Jakarta Globe - "Activist Hits Law As Toll Road Fees Are Raised Again".
GISS have published the Earth's temperature "anomaly" for June - "GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index in 0.01 degrees Celsius: base period: 1951-1980" June is last figure in the series.
Though they "adjust" the data to get the published figures, this time they are not claiming another world record, it is "only" the joint third highest for June since 1880!
The UN's "High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change" which used to be headed by Gordon Brown is meeting in New York wih Britain still leading the campaign to "channel $100 billion a year in climate aid to poorer nations" - Business Week "Climate Finance Deal Needed to Break Treaty Deadlock, U.K. Says".
Too little attention, too late
BBC - "Global population study launched by Royal Society" Independent - "Population explosion scrutinised as scientists urge politicians to act" Royal Society - "Does population matter?".
World population growth is currently nearly 80 million a year. The percentage growth rate is slowing and may eventually stop, but the population has already reached an unsustainable level of 6.9 billion. Britain will suffer more than most as it is one of the most crowded countries on Earth and it is a net importer of millions of tonnes of food each year, including 95% of the fruit that we eat.
The Royal Society must be mad if they think that it needs a two year study to consider "the extent to which population will be a significant variable in rates of progress towards sustainable economic and social development over the next thirty years and beyond". Over the next 30 years it is forecast that there will be another two billion people needing food, other resources and space. It should be obvious to everyone that this will be "significant".
James Delingpole in the Telegraph - "Amazongate: why it matters" with various links.
The story follows an apology in the Sunday Times following a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. Though the apology was published three weeks ago, the PCC have still not published their statement of how the complaint was resolved.
To open your mouth Guardian - "Climategate shows the need for openness by scientists", or not News Busters - "UN's IPCC Tells Scientists To 'Keep A Distance From The Media'".
Scottish Greens complain about the pulling of their £4,000 a house subsidy - Herald - "Anger as plug pulled on home energy scheme".
Scientists say that Arctic Ice will this year reach a record (since this series of measurements began in 1979) low - BBC - "Feeling the heat: Unlocking the Arctic's frozen secrets".
Predicting that something will happen in a few months is a goood game, as the usual culprits will report it as fact. "Watts Up With That" have different views on what might happen and why - "Sea Ice News #13".
Sunday 11 July 2010
Sundry stories - Louisiana - "Crescent City Connection tolls are up for debate" Oregon / Washington State - "How to build a bridge over the Columbia".
From the Land of Whimsy
Two examples that show the new Government is, like the last, liable to be blown on to some strange courses.
BBC - "Gove 'to help schools disappointed by building cuts'".
It might be nice to have all new school buildings, but even if there was some slight correlation between shiny new buildings and education standards, it is a very expensive of achieving higher standards. "Building Schools for the Future" was a follow on from PFI. The schools were not necessarily privately financed, but the scheme did however continue the other faults of PFI. The schemes are bureaucratic, time consuming and expensive. They favour demolition and new building, rather than other alternatives which give better value. The public bodies which indulge in them only do so because they are given extra money to cover the costs of these schemes. If they do something else then they get nothing.
BBC - "'Too few ethnic officers' and 'discrimination' at GCHQ".
Given that you don't have to be born in Britain to serve in the Army, it is not surprising that we may soon be recruiting foreign agents to listen in on us!
Christopher Booker in the Telegraph - "Amazongate: At last we reach the source".
Saturday 10 July 2010
More on "open road" tolling - Dallas Morning News - "Editorial: Tollways need to close gates to non-payers".
Sundry stories - New Jersey - "Report to Christie administration recommends privatizing tolls, state parks, social services".
Leading Toronto toll tout still pushing
Two wheeled writer still pushing against four wheels - Globe and Mail - "Don’t give up on tolls yet".
Friday 9 July 2010
More on proposed new tolls in West Virginia - Register-Herald - "The future of our highways" Register-Herald - "Parkways agrees to pact with DOT for tolls" Charleston Gazette - "Parkways takes first step toward U.S. 35 tolls" Metro News - "More Than Tolls Needed For U.S. Route 35".
Sundry stories - New Jersey - "Christie administration recommends massive privatization of N.J. services" Illinois - "The need for speed, study examines congestion pricing" Washington State - "Tolling is coming our way — just like the BP oil spill" Illinois - "What happens if you blow through a toll stop?".
Too fast in Korea
Arirang - "Lower Speed Limit to be Applied for Cars Passing Through Highway Tolls".
Manchester's plan B hits the rocks
MEN - "Ministers slam the brakes on £560m of transport hopes". These schemes that will probably not proceed were part of the plan that the politicians denied existed when they were trying to sell the Manchester Con plan. If they had not wasted several years and many millions on the Con plan, these schemes might have already been built.
PS It seems that the schemes killed are all the roads one, the public transport schemes are going ahead - MEN - "Transport cuts bite deep".
More pensions to be hit
The new Government's Budget included a change in the rules so that public sector pensions would be based on the CPI rather than RPI. As this was buried in the details, there was almost no reaction to it, though the change means that if someone had retired in the year that the Consumer Price Index is based on (it started in 1996, but was retrospectively calculated back to 1988) and the new rules had applied since then, the pension would now be 16 per cent less than the RPI based one. It has now been announced that the change in the rules will also apply to company pension schemes - BBC - "Plan to change private pension inflation link" BBC - Robert Peston blog - "Government cuts private pensions".
What Britain needs is a fair national unified scheme (public and private) which is funded and where a pension is based on what was paid in during a person's life. The chances of getting such a fair scheme are zero, because those who benefit from the current inefficient and corrupt mess are those who wield the power in Britain.
Another mad idea
The Coalition intend to hand NHS spending power to GPs - BBC - "NHS shake-up 'hands funding powers to GPs'".
GPs did their best to stop the Labour Government from setting up the National Health Service at the end of the Second World War. Beavan said that to get any cooperation he had to "stuff their mouths with gold". They are still independent contractors who have to be paid numerous supplements to do what would otherwise be part of their job. To put them in charge of NHS budgets is like letting a cowboy contractor have your bank card and PIN.
Bit more on "hide the decline" Inquiries - MSN - "Are you satisfied with the British panel's conclusion that while 'Climategate' scientists were not always forthcoming, their science was sound?" POLL Journal Sentinel - "They even said it wasn't about the science" Guardian - "How has 'Climategate' affected the battle against climate change?".
Thursday 8 July 2010
Even more woe for road toll company
Inside Costa Rica - "Ombudswoman Wants A Review Of the Tolls On The San José - Caldera".
The Old Lady keeps foot down on the inflation throttle, but is not yet adding more fuel to the tank
BBCf - "UK interest rates maintained at record low of 0.5%" BofE - "Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and the Size of the Asset Purchase Programme at £200 billion".
Another example of the patience (or ignorance?) of American drivers who will crawl along for 12 miles at the toll booths, while the trolls see if they can fleece the sheep with less pain - Sun Journal (Maine) - "Let's hope the York plaza jam is soon history".
Sundry stories - California - "Higher Tolls Could End Up Reducing Bridge Traffic" video West Virginia - "U.S. 35: Toll road or bust, DOH says" some comments Texas - "Toll lanes ahead on MoPac?" Washington State - "Boss to run for Pierce County Council seat".
Reaction to possible Dorset Con
Bournemouth Echo - "‘Road tolls will drive motorists elsewhere’ warns Poole tourism chief".
Proposal to narrow roads in Montreal because of congestion
Montreal Gazette - "You can't blame the Plateau for trying to cut traffic".
Ultimate answer to road congestion?
BBC - "Solar-powered plane lands safely after 26-hour flight".
This might solve the problem of congestion when travelling from A to B, but with a wing span of 200 feet, there might be a parking problem when you got there!
More on the report of the "independent" inquiry into the "hide the decline" emails and withholding of source data - Prison Planet - "Climategate Whitewash Complete: Third Inquiry Clears Everyone Involved" Gerald Warner in Telegraph - "Climategate: reinstating Phil Jones is good news – the CRU brand remains toxic" Guardian editorial - "Climate change: The science stands".
More "Proof" that AGW must exist - ABC (Oz) - "Bookies buying into climate change race".
More money being paid out on natural disasters does not prove that it is getting warmer, or if so, then why. There will be bigger payouts because there are a lot more people in the world, many of them living in areas at risk, and the proportion of people who are insured will also be increasing.
"Science" says that humans started changing the climate 15 thousand years ago - New Scientist - "Prehistoric humans may have pushed climate change".
The current "Holocene" period which began 12 thousand or so years ago, is just the latest in a series of interglacial (or glacial minima) within the current Ice Age which began nearly 3 million years ago. These not so cold periods seem to have occurred every 70 thousand years or so and last about 15 thousand years. It is not plausible that these interglacials are caused by man, though it is possible that AGW exists and may delay the start of the next glacial period.
The top 500 of non-believers - Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in Toronto - "Skeptical Authors on Climate Science".
Wednesday 7 July 2010
Bit more on the bust toll in South Carolina - Smart Money - "Toll Road Less Traveled Driven to Bankruptcy" Sun News - "Toll road bill falls to taxpayers".
Sundry stories - West Virginia - "Tolls to be taken on W.Va. section of Mon-Fayette" West Virginia - "State Exploring Route 35 Toll Road; Public Meetings Set" video Oregon - "How to Build a Better Bridge? Portland, Oregon’s Traffic Conundrum".
"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
.... Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!"
UKIP - "UK troops in Afghanistan to pull out of Sangin".
The British public are fed fables about the fighting in Afghanistan. The Taliban formed the Government of Afghanistan, before the US and its allies helped opponents to overthrow it. The Taliban Government was unpopular, but there has been almost continuous civil war in Afghanistan since 1978, and the Taliban were only formed in 1994. The forces that are now described as "Taliban" are probably fighting to get the "infidel" troops out, rather than to get the Taliban back in power.
At least the US and Britain are not like the Soviet Union, fighting opponents who have been supplied by the US with a vast deadly arsenal including Stingray missiles which helped the mujahideen to destroy 450 Soviet helicopters and planes before the Soviet forces withdrew the last of their troops in 1989.
Results of the "independent" inquiry into the "hide the decline" emails and withholding of source data - BBC - "CRU climate scientists 'did not withold data'" NY Times - "British Panel Clears Climate Scientists" Guardian - "Climategate: No whitewash, but CRU scientists are far from squeaky clean" THE REPORT.
More on RAC Foundation plan
UKIP - "Toll roads take us back to the dark ages" Fleet Directory - comment.
Judgement of Solomon - a vitual Berlin wall
Labour want to keep the Western zone, but with residents of it excluded from the original zone unless they pay the full charge - Evening Standard - "Divide congestion zone in two to keep £55m revenue, says Labour".
More tolls waste
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "New hi-tech tolls system aims to beat congestion across Humber Bridge" inc a poll BBC - "Plans to replace Humber Bridge toll system".
"Open road" tolling is expensive to set up and introduces lots of problems with cameras and tags and drivers either deliberately not paying or being wrongly accused of not paying. It is designed for roads, not for a river crossing where there is no practical alternative, this means that the present cash system will have to be kept, and two systems increases the chances of accidents as drivers approach the tolling area.
If the political establishment wanted to help businesses in the Humberside area then they would scrap the tolls.
Nigerian toll dispute
Sun (Lagos) - "Road of contention ...Lekki-Epe road pitch 50 communities against Lagos govt".
Bit more on latest Toronto toll touting
Toronto Life - "Toronto road tolls go from abhorrent to approved: how'd that happen?".
Another "inquiry" - BBC - "Climate e-mail inquiry prepares to report" Guardian - "Q&A: 'Climategate'".
The Met Office have published their - Climate Summary for June 2010. They say that "Mean temperatures were above average in all areas". Their Anomaly map (if it is not on June 2010, then select that month and click on the display arrow), paints an even redder picuture with most of Britain being two degrees Celsius warmer than the mean maximum, and some parts three degrees warmer.
There is the continuing puzzle as to why is what the Met Office says so different to what most people experience. Are they deliberately "cooking" their figures? Or is the whole system useless for showing how warm people feel as the Met Office temperatures take no account of the effect of winds?
Elsewhere in the world there are the usual reports of heat waves, including in China which is supposed to be experiencing record high temperatures. It is also having record use of electric power, which on Monday reached 13 billion kilowatt-hours. This compares with British consumption in a year of 380 terawatt-hours, which is about one terawatt-hour a day or one billion kilowatt-hours. Per head the Chinese generation of electricity has now reached about 60% of our levels. Let us hope that they rediscover the hand held fan!
Tuesday 6 July 2010
Sundry stories - California - "Increase in Bay Area bridge tolls could help public transit" New Jersey - "Turnpike to consider advertisements on toll plazas".
Car sales up
BBC - "UK new car sales rise 10.8% in June" SMMT report (zip files).
Bit more on Here we go again
Telegraph - "Road pricing could become yet another tax" Express - "Drivers Will Pay Tax Per Mile, Says RAC".
FTA welcomes the last minute protest
MHW - "Freight Transport Association FTA celebrates as Welsh Assembly Government considers impact of Severn tolls".
Update on the International bridge tussle
CNN - "A Detroit billionaire's chokehold on the Canadian border".
Bit more on Nova Scotia toll increases
Chronicle Herald - "Get set to dig for a loonie" Metro - "Proposal calls for hike in tolls".
More on latest Toronto toll touting
Sun - "A call for tolls".
More on tag system being changed to spy in the sky
Today - "More flexible road pricing with satellites".
City may take a share in "privatised" toll
Brisbane Times - "Council Gateway bid likely".
From someone who believes that a very large part of a planet's heat comes from under your feet - Rightside News - "It’s Clouds Illusions That I Recall" Climate Realists - "Unified Earth Science Theory by Joseph A. Olson".
Making AGW so simple that even a numbskull doubter can believe - Real Climate - "A simple recipe for GHE".
Inquiries - BBC - "Dutch review backs UN climate panel report" Gerald Warner in Telegraph - "As third Climategate report is published, even computer models turn against AGW alarmists" Guardian - "Who's who in the UEA hacked emails controversy over climate change?".
Telegraph - "Electric cars must be taxed to pay for more power stations 'or National Grid could fail'".
Perhaps the solution is that electric cars should be fitted with pedals, just like Clive Sinclair's C5. As a large part of the vehicle weight is in the battery etc, it would help further if you de-electrified the car!
NY Times - "China Fears Consumer Impact on Global Warming". If China was really serious about this then why does it not have fuel taxes?
Monday 5 July 2010
A not so equal vote on voting - BBC - "Nick Clegg facing anger over voting referendum date".
In part the Coalition are conning the public, in part they probably have little idea what they are doing -
The proposal for fixed term Parliaments and the arrangements about how many votes are needed to end the Parliament prematurely can be avoided by a Government one way or another. It would be better to reduce the maximum period to say 4 years, but let an election be called earlier based on either a simple majority of MPs or the decision of the head of state.
It is an anomaly to have an unelected head of state. The Parliamentary role of the monarch should be filled by either an elected President or an electoral college.
The House of Lords should go, but replacing it with an elected second chamber, means in effect a lot more MPs. It would be better to either not have a second chamber or replace the Lords with people who were there as represenatives of all the significant national bodies - trade unions, employer's organisations, churches, charities, academic insitutions etc. The second chamber would still have the power to delay legislation, but it would be for a shorter period than now.
The transferrable vote and alternative vote systems give the impression of fairness, but in reality ensure that we still have a two / three party state. It would be better to either keep first past the post or replace it with proper proportional representation.
Most important of all is that we need an English Parliament and an English Government. It is grossly unfair that Scots, Welsh and Irish who have their own Parliaments and Governments can vote on English law and administer what goes on in England.
Nova Scotia toll increases
CBC - "Bridge authority applies for toll increase" Chronicle Herald - "Bridge tolls likely going up".
More on last ditch effort to get rid of Dartford tolls
Thurrock Gazette - "Tolls to go - but you still have to pay!".
Public opinion problem
Saigon GP Daily - "Infrastructure projects need residents’ concurrence to attract investment".
Here we go again - NO!
On today's lunchtime Politics Show, Stephen Hammond - the Transport Secretary - was the main guest, he was there mainly to talk about the 25% to 40% spending cut targets. Later on the show had the boss of RAC Foundation in the studio, to sell road tolls. Stephen Hammond was asked for his opinion. He said that Britain already had "pay as you go" road pricing, it was called fuel duty and he rejected the RAC Foundation idea. He said that the question might have to be looked again in 20 to 30 years time if there were significant numbers of cars that were not powered by petrol or diesel. When pressed again to say "yes", "no" or "possibly" to road pricing, he gave a clear no.
PS A more detailed account (the programme is not available on BBC's iplayer) - When asked what do you think of the RAC Foundation proposal, Stephen Hammond said - "The truth is we do pay as you go, because we burn fuel as we go, and we pay very substantial hydro-carbon duty to the Treasury. So we do have a pay as you go system.
We've ruled out a national road pricing scheme, and we've also said that we won't do any preparations for a scheme in this Parliament.
It's because at the moment, the overwhelming majority of vehicles on the road, (now) and for the foreseeable future, will burn petrol and diesel on which we have a very good pay as you go system - hydro-carbon duty.
Now there will come in 20 / 30 years, a time when the majority of vehicles on our roads may not burn hydro-carbon and there may then be another discussion.
The ex CBI boss, Digby Jones, then asked about foreign lorries using British roads but not buying their fuel here. Stephen Hammond said that the proposed Lorry Road User Charging scheme would deal with this, but it would not apply to cars.
And then at the end of the discussion, he again gave a clear no, though this is unlikely to stop those who are pushing road tolls and roads privatisation.
PPS Some readers comments in the Guardian - "For whom, the road tolls?".
Vancouver's anti-toll Mayor replaced by body snatchers - Oregon Live - "Straight talk? Vancouver mayor's stance on CRC tolls spins out of control" video.
Sundry stories - Texas - "Why the 'Y' project stalled, and what now" Florida - "Proposal To Make Causeway Safer For Cyclists".
Texas - "The NTTA Inconvenience" Virginia - "Plan to replace U.S. 460 carries high price tag" Massachusetts - "Toll taker pleads guilty to pocketing cash" Texas - "A toll-free ride for thousands of North Texas drivers" Texas - "On toll tags and freeloaders: Thoughts for a holiday weekend".
New toll bridge opens
Australian - "Toll a bridge too far for most motorists" Courier-Mail - "Go Between Bridge opens in test of motorists' willingness to pay toll".
Weekend effect of trial removal of some tolls
Japan Today - "Toll-free expressway trial boosts traffic volumes 67% on 1st weekend" some comments.
More woe for road toll company
Inside Costa Rica - "Autopistas Out Of Pocket For Loss Of Tolls And Repair Work On San José - Caldera".
Toronto toll touts drooling
Star - "To avoid transit disaster, GTA needs road tolls and taxes now: report".
PS Some opposition - Star - "Solving our congestion problem" letter.
Here we go again
The road tolls vampire rises from his coffin - BBC - "Future road pricing 'inevitable' - RAC Foundation" FT - "Warning on growing road congestion" Telegraph - "Road pricing 'inevitable', says RAC" some comments Telegraph - "Road pricing Q&A" Guardian - "Privatise major roads, says RAC thinktank" Mirror - "Half want pay as you drive tolls" RAC Foundation - "Time for change to avoid gridlock" inc link to report.
This "charity" is making another attempt to deceive drivers, presumably in league with the other trolls including the DfT. Those behind this must realise that the facts about the cost of setting up and enforcing a system of road tolls, and the facts about the failure of the M6 Toll will come out. So why do they keep pushing this poison?
Saturday 3 July 2010
This is Local London - "Dartford Crossing: Does removal of barriers plan give red light to sale?".
Turning a blind eye - Dallas Morning News - "Camera system's flaws cost tollway authority millions in lost revenue" Dallas Morning News - "Thousands of NTTA customers are never billed".
Few more reports on the major Bay area toll changes which started on Thursday - Times Herald - "Many turn to buses, ferries as tolls jump" Mercury News - "As congestion pricing kicks in, drivers hit the brakes to save a buck" SF Weekly - "No Tickets Given to Drivers Who Stopped, Dawdled to Beat Bay Bridge 'Congestion Pricing'".
More private capital in Communist Vietnam
Thanh Nien News - "PPP touted as funding panacea".
George Monbiot mocks "climate change deniers" for querying the IPCC claim that "up to 40% of the Amazonian forests" would be affected by AGW. He implies that far more than 50% will be affected - Guardian - "The IPCC messed up over 'Amazongate' – the threat to the Amazon is far worse".
This is the usual case of the Greens wailing over something hypothetical (that AGW may exist and if it does then it may lead to less rain over the forests) and ignoring bigger and more real problems. Tha Amazon rain forest is being lost due to deliberate deforestation, not due to reduced rainfall caused by AGW. In fact it is the other way round as forests act as carbon sinks and also increase rain, so less forests means more CO2 and less rain - Rain-tree - "The Disappearing Rainforests".
Friday 2 July 2010
Courier-Mail - "Businesses slap bans on Brisbane toll roads".
More fog from the Guardian
"Not clearing the air".
More reports on the major Bay area toll changes which started yesterday - San Francisco Chronicle - "New tolls don't gum up Bay Bridge commute" Mercury News - "As congestion pricing kicks in, drivers hit the brakes to save a buck" San Francisco Chronicle - "Early morning at the Bay Bridge: you got exact change?" ABC - "Congestion pricing is here to stay" video NBC - "Toll Increase Day One Traffic Report" CBS - "Few Problems As Bay Area Bridge Tolls Go Up" video Berkeleyside - "Should casual carpoolers pay for new Bay Bridge toll?" video SF Weekly - "Commuters Slowing, Stopping on Freeway to Foil Bay Bridge 'Congestion Pricing'".
More on planned tolls on Ohio river crossing from Indiana to Kentucky - News & Tribune - "Ohio River Bridges plan gets boos and cheers" Courier-Journal - "Ohio River bridges plan likely to include tolls, authority says" WLKY - "Bridge Toll Debate Continues" video Wave - "Topic of bridge project still taking a toll".
Sundry stories - Texas - "Celina enters fray as area counties fight for toll road" Virginia - "Are tolls on the way for I-95?".
North Carolina - "Charlotte Interstates Could Become Toll Roads" video California - "Metrolink fares and 91 Express Lanes tolls increase".
India to tag cars
Trak - "Woohoo…Automated Toll system coming soon!" Hindustan Times - "New electronic toll collection system by May 2012: Nath" Indian Press Office - "Government Accepts Experts Committee Report on ETC Technology; Nationwide: Operations to Begin by May 2012".
BBC - "Transport for London plans to scrap 145 traffic lights'".
Traffic lights numbers, their timing and advance stop lines are all intended to slow and impede traffic. In many cases alternatives would reduce congestion without increasing risks for pedestrians, but changes will be opposed by the anti car brigade, we will have to see how much power the Mayor has against them.
Not so empty
Sydney Morning Herald - "Clem 7 improves traffic with toll cut" Courier-Mail - comments.
Backing tolls and congestion charging
The Australian - "Congestion charges inevitable" Supply Chain Review - "IA wants freight prioritised; backs congestion charging".
Infrastructure Australia is a Government Quango chaired by Sir Rod Eddington who produced a pro tolls report ("Eddington Transport Study" published in December 2006) for the British Government before he jetted back home.
Bit more on tag system being changed to spy in the sky
Transcript of what the Minister said - Gov Monitor - "Singapore Outlines Plans To Encourage Use Of Green Technologies".
MPs vote for status quo
Guardian - "Referendum on Westminster voting reform 'next May'".
It had been expected that MPs would back the "Single transferable vote", but they have instead gone for the "Alternative vote" which is more usually called the "Instant Runoff vote". According to Wikipedia, IRV is only used for Australia's lower chamber, Papua New Guinea's single chamber and the Irish President.
Compared with the current system of "First past the post" both STV and AV favour the Lib Dems, though the STV may have been slightly better for them. None of the systems are in any way proportional representation. The MPs have voted for a system which they intend will deceive people into thinking it is democratic, while they maintain the big party grip on UK Parliament.
BBC - "Bid to speed up Trawsfynydd's nuclear decommissioning".
Nuclear power seems likely to be our main source of power, as fossil fuels are depleted and become more expensive, but the costs seem to be very high. For a small nuclear plant located in the middle of nowhere and which ceased operation in 1991, it seems that 550* people have been employed in cleaning it up, and they now want to increase the number of workers! (*According to the official site there are currently 630 people employed there.)
Not surprisingly, his University peers find that Michael Mann is whiter than white - NY Times - "Climate Scientist Cleared of Altering Data" University of Pennsylvania - "Investigation of climate scientist at Penn State complete".
Thursday 1 July 2010
Attempt to stop Phillipines toll increases
Business Mirror - "With 8 petitions vs toll hike, TRB sets hearing".
More reports on the Bay area toll changes which started today
Mercury News - "Bay Bridge: No big problems as higher tolls begin this morning" SF Chronicle - "Toll hike kicks in - morning commute is light".
New privately owned toll road may need $2 to 3 billion of public money
The Australian - "Doubt over which way to turn on Sydney motorway".
There is also consideration of tolling existing free roads (including one that has just had the toll removed as promised) to help pay for building of more toll roads - Sydney Morning Herald - "Tolls examined to fund motorway expansions".
Last minute protest
BBC - "Severn bridge tolls have a negative impact" video of Assembly debate.
It is wonderful that the Welsh Lib Dem Leader wants the tolls removed. But not only is he prepared to wait at least six years for this, but he only makes a big issue of it on the day that he leaves the Welsh Assembly and heads for the House of Lords.
Car makers are worried that subsidies for electric cars may be reduced as part of the Government spending cuts - Guardian - "UK government blocking green car take-up, say electric vehicle makers" pdf.
Meanwhile there is cash for green car clubs - DfT - "Car clubs are set to benefit from an extra £40,000 of Government funding, Transport Minister Norman Baker announced today". The good part of this story is that the Government are only going to waste £40,000 on this - or the price of one of the cheaper Lexus hybrids.
A few of the many reports on the Bay area toll changes which start today - Times Herald - "Carpoolers, other commuters will feel pinch of rising tolls" KTVU - "Tolls To Increase For All Bay Area Bridges Thursday" Marin Independent Journal - "Last free carpooler over Golden Gate Bridge bemoans 'tax' to bail out bridge district" Streetsblog - "Reporters, Upset Over Bridge Toll Increase, Get Weird And Whiny".
Sundry stories - Texas - "Where should the DNT go? Collin, Denton fight over the billion-dollar question" Georgia - "Violators of Ga. 400 toll will face stiffer penalties" New York - "E-ZPass not E-Z in credit change" Indiana - "Cost to use Toll Road increases today" New Jersey / Pennsylvania - "E-Z Pass express lane could open in Nov. on Route 80 Delaware River bridge" Michigan - "Longmeadow toll bridge report finished" North Carolina - "Budget restores bridge funding".
More on tag system possibly being changed to spy in the sky
Asia One - "Next: ERP in the sky" Today - "LTA studying alternative to ERP system" PC World - "Singapore Plans to Fight Road Congestion With Satellites".
Update on New Brunswick bridge toll squabble
Metro - "Feds, N.B. bicker over bridge toll proposal".
Taiwanese Givernment trying to force more use of e-tolls
China Post - "OBU-free cars to be allowed in ETC lanes on freeways".
More Nigerian tolls to kick in during August
Compass - "Collection of tolls begins on Lekki-Epe Expressway August".
More toll increases
South East Advertiser - "Gateway toll up".
What you are supposed to think
RAC - "RAC Report on Motoring 2010: The driver’s perspective" pdf.
The "RAC" is part of the Aviva insurance group. There is no direct reference to what drivers think of tolls, but the RAC appears to be still trying to flog the road pricing horse. They claim that "Two thirds (of drivers) want motoring taxes to be directly linked to how much a car is used. In addition, half of motorists believe it should be linked to when and where they drive." This is intended to imply that drivers would support road pricing and "congestion charging", but the truth is that the overwhelming majority of drivers believe that they are already paying too much in taxes, that tolls are the most unpopular form of tax (unless it is someone else that is paying them!) and that fuel taxes are the preferred way of taxing for roads use.
Carbon trading scam starts to push up pump prices - Telegraph - "Prices rise as New Zealand passes emissions trading scheme" NZ Herald - "Fuel price rises eat into tax cuts" Official Government site that promotes the carbon trading scam.
Watts Up With That? as reproduced on Prison Planet - "Antarctic ice is at a record high and growing at the 'steepest slope ever'".
"Guardian debate: Was 'climategate' the greatest scandal to hit climate science or a mere storm in a teacup?".
There is not much doubt who's side the chairman or Prof Watson will be on. The title of Fred Pearce's book implies he is a sceptic, but he seems to be a believer. That leaves Douug Keenan who was one of the people that exposed Climategate, perhaps deep down he is also a believer?
How to bring the masses back to church - Nature News - "Climate science: An erosion of trust?" (inc link at bottom to editorial).
Government bans promotion of low energy light bulbs and subsidies for DIY insulation - Telegraph - "Crackdown on promotion of energy saving light bulbs".