18 February 2007

The Downing Street Road Pricing Petition

A most interesting article in the Times yesterday:

They have been behind one of the most successful recent public mobilisation campaigns.

Since Peter Roberts of the Association of British Drivers (ABD) posted a petition to scrap the Government’s road-pricing policy on the No 10 website, it has amassed more than 1.5 million signatures.

But those behind the group, which claims to be the “voice of the driver”, are rather quiet about explaining their other operations. One is a scientist who insists on using a pseudonym and believes that global warming is a sham. Another doesn’t own a car and runs a PR firm whose clients include a number of public environmental bodies.

The association is against speed cameras and the current speed limits and calls global warming “the biggest con trick ever perpetrated on the human race”.
The comments added by Times readers (thumbs up on the redesign) at the end of the article are just as illuminating:

- "motorists are fed up with being used as cash-cows and/or British citizens who are fed up with the big brother state"

- "It's unclear whether this is an attack on huge public opposition to the proposed Denial of Mobilty Tax, or an attack on those who dare to question the new religion of climate change zealotry."

- "Propping up the climate change industry, whose cracks are there to see with a little digging, will discredit the paper in time."

- "passengers and drivers' common sense loses out to the revenue gathering of politics which ignores better science in favour of a majority view favouring questionable science."

- "The most controversial observation seems to be to make a point of Mr Abrams objection to the notion of human-influenced global warming. This article implies this is unique or radical - however this view is quite prevalent amongst Scientists and Climatologists ... in Science journals you find much debate and disagreement."
A number of problems:

- we don't have a God-given right to drive a car wherever and whenever we like (n.b. cars have only been around for 100 years), and anyone who challenges that isn't a Big Brother climate change religious zealot

- this idea that there is "disagreement" in peer-reviewed scientific journals about climate change, that climate change theories are "questionable science", is dangerous and wrong

- we have to keep up efforts to wrestle the debate away from people who -- no matter how many articles on the Antarctic ice shelves, or glaciers melting quicker than expected -- think it's all invented, sky-is-falling bunkum, the kind of people that hold their hands over their ears and shout louder and louder, "nah, nah, nah, can't hear you!"


brian said...

Many of your supporters are closet control fascists hiding your real hatred of freedoms behind this green screen.
I try to be a caring person in many if not all ways ,but I despair of your support of smear tactics against those who have every right to disagree with you - how far away are we from 'cristallnacht'?

scott redding said...

Right. You can't just disagree with me, you have to compare me with the Nazis. Green politics (a bottom-up libertarian critique of modernity, with a pro-equality, pro-peace, ecological ethos) is pretty different from fascism (which is elite-led, ultranationalist, pro-miliary, bound up with modernity, obsessed with purity, and hates socialism and feminism).

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