Get on yer bike Vanessa

 For the back story click here and here

This morning I found myself listening to BBC Radio London. The Vanessa Feltz phone-in had Mr Addison Lee a.k.a. John Griffin spouting bollocks about cyclists. The basic premise of the programme was 'are cyclists bad road users?' I called the radio station twice but didn't get on air so here in a nutshell is what I told them. Firstly I said it's entirely inappropriate to allow John Griffin to agitate against cyclists whilst not mentioning that he is also inciting his 2500 drivers to break the law. The producer/telephonist said he might get back to me, he didn't. I called again to set straight a different point that road tax is levied against emissions and that Griffin's "pay up" demand was a red herring. "So are you pro bike or anti bike?" asked the producer/telephonist. I pointed out that it's not that simple but if you're going to frame it like that I'm pro bike. Again I was told they might get back to me - they never did.

I'm wondering if the producers screen out sensible voices in order to create conflict, and hence a story. Most of the callers seemed to support Griffin with nothing more than anecdotal evidence. But I really think my points should have been made up front.

Griffin's hypocrisy knows no bounds. He calls for restrictions for cyclists whilst calling on his own mini cabbies to break the law and drive in road space reserved for cyclists. When this point was made to Feltz she said "what's that got to do with cyclists then?"(37:20).  Griffin also says (12:40) "I'm not in the business of breaking the law" , that's not true, and he was not challenged on that.

The worst point that was made was that cars have side impact protection and air bags and bikes do not. Hang on a mo' Vanessa, the idea behind air bags is to make your car safer for you, not for making the Queen's highway into a stock car race. Sheeesh.

Vanessa's broadcast was simply irresponsible because it used a broad brush to polarize road users. Yet we all have a right to use limited road space, until John Griffin acknowledges that he shouldn't be allowed to use the BBC as a platform. In short cyclists need a union to fight against this kind of prejudice.

Olympics are worst thing for Londoners - it's Official

The Olympics are coming to town, you can be sure of it because they are going to have their own express lanes through OUR traffic jams. But Olympic VIPs don't just get to speed past ambulances on the roads - they've enjoyed a superhighway through the legislative process too with get this Bespoke Legislation . And if that aint enough just mentioning London 2012 could land you in hot water with Seb Coe and his cronies. Yes, you can't say come to London in 2012 unless you are a sponsor of the Olympics.

So, as a Londoner in 2012 throughout that charade I might feel a little resentful towards these sponsors . But I better not have a heart attack 'cos the ambulance taking me to hospital would be gridlocked 'til  London 2012 sorry, the games are over.

To relieve us of this ire Greenwash Gold are asking "Who is the worst Olympic sponsor of 2012?" It's a tough call, but the organizers have narrowed it down to three. Tar sands developer BP, monolithic mining polluter Rio Tinto and Bhopal tragedy profiteers Dow Chemical.

They're all in very bad company, in fact I sometimes wonder if it's all a parody of good taste, what with Atos Origin sponsoring the paralympics. Who's the official doctor, Harold Shipman ? Here are three official campaign vids .

Click Here to go to the Greenwash Gold site and cast your vote for the Worst Olympic Sponsor London 2012 Vote Early and Vote Often


Anthony Watts can't do Attribution

Update: This post has been substantially rewritten now that Anthony Watts has printed my comment to his blog.

Anthony Watts declares on his blog : USA’s record warm March 2012 not caused by “global warming”

To support this assertion Watts draws on the work of Dr Martin P. Hoerling of NOAA . Hoerling finds GHG forcing "likely contributed on the order of 5% to 10% of the magnitude of the heat wave" which turns Watts's headline on it's head.  Dr Martin P. Hoerling is an expert on attribution.  Anthony Watts is not.  So there's a wide gulf between the words of a NOAA scientist and what the blogger says the scientists said.  WUWT cannot reflect the highly nuanced question of attribution. And that's not opinion, that is observation.


Sophistry takes on science

 Amazon Book Review of The Hockey Stick Illusion
1 Star

This book has become something of a cult classic amongst those seeking to deny anthropogenic global warming. Telling the story of Stephen McIntyre's assault on Professor Michael Mann's temperature graph which demonstrates the steep rise in late 20th century temperatures.

The statistical methods under dispute are analysed in tedious detail by Montford, but The Hockey Stick Illusion is notable for what is left out rather than what the author has chosen to include. This sleight of hand reaches a crescendo on page 212 when Montford slips in that McIntyre would  not be offering up an alternative global temperature reconstruction but was “merely demonstrating that Mann's was not robust." This second hand unfootnoted account of where McIntyre has set the bar for his own quest is all we have to define "discredited". Whether that speaks to McIntyre's  confidence in his own work or his objectives is a good question which Montford never asks, probably because the answer would result in criticism of his hero which is outside the scope of this hagiography. 

So McIntyre's approach never actually leads to a destination, it's the journey that counts. And because Montford always faces the direction opposing scientific consensus on climate the book misleads  the reader as to the scale and importance of observed recent global warming.

This is wrong because science is what is known, not what you want it to be. Someone once described science as lighting a candle in the darkness, sadly Montford and McIntyre's science is the opposite. 

Numerous researchers have replicated the hockey stick graph but McIntyre is not one of them. A true skeptic would smell a rat at that point. A scientific theory remains valid until it has been disproved or somebody comes up with something better. Neither has happened, so this book settles for the next best thing – magnifying the uncertainties inherent in scientific research whilst translating it into a popular narrative – and because this takes place under the shadow of public policy a dash of libertarian flavour is added too. For that Mr Montford will probably be remembered as the 21st century's most successful propagandist.