In a bold if lonely environmental stand, Britain’s coalition government has set out to curb the growth of what has been called “binge flying” by refusing to build new runways around London to accommodate more planes.From the New York Times. Conservatives around the world should take note -- even they can't continue to ignore environmental issues. How this will play out remains to be seen, but it could conceivably make it OK for conservatives to be environmentalists. And that can't be anything but a Good Thing, regardless of one's views on conservatism as a whole.
Citing the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions from aviation, Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative, abruptly canceled longstanding plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport in May, just days after his election; he said he would also refuse to approve new runways at Gatwick and Stansted, London’s second-string airports.
The government decided that enabling more flying was incompatible with Britain’s oft-stated goal of curbing emissions. Britons have become accustomed to easy, frequent flying — jetting off to weekend homes in Spain and bachelor parties in Prague — as England has become a hub for low-cost airlines. The country’s 2008 Climate Change Act requires it to reduce emissions by at least 34 percent by 2020 from levels reached in 1990.
In fact, if you think about it, conservatives ought to be environmentalists. Few things are more destructive of traditional ways of living than famines and shortages.