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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Letter to the Mayor of Gloucester following his support of Staverton Airport

Five things to know about global warming before supporting the extension at Staverton Airport.

Dear Councillor Gill,

1. The IPCC report published in Feb 2007 predicts temperatures increases for various scenarios (graph below). The best case is that we reduce our emissions to zero today. The worst case is that nothing changes and we develop the economy as we are doing today. The worst case scenario is the most likely scenario. There is no stopping the temperatures rise in this circumstance. The IPCC report is considered the most "concentual" agreement of the worlds scientists on global warming.

2. Over the 5 billion years that life has existed on the plant, the temperature has not changed by more that more the +/- 4 deg C, this covers the time from the first formations of single cell organisims to now. The predictions from the IPCC report indicate that we will see more than 4 deg C by the end of this centrury. It is unlikely that our civilisation will survive a sustained average temperatures increase of 1 deg C. By the time the temperature increases to 2 deg C, a feedback process will be set in place that will cause runaway temperature increases. Most life on the planet will become extinct with a temperture increase of 4 deg C, potentially to be followed by extinction of all life on earth.

3. It is now considered that there is a high likelihood that the IPCC predictions have underestimated the risk. From the polictical context, the conclusions had to be consentual, which required agreement from countries such as Saudi Arabia, China and the US, whose scientists did everything within their power to discredit the conclusions. Since the initial analysis, alarming new discoveries have concluded that the planets main CO2 sinks are in much more crisis than initally thought. Specifically, it has been discovered that the Southern Ocean is now fully saturated with CO2 and the tropical rainforests hold much more carbon than initally thought. The tropical rainforests are currently being felled at a rapid rate to support the rush for bio fuels, which simultaneously releases huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and removes the planets ability to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere.

4, As global warming accelerates, usable land will be at a premium. That is land that is not on river flood plains and reasonably above sea level. This land will be needed for crops and housing. Given the certainty of the science, quality land should not be taken into unnecessary industrial use, such as airports. A key problem with the world economy today, is that most industrial and urban development takes place on prime land. This is contributing to the fall in world wide food production, just as it is needed the most. China's development is a prime example of this. Many of the previously self sufficent villages that had existed for thousands of years have been developed into industrial areas and they are now having to importing food from elsewhere in the world.

5. For us to survive we need to reduce our CO2 emissions by over 90%. This is achivable only by major life style changes. In this context, expanding airports is madness.

It is becoming clear that the likelihood of anyone under the age of 20 today living out their natural life is increasingly remote. Despite the overwhelming evidence of global warming, organisations with vested interests still shamefully try and discredit the science to support short term profit goals. Staverton Airport is one of these, it recently published a report trying to discredit the entire science of global warming in its attempt to stiffle legitemate protest and concern about its development. It is vitally important that you and those in Gloucester Council become familiar with these facts before supporting the airports development.

Kevin Lister,
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