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Should expansion of airports be stopped?

Fiona Crack | 14:16 UK time, Monday, 13 August 2007

Today we discussed a topic that probably touches most of us in some way or another.


The story. A climate change protest camp is being set up outside Heathrow airport with thousands of protesters expected this week at the "Camp for Climate Action", which opposes the expansion of London's biggest airport. About 150 campaigners have begun building a camp less than a kilometre outside the airport's perimeter.

In response, airport operator BAA warned it would not allow passengers to be "harassed or obstructed". And worryingly for the airport, protesters from all over the world are planning a week of demonstrations which will highlight what they claim are the links between climate change and aviation. There's also talk of "mass direct action" -- planned for next Sunday and a website supporting the camp has promised acts of "civil disobedience".

This debate, beyond what's happening here today has resonance the world over. And our question is this:


Do you fly regularly and if you do, do you feel guilty about it ? Is there an alternative to air travel -- and would you use it -- for the good of the planet ? What should the airlines be doing ? Different aircraft do different things to the environment -- some of the old "oil burners" spew out huge amounts of ozone-damaging emissions compared to the big, new efficient long haul aircraft. Also, who are the protestors to tell the emerging countries you cannot be allowed to catch up with the west and use air travel to boost your economy ? On top of that who live around airports -- what do they think ? Many of them actually embrace the whole thing -- it's their job, their mortgage, their lives in some cases.

As ever:


TEXT: +44 77 86 20 60 80

PHONE: +44 20 70 83 72 72

talk later, Peter :-)


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