The Heathrow decision is a menu without the prices

Business in this age of market fundamentalism is cock-a-hoop with the Davies report decision to recommend Heathrow.   They would be, wouldn’t they, since the report has focused largely on the supposed economic benefits while claiming that all the toxic underside of the decision can be ‘managed’.   However the feasibility of the latter needs to be subject to a realistic appraisal, not just assumed.   It is said that night flights will be banned between 11.30pm and 6am, but ‘respite periods’ when some areas don’t suffer overhead noise will be reduced from half the working day to just a third.   The report allows for a huge 54% increase in passenger numbers (more than a quarter of a million a year), but claims this is compatible with a cap on aviation emissions just above current levels – in fact a wing and a prayer that is dependent on big increases in cleaner engines which may or may not be delivered.

The report tries to calm anxieties about the future by saying that a fourth Heathrow runway should be ruled out by legislation.   But we’ve been here before: the £3,000 cap on tuition fees was broken once politicians were through an election, and Osborne’s ludicrous proposal to require a permanent budget surplus will be broken when it is necessary or convenient.   We were told long ago when the fourth Heathrow was built that there would be no fifth; surprise, surprise, there was.  The report claims that the number of jobs generated will be increased by 18,000 to 77,000.   But the overwhelming proportion of these jobs will be low-tech and low pay.

Then there are the claimed economic benefits which also need to be weighed carefully.   The key one is that it is said it will yield benefits of between £131-147bn over 60 years, that is between £2.2bn and £2.4bn a year,  which is precisely 0.15% of Britain’s current annual national output – useful, but hardly a game-changer, especially when measured against the increasingly miserable living conditions of a large chunk of west London.  It is said that Heathrow expansion is essential for business and ‘connectivity’, yet the proportion of flights dedicated to business (according to official figures) is now lower than it was in 2000. It is said that it will lead to cheaper air fares, but that is far more dependent on global air travel market conditions and the global oil price than on increased capacity.

However the really big question, which the Davies report never faces up to, is whether a fresh Heathrow expansion is compatible with Britain’s legal commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 when by that date on current trends aviation emissions will generate a volume of emissions equal to all other sources put together.   In other words it is assumed that all other emission sources – industry, households, power generation and non-aviation transport – have been reduced to zero!   If the Davies report believes that, they’ll believe anything.

2 thoughts on “The Heathrow decision is a menu without the prices

  1. yet again the tories allow it yet again the people will suffer but restrictions nah they get around those quite easy with their friends in power is it more jobs well there will be to build it but afterwards youl find youd be lucky to find new jobs has profit is the way forward not jobs con trails are we now to suffer more of these i wonder with whots in the air and the fracking to come which poisens will kill us first jeff3

  2. I keep hoping “our” Mr Meacher will write upon our warmongering GovCorps efforts to get parliamentary approval For “Libya 2” in Syria.

    The Labour Party (lite) has already stated it does not intend to block the Tories’ new bloodbath this time around. WHY NOT? Why then did they block it last time around? Lord Hah Hah reminds me very much of his forerunner; A Mr Duff Cooper who, if I remember correctly resigned in a fit of pique when it looked as though Chamberlain had obviated the need for the US (DC Corp) and UK (CoLCorp)s’ war. Duff Cooper even looks his fellow warmonger to the Bankers; Lord Hah Hah.

    It should be noted that the ISIL’s (IS) injured are being move to and treated in Israel. IS(trademark) is a proxy army, trained and funded by the US and its allies (Vassals). There is I would suggest a 0% chance that Michael Fallon intends to bomb the Proxy US army. My view is that our glorious leaders intend to invade and bomb the people, the Army, the Cities, and infrastructure of Syria with the intention, as in Libya of removing the legitimate leader of Syria. Another energy/pipeline war with another million or more dead.

    Labour must do this one thing right and stop this from happening. Our GovCorps actions reflect upon the people of that country, and I for one give no consent for this criminality. The Tunisian False Flag is already unravelling as have all the others including 7/7 and 9/11. That the Mockingbird Media tell lies is only to be expected of course. But in this case even the Tavistock Daily Mail has told of the man reported to have been the controller of the shooters as the police stood idle for Half an Hour.

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