William Blackstone considered personal freedom of movement one of the absolutes of English law (see Section II here):This personal liberty consists in the power of locomotion, of changing situation, or removing one’s person to whatsoever place one’s own inclination may direct; without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law.
Looks like global warming is changing all that. Here are some quotations from a story in The Independent today, where various types express disapproval at cheap air travel:"What's happening with low-cost travel is that it's setting up unsustainable patterns of behaviour, so people are buying property in France that they wouldn't otherwise and flying to Prague rather than taking the train to Edinburgh for stag dos [bachelor parties]. Ending or changing these patterns of behaviour is all the harder to do once they are established."
"It's undeniably attractive to travel on a low-cost flight from England to the south of Spain. But as individuals we are all actors in the crisis of climate change, and we as individuals should be questioning whether our travel is necessary. I'm not suggesting people should stop all flying but getting onto a plane and causing vast amounts of pollution is a very serious action."
"I think there's a huge degree of ignorance about this. But it's the hardest of the climate change problems to solve because people really like leaving the country and they don't care that it's bad for the balance of payments or bad for the environment."
Two of those are from environmental campaigners. One is from the Conservative Party environment spokesman. Can you guess which one?
People are now seriously talking about "personal carbon allowances" that would mean you would not be able to travel if you don't have enough points left. The implications for liberty are staggering.
Or frightening. But remember - according to Gore, Dean, et al., George W. Bush is the scary one.