Birmingham Friends of the Earth Newsletter February 2002/March 2002
Work starts again soon on a new stage of consultation for the Unitary Development
Plan for Birmingham on which we submitted a comprehensive response last year.
Regional Planning Guidance has also been keeping us busy. There's a school of
thought that consultation is just a sneaky government method of keeping FOE members
out of trouble, focused on jumping through consultation hoops rather than bringing
policy and practice shortfalls to the public's attention. But if so they didn't
reckon on our multi-tasking abilities...
I'd like your advice on a dilemma. I wish to get out of England in early March
and visit our old friend Vernon (see Vernon's World, previous Action Briefings)
in Portugal. To fly or not to fly, that is the question? If I get a standby flight,
isn't that environmentally just the equivalent of hitching-hiking, as the plane
would be going anyway? And if I pay my flight tax ticket too, have I not paid
for the external environmental costs of my flight? Or is it hypocritical, and
the flight ticket's financial sacrifice will not regain the moral high ground
lost to rising sea levels from the carbon debt incurred? Is the flight tax ticket
only for occasions when there's no option but flying? Should I instead take an
extra four days off for my week's holiday, get the ferry and then hitch across
Spain? Answers on postcards please to Birmingham FOE... or Lisbon Poste Restante!!
(C) 2002 Birmingham Friends of the Earth