Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Stand up for your right to Camp

That’s right, me who hates camping says, 'Stand up for your right to CAMP!'

The Camp for Climate Change is going to be somewhere in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport on the 14th – 21st August 2007. The Camp for Climate Change is an awareness raising activity which aims to make customers flying out of Britain this summer aware of the damage CO2 is causing to the environment and the part that air traffic has to play in that. I’m not sure how much awareness will be raised at the airport when little Jimmy has run off with his brother’s PS2 and the lady with the highlights in front is having a hissy fit because she can’t take the ten litres of gunk she spreads all over her face in her hand luggage, but that’s not my point. My point is that BAA tried to stop the whole thing. BAA, a huge airport authority making mega wonga took on three individuals and took them to court under some ‘harassment’ law and said they would disrupt the running of the airport. The harassment law that BAA’s many lawyers spent many hours discovering to stop this planned bedevilment taking place on their hallowed grounds is intended to be used to stop ‘stalkers’ and the likes. Seeing as BAA is not strictly speaking ‘a person’ but a huge corporation I do not entirely understand who John Stewart (of the Heathrow Campaign Against Aircraft Noise) and Josh Garman and Leo Murray (of the anti-aviation group Plane Stupid) were supposed to be stalking. Unfortunately, they will now not be taking part in The Camp for Climate Change, but many others will be. George Monbiot’s article is far more eloquent than mine, but I agree when he says that this isn’t only about protecting the planet we live on, but protecting our democratic voice. If we allow big businesses to deny us of our freedom of speech we might as well accept that the battle to drastically lower CO2 emissions is lost. If on the other hand you remember the Poll Tax and you live near Heathrow, maybe you’ll join Monbiot and the others to make the people’s voice heard.

Also the results of The Clarity of Night 'Halo' contest came out. I should have mentioned it yesterday but was suffering a bad case of ‘Can’t string a sentence together’ due to insomnia! Congratulations to all of you who entered and especially those who won prizes and honourable mentions. There was a huge amount of entries this time and there was a moment there when I thought I wasn’t going to get through all the stories, but I did. And off the top of my head two of the entries I voted for were placed.


c.s. said...

thanks for the useful information! my primary school recently launched a climate change awareness programme, and our local Channel News Asia is also running a programme called Saving Gaia. guess it's time for me to spread the message about how relevant all these are now.

Jon M said...

It's great that people will stand up to these goliaths! Even when they're camp...is that not what you meant?...have I said something...?

Verilion said...

Yeah good on you CS, glad the awareness spreading campaign is working already.
And Jon! I guess I walked into that one!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

V you are so spot on with this post. When corporates gain the might of government and prevent freedom of speech and action, then we are on the road to doom - and the implications are huge. I hope this awareness campaign is a success.

Calvin Jones said...

Camp for Climate Action

From the 14th to the 21st of August 2007 people from all over the UK will come together to form the Camp for Climate Action at Heathrow airport. Described last year as 'Glastonbury, science seminar and protest all in one'1, we clearly have a lot to live up to. Last year this mixture of education, protest and entertainment captured the media imagination with the camp receiving unheard of news coverage for a climate change protest. At that time we focused on dirty coal2, this year the focus has changed to the ever expanding aviation industry.

Deciding to highlight aviation growth with this years climate camp was not an easy decision. But we asked ourselves: 'Where are government policies on climate change weakest and most badly needed?'. The answer is clearly the aviation industry: a heavy polluter that is highly subsidised and growing fast. Just imagine would could be done with the £9 Billion in subsides given to aviation3. That is a lot of hospitals, schools...or tax cuts! The government has climate policies that exclude aviation and aviation policies that exclude any consideration of climate change. According to a cross-party group of MPs who looked at this conflict, growth in aviation emissions are likely to entirely destroy progress made elsewhere4.

Whereas the government has shown it's rhetoric to outshine it's performance the Camp for Climate Action seeks to lead by example. The week long event will have a strong emphasis on learning, both about low carbon living and about communicating climate change. Renewable energy such as Solar and Wind will power the event, including on-site internet access, projectors and lighting5.

Heathrow was chosen as the symbol of aviation due to it's international profile and it's vast carbon footprint—larger than many countries6. It was also important to us that many local people are already strongly resisting the expansion of Heathrow, we felt a strong desire to strengthen there fight.

We have three aims:

1.To highlight government hypocrisy in pursuing both a climate plan and an entirely inconsistent airport expansion plan.
2.To support local communities i there struggle against loosing homes under the ever expanding tarmac of Heathrow.
3.To educate ourselves and all those who join us about low carbon living.

We do all this with a simple philosophy:

Climate change is our generations challenge, it must not be left to burden our children. As governments fail us the realisation is clear, action is our responsibility: we are the ones who we have been waiting for.

3.AEF, Hidden Cost of Flying, 2003
4.Environmental Audit Committee, 2002-2004, 9th Report (Budget 2003 and Aviation)

Verilion said...

Hi Vanilla, I have ideas of this happening before. In fact my uncle was telling me about strike laws today, grr.
Calvin, thanks for dropping by and your comment. Hope you don't think I was being cynical, I do believe that campaigning for Climate Change is a very relevant and important issue. I will repost your comment into a main post as you have gone to so much trouble and will also include links to your blogs. I wish you all the best with the Camp later in August, I wish I could take part, but I will be encouraging londoners to do so.


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