Mike Hosking: Climate change concerns can't stand in the way of progress

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 5 Mar 2020, 8:36PM
Activists think they've succeeded in stopping Heathrow's third runway. (Photo / AP)

Mike Hosking: Climate change concerns can't stand in the way of progress

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 5 Mar 2020, 8:36PM

Last week the climate fundamentalists got a victory over the Heathrow airport expansion.

The court found the government had not addressed the climate change impact of that run way and therefore they decided in favour of the plaintiffs.

The activists will argue they have stopped the third run way. They have done nothing of the sort - not if the people who want a third run way decide to push ahead.

Now, it might well be a technicality, or it could be an activist judge, because lets be frank, offsetting the climate impact of a new run way isn’t hard.

Will it have a climate impact? Yes it will, because it involves planes running of fossil fuels taking off and landing. But we deal with this in ever increasing aspects of our lives.

They’re called off sets, they’re called trees, they’re called carbon syncs we have a carbon market.

Rightly or wrongly – I’d argue largely wrongly - we have collectively decided we can carry on as normal and with a bit of jiggery pokery we can convince ourselves we do enough to justify all sorts of activity and flying is one of them.

And in the court case and zealousness of the activists is the danger.

Love the planet all you want, but what we mustn’t do is stop living, or stop growing, stop exploring, stop challenging, stop expanding, stop innovating.

If all the activists want is for us to combust and the earth goes back to forest then what has been the point?

And make no mistake, the hard edge of this lot want exactly that. They hate cars and gas and planes and mass production and factories and plastic. They basically hate modern life.

And part of modern life is of course the plane and its ability to connect us in a way that’s profitable productive rewarding and exciting. Travel of this sort has changed the world, largely for the better.

And if we start listening to the nutters, or worse, if the courts start courting them, we're buggered.

Which brings us to the futility of it all. The ultimate court of course is the parliament

And if you have looked at the parliament in Britain it is a sea of blue as a result of a remarkable victory just before Christmas last year. They are the arbiters of whether Heathrow gets a third runway.

So the activists, I suppose, are entitled to their day in court, but all that energy money and time is for nought if the real power decides progress and modern living beats a desire to return to the dark ages.