Climate change protest group intends to shut down LHR in June and July

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Occasional Passenger 14 Jun 2019
at 15:41
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Hello,
    long time reader, first time poster since I’d be affected by the action:
    On June 18, and 10 days in July, the climate activist group “extinction rebellion” intends to shut down LHR with, among other tactics, drones.
    Originally discovered by Reuters
    Further sources:
    The Independent
    BBC

    So, will the authorities handle this one better than the Gatwick incident?
    And, is anyone already changing travel plans because the activists have graciously given advance notice?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    It’s hard to imagine that the authorities will handle it worse than they did the Gatwick incident.

    This is very different as the perpetrators in this case will be known and visible and I hope that the authorities will act against them robustly and without mercy.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    canucklad
    Participant

    It’s a rather odd tactic by the protesters to warn us before hand ?
    I suspect that they’re going to try and claim the moral high ground when the authorities do take pre-emptive action.

    As someone who is sympathetic to the environmental lobby, I just don’t see this as anything other than grand stand posturing.

    Continually targeting the aviation industry is a lazy way to highlight this critically important subject.
    And more damaging, doesn’t allow the complexity of the whole picture to be seen and discussed.

    Grounding airliners is small fry compared to the damage caused by car ownership and if they bothered to check, the carbon footprint left by the rail industry in the UK actually exceeds that of aviation , but they’re not going to disrupt our rail network are they ?
    Then again I don’t suppose they really need too : )

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    I have every sympathy with those who are trying to reduce environmental degradation, but sabotaging the operation of a busy commercial airport is, for many reasons, not the right way to achieve either their goal, or to elicit sympathy.

    People generally do not fly for pleasure, simply because it isn’t a pleasure, they fly because they have, or want, to get from A to B and there is often no viable alternative. That some may choose to do so in comfort by travelling premium class is only partly relevant, despite the bile vented upon so-called ‘wealthy capitalist pigs’ by the environmentalists.

    My son works for an NGO which identifies and tries to solve environmental challenges. He has to travel from Brussels to Murmansk at some time in the next few months. His choices are a long and uncomfortable train journey, with several overnights, roughly 5 days travelling each way, and about €400 each way without any accommodation other than a basic seat, or a two sector 8 hour air journey each way with a return fare of less than €500.

    Until rail travel becomes more practical, and I would love to see that happen, air travel is here to stay.


    TiredOldHack2
    Participant

    Oh, whoopie. Guess who’s due to fly out to SCL from LHR on 18 June?


    JohnnyG
    Participant

    Good tactic, state disruption at LHR, all resources go there, then disrupt LGW or Man


    Folium
    Participant

    Good tactic, state disruption at LHR, all resources go there, then disrupt LGW or Man

    Not sure if nice middle-class kids know where Gatwick is, and certainly are not aware of Manchester airport’s existence.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    TominScotland
    Participant

    I take it that the timing of these protests at Heathrow has absolutely nothing to do with the oft-stated opposition to the expansion of LHR by our likely next PM? Return of Boris island?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    https://amp.theguardian.com/money/2019/jun/09/flight-airline-travel-rail-family-environment

    Interesting comparisons here between rail, air, and sea travel. The article appears quite sound and well researched.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    canucklad
    Participant

    An interesting article indeed, yet it again doesn’t tell the whole story.
    Aviation is an easy target , and when you get a cute little girl applying emotional blackmail to the story , the call to action against the aviation industry becomes more compelling.

    A few years ago I was tasked with heading up an inhouse corporate imitative to reduce our carbon footprint and support our chosen global charity . I decided to independently research the relevant data. I was surprised at the bigger picture stats.

    My conclusions
    Rail travel is far from a clean alternative.. If you take into account the annual steel production to maintain our railways it soon becomes apparent that its not clean. Then from a clean air perspective you then have pockets of high air pollution that surround rail stations . And that’s not taking into account the energy pulled from coal fired power stations to drive the electric locomotives across the network.
    Car travel is even worse, our roads are congested. Never mind metropolitan areas , my local villages gas station is constantly busy . Multiply that nationwide and the petrol consumption is staggering .
    Worse of all, is our insatiable appetite for fast food burgers . The beef cattle industry is a double whammy. Cows farting on ground that once had trees growing on them.

    So in summary, rather than picking on an easy target, a better message would be a more balanced approach to reach our emission targets .

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    I love those corporate initiatives. They offer plenty of scope for meetings and studies but few corporates seem to do very much, I suppose because it conflicts with making short term profits. Sadly governments are concerned mainly with popularity, soundbites and gestures so don’t expect much leadership there either.

    True, a balanced approach makes much more sense, however there will always be quick wins. The Energy Savings Trust indicates a plane journey from London to Edinburgh involves about 5x the emissions of a train journey, and the car about 4x, so probably no surprise where the focus is. I don’t think anyone would suggest the train is ‘clean’ but it does compare favourably to the plane or the car.


    canucklad
    Participant

    I don’t think anyone would suggest the train is ‘clean’ but it does compare favourably to the plane or the car.

    At point of use, yes airlines are indeed “dirtier” than trains….

    But when you calculate in that British Steel is/was a major supplier to Network Rail, providing more than 100,000 tonnes of rail a year , and realise they’re one of many companies that Network Rail have in their supply chain , you need to reimagine the problem.

    The revised calculation has to take into account the energy required to produce that steel and suddenly the figures should become as controversial as faced by the aviation industry.

    If the Energy Saving Trust take into account the holistic picture , I’ll stand corrected , but I suspect they’ve used the easier to calculate POC figures ?

    but few corporates seem to do very much,

    You’re right Simon too many just pay lip service, I’m lucky and proud of the fact that my company does actually walk the walk and takes a leading role in a high profile campaigns . Although they are also anti-plane : )


    stevescoots
    Participant

    I love those corporate initiatives. They offer plenty of scope for meetings and studies but few corporates seem to do very much, I suppose because it conflicts with making short term profits. Sadly governments are concerned mainly with popularity, soundbites and gestures so don’t expect much leadership there either.

    True, a balanced approach makes much more sense, however there will always be quick wins. The Energy Savings Trust indicates a plane journey from London to Edinburgh involves about 5x the emissions of a train journey, and the car about 4x, so probably no surprise where the focus is. I don’t think anyone would suggest the train is ‘clean’ but it does compare favourably to the plane or the car.

    Correct, I have an entire department that deals with reporting and compliance, we have to collect data and evidence right through our supply chain and are then set targets by, not naming names but blue-chip electronics companies with household brand names. Of course, it’s all rubbish and goes a little like this……..

    Customer: sign up to the agreement, you have 1 year to comply or we have to pull the business
    Vendor: that’s impossible unless we invest xx amount and we force our suppliers to do the same, this includes reporting my global travel carbon footprint. Can we pretty please increase the unit cost x 0.002 USD (on a 0.15 unit) or have a 3-year contract to recover the costs?
    Customer: NO! comply to our aspirational target (not the local legal target) or we give business to a new vendor…who will have 2 years to comply, oh and where is my cost down because we figure if you can get ROI in 3 years then you have some fat for us
    2 years later new vendor cannot comply, so they come back to us, as a new vendor. These are the same type of companies whose PR is going into overdrive at how they are pushing their green credentials and that will airfreight a tiny box on a pallet around the world just because they cannot grasp planning, or because because they don’t pay their bills on time…….ever! (Yes *l*xtr**cs) I am looking at you!
    Gotta love the BS of it all, I could write a book on it!
    PR is going into overdrive at how they are pushing their green credentials


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Honestly I’m not sure, I can’t immediately see how it is calculated.

    https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/blog/planes-trains-and-automobiles-%E2%80%93-carbon-emissions-compared-between-london-and-edinburgh

    However even if you add in the supply chain costs I would be surprised if that made up a 5 fold difference.

    In any case an article on Heathrow website says they expect to use 370,000 tons of steel for airport development in early 2020s. So airlines have supply chains too….

    http://mediacentre.heathrow.com/pressrelease/details/81/Expansion-News-23/7256

    Since I opened this thread about the disruption plans, I’ve checked back often to be aware of any developments and the most recent ones I can find are that
    The Economist has published these plans just yesterday,
    Metropolitan Police has published their readiness for the day, just now;
    a forum with activists and sympathisers is still in full hand wringing mode about whether drone strikes are actually violent…

    I do wonder what effective policing will look like on the day. If the response to the partial London shutdown in April is anything to go by, can we expect the police to first politely wait and see – and then call for help when people glue themselves to the road in the access tunnel / to a Piccadilly Line and/or Heathrow express train / whatever else they are planning?! The “creativity” of these activists is frightening!
    Or, with all the talking the talk about Heathrow being a vital national asset or showing that Britain is open for business in the light of Brexit, will the authorities truly walk the walk and act robustly including, if necessary, already gathering intelligence?

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