Gummer is wrong wrong wrong

John Gummer’s “Quality of Life” policy proposals, at least as outlined in the Daily Mail, are hugely damaging and counter-productive. He proposes a moratorium on airport expansion, giving credence to the absurd green prejudice against aviation.

Even if we accept the increasingly discredited theory that CO2 causes global warming, the fact is that the airline industry creates only 2% of man-made global CO2 emissions (and therefore only 0.12% of total CO2 emissions — including natural emissions). The fact is that power generation, and surface transportation, and the car industry, and even agriculture, all produce more emissions than aviation.

Gummer apparently ignores the fact that the airline industry, and especially jet engine firms like Rolls Royce in my own East Midlands region, have made huge strides in increasing efficiency and reducing emissions, as have airframe makers. Both Boeing and Airbus are launching new, lighter aircraft made with carbon-fibre, which are much more efficient. These sandal-wearing green crusaders like Gummer and Goldsmith seem to have forgotten that AvGas is a major cost for airlines, and there is the strongest possible commercial motivation to reduce consumption and increase efficiency.

Our airports are already bursting at the seams. If Gummer’s proposals were put in place, Britain’s economic competitiveness would be under threat. Our vital financial services industry would be put at risk. We would be well on the way to the green’s real objective of rolling back the industrial revolution and destroying capitalism. Britain could look forward to becoming an agrarian economy where every man survived on one acre and a cow.

The idea that domestic slots at our airports should be switched to long-haul flights is profoundly un-Conservative and discouraging. Conservatives do not believe in micro-managing industries. Instead perhaps we should look at auctioning slots, and letting the market achieve a balance between long and short-haul. Equally, Conservatives don’t rush to raise taxes for social engineering or environmental tinkering. Redwood is right in principle to call for lower taxes. We must not let Gummer undo all his good work by raising green taxes.

I personally believe that climate change is driven by natural forces that are largely cyclical, and that CO2 is irrelevant. But if Gummer cares about CO2, there is one solution that is staring him in the face, and will save far more CO2 than his proposals ever will: a solution which, based on news reports so far, he seems to have ignored. We need to start building more nuclear capacity. And we need to do so now.

Thank heaven that at least we’ve had a raft of sensible, workable, Conservative ideas from IDS on social policy and Redwood on the economy. And we can look forward to Stephen Dorrell’s report on public services, which is rumoured to contain a very positive “big idea” on school choice.

I spoke to Tory Radio on this issue, and you can hear the podcast by visiting this link

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17 Responses to Gummer is wrong wrong wrong

  1. Jorgen says:

    Well said!

  2. Richmond says:

    Could you outline on what basis you think that it is an “increasingly discredited theory that CO2 causes global warming”? Why does the vast body of scientific research suggest otherwise, and why do you choose to ignore that?

  3. Richard Calhoun says:

    Gummer is making proposals without facts, it would be crazy to tax air travel, it is the life blood of commercial life and very important to the average citizen.
    We need to decentralise from the South East but until we do we are going to need efficient airports in the South East.
    Heathrow should not be allowed to expand futher until they replace Terminals 1,2 & 3 which are a national disgrace

  4. Sally Roberts says:

    Nice to be able to agree with you 100% on this one!

  5. Derek Tipp says:

    Here’s an interesting argument by Professor Segalstad, Richmond.

  6. Once again I find myself at least 300% in agreement with Roger’s statement.

  7. Montgomery Cecil says:

    Wonderful stuff – it’s so heartening to see yet another supporter of Spurt – bravo!

  8. Jorgen says:

    Richmond @ 28/8, assuming that environmentalism is not a religion for you: watch the Global Warming Swindle (downloadable from the Internet or buy DVD) and read sites like

  9. Ian says:

    Jorgen 29/8:
    The basis for your belief that anthropogenic climate change is not happening seems to be ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’. This is a propaganda film produced by a Revolutionary Communist Party activist which has been comprehensively rebutted by, amongst others, the Royal Society (link below). It seems your evidence base is about as thin as arctic ice.

  10. Paul Smith says:

    Climate change is happening… its called weather. It was hot yesterday – today it’s cool and raining.

  11. What would Zac’s father have to say, were Sir James Goldsmith still alive? He must be turning in his grave. If CO2 is the problem, the solution is other technologies – nuclear as Roger says, or new technologies such as HYDROGEN.

    Hydrogen is avaialable everywhere, can be produced and stored cheaply as Ammonia NH3, and it produces power in fuel cells at lower and lower cost as each year goes by. I am looking forward to the CO2 shortage, which will be terrifying environmentalists in 20 years time!

  12. Paul Biggs says:

    Ian 29/8 – Royal Society twaddle – I compare Gore’s propaganda film AIT with TGGWS here:

  13. Jorgen says:

    “The basis for your belief that anthropogenic climate change is not happening seems to be ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’.”

    No, I have had that belief for years and it is based on the lack of proof that Earth has warming globally and if this should be proved, there is no proof that such warming is man-made. However, the video is good because it covers a lot of ground in an understandable way.

    Note also that the fact that scientists become better and better at proving things, hasn’t helped them in proving this. Note also that global warming is *proved* to exist on Mars; in other words, it is something normal for planets.

  14. Loudbarker says:

    mr helmer (and everyone else who thinks global warming is a myth) had better ask themselves why this lot think he’s wrong.

    Hoe come Mr Helmers knows better that the nation’s keading scientists? Let’s have a reasoned, detialed scientific argument please, supported by evidence.

  15. Julie says:

    There is a difference between global warming, climate change, and believing that they are both cause by man. Climate change constantly happens. The earth has gone through periods of warming and cooling in the past. One can accept global warming yet be sceptical that it is down to an increase in CO2 emissions surely.

  16. Jorgen says:

    Julie is right.

    Loudbarker: “Hoe come Mr Helmers knows better that the nation’s keading scientists?”

    Simply because scientists, who can’t prove they are right, are nearly always wrong. Nature actually very often show that scientists are wrong. The GW theory is based on computer modeling, not proof.

  17. Roger helmer says:

    I haven’t got the space here to summarise the arguments against climate hysteria, though I recommend “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming” by my good friend Chris Horner. But one quick point: Yes, CO2 does have a significant greenhouse warming effect. But the science shows that the relationship of warming effect to CO2 concentration is not linear. It is logarithmic. In colloquial terms, it’s a law of diminishing returns. The higher the level of CO2, the less effect any further increase will have. At the current level of around 380 ppm, even a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would have a relatively trivial effect on climate. But look at my next piece on the blog, coming soon,which will report on my visit this week to the Olkiluoto nuclear plant in Finland. If you really believe the CO2 nonsense, then you have to support the nuclear industry. I support it too, but for reasons of economics and energy security, not climate.

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