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Eco-friendly flying

Published in The Guardian, 8th January 2007

Ian Pearson has attacked the airline industry and gone so far as to brand Ryanair as "irresponsible". Michael O'Leary is more than capable of defending himself, but the proposed inclusion of airlines in the European carbon-trading scheme looks suspiciously like a way to tax an easy target rather than something which would have any real effect.

Like all carbon-reduction initiatives it is built on the premise that human use of fossil fuels is driving an increase in average temperatures. This remains a plausible but unproven hypothesis, and the fact that 1998 remains the warmest year on record does little to strengthen it. By all means strive for energy efficiency, but don't pretend that increasing the cost of flying will make any difference to the climate.

Current Issues

Future costs of UK energy supply

The Scientific Alliance recently published part 1 of an examination of National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios, dealing with security of supply. We are now pleased to publish part 2 - cost of supply. The authors - Dr Capell Aris and Colin Gibson - conclude that building more gas and nuclear stations would be considerably less expensive than any of the NG scenarios, as well as offering better energy security.

What's New

14 October 2016: Read the new report by Dr Capell Aris, published jointly with the Adam Smith Institute - Solar power in Britain: the Impossible Dream