Posts Tagged ‘Aviation’

Union Hand-Roasted Coffee supply coffee to British Airways

July 24, 2018

Union Hand-Roasted Coffee are supplying coffee to British Airways for serving from automated machines in airport lounges and by stewards on their flights.

This is is not good news, indeed it is very bad news.

It is not good news if care about coffee, if Union care about their reputation, if care about the planet.

Global warming is killing coffee. The only people who will be able to afford coffee, the 1%, the very same people sitting in airport lounges pontificating on the delights of Union coffee being served by British Airways, now BA as not British owned.

Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases. Does Union really wish their name to be linked to a major climate polluter?

In the northern hemisphere we are seeing record high temperatures this summer. This is not the new norm, this is the beginning of relentless rise in global temperatures as climate change kicks in.

How are Union to explain to the poor farmers when their crops fail due to rising temperatures that they were a willing party?

Supply coffee to other than speciality coffee shops harms the reputation of Union. On the other hand, if profit is the driving motive, then maybe a good deal.

Union supply coffee to Waitrose. On the shelf can be found coffee at least two months old. If lucky, only a month old.

Union supply coffee to Gail’s Bakery. The coffee at Gail’s Farnham is undrinkable.

Clifton Coffee supply coffee to Cosy Club. A corporate chain of fake 1930s bars, so fake a parody of fake. The coffee served in Cosy Club Guildford is undrinkable.

Jamie Oliver has a coffee kiosk at Gatwick serving Italian corporate brand coffee, barely drinkable coffee. A tragedy. With many excellent coffee roasteries locally the coffee kiosk could be used to showcase excellent local coffee.

If care about reputational damage, take care where supply coffee.

Yet one of life’s ironies, Grocer and Grain in Brighton, the owner passionate about coffee, has a good range of coffee on the shelves, including Union, but that on the shelves not as fresh as could be, he would love to serve Union coffee, but Union will not supply, therefore obtained through a third party, thus that on the shelves not as fresh as he would like it to be.

Russian Knights

November 25, 2012
Russian Knights

Russian Knights

The Russian Knights aerobatic team performed its first test flight over China. Five Russian fighters displayed their aerobatic prowess during the opening of the 9th International Aviation and Aerobatic Exhibition in the Chinese city of Zhuhai.

Farnborough International Airshow 2012

July 16, 2012
A fun day out for the family at the world's biggest arms fair

A fun day out for the family at the world’s biggest arms fair

helicopter view of Farnborough International Airshow

helicopter view of Farnborough International Airshow

Red Arrows

Red Arrows

Farnborough International Airshow is promoted as a fun day out for the family. It is anything but, it is where the Merchants of Death ply their trade. Kids go free. In modern warfare, civilians and especially children, suffer the highest casualties.

Farnborough International Airshow is the world’s biggest arms fair. On trade days you can see how ingenious is man in devising ever better ways to kill his fellow man.

For local residents it is two weeks of hell, two weeks of horrendous noise, one week of blocked roads, illegal parking, criminal damage to grass verges.

As a sop to local residents, FIA2012 offered local residents free tickets, then reneged on their offer.

Farnborough International Airshow is the place to see the latest the world of aviation has to offer.

Free tickets Farnborough Airshow

July 12, 2012
Vulcan with Red Arrows in V formation

Vulcan with Red Arrows in V formation

Boeing Dreamliner

Boeing Dreamliner

… we would like to invite you to apply for a pair of complimentary tickets – FIA12

For two weeks Farnborough residents suffer horrendous head-splitting noise as warplanes fly overhead.

For one week roads are sealed off, roads gridlocked. A journey of 10 to 20 minutes takes two hours.

Local residents closest to the airshow are being security checked into and out of their homes, have to provide ID. A foretaste of the London Olympics?

As a sop to local residents they are offered two free tickets per household. The area in which this is being offered is less than the last airshow two years ago (when first introduced) and the tickets are restricted on a first come first served basis (which has now been exceeded).

Local residents have to go to a web address, fill out their post code, how many tickets, in whose name, provide address, e-mail, mobile number (if nothing else a trawling exercise to gather personal information on local residents). Finally an on-line pdf invoice which presumably one prints off and takes to reclaim ones ticket.

What if you have no printer, what if, you go back later and find the pdf invoice is no longer there, has timed out?

A telephone number, 01252 532800, several options, and several tries to get through. Ticket sales say not them, try a different option.

Eventuality a singularly unhelpful female who says you should have picked up the tickets beforehand, you cannot now get in, as all tickets have gone.

You have an invoice, or had, that says you have tickets, they are even in your name.

No, says the woman, you should have picked them up before, did you not read the letter.

The eight numbered bullet points say how to apply, give telephone number if a problem, say pick tickets up from gate B. Nothing about picking up tickets in advance. The rest of the letter two pages of detailed fine print on road closures and diversions, then a third page of maps showing road closures and diversions. The on-line form said nothing about picking up tickets in advance.

Unhelpful female said some had picked up tickets in advance. Pushed for someone to deal with the problem, gave an e-mail of someone who it was claimed was handling complaints re tickets.

There is going to be a lot of very angry local residents on Saturday and Sunday who turn up expecting to get in, and find they are denied access.

The Farnborough Airshow is promoted as a fun day out for the family, kids go free.

It is not, it is an arms fair, dealers in death. In modern warfare, civilians and especially children, suffer the highest casualties.

Tickets on the public days are £41 each! Kids go free.

The public get a raw deal. Many of the stands are empty. They do not see the information on how effective at killing are the goods on display. If they are there for the flying, any local resident will tell them you get a better view from outside.

North Camp Station is offering the tickets cash only at somewhat less than £41 each.

Good for business

January 31, 2012

Good for business. A meaningless expression.

We were told doubling the capacity of Farnborough Airport was good for business. We were told it was good for the surrounding area. Not the views of those who live in the surrounding area, who value their quality of life. Not good for the nearby towns of Farnborough and Aldershot, both of which lie semi-derelict, though that owes as much to greedy developers and bad planning. Expansion of Farnborough Airport is good for Saudi-owned TAG Aviation, owners and operators of Farnborough. [see Farnborough Airport News]

Farnborough Airport was never going to be good for the local economy, as it is not a major employer. It lacks shops, customs, baggage handling, immigration control. At an average occupancy rate of 2.5 passengers per flight it is extremely bad for the environment.

HS2 we are told is good for business. There are even figures to show, it will shave 25 minutes off the journey time for businessmen travelling between London and Birmingham, as they will be the only ones using HS2. Not sure why anyone would wish to visit Birmingham, let alone get there 25 minutes sooner. Though I guess it may be an advantage to get away 25 minutes quicker.

High Speed trains are not good for the environment, major polluters. The scheme is simply an opportunity for the construction industry to make money. If there is money for investment in rail, then invest it in the rail network in order that we may all benefit.

Farce of rail price hikes

Crossrail will link east and west London. An excellent idea, but that is not why it is being built. It is being built to provide the City of London with a fast connection to Heathrow. Once again the taxpayer is being asked to subsidise the City of London. If the City of London wants a fast link to Heathrow, then the City of London should pay for it.

Thames Estuary Airport is the latest White Elephant. Again we are told good for businessmen, expanding airport capacity is good for business. We are told Heathrow lacks the capacity, lacks the destinations of other airports. Not true, but when has the truth ever got in the way when fast bucks are to be made?

Boris Island airport versus Thames estuary wildlife

London airports have 1113 departure flights to key business destinations compared with Paris 499, Frankfurt 443, and Amsterdam 282. Heathrow has 990 departure flights each week to the world’s key business centres – Charles de Gaulle 484 and Frankfurt 450.

Will aviation expand at the projected rate? Highly unlikely as flights will become too expensive as airlines are forced to pay their true environmental costs and the cost of fuel rockets.

Airports are not only a cost to private developers, it is the public purse that pays for the surrounding infrastructure.

Thames Estuary Airport would mean the closure of Heathrow, possibly Gatwick too. Massive loss of capital investment, not just Heathrow, but all the surrounding businesses. Massive unemployment west London.

Quality of life is a major determinant when people decide where they wish to live. London fails miserably. Expanding aviation would only make the quality of life worse.

London too dirty for business?

London ranks 25 on a table of air pollution for European cities. Mercer’s Worldwide Quality of Living Survey 2011 placed London in 38th place (out of 221 cities), behind Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

New report claims poor environment, not lack of airport capacity, threatens London’s status as top city to do business
London Claims Most Traffic Congested City in Europe Prize
Boris Johnson and the ‘invisible crisis’ of air pollution
London ranks among worst European cities for air pollution
Climate Rush Soho roadblock

London 2012 Olympics another mega disaster. Good for tourism, we were told. Greedy hoteliers jacked up their rates tenfold.

Slow Start For Olympic Biz Jet Bookings
Operators claim UK tourism affected by reserved Olympic rooms

I warned people to avoid London during the Olympics, avoid London end of July, all of August and early September. It will be hell in London. The transport system cannot cope now. Roads are to be hijacked for exclusive Olympic use. I am pleased to say people heeded my advice. London will be a no-go area for tourists, hotels will sit half empty.

Across the country town and city centres have been destroyed by developers out to make a fast buck and corrupt planners in their pockets. Good for business we are told. Good for greedy developers, good for High Street retailers, but not good for communities who see their towns laid waste, not good for local communities who see the wealth of the community leached out, not good for those who lose their livelihood and jobs when local businesses close.

In Lincoln, Sincil Street all that is left of character in the market area is due for destruction.

Destruction of Sincil Street

There are exceptions. Communities are saying enough is enough. We are no longer going to be walked all over by Big Business and corrupt politicians.

The Victorian Queen’s Market at Upton Park in London, one of the few remaining traditional East End London markets, was due for destruction. It has been saved, the developer St Modwen driven out of town.

Across the country traditional markets are being destroyed, bastardised and yuppified. Queen’s Market is one of the few remaining London east end markets. It was under threat when the mayor got into bed with property developer St Modwen who have track record of trashing town town centres (eg Farnborough and Hatfield), it was to be destroyed for a supermarket, but after a six year fight, Friends of Queen’s Market have sent St Modwen’s packing with their corporate tail between their legs. Remaining is to be answered is how much taxpayers money has the mayor wasted on this ill-thought-out scheme? He and the councillors who backed him should be surcharged and made personally bankrupt to recover ever last penny.

Queens Market
Asda v Queens Market
Victory for Queens Market!!

The irony is that those towns that have retained their traditional markets are thriving, the markets major tourist attractions. But that does not provide development opportunities, enable fast bucks to be made.

Bury Market in Lancashire – 300 stalls, a quarter of a million visitors every day! The success of Bury Market is down to two factors, quality stalls selling quality products and that the market worked with the local council to a common ethos, a common agenda.

BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards 2008

Communities are starting to take control of their own destinies. Often it is from small beginnings. In Alton, Greening Alton plants up small patches of land for vegetables, Transition Heathrow and Incredible Edible Todmorden has taken this much further.

We are in charge now

We can have development, but it has to be sustainable development, development that is good for people and planet. Good for businesses had to be consigned to the dustbin of history. Anyone remember, one for the road, an extra pint before driving off from the pub?

Put planet and its people at the core of sustainable development

Contrails over Washingborough

January 6, 2012
contrails over Washingborough

contrails over Washingborough

contrails over Washingborough

contrails over Washingborough

This morning at around 10am clear blue sky and looking West at least 16 contrails in the sky.

Looking East about ten minutes later, yet more contrails covering the sky.

I then had AWACs flying overhead all day.

Shameful treatment of John Stewart

September 30, 2011

Escorted off a plane by armed guards, questioned by Customs and FBI for several hours, denied access to the US, deported.

Not quite the reception one expects on arrival in the US, but that is what happened to John Stewart when he arrived in the US for a speaking tour.

His only ‘crime’, being an environmental activist!

Third runway protester escorted off plane and barred from America
John Stewart refused entry to USA for speaking tour, due to visa problem
Green activist who stopped Heathrow third runway heads to U.S. to explain how he did it… by aeroplane of course

Gaia strikes back

April 19, 2010
clear blue sky, no contrails

clear blue sky, no contrails

‘Let’s delete the arrogant “save the planet” motto, and change to “educate the humans”.’ — Paulo Coelho

‘Save the planet? Planet must be saying, “Save yourself idiots, I will be fine”.’ — Paulo Coelho

‘Human destiny is bound to remain a gamble, as at some unpredictable time and in some unforeseeable manner nature will strike back.’ — Rene Dubos

Clear blue skies, no contrails. Peace and quiet.

We are in a privileged position. We are seeing the world as it will be in the near future when no planes fly. When we can hear bird song. We will arrive at this position either when fuel becomes prohibitively expensive or citizen groups occupy and shut down airports.

It would only take a couple of activists from Earth First! to seize the control tower, disable the equipment and shut down Farnborough Airport, a business airport near London. Business aviation with its low occupancy is one of the most obscene forms of transport.

Aviation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases.

No planes fly. Gaia has spoken and shut down the airspace of northern Europe.

We have become overdependent on aviation, especially airfreight. Do we really need to import so-called fresh green beans from Kenya, all of uniform size? Even worse fresh flowers. Each day 500 tonnes of fresh flowers to Europe from Kenya alone. Land in Africa that should be growing food for local people, supplying local markets. The runoff is polluting local water supplies, lakes are shrinking, water tables falling.

Do we really need strawberries all year round? Nothing beats fresh English strawberries at the start of the season. It is only then that you know summer has arrived.

Airlines and airports are now calling for an end to flight restrictions. Profit must come before safety. Some are even calling for the public purse to bail out failing airlines!

Farnborough Airport simply ignores the no fly ban, putting passengers and crew and those on the ground at risk. Business as usual, profit before people and planet.

Eyjafjallajoekull has managed to achieve what no terrorist group has so far managed to achieve, the closure of UK and European airspace.

It is only in our arrogance that we think we can save the planet. Even worse is the hypocrisy of groups like Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network who are supporting the logging of old growth forests.

We may already be at a tipping point. What though we can do is protect old growth forests and other valuable ecosystems, stop the burning of coal, drastically reduce aviation and other fossil fuel forms of transport.

Volcanoes are essential to life. The earth has a molten core. Tectonic plates move around on the surface. Iceland straddles two tectonic plates, the North American and European plates. The volcanoes are on the fault line. Volcanoes provide earth with its atmosphere, the living systems help to maintain that atmosphere.

Mars has no molten core, no volcanoes, no atmosphere. Hence no life.

Gaia has spoken.

also see

‘Tiny’ climate changes may trigger quakes
UK airspace closed!
A world without planes
Iceland volcano: Kenya’s farmers losing $1.3 million a day in flights chaos
How the volcano took out our fruit salad
UK relies on ‘virtual’ water from drought-prone countries, says report
Farnborough Airport breaches no fly ban
Plan B 2.0
Funny Weather
The Gaia Atlas of Planet Management
The Revenge of Gaia

UK airspace closed!

April 16, 2010
Eyjafjallajoekull eruption NASA Terra Satellite at 1139 GMT Thursday 15 April 2010

Eyjafjallajoekull eruption NASA Terra Satellite at 1139 GMT Thursday 15 April 2010

1200 BST Thursday 15 April 2010 UK airspace was closed, all flights grounded. 0830 BST Friday 16 April 2010 the ban on flights was extended until 0100 BST Saturday 17 April 2010 with the likelihood of the ban being extended into the weekend.

Closure of UK airspace is unprecedented. The cause being the eruption of a volcano in Iceland which is spewing dust into the upper atmosphere. Were this dust to be ingested by jet engines it was would damage the engines.

Across northern Europe airspace has been closed and flights grounded. Which begs the question why a flight was allowed to take off from Farnborough Airport midmorning today (approximately 1030 BST)?

Never a pleasant experience at the best of times, passengers at airports have been subjected to indefinite delay.

For people living in close proximity to an airport it has been unexpected peace and quiet. Bliss.

The closure of UK airspace has served to highlight how dependent the UK has become on aviation, in particular airfreight, especially so-called fresh fruit and vegetables, for example green beans from Kenya.

The Eyjafjallajoekull eruption was the second in Iceland in less than a month.


Iceland volcano: UK flights grounded for second day

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