Monday 23 March 2009

The pen is mightier than the sword

Below is a letter sent by Dennis Mitchell founder of Global Footsteps to The Ministry of Transport. The letter is part of an ongoing correspondance between Dennis and the Ministry in regard to the proposed 3rd runway at Heathrow. It is very inspiring.

Steve Whyman,
Airports Police DivisionZone 1/26
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
21st March 2009
Your Ref: 12/00417/09

Dear Mr Whyman,

Thank you for taking the trouble to write and explain your Ministry’s reasoning behind the Government decision to favour a third runway at Heathrow.

It is clear from your response that in your view “significant economic benefits” over-ride my environmental concerns. Allow me to explain why I am still not persuaded that the expansion plan should go ahead.

Your rationale is based on a concept of costs and benefits that have no proper foundation in what is true wealth. As we have seen, sterling/dollars/euros/etc are an intangible invention of humanity that fluctuate at the mercy of speculation in the competitive casino termed a market. Your figures of £5.5 billion, £3.3 billion, etc are fictions that mean nothing to the real wealth of the Earth. Real wealth is inherent in the material nature of the Earth, its atmosphere and, above all, the energy of the sun. Such wealth, huge as it may seem, is finite and vital to the survival of life on Earth.

Your perspective downplays the welfare of future generations and reveals no concern whatsoever for the non-human life on Earth. It is a recipe for extermination, maybe not in the current generation, but it accelerates the trend to that eventual outcome – the consequence of materialistic policies excused as a need to compete with equally materialistic ‘competitors’ with no consideration for the exponential rise in emissions attributable to the extra air-miles.

You will recall the recent highly-lauded performance of the American pilot whose brilliant airmanship saved the lives of all the passengers when he ditched his damaged aircraft on the river. He was praised in all quarters and we are full of admiration for him. But did you hear anyone express any regret whatsoever for the flock of birds, killed outright and blamed for damaging the aircraft at take-off?

Such is the attitude of ‘growth-obsessed’ humanity to all non-human inhabitants, wildlife and other living nature, and even to future generations of humanity, that I despair at the man-made calamity which will inevitably befall life on Earth.

I shall oppose your plans for airport expansion at Heathrow to the bitter end.

Yours sincerely,

Dennis Mitchell

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