Saturday, January 17, 2009

Heathrow decision - hypocrisy in action

The decision just made by the UK Labour Government to proceed with expansion of Heathrow Airport exemplifies the well known phenomenon in political life of not 'walking the talk'. Or, put another way, it demonstrates the common mismatch between what people espouse and what they do (as explained by Chris Argyris and Donald Shön). The Labour Government has done much, perhaps more than most governments, to espouse policies relating to sustainable development and to climate change mitigation and adaptation. This descison however higlights the extent of the mismatch between espousing and acting - it thus holds itself open to the charge of systematic and entrenched 'greenwashing'.

There is nothing moral, intelligent, courageous, ethical or wise about this decision. I hope that the decision is never enacted - whether by change of government, dissent within the Labour Party or civil, non-violent, protest.

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