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Mahatma Gandhi once said:

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Paradox of Drift

Dear Ivor

Do you need a hand with the paper planes? Apparently those nice people at BAA have agreed to accept an independent body monitoring the volume of flights coming into Heathrow if it gets the go-ahead for a third runway. Although in the past they did agree that if they got a fifth terminal they wouldn’t ask for an additional runway. An oversight I’m sure and probably the planned sixth terminal is only a little shed serving the odd tea and coffee!

Now you have become a self-appointed honorary member of NOTRAG thought you might need a bit of background info. It is a fact that more people want to fly, according to the office of National Statistics numbers of passengers in UK airports has risen from 4 million in 1954 to 228 million in 2005 and is expected to reach 500 million in 2030. Was I must admit a little boggled by those numbers! It is also a fact that additional flights will have a detrimental affect on the global environment, even the government recognises this. So which argument wins the economy or the environment?

In the past we have adopted a spend now pay later attitude, encouraged by easy access to credit and a belief in the strength of our economy. Before you say it, I am not going to be pious about this, I too have succumbed to a bit of plastic swiping in my time. However the recent downturn has exposed the fragility of the global financial system. There were warning voices but these were ignored. With hind sight we can look back and heap blame on that bank, this government or personal greed. However we can learn from the mistakes and build a more sustainable system for the future.

The environment on the other hand does not provide second chances. The warning voices are there; Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace to name but a few. Are we going to adopt a fly now pay later attitude? If we default on the environment the foreclosure could be catastrophic.

Whilst in Googleland was wondering if politicians suffer from the paradox of drift, the more they look for answers the further away they get from the truth!

We must stay focussed, see you later.

Poll xx

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