Pro-Heathrow demo challenges Carbon Cult killjoys
Cheap flights for all
As eco warriors descend on Parliament this afternoon to protest against the expansion of Heathrow, an obscure counter demonstration will be taking place. It's quite unusual: Modern Movement will be demonstrating in favour of something, not against it: cheap travel.
"What we want to counter is the small number of green campaigners who are making a lot of noise on this issue, and who are making it seem like reducing the number of people who can fly is the biggest struggle of the century," says student Alex Hochuli, who co-founded the new group. "The majority of people aspire to travel, love travelling, and want to have more of that."
Hochuli says he's against the "moralisation of flying" and points out that even if you take CO2 seriously as an catalyst for Thermageddon, flying contributes only 3 per cent of UK carbon emissions. So it's hardly worth objecting to on rational grounds.
What could it be, then?
There's more than a whiff of snobbery about environmental objections to mass travel. In a TV show tonight, the toff historian Tristram Hunt (son of Lord Hunt of Chesterton, a climate modeller) mourns the age of motoring before the working class got behind the wheel.
"As the working classes gained access to the motor car, they celebrated their mobility by buying up plots of land in beauty spots and coastal resorts across the south coast," he wrote on Monday. Oh no! "The historicism, aestheticism and idiosyncrasy of motoring were abandoned."
Today, plebs enjoying cheap flights cause a similar revulsion amongst the pious Green bourgeoise. Hochuli also has a sideswipe at the budget airlines for not doing enough to promote the cause of mind-broadening travel opportunities, in an interview here.
But while snobbery is a plays a large part of the eco warriors rhetoric, it can't explain it all. Try on this thought experiment.
Suppose for the sake of argument that cheap flights are bad, and many internal flights are unnecessary, and instead we decided to build a Maglev train service linking British cities. What a wonderful thing that would be. Who do you think would be the first to object to it?
The anti-flying campaign reflects a deep hostility to modernity and progress. The earliest "ecological" thinking early in the 19th Century was to inspire the mystical "blood and soil" movements in Germany, which held that science was evil. From there, it's hard to escape the circular argument that anything that improves our lot is bad for the planet, and must be discouraged.
I always wanted to visit
I understand the world is a large place full of wonder if we think about it a 100 years ago, flight across the oceans were just a dream, instead they used tons and tons of coal to get across. Still less then 50 years ago it was still cheaper to go by boat across the pond but by now they were more modern burning oil not fit for any other consumption. About 30 years ago or the wild and wacky 70's the 747 was born and flights across the Atlantic were affordable. More people in the last 30 years have been to places our grandparents only thought of.
As far as classes, they have the concorde...oops that is right that haughty piece was rightly retired.
I sure wish that information was put in the hands of people that understood what it means. Instead we have the very "knowledgeable" Al Gore flying all over the world in a Big jet to talk to the masses that we are into global warming. The real truth is that it is a way to get rich and stay rich by keeping the working class scared. I would love to know how much carbon old Al put into the air.
Today though the most important thing is that we have a way to get the information to the masses that not one generation has Facebook...no the internet. I sure wish some of those great inventions of WWII which has stayed buried within GM for fuel economy was allowed to see the light of day. I have heard rumors of gas and water mix that works wonders but of course they have yet to go belly up.
Maybe one day I will make a trip to europe and see the world. but I am sure Al will see to it that it will be on a rubber band powered airplane....
science from a crystal ball
mm bit of a problem here , the warmest 2 days on record in the USA was the two days directly after 9/11 when all aircraft where grounded, studies done to follow up this found aircraft actually contribute more to an effect called global dimming, which cools the earth and not the other way about.
Agian it seems the vast majority of the green brigade pulling hairs out their arses and call it fact , but even the langauge has changed in mainstream media from global warmming to climate change, and climate change is something that has been happening since a cloud of dust and gas mereged to create this planet over 4 billion years ago.
Ice ages come and go now every 50 000 odd years because south america crashed into north america and split the worlds oceans in half cupple that with the intermittent failure of the atlantic convyeur and we have an ice age , so should blow up panama and mexico to stop this ............
The green brigade dont like change..well tuff shit beacuse it is here to stay .
Here in scotland i once heard two rather foolish greenies on telly go on about how the beauty of the highlands would be spoiled by global warming, both where siblings and the children of a lord like the story above, what amazed me is the highlands today are a waste land created by greedy lairds and landowners during the 18th and 19th centruies that stripped the land of it's people and wildlife so more proiftable sheep could graze, 100 yrs of sheep have devastated the highlands and left the majority a bleak shadow of a once alive part of britain much like the welsh valleys.
the greenies want us to save the picture postcard view of the world and lock us uncooth and stupid masses into a reguritated victorian ideology , i am pro nuclear ,pro transport and pro people ...the planet can look after itself and any time humans intervene it usually is pointless.
The planet will survive us , but we wont survive it.
You come across as an utter c---rag although I must agree that the world would be a far richer place without "High Wycombe".