Bad News on Heathrow

Ministers will apparently give the go-ahead for the controversial third runway at London's Heathrow Airport later today according to the BBC.

Despite open opposition from around 50 of the Government's own MPs, opposition MPs, environmental groups, concerned citizens and residents of the houses in the path of the runway, the announcement will be made today under the provision that the expansion is within strict environmental parameters.

The promise of quieter and more fuel-efficient planes seems to be the key to a near-doubling of the amount of air traffic expected at Heathrow. With almost twice as many aircraft and an alleged 55% increase in fuel efficiency, it doesn't take a genius to work out that pollution would be at similar levels to today. This totally contradicts the government's targets to reduce emissions by 80%.

Either the government is simply nodding its head to the pro-expansion camp who only have to promise to meet strict environmental criteria in order to get its way, or the government knows that this cannot be achieved and is arrogantly forging ahead anyway or the airline industry gets concessions where other sectors, industrial or public, would have to cut their carbon emissions by even greater levels to meet the targets. The former seems more probable as this government has an increasing propensity to trample over public opinion, after all, and let's not forget the fact that this country's leader was never democratically elected.

The government has caved in to the lobbying of big business and industrialists with money and influence. They get their own way and the people are treated with utter contempt. The "jobs and prosperity" that are supposed to be handed out to the immediate area is a travesty because 2000 locals will see their homes demolished and be forced to move elsewhere.

As for meeting the stringent criteria, the pro-expansionists would say that wouldn't they? Who will be held accountable when we all realise that we've been lied to in order that a select few will squeeze a profit out of this "obvious" money spinner? Does nobody have the brains to realise that there's a huge green industry that's just waiting to be tapped? Does nobody have the balls to get involved in green initiatives? In America Barack Obama is promising to create "nearly half a million jobs by investing in clean energy"... where's the British equivalent? Focusing job creation and transport in Heathrow is asking for trouble. At least a green initiative would be "all over the country".

Once again, if the third runway and sixth terminal are completed, that will be ten years away. The short-term job promises will mean those labourers are laid off after completing their unpopular work. Who knows what will happen in the next decade but I don't expect oil prices to go down and air travel, already on a knife edge, is hardly in a position to boom. This whole expansion is timely to "create jobs" in a recession but is ultimately based on a lie.

Comments

*whew* Well, it's a bit of an understatement to call this news a downer. How are they getting around the plot of land that was purchased in the way of the build site? And all those poor people with homes there....*sigh*

By the way, I just wrote a personal note to Gordon Brown concerning this issue, entitled: Do the right thing; Here's a clue: it's green. :)

The plot of land is owned by four people and the deed of trust involves the rest of us. Any move to build the runway would require a compulsory purchase order and that, I believe, requires contact with all the interested parties, i.e. those in the deed of trust. The disparity of the trustees is what would make this a long-drawn-out process and that's the thorn in the side of the pro-polluters. Sorry, I mean pro-expansionists (sounds like the Third Reich doesn't it?)

But yeah, Harmondsworth and St, Mary's church gets a *bit* zapped I think and then the whole of Sipson village gets flattened. Makes you want to make Gordon Brown and his doomed government watch the original HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy doesn't it?

I wrote to him too about this travesty. I shall make it known via a post on this blog too!