Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Plane Stupid? Yes, I agree, you are plain stupid

Here we go again - yet another bunch of middle-class, low-fat, semi-skimmed milk latte drinking, self-appointed guardians of planet Earth are having a go at what is, to all intents and purposes, the cornerstone of our civilisation - the aviation industry. A group calling themselves Plane Stupid have declared war against the growth of aviation in Britain. They have accused British airports of being 'climate change criminals' (as if there was such a thing).

However, for all their talk of 'climate change criminals', environmentalists sustaina-babble has got it all wrong, again. Aircraft are not the terrible polluters that the organic food munching green media would have us believe. An indepth study by The Economist last year found that aircraft only produce 3.2 per cent of emissions, from a combined total of 27.4 per cent produced by all forms of transportation. Indeed, the study found that residential homes produce some 7.6 per cent of emissions. To put this in to perspective, electricity production cause some 33.9 per cent of emissions, so aircrafts are way down the polluting list.

The notion that a growing aviation industry is the arch villan of the global warming piece is risible to say the least. Also, the idea that people like me, who love to fly around the world for as little as 20 quid, are somehow aiding and abetting the 'climate change criminals' is also nothing but a sick joke. I've lost count of the number of times this year have I heard eco-worriers wanting to put a halt on some aspect of our civilisation, without one single thought as to how it would impact on peoples lives and livelihoods. Environmentalists and NIMBY's seem to forget that the era of cheap flights has meant that millions of Britons can go to foreign lands and seek out new horizons.

In general, cheap flights are one of the best things about Britain today, we can jet off to places like Spain or Greece for as little as £20 return. In the past, the cost of such flights would normally set you back some £200 - £300, a whole weeks wages for some people. Today, more and more Britons fly abroad for their holidays, to me, that's not stupid, that's a good thing going on.

Read on:

'Cheap flights should be a cause of national rejoicing'. By Brendan O’Neill. 2006.

I love cheap flights. By Brendan O'Neill. 2006.

Heathrow 'meets pollutant target'. BBC NEWS. 2006.

Aircraft emissions: The sky's the limit. From The Economist. 2006.

Picture: A Plane Stupid activist.


At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it's those millions of people jetting around the world for £20 who are the problem to these Hampstead thinkers.

They want air travel made expensive again so that only the right people can afford it, just like in the good old days.

Keep these too, too ghastly plebs away from Tuscany, is the unspoken subtext.

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Courtney Hamilton said...

"They want air travel made expensive again so that only the right people can afford it, just like in the good old days."

I think if these people really had things their way, they'd go right ahead and abolish air travel altogether.

You certainly right about about the history of travelling in Britain. Radio 4 has a fasanating programme about the history of Thomas Cook, the well known travel agency - in fact, it's Britains oldest.

The programme basically confirmed what you have said. It's only really been in the past 30 years that ordinary people have been able to afford to fly abroad - before that, flying on foreign holidays were strickly for the wealthy.

"Keep these too, too ghastly plebs away from Tuscany, is the unspoken subtext."

Indeed, there is this rather disturbing underlying theme to all of their nonsense.

Best wishes

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see that you are really avoiding the scientific data. Has people's happiness ever relied on the ability to fly to other countries? How about discovering your own and how about slowing down your life a little bit. If the country goes under water, we'll probably have to fly to stay alive. Until then it's wise to decrease emissions and listen to the scientists instead of making stupid observations like you are making.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Scottish Grandparents used to spend all their limited resources to go to Majorca and the like for two weeks and develop skin cancer. Even 30 years ago when they were in their prime years, it was only possible because of cheap package holidays. They slaved all year down the mine and in the textile mill to be able to go and take two weeks off in the sun. I can just imagine what my Grandfather would say to carbon taxes for cheap flights. It would not be polite.


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