Gloucestershire airport is held to ransom

11.4.2009   (This is Gloucestershire)

GLOUCESTERSHIRE Airport was plunged into darkness as environmental campaigners
stole lights in protest against a new green policy.

Campaigners from Plane Stupid say they are holding a set of hi-tech solar powered
lights to ransom until the airport becomes more eco-friendly.

Kevin Lister from the protest group said: "We have stolen the photovoltaic lights
from the sign at the airport.

"These lights highlight the stupidity of the council’s position with the airport.

"The idea that fitting eco-friendly lights at the airport can offset the huge
environmental damage that the planes will cause is an insult to those of us that

Click here!

One of the panels

The campaigners sprang into action after Gloucester City Council’s Overview and
Scrutiny Management committee agreed to recommend the airport’s green policy to
cabinet at a meeting on Thursday.

In a ransom note sent by email to local councillors and airport head of operations
Darren Lewington, Kevin apologised for holding the environmentally-friendly lights
hostage, and stated his terms.

The statement said: "We will hand them (the lights) back once the targets in
the green management plan are set in accordance with the latest science, which
demands that we immediately move to a zero-carbon economy, and when there is a
categorical agreement that if the airport breaches the limits, operations will
cease for the measurement period."

Mr Lewington said: "First of all, I would like to say the airport is very pleased
that both the Gloucester and Cheltenham committees have endorsed the policy, and
I hope their cabinets will follow suit.

"It’s disappointing that Kevin has taken this particular action. This is theft
and criminal damage, and those are the plain facts for Plane Stupid.

"The green policy is very much a working document and it’s not appropriate at
this stage to include the demands that Kevin has made.

"It’s early days and the document will evolve, but this stunt is, in my personal
opinion, a bit inappropriate."

Gloucester City Council leader Paul James responded to Kevin’s actions, branding
them "irresponsible."

He said: "We can’t condone breaking the law, which is what this is.

"I do have respect for people who want to make sure the airport is environmentally
friendly, but this isn’t the best way to go about it.

"The best thing for him to do would be to work with us and co-operate, rather
than showing a contempt for democracy."

Campaigners from Plane Stupid say they are holding a set of hi-tech solar powered
lights to ransom until the airport becomes more eco-friendly.

link to article


See also:

Protesters against Staverton Airport, in Gloucestershire were not impressed by
the Airport’s  Green Management Plan. This document purports to set a ceiling on
CO2 emissions and pledges to re-valuate the target each year to “take account of new evidence“. However, there are no penalties if the airport exceeds its ceiling and the
existing targets have already failed to incorporate the conclusion from the Copenhagen
Climate Conference that we must immediately move to a zero carbon economy, so
there is not much chance of new evidence being incorporated in the future. Without
these, the Green Management plan is just another form of Greenwash.
After the council meetings were the green management plan was approved, protesters
sprang into action and took the airport’s  solar powered lighting system hostage.
In a ransom note to the airport management and councillors, the protesters highlighted
the absurdity of an airport try to create a green image by using a little solar
panel. The protesters have pledged the return of the equipment once there is a
clear agreement to cease operations if the CO2 ceiling is breached and the conclusions
of the Copenhagen Climate Conference are included in the target setting.
The local community group for Staverton (Gloucestershire) airport is
CASE, Concerned Residents Against Staverton Expansion
See also
In response to the page attacking Kevin Lister in The Citizen, Cllr Philip  Booth

The Citizen report that campaigner Kevin Lister is holding to ransom

the photovoltaic light for Glos Airport’s entrance sign (14/04/09). I

understand he has resorted to this action to highlight the failures of

the democratic process to cut CO2 emissions.

The misleadingly named "Green Management Plan" for the Airport has no

sanctions if targets of 95,000 plane movements per year are breached

nor does it have targets for reducing CO2. Mr Lister has noted he will

return the equipment if such measures are introduced and that targets

reflect the latest scientific evidence presented at the recent

Copenhagen Conference. Indeed that conference concluded, "Inaction is


A Guardian poll this week reveals 9 out of 10 climate experts do not

consider current political efforts will keep warming below the crucial

2C. James Hansen, NASA climate scientist, says the democratic process

is not working and that “peaceful demonstration is not out of order,

because we’re running out of time.”

US Ex-Vice President Al Gore now calls for civil disobedience to

prevent the construction of new coal plants while David Cameron’s

advisor Zac Goldsmith appeared as a defence witness in the trial of

Greenpeace activists charged with causing £30,000 of criminal damage.

The jury concluded in that case that a degree of damage to property can

be justified when protesting to prevent a greater damage to property

from climate change.

Some of the comments in The Citizen have described Mr Lister’s actions

as stupid and idiotic, yet it is the inaction on climate change that is

not just foolish, but criminal. Non-violent direct action is a

legitimate form of political activity when traditional forms are

blocked – it was used against slavery, for women’s right to vote and

against apartheid. We face a similar clear moral stand today. It is a

sad reflection on our current political leadership that although the

science is clear, and the three main parties say they agree, none have

the guts to actually take the action needed.

Cllr. Philip Booth, Stroud District Green Party.