Plainly not stupid!

IssueFebruary 2009
News by Esther Tew

On 6 December, two of us from Wales joined with a larger group to blockade the runway at Stansted Airport. I’ve now been sentenced for this action at Margam magistrates’ court.

This is the statement I gave to the judge explaining my actions:
“On 6 December I felt that I had no other option but to join 56 other worried citizens on a taxi-way at Stansted airport, directly halting the emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and drawing attention to the absurdity of building more runways while billions of people live under the shadow of dangerous climate change.

“Aviation is the fastest growing contributor to climate change and the expansion of Stansted – Britain’s third largest airport – would be responsible for emitting huge amounts of carbon dioxide. “The government has committed to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, but the Tyndall Centre has shown that airport expansion would make a mockery of those targets.

“Therefore, if we do not stop the expansion of the aviation industry then reports such as the IPCC Fourth Assessment and the Stern Review show that we may cross irreversible tipping points that will lead to: 1-2 billion people facing water shortages; hundreds of millions facing starvation; sea-levels rising 1 metre by the end of this century and 30-50% of all species becoming extinct.

“In light of these terrifying consequences I think that blocking a taxi-way for a few hours to highlight the growing impacts of aviation on our climate is justified.

“The inconvenience that might have been caused to some passengers is clearly unfortunate but also outweighed by the seriousness of the issue and the attention we brought to it that day.

“Besides, if I my goal was really to inconvenience passengers, I would simply get a job in baggage handling!”

Topics: Climate change