Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Just when Poles can finally afford to fly…

… a coalition of homeowners, eco-anarchists, NIMBYs and ‘internationalists’ want them to stay at home.

It’s only been three years since ‘no-frills’ budget airlines started operating to and from Poland. And the Poles love ‘em.

During communism they didn’t have freedom to travel. When the Iron Curtain came down most Poles still couldn’t travel very far abroad as they couldn’t afford the air ticket. If they wanted to go to western Europe many had to endure a 24 hour plus coach journey - I’ve done it, and it’s nasty. The Iron Curtain had been replaced by the Money Curtain.

And then the cheapies came along and suddenly travel became much easier.

Enter the environmental lobby, turning up just as Poles were checking in their luggage, with an apocalyptic message of global warming and impending doom.

One of the most fanatical of the Green warriors is the British columnist for the Guardian, George Monbiot (photo). Our George doesn’t like air travel, apparently. I remember one article at the time of the 100th anniversary of that great human acheivment, the first heavier than air vehicle flight by the Wright Brothers. George wasn’t impressed, however. Not at all. His article had the headline A weapon with wings.

Today he’s at it again. This time his column has the headline, We Are All Killers Until We Stop Flying.

What a twat.

After telling us that all technological solutions are hopeless to the climate change problem, he starts having a go at his mates.

"This [impending eco-disaster] is now broadly understood by almost everyone I meet. But it has had no impact whatever on their behaviour. When I challenge my friends about their planned weekend in Rome or their holiday in Florida, they respond with a strange, distant smile and avert their eyes. They just want to enjoy themselves. Who am I to spoil their fun? The moral dissonance is deafening."

He really is a twat. But he isn’t finished yet. He starts blaming global warming for the famines in Africa (nothing to do, of course, with colonialism and other outside interventions, wars, a lack of infrastructure, a lack of civil society, lack of government…) and then finishes with the flourish:

Flying kills. We all know it, and we all do it. And we won't stop doing it until the government reverses its policy and starts closing the runways.

Don’t be holding your breath, George.

I have no idea of the extent of global warming and how much humans have had to do with it. I would like a bit more debate about the subject in the media, instead of the usual panic and doom. Maybe we are just going to have to adapt to the Earth as it changes.

But if Monbiot thinks that people from Central and Eastern Europe, and the less well off in Britain and the rest of developed world, are going to give up the new found freedom of travel, then he is going to be in for a bit of a shock. Does he think Poles are going to go back to travelling about the place in a horse and cart? Cheap airlines have helped tear down the Money Curtain. Monbiot and his eco-nostalgia will not be putting it back up.

Polish market may become cheaper for airlines, Puls Biznesu, Feb 28


beatroot said...

I wasn't saying at all that anyone talking about global warming was a twat.

It's just the hysteria in which Monbiot seems to be constantly in. Dismissing things like the invention of aircraft as 'weapons with wings' is ridiculous ...and twattish.

sonia said...

Monbiot should just go to China and try to tell them to stop polluting. They will either listen to him or put him in prison. Either way, we win.

Thanks for the link, btw, I've put a link too...

beatroot said...

You are very welcome, Sonia.

But why drag the poor old Chinese into this? OK, they are a bit careless in the environmental health department, but they have the most vibrant economy in the world, and things are getting better for most Chinese. It's the same with India. Less poor people is good!

akb said...

I agree - well, almost. I can understand how Mr Monbiot thinks; should I live in a rich country, I'd be probably on his side.

Anonymous said...

Monbiot is, indeed, a twat. Hypocrisy knows no bounds with him. "I only fly to give talks on climate change" and criticising others' data before using only what suits his inane argument.

He talks about "Climate Change happening" and "those who deny Climate Change". Idiot. Climate change is happening, nobody denies that. It has happened for billions of years.

As for man-made; if the scientists can't be sure, then how come he is?

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