change. Rising sea levels, more desertification, less water access, it's a massive problem and we have to respond to it by taking big decisions. And one of those is no third runway at Heathrow."

Unbelievable. And to borrow from this group's name: plain stupid.You'll really help greenhouse gases when the economy collapses because industry and traffic will slow down to a halt.

1 comment:

  1. This sort of thing will start to die out, when the economy starts to tank. Think back to the early 1980s. Student campus protests just disappeared. When there is no job waiting for you, who cares about baby seals.
    Excessive affluence tends to breed these kind of silly protest groups.