Joss's blog

The Flying Scotsman

The train pulled out of St Pancras International exactly on time. I've got a glass of champagne and am gliding smoothly through Kent at 186 mph. It's shiny and comfortable and fantastic. But Gordon Brown must be worried. The city of Nice is now closer to Westminster than Kirkcaldy! This little piece of continental bliss extending over from France means that a Parisian can now be at Luton airport more quickly than a Londoner can get to Charles de Gaulle airport by air.

Eurostar is clearly eroding our Britishness and could very well undermine our position as the world's top flyers. Furthermore, the only decent train route in Britain has to suffer the humiliation of having one end in France. I'm surprised Gordon didn't put a stop to it.

Greenpeace Heathrow campaign takes to the road

A silver Airstream ‘campaign plane’ embarked on a month-long tour of London and the Thames Valley yesterday morning to record the voices of people opposed to expansion at Heathrow. The trailer tour will land across the capital as the government prepares to launch a consultation into plans for a third runway at the airport.

Thousands of Londoners’ voices will be collected during the tour and computer-digitised then blared through loud-speakers at representatives of the aviation industry and government – reversing the noise experienced daily by millions of people living under Heathrow’s flightpaths.

Ryanair could face advertising sanctions for "misleading the public"

Ryanair has now been warned it could face advertising sanctions for "misleading the public" and betraying consumer trust as well as bringing "advertising into disrepute."

The boss of the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) - Christopher Graham - told the Guardian:

"Ryanair has been given every opportunity to work with the ASA and get its advertising right. It faces the real threat of formal sanctions, which includes a referral to the Office of Fair Trading under the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988."

Brown: Not so much James Bond as Dr. No

Well that didn't take long, did it? Rather like the moment Timothy Dalton first stepped onto our screens and arched an eyebrow as James Bond, it has taken very little time to realise that Gordon Brown is, quite simply, the wrong man for the job.

As scientists warn us in increasingly desperate terms that we have just 100 months to stabilise emissions of greenhouse gases, we look to Downing Street for a super-hero armed with the latest cutting edge technology to save the world. Instead we are presented with a man who is utterly unconvincing in the role.

Aviation industry strategists: we’re losing the war

Steve Dunne, the director of The Brighter Group in Britain - which advises the aviation industry on communications strategy – has warned that the aviation industry that it risks sinking to pariah status akin to cigarette manufacturers in the U.S.

Dunne cited the Camp for Climate Action as an example of how climate activists are winning the PR war, saying, “The next generation will be unbelievably green ... (and will) end up hating us if we don't do something about it."

Tom Ambrose, director general of the European Regional Airlines Association, claimed that although airlines only produce 2 percent of global CO2, most people think the figure is up to three times that figure. Unfortunately he forgot to factor the radiative forcing multiplier of 2.7 times into his calculation - making 'most people' a damn site closer to the mark than his figure was.

Greens and aviation industry clash at Labour Party conference

Earlier this week I spoke at the Climate Clinic. This report is from DeHavilland:

Representatives of environmental groups and the aviation industry have clashed over the need to restrict access to air travel.

Speaking at the Labour conference at a fringe event 'Does business need bigger airports?' were Brian Wilson, chairman of flying matters, Richard Brown, chief executive of Eurostar, Roger Wiltshire, director general of the British Air Transport Association, Dr Doug Parr of Greenpeace, Joss Garman of Plane Stupid and Charles Secrett of the Mayor of London's Office.

Dave: It’s the Vulcan – or everything else

It is quite clear that the messages from Plane Stupid and the growing climate movement are starting to permeate the Westminster village.

Just two years ago, who ever talked about aviation and global warming? Now - it’s not only at the frontline of the environmental debate; it’s even at the forefront of parliamentary politics.

How green is Brown?

Zac Goldsmith and John Gummer's Quality of Life Commission will publish its recommendations this week. I understand that among the proposals will be a call for a moratorium on airport expansion – certainly in the South-east – and a re-evaluation of the roads enlargement programme.

Given that road transport already accounts for about a quarter of Britain's carbon footprint and that aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, these are sensible ideas. But while all the talk will be about whether or not David Cameron will take their thorough work on board, the real question is – will Brown?