The Rt Hon Gordon Brown
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

A. citizen
100 Any Road
Typical Town


Date:   14th February 2008
 Dear Gordon Brown

Airport Expansion and Sustainability

Since jet fuel will be no longer be available in the future, to expand existing airports or even build new airports surely has nothing to do with sustainability, except for sustaining the profits of the industry! Of course jet fuel is currently available and will be for some time to come but I believe that we are entitled to know what advice the government has been given about the need for more airports given the facts that there is apparently no alternative to jet fuel.

What is this increasing demand for air transport? Is this a real demand based on a real need? Who actually needs an expansion in air transport? Please enlighten us Prime Minister. I suspect that it is based on holiday traffic.

If this government is pandering to the people's desires to have a holiday abroad then surely it needs to take steps, to have the guts, to inform the people that this modern industrial society is in many respects just a temporary state. A temporary state that has been built initially on coal and later on oil and gas resources, that even the men of knowledge in the 18th century knew would eventually be used up. One can hardly blame them for not taking a responsibility for the future. With two world Wars in the twentieth century, one can hardly blame those men of knowledge, for not taking responsibility for the future effects of using these fossil resources. What excuses are there today for not taking responsibility for our future, our grandchildren's future and their children's future; in my opinion none. We now know for sure that, and it's is obvious isn't it, that the raw material for obtaining fuel is running out and this is accelerating with the industrial growth of China, India and other countries. Perhaps, this notion of the temporary nature of our present day society is not one shared by the government? If so I believe that we are entitled to know what the government considers, or has been advised, to be the role of the use of fossil fuel in our society and other societies and its replacement.

 In addition to the waste of jet fuel there is the waste of concrete. The widespread use of concrete in building these runways (and in construction generally) is also going to become a major cause of concern. This modern material cannot be economically re-used, whereas in the past, before the industrial age, building materials were sustainable. Stone for example, being relatively small, can be reused again and again, and provided it is used locally, has low transport costs. Wood can be obtained and is sustainable subject to reasonable demand, from home grown sources, year after year, century after century.

We should pay our respects to those that lived in the past and that contributed to our modern society but where is the respect for our future and those that will face the disastrous mistakes that are being made today?

 Or is the government too scared to legislate in a manner that will protect our future because it will annoy the short sighted voters? Is this what democracy reduces to; giving in to an ignorant if not selfish demand that contributes to the waste of resources, precious resources; resources that when they are gone, will be gone for ever.

The picture I see of our future, given the right, forward thinking decisions are made, is of a people living with high tech communications but in rural communities growing their own food and at this time of year sitting in front of a wood fire. Their environment will be attractive to live in because steps would have been made to protect what is attractive and worth preserving. People will walk more, will cycle and be happier and healthier. This is not some pipe dream but is what I believe we will need to survive. The population density which is already too high in England if not Wales and Scotland must not be allowed to increase.

The nuclear option, since it will be mentioned as a source of energy, although not jet fuel, is exactly similar to oil and coal in that Uranium is a finite resource and as I understand it will run out before coal. Furthermore, the waste that is produced from nuclear power stations is for all intents and purposes untreatable.

Wouldn't it be sensible given an agreement with the logic of the above argument to place a moratorium on airport expansion? Alternatively, please explain why my argument has flaws?

 Your sincerely

 A. Citizen

A letter has been received from the Prime Minister's office and is published below

From the Direct Communications Unit    29 February 2008

Dear Citizen

The Prime Minister has asked me to thank you for your letter of 14 February regarding airport expansion and sustainability. The views that you have expressed have been carefully noted.

Mr Brown would like to reply to you personally, but as you may know, he receives many thousands of letters each week and his many duties mean that he must ask Government Departments to reply on his behalf. He does appreciate the time that people take to write to him.

The Prime Minister has asked that I pass your letter to both the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform so that they are aware of your views and concerns and may reply to the detailed points raised in your letter.

Yours sincerely R SMITH

  Unfortunately, we are not going to get a detailed reply to the points raised in my letter. A letter explaining the way in which my letter is going to be used is published below

Heathrow Consultation Team 1/26 Great Minster House 76 Marsham Street London, SW1P4DR


020 7944 3234

Our Ref: 006445/08 Friday, 25 April 2008

Dear Citizen,

'Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport' consultation

Thank you for your letter regarding expansion at Heathrow airport. As you are aware, the Government has been consulting on proposals for the development of Heathrow airport over the next 20 years or more. The consultation closed on 27 February 2008.

Due to the volume of responses received to the consultation it will not be possible to provide you with answers to the individual issues raised in your letter. However, your letter will be treated as a formal response to this consultation. It has now been logged and passed to our response analysis team. All of the issues and questions raised in your letter will be examined as part of this process.

Ministers will take account of all the evidence, including responses to the consultation, in reaching final policy decisions, which are expected later in 2008.

In the meantime, although the consultation is now closed and no further responses will be accepted, full information about it is available online at Hard copies of the consultation materials may still be obtained by telephone on 0845 600 4170 or by emailing

Thank you for taking the time to register your views.

Yours Sincerely,


The Heathrow Consultation Team