His environment minister may have branded Ryanair the “irresponsible face of capitalism” for its reckless disregard for climate change, but maybe Blair should be called the “irresponsible face of politics” after his recent comments on flying.
The British Prime Minister has said that he has no intention of abandoning long-haul holiday flights to reduce his carbon footprint.
“I personally think these things are a bit impractical actually to expect people to do that,” says Blair, who recently had a family holiday in Miami. Blair is said to be hoping that energy efficiency will be enough to reduce aircrafts impact on the climate.
Green campaigners labeled Blair “delusional”. Emily Armistead, of Greenpeace, responded angrily: “Tony Blair is crossing his fingers and hoping someone will invent aeroplanes that don’t cause climate change. But that’s like holding out for cigarettes that don’t cause cancer. Hoping for the best isn’t a policy, it’s a delusion.”
As Geroge Monbiot writes in today’s Guardian, “Let me remind you [Blair] of something else you said last year, at the launch of the Clinton Climate Initiative: “If we do not regard this issue with the gravity it demands, if we do not motivate ourselves to take the decisions commensurate with the gravity of the threat that we face, we will betray in the most irresponsible way the generations to come. That is not something I want on my conscience as a political leader.”
I don’t think Blair would know a conscience if he tripped over one.