Feet firmly on the ground: a response to the editor of The Times

BAA is seeking to stop me and my fellow protesters from approaching Heathrow. But there is nothing 'wild' about our claims - quite the opposite.

It is not often that you wake up to find yourself described in a Times editorial as a "semi-socialist" flat-earther but on the second day of our high court hearing in which BAA is seeking to injunct me (and Lord knows how many more Britons) from even approaching Heathrow, that is the turn of phrase the Thunderer has reached for.

BAA-re faced liars

Local residents and environmental activists are used to taking BAA's claims with a pinch of salt. After all, they've seen the company make numerous claims about just how big it wants Heathrow Airport to grow - only to immediately change their mind and demand further expansion.

While the T5 consultation was underway, Mike Roberts, Managing Director of Heathrow Airport Ltd (owned by BAA) sent a letter to local residents claiming that T5 was to be the last assault on their homes and communities. "I'd like to reassure you", he stated, "that [the Airport] will NOT require another runway or an increase in night flights".

Flying too close

The government has formed a cosy relationship with the aviation industry. No wonder environmentalists are preparing for direct action.

The aviation industry used to lobby government. Now it seems they practically are the government. If anyone's still in any doubt of Brown's plans to trample over popular opposition to airport expansion, his most recent appointments give a glimpse of Labour's cosy relationship with the airline industry and lay out the battle lines the green movement will have to face in coming months.

Industry fight back begins

Spokespersons for airline companies have been hard at work, trying to allay public concerns by quoting a 2-3% contribution to global CO2 emissions. As we've come to expect from the aviation industry, this is misleading: the figure corresponds to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report of 1990. Aviation emissions more than doubled during decade which followed.

These figures also ignore per capita rates: British citizens fly more than those of any other nation except the United States. If everyone flew as much as people in the UK, the figure would be about ten times higher.

Industry decline - from the horse's mouth


Plane Stupid is used to hearing strange things fall from the mouths of aviation industry executives, but this week we’ve heard the most extraordinary things from the climate criminals themselves…

Mr Van Wijk, Vice Chair of Air France-KLM, the world’s biggest airline, said:

What I hear is a load of bullshit. I think we have lost the [PR] battle already. I don’t think the customer is interested to hear we have a great story. We know damn sure that within a reasonable time-frame, there is no way that we can diminish our carbon emissions.

Earth to Ming

Do the Liberal Democrats' beloved green principles really hold up to scrutiny, or are they increasingly threadbare?

While they're often painted as the greenest of the major political parties, up and down the country the Liberal Democrats have been supporting climate-wrecking projects and opposing climate-friendly ones. So it was pretty ironic when Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem environment spokesman, this week lamented "Labour's rotten record on climate change". It's about time he took a look at his own party's record.