Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Save Rose Cottage Petition Handed-In

Over thirty people arrived at the Town Hall on the afternoon of Monday 23rd to voice their opposition.

The campaign describes Rose Cottage as a stunning grade II listed 17th Century dwelling, beautifully maintained by the current tenants, a family of three. It, along with three other properties are situated on the historic "Hasty Lane" on the edge of Manchester Airport.
Nearby is a 300 year old natural pond hosting a colony of great crested newts. It is surrounded by dozens of mature trees and beautifully preserved and balanced ecology. It is an environmental and historical oasis in the midst of heavy modern industry.

The Airport plan to demolish the buildings, fell the trees and concrete over the pond to build two giant air freight cargo units. They argue that the development will be good for the local economy.
A coalition of English Heritage, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit, the Council for British Archaeology, local councillors and residents and others all oppose the plans.

The petition urges Manchester Planning and Highways Committee to reject the airport's application. To find out more, or to sign the petition follow the link below.
Campaign website

Steady State Economics Teach-in

On Wednesday 18th March over 40 people took part in the ‘teach in’ organised by SEMA (Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport). Promotion for the event explained that,
“As the international economy begins to re-articulate itself in light of the recent and ongoing financial crisis, it’s time to look at the alternatives to the growth-for-growths-sake economic model.”
The teach-in aimed to help people challenge the idea that we can have infinite economic growth on a planet of finite resources. Mike Prior began by explaining that Steady State Economics is a moral and social issue, as well as an economic issue, so we shouldn’t allow economists to dominate the discourse on how society is run.

The session itself was broken down into three sections: What is Steady State Economics? What are the social and moral issues that underpin it? Followed by a discussion on what we can do in order to support Steady State Economics.

Prior began by debunking some of the myths that shroud this subject. For example, he was not going to talk about freezing the economy as it is right now. Instead, the concept is about re-thinking the whole system; dealing with areas of dependency like fossil fuels, as well as places that need development, such as poverty stricken areas.
The origins of the Steady State Economic theory lie in ‘sustainability’, which existed as a new economics from the 1980’s. The crux of this theory was that every generation should aim to leave behind the same amount of resources that they consumed for the next generation.
For Steady State Economics to work, we would need a new way to measure the success of a society. The measure of GNP (Gross National Product) is currently highly valued by economists, policy makers and politicians alike, but it fails to measure the happiness and wellbeing of a society.

The New Economics Foundation has a lot more information on the short comings of the GNP measurement. They also propose a host of well-researched indicators that should be taken into account when measuring wellbeing and happiness. These include looking at equality of income or wealth, leisure time enjoyed, stability of relationships and job security.
In Prior’s opinion, you are by definition a Steady State Economist if you make an effort to “develop an economic indicator or set of statistics that enable the wellbeing of a society to be measured in a way that would be useful for policy making, from a local to an international level”.
New Economics Foundation website

Authored by Jenny Nelson-EN4M

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Green leader lends weight to Rose Cottage campaign

Green Party leader Dr Caroline Lucas MEP has become the first national party leader to support the campaign to save the historic Rose Cottage in Wythenshawe's Woodhouse Park.

Dr Lucas, who has campaigned nationally and in the European Parliament for an end to airport expansions and a fairer tax regime for the aviation industry, said today:

"Rose Cottage is an important piece of local heritage, but this is definitely not just a local issue. If Manchester airport increases its air freight capacity, Rose Cottage won't be the only casualty. There will be bad consequences in terms of climate change, as well local traffic generation, local air and noise pollution and resulting ill-health effects.

"The airport will talk about jobs, but the truth is that we can create huge numbers of jobs by greening the economy. Manchester and North West England could become major centres, and even leaders, of the green industrial revolution that Britain urgently needs.

"We could fund much of Britain's economic recovery if we stopped giving aviation its billions of pounds of tax breaks every year, and if we made airports and airlines pay the full costs of their pollution.

"And Manchester airport could start by developing a proper sustainable development strategy. That would mean scrapping plans for new air freight facilities - and Rose Cottage would be saved."

Speaking for Manchester Green Party, Withington parliamentary candidate James Alden added:

"It's completely irresponsible of Manchester airport and other airports to keep driving the expansion of the most highly-polluting form of transport when the rest of the world is trying desperately to tackle climate change.

"We need Manchester airport's surpluses to be diverted away from further airport expansion into sustainable industry. That way we could pump money into new industrial sectors like renewable energy that could sustain thousands of jobs in Manchester."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

90 Jobs to go at Manchester Airport

SEMA is not revelling in the statements coming out of the airport this week. Ninety jobs to go in the initial wave of redundancies at Manchester Airport. SEMA’s campaign is against reckless airport expansion not against the workers who are in our thoughts at this difficult time. Our campaign is against those bosses with a view to unlimited economic growth at the expense of our planet. We strive to work with unions and workers to develop more sustainable jobs. Jobs which maximise quality of life for all.Over 200,000 people a year are already suffering from the effects of Climate Change due to the ‘go-for-growth’ attitude of the minority. It will be the workers, not the bosses who are hit the hardest by the effects of climate change. These bosses show as little regard for the wages and working conditions of their staff as they do for our planet and this is most evident when they are faced with a choice between their profits and peoples welfare."The City Council agrees that global rates of air traffic growth are unsustainable in the long term" according to Manchester City Council who own 55% of the airport. Manchester Airports is faced with an uncertain future burdened with rising fuel costs, taxation as well as national and international regulations to combat climate change but how does the Council/MAG react? they support the Airports Master Plan to double passenger numbers and will continue blindly on this path once this recession passes.We must move our economy away from carbon intensive industries such as Aviation. We must make that move now rather than continuing to invest in jobs with no futures. The economic arguments put forward by Manchester Airport to expand their air freight facilities by the demolition of Rose Cottage look even more short sighted than ever.