A Journey Over England

I flew over England yesterday. I have never seen it look greener. The rivers and reservoirs are bursting full and leaves hang in heavy abundance from the trees. As the plane climbed into the rain clouds above them was bright sunshine, a terse reminder of how the weather is simply a layer of temporary happening above a much larger area of permanence. Continue reading

The Aviation Stand-off

China has announced that its airlines will not be allowed to pay the EU tax on airline carbon emissions that applies to aircraft flying to or from the European Union without the specific approval of relevant government departments. The airlines of China will not be allowed to participate in the Emissions Savings Scheme without similar clearance. Continue reading

London’s Fourth Airport?

Boris Johnson has mooted a project to build, at vast expense, another hub airport on the Isle of Grain in Kent, which would serve London and the South east. It is a foolish plan and floated without proper thought and will almost certainly sink, like a stone in the sea. Continue reading

From London to Manchester by way of New York

When you flick through a flight magazine from any airline after you have squashed yourself into a seat you will see that airlines, almost with exception, represent themselves as great environmentalists. They are acutely aware of that the high level emissions they create are very damaging to the environment and want to improve their image and provide their passengers (who are the real culprits in the creation of airline emissions) with some comfort that they might be creating less environmental damage than is claimed. Continue reading

Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic want to stick their noses into the taxpayers’ trough

The bigger the business the more taxpayers’ money they think that they are entitled to claim. We have already seen the energy companies get huge amounts of free taxpayers’ money in the form of Emission Trading Credits. Of course the banks received huge amounts of free money because they had lost out in the world wide casino than investment banks play with taxpayers’ money and now the airlines are trying to stick their noses into the taxpayers’ trough. Continue reading

Making flying more energy efficient – possibly and in the future

One of the stories that crept under my personal radar a couple of week ago related to aircraft engines. Aircrafts account of 2% of the greenhouse gas emissions. The impact of this figure is thought to be higher because the emissions are expelled at height, where they can do the most absorption of light energy. Further aircraft expel vapour trials which are thought to have an effect on the amount of light reaching the surface of the planet by dimming it. So it is possible, but not completely proved, that flying gives us the worst of all possible worlds – heating the air and dimming the surface. Continue reading

The environmental case for another runway at Heathrow Airport

London Airport at Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world. It has runways and five terminals. The latest, Terminal Five, is a new glass and steel structure fashionably designed apparently but to me , it has all of the charm of a modern industrial building. It is a testament to the environmental claims of the operators of Heathrow, British Airport Authority, that the massive sloping roof of the Terminal Five building is unscarred by solar panels or photovoltaics. Continue reading