The Anonymous Widower

PM Backs Clean Air Law

The title of this post is the front page headline on today’s copy of The Times.

This is the sub-heading of the article on The Times web site.

PM promises binding targets to reduce pollution and praises Times campaign

In a separate box in the paper, which is entitled Our Manifesto, this is said.

  • A new Clean Air Act to confer a legal right to unjpolluted air for everyone in the UK.
  • A ban on new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 and cuts to green car grants to be traversed.
  • Temporary traffic bans outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times.
  • The extension of pre-2016 diesel and pre-2006 petrol pay zones to more cities.
  • Pollution monitors in every postcode to empower people to take action.

How far will Boris Johnson go to meet the manifesto of The Times in the Queen’s Speech on Monday?

October 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 5 Comments

Are Extinction Rebellion Counter Productive?

I am coming to the conclusion that Extinction Rebellion are a bunch of climate-change fascists of the left, that mirror, the racist and immigration fascists on the right.

Both have unrealistic ambitions and just like Hitler and Stalin want to control out lives and give themselves and their acolytes absolute power.

In my mind, there is no difference between the extreme left and extreme right. For instance the extreme-right is generally thought to be anti-Semitic and who is being accused of that now? The once respectable Labour Party, which is now more useless than a chocolate teapot.

I am scientifically green and have been so since my I left Liverpool University round fifty years ago.

I have believed in global warming for about thirty years, ever since I was told by a guy on the NASA team, that measured the Earth’s temperature from satellites, that the world was warming up.

No matter what Bolsonaro Trump, Xi Jinping and other leaders say, global warming is a NASA fact!

But large numbers of people don’t believe in good scientific practice and behaviour.

  • Some are anti-vaccination.
  • Some believe in homeopathy.
  • Many believe in religion, some of which are totally bonkers!
  • Some think the 9/11 attacks were faked or carried out by the Israelis.
  • Some believe the moon landings were faked!
  • Some believe in log fires.
  • They drive hundreds of miles to work every year.
  • They drive their children everywhere.
  • They never talk to anybody of a different race or religion.
  • Some have a holiday home in Cornwall, North Norfolk, France or Spain.

There is only one way to convince morons like these to change to a more scientifically-green lifestyle.

By nudging them to it, by showing them it can be better and more affordable.

Extinction Rebellion and their ilk just alienate Middle England and they push green issues under the carpet for another day.

Incidentally, we need politicians at both a National and local level to stop playing stupid games about Brexit and get on with the job of improving the lives of all of the residents of the UK.

 

 

October 7, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | 5 Comments

Perhaps We Should Ask The Japanese To Sort Out The Problem Of The Irish Backstop?

September 28, 2019 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | 3 Comments

Should We Have An Electronic Vote On Brexit?

We need to do something quick and radical to sort out Brexit.

Surely, if electronic voting is good enough for Estonia, it’s good enough for us!

Also if we can work out a secure system for Strictly Come Dancing and Love Island, we must have the technology for a secure vote!

Try getting that proposal through the House of Commons

September 24, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | 4 Comments

Boris Gets Screwed, Glued And Tattooed

I voted Remain, but just wish that this Brexit rubbish can be sorted one way or another!

With my circumstances as a non-driving, single pensioner living alone in a comfortable house with a more than adequate pension, Remain or Leave will probably make no or little difference to the rest of my life.

But other things could!

  • Increasing air pollution in London and other cities.
  • Global warming.
  • A government that raided my pension fund or pursued policies that would reduce its value.
  • The closure of more restaurants that are good at gluten-free food!
  • A government that didn’t back public transport.
  • Increasing violence on the streets.
  • A government that didn’t back serious research in Universities.

I have listed them in a rough order.

Should We Leave Now?

I actually feel now, that we should leave the EU, as to disobey the referendum would set a bad and dangerous precedent.

Especially, if we have a second referendum, in the hope of getting a result more acceptable to government and/or parliament and it proves just as close.

Imagine a controversial referendum in the future, such as bringing back the death penalty or imposing high carbon taxes.

If the government and/or parliament does’t get an acceptable result, will they go for further referendums until they do?

Where Now?

Boris is in a corner of his own making!

In the days of Rab Butler, Joe Grimond and Harold Wilson, the solution would have been to call in The Queen, who would give the nod to the next Prime Minister chosen by the Great and Good of the strongest party in the House of Commons.

Now with more democratically elected party leaders and the Fixed Term Parliament Act, such old-fashioned methods are now considered undemocratic.

But will the current crop of comedians in the House break the deadlock?

Conclusion

House Of Cards has nothing on this!

 

 

September 24, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | 4 Comments

Austria Scraps Its Sun Tax

The eye-catching title of this post is the same vas that of this article on PV Magazine.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The nation’s political parties have found agreement on a green electricity package which is expected to create stable conditions for the next three years. From next year, €36 million will be made available annually for the further support of PV systems and energy storage.

As to the Sun Tax, this is explained further on.

The association has already seen one of its other demands met with the cancellation on Thursday of the ‘sun tax’ on the consumption of power generated by householders with rooftop arrays. Under the previous rules, solar households could consume 25 MWh of self-generated solar free of charge but then had to pay a €0.015 levy on every subsequent kilowatt-hour consumed during the life of the PV system.

|All parties seem pleased with the scrapping of the tax.

September 23, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Bollocks To Brexit

This snippet is in the bottom-right corner of Page 29 in today’s Sunday Times

Is there no escape from politics? The top and bottom rows of the cryptic crossword in Thursday’s Guardian spelt out “Bollocks to Brexit”. Very amusing, but not a message that isn’t available elsewhere in the paper. How much more impressive to have smuggled it into The Daily Telegraph.

There’s certainly no escape from Hearing views about Brexit.

September 15, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized, World | , , , | Leave a comment

What Happens When An Irresistible Force Meets An Immovable Object?

Wikipedia has an entry called Irresistible Force Paradox.

Read it and you won’t find any help with a solution to the Brexit impasse!

As someone, who is very much a European, who voted Remain and believes that we should always follow the first referendum result, Wikipedia didn’t help me either!

The only thing that will sort this stand-off out, is a good old-fashioned British compromise.

We can probably wait for ever for that!

September 11, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Metrolink Customers Complete 170k Trips Using Contactless System

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

The high number of journeys is no surprise to me and Manchester should have introduced this system several years ago!

This post from September 2015 is ntitled Transport for London Are Leading The Contactless Revolution.

I’ll repeat the short post here.

This article from Rail Magazine is entitled Contactless Ticketing Booms In London.

It states the following.

  • In the first year, 180 million journeys have been made using contactless cards.
  • This accounts for a fifth of all pay-as-you-go journeys.

But what isn’t said is the fact that despite the predictions of some left-wing and green politicians, there has been no hint of any problems. If there had been, the various tabloids would have had a field-day.

When are the rest of the large cities of the UK going to copy London, so I don’t need to use that nineteenth century technology of paper tickets?

Manchester’s figure of 170,000 in four weeks is a rate of around two million in the first year.

  • Greater Manchester is a lot smaller than Greater London.
  • London had been running Oyster successfully since 2003.
  • Oyster and contsctless ticketing could be used on the Underground, Overground, trams, trains and buses.

I will be very surprised if Manchester doesn’t expand their system.

This is said in the Wikipedia entry for Oyster card.

Since the launch of contactless payment in 2012, over 500 million journeys have been made, using over 12 million contactless bank cards.

Assuming the rate of use is level, which it isn’t as it’s increasing, this works out at 71.4 million journeys per year.

  • Greater London’s population is 8.8 million
  • Greater Manchester’s population is 2.8 million

Just doing a simple pro-rata means that Manchester should see 22 million journeys a year or 62,000 journeys a day.

According to Wikipedia, the Manchester Metrolink had 43.7 million riders in 2018/19.

Conclusion

Manchester must do the following as soon as possible.

  • Extend contactless ticketing to all buses and trains in the Greater Manchester area.
  • Make sure all taxis accept contactless cards.
  • Extend the Mabchester Metrolink.
  • Put in an order for some more trams, as soon as possible. They will be needed as traffic will grow exponentially.
  • Purchase some vandal-proof terminals.

They should also enter into discussions with Cheshire, Lancashire, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Yorkshire about creating a common and integrated contactless card system for the North!

Contactless ticketing would transform lhe North!

Will Contactless Ticketing Generate Funding For Extensions?

Some extensions to the Manchester Metrolink will be fairly easy and not very costly to build. In Tram-Trains To Hale Station, I talked about a simple extension to Hale station, that could go a lot further to perhaps Northwich, Sandbach and Crewe.

When Transport for Greater Manchester get a decent financial model and data from a year of contactless ticketing, some of the routes for tram-trains might be possible to fund from a large insurance or pension fund.

I have used this tram-train extension as an example, as there is no need to lay a lot of new track, so costs can be less.

London should have been able to fund improvements, but Sadiq Khan brought in a fare freeze and Crossrail turned out to be late.

A Lesson For Brexit

Boris Johnson was Mayor of London, when full contactless ticketing was implemented in London.

  • It was the first such system in the world.
  • The left and the green were against it and said it would all end in tears.
  • All Londoners and visitors have embraced the system and I’ve never found anybody who refuses to use it.
  • Attacks on staff have dropped to a very low level, as there’s no money about.
  • In my opinion it is one of the main reasons, that London has been so successful in recent years.

I voted Remain and still think, there are reasons we should stay in Europe.

  • But the referendum went the other way and everyone must abide by the result.
  • Boris probably had little to do with London’s contactless ticketing revolution, but if it had failed he would have got the blame.
  • All politicians in London now embrace the technology and would be voted out of office, if they decided contactless bank cards couldn’t be used.

Boris is now in charge of Brexit and just like those of the left and the green who opposed contactless ticketing, those that oppose Brexit will be Yesterday’s Men.

Like contactless ticketing, it has nothing to do with Boris, but all to do with the power of the man and woman on the bus or in the voting booth.

I think it is too late to stop a No-Deal Brexit.

 

August 19, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Donald Trump: ‘Make Plastic Straws Great Again’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Live.News.

This is the first two paragraphs.

US President Donald Trump has raised nearly $500,000 (£411,000) for his re-election campaign by selling plastic straws.

The branded straws, released in Republican Party-red, were launched on the 19th of July, selling out in a matter of hours before being restocked.

The site also links to another post, which is entitled. President Trump: ‘Wind turbines cause cancer’.

I am a reasonably knowledgeable engineer and scientist and know a Compleat Wanker, when I see one

How can so many Americans take this idiot seriously?

August 9, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment