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Whitstable Moan: The effect of delivery office closures on air quality in Canterbury.
According to the Climate Change Act 2008, there are legally binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 80% by 2050.
2050 is a long way off and most of the councillors with responsibility for meeting the targets will be long gone by then. That must be why John Gilbey, the ex leader of Canterbury City Council, thought that it wasn’t all that important.
As he said, “the levels of air pollution are not that bad and only just over the top.”
So that’s OK then. I wonder if the same rules would apply were I engaged in the much less harmful practice of smoking marijuana in the privacy of my own room? Could I argue in the courts that my levels of smoking weren’t that bad and only just over the top?
Could I quote Mr. Gilbey’s line on climate change by saying that marijuana smoking is not the biggest issue facing us, and that I will take practical proper action, although I doubt that I will ever stop smoking?
The law, it seems, only applies to certain people at certain times.
Meanwhile, air quality levels in Broad Street, Military Road and Sturry Road were already in breach of the law before Herne Bay and Whitstable delivery offices closed between 2012 and 2013, since when all of the postal workers in both offices are forced to commute to work, instead of cycling or walking as many of them did previously.
Up to 100 extra postal vans exit the offices at around the same time and Whitstable and Herne Bay people have been made to drive to Canterbury to collect their undelivered packets, instead of walking to their delivery office as they were able to do before.
The Royal Mail claim that they are reducing emissions. The trick they are playing here is that they are only counting their own emissions and not taking into account the extra emissions caused by their own staff and customers driving to and from Canterbury.
But I guess it doesn’t matter. We can all take Mr Gilbey’s view. We’ll be dead by 2050 and climate change will be someone else's problem.