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United Kingdom - Sept 24

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Mayor wants to close Heathrow

Chris Gourlay, The Times
THE London mayor Boris Johnson is proposing to close down Heathrow and replace it with a 24-hour airport in the Thames estuary.

The airport, most likely to be located on an artificial island off Sheppey in Kent, would have four runways, but capacity for two more if required.

Passengers would be transported to and from central London on high-speed trains in about 35 minutes. Luggage could be checked in at the railway station.

The airport would be connected to the Channel tunnel rail link, opening up fast passenger and freight routes to northern Europe. Brussels, for example, would be about 90 minutes away by train.

Johnson’s aides believe the scheme, loosely modelled on Hong Kong international airport, could take just six years to build, eventually leading to a phased closure of Heathrow and possibly even Gatwick...
(21 September 2008)
Looks like Boris isn't expecting peak oil anytime soon-SO



British public 'unwilling' to pay for climate change bill

Juliette Jowitt, The Guardian
Public confusion over the environmental agenda appears to be as high as ever, with a majority in the UK calling for more action to tackle climate change while at the same time saying they are not willing to pay more to help.

Nearly two-thirds of people told a poll by Opinium they thought recent government measures to boost energy conservation needed to go much further, and half said they were doing their bit by installing insulation or turning down the thermostat.

However more than seven out of 10 of the nearly 2,000 people questioned said they were unwilling to pay higher taxes to combat environmental issues, and a similar number believed the green agenda had been "hijacked" to increase taxes...
(24 September 2008)
As in the US, everyone wants to save the environment, but not to pay for it. The idea that the economy exists somehow outside of the environment seems to be pervasive.-SO


It needn't cost the earth

Ben Caldecott, The Guardian
The environment movement has been catapulted into the heart of UK politics over the last 3 years. It's obvious that many more people are aware of and care about climate change and environment issues than ever before. To his credit, David Cameron and his "Vote Blue, Go Green" mantra has helped to make environmentalism politically mainstream. For all the political parties, robust environment policies are now essential for electoral success.

This shift isn't unique to the UK. Throughout the world we are seeing the growing clout of environment groups in political debates. If we are to deal with the plethora of human-created problems that are destroying our planet, this shift is both positive and essential.

There are a number of barriers, however, created by government and green groups, that could undermine this progress. Just as millions of people are becoming aware of the great threats to our environment, they are being frustrated by messy policies and priest-like environmentalists.

If we don't get our act together and make environmentalism more relevant to everyday life, the population at large will stop listening. In the UK, there are a number of reasons why people could quickly become fed up with aspects of environmentalism...
(24 September 2008)

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