Greenpeace Creates Gridlock to Block Heathrow Expansion

April 2, 2009

In the book, I talk primarily about how gridlock inadvertently blocks innovation and growth.  Sometimes, however, people deliberately create gridlock to achieve other social ends, such as environmental conservation.  Here’s an example send to me by two alert readers, Jim Wuorio and William Murphy.  (Thanks for the tips and keep them coming!)  According to the Times of London story:

Greenpeace has bought a field the size of a football pitch and plans to invite protesters to dig networks of tunnels across it, similar to those built in the ultimately unsuccessful campaign against the Newbury bypass in 1996. The group also plans to divide the field into thousands of tiny plots, each with a separate owner.   BAA, the airport’s owner, would be forced to negotiate with each owner, lengthening the compulsory purchase process.

And TreeHugger.com describes how the “AirPlot” works:

The gist is this: amazingly, and the Heathrow planners must be wondering how this slipped by unnoticed, Greenpeace have been able to buy up a small piece of land, about half the size of a football pitch, in the middle of the proposed third runway site. They are now appealing to the general public to add their names to the ‘Legal Deed of Trust’ as ‘beneficial owners’. All you have to do is go to the Greenpeace website and sign up.

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