Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Runways and referendums...

If you were watching The Daily Politics on BBC2 today you would have noticed that there were protests today at Westminster. One on the roof about airport expansion and a march for a referendum on the European Treaty.
One way to reduce carbon emmissions is to travel less.
Planes release lots of CO2 (amongst other gases and stuff)high up in the atmosphere, pretty much where you least want greenhouse gases to be. To fill a plane up with people you have to get them from their house to the plane and, while the notion of everyone walking or cycling round the M25 to Heathrow is rather appealing, I am pretty certain that a lot more CO2 is burnt getting them there. I still think the best bet is to reduce air flight as much as possible and encourage a better rail network feeding into Europe because less CO2 will be used getting people to local train stations than a centralised (southern!) airport.
Logically, if we really want to stop the rise in CO2 in the future, stop building larger and larger airports, stop building wider and wider roads and stop putting stand by buttons on power consuming equipment.
A referendum on Europe? Regardless of whether this is a treaty or constitutes a change of constitution it does feel like the general public is being sidelined by parliament about whether we have any say over what happens to us in the wider context of Europe. Trust, once lost, is always harder to regain.
Even if a public vote isn't necessary in this case and this treaty is simply a 'new improved lite' version of the constitution, a little more effort spent on explanation of the treaty and what it actually means for us all, wouldn't go amiss.
http://europa.eu/lisbon_treaty/glance/index_en.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6901353.stm

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