I have just been reading the BBC News article about the protests at Heathrow, and the associated Have Your Say page. Which, for once, is pleasantly free from unnecessary capital letters (IDIOTS) and poor spelling.
It might not surprise you to know that I don't have much time for these self-righteouss tent dwellers, and I am disappointed that in the name of a "peaceful protest" they are seemingly being allowed to dwell illegally on Imperial College land (wasting police time, money and resources in the process). If you ask me, they should be thrown out, now. End of. Doubtless someone will cry "deplorable" and "irresponsible" but I was quite amused by the comment by the guy who wondered if he could get away with doing 33mph in a 30 Zone by claiming to be "protesting peacefully". There is some logic there.
I find these people extremely selfish, and they will doubtless inconvenience lots of holiday makers despite assurances that they won't; apparently they are only targeting BAA. That's like closing a supermarket and claiming that those who wish to shop there won't be inconvenienced.
I also feel that they need to get their science right. Let's see some hard facts rather than random claims of "more air travel will lead to dead babies". I don't doubt that we should be working to be responsible and curb our effect on the environment, but as far as I understand it air travel is not as big a factor as people make it out to be. It's just an easy target. Why aren't people protesting that China is building two coal power stations a week?
I also think that the effects of Heathrow's planned expansion - and the alternatives - need to be considered. Will not expanding curb air travel? Probably not. Instead, pressure will mount on other airports, in this country and abroad, and expansion will doubtless take place somewhere. Furthermore, the holding time for aeroplanes above Heathrow will not be reduced. Correct me if I am wrong but a plane in a holding pattern still outputs Carbon Dioxide.
Like others on the Have Your Say page, I am also keen to know how the illegal campers who came from abroad got here. Did they fly? I'll also bet that those who weren't so hypocritcal came by car or bus. Possibly not one which had been well maintained and certainly one which would have given off Carbon Dioxide and other nastier gases. If you're so concerned about limiting your Carbon Footprint, why didn't you stay at home?
Finally, am I alone in wondering what sort of idiot buys a house in the Heathrow flight path and then thinks it's perfectly OK for them to complain about the noise?