Baker rejects air flight rationing

by Stephen Tall on February 7, 2009

Today’s Telegraph reports that Lord Turner, the chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, has said people should be given personal flight limits to lower pollution from the aviation industry:

“We will have to constrain demand in an absolute sense, with people not allowed to make as many journeys as they could in an unconstrained manner,” he told the Commons environmental audit committee. Lord Turner, whose committee is investigating whether the air industry can meet a target of reducing emissions to below 2005 levels by 2050, said the restriction may need to become permanent. He added: “It is at least possible that we will come back and say, ‘Given the technological position … we think this is doable with the first flight allocation but we think the second allocation may prove undoable’.”

The report quotes Lib Dem shadow transport secretary Norman Baker rejecting Lord Turner’s suggestion:

There is an absolute need to recognise the serious climate change implications of aviation but Forties-style rationing is not the way forward.”

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Once again, Norman ducks the opportunity to say something unpopular but honest. We have two ways to shrink the aviation sector (absolutely necessary if we are to combat climate change): Ration flights per person, or make flying prohibitively expensive for almost everyone. Or give people an overall annual carbon ration, and let them decide how to spend it.

Like the road pricing fudge, this is just avoiding the discomfort of telling people that they can basically only have one foreign holiday a year.

by Andy Hinton on February 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm. Reply #

Modern Movement is organising a demonstration against flight rationing:

Support Airport Expansion: Thursday 19 February, 17.30 -19.30 on Parliament Square, East Footway

http://www.modernmovement.org.uk/index.php

“The extension of flying to millions of people has been a liberation. Most of us can now afford to go on holiday and welcome the cheapening of air travel allowing us to fly abroad. The development of aviation infrastructure is crucial to allow ever more people to fly.”

by Maria on February 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm. Reply #

Maria: In 50 years time, when Bangladeshis are drowning and many people are suffering drought in countries you don’t care about (you know, where the brown people live), I’ll comfort myself with the thought that they must all be feeling terribly “liberated”.

Fuck off.

Anyone who wants more info on “Modern Movement”, go here.

by Andy Hinton on February 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm. Reply #

The poor in under-developed countries do tend to live off the environment as you say, but this is not something to be celebrated. And true, because of this, they get hit hardest by environmental disasters so the solution is clearly more, not less development! The best way we can prevent people from being in the prey of natural disasters is to eradicate this slavery to nature, not to make it ‘sustainable’. Think of the tsunami that hit the Maldives, Thailand and South India so hard – the main reason for this was that people there had houses that were built in such a way that they did not withstand the shock – given we cannot (yet) control natural phenomena, the best defense is to develop more. The Netherlands is below sea level but it hasn’t been submerged because through the use of technology human beings have build barriers that guard them against tragedy.

by Maria on February 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm. Reply #

Oh, I see, so the solution is for all 6 billion of us (and rising) to all live completely isolated from anything nature might throw at us, so we won’t notice when we’ve completely ballsed everything up. Might be a bit of a problem when biosystems are so screwed up that most of the foodstuffs that used to come through the food hatch don’t seem to be available any more…

by Andy Hinton on February 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm. Reply #

Humanity has dealt rather well so far with all the problems that history has thrown at it – and certainly natural ones. I think that we can continue to do the same, and hopefully have a serious political debate about what the real problems facing society are and how best to tackle them in progressive and human-centred ways rather than advocating mass austerity while silencing the opposition by throwing around abuse instead of enaging with the arguments…

by Maria on February 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm. Reply #

Humanity has dealt rather well with all the problems that history has thrown at it – and certainly natural ones. I think that we can continue to do the same, and hopefully have a serious debate about what the real problems facing society are and how best to tackle them in new, progressive and human-centred ways rather than advocating mass austerity while trying to silence the opposition by throwing around abuse…

by Maria on February 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm. Reply #

Clearly I haven’t silenced you, clearly you are still here.

And yes, woe betide anyone who suggests any form of “mass austerity”. Clearly such individuals wouldn’t be being “serious”.

by Andy Hinton on February 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm. Reply #

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