Are the G7 leaders deliberately making air travel difficult and expensive for most of us, or at least doing nothing to prevent that outcome because it suits their climate alarmism agenda?
In June 2020 I made a video entitled “Air Travel After Covid 19. The impact of Coronavirus on aviation”. Watching it now it seems very naive as I explained that, with lockdowns coming to an end and travel restrictions lifted, air travel would bounce back stronger than ever and general aviation too would see a boost.
How wrong was I! A year later, in the summer of 2021, the aviation industry remained deeply wounded. Tens of thousands of pilots, cabin crew, airport staff, and all manner of people in the ancillary industries were either still furloughed or had been made redundant with little prospect of returning to work in the industry they loved.
Today, in the summer of 2022, the aviation industry is still under immense pressure. There have been chaotic scenes at international airports like Manchester and Heathrow where queues have built up at immigration or baggage reclaim. These have been blamed on staff shortages, with the airlines blaming the government for diverting too many of its Border Force staff to other duties (e.g. dealing with illegal immigration), and the government blaming the airlines for not re-hiring staff they laid off during the pandemic.
Flights have been missed as long queues into Departures have built up. People have fainted in the queues, children are distressed, and scuffles with staff have broken out
Meanwhile, airlines have cancelled dozens of flights leaving families and other travelers frustrated and out of pocket. Heathrow and Gatwick have told some airlines to cut their schedule by 10% to give them any hope of coping with the throughput of passengers.
As if that wasn’t enough there have also been more IT problems and now the threat of strike action by air crew, cabin crew, and baggage handlers during the peak summer season when the schools are off and families want to head off on holiday.
Threats to the Airline Industry
So we can summarise all these threats thus:
- Staff shortages at airports e.g. immigration staff and baggage handlers
- Staff shortage within airlines e.g. pilots and cabin crew
- IT problems causing delays and cancellations
- Lingering Covid restrictions deterring travel
- Strikes by airline staff
- Strikes by airport staff
- Public perception of air travel as a climate threat
- Rising prices due to demand remaining high while supply drops
Climate Change & Climate Scientists
You run the risk of being run out of town for being a heretic if you challenge the climate change narrative, but let me nail my colours firmly to the mast anyway.
Yes, the climate is changing and it will change again, but I don’t believe that there’s much we can do to stop it. If global average temperatures are rising then it’s probably more to do with our Sun than the burning of fossil fuels.
I do not subscribe to the idea that minutely supposedly reducing one’s carbon emissions by turning down the thermostat or not flying off on holiday is going to save the planet. Reducing energy consumption might save you some money, but it won’t prevent global warming.
Having said that, I do think we should switch to renewables and nuclear due to the average health and safety risks of fossil fuel mining.
When extreme weather and climate related disasters occur the media and those with a vested interest in promoting the alarmist agenda are quick to point to these events as if they provide more proof of their cause. “Give us your money and we can prevent heat deaths” is the sort of message we can see repeated in the years ahead.
I think climate alarmism is being used to generate wealth for a few, tax the many, and hinder our rights to free travel, and even free speech. Climate science has become an ideology, a new religion, and as such it has its zealots who won’t tolerate any questioning of the dogma.
No, I’m not a scientist but there are plenty who have spoken out but are rarely seen or quoted in the media. Take for example Dr. Judith A. Curry. She is an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The climate is going to change independent of what we do with emissions. People think climate change equals the CO2 control knob. With that kind of thinking, we’re bound to be surprised by what happens with the 21st century climate. I won’t even hazard a guess as to whether something really crazy will happen, or whether it could be relatively benign. A lot of people are talking about a solar minimum in the mid to late 21st century that could very well happen and have a significant impact. We just don’t know. Thinking that we can control the climate is misguided hubris.Interview 30 January 2021
Priority Tasks for Planet Earth
Instead, I believe our time and other resources should be used to press on with these tasks:
- Cleaning up the oceans (including removing an estimated 1.6 billion discarded face masks)
- Plant millions of trees in those areas where they’ve been removed
- Plant trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs in our urban areas
- Remove all the litter and fly tipping in our urban areas and countryside
- Protect and preserve rare and endangered species of all types including plant life
- Protect and preserve the remaining wilderness areas
- Build more small scale, easier to produce nuclear power plants
- Build more localised renewable energy systems
- Encourage homes of all sizes to grow a small amount of food, from a few herbs in a window box to full scale vegetable and fruit gardens
- Use technology and innovation to find ways to adapt to climate impacts
I could go on but you get the general idea. There are some areas where these ideas coincide with what the climate scientists and the latest intergovernmental panel are suggesting we do. The main difference is though there’s no need for catastrophising, doom-mongering, or scaring our children and teenagers.
Impact of Travel Restrictions on Aviation
Here’s what I said in June 2020 in that video:
“It doesn’t take an expert to work out that the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry has been nothing short of catastrophic. The effect has been disastrous for General Aviation as well as the airline industry and holiday companies.
I’m not going to mention all the statistics about the percentage drop in flights, income and so on, and you’re probably already aware of how vital aviation is for the global economy. As I’ve explained in previous videos, there are many ancillary services that rely on airlines and air travel, from the taxi drivers to the hotel staff, from the caterers to the cleaners.
The extra fuel of government job retention schemes, grants, and loans have lessened the damage, but they all must be paid for by either higher taxation or more borrowing. For anyone with ambitions involving a future within the aviation industry, whether as a pilot, cabin crew, engineer, or ground staff, this must be a very worrying time.
For the aviation industry it has been far worse than 9/11 and it will take a long time for it to regain altitude. Grounded aircraft not only fail to generate any income, but they drain cash reserves due to the ongoing cost of the essential maintenance required to keep them airworthy and ready to return to service immediately when lockdown is lifted.
Orders for new aircraft have been cancelled, thousands of jobs have been lost, and careers have been put on hold. Airbus has suggested that it may take as long as three to five years for the aviation industry to recover to pre-pandemic levels.”
Well, if things were bad then they were far worse by 2021. Airlines were wound up and the industry was on its knees. But why? Why was this being allowed to happen? Why was the aviation industry not getting the level of support it needed?
Coercion and Social Engineering
In the Spring of 2021 I began to wonder at the reason the government had issued contracts to behavioural scientists and tasked them to change our behaviour and habits in order to comply with what they believe to be the right response to the pandemic – a pandemic that is not only mild but now such a low risk that it makes all the restrictions on our lives seemed over-cautious, authoritarian, and sinister.
This coercion worked and those who refused to comply were shamed for being selfish and worse. Anyone who expressed the wish to travel or live freely ran the risk of being called out as being selfish and irresponsible.
These same governments have taken the subject of climate change to heart and they have set themselves (or agreed to) ambitious targets to cut CO2 emissions by certain dates. That being the case, could it be that the government was quietly pleased that they had managed to ground so many aircraft (and keep cruise ships in port) because it suited the climate alarmist agenda?
The Traffic Light System
They allowed some travel but they made it difficult and expensive, putting it out of reach for those who scrimp and save all year for that two week holiday in the sun or anyone else who simply wants to visit another country but who can’t afford the extra fees for various tests.
Then, having established the traffic light system and opened up travel on May 17th 2021 they threw another spanner in the works in the first week of June by moving Portugal from the green to the amber list. These caused enormous frustration and stress for travellers, the air and tourism industries, and holidaymakers.
Later in June 2021, as leaders and their vast entourages flew by private aircraft into the UK for the G7 summit in Cornwall they trolled us by posing with facemasks and performing elbow-bumps for photos before mingling and partying in complete contradiction to all the restrictions we plebs are supposed to stick to.
The Climate Alarmism Agenda
It is my opinion the UK government is indifferent to the damage caused to the aviation industry because it suits their climate alarmist agenda. They are willing to allow at least some airlines to die. They want to make flying an expensive luxury or a business necessity, out of reach of those on low incomes.
It may be that the ongoing skyrocketing fuel prices are being used in the same way. “Wean them off air travel and using private transport by making both methods difficult and expensive!”
Just as they did for the pandemic they will employ the same methods coerce people into choosing not to travel abroad (by whatever means of transport). Meanwhile, the ‘climate justice activists’ will shame people who do so by portraying them as selfish and uncaring about the supposed impact on the environment.
I feel my opinion was vindicated when I spotted this article by Ross Clark in the Daily Telegraph on June 11th, 2021.
Are climate lobbyists behind the Government’s perverse determination to keep planes grounded?” Is the Government slyly using Covid as an opportunity to wean us off foreign holidays in the hope of achieving its net zero targets?Ross Clark, The Daily Telegraph, 11 June 11th 2021
And another that appeared in August:
Is Covid being used as an excuse to stop cheap travel? From red list chaos to expensive tests and complicated rules, these new restrictions are unlikely to end when the pandemic does.Ross Clark, The Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2021
Restrictions That Remain Enforced
Am I paranoid? Look how much has changed since March 2020. Look how many restrictions are still in place and how many times we were told that we just had to be patient. Just as 9/11 resulted in security restrictions that have never since been lifted, regardless of the actual threat level or how little impact they may make on mitigating any risk, so too will Covid restrictions remain enforced for a long time.
We are being conditioned and socially engineered to meet the next big scare story that will dominate our lives in the 2020s – climate alarmism.
When the pandemic alarmism eventually fades it will be replaced with climate alarmism. It’s already a subject that is ingrained into the public consciousness with few bothering to question the science behind it.
We’ve seen the same kind of inaccurate modelling in which dire predictions are churned out, fail to materialise, and are quickly forgotten. Those who do speak out even if it’s only to ask questions or put forward alternative interpretations of the data are quickly de-platformed or censored for daring to question the narrative. The term ‘denier’ already carries the loaded implications that the person who questions climate change science is irrational and even dangerous.
2022 and beyond
If I’m wrong about this the worst that can happen is that I’ll end up with egg on my face and a year from now air travel will be buoyant again. But if I’m right then leaders within the aviation and other transport industries are going to need to mobilise and communicate in order to resist the sledgehammers being taken to their industries.