Local Transport today published the following letter from me in their current issue under the heading “Question climate change scepticism, not climate change” (p.16 LTT 615 08 February 2013)
“You refer to global warming as “a theory that has commanded a vice-like grip on Western political thought for two decades” (“What do we really know?” LTT 614). Even if the evidence for anthropogenic climate change were just a “theory”, it is difficult to see what the supposed “vice-like grip” has been.
If there had been merely a gentle guiding – with perhaps the occasional firmer incentive – one doubts if we would be pursuing the familiar litany of business-as-usual policies: road building and other accommodation of current or increased levels of motor vehicle use.
Indeed, to copy your use of the forceful metaphor, we seem to be in a straitjacket of constant pandering to those who want to drive how, when, where, and for whatever reason they want. The same sort of picture applies to aviation.
And that’s just the transport sector.
As you say in your Editorial, the impact of transport decisions can often be different to those which supposedly justify them, and we need to be critical of the decision making process.
Perhaps some sort of self-criticism with regard to climate change would be justified – with robust commitment as distinct from vice-like restriction – for the Editor of our favourite transport journal?
Healthy scepticism is one thing, nihilism another.”
Dr. Robert Davis, Chair Road Danger Reduction Forum.
www.rdrf.org.uk PO Box 2944, LONDON NW10 2AX