Earlier this month a coalition of groups opposed to Bristol Airport expansion demonstrated outside Bristol Council House during the Festival of Sustainable Business where, in an attempt to acquire some kind of environmental credibility, Bristol Airport sponsored a seminar at which a senior executive talked about a zero carbon airport.
This is part of the Airport’s on-going and absurd campaign to persuade politicians that it runs a sustainable operation, and the organisers of the Festival of Sustainable Business should be ashamed for colluding with this ‘greenwash’ masquerade. The Airport’s core business is servicing aeroplanes and it cannot disconnect from this any more than a fishermen can disclaim responsibility for catching fish.
The overseas owner of fishing conglomerate was recently asked by a journalist why his company persisted in catching the rare Blue-Fin tuna in huge quantities that would lead to its extinction within a few years. Wouldn’t it be better to make a sustainable catch, allowing the tuna to regenerate and so provide an infinite resource for his company?
‘You completely misunderstand things’ said the investor, ‘Why would I want a 5% return on investment for ever? Much better to get a 20% return over the next few years then, when fish stocks are exhausted, simply switch my capital to another sector.’
This is the model of predatory capitalism driving the Airport’s planned expansion. The Airport’s owner, the notoriously ruthless Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP), is seeking to squeeze every ounce of profit from the unsuitable site on Broad Down and ramp up the asset value into the bargain, regardless of the cost to human health and well-being in North Somerset and beyond.
The scientific evidenced for the climate emergency is incontrovertible and the consequences of Airport expansion for North Somerset and the region would be disastrous. The anti-scientific and untruthful ‘Greenwash’ propaganda touted by Bristol Airport under it claims to sustainability simply demonstrates the lengths to which this business will go to maximise profits and boost asset values.