Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Monbiot was a journalist, not an engineer, last I checked.
So now we know: Richard Branson doesn't read the Guardian. On Thursday, it published an extract from my book showing that there are no foreseeable substitutes for aviation fuel (kerosene) that don't currently cause more harm than good. A few hours later, Branson announced that he would be investing £1.6bn in technologies intended to reduce climate change. First among them would be alternative fuels for aircraft.
So now we know, Monbiot doesn't think it is possible that Branson disagrees with him after reading The Guardian. Anyway, Here's Monbiot's book excerpt
And that, I'm afraid, is that. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change discovered, "There would not appear to be any practical alternatives to kerosene-based fuels for commercial jet aircraft for the next several decades." There is, in other words, no technofix. The growth in aviation and the need to address climate change cannot be reconciled. In common with all other sectors, aviation's contribution to global warming must be reduced in the UK by some 87% if we are to avoid a 2C rise in global temperatures. Given that the likely possible efficiencies are small and tend to counteract each other, an 87% cut in emissions requires not only that growth stops, but that most of the aeroplanes flying today be grounded. I realise that this is not a popular message, but it is hard to see how a different conclusion could be extracted from the available evidence.
I can't see why it would be a bad thing to throw $400M, or £1.6bn in new engineering research.

Helen mentioned something about Kerosene from light, sweet crude actually running out in a few years' time, especially on the current consumption trends. So, if Kerosene does run out, Monbiot will get what he wants and planes will be grounded.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 07:44:45 AM EST

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