World Health Organisation publishes new guidelines on aircraft noise

The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe (WHO Europe) has published its long-awaited environmental noise guidelines.

For noise exposure averaged across the day, evening and night (Lden), the guidelines strongly recommend reducing noise levels to below 45 dB Lden (45 decibels with extra weight applied to evening and night), as aircraft noise above this level is associated with adverse health effects.
For night noise exposure, the guidelines strongly recommend reducing noise levels to below 40 dB Lnight, as aircraft noise above this level is associated with adverse effects on sleep.

In the National Policy Statement (NPS) for Heathrow the government failed to even mention WHO guidelines. Will they continue to ignore the guidelines and human health impacts of noise in their enthusiasm to promote more airport growth?

For more information see AEF web site. 

Fracking campaigners jail sentences quashed. What’s going on?

The 3 anti-fracking campaigners, recently sentenced to 16 months in prison, are being released following an Appeal Court ruling.

Quashing their jail terms the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said: “We have concluded that an immediate custodial sentence in the case of these appellants was manifestly excessive.” Press report.

This extraordinary about-turn may have been just because the appeal judges honestly believed that the sentences were excessive. But it could not have escaped their notice that these draconian sentences were making the protestors martyrs. And such ‘establishment’ figures as judges would not want to give support to the anti-fracking movement or climate change protestors.

12 years to save the planet – UK does its best to sabotage action by fracking

The Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change has just issued a report   which says that allowing global warming to exceed 1.5 degree Celsius would greatly impact our planet’s livability. What’s alarming is that this 1.5 degree Celsius temperature ‘guard rail’ could be exceeded in just 12 years, in 2030. Here.

Or, as the Guardian says, “We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN”.

Given the scale of the threat, it is truly extra-ordinary – and unforgivable – that the UK government has given the go-ahead to frack across the county. This will lead to even more emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases and make it even harder to protect our climate and our future.

Never has the expression “lunatics in charge of the asylum” been more apt.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports today

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports today: “Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”

But UK government has rushed plans through Parliament to expand Heathrow so as to beat the IPCC report and in advance of its own aviation strategy. Plans that would mean 2.9 million tonnes pa extra CO2 ! (2.9m is from government forecasts.)

Success in first round of Heathrow court case !

Friends of the Earth and other groups who are taking the government to court over a third runway at Heathrow have overcome the first hurdle. Following this morning’s first appearance in the High Court to challenge Heathrow’s third runway, Mr Justice Holgate has ordered that Friends of the Earth and all 4 other claimants go forward to a full trial. A so called ‘rolled-up’ hearing will now take place in March 2019.  FOE press release.

Rewards for people causing climate change : Prison for those trying to stop it !

Last week 3 protestors against fracking were jailed for up to 16 months.  Their ‘crime’ ? For occupying lorries that belonged to Quadrilla. This is the company that plans to frack, against local people’s wishes, in Lancashire. And in doing so, contribute to catastrophic climate change.  Meanwhile, the government is promoting a new runway at Heathrow which will massively increase emissions of CO2, fuelling further climate change.  More.