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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New inquiry into the future of aviation - or new farce

The government is doing what it always does when it wants to put off a difficulty decision whilst appear to be doing something. It has an inquiry, this time it is a "New inquiry into the future of aviation."

A new inquiry that starts with the comment, "It [aviation] has a good safety record. Demand for air travel has grown substantially," and goes onto say that "The Government's aim is to develop a long-term framework that will maximise the beneficial aspects of aviation," will not be a new inquiry. It will be the same old farce where the aviation industry gets the platform to lie about how environmentally concerned they are; about how they want an International agreement on emissions knowing full well it will never happen; about how they want carbon trading without saying that the rest of our industry must be shut down to allow aviation to continue growing, and about how there are other bigger polluters so there is no point targeting the aviation industry.

The politicians who are either in the pockets of the industry or like the sheep of George Orwell's Animal Farm will all shout in agreement, while trying to look knowledgeable and concerned. They will furrow their brows as they pretend to wrestle with the difficult decisions, and then patronise us by telling us that they have made the difficult decisions and compromises that will satisfy everyone. When in fact, all they will have done is to give the green light to the aviation industry. Meanwhile, the planet overheats and burns, civil liberties are trampled and critical science is treated with the contempt that one would expect from a Big Brother contestent.

A new inquiry is certainly needed; one that will address how we will urgently reverse the airport expansion of the last 30 years before it is too late.

My submission for this farce is here.