Thursday, August 09, 2007

Camp for Climate Action: This is Why I am Going


Why I am Going to the Camp for Climate Action
Calvin Jones
calvin.jones(at)gmail.com

From the 14 to the 21 of August 2007 people from all over the UK will come together to form the Camp for Climate Action at Heathrow airport. Described last year as ‘Glastonbury, science seminar and protest all in one’(1), we clearly have a lot to live up to. Last year this mixture of education, protest and entertainment captured the media imagination with the camp receiving unheard of news coverage for a climate change protest. At that time we focused on dirty coal(2), this year the focus has changed to the ever expanding aviation industry.

Deciding to highlight aviation growth with this years climate camp was not an easy decision. But we asked ourselves: ‘Where are government policies on climate change weakest or most badly needed?’. The answer is clearly the aviation industry: a heavy polluter that is highly subsidised and growing fast. Just imagine would could be done with the £9 Billion in subsides given to aviation(3). That is a lot of hospitals, schools…or tax cuts!

The government has climate policies that exclude aviation and aviation policies that exclude any consideration of climate change. According to a cross-party group of MPs who looked at this conflict, growth in aviation emissions are likely to entirely destroy progress made elsewhere(4). Whereas the government has shown it’s rhetoric to outshine it’s performance the Camp for Climate Action seeks to lead by example. The week long event will have a strong emphasis on learning, both about low carbon living and about communicating climate change. Renewable energy such as Solar and Wind will power the event, including on-site internet access, projectors and lighting(5).

Heathrow was chosen as the symbol of aviation due to it’s international profile and it’s vast carbon footprint—larger than many countries(6). It was also important to us that many local people are already strongly resisting the expansion of Heathrow, we felt a strong desire to strengthen their fight.

We have three aims:
  1. To highlight government hypocrisy in pursuing both a climate plan and an entirely inconsistent airport expansion plan.
  2. To support local communities i there struggle against loosing homes under the ever expanding tarmac of Heathrow.
  3. To educate ourselves and all those who join us about low carbon living.

We do all this with a simple philosophy:

Climate change is our generations challenge, it must not be left to burden our children. As governments fail us the realisation is clear, action is our responsibility: we are the ones who we have been waiting for.


References:

1. http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/johann_hari/article1359823.ece

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_for_Climate_Action

3. AEF, Hidden Cost of Flying, 2003

4. Environmental Audit Committee, 2002-2004, 9th Report (Budget 2003 and Aviation)

5. http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/aims.php

6. http://bristlingbadger.blogspot.com/2007/05/heathrow-uks-worst-emitter.html

Labels:

Climate Change Action

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