• Some info on pollution levels in London:

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/a­ir-pollution-falls-london-lockdown-a4487­256.html

    Air pollution fell by up to 50 per cent at commuter hotspots in London during lockdown, new data analysis has revealed.

    The pollutant nitrogen oxide (NO2) decreased by 30 per cent on average around key transport routes through the city over the past three months including at Borough High Street by London Bridge, at South Street adjacent to Park Lane, and on Cowcross Street near Farringdon railway station.

    NO2 is produced when fossil fuels such as diesel, petrol or natural gas are burned.

    Environmental Defense Fund Europe (EDFE) and the charity Global Action Plan carried out the analysis of latest data from the Breathe London air monitoring network.

    They looked at pollution levels during morning (8-11am) and evening (5-8pm) commuting hours in the first four weeks of lockdown and found significant reductions on the previous three months’ NO2 levels, including a 50 per cent reduction in evening pollution levels on South Street.

  • More recent measurements:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/­2020/jul/10/uk-air-pollution-still-down-­despite-return-normal-traffic-study

    I'm afraid I still don't think any reductions are going to last. Quite the opposite, I think that in the short term pollution will actually increase, before settling down to levels seen before the crisis again.

  • I like sleeper trains a lot, although I've had little occasion to use them. Let's hope that this is a longer-lasting development. I still think it's a superb way of travelling:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/j­ul/27/covid-19-reawakens-europe-sleeper-­trains

  • I still think it's a superb way of travelling

    As are dedicated road lanes reserved for nomenklatura in ZiL limousines. In both cases, the costs are borne by the people who can't use them.

  • The traffic is really strange in and around the centre. It feels like some kind of pointless reenactment of earlier times. There aren't that many people back to the offices or shops and yet the streets are choked with empty busses and cabs racing around aggressively.

  • Seems everyone's decided to climb into their cars today.

  • A survey suggesting that in many countries people would drive and fly more after the pandemic despite the fact that many think there is a climate emergency and that human action is largely to blame for it:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/­2020/nov/10/people-drive-fly-climate-cri­sis-global-poll-green-recovery-covid-pan­demic

  • many think there is a climate emergency and that human action is largely to blame

    Maybe they don't really think that, they just say it. Most people want to fit in and be well thought of, so they say what they think is socially acceptable on matters where they have no strong feelings either way.

  • I'm certain that that's true of quite a few people, but to me the main point seems to be that many people, while espousing such beliefs (and not just wanting to talk pretty), don't act on them. It's one thing to hold a belief and another for that belief to be action-guiding. There is often a wide disconnect. While in terms of policy effectiveness, it's low-level to place the onus to act on each individual (and generally brings about next to no change compared to proper policies enacted by a government), you get such results unless people realise that they actually have to walk the talk.

  • many people, while espousing such beliefs (and not just wanting to talk pretty), don't act on them. It's one thing to hold a belief and another for that belief to be action-guiding.

    Why do you find this surprising, given the example of two millennia of Christianity?

  • Where do I say that I find it surprising? On the contrary, it's a central point about how we espouse ethical principles that we don't just act on moral reasons alone but need a moral motivation to act, as we are not purely rational creatures. It's therefore perfectly possible for people to hold a belief such that driving and flying destroys the world and still resolve/plan to fly/drive more post-pandemic.

  • I think the real problem is that most people (and I'll include myself in this) cannot really grasp what the phrase 'emergency' means when we're talking about the climate. Humans are pretty poor at reacting to things until they are directly affected by them.

  • It's therefore perfectly possible for people to hold a belief such that driving and flying destroys the world and still resolve/plan to fly/drive more post-pandemic

    Do you think FOMO plays into this? On the Wednesday before "Lockdown 2.0", the roads were rammed, presumably by people doing all the things at once before they were somewhat prohibited. Maybe people think that flying and driving might be highly restricted by dictatorial edict in 10-20 years time, so they plan to see the sights while they still can.

  • Undoubtedly. See also the OP.

  • most people cannot really grasp what the phrase 'emergency' means when we're talking about the climate

    Probably because "emergency" in this context doesn't have the ordinary plain language meaning they are used to. I think the activists who have decided to use "emergency" and "crisis" as desperate emotive appeals to action may have misjudged the effect. If people think they are being lied to and manipulated, they are likely to dismiss the valid points being made as well as the overblown propaganda.

  • I agree. The obvious problem is that there has been concern about anthropogenic global warming for at least six decades (probably more), always accompanied by dire warnings that either haven't come true as acutely as was projected at the time, or that are completely removed from people's everyday reality and, as you say, direct experience. Obviously, manipulation of public opinion by powerful fossil fuel-linked interests plays a major role, but those other factors, too. (I do think action should have been taken decades ago and I don't particularly relish the coming test of humanity's skill at brinkmanship.)

  • I don't particularly relish the coming test of humanity's skill at brinkmanship

    We already have brinkmanship, what we get tested on is adaptability. If nothing is done, or even if everything called for by activists is done in full and in a timely way, we get climate change. The human race survives come what may, the only question is how many of them, and who decides which ones.

  • This almost a black cabbie account is doing a “survey”

    https://twitter.com/TflTruth/status/1327­901926424506368?s=20

    Would be good to voice our opinions 😉

  • Kinda feel the Guardian’s reporting on that is somewhat over-egged.

  • I'm not doubting the benefit of LTNs. I think you have to consider where the traffic is going. Are we arguing this point?

    I'm not seeing any data in that article, and I haven't had time to read the paper, but is there any "when you do this here, the traffic doesn't actually go along the main road which is where most people who have low income / poor health etc and so on live".

    My point is not "LTNs are bad" my point is "traffic is bad".

  • A simple way to do this would be to look at IMD 2019 for each LSOA/MSOA and then look at traffic flow pre LTN and postLTN.

  • Don’t waste any time on the report or the Guardian article; the tl;dr seems to be

    • residential streets in London are diverse
    • LTNs are on residential streets, so a diverse set of residents benefit from them, therefore
    • There is no inequity of outcomes if an LTN is implemented

    That. Is. It.

    Myth busted.

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The coronavirus crisis and the environment / reduction in transport emissions in particular

Posted by Avatar for Oliver Schick @Oliver Schick

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