25 January 2009

25 January 2009

Climate change in the news (Heathrow)

The government’s decision to allow the third runway to go ahead provoked outrage. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/#section-news

The analysis of the almost 70,000 responses to the consultation was revealed – but there was no question asking whether a third runway should be built – this was ‘outside the scope of the consultation’.   However 25,337 respondents got past this by clearly stating that they did not want any expansion at all, and 16,662 stated that they did not want a third runway.  Also, 9,638 criticised the consultation process. Just 472 respondents said they supported Government predictions that a third runway could be added within the air quality and noise limits without further measures, and almost 13,000 mentioned climate change.

You can attempt to disentangle it all on the DfT website: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/heathrowconsultations/heathrowdecision/responses/

The Conservative party has announced that they will scrap the plan if they get into office: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7832693.stm

London councils are considering legal action, either on the grounds the airport is already breaching several environmental guidelines or flaws in the consultation process. http://www.londoninformer.co.uk/london-news/london-local-news/2009/01/20/west-london-councils-ponder-heathrow-legal-challenge-113489-22734270/

Greenpeace has now signed up over 30,000 ‘beneficial owners’ of its plot of land purchased in Sipson: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/emma-thompson-strike-blow-governments-insane-plans-expand-heathrow-20090123

There was plenty of media coverage of the Flash Mob at Heathrow on the Saturday after the decision, and of the Climate Rush picnic the previous Monday: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/jan/12/activists-travelandtransport



Among all the coverage, the Guardian highlighted links between the government and BAA: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/18/heathrow-third-runway

And, on a lighter note, Geoff Hoon has now been banned from his favourite music festival: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/jan/19/geoff-hoon-festival

Other climate change news

Meanwhile, decisions are being made about the planning inquiry for Stansted, where the government is also keen to push through another runway: https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/news/detail.php?art_id=2709&art_AIRPORTWATCH=Y

In the United States, Obama mentioned climate change several times in his inauguration speech, raising hopes for his presidency: http://www.scenta.co.uk/nature/news/cit/1740975/energy-and-emissions-top-obamas-green-tasklist.htm

Leading climatologist Jim Hansen warns the next four years are the last chance to avoid climate catastrophe: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/jan/18/jim-hansen-obama

Bush’s ‘parting gift to the oil and gas industry’ of more than 100,000 acres of land near national parks in Utah for oil and gas drilling has been halted by an activist: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jan/20/oil-gas-land-utah-usa

Conservative leader David Cameron has launched a consultation on creating a low carbon economy: https://www.conservatives.com/news

Shell and other oil companies continue to flare gas in Nigeria despite a legal deadline having passed: http://www.foeeurope.org/press/2009/Jan12_FoEI_Nigeria_pressured_to_stop_flaring_gas.html