Climate concern before airport plans

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One of the greatest threats to Romney Marsh over the next century and beyond will be from flooding.

The sea level is and will continue to rise as a result of increased melting of the ice caps, in particular over Antarctica and Greenland. This increased melting is a direct consequence of global warming caused by human activities, such as burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Despite two cold winters on the trot in the UK, last year was globally one of the hottest on record in modern history. As individuals, the single most damaging activity precipitating climate change we can undertake on a regular basis is to fly.

What an extraordinary legacy it then is that the supporters of Lydd Airport expansion wish to leave future generations.

I would much rather see those who could be employed at the airport on benefits instead, or better still, be employed in a socially and environmentally meaningful way. In any event, aviation jobs are not even economically sustainable in the mid to long term, as peak oil bites and fuel prices escalate. These are dead end jobs. If aviation fuel were taxed at 160 percent, in the same way that vehicle fuel is, rather than not at all, flying would be a lot less affordable already now.

Why do we so strongly encourage this luxury activity in the full knowledge of the catastrophic environmental damage that will ensue, perhaps not in our lifetimes, but certainly in that of generations to come? Can human folly manifest itself more starkly than in the desire to expand Lydd airport?

Let’s hope that at least the planning inspector will see reason in the weeks to come.

Dominic Manning