On Thursday, November 28th, the leaders of most of the political parties in the UK took part in a “Climate Debate” (unfortunately the leaders of the Conservative Party and the Brexit Party did not accept the invitation). If you haven’t seen the debate, you can see the whole thing right here below, as Channel 4 has released it on YouTube. I’ll make my comments further down in this post. For me, what the political parties are planning to do to make us rapidly reduce pollution and environmental destruction is the key issue in this election.
From my point of view, focussing on “climate” is not as good as focussing on “pollution” and “environmental destruction”. The real problem is the amount of pollution that humans are creating and that includes carbon dioxide, methane and lots of other gases, as well as plastics and discarded junk in land fills. The pollution also comes from our eating habits and our need to clear natural land to feed our habits. Once you talk about “climate” it’s easy for people to point out that the climate of the Earth has changed often during history, even before humans were around. It’s certainly true that the change now is more rapid than it has ever been before, but we still get stuck on the issue of whether it’s really humans causing the climate change. It’s easier to stick to the most obvious fact that humans are polluting the Earth really badly at the moment, as well as blatantly destroying the natural environment to create profits in our financial system.
If we’re really going to tackle pollution strongly, politicians need to take a strong stand on issues like additional runways at major airports, specifically Heathrow, and cheap flights. It’s not good to be promoting cheap flights because of the benefit to the economy while, at the same time, these flights are causing enormous pollution to our atmosphere. We have to begin reducing flights, especially short haul flights (so much pollution from take-off and landing for a short flight), right now and quickly. This issue came up in the debate but it wasn’t fully covered to my satisfaction, so I downloaded all the political parties manifestos and examined them for their policies in this direction. This is what I found.