Boris Johnson Troubles the Greens

Medway and Kent Greens have responded with dismay to Boris Johnson’s comment that a Thames Estuary Airport would be good for Medway.

“No one is giving climate change a consideration” says David Davison, Medway Green Party member.

He adds:

“Aviation is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world economy, and has grown globally at nearly 9% per annum. In the UK, the Department for Transport forecast that there will be roughly 200% more air passengers by 2030 based on 2007 levels. If this comes to pass, it represents a serious threat to combating climate change because aviation is an area in which the technological options for decarbonisation are limited.”

Hazel Dawe from Kent Greens points out that Boris Johnson’s argument that a new airport in the area will create jobs is a misapprehension:

“It is a commonly stated fallacy that increased transport links mean prosperity and jobs. They can equally well drain jobs and resources out of an area. Just look at the effects of London commuting on the home counties ‘doughnut’. Yes, there is more money but much of it gets spent in London rather than where people live. Exhausted commuters have no time and energy to spend in their own communities”.

Furthermore, Trish Marchant, Medway Green, comments on Boris’s claim that bird strike, the danger of causing accidents when aeroplanes hit birds in flight, can be sorted out easily:

“I can’t see how Boris Johnson can say that bird strike can be sorted out easily. The RSPB have cited the Thames Estuary as one of the top five most important sites in the UK for water birds wintering or migrating. Because of this the RSPB have deemed the proposal unsafe. Even with an aggressive bird hazard management programme, the hazard to aircraft posed by birds is severe. At best the hazard is equal to the greatest risk at any of the present top 10 UK civil airports and, at worst, the level of risk is up to 12 times higher”

Trish adds: “The Green Party consider that rather than wasting billions on additional airport construction that will both seriously damage the environment and cause misery to local communities, investment should be aimed at providing extensive and affordable everyday public transport”.

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