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Monday, December 24, 2007

Easy Jet at it again - Complaint to Advertising Standard Agency

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and click here to make your own complaint to the advertising standards agency . The advert was placed in the Sunday Times, 23rd December, page 16.


The EasyJet advert purports that by flying with them one is being “environmentally intelligent.”

Given the statements from the latest IPCC report, flying can in no way be described as environmentally intelligent. The IPCC report states that “Early mitigation actions would avoid further locking in carbon intensive infrastructure.” Irrespective of how efficient planes become, their use will always constitute one of the most carbon intensive forms of travel possible. Thus any form of air travel will be in breach of the advice given the IPCC report.

Furthermore the IPCC report highlights that CO2 emissions must be reduced by over 100% to avoid runaway global warming; see figure SPM 11 of the summary for policy makers (ref 1). Thus the only truly intelligent attitude to air travel is to avoid it all together.

Emissions reductions due to efficiency gains in planes have not been sufficient to outweigh the overall increase due to the total number of flights increasing so rapidly. It is widely recognised that aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases. This further dispels the position of the EasyJet advert that one can demand a more intelligent way to fly.


The advert suggests that individuals can “Push airlines to buy the next generation of more fuel efficient aircraft.” Individuals have no influence over the purchasing activities of any airline. Airlines will always try and buy fuel efficient planes as these will be more profitable. However, no airline would choose to buy a plane that was economically unfeasible or operationally inappropriate irrespective of how much pressure individuals put on the airline. Easyjet could for example, have decided to buy Turbo prop planes such as the Bombardier Q400 (ref 2) instead of Boeings. These are more fuel efficient per passenger, but fly slower and can not take as many passengers. It would be pointless if I tried to push EasyJet towards buying Bombardier Q400 planes, irrespective of what the advert claims.


The advert suggests that individuals should “Choose airlines with ….fewer emissions.” However Easyjet’s total emissions have risen enormously and as an airline their total emissions are much higher than many of their smaller competitors. They now transport over 700% more passengers than they did in 2000, (ref 3). In addition, the 737-700 that is quoted in the advert is a long range version of Boeings 737, which potentially means that the airline will produce even more CO2 emissions per passenger. Choosing to fly EasyJet on the basis of emissions of the plane type does not demonstrate a more intelligent approach to aviation. The advert is therefore misleading in suggesting that I can have in impact on the choice of plane that an airline chooses.


The advert claims that passengers can “Choose airlines with higher passenger loads.” This is impossible. Passengers are not given information on the passenger loading when buying a ticket. Also if airlines have too high a passenger loading, they will simply put on additional flights encouraging more air travel. This does not represent a more intelligent approach to aviation.


The advert points out that “easyJet emits 22% less CO2” than a traditional airline flying the same aircraft type on the same route. This is an unreasonable comparison and EasyJet is simply attempting to make itself appear environmentally friendly by comparison with worst. A “traditional” airline would include planes with a proportion of first class passengers. These would include a significant number of business travellers flying first class who are unlikely to travel on EasyJet; likewise the majority of EasyJet passengers are unlikely to travel on “traditional” airlines. A more appropriate comparison would be to compare the carbon content of a typical holiday taken using EasyJet flights against a typical holiday taken without flying. The narrow comparison that the advert uses does not demonstrate or support an intelligent approach to aviation.





Friday, December 21, 2007

Email to Senator Bill Nelson

Dear Senator Nelson,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my recent email.

You have clearly indicated the challenge of the problem that your country faces due to its dependency on foreign fuels and it is disappointing to learn that tax breaks for alternate energy production were dropped from the energy bill.

However, I am extremely upset to see that you voted for the CLEAN Energy Act in the Senate. An act mandating 36 billion gallons of fuels coming from bio fuel can in no way be described as clean. As I pointed out in my previous email to you, this will convert one of the worlds most productive bread baskets into a second rate gas pump.

The Seatle Times recently reported: “The land needs of the bio-fuel’s industry are gargantuan. In the U.S., nearly one-third of corn production will go to make ethanol by the end of the decade, replacing only 8 percent of gasoline use, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The department also projects that nearly a quarter of the nation's soybean crop will go to bio diesel, producing less than 2 percent of highway diesel consumed in the U.S.”

Given current figures for ethanol productivity per acre, by 2023 approximately 50% of total US crops will be needed to produce the mandated amount of bio-fuel. This will result in world wide food shortages and starvation on a mass scale.

All this disruption will not mitigate global warming at all. Almost as much fossil fuel is needed in the manufacture of bio fuels as is actually produced. Bio fuel production on the scale that is envisaged in your bill will result in huge amounts of NO2 emissions from the massive amounts of fertilisers necessary to achieve the production quotas. NO2 is 300 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. These factors will far outweigh any perceived enivoromental benefits. From a security perspective, Americal will simply trade its dependancy for foreign fuel for food dependancy on food, which will be a far worse situation.

Your email talks about increasing standard fuel economy of cars to 35 mpg. There is little merit in arguing that more efficient cars will significantly reduce CO2 emissions if the bill does nothing to curtail car use in any significant way. Experience shows more efficient cars simply encourage people to travel further if nothing is done to constrain demand and emissions do not fall. I have read through the bill and see nothing to suggest any significant measures that will curtail car use.

I remain sceptical and disappointed that the US senate has introduced such a narrow minded and limited bill when the world is currently desperately looking for leadership.

This email will be published on my blog

Regards, Kevin Lister


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Email from Senator Sherrod Brown

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Dear Mr. Lister:

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the pressing issue of global climate change.

For too long our nation has opted to take a passive role on one of the 21st century's most pressing issues.

The United States, the largest energy consumer and wealthiest nation on the planet, has an obligation to be at the forefront of climate change policy and an opportunity to be a top innovator in developing new technologies and strategies to combat the problem.

The science is now clear: human activities are contributing to climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a comprehensive assessment on climate change that synthesizes what the global scientific community has learned in the past five years about our changing climate and its impact on the world.

Global average surface temperatures have increased, snow cover and ice have decreased, and global average sea level is rising. As you know, there are significant long-term risks to the environment and our economy from temperature increases and climatic disruptions that are assumed to be the result of increased greenhouse gas emissions.To that end, I am strongly in favor of the continued development of alternative energy sources. Whether it is biomass, coal with carbon capture, wind, solar, or a resource still in development, we must explore sustainable energy sources that dramatically lessen our carbon emissions, are economically viable, and protect our national security.

I am a cosponsor of a resolution offered by Senators Biden and Lugar that calls for reengagement of the U.S. in the development of an international climate change framework.

As an active participant in the climate change debate, I am hopeful legislation that is both good for Ohio and the nation will come before the Senate later this year.

Again, thank you for contacting me on this important matter.

Sherrod Brown

E mail from Senator Charles E. Schumer

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Dear Mr. Lister:

Thank you for your letter regarding actions that Congress should be taking to curtail global climate change.

I share your concern for the health of our environment, especially the fragile balance of ecosystems that may be destroyed by the climatic changes that we are now experiencing. As Senator, I have pushed legislation that would address some of the causes of climate change, in particular by trying to reduce carbon emissions.

The recent passage in the Senate of H.R. 6, the Clean Energy Act of 2007, provided an important first step toward improving the ways our nation uses energy. This bill includes substantial increases in fuel economy standards for cars, including a 35mpg standard by 2020 and closing the SUV and flex-fuel-vehicle loopholes. The Senate's success in this area will reduce our consumption of foreign oil by 10.7 gallons annually by 2020. I believe that H.R. 6 makes important steps towards curbing climate change.

For the first time in decades, the Senate has produced a bill that does not give tax breaks to big oil, but instead gives incentives to companies to use renewable fuel sources, makes significant improvements in car's fuel economy, and requires improved energy efficiency in government actions. However, there is still more to be done.

I introduced four amendments to the energy bill which would improve energy efficiency in practical, cost-effective ways. The first would require power utilities to gradually reduce their fuel consumption by improving their efficiency to reach a final target of 10% less fuel use by 2020. The second amendment required states to make their building codes 30% more efficient. The third and fourth amendments would improve energy efficiency in appliances like washing machines, commercial boilers, and air conditioners. All told, these four amendments would have saved the same energy as would taking more than 150 million cars off the road. Unfortunately, none of these amendments were included in the final bill, but I will continue to push for these, and other, energy efficiency ideas.I also support several other bills aimed at helping to slow this crisis.

I am a co-sponsor of S. 590, Securing America's Energy Independence Act of 2007, which extends and improves tax credits for individuals and companies to invest in solar technology. I also co-sponsored the Clean Air Planning Act, S. 1177, a multi-pollutant bill that will require fossil-fuel-fired power plants to cut their emissions of four dangerous compounds, including carbon dioxide. This bill will halt the increase in CO2 emissions in 2012 and will implement a 57% cut from today's levels by 2050.

I was also an original co-sponsor of S. 339, the DRIVE Act, which will reduce our oil use through a range of actions from improving fuel economies to encouraging development along existing transit corridors, rather than into new areas. It was passed by the Senate as part H.R. 6.

Climate change matters to all of us and we need smart, pragmatic policies now if we are to address this crisis. We cannot afford to delay action in the hope that a "silver bullet" will save us: there will be no perfect new technology to produce infinite energy, no special sponge to take carbon out of the air, no global air-conditioning system. It takes lots of smart changes in the ways that we make and use energy to fix this problem, and we need to approach this complex problem from every angle possible.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me on this important topic. I always appreciate constituents input and hope that you will continue to share your thoughts with me in the future.

Charles E. SchumerUnited States Senator

E mail from US Senator Bill Nelson

Dear Mr. Lister:

Thank you for contacting me to express your views regarding the energy issues facing our nation.

We must develop a long-term energy strategy that alleviates high energy prices and reduces our dependency on foreign oil while protecting our precious environment. The prices of home energy and gasoline has risen in recent months, leaving many struggling to afford driving to work and heating or cooling their homes. In the meantime, oil companies continue to see record-breaking profits.

I recently voted for the comprehensive CLEAN Energy Act in the Senate. The act will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil by requiring annual use of 36 billion gallons of alternative fuels like ethanol by 2022, mandating the Federal government adopt "green" building standards, and increasing fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks to 35 miles-per-gallon by the year 2020. The legislation will also protect consumers from gasoline price gouging and improve the efficiency of appliances.

I am also a cosponsor of the Dependence Reduction through Innovation in Vehicles and Energy (DRIVE) Act. The DRIVE Act would increase the availability of alternative transportation fuels, provide incentives for the purchase of hybrid and flexible-fuel vehicles, and spur development of next-generation fuels and hybrid cars. A larger market for gasoline made from corn, sugar, orange peels, switchgrass, or a variety of other products would help keep the price of gasoline down. Several provisions of this legislation were adopted in the CLEAN Energy Act.

I also supported measures in the CLEAN Energy bill that would encourage alternative energy development like wind and solar power by offering tax incentives to users, as well as a measure that would require utilities to produce a percentage of their electricity from renewable resources. These measures would help reduce our dependency on foreign oil, but unfortunately they were dropped from the final bill.

This bill is now being sent to the President for his signature. As we continue to discuss energy issues in the Senate, I will be sure to keep your views in mind. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Copy of Email sent to all US Senators re global warming and their county's loss of reputation

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Dear Senator,

I am a UK citizen who has for many years respected the values that America stands for and argued in defence of your country when it was fashionable amongst my colleagues to criticise your nation.

However, I am now moved to write to you in protest at the recent events of your nation’s representatives and the sad demise of the reputation of a nation that was once known for proudly and bravely coming to the aid and rescue of others when in deep trouble. The war graves in Normandy are testimony of your nations proud past.

As you should be aware, your country's representatives have derailed negotiations on reaching a climate change agreement at Bali. We are now left with the unedifying spectacle of the worlds leaders congratulating themselves on achieving an agreement, when all that has been achieved is a commitment to more talks and no binding agreements on CO2 reductions have been reached. We do not have time for more talks. The more we talk, the less action we take and the greater the consequences. We have now engineered an environment for ourselves that does not absorb the greenhouse gases that we produce and the gap between absorption and production is widening. The longer we allow our energy profligate life styles to continue, the worse the problem. As the nation that has produced more CO2 than any other, the USA has a unique obligation to act and to show leadership in this time of global crisis.

The extract from the IPCC report above shows their conclusions and demonstrates why immediate action is so important. Even in the event that we reduce our emissions to zero and are somehow able to remove CO2 from the atmosphere (see CO2 trend on the left graph), we will still experience dangerous warming that will range between 1.8 deg C to 3.8 deg C (see graph on the left). Make no mistake; this is absolutely catastrophic. Failure to take immediate action will almost certainly mean that the current generation of children on the planet will be the last.

As well as selfish intransigence at Bali, the Senate have compounded the problem by signing into legislation the energy bill on Thursday. This bill calls for a renewable fuel obligation of 15 billion gallons of ethanol to be consumed annually by 2015 rising to 36 billion gallons to be consumed annually by 2022. If this is intended to be a part of some environmentally friendly initiative aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions by using biofuels, then again make no mistake in recognising that it is dangerous stupidity to believe this.

We are entering a dangerous and turbulent world were the population is soaring, and food production is collapsing due to the combined impacts of climate change, industrialisation and soil exhaustion. Tensions will grow as food prices rise. Inflation and interest rates will be forced up destroying economic growth. The current sub prime housing crash is a direct result of this changing world and a foretaste of worse to come.

In the face of this looming crisis, you have agreed to convert the world’s breadbasket into a second rate gas pump. The food that would have been grown will now have to be grown elsewhere, and this will be achieved by burning down more of the tropical rainforests, so reducing the carbon absorption of the biosphere. All this for an extremely inefficient way of producing a gas substitute to enable people to continue driving unnecessarily large cars unnecessarily long distances.

This is a desperate legacy to the world, and one that only the most self-interested nation of the world could contemplate.

Your nations inability to show clear leadership and make the sacrifices necessary to achieve cuts in greenhouse gases is in stark contrast to the sacrifices that your young men made for our freedoms in the Second World War.

The next time that I visit your war graves in France, I will pay special respect to those American soldiers who gave their lives and whose legacies are now being so hopelessly squandered.

This email has been copied to all senators and will appear on my blog

Yours faithfully,
Kevin Lister

Monday, December 10, 2007

Letter to Ruth Kelly re Heathrow Runway 3

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Subject: Heathrow Runway 3 and Terminal 6

Dear Ms Kelly,

I have listened with absolute dismay at your statement that you intend to precede with Heathrow’s 3rd runway and 6th terminal. I have six specific points that I want you to address which follow below.

Point 1

I note that you have said carbon trading can offset the emissions from the extra flights at Heathrow. You must realise that this is a nonsense position. The IPCC report has effectively called for a cut in excess of 100% of current emissions, and even this does not guarantee avoidance of catastrophic warming. The graphs below are extracted from the report.

These two graphs need to be read together. The graph on the right hand side shows the expected stabilised temperature for various levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The best possible scenario presented is that the greenhouse gases stabilise in the 445-490 ppm range. This would result in a best possible temperature increase of between 1.8 dec C to 3.8 deg C. Mathematical modelling suggests that an average temperature rise above 2 deg C is likely to lead to runaway climate change, so we are already at extremely high risk of catastrophic change. To achieve this best possible but still awful scenario the necessary cuts in CO2 emissions are shown on the left hand side. This disturbingly shows that not only must we completely eliminate CO2 emissions, but also we must somehow think how to extract additional CO2 out of the atmosphere. Given that we need to get our emissions below zero, carbon trading is clear nonsense. Your belief that we can somehow carbon trade our way out of the global warming implications of a third runway suggests that you have not grasped the implication of this report at all.

The implications of the IPCC report are such that we should be considering shutting Heathrow, not allowing further expansion.

Point 2

Your position on runway 3 is clearly driven by the aviation industry and its immediate supporters. I am aware that the organisation Flying Matters, (see has already started lobbying MPs to stop aviation being included within the governments climate change bill. The industry is instead arguing that an international agreement should be brought into place. However, they have been deliberately vague on explaining what the international agreements would be. Given the impossibility of putting an international agreement like this together in any meaningful way that would actually result in timely and necessary aviation cuts, it is hardly surprising that the aviation industry is campaigning for an international agreement.

Can you confirm if you believe that aviation should be in your government’s climate change bill and confirm exactly what your department’s position is on this?

Point 3

Recent Mori polls have shown that supporters of a freeze on airport expansion outnumber opponents by more than two to one (49% vs 20%). You are clearly backing the minority interests of the aviation industry and its immediate big business supporters over the interests of the wider public and scientific evidence. You are also doing this on the most contentious issue possible, were people are now scared for their future and their children’s future. You are ignoring the protesters that have so far been making their point peacefully in the streets of our cities and with events such as the Climate Camp at Heathrow last year.

If you proceed with this development, you must expect that the protests will turn increasingly bitter and violent. The police will clearly be bought in on the side of the airport and its supporters, thus compromising police neutrality at a time when the police will be coming under additional strain from the effects of climate change on the wider economy. The heavy handed policing at Heathrow during last year’s Climate Camp was seen by many as a warning of things to come.

Can you confirm what conversation and agreements have been made with the Secretary of State and what the Secretary of State’s view is on the police being effectively used as a private army in support of the aviation industry’s interests?

Point 4

The email sent in response to the petition on the 10 Downing Street web site against Heathrow claimed that the “UK now has the fastest growing railway in Europe.” Can you confirm how much CO2 emissions will be generated from this growth and where the power will come from for this expansion. It is worth considering that a Pendolino on the West Coast lines requires 5.1 Mega Watts of power. There are 53 Pendolino is the Virgin Fleet. Basic calculations show that just these trains requires approximately 600 wind turbines to provide adequate power. In addtion, there is the rest of the electrified Rail network.

Point 5

A collegue of mine is a pilot in BA and regularly flies from from Saudi Arabia to Heathrow. He tells me that the first class is often full of people coming over for shoping weekends. This is clealy a rediculous use of critical resources and a totally unnecessary contriubtion to global warming. It is strong argument that we need to reduce demand for travel.

Your statements so far on travel policies have all been concerned with providing enough supply to met demand. Can you confirm what you are doing to reduce demand.

Point 6

You have stated in your letters to MPs that a consultation period will be initated and you have a web site for consultation.

Can you confirm the point of this. You have already stated that you intend to proceed with the third runway and the policies of your departments are completely ignoring all the available science.

I look forward to your reply addressing specifically each of the points above.

Yours sincerely

Kevin Lister


David Drew MP,
Flying Matters

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Email to Councillors on why Capt Martin is a fool and why IPCC report says 100% cut in emissions

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Dear Councillors,

I refer you to the letter that Capt Martin wrote in the Gloucester Echo this week, click here and my response (not published) follows below. Capt Martin's self interested and ignorant attitude is a perfect example of why it is going to be so difficult to get people to change and accept the enormity of the problem we face.

To give you a measure of the absurdity of his position I enclose a copy of a graph from this months IPCC report which indicates the size of CO2 cuts that we need to make. This is probably the most disturbing statement of our future that it is possible to imagine. As you are aware, the IPCC report is the considered amongst the most definitive of statements on global warming. It's authors can not be dismissed as "tree hugging lefties."

The two graphs need to be read together. The graph on the right hand side shows the expected stabilised temperature for various levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The best possible scenario presented is that the greenhouse gases stabilise in the 445-490 ppm range. This would result in a temperature increase of between 1.8 dec C to 3.8 deg C, which is potentially catostrophic. Mathematical modelling suggests that an average temperature rise above 2 deg C is likely to lead to runaway climate change, so we are already at extremely high risk. To achieve this best possible scenario, the necessary cuts in CO2 emissions are shown on the left hand side. This disturbingly shows that not only must we completely eliminate CO2 emissions, but we must somehow, think how to extract additional CO2 out of the atmosphere, even to get to the best possible scenario.

This is not a good time to have children, let alone build an airport. In fact, there is barely any justification to keep the existing airport going, when the science now argues that we effectively need to get CO2 emissions below zero.

Kevin Lister

Letter to the Echo (not yet published):

-------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Editor

It is great when people such as Capt Martin come out with such claptrap. It shows how pathetic and self interested the argument in support of expanding Staverton actually is.

As a vociferous campaigner against Staverton who lives in Nailsworth, I cannot be accused of living too close to the airport and bringing any problems on myself. My personal concern is global warming, and if Capt Martin was a little bit brighter, he may actually take the time to acquaint himself with the science behind it, especially as the IPCC has brought out its most damning assessment yet of our future.

As regards, Kemble I do not live near that either, but I am continually harassed by the noise of planes dog fighting and practising aerobatics above me and find it galling that an airport is able to cause this level of irritation when it is does not even have proper planning consent. Kemble’s Managing Director in a response to one of my complaints said that the noise I was experiencing in my garden was no louder than a dishwasher. I am adamant that I do not want to be surrounded by the noise of dishwashers every weekend and against my wishes.

Capt Martin’s attitude to the environment and to the legitimate concerns of others is typical of the moral bankruptcy in the aviation industry’s approach to global warming. It puts him at the same level as the yobs that race their cars around our towns and villages on Friday nights for cheap kicks. The man is a clearly an uneducated fool who’s views should be ignored by anyone with any level of intelligence.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Prince Charles being used again to support climate damage - he's lucky I point these things out to him

Dear Prince Charles,

Please pass on my thanks to your staff for replying to my last letter.

Following our previous correspondence when your staff said that you would not make comment on a planning application, I thought that it would be appropriate to advise you that Kemble airfield are using a photo of yourself and you wife for advertising on their web site (

As you are probably aware, (based on having a residence in Tetbury), Kemble Airfield is currently the subject of a planning inquiry and is at present effectively operating illegally as it has not complied with necessary planning legislation. Cotswold District Council will be submitting an additional enforcement notice.

On Cotswold District Council’s web site they say, “The Council maintains its robust position that there is a case to answer in respect on uncontrolled general flying.”

The airport is currently a huge source of noise which blights many areas in the Cotswolds and the problem is increasing in intensity year on year. I am sure that that as a local resident of this area, you will appreciate the importance of preserving the quality of our environement which is now threatened in so many ways.

Ronan Harvey, the airport owner, said in the Cirencester Standard, “that a lot of future developments at the site were on hold pending the outcome of the inquiry.” Clearly, with statements such as this, he has aspirations to increase operations further with corresponding increases in noise and pollution. It highlights the importance of not supporting his aspirations, such as the introduction of private jets that are the most carbon intensive form of travel yet developed.

Given your well-known concerns on the environment and global warming, I can only imagine that you must be appalled that a company, which is operating illegally and in an environmentally irresponsible fashion, is using your photograph for their publicity.

Also, following my last request, I would appreciate a break down of the carbon budget in your annual report.

As usual, a copy of this will be posted on my blog.


Kevin Lister

Emails to Councillor Brfan Calway, re the role of the police in climate change


Thank you for your email and your comments (see attachments at the end of this message)

I am always willing to learn and be corrected!! I would be extremely interested in your thoughts on how our society will hold together under the future scenarios that are going to be played out as a result of climate change.

I believe that we are rapidly moving towards a situation which is so far removed from today’s society that all the normal assumptions which we base our systems upon will be invalidated.

To give you an analogy, the last time a spike in CO2 levels occurred similar to the one we are creating now was 250 million years ago, known as the Permian–Triassic event. This was essentially a runaway global warming event due to a build up of CO2 in the atmosphere from massive volcanic activity. It is estimated that 95% of all the species were wiped out. Those that survived owed their survival to random chance and luck. The ability which the species of the time had adapted to their environments had no bearing on their chance of survival, because the environment had changed so much. So I believe it will be with our society. Our society is currently based on economic growth and our laws and institutions are predicated on supporting this model. Economic growth is unlikely to be our future. We will experience the same type of discontinuity that the earth experienced 250 million years ago.

As a further matter of consideration, after the Permian–Triassic event it is estimated that it took 5 million years for the CO2 levels to return to previous levels and 50 million years for the planets eco system to return to the same level of bio diversity, which subsequently heralded the start of the dinosaurs. It is also important to remember that the sun was a lot cooler then than it is now. With the same spike in CO2 happening now, it is not certain that the planet would ever recover. And rather soberingly, the temperature increase at the time was in the order of 6 deg C, which is comfortably within the confidence limits of many of today’s computer simulations, and within the upper bounds published by the IPCC.

I believe that what we are experiencing today are the perturbations normally seen before a major shock or step change in system, in the same way minor earth tremors warn can warn of a massive volcanic eruption. We are currently see rapidly rising food prices as food production around the world decreases due to climate change and bio fuel demands. We are experiencing oil prices (now around $100 barrel) which would have been unimaginable only a year ago. We have seen a run on a bank in this country, which we did not even experience in the Second World War, the Cuban Missile crisis or the 1970's oil crisis. We are seeing waves of environmental migrants coming to this country. We are seeing a population becoming increasingly disenfranchised with the political leaders. It is all making for a very disturbing picture of the future when we are still only at the bottom of the temperature curve predicted by IPCC.

For those of us that have dared to challenge the assumptions that underpin our society and persuade people to change, it is a dispiriting and depressing exercise, because so little of where we are going as a society makes any sense. I have been branded an extremist and fanatic. I believe I am neither, I am simply a realist. I have tried and will keep trying to persuade people to be realists and take responsibility for their actions, however it is easy for a few people to decide to ignore the overwhelming evidence and pursue paths with the full legal backing of the state, which ultimately has the legitimate right to violence.

My experience at the Heathrow climate camp this year was an eye opener for me. On a protest that was a best token, (walking to the empty BAA offices on a Sunday afternoon having given the company 1 weeks notice of the event), 300 of us were surrounded by 1500 riot police and many around me were badly beaten. I was staggered to hear on the radio the police commander’s justification, see my email to him on my blog. Equally, I was staggered to hear within a couple of weeks of the demonstration, that Lord Stevens (the ex commander of the Metropolitan police) had accepted a position as a non-executive director on the board of BAA. And finally, in the face of all evidence and mounting public opinion Ruth Kelly announces that she is giving the go ahead for a third runway, and is simply bowing the interests of a few corporations at the clear expense of my children’s future. No doubt, in the coming battles at Heathrow, which will be far more intense than at the climate camp, the police will be used to up hold the law, so siding with BAA and their cohorts, against those that are fighting for the future for our children with no legal rights.

In these circumstances, the idea of a politically neutral police force is clearly an illusion when, the main political parties are offering little concrete action to tackle climate change and the right to protest is becoming increasingly restricted.

So what does this mean for up holding law and order at a local level? The police are in danger of being dragged into more and more confrontational situations and may loose the respect of the community at a time when the amount of policing that a community needs will increase. Philip Bobbitt in his highly acclaimed book "The Shield of Achilles," argued that in the future it will be countries that operate on similar systems to the US were individual citizens have the right to bear arms and defend themselves that will survive. An uncomfortable thought for this country.

Thankyou for reading this far.



Dear Mr Lister,

I have read with interest your numerous commentaries on climate change. Your latest to Councillor Garnham was also of interest. As a retired police officer and a former member of the Police Authority I would suggest with the greatest respect that you are not totally aware of the function of the Police Service and its role within society.


Brfan Calway

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Policing in the face of climate change - email to the Chairman of Gloucestershire Police Authority

see also email sent to chief constable of the met, after Climate Camp

Dear Mr. Garnham,

Following our recent exchange of emails which you unfortunately found offensive, I trust you have since familiarised yourself with the recent IPCC report and the UN Human Development report

Neither of these reports make pleasant reading. The IPCC report paints a picture of overwhelming environmental destruction that will be far beyond the capabilities of our society to cope with unless serious action is taken. The serious action that they recommend is a 90% cut in CO2 emissions. A cut of this magnitude will completely disrupt the smooth running of our society.

Likewise the UN Human development report (page 4) quotes “The drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were looking back at a human tragedy, the second world war, that had already happened. Climate change is different. It is a human tragedy in the making. Allowing that tragedy to evolve would be a political failure that merits the description of an ‘outrage to the conscience of mankind’

As the Chairman of Gloucestershire Police Authority you have a special responsibility when it comes to these problems. To do nothing will result in a societal collapse that is likely to be sudden and violent as climate change accelerates out of control. Doing something requires the biggest curtailment of freedoms imaginable to enable the CO2 cuts to be made, which is also going to be overwhelmingly difficult. The flooding experiences of last summer highlighted how suddenly change can happen and how vulnerable we are.

It is clear that in the very near future the ideas for policing that our society has been based on will become redundant. It will simply not be possible to provide the protection that we expect with the existing forces or structures. In either of the circumstances above you are likely to be forced to rely on local protection as societies take on responsibility for their own policing.

I would be interested to know what consideration you have given to these inevitable circumstances.

Kevin Lister

Sign to stop Whaling

No chance to debate - in fact we were never even invited (email to Stavertons management)

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Dear Mark/Darren

We were extremely disappointed that todays planned presentation on misconceptions at the airport was cancelled at such short notice.

I had arrived with several colleagues and councillors who had not recieved the late notice of cancellation. My colleagues and I were looking forward to challenging your latest justifications for ignoring all the warning signs on global warming and the accumulating evidence.

We were told that the meeting would be rescheduled in the spring. We look forward to this meeting and appreciate the benefit that this extra time will allow for our planning.

For you information, I enclose a copy of the flier that we intended to circulate at the meeting


I create noise and I don't care - Kemble Airfields response to my previous letter

Dear David Drew MP,

Thank you for sending Kevin Lister's letter which I understand was originally sent to Ultimate High and posted on his blogspot 'Kev's Climate Column'. For reference I have copied the present first paragraph of 'Kev's Climate Column', and the entry to Ultimate High on that web site at the end of this letter - in case you were unaware of it.

In relation to the specific allegations against Ultimate High. Every pilot, prior to conducting any aerobatic manoeuvre, is taught to complete various checks which include 'clear of controlled airspace and built up areas'. I have spoken with the owner of Ultimate High and to some of the Ultimate High pilot Instructors. They confirm that they are aware that tail chasing does create additional noise but they also tell me that in their Extra aircraft last week they were operating between 8,000 and 10,000 ft altitude, and they will always go to this height when they can. In the Bulldog aircraft their agreed self imposed minimum altitude is 3,000 ft, but the pilots say they are mostly at four to five thousand feet. At this sort of altitude it could well appear from the ground that the aircraft look like they are overhead when in fact they are directly over open land nearby. I am assured that instructors do try and vary the locations they fly and do not fly in the same place on the same day. They do complete standard HASELL checks as mentioned above. We are all aware that noise carries and that on still days in particular noise carries far more but you cannot organise a commercial business around that. What Ultimate High have done, I feel very responsibly, is that unlike the rest of the recreational flying industry they have decided never to fly on Sundays.

It is inevitable that an aerodrome will get noise complaints and we have established a simple to use system that enables the public to get a complaint to us quickly via the internet ( With a specific time we can often tell whether the aircraft was from Kemble and we always investigate complaints and make statistical analysis which helps us to modify local procedures and minimise nuisance where possible. Noise abatement procedures and complaints are discussed every month at our Kemble Operators Group meetings. I enclose a comparative noise level table and quote the source. It is interesting that a propeller driven aircraft at 1,000ft registers 88db which is said to be the same noise as a dishwasher. A typical light aircraft will fly around about 120mph, and many much faster, so the noise is hardly around for long.

One problem at Kemble without doubt is that some visiting pilots seem to pay little attention to the noise abatement procedures. We are working to try and create better awareness of procedures here and at a national level to encourage greater environmental awareness in flying training and of the importance of checking local procedures before pilots fly to an aerodrome with which they are unfamiliar.

With respect to Mr. Lister being 'a bit of a killjoy', well, yes he is. And the Cotswolds is littered with airfields where brave men used to train to fly and dogfight above the Cotswold countryside before going off to fight for their country - so a bit of dogfighting in the Cotswold skies is nothing new. And, of course Mr. Lister should expect to hear aircraft in this area, Gloucestershire has a fine history of aviation. The jet engine was first tested at Brockworth, Gloucester Airport was opened in 1931 and Kemble in 1938. Nympsfield is just up the road, as are Aston Down, Leighterton and Chavenage. South Cerney, Oaksey Park and Badminton are a little further away but all of these aerodromes are within 15 miles of Nailsworth.

Mr. Lister's comments about executive egos and that they have little empathy for the environment is a bit rich! How does Mr. Lister know that the people from the city flying these aircraft do not cycle to work, go on holiday by train, recycle everything and generally concern themselves with the environment? The fact is we are all aware of environmental concerns and those of us in the aviation business are as concerned as any to reduce C02 emissions. The new generation of Light Small Aircraft that will gradually replace the existing training fleet over the coming years will cut fuel consumption of that group by around 40%. You might also be interested to know that my own Eurostar microlight aircraft will fly happily at 90mph burning just nine litres of fuel per hour which is more economical than my car! Unsurprisingly I fly to travel when I can to be more environmentally friendly.

Flying is no more a frivolous an activity than motor racing or riding horses or fishing. How much fuel is burned I wonder in those great big trucks taking little Judy and James to their pony club event? And, as fishing is so popular how much fuel is burned by a nation of anglers all driving to their favourite spots? You just cannot point fingers at individuals like this. The only sensible control measure on fuel consumption at the moment is by price. When the fateful day comes that we are really in trouble with fuel supply then rationing would be the only fair control.

To get back to the first point - Nailsworth. My home for the last eight years has been in Nailsworth and my friends and neighbours have never complained to me about noise from aircraft. My partner did complain recently about powered paramotors flying over the Town from a nearby field where a competition had been arranged. These pilots were breaking the law and the feedback to the owner of the field, together with a tragic fatality, has caused them to be banned from flying there ever again.

Powered aircraft that tow gliders into the air from nearby Nympsfield do fly regularly near the Town but that level of activity I do not believe has changed much in the twenty years I have been living in this area.

There may have been some increase in general aviation activity in the area in the last ten years but this no where near the level when Kemble was an active RAF base with phenomenally noisy jet aircraft operating.

There are more houses, more people, more shops, more cars and there are more foul mouthed youths walking past my home in Nailsworth - I find them offensive. Give me the sweet drone of an aircraft engine any day, someone up there having some fun.

David Young