Climate Emergency measure No.2: Solar Power for the People

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This week, a new word Nepocide was coined to describe ‘the willingness of the current generation to sacrifice the well-being and even survival of future generations.’
Alex Steffen calls it ‘predatory delay’, because in a climate emergency ‘winning slowly is the same as losing outright’. 
 
At COP24, in December 2018, Greta Thunberg rightly told us to ‘start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible’. 
 
So let’s mobilise and get on with the job at hand and pin solar to every viable roof. 

Reclaiming Energy

When I travel on the Overground across London, I often scan the roofs, that are the defining feature of our city. They remain an obstinately underused and  undervalued resource. 
 
Whilst the Mayor of London can draw energy from the solar panels on the roof of City Hall, his citizens are cut off from sustainable energy in their communities, homes and businesses.
 
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Decarbonising and decentralising energy is essential for the deep transformation and rapid transition needed to avert the worst of Climate Breakdown. Energy democracy starts from the standpoint that energy is a common good.  
 
Ensuring solar is available to every Londoner, makes a just transition possible. Everyone must have access to a good quality of life in a sustainable world. And solar benefits everyone, reducing overall greenhouse emissions and air pollution.
 
Recently the Australian electric grid failed in a life threatening heatwave. Some energy users were cut off to ensure ‘system integrity’. This puts vulnerable people at risk. Just one of the many reasons localised energy security is vital. 
 

So why are we delaying?

Wriggling out of responsibility is not an option

In his Zero Carbon London – A 1.5C Combatible Plan, December 2018, Sadiq Khan says
 
‘Our research shows that to up the pace of action, the Mayor will need more powers and funding from national government. This is the only way to tackle this most urgent issue.’
 
Whilst having extra funding and powers from Central Government would be ideal, we cannot rely on this. And it is clearly not the ONLY option. 
 
 
Moody’s report “Local government heightened focus on mitigating climate risk is credit positive” sets out how failure to mitigate and adapt will affect city credit ratings.
 
No Mayor should put his/ her cities ability to obtain economically affordable credit at risk. 
 
Kicking the ball of responsibility back and forth between local government and central government is predatory delay
 
We must pin them both down. 

Fiddling while Rome burns

Money, time and energy is being whittled away on ‘innovation’, which is little more than novelty. Often it is just a marketing ploy based on the ‘hope of the company’ when there no viable, socially useful service or running product. Has City Hall been captured by the tech giants with their marketing gimmicks? I even hear government officials rolling out the marketing phrase ‘They are coming’. WTF.
 
 
And the trade group Business Europe (which includes Facebook and Google) ‘oppose’ EU climate efforts. A ‘leaked document details Business Europe’s campaign to undermine EU attempts to cut climate emissions’.
 
 
‘Most of the party’s prominent figures have opted for the second route: bullshitting. In some cases, it’s just an incoherent pastiche’.
 
I can confirm that Bulshitting /Incoherent pastiche is also the modus operandi of the ‘Innovation’ front in London.
 
We must learn to prioritise and create a hierarchy of energy use for the common good. Not act like a gullible trekkie, lured into a sci fi fantasy.

 We know how to do it

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Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels have declined in cost by around 99 percent over recent decades. and future cost declines are most likely to be found in accelerated deployment.

The Mayor currently has a Solar Together offer for Londoners.  A friend, who has successfully gone through the process, says that is was relatively straightforward: A £150 refundable deposit, followed by a survey to assess the installation and scaffolding requirements, and then 3 months later the panels were installed. A 3.6kW array of 12 panels with all the associated gubbins – cabling, invertor, installation and scaffolding came to £4500.

But not everyone can afford such high costs, so I do wonder why we aren’t we offering rooftop solar for free to Londoners? 

And how can we speed up bureaucracy? Here is advice from Historic England on considerations for older buildings.

It is the logistics that are missing

Funding streams

  • Transport for London energy needs are the biggest in London. TFL could help fund solar on every viable roof and receive excess energy from Londoners.
  • Voluntary council tax contribution for Solar mobilisation.
  • Or Council Tax precept to fund solar. 
  • Levy on businesses, particularly those with the most environmental externalities.

Planning and overcoming bureaucracy

  • Finding a coherent balance between preserving the historic nature of London and our planetary survival
  • Speeding up assessment
  • Setting up training programmes
  • Developing scaleable solutions

Predatory Delay

In 2014 it was suggested that 10 million homes in the UK should have solar photovoltaic panels by 2020 – Imperial College London 

‘A third of households generating energy from the sun – would allow the UK to produce about 6% of its annual electricity needs from solar power, with as much as 40% coming from the panels on sunny days in summer, by 2020. These figures are comparable to those of Germany, which has made a major push on solar power in the last decade.’
 
In 2016, a study by consultancy Energy for London found that just 0.5% of London’s 3.4 million households have installed solar panels, less than any other city or region it analysed. What a failure. 
 

Power concedes nothing without a demand. We demand solar power for the people.



Climate Emergency Measure No.1: Remove all Fossil Fuel Cars from Cities

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The first climate emergency measure for London (and other cities) is to remove all fossil fuel cars.

Adding more petrol and diesel to the flames of rapid Global Warming is incendiary.

Mobilisation to remove all fossil fuel cars from cities and towns, requires National Governments to declare a Climate Emergency and enact climate emergency measures.

The imminent threat of runaway Climate Breakdown makes this an unprecedented emergency. Mobilisation is needed on the scale of World War 2.

What can we do with these redundant motor vehicles? What can be recycled from an ICE motor vehicle and how can it be re-used?

Old cars are almost entirely recycled for their steel content.

Primary new steel is responsible for 9% of global emissions. Recycled steel is therefore a vital resource to cut these emissions and stop the production of primary steel.

In a circular economy, demand for steel should equal supply of recycled steel.

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Meanwhile entire homes can be built with car tyres by ramming them full of earth and covering with concrete. These are known as earth ships.

Further uses of tyres are discussed here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_recycling

What will replace these cars?

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The Victory Bike

In 1941 the Office for Emergency Management of the United States government commissioned Huffman and Westfield to make the Victory Bike as part of the war effort. The government department officially promoted bicycling as a more patriotic choice than motoring.

Oslo is currently setting the agenda for carfree cities, as set out in this article

https://www.fastcompany.com/90294948/what-happened-when-oslo-decided-to-make-its-downtown-basically-car-free

The embedded carbon of a mass switch to electric cars would blow the carbon budget and drain renewable resources needed for the switch to essential electric heating / cooling.

Yes we need to switch essential motor vehicles to electric (where no other viable alternative exists). But mass personal car journeys are not just unpatriotic but environmentally suicidal.

Utility cycling (in its many forms) would be transformational. Space saving, healthy and using minimal resources. Recycled steel is suitable for tough, industrial grade cyles; and has real cachet in certain cycling circles.

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Which World Government will grasp the nettle first? And stop the suicidal madness of carmaggedon.

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Docked Cargo Bike Hire in Vienna

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The Classic Rickshaw or Pedicab

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Pedalmeapp London

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Cargo Bike Copenhagen

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Cargo Bike Amsterdam

Transport for London in a Climate Emergency

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On 11th December 2018, Sadiq Khan declared a Climate Emergency in London. A week later he published the 1.5C Compatible Action Plan.

Additionally, on January 12th 2019, in light of the IPCC report, the Mayor updated London’s commitment to being a zero carbon city from 2050 down to 2030 . This sets a far tighter trajectory and we must all revise ambitions and strategy significantly, to match this new reality.

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The carbon crunch got a lot tighter

Reducing energy demand/ embedded carbon from  new infrastructure/ vehicles will mean tough choices have to be made

  • Cancelling Silvertown Tunnel and Crossrail 2 is inevitable (The high Embedded carbon of these infrastructure projects are not in line with a Climate Emergency. Cement and steel emissions would be far too high)
  • Mini -Holland for any borough that wants it. Transformational dense cycling networks with carfree town centres. (30 x 30 million ring fenced. Design standards must be at Waltham Forest mini Holland level or better)
  • Traffic-free efficient walking and cycling networks replacing some buses. Expanded Pedestrianised areas and wider pavements. Cycle only streets  (where alternative Underground/ Overground /Rail exist, for instance central London).
  • New Buses only pure electric (no hybrids locking us into fossil fuels)
  • Pedicabs and pedalmeapp replacing motorised Taxis and Cabs
  • Remaining Taxis / cabs only pure electric
  • Replacing motor vehicle delivery with last mile cargo bike delivery and cycling logistics
  • Replacing commercial and Government services (currently by motorised vehicles) to electric assist cycle / cargo bike
  • Remaining essential vehicles only pure electric.
  • Extending Congestion Charge hours to 24/7. Removing all exemptions. Raising price of charge.
  • Tightening ULEZ Ultra Low Emission Zone) to include all fossil fuel vehicles and extending across Greater London as quickly as possible.
  • Removing all street car parking from Central London, town centres, quietways and the strategic road network.
  • Carfree Fridays Combining with Work free Fridays for a 4 day working week. ( the connection between emissions and working hours)
  • Upgrading remaining railway lines in London to Transport for London Overground standards (capacity has increased x 5 on the Overground since lines have been run by TFL)
  • Data needs to be made more efficient and targeted. Low tech supercedes high energy data proliferation and ‘smart’ tech.

Transport for London Energy use

According to a recent article in Wired, dated 30th November 2018

Transport for London uses more electricity than anything else in the city. The Underground and Overground rail networks alone consume an astonishing 1.2 terawatt-hours each year, enough to power around 360,000 homes. Then there are buses, trams and an array of other infrastructure.

The TFL Health, Safety and Environment report 2016/17 says:

 Our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from the fuel used to run buses and other vehicles, electricity to power trains and trams, and the energy supplied to our buildings and equipment.

Electricity use in 2016/17 fell by 1.56 per cent to 1.69 terawatt hours. Within this overall result, there was an increase from running NightTube and more frequent services and a reduction from efficient street lighting.

Total CO2 emissions associated with our activities was 2.08 million tonnes compared with 2.17 million tonnes in 2015/16 – a 4.1 per cent decrease. The main factor has been the reduction in carbon intensity of our electricity supply from National Grid. Continued improvements in the energy efficiency of transport infrastructure and the carbon intensity of the grid are vital to reaching the Mayor’s long term goal of a zero carbon city.

Professor Tim Green and colleagues at Imperial College, London, have been advocates of the idea of trackside solar, and published a report, Riding Sunbeams, which found that solar arrays could meet up to six per cent of the Underground’s energy demands.

London’s rooftops (including commercial, domestic and Government) are also a very underused resource. Solar pinned to every viable roof in London would not only supply localised domestic and commercial needs but could potentially supply some of Transport for London needs too? Excess Solar energy fed into a 24 hr transport system?

Road transport

The annual road transport emissions for the Greater London Area (GLA) are projected to be 5,728,930t CO2 in 2030, (London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory 201330 data). According to Donnachadh McCarthy (Eco-auditor) that is about 1.4% of all UK current emissions . However in 2030 it would represent a far higher percentage of the total UK emissions, as other sectors are cut.

Reducing emissions from road transport down to zero net carbon (by at least 2030) will set the agenda for the next London Mayoral election.

The ambition of 80% of all personal journeys by walking, cycling and public transport will need to come much sooner than 2040. 2024 seems far more appropriate And  the ratio of walking and cycling trips to public transport trips will also need to be rebalanced, in favour of walking and cycling.

 

Intelligent Speed limiters, Automated Emergency Braking and other predatory delay tactics to stop safer streets

Dr34SjVWoAApTG_Unlike the European Transport safety Council, I do not believe Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) and Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) systems will make our streets safer. Rather they are predatory delay to redesigning our streets.

This approach is regressively putting pedestrian and cyclist safety into the hands of the automobile manufacturers. By keeping pedestrians in a passive position, it merely aims to do ‘the wrong thing better’. This is a  dangerous distraction from the physical redesign and re-purposing of space. It is playing into the hands of the car lobby.

‘The truth is cities are not doing nearly enough to restore streets for pedestrian use, and its the pedestrians who should be furious.’ Opinion ‘The Pedestrian Strikes Back’ –  NY Times

Apportioning well-being and safety of pedestrians to car manufacturers does not work.  A  prime example of this is the dieselgate scandal , where car lobby claims of ‘clean diesel’ has lead to dangerous illegal emissions across Europe.

Conversely safer street design has consistently worked, prioritising pedestrians and cyclists, as seen in Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Stockholm. Road safety has been achieved, not through questionable tech, but through putting time, money and resources into redesign of public space and reallocating quality space for walking and cycling.

Automation of logic has not been possible

Firstly I must place Intelligent speed Assistance and Automated Emergency Braking in the context of the desire to automate logic.

Professor Erol Gelenbe of Imperial College has told Christian Wolmar and myself that ‘Automation of logic has not been possible, complexity boundaries were reached.’

This means the tech is fundamentally flawed. It is algorithmically unaccountable and even the engineers can’t keep track of what is going on inside the black box. It is not fit for purpose.

Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA)

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‘Intelligent speed assistance works by using traffic sign recognition and GPS map data to help drivers stick to the legal speed limit. The system can be overridden and the driver remains in control at all times.’

Passive systems simply warn the driver of travelling at excess speed. Meanwhile active systems intervene and automatically correct the vehicles speed. Although most systems allow the driver to override the ISA.

One of the major cases against this tech, is that drivers get confused and don’t know whether to be passive or active in their responsibility for a two ton metal box. KSIs (Killed and seriously injured numbers) have risen significantly since ISA and AEB have been more widespread in new cars, from 2015. One wonders if this driver confusion is one of the main causes?

Speed limiters can also be disabled, tuned, tampered with , hacked or just simply ignored. The limiters used in BMW and Mercedes cars, which can be removed by nearly anyone with a computer these days, as evidenced by the multitude of ads in the back of motoring magazines offering to do just that.

Another flaw is that sensors don’t work well in weather such as rain or snow. The tech is unreliable in ‘weather’.

Both active and passive ISA systems can serve as on board vehicle data recording, (this is possibly the real reason car manufacturers are so keen, more on this later)

Automated Emergency Braking (AEB)

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Autonomous emergency braking, known as AEB, is a collision avoidance system which engages the main braking system in automobiles when it detects an imminent collision

One of the most disturbing articles I have read on Automated Brakes is that the engineers ‘tuned’ the brakes, to make the ride in the car smoother, by ignoring pedestrian and cyclists.  Again automated brakes can be overridden, disabled, tuned and hacked.  And like dieselgate are algorithmically unaccountable.

Data Harvesting and Mass Surveillance

‘Ford’s CEO just said on NPR that the future of profitability for the company is all the data from its 100 million vehicles (and the people in them) they’ll be able to monetize. Capitalism & surveillance capitalism are becoming increasingly indistinguishable (and frightening)’  – Kevin Bankston Twitter

Welcome to The Age of surveillance Capitalism. Many believe this is the real reason for the push for ISA and AEB.

Mass surveillance by Governmental organisations are often carried out by corporations. It is the single, most indicative distinguishing feature of totalitarian regimes.

Energy vultures

Autonomous vehicles use terrific amounts of power to run their onboard sensors and do all the calculations needed to analyse the world and make driving decisions. The computer vision kit is a power sink.

There are 20-100 computers on one Autonomous Vehicle. And 20-60 computers in current cars with ISA and AEB, on our roads now. Add on radar, sensors, cameras and data processing and you have an energy vulture

The hidden energy consumed in externally hosted data centres is not available, but also adds to the high energy consumption.

We need to rapidly cut energy consumption to meet sustainable renewables. However total per capita energy demand is increasing faster than renewable energy sources are added. This hinders that vital transition to low energy low carbon transport.

Targeting walking and cycling advocates to legitimise tech

One of the tactics, used by the car lobby, is to co-opt charities and grass roots campaigners to neutralise any opposition. The car lobby specifically targets pedestrian, cycling or safety campaigns to legitimise tech.

The current AV marketing approach claims Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Vehicle inevitability. But we must be aware that ‘They are coming’ and ‘We can’t stop it’ are marketing techniques. They present an AI /AV bias that is not based on facts.

 

Rapid Change 2019

When I was a child, I was fascinated by Animals who had adapted to their environment, evolving slowly, over many years.

All organisms have adaptations that help them survive and thrive. Some adaptations are structural, like the hump on a camel or the white fur on a polar bear. Other adaptations are behavioral like the nightingale, who migrates to survive cold winters and hot summers.

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Nightingale to become extinct in Britain ‘within 30 years’

In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a stark report on the impact of global warming of 1.5C that makes it clear that we are now on course for Climate Catastrophe; where animals, plants and humans are unable to adapt quickly enough to global heating and therefore enter into mass extinction.

Unless we can make radical change, on an unprecedented scale and within a very tight window, we are toast. The IPCC report says:

“Rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid disastrous levels of global warming,

Historically a large number of ancient mass extinction events have been strongly linked to global climate change. But because current human-induced climate change is so rapid, the way species typically adapt (eg – migration) is, in most cases, simply not be possible. Global change is simply too pervasive and occurring too rapidly. 

The IPCC storyline scenarios such as A1FI and A2 imply a rate of warming of 0.2 to 0.6°C per decade. By comparison, the average change from 15 to 7 thousand years ago was ~0.005°C per decade.

We have already tragically lost 60% of nature in my lifetime.

Humans may feel abstracted from nature in our concrete towns and cities. But we are totally dependent on the delicate web of ecosystems: Humans rely on natural ecosystems to provide many ‘ecosystem services’- such as pollination of crops, and cleaning air and water. Humans also rely on ecosystems to provide them with fertile soil, mineral nutrients, fish and game.

As an individual I have found that I have being slowly adapting, and more intensely over the last 5 years. I downsized to a bed sit, I removed a concrete patio in my shared garden, opening up the earth to plant climbers up the walls, fruit trees, shrubs and vegetables.

I shop nearly all locally sourced food and plastic free. I only buy new when there are no alternatives in 2nd hand.

I changed my lights to LED. My kettle to electric. I have decided not to fly.

I have invested in 2nd hand wool heritage jumpers, trousers and socks, so I can keep heating to a minimum. I swim and wash at the Lido.

I bought a bike and cycle and walk even more than I did before. I have never owned a car but I also now avoid taking taxis. I have been cutting down on meat. I am nearly vegetarian and on a pathway to nearly vegan.

But possibly my biggest adaptation has been to get very actively political. Putting my life on hold to dedicate myself to campaigning. When I started banprivatecarsinlondon.com it was on instinct. It surged into my consciousness and I couldn’t hold back my passion to speak the truth.

Two manifestos have emerged, in the last 4 years, out of research and networking. I have felt an  absolute imperative to create policy that is needed, not what is seen as politically ‘possible’. We need to be ahead of the curve and ready for fast moving change. This is a Climate Emergency.

I have now joined Extinction Rebellion. And I urge you to do the same. We are at the last chance saloon

I believe that

Every action matters

Every bit of warming matters

Every year matters

Every choice matters

We need to remove all motor vehicles, including buses, from the core of London

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Transport for London says there are too many buses in Central London. I agree. With Crossrail opening up fully accessible new routes, it is time to review how to make best use of limited road space with a rapidly increasing population.

The Routemaster is

  • 12.65 tons
  • 11.3 metre long
  • 2.52 metre wide
  • with jutting wing mirrors

This is a mammoth motor vehicle to fit into contested and congested Central  London streets. Bus on bus congestion is also a problem.

It squeezes and marginalises pedestrians and cyclists into narrow, crowded corners where blind spots exist. We know from Darren Johnson research in 2014 that buses are just as dangerous for cyclists as HGVs. We know that Oxford Street is the most dangerous road in the UK for pedestrians.

Oxford Street and central London have a wealth of underground stations. Making it one of the most connected districts in the UK.  Crossrail will build on this accessibility. when it opens next year, However we must extend the job centre plus travel discount to the Underground, Overground and Crossrail as well as bus and trams.

We need to make the core of London traffic free to accommodate a growing pedestrian and cycling community. Walking and cycling are the most space efficient modes. I have recently visited Copenhagen and Brussels where motor vehicles have been completely removed from their central core. These areas are so successful that they are being expanded, largely led by the community.

And with new pedicabs, rickshaws or apps like pedalmeapp emerging we have a growing space efficient and accessible taxi options .

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Yes we need to update  the Congestion charge, making it 24/7, removing exemptions and making Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles like Uber pay the full cost of their use of our prime road space. This will help restore a more efficient bus system where it is most needed.

But we also need to update the core of our city. Protecting our most vulnerable citizens from the impact of 12 ton motor vehicles.

My New Manifesto

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Key policies 2018-20

Policy that will prepare us for the best quality of life in a fossil fuel free world.

We are told that we have a ‘carbon budget’. I believe that is a false narrative. We already have a dangerously warming world, caused by man-made emissions. We have frittered away any ‘carbon budget’ on the false dawn of ‘transition’ gas, ‘clean diesel’ and ‘hybrids’

The reality is we are now surrounded with fossil fuel stranded assets. All the fossil fuel cars that line our streets, petrol, diesel, hybrid (there are very few pure electric cars). And everyone that is holding onto a fossil fuel car, for that ‘occasional’ trip, is also part of the problem.

Dinosaur fossil fuel cars are clogging up public space that could be for safe walking and cycling. These redundant cars, wasting valuable space, are slowing the move to walking, cycling for the 68% of UK car journeys that are under 5 miles. Car parking on public land could also be re-purposed for local food growing, biodiversity, sustainable urban drainage and carbon absorbing trees.

And then we have all the ‘transition’ gas boilers and gas cookers.

Imagine if tomorrow was the first day we could no longer burn fossil fuels. We would wake up to a world where most of us couldn’t have a hot shower, heat our home or cook breakfast. We have invested an enormous amount of embedded carbon in ‘transition’ gas central heating. It will take enormous energy, jobs, cash and embedded carbon to extricate us from this strategic failure. We must be more focused. And get the strategy right this time.

Meanwhile a large part of our electricity is fossil fuel (Gas and Coal) generated.

Current energy demand is far outpacing our ability to produce renewables, meaning we continue to burn fossil fuel to meet that demand. So radically cutting energy use to meet renewables is also absolutely vital. This is where energy allowances play a vital role.

We are no longer in ‘transition’ we are in countdown to a zero net carbon world ASAP.

The IPCC report makes that abundantly clear:

We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN

“There is nothing opaque about this new data. The illustrations of mounting impacts, the fast-approaching and irreversible tipping points are visceral versions of a future that no policy-maker could wish to usher in or be responsible for.” – Christiana Figueres

So lets call what we have now, what it really is, a ‘damage limitation carbon budget’.

And lets start establishing a hierarchy of carbon investment for the common good.

For instance why are we investing heavily in electric car infrastructure when there are viable alternatives such as walking and cycling that can replace the majority of short car journeys? And why haven’t we even begun to de-carbonise heating?

Data now has the same carbon footprint as aviation. A rapid rise in data processing has increased our energy use substantially. How can we use data more efficiently? And how can we stop getting sucked into pyramid schemes, invented by tech companies to maximise their profit, where there is no running product but just the ‘hope of the company’.

The reality is that automation of logic has been impossible. Complexity boundaries were reached. And Driverless ‘innovation’ is nothing more than a pyramid of wobbly cards.

Here are my key policies:

  1. Regular car-free, fly-free and work-free days to cut emissions (Direct, immediate action)
  2. World fossil fuel free days (we need many trials to experience what this looks like and where we need to be better prepared)
  3. Free cycles for everyone and free secure cycle parking (This must be the mainstream go-to for personal journeys under 5 miles)
  4. A hierarchy of energy use for the common good. (Where cooking, heating and hot showers are higher priorities for renewables than low occupancy, inefficient  electric cars and data proliferation)
  5. De-carbonise heating, hot water and cooking ASAP (Millions of green jobs urgently needed with appropriate training)
  6. Free trees for every garden  (on private land in the UK as well as mass planting on public land. Trees absorb carbon and are a critical part of climate action) Every tree and woodland in the UK must be listed and protected.
  7. Resident allotment permits for food growing on current wasteful resident parking spaces. Perishable greens are high carbon because of the quantity that is degraded in transport. Food security is important. As is locally sourced produce needed to reduce road /air miles
  8. A ban on advertising for planet destroying consumerables (car adverts, meat and long distance flights /holidays).
  9. Concern about high energy use of tech promoted for per the mile road pricing. (Telematics is a high energy user of data Not appropriate for  a low carbon, low energy future. Energy use allowances would be far more effective at reducing car use. We need to address  the cause not the symptom).
  10. Ban automation in motor vehicles (Not safe or proven technology. No algorithmic transparency of accountability. It is a very high energy user (there are 100 computers on one Automated Vehicle, equivalent to boiling 3 electric kettles continuously) plus radar, sensors and cameras. Mostly designed for data harvesting and surveillance.
  11. Carbon, energy and data allowances for everyone (Energy allowances will allow people to choose between a hot shower, downloading a Netflix boxset or using a car to drive a few miles down the road)
  12. Switch investment and jobs away from the car industry and road building to pinning solar to every roof possible ASAP (The car industry is stranded assets and jobs whilst solar is an urgent imperative for a low energy low carbon future)
  13. Transparent, easily accessible carbon accounting at all levels of Government and Business (With indirect carbon from energy use recorded as well as direct carbon).
  14. Extend job centre plus travel discount to all public transport
  15. Basic income (that is nothing to do with Artificial Intelligence but about reducing the working week to 3-4 days to cut energy use and for quality community and family life).
  16. Education on how to use  ICT (Information and communications technology) that is not wasteful of energy. For instance don’t travel via google maps. Plan your journey ahead or use a map. Borrow CDs and DVDs from libraries rather than Netflix and streaming.
  17. Producing software that is efficient means energy allowances must be applied. Current wasteful and lazy software is burning energy needlessly
  18. Stopping data proliferation that is used for mass surveillance, data harvesting and selling us stuff we don’t need.
  19. No forced personal data on the Electoral Register (democracy must be free of outside interference)
  20. Algorithmic transparency and accountability.
  21. Tax under-occupation of dwellings. We could house the entire UK population again in the current unoccupied bedrooms. Make more efficient use of current housing stock through taxation. Cutting cement and steel emissions means a radical transformation in the way we build and maintain housing
  22. Treat plastic as toxic waste Stop producing the stuff. And man-made toxic plastic derivative textiles too. Acrylics nylon spandex. Fleeces are one of the worst. No more lycra cycling gear!
  23. Cycle only streets and hire bikes at all train stations and bus interchanges. 
  24. Licence pedicabs and apps like pedalmeapp and move to last mile delivery by cargo bike. 
  25. Give every citizen the choice to live a carfree lifestyle with suitable infrastructure and financial incentives
  26. Mass rewilding of roads to restore nature, biodiversity, carbon absorbing tree cover and flood mitigation.
  27. EU directive draft proposal
  • Every village, town and city in the European Union must have a walking and cycling network.
  • Everyone must have the opportunity to walk and cycle safely going about their daily life.
  • This must be backed up by an integrated, accessible  and joined up Public Transport Network
  • Ban motor traffic from the core of every town, city and village

This manifesto appears in this Lloyd Alter article on treehugger.com

https://www.treehugger.com/energy-policy/ipcc-says-we-have-12-years-cut-carbon-45-what-does-look.html

KEY POLICIES 2016-20

  • Ban diesel (Petrol and Hybrids ) all fossil fuel generated transport in London starting in the central inner city boroughs, roughly zones 1 & 2 and then progressively encompassing the outer boroughs. Setting out a clear and focused plan to switch public transport and commercial from diesel at the earliest possible date.
  •  Ban all private cars from Central London starting with non-residential and moving quickly to a full ban.
  • Prioritise walking and cycling with proportionate representation on TFL board, road space allocation and budget.
  •  Create a Car-free Cycling network across Greater London Meanwhile continue installing protected cycle lanes on the main arteries.
  • Reclaim car parks as brownfield sites to house key workers, at reasonable rents and linked to their jobs in the vicinity.
  • Rationalise commercial vehicles by capping PHVs, Taxis and Car Club hire vehicles. Encourage and incentivise cargo bike light delivery. Create transit permits per journey, based on size and environmental impact in central London for delivery, freight and contractor vehicles.
  •  Plant one million trees throughout London Trees absorb pollution, rainfall (to reduce flooding) increase mental well being as well as other health benefits. They also help ameliorate damaging effects of Climate Change.
  •  Make solar power an integral part of new builds

 

These policies will

Save time More reliable journey times for commercial transport as well as commuting and leisure quicker emergency times

School children walking and cycling to school safely reduces congestion at rush hour

Unlock space – On public highway for protected cycle lanes, bus lanes, pedestrianisation For housing from car parks, garages On crowded public transport

Save money – Costs of road building / maintenance NHS costs from inactivity, air pollution, urban diabetes, noise pollution, road casualties Economic costs of congestion

Improve quality of life More liveable environment, safer streets, cutting noise pollution, air pollution, severance, quicker waiting times for NHS

Create social cohesion Walking and cycling the great equalisers

Increase self-empowerment – To literally self-power (walking, cycling, solar energy) is liberating in a world where democratic rights have been subsumed to corporations

Reduce inequality – The congestion charge and road pricing advantages wealthy car drivers, at the expense of low income Londoners. A ban is much fairer. Creating space for everyone, no matter income level, to cycle and walk is far more democratic use of space. Solar energy given to low income families would reduce fuel poverty.

The European Charter of Pedestrian’s Rights

European Charter of Pedestrians’ Rights (1988)

What follows is the full text of legislation adopted by The European Parliament in 1988.  ensuring the health, dignity and freedom of all road users including vulnerable ‘walkers and wheelers’ (e.g. pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users).

It includes

  • Pedestrians have a right to not have parking ruin their walking experience.
  •  The provision of bicycle lanes throughout the urban areas
  • Universal access to public transport is a basic human right

Many member states have failed to enshrine this charter with legislation putting these rights into practice. 


I.  The pedestrian has the right to live in a healthy environment and freely to enjoy the amenities offered by public areas under conditions that adequately safeguard his physical and psychological well-being.

II.  The pedestrian has the right to live in urban or village centres tailored to the needs of human beings and not to the needs of the motor car and to have amenities within walking or cycling distance.

III.  Children, the elderly and the disabled have the right to expect towns to be places of easy social contact and not places that aggravate their inherent weakness.

IV.  The disabled have the right to specify measures to maximise mobility, such as the elimination of architectural obstacles and the adequate equipping of public means of transport.

V.  The pedestrian has the right to urban areas which are intended exclusively for his use, are as extensive as possible and are not mere ‘pedestrian precincts’ but in harmony with the overall organisation of the town.

VI.  The pedestrian has a particular right to expect;

(a)  compliance with chemical and noise emission standards for motor vehicles which scientists consider to be tolerable;

(b)  the introduction into all public transport systems of vehicles that are not a source of either air or noise pollution;

(c)  the creation of ‘green lungs’, including the planting of trees in urban areas;

(d)  the control of speed limits by modifying the layout of roads and junctions (e.g. by incorporating safety islands etc.), so that motorists adjust their speed, as a way of effectively safeguarding pedestrian and bicycle traffic;

(e)  the banning of advertising which encourages an improper and dangerous use of the motor car;

(f)  an effective system of road signs whose design also takes into account the needs of the blind and the deaf;

(g)  the adoption of specific measures to ensure that vehicular and pedestrian traffic has ease of access to, and freedom of movement and the possibility of stopping on, roads and pavements respectively (for example: anti-slip pavement surfaces, ramps at kerbs to compensate for the difference in the levels of pavement and roadway, roads made wide enough for the traffic they have to carry, special arrangements while building work is in progress, adaptation of the urban street infrastructure to protect motor car traffic, provision of parking and rest areas and subways and footbridges);

(h)  the introduction of the system of risk liability so that the person creating the risk bears the financial consequences thereof (as has been the case in France, for example, since 1985).

VII.  The pedestrian has the right to complete and unimpeded mobility, which can be achieved through the integrated use of the means of transport. In particular, he has the right to expect;

(a)  an extensive and well-equipped public transport service which will meet the needs of all citizens, from the physically fit to the disabled;

(b)  the provision of bicycle lanes throughout the urban areas;

(c)  the creation of parking lots which affect neither the mobility of pedestrians nor their ability to enjoy areas of architectural distinction.

VIII.  Each Member State must ensure that comprehensive information on the rights of pedestrians is disseminated through the most appropriate channels and is made available to children from the beginning of their school career.

Thank you to Tom Dhollander of FEPA Federation of European Pedestrians for alerting me to this charter.

A public health campaign to educate and inform the public on the dangers of car culture

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Mother and three small children, severed from the community by a dangerous road in islington, London

Firstly we must establish that the public does not understand the true cost of the current car culture.

Cars are a sledgehammer to crack the nut of personal transport when viable alternatives such as active travel are possible for the majority of short car journeys. (40% of car journeys in England are under 2 miles, 68% are under 5 miles).

If the public understood the harm that cars have to human health and the environment, they may understand better the case for active travel. There has been no Government public health campaign to educate the public on this subject.

Car advertising has been brainwashing the public into a fantasy of freedom and ‘safety’ for the last 50 years. Well funded and organised car lobbyists have ensured that Government and the public purse pays for the externalities of driving and the expensive infrastructure that facilitates it.

The cost of cars are well established and span a whole range of departments from Health to the Environment to the Treasury to the Climate Change act.

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A14 destroys nature up to a kilometre each side

Conversely the public has little understanding of how active travel can be cheaper, quicker, more convenient, better for their health and the environment and good for social cohesion and equality.

Solution

Ban car advertising as was done with tobacco.

Every car must have a sticker saying it is dangerous to human health and the environment.

A public health campaign explaining the dangers and cost of cars.

A public health campaign explaining the advantages of active travel and the risks of everyday inactivity.

Making the case for investment in walking and cycling infrastructure that is physically separated from motor traffic will make it feel and be safe for everyone, of all ages and abilities.

Informing the public on how paying people to walk and cycle is good for public health and the environment.

Creating the buzz with a free cycle for every UK citizen