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Monday, August 17, 2009

Many thanks to David Drew MP for supporting Airbus complaint

Copy of David Drew's letter to the ASA agency in support of my complaint.

What a guy, at last an MP who does not screw the expenses and supports critical issues of principle!!!!

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Julia Dean
The Advertising Standards Authority
Mid City Place
71 High Holborn
LONDON WC1V 6QT

17th August 2009

Dear Julia

I have recently been copied in on the correspondence that a constituent of mine (Kevin Lister) has had with you regarding Airbus's claim that they are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I now understand that Mr. Lister’s claim will be taken to the ASA Council which I very much welcome.

I want to make it clear that my constituent has my full support. I have known and worked with Kevin for a number of years now and I admire his willingness and ability to expose some of the myths about so-called environmental improvements in the airline business. It is clear that Airbus's claim would appear to be both false and deliberately misleading which I trust the Council will recognise in its forthcoming ruling.

I would like to highlight the following for the Council to take into consideration as part of their decision making:

Climate change is real and the most serious threat facing both humanity and the survival of all life on the planet. All creators of climate change gases have a duty to reduce their emissions and it is vital that this process is transparent and fair and that all claims are verified independently and those that are not true are subsequently withdrawn and apologies made.

The latest science suggests that for there to be any chance of avoiding runaway climate change, we much reduce atmospheric CO2 from the current 380 ppm down to the 350 ppm. The magnitude of challenge must be considered against the background that not only is CO2 still increasing but also the rate of increase is increasing. Consequently, climate change can only be addressed by a fundamental change in our society and our expectations. It cannot be addressed by "tinkering around the edges" which is the implication of this advert.

Airbus's advert is analogous to Marlboro’s tobacco adverts of the late 1940s when they promoted their filtered cigarettes as a safe way to smoke. In reality there was never a safe way to smoke as we know now. Also the damage to those who are the unwilling recipients of the impact of airline pollution is analogous to those who have suffered from the implications of passive smoking. Flying must therefore accept that given the state of the science of climate change there is no environmentally friendly way to fly and therefore no way that Airbus can claim to be working towards reducing greenhouse gases unless and until there is a reduction in the level of flying and a paradigm shift in airline technology so that they are no longer dependent upon fossil fuels.

Given the nature of Kevin’s complaint I hope that you will uphold this in your judgement and that Airbus can be made to rescind its claims.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,



David Drew MP for the Stroud Constituency
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