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Why we shut Stansted Airport

plane stupid blog | 09.12.2008 14:24 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Social Struggles | Cambridge

Monday's action has shown the power of young people determined to turn the climate talk into climate action. We took the decision to disrupt the airport to directly reduce the CO2 impact of Stansted, as a response to the government's consent to its expansion. We did so with heavy hearts, knowing it would disrupt passengers, because we knew the consequences of this action couldn't be worse than the consequences of inaction. If irreversible climate change kicks in, millions of lives will be destroyed.

We are genuinely grateful for the level of support from people who have agreed with us that desperate times call for desperate measures. We have used this action to ask for everyone to 'please, do something'. We hope that all those that have expressed support for today's action will now think about what they are going to do to ensure the survival of our planet and people on it.

The nature of climate change means that we have only seven years to make massive cuts before the extinction of millions of species and even the human race is inevitable. As a group of people at the beginning of our adult life, we deserve to inherit a world worth living in and we intend to take responsibility and defend that right through whatever peaceful means we have left.

Plane Stupid has used all avenues available to highlight the hypocrisy of governments in promising to both expand airports and stop climate change. The science proves that the two things are totally contradictory. The government is knowingly deceiving the public when they say they can do both. From letters, to meetings, to simple publicity stunts, to climbing on top of Parliament - we have done all we can to raise the climate alarm. We have tried to report the crime of collusion that the government has committed with BAA and despite the evidence we have, the police are refusing to investigate them. If all official channels fail, we are committed to using our bodies to physically stop carbon emissions.

We face the legal consequences of our actions knowing that for this movement the Stansted action is only the beginning. The UK has to make massive cuts in carbon today, not in 50 years. Plane Stupid will be taking direct action until we see the UK taking climate change seriously.

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Hide the following 13 comments

Why you shut Stansted Airport

09.12.2008 15:16

The reason you shut Stansted is not the reason you think. You have been successfully brainwashed over the last 5 years to believe that aviation actually has a massive effect on the climate, instead of addressing issues that really matter. If all flights stopped overnight, the reduction in emissions would be almost negligible, whilst millions of people who have grown to depend on tourism starve. You say that this is irrelevant because aviation is the fastest growing source, and it might eventually become a massive 10% of global emissions, but this is clearly rubbish, since when this was true there was an economic boom and we were coming out of an aviation downturn post-September 2001.

Why didn't you invade Heathrow instead? Is it because you would have been shot on sight?

Bring on the trolls.


AH - check ya facts!

09.12.2008 15:34

Ummmm - aviation accounts for (as i remember) 7% of global emissions, quite a lot for a single sector. It is even more when we consider that the 7% is a government figure, and no state measures or takes responsibility for emissions in international airspace (emissions that are incidentally some of the more harmful due to the altitude of release), so the actual figure is clearly much higher.
Also, I don't get the relevance of mentioning Heathrow. i think as a movement we have made it pretty clear that we will heavily fuck with Heathrow if and when the runway gets built, and surley a runway at Stanstead is just as objectionable as a runway at Heathrow.
As far as I no, only short haul flights were fucked with, and by now, short haul flyers should be considered fair game, and utterly reckless. Fair play to all involved.

P.S - victory to the Greek insurrection!

(A) Sab x

Reply to AH

09.12.2008 15:35

Oh come on now. brain washed? Get real. You/we might not agree with the tactics, targets or politics of Plane Stupid but to call them brain washed is nonsense. While aviation is clearly not the biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect (not just CO2 emissions) it IS a large contributor and if aviation did stop over night (which nobody imagines would be the result of Plane Stupid campaigning) then emissions WOULD drop by quiet a substantial degree. To claim otherwise is just is just a lie.

It is however certainly fair to draw attention to the fact that Plane Stupid continue to speak of predicted increases in demand while the aviation industry actual appears to be in decline.

There might be other or even better targets but Plane Stupid is a single issue campaign which is doing a good job of drawing attention to the issue of the governments stupid airport expansion plans. Single issues have their faults but they often also achieve their aims and achieve victories that we all benefit from.

Try being a little more constructive and honest AH

am I a troll?

Facts indeed

09.12.2008 15:50

Try again. Aviation may account for around 6% of British emissions, but globally it is around 1-2%. I suggest you get your facts correct before taking "direct action".


Re: Stanstead runway occupation – Big Congrats & Mucho Kudos

09.12.2008 15:51

My Dear Plane Stupid Comrades,

Congratulations on yesterday's Stanstead runway occupation – a consummate direct action striking at the heart of the plane stupidity of airport expansion. The mainstream media all but ignored the mass peaceful non-direct-action protest in 94 countries on the Global Day of Climate Action on Saturday 06 Dec 08 (I'm part way through documenting the London Climate Bike Ride – – and National Climate March, UK) but news of your action has spread around the planet like wildfire:

* Liverpool Echo, UK
* WalesOnline, UK
* Irish Times, Ireland
* Space Daily, CA, USA
* TREND Information, Azerbaijan
* TopNews, India
* GulfNews, United Arab Emirates

As somebody who has spend 10 hours atop an articulated truck, broken in to an RAF/USAF base and trashed GM crops, I'm convinced you're on to the best tactic for changing our society for the better.

"Jolly Well Done Indeed!" to all those who risked arrest, and to all your on-the-ground supporters.

Direct Action rocks our world,

Deeds Not Words,

Up the Revolution,

Tim Dalinian Jones
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Short haul vs long haul

09.12.2008 15:55

They say this is about alternatives, ie. there are alternatives to short haul flights so they are fair game while long haul flights are somehow 'ok' as there are apparently no practical alternatives. So, burning a lot of coal in a power station might somehow be more okay than my granny burning coal in her fireplace as she could use an alternative (perhaps a nice electric fire powered by the coal fired power station). The coal powered fire station could argue that there is no practical alternative, after all we need the electricity and it can only burn coal and any replacement fuel or energy source would first need the investment.

Ok, shit example. But is my flight somehow more green if I decide to go further than would be practical by train? No, of course not. Would that flight be greener if I had more money and therefore felt able to fly further or not use a budget airline? No, of course not.

If flying is a problem then it is a problem full stop and not just the flights of those who occasionally purchase those £10 tickets from Ryan Air, but also those who fly anywhere across the world on business, pleasure, visiting friends and family, attending weddings, participating in conferences, gatherings, mobilisations etc etc. It's also a problem for all those passengerless flights carrying our post, our flowers and edible fresh products from sunnier and cheaper places.

The budget end of the aviation industry is pretty new and already arguably already on it's way out without any pressure from the likes of Plane Stupid. Are we meant to leave flying to be the preserve of the rich or act on relocalising everything and making the world a fairer place for all.

fairs fare

Another reply to AH

09.12.2008 16:03

So are you saying that because the UK aviation industry contributes three to six times more CO2 emissions when compared to the global average contribution from the aviation industry generally, then Plane Stupid shouldn't be targeting aviation? Are you saying that targeting aviation in the country which flys more per person than any other country is somehow a mistake?

Are you saying that at only 6% of UK CO2 emissions (not taking into account emissions of this same aviation outside of the UK or the fact that the effect of those emissions is greater and faster acting than emissions made at ground level), aviation isn't worth addressing in out attempts to reduce emissions and avert climate disaster?

AH, your facts seem to be getting in the way of your logic.

facts straight?


09.12.2008 16:40

...I am saying that you should be directing your attention at something more relevant than a small proportion of a tiny island.

Remember, business generated by capitalism pays the unemployment benefits claimed by lefty activists.


6% of 2%

09.12.2008 17:21

total uk aviation is 6% of the uk total, which is about 2% of global co2.

uk aviation is 0.12% of global co2

which is really amazing! well done all! even 0.001% makes a difference!




10.12.2008 09:54

Goy, your "calculation" is completely wrong.



10.12.2008 10:40

Goy: Not claiming to be a maths genius here, but wouldn't 6% of 2% make 0.0012% ?

And even then I don't think you've actually worked out the right thing. Lets leave the stats to the statisticians, we all know it accounts for 'some' of the world CO2 emissions, and I think we all agree that's a bad thing, shoving incorrect stats on to things smacks of poor journalism and not really knowing what we're talking about.


AH - full of shit

10.12.2008 13:07

I'd just like to ask AH why you come onto this site? Is it to lambast people taking action whilst you sit at home and play with your keyboard? Your attitude is one of the reasons why activists get a bad name. If you feel that it's not good enough for your high standards, then fuck off and do something else. People like you really bore me, and waste my time. If you have any aims or objectives in your activism and life, perhaps spend your energy on them rather than berating people who actually get out and do something about the state of the world.

Sometimes you need to be holistic in your apprasial. Whatever about the target, this action has brought issues of pollution, capitalism and personal greed back into the press and everyday conversations. For me, that alone is good enough. The fact that it was a rell thought out and adventerous action just makes it better.



Impressive action an encouragement to us all.

24.12.2008 13:40

Firstly, AH is probably a member of F.I.T. And they spend most of their time trawling Indymedia and placing comments to subvert genuine debate, and take away from the mass support for actions like that taken by Plane Stupid at Stansted.

It is extremely clear to me that the marches, which we are permitted to make on a Saturday morning, past relevant government buildings which are totally empty at that time. Are a constructed vent of political anger allowed by the establishment to let us feel like we have a voice, ignored by the media and the 59,970,000 other members of our society who aren't at the marches are totally oblivious that they ever happened.

Direct action seems to be an effective way to be heard and to fight suicidal government policy such as airport expansion and also should be used to stop illigal wars such as Iraq and Afganistan, and any should be used to bring the country to a standstill to prevent any future wars of aggression. I believe it should also be used to stop our government supporting and trading with Israel until it stops illegal activities and an illegal occupation of Palastine.

Mr Impressed