Nik Butler: Work together for something better than the status quo

JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001
JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001

I do not usually follow up one article with another of the same vein but as the gang of four have, thankfully, been otherwise occupied and everyone else has broken up for the summer holidays there is time to reflect on other issues.

Last week I wrote about CAGNEs http://www.cagne.org/ concerns over noise and the environment and this week LAMBS http://lambs.org.uk/ have also piqued my interest. Both campaigns should be admired for the quality of promotional material, communications, and websites content. The graphics, articles and linked information are to be commended for making an effort to “put information out there”.

However in looking to these and other protests of similar nature I realise that there is a growing desire whose focus is all too clear in Sussex to define Britain, and the more rural counties, as places without noise or damage. To that end I do not feel that those campaigns are going far enough.

The means and mechanisms for protests have never been cheaper to access and yet the messages and the end game are rarely more than enforcing a return to what went before. In doing so I feel they are missing the opportunity to answer business with business.

Developments will not be pushed ahead where investment cannot be recouped; so to answer those threats they might be seeking a greater investment whose impact answers the community values ahead of those shareholders.

Look to the Balcombe protesting community who have now formed Back Balcombe http://www.backbalcombe.org/ a clean energy co-op in response to old energy ideals. CAGNEs concern over noise and pollution has the potential to capitalise on similar impacts by suggesting a new industry researching the opportunity to improve engine performance and reduce pollution. The chance for a Gatwick Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a requirement to nationally require improvements to aircraft engines is a low hanging fruit.

Similarly LAMBS could be leading the drive to force back recent legislation which aims to undermine the security of our national parks and rural areas from planning and exploration; protecting more than just one corner of Sussex.

So whilst we enjoy those blue contrail skies and listen to the sound of approaching oil platforms is it not time to gather the protest groups together to find some common ground in which to build the foundations of something more than the status quo?