Posts Tagged ‘Science Policy’

UK Airspace was never actually closed !!!

April 19, 2010

As criticism mounts over the alarmist behaviour based largely on bureaucratic processes, in turn based on computer modelling, it turns out that UK airspace was never legally closed following the Icelandic dust cloud !!!

Criticism is also growing in Sweden and Norway for blindly following UK Met Office projections without confirming them by measurement.

The Financial Times reports:

The National Air Traffic Services body has appeared to be the one legally responsible for closing Britain’s airspace. This is because NATS, which provides airlines with air traffic control services, made the first announcements on April 14 about airspace restrictions after the cloud of ash began drifting over the UK. On Sunday night, it announced that restrictions would be in place until at least 7pm, Monday . NATS is not a regulator, however, and cannot legally close airspace. That power lies with the Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates aviation on behalf of the Department of Transport. So far, the CAA has not used this power. “At no point has UK airspace been shut. It’s legally open,” a CAA spokesman said.

Precautionary principle is fatally flawed

April 18, 2010

Finally as reported by the BBC the nonsensical bans on flights in Europe are being questioned.

“Europe’s air industry has called for an urgent review of flight bans imposed because of volcanic ash from Iceland………Airlines that have carried out test flights say planes showed no obvious damage after flying through the ash.”

The volcanic ash plume from Iceland, top left, to northern France, pictured by Nasa's Terra Satellite , 17 April

Photo: NEODAAS/University of Dundee/AP

Wherever the Precautionary Principle is used to justify restrictions on human activity it is because a political agenda is being served but common sense dictates otherwise. It is usually resorted to by polticians and bureaucrats who defend a process in the name of avoiding the “common bad” even if the results of the process are against the common good.

Big Brother in Europe is alive and well but it is time to put this pseudo-science to bed.

Sanity Check

April 18, 2010

A bright spring Sunday with blue skies over this part of Sweden.

But the skies over Europe are still closed due to the largely invisible ash cloud.

Lufthansa and KLM have made some test flights in the ash cloud with no sign of any damage. KLM hope to fly seven planes back from Germany during today (Sunday). Lufthansa flew 10 test flights bewteen Frankfurt and Munich on Saturday at 3000m and 8000 m altitude without incident.

Perhaps sanity will prevail and common sense will return.

The Precautionary Principle is a fraud

April 17, 2010

It is primarily a political device and has little to do with science.

The closing of air space in Northern Europe and the massive disruption to travellers is totally unnecessary and is justified on the grounds of the precautionary principle. But it defies common sense. Eurocontrol rules are being applied blindly without using any common sense.

Swine flu vaccinations were imposed under the guise of the precautionary principle, but were unnecessary and, it now appears, promoted by the manufacturers of flu vaccines.

The banning of ordinary filament light bulbs and the imposition of the so-called low energy lamps is another misuse of the precautionary principle (and in this case a pandering to a particular industrial lobby under the guise of being environmentally friendly)

The entire Y2K and global warming circuses were other examples.

As Daniel Henninger notes the precautionary principle is damaging the credibility of science.

It is claimed in its defence that it is common sense but, of course it is not.

Common sense does not need the cloak of being labelled a “precautionary principle”. It is what allows politicians and politically motivated scientists to stop or do what is otherwise unjustifiable in the name of common sense.

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