Very soon we will experience our first taste of spring. We will flock into London’s parks and gardens to enjoy the first rays of sun and to see the flowers of spring in all their glory. It wasn’t so long ago that we would marvel at nature’s ability to throw off the shackles of winter and look forward to warmer days, indeed early man would celebrate the spring equinox as a magical event and the prelude to summer with all its bounty.
[N]owadays whenever we get a pronounced change in the weather the doomsayers predict that its cause is climate change, and if man doesn’t heed the warning, unpredictable warm spring days will become the norm.
The first scientist to claim he could change the world was Robert Oppenheimer when after inventing the A-bomb he declared, with some justification; Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
Now a massive industry has been created around climate change forecasting and the proposition that man is the destroyer of worlds; with each individual within this new industry needing to justify his or her remuneration. The London Mayor’s office is no different; they have created the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy, which slowly has prevented any commercial vehicle operating in London if it is deemed hazardous to the environment.
After buses had been converted the cab trade was next to receive their attention. First all cabs had to comply with Euro 3, entailing for many an expensive conversion. Not content with that the Mayor’s office have deemed that all cabs over 15 years old must be scrapped, with no cabs to drive this will mean that many part-time and older full-time drivers will retire – so much for the Government’s initiative to have us work into our retirement years. The 15 year limit will also remove about a third of the current vehicles currently plying for hire.
Now the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy has gone further. The Low Emission Zone encompassing the City will become tougher. From next January any lorry, tipper-truck or motor home weighing more than 3.5 tonnes has to be less than 6 years old or it will cost the driver £200 per day to enter the City. Larger vehicles face a fine of £100 per day if they are found to be over 10-years old. Refusal to pay the fine will incur additional costs of up to £1,000.
So after all the razzmatazz of the Olympics have died down and you want a self employed, plumber, decorator, bricklayer or taxi and don’t want to employ the services of a large corporate company, just remember why they are in short supply in London, there’ve all moved on to a place in the country. As the American economist J. K. Galbraith said “There are two classes of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know”.