Greenpeace Blog

Government "wobbling" over Heathrow

Posted by bex — 28 February 2008 at 6:35pm - Comments

Heathrow voices tour

Out and about on our Heathrow Voices tour last year.

If you're one of the many, many thousands of people involved in the opposition to Heathrow expansion, you may want to give yourself a pat on the back. The day after the 'consultation' closed, there's news that we're getting the message through to 'the highest levels of Labour'.

In one of two Heathrow stories in today's Evening Standard, the paper's chief political correspondent wrote:

Ministers are under increasing pressure to rethink plans for Heathrow expansion after 18,000 people lodged objections to the plans.

The scale of the protest is understood to have taken the government by surprise and is causing concern at the highest levels of Labour at the political fall-out if plans for a third runway are given the go-ahead.

Which is the real security threat?

Posted by jossc — 28 February 2008 at 3:13pm - Comments

Heathrow climate protest: yes it really is this serious

Two audacious and well executed climate actions have deservedly grabbed headlines this week - Plane Stupid's 'No third runway' banner drop on the House of Commons yesterday perfectly complimenting our own Heathrow Airport plane protest on Monday. Both sets of activists involved spoke eloquently to the media about why they were there: to expose the government's 'public consultation' as a sham, and to remind us all that climate change is the greatest threat that we face, and we have little time to start getting serious about it.

Energy companies sued by Inuits over sinking village

Posted by jamie — 28 February 2008 at 2:37pm - Comments

I just found this great story via Treehugger: a small Inuit community is suing 24 big, bad energy companies, claiming damages due to climate change. The melting ice pack has pushed up sea levels and exposed the residents of Kivalina to an increasing number of storms; the cost of relocating the entire village (which is sinking into the sea) is placed at US$400 million. Arctic communities are of course extremely vulnerable to the effects of changing weather patterns and are feeling the effects of climate change right now.

The Weekly Geek: micro-hydro power

Posted by bex — 27 February 2008 at 9:23pm - Comments

It's Weekly Geek time, and this week we're looking at micro-hydro power: a truly reliable, highly efficient, and extremely clean (it has no direct carbon emissions) way of generating electricity.

It needs no fuel but offers a constant supply of electricity which often increases in winter, along with demand. It has a long life cycle (typically 25 years or more). It can have low implementation and maintenance costs. And, unlike some large scale hydroelectric power schemes, it has minimal environmental and visual impacts.

Read all about it: our official response to the Heathrow consultation

Posted by bex — 27 February 2008 at 7:16pm - Comments

We've formally submitted our main concerns about Heathrow expansion to the government (almost as if this was a real consultation and the government was genuinely seeking views on airport expansion...).

You can read the full submission, but this is the introduction:

Greenpeace believes that if the government is serious about tackling climate change, there should be no question of increasing the number of flights coming in and out of Heathrow Airport. Instead the Government should be radically rethinking its out-of-date policy on aviation, implementing strategies to cap the number of flights at current levels with a view to reducing them in the future and move towards a sustainable, low-carbon transport system.

Greenpeace also considers this consultation process to be seriously flawed: designed to push through a decision that has already been made and without properly taking into account the effect on the environment, or seriously considering alternatives.

Plane Stupid takes protest to Parliament

Posted by bex — 27 February 2008 at 11:18am - Comments

BAA's HQ

Plane Stupid protest at the Houses of Parliament

Another day, another voice loudly opposing plans for a new runway at Heathrow. Today, Plane Stupid campaigners have scaled the Houses of Parliament to protest at the collusion between government and the aviation industry.

In the absence of a genuine consultation with Londoners, the protest is a brilliant way to get the word out on the day the Heathrow 'consultation' ends. They've dropped banners reading 'BAA's HQ' down parliament's facade, and are enlightening the great and the good on their way to Prime Ministers' Question Time below by throwing paper aeroplanes - made from secret Whitehall documents that prove BAA has written parts of the consultation and the government has already decided to build a third runway - from the roof.

The view from the top

Posted by annaj — 26 February 2008 at 4:29pm - Comments

Talking to security on the cherry picker

Anna (left) at Heathrow airport yesterday

I’ve been campaigning a long time, though I've never done anything quite like this. Walking out onto the tarmac of the world's biggest airport and climbing onto a plane wasn't like any other Monday morning I've experienced. But with no sign of the government changing its mind on airport expansion, it was a step we felt had to be taken.

Time to register for Glastonbury

Posted by tracy — 26 February 2008 at 4:22pm - Comments

I've been getting emails for months now about the summer festival options, there were even promises of sunshine (I don’t believe them), and with spring just around the corner it's about time I started to figure out what I'll be doing.

After slogging through the mud for about a week at Glastonbury last year with the Greenpeace team, the thought of going back made my heart sink. But then I thought what if it really is sunny this year? Oh what joy I remember in those fleeting sunny moments. Ok, I can't resist it, I want to go.

Green Living: leave it off

Posted by tracy — 26 February 2008 at 2:46pm - Comments

Tomorrow night is the start of E-day. This isn't a drug fuelled dance party in east London, but a chance to show what we do together, no matter how small, can make a big difference.

E-day, or Energy Saving Day, is an experimental action by an independent organisation that aims to tackle climate change in a "fun, positive, evidence-based and inclusive" manner. It is made up of many familiar groups, businesses and individuals including Christain Aid, City of London, National Trust, National Grid, Tesco, us and, oddly, power companies.

Protest taking off

Posted by jossg — 26 February 2008 at 11:11am - Comments

Written yesterday for The Guardian's Comment is free.

Today's Greenpeace demo at Heathrow upped the ante of climate change activism. But if that's what it takes to get the government to act...

In 1971, the United States government proposed testing its nuclear arsenal near the tiny island of Amchitka - a wildlife paradise off the west coast of Alaska. A number of protest groups sprang up. One particular group of people came together with the idea to charter a boat - the Phyllis Cormack - and sail it into the nuclear testing site. Through placing themselves in the area of the bomb blast, they wanted to draw a line in the sand, and to make sure that the whole world would bear witness to what their government was doing. Later, the US government called off its tests. Greenpeace was born.

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