Stern: Heathrow expansion makes no sense

Could this be the week when sensible comments from people with some tangental relation to power started taking over the political landscape? Nicholas Stern, writer of that infamous page-turner, the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, has launched a savage attack on Heathrow's expansion, which, he claimed does not "make sense in the context of a coherent carbon and transport policy for the UK, and... for Europe as a whole". Take that, expansionists!

It's as though the entire world is reacting to the launch of Pet Air, coming together in a mass outpouring of sensible to counter that enterprise's stunning levels of pointlessness. Heathrow's decision, Stern said, should only have been taken once the Committee on Climate Change had had a chance to look into the detail. He also dismissed the fiscal-stimulus (a.k.a. pouring money into high-carbon industries just so the UK can be proud of it's Chinese-owned car industry) as "undermin[ing] confidence in the UK's ability to meet its climate change target." Well, duh!

This sort of sensible outpouring is not what we've come to expect from the Government and their advisors. The Department for Transport is so in bed with big carbon that we just shrug when officials turn Kew Gardens into Terminal Seven or convert the West Midlands into a motorway. Suddenly I start hearing rumours that a senior Government Minister thinks domestic aviation in this day and age is the epitome of madness! Any more sensible comments and I might have to revise my opinions and stuff.

Government responds to Stern Review and Eddington

In a shocking move, the Government has called for an end to all new road building and runway expansion.

Responding to the Stern Review and Eddington Report, Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly said "For too long we've been forced to pretend we can have sustainable transport growth - a policy that's lead to more driving, more flying, more emissions."

"Well those days are over. It's time for a radical rethink of aviation expansion. For the sake of the planet, we're hitting the emergency stop button."

Of course she didn't really say any of that - it's business as usual!