13 Oct
2018

No Fly Sundays

So yes we have multiple problems and the political system doesn’t seem to be able to find a way to respond because it is all too much to cope with.

So perhaps here’s a little idea to break the logjam 

Having a brief break in the middle of nowhere (France) the October weather is wonderful for the last couple of days – warm wind from the South, sunny blue skies with some high hazy cloud (meanwhile back home heavy rain)

This part of France is criss-crossed with high flying aircraft – east west from Paris and beyond, and north south from the UK. There are seldom less that five or six contrails overhead.

Flying, and particularly the ubiquitous cheap flights subsidised by the lack of tax on aviation fuel, is one of those climate levers that politics seems unable to confront. It also doesn’t present a particularly easy target for direct action as it is continuous and distributed unlike, for example, a single fracking site.

In Bristol, and maybe elsewhere, mayors have managed to introduce “car-free Sundays” in the city centre – tremendously successful and very popular as people are able to get out on fume-free streets and reclaim them from the machines.

Part of this is about reclaiming Sunday as a special day when we take a break from the quotidian hustle and bustle and enjoy a more reflective time. And here, perhaps, is a clue to breaking the climate action logjam.

Lets have a multi-level campaign to institute “No-Fly Sunday”. At the top level our government does still have control over the airspace over the UK and could simply say no commercial flights will be allowed on Sundays. This would immediately reduce flying emmissions by up to 14% given that there is perhaps not enough airport capacity to transfer the flights to other days.

But no government is going to do that without a serious kick up the backside. So we need political activists in all parties to start to debate this internally and get it on the political agenda…

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