DECEMBER 2010 NEWS
Friday 24 December 2010
More from the Independent on how the cold is due to Global Warming, demonstrating that greens seem to have brains with the ability to believe anything - Expect more extreme winters thanks to global warming, say scientists" "Recent harsh winters are not yet a pattern – but all signs point that way".
We have now had six days without any official sunspots. They are only a proxy for solar activity which can now be measured in more exact ways, but other measurements are also showing low activity. If the official temperature figures are believed then this low solar activity has had no effect, as 2010 will be the hottest ever. But if we assume that the people who control the figures are lying, then there is a possibility that we are entering a period that has not been seen before by modern man and where about 1,000 years from now, none of Britain will be habitable. A rather extreme solution to the problem of over population!!
Wednesday 22 December 2010
Boris & Ken Show
Mayor Watch - "Boris and Ken clash over WEZ abolition".
Other reports on the end of half the Con - BBC - "C-charge zone's scrapping 'is right' - Boris Johnson" <Guardian - "Boris Johnson cuts congestion charge zone in 'Christmas gift' to west London" Guardian - "London traffic congestion: after the WEZ" Andrew Gilligan in Telegraph - "Congestion charge: a failure of arithmetic".
Some more equal than others
All Africa - "When a Young Man Refuses to Pay Road Tolls".
Bit more on Nigerian Tolls which start in January
Vanguard - "Mixed reactions as LCC flags off tolling on Eti-Osa Lekki road".
Toll booth crash
CBC - "Pickup crashes into MacKay Bridge tolls".
Jakarta Traffic Con goes slow
Jakarta Post - "ERP stalls, Fauzi blames it on central government".
MPs suggest that Severn tolls should be lowered, but it's a con
BBC - "Welsh MPs suggest £1.50 Severn Crossings tolls for cars" South Wales Argus - "'Slash Severn Crossing tolls' - Commons report" Western Mail - "MPs say Severn tolls should be slashed ... eventually" South Wales Argus - "MPs say Severn bridge toll could drop to as little as £1".
You might be fooled into thinking that the Welsh MPs want to do drivers a favour, in fact under the present law the tolls have to be removed once a certain amount has been collected. That point is currently forecast to be about 2016/17. It should have been a lot earlier, but the Government has been pocketing millions as VAT.
Parliament - link to the report, there is a link at the botton to written evidence submitted by us and others.
Government confirms plan to hand over major untolled crossing to a PFI firm and toll it
BBC - "Planners approve Mersey Gateway bridge project" Liverpool Daily Post - "Second Mersey Crossing bridge work to start in 2012" Click Liverpool - "Mersey Gateway Project given planning approval".
Independent - "The UK may be cold, but it's still a warm world, says Met Office chief" Independent - "Leading article: The cold offers no comfort on climate change". The Met Office say that "if you look over at Greenland, for example, you see that it's exceptionally warm there". This is being economical with the truth, the official and biased maps show that Greenland is not an "example", it is almost the only place in the northern hemisphere which is officially warmer than usual.
This by the way is what the Independent told its readers ten years ago - "Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past".
Met Office reps have also been on the BBC claiming that the cold weather is due to "climate change". Other AGW adherents are saying the same - George Monbiot in the Guardian - "That snow outside is what global warming looks like". A contrary view - EU Referendum - "Total eclipse of the Moonbat".
Monday 20 December 2010
Some people are not happy about the Georgia 400 tolls being extended - 13WMAZ - "Lawmakers Want to End GA 400 Tolls" Atlanta Business Chronicle - "Lawmakers criticize Ga. 400 toll renewal" Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "Legislators seek to end Ga. 400 tolls".
Sundry stories - Ohio River bridges - "Increasing tolls" letters California - "Confessions of a FasTrak 'scofflaw'" Texas - "Vault coming to a halt as Tollway goes to cashless payment" Virginia - "Council expresses concern over 460" Colorado - "Peak-time tolls rising on I-25 express lanes" Louisiana - "Tolls an option for I-49 through Lafayette".
Evening Standard - "Property rush to avoid £2,000 congestion charge fees".
Would anyone who could afford to live and park in the centre of London be worried about Con charges? And how likely is it that they would be using their car every eek day, when it might be quicker on public transport or taxi - or even on foot.
The Mayor gives praise - Telegraph - "The man who repeatedly beats the Met Office at its own game".
Yesterday there were officially no sunspots (in recent years the practice has been to say there are sunspots even though they are too small to have been detected when sunspot counting started over 200 years ago). Not only have we had the deepest solar minimum for nearly a century, it looks as if the maximum will be very low. The difference in the output from the Sun between a minimum and a maximum should not in theory make any significant difference to Earth temperatures, but some AGW agnostics believe that it has very significant effects on the jet streams and thus the weather at certain latitudes. If the agnostics are correct then Britain is going to experience colder winters for the next two decades. Watts Up - "A Dalton Minimum Repeat is Shaping Up".
Saturday 18 December 2010
Toll suggestion for New Brunswick borders
Daily Gleaner - "Chamber of commerce knows its budget ideas are controversial".
California proves it is the hippiest - BBC - "California approves extensive carbon-trading scheme".
This move may breathe life back into a scam that seemed to be dying.
Friday 17 December 2010
Tolls plan for Ohio River bridges goes ahead - WAVE3 - "Bridge Authority passes updated financial plan with tolls" video News & Tribune - "Bridges authority approves financial plan" Couier-Journal - "Bridges authority endorses toll-based financial report".
American football team selling tolls - Puget Sound Business Journal - "Seahawks to plug 520 tolling plan".
Sundry stories - "San Francisco's rush-hour toll was a bad idea averted" Louisiana - "Tolls eyed for I-49 completion" "Gregoire to push for Columbia River Crossing dollars".
Reminder of Con changes
Mayor Watch - "Christmas 2010 congestion charge changes".
Melbourne Con seems unlikely
Herald-Sun - "No traffic congestion tax for Melbourne".
Higher toll to the island
Global Saskatoon - "Confederation Bridge tolls to rise in 2011".
Thursday 16 December 2010
Tolls are good for the less well off, according to this West Virginia paper - State-Journal - "Some States See Tolls as Highway Funding Option".
Sundry stories - Ohio River bridges - "Bridges authority approves updated financial plan" Ohio River bridges - "Bridges project money will come from tolls" video W Virginia - "Taking a Toll " Washington State - "Photo tolls on Tacoma Narrows Bridge closer" "DRPA OKs hikes in bridge tolls, PATCO fares" Texas - "Scrap TxDOT and start over".
Nigerian Tolls to start in January
This Day - "Toll Collection Begins on Lekki Road".
The Energy Secretary says that suggestions that Government anti CO2 policies will cost energy consumers a lot more are "absolutely bonkers", and that his policies will result in lower fuel price inflation - BBC - "Energy firms to get new low-carbon incentives".
What James Delingpole says - Telegraph - "Huhne: the final nail in the coffin of Cameron's lousy Coalition?".
Wednesday 15 December 2010
Sundry stories - "DRPA May Cut $1 Toll Hike By 50 Cents" video Ohio River bridges - "Leave tolls off existing bridges, roads" Ohio River bridges - "Toll boosters and bashers have their say" Ohio River bridges - "At least 150 attend hearing devoted to public input on bridges project" Florida - "Toll Hike Coming To Pay For New Parkway" California - "Matthew Roth on the price of driving".
It looks as if the idea for a Norwegian style toll cordon dividing SF might survive but with a smaller cordon - Daily Journal - "San Francisco drops border toll idea" SF Examiner - "Congestion pricing will affect families with kids" letters SF Chronicle - "S.F. supes back away from 'southern gateway' toll" KQED - "SF Supes Reject Peninsula Toll Plan" SF Chronicle editorial - "S.F. on wrong road with congestion toll idea".
SF Appeal - "Supes Scrap Peninsula Toll Idea, Still Considering Downtown Congestion Pricing" Streets Blog - "SF Congestion Pricing Study Moves Forward Without San Mateo Boundary" SF Chronicle - "Peninsula testy over San Francisco's toll plan" LOTS of comments Daily Journal - "Law in works to oppose toll" Streets Blog - "San Mateo: We’ll Retaliate to Congestion Pricing with Congestion Pricing" ABC - "SF supervisors to decide on Peninsula toll study" video.
Avoid the Shopping queues - buy your tolls early
Voxy - "Pay Tolls Early To Avoid Christmas Holiday Delays Advises NZTA".
Tuesday 14 December 2010
Government proves how daft it is
BBC - "Nine electric cars will be eligible for subsidies" DfT - "Electric car revolution revs up for 2011".
The Transport Secretary says that "we can have all the convenience of the car without all the carbon that normally goes with it". He must think that electricity grows on trees, whereas, at the margin, it all comes from burning fossil fuels.
Bank of England continues to succeed in reducing the value of money
BBC - "UK inflation rate rises to 3.3% in November" ONS - "Consumer price indices
November 2010" pdf.
The Government is heavily in debt so it suits them that the value of money falls while interest rates are kept artificially low. It was also revealed today that there is a Plan B, where if the existing policy fails in any way, then the Bank will print a lot more money.
One of the things that is going up is the price of fuel - AA - "Fuel Price Report- November 2010" pdf. The probability is that in a year's time, fuel prices will have increased a lot more.
It could not happen in England
The new Transport Minister in Scotland was a toll rebel - Stv - "New transport minister was fined for not paying Skye bridge toll" BBC - "New minister Keith Brown has bridge toll conviction".
Monday 13 December 2010
Fun in SF - SFist - "Casual Carpooling In Crisis After Toll Increase" video Ricon Hill - "Congestion Pricing Explained" video Mercury News - "Peninsula threatens toll in response to San Francisco" SF Examiner - "Critical vote for congestion pricing" Mercury News - "Toll scofflaws get free ride with confidential license plates".
Sundry stories - Florida - "Okaloosa's bridge to never-ending debt" Ohio River bridges - "Bridges Authority To Take Written, Transcribed Comments" Ohio River bridges - "Small businesses worry tolls would cut off customers" Indiana - "Wabash toll bridge ready to use automated collection system" Pennsylvania - "Spotsy paving way for tolls?" comments "Hands off the Ohio Turnpike" Virginia - "Toll stranglehold".
Peiping ponders Con
Shanghai Daily - "Beijing ponders a rush hour tax" Global Times - "Authorities seek public reaction to measures to alleviate traffic congestion".
Residents need a permit. There are about 22 million people with permits and an unknown number without. China has done more than any other country to limit population growth, but with this size of city, people are going to spend a lot of time moving round, whatever the limits are on cars.
Update on Jakarta Con
Bit more on toll removal
Telegraph-Journal - "Removing tolls is fair to Saint John".
Saturday 11 December 2010
The BBC looks on the bright side - "UN climate change talks in Cancun agree a deal".
Most countries, including the America, China, India, Russia, and Japan will ignore any agreement however binding it is supposed to be. The purpose of whatever piece of paper is signed and all the hype is to keep the religous greens happy and to gull the voters in countries like Britain that they are not the only ones who will be wearing hair shirts.
GISS have issed the "GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index" for November which shows that 2010 is still on track to be the hottest year ever. The figures for January to November show the Earth as being 0.66 degrees Celsius warmer that the base period of 1951 to 1980.
Apart from the caveats we normally give, we also point out that these temperature figures are changed by GISS not only for earlier months but going back to 1998 (the previous hottest year) and earlier. All these figures are worthless.
The Met Office summary for November admits that "mean temperatures for the month as a whole were typically 1.5 to 2.0 °C below the 1971-2000 average" - "November 2010".
Even when the Met Office admit that it's cold, their figures may still exaggerate the temperatures.
Friday 10 December 2010
Toll will not go up before it's removed
Telegraph-Journal - "No hike in tolls on bridge" CBC - "Saint John ends plan to hike bridge tolls" few comments.
Call for boycott
Portugal News Online - "Algarve mayors appeal for residents to boycott A22 tolls".
Bit more on rethink of toll increase on empty road
Bay of Plenty Times - "Council in difficult position over tolls".
Council Leader not happy about Dartford tolls
Enquirer - "Thurrock leader slams Dartford Crossing plans".
This story illustrates the dysfunctional political system in Britain. Time, effort and money is wasted on issues like a third crossing, when most of the problems could be removed by just removing the tolls.
Old Lady continues with inflation policy
BBC - "UK interest rates held at 0.5% by Bank of England" BofE - "Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and the Size of the Asset Purchase Programme at £200 Billion".
Thursday 9 December 2010
Kiwis having another think about increasing tolls on empty road
Bay of Plenty Times - "Council stalls on toll rise for troubled road".
Indians thinking about reducing toll exemptions for the elite
Hindustan Times - "Finance dept slams toll policy, suggests changes".
Wednesday 8 December 2010
More on the judges siding with the trolls in West Virginia - WOWKTV - "Supreme Court Rules Route 35 Project Will Move Forward" Charleston Daily Mail - "U.S. 35 project to push forward" The Record - "Mason commission can't rescind toll vote, Justices rule".
Sundry stories - Washington State - "Tolls on SR-520 bridge could impact congestion on I-90" Georgia - "The Future of Tolls on GA-400" video Pa. "Auditor General upset about plan to stop printing prices on Turnpike tickets" "Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner questions whether the Turnpike Commission is trying to hide fare increases" comments.
Va. - "Study: Third crossing is best single project for commuters in long term" Pa. - "Raise gas tax, don't toll Route 422" NJ / NY - "Port Authority's new budget holds line on tolls" Maine / N.H. - "Bridge task force says no to tolls as a funding source" Va. - "Officials fear tolls could isolate South Hampton Roads".
Britain leads the way (home?) - Independent - "Huhne asked to 'bridge Kyoto gap' between nations" BBC - "Tuition fees vote may make Huhne leave climate talks".
Typically, the news media blame various countries for there not being a follow up to Kyoto, while turning a blind eye to America. Though recently Wikileaks have shown that the US had been bullying other countries to sign up to promises of CO2 cuts, the US itself has never signed up to anything.
Transport Minister defends Dartford tolls
Echo - "MP wants to delay rise in Dartford crossing toll charges".
Tuesday 7 December 2010
It is no surprise that the trolls in West Virginia have won the court case which will force through a toll road - WOWKTV - "Supreme Court Rules Route 35 Project Will Move Forward" Charleston Daily Mail - "Supreme Court says Mason County can't reverse U.S. 35 tolls decision".
Sundry stories - Florida - "Commissioners To Discuss Final Plans For Controversial Toll Road" video "DRPA bridge use likely to fall further with toll increase" Ohio River bridges - "A bridges reality check: Jobs, safety, traffic" Washington State - "Public Can Comment On SR 520 Bridge Tolls Monday, Tuesday Night" video "When Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls increase, new fares won't appear on turnpike tickets" NY - "Road Pricing Still the Big Missing Piece in MTA Funding Puzzle".
Kiwis show the way not to go
Bay of Plenty Times - "More using toll road but price may rise".
Only in a relatively empty country would they think that it's a good idea to increase tolls on an almost empty road.
Bit more on Green lawyers taking the Mayor to court
BBC - "Threat to sue over London congestion charge scrapping".
Monday 6 December 2010
Recommendations in the - "The Moment of Truth" (pdf) from the National Commission On Fiscal Responsibility And Reform include (at 1.7) a phased raise in the Federal gas tax by 15 cents.
Meanwhile the troll editors want tolls to replace gas tax - Charleston Gazette - "Tolls the most democratic way to pay".
More on the trolls in West Virginia going to court to get their toll road - Metro News - "Mason County Commission Makes Case Against Tolls" Herald Dispatch - "Commission claims it was mislead on U.S. 35 project" Point Pleasant Register - "Mason Co. seeks support from Gallia Co. in U.S. 35 toll fight".
Privatization is back - WYTV - "Kasich Looking at Leasing Ohio Turnpike to Private Operator".
Streetsblog (i.e. the cyclists) are annoyed with opposition to a Con - "Congestion Pricing Fracas Shows Lamentable Ignorance of Facts".
On the other hand - SF Examiner - "Charging to enter The City will only lead to worse traffic".
Sundry stories - DRPA - "Inquirer Editorial: Wrong route on toll hike" Virginia - "Chesapeake proposes toll increase" DRPA - "DN Editorial: A bridge toll too far" Ohio River bridges - "Committee Recommends $1 Commuter Toll For Bridge" video Ohio River bridges - "How much would you pay to cross Ohio River? New proposal includes tolls" video Ohio River bridges - "Businesses, individuals oppose committee's $1 toll proposal for commuters" N Carolina - "Funding For I-77 Toll Lanes Could Come Soon" video.
A welcome strike
Newsroom Panama - "Early holiday gift for highway commuters".
Toronto Trolls creep back
Toronto Observer - "Road tolls could help Toronto, transport consultants say" York Region - "York Region traffic takes its 'toll'"..
Mayor to be taken to court
Green lawyers don't like the removal of the Western Con - Evening Standard - "Boris Johnson faces pollution threat over scrapping of congestion charge".
The Campaign for Clean Air in London seems to be backed by the usual crowd of people like the Green Party, Friends of the Earth, Campaign for Better Transport, Ken Livingstone, and sundry people from the Establishment. It also has at least two Tory MPs. Perhaps they are not aware that air quality deteriorated when the Con was introduced, or perhaps they just like to toll the herd.
What the Americans said
Mayor Watch - "Wikileaks does USA a favour on C-Charge revelations" Guardian - "Ken Livingstone an 'anti-American friend of Chávez and Castro'".
Toll may go up before it's removed, though some think that it is already gone
Telegraph-Journal - "A toll increase? Just skip it" CBC - "More Saint John drivers skipping bridge tolls" comments.
Welcome to Kent, and here is your toll bill
Your Canterbury - "Ambitious plans to end Kent's gridlock could cost drivers dear".
Daily Yomiuri - "Maximum highway toll to be doubled / Plan simplifies fee system, avoids Diet".
The ruling party had promised to remove tolls. But resistance from a mixture of corrupt and green interests has meant that Japan still has high tolls and lowish gas taxes.
Touting for more tolls
The Australian - "Charges needed to offset mulit-billion-dollar cost of road building".
It looks as if Humber toll increase is back on
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "£5m budget surplus cannot be used to freeze Humber Bridge tolls" Hull Daily Mail - "Decision to not use £5m budget surplus to freeze Humber Bridge tolls sparks anger".
More Government theft
BBC - "Government reveals super-fast broadband plans".
A TV licence is compulsory if you watch any TV programmes. To use the licence fee for any other purpose is a scam. Very like the scam where a large part of the tolls that are collected does not go to the maintenance of the road or bridge that the toll is charged on.
Memoirs of an MP's Russian aide
BBC - "Prove my aide is Russian spy, says MP Mike Hancock".
Britain is such an open house that no one seems to be surprised that British MPs are employing aliens. Perhaps they also come cheap?.
Saturday 4 December 2010
Guardian - "UK snow-readiness audit ordered as travel chaos takes over country".
It may seem strange that the Secretary of State for Transport is asking for advice from a body that most people believe represents drivers. But the RAC Foundation does not represent any drivers and is part of a web of hidden relationships that rules Britain. One thing that they seem to share is that they are advocates of road tolls.
Another example of the ignorance of many MPs and much of the news media
Yesterday a Private Member's Bill aimed at eventually putting Britain on Central European Time got through its first reading - Daily Express - "DAYLIGHT VICTORY" Daily Express Comment - "The Daylight Saving Bill Cuts Through The Gloom".
The Express says that "it now appears likely that the perverse custom of putting the clocks back in late autumn will soon be abandoned". As the plan is that we would have double summer time in the summer and single summer time in the winter, the Express must have a very low opinion of the intelligence of its readers.
Daily Express - "Phil Woolas says legal fight has hit 'end of the road'".
Given that most candidates for political office are deceiving the voters, it seems strange that the first MP since 1911 to be kicked out for lying happened to be the Immigration Minister. (Arguably the MP removed in 1911 was not removed for lying as he was also judged to have been guilty of bribery and other corrupt election practices.) Perhaps it is not suprising that when the issue of real curbs on immigration comes up, nearly all MPs become invisible.
The Telegraph informs its readers that it's colder 'cos it's hotter - "Are we freezing because of global warming?".
Friday 3 December 2010
It's all over
Guardian - "How England's World Cup 2018 bid failed".
Other possible reasons that England's bid failed are - 1. Our promises of gifts were not big enough. 2. England is not liked, as is shown by Eurovision voting. 3. Having three pampered individuals as the front for our lobbying.
Weather Action do not usually make their forecasts public, but a few days ago they produced this bleak summary for the next few months - "WA News No 37 - 30th November 2010 - WeatherAction ESSENCE of WINTER Forecast 2010-11 for Britain, Ireland & Europe" pdf.
Meanwhile, 2010 is likely to be the hottest year (according to official records) - BBC - "2010 sets new temperature records".
The Cancun AGW jamboree may see an end to the theoretically binding Kyoto Protocol (which various countries never signed anyway) - Japan Times - "Japan will oppose Kyoto extension at COP16".