You’ll no doubt have seen the parliament vote on Heathrow. It indicates the appalling disregard by a majority of politicians for the threat of climate change and for sensible economic policies more broadly. Only 5 out of 26 Greater Manchester MPs voted against expansion. Click here to see who voted how. Credit to those who did the right thing. As for the others, even disregarding climate change, what were they thinking, voting more billions to infrastructure in the South East?
Friends of the Earth said it very well in this short statement:
“MPs who backed this climate-wrecking new runway will be harshly judged by history.
“The evidence on the accelerating climate crisis, which is already hitting the world’s most vulnerable people, is overwhelming – and expanding Heathrow will only intensify the misery.
“The aviation industry has been promising cleaner planes forever and a day, with little progress or investment.
“With no government plan to mitigate Heathrow’s carbon emissions, or to address its already illegal levels of local air pollution, it’s astounding that this scheme has been given the go-ahead.
“The only credible vote was to reject the third runway.”
As most Greater Manchester MPs are from the Labour party, SERA’s statement is relevant, though the “cakeist” punch line saying you can have economic growth and environmental protection is fantasy, as followers of SSM will surely know. SERA lobbied Labour members to vote against the third runway which was also the position of the Labour leadership which inexplicably did not whip their members, so that more Labour MPs nationally voted for rather than against – and this included some front benchers.
Greater Manchester also has an aviation problem. Councils rely on a contribution from Manchester Airport’s profits which they part own. While the Metro Mayor and Combined Authority want us to be a Green City, the airport plans further expansion, and markets frivolous short haul flights: yet degrowing aviation seems to be something that can’t be mentioned in “polite company”, or at least when you do you will be ignored.
Think of that as you watch our moorlands burning in the driest June after the hottest May, releasing yet more stored Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere: I can smell the smoke as I write this.
I may be a member of the Labour Party, but I will neither campaign nor vote for people whose actions contribute to runaway ecological and climate collapse.
A personal view from Mark H Burton