Short Story

…or at least a hint of one. As I look out of the window now I can see a driving instructor waiting for his client to come out, and taking the time to check his front driver’s-side bumper for damage. This, I think, tells a story.

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WordPress Update

For those readers who use the WordPress blogging platform, there’s a new version out. If you’re using FastCGI on your site it may be worth waiting for a while, as there’s an issue with the admin panel that’s likely to be fixed soon (there’s a plug-in to fix it already, but that seems kind of untidy). I’m currently posting from the new version, and while there’s no visible difference I’ve noticed (it’s only an x.x.1 update) it seems as solid as ever.

Update: Having said that it seems to have thrown out my widget choices – something to look out for.

Confusion of Terms

There’s a story on the BBC website and radio today about a plan to charge residents of Richmond (a suburb of London) for parking spaces according to the carbon emissions of their vehicles. I’m unsure about this as an idea generally – I’m a big fan of green taxes, I’m just not sure this is a good one – but the coverage contains a basic mistake that I’ve seen repeated several times since I got back to the UK.

A Lib Dem council in London wants owners of gas-guzzling vehicles to pay more to park outside their homes.

Richmond residents with high-emission cars could pay £750 a year, compared with £200 now, but the greenest cars would be exempt.

Whether a car ‘guzzles’ gas or not isn’t an isolated fact. A car’s pollution isn’t defined by how much it uses per mile, but how much it uses per day. A Hummer driven a mile per day guzzles less gas than a Prius driven 10 miles per day. Charging people based on their potential for pollution does less to discourage pollution than charges based on their actual pollution, and mischaracterizing this does us no favours.

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