Plane Stupid's Joss Garman plays minister
1st December, 2006
In the first of the Ecologist's new 'If I...' series, the co-founder of aviation campaign group Plane Stupid imagines what he would do if he were in charge of the government's aviation policy.
I feel terrible. As the Minister responsible for aviation, I've done a disservice to my country. For some time now I have been deluding myself and everyone else - had my head in the clouds, so to speak. Thinking that the airline industry could grow and grow, I've ignored the scientific warnings from my advisor, Sir David King, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and, most recently, from Oxford University and I've laid out how my government will set the conditions for an unprecedented growth in flying.
The climatologists have been saying that aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change. Even if we decarbonised the entire rest of the economy - shut down every factory, switched off every light - we'd still miss our modest target of a 60 per cent cut in emissions by 2050 just because of the growth in the amount we fly. I just couldn't face up to the fact that our ability to live in Tuscany on the weekends should be put at stake, however, so I buried my head in the sand.
In my aviation white paper of November 2003, I, along with my colleagues from the Airport Operators Association and the British Air Transport Association, who also kindly funded the study that was the basis of the...
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