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Friday, September 07, 2007

Cheltenham Mayor Condems Airport Reports that tries to deny global warming

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Dear Gloucester Councillors,

You have probably seen some of ongoing debates regarding the environmental impact of Staverton Airport.

As you are probably also aware, we face a crisis of unprecedented and unimaginable consequence from global warming. The maths and science is brutally stark. We must reduce our CO2 emissions by 90% to have any reasonable chance of our civilisation surviving. In this context there is no rational or moral basis for expanding airports.

Some may say that I am naive because Staverton is only small in the grand scale of things. However, this is a lot less naive than simply relying on America, China and India to reach a deal that will somehow not place any obligations on us to reduce our emissions. Action is needed at all levels to achieve the cuts needed. How can we expect China and India to take global warming seriously and act on our behalf when we are not prepared to stop the development of even a small airport?

Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence behind global warming, Staverton Airport have recently issued a report to try to persuade MPs and local Councillors that the science is nonsense and that the airport will have no adverse effect on the local community. This scurrilous behaviour is not worthy of any credible company in this country. It is grossly irresponsible to play with facts as serious these when it is already difficult to get much of the population to take global warming seriously. I have also produced a counter report. Both documents are attached to this email for your consideration.

Cheltenham Mayor, John Rawson, on seeing the report said, “I am utterly shocked that the Airport should be promoting the idea that climate change is a hoax and that the world's scientists and governments are systematically pulling the wool over people's eyes. This is lunatic stuff, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves. The fact is that the world's most eminent scientists are overwhelmingly convinced that human behaviour is contributing to climate change. It won't do the Airport any good to associate itself with mad conspiracy theories.”

We welcome John Rawson's forthright and clear condemnation of the report. We also would welcome your thoughts on the Airport's behavior and your perception of the business case.

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