As far as I can tell, no-one appears to have pointed out the clear logical-link that exists between two momentous, but at first glance, seemingly unrelated announcements made in the last ten days or so by two top leading Government science professors on the subject of transport technology.
Firstly, as reported in the Independent on Sunday on Feb 17 (..a story strangely ignored - if not indeed - * 'buried' without trace by the rest of the media) , Tony Blair's Chief Scientific Adviser Professor David King broke ranks - as well as a virtual taboo - by calling on the Goverment to ban, as soon as posssible, the sale of all petrol- and diesel -powered cars and to speed up their replacement with 'Kyoto-friendly' hydrogen and electric alternatives.
Then, just one week later, Professor Begg famously revealed to the nation how the Government, understandably, in the context and wake of Professor King's announcement., hopes to use GPS-based charging devices to compensate for the dramatic loss of petrol-tax that will inevitably result from the widespread adoption of these
zero-emission and, by definition, 'zero-petrol-tax' vehicles.
( Note: technology already exists that will allow both fuel cell and electric vehicles to be refuelled/recharged cheaply at home from any mains electricity source.)
I suspect it is no accident that these two logically closely-linked proposals were made separately but in very close succession - and in both instances not by Labour politicians themselves but at a safe, flak-deflecting distance by, so-to-speak, third-party academics and technology-specialists..
* the word "buried" has a pointed topical significance here - as most Brits know all too well : moments after the Sept 11 attacks a young, aspiring Ministry of Transport spin-mistress - a certain Jo Moore - advised colleagues in a mega-notorious email-memo that "this might be a good time to bury bad news" ie. about transport issues. See
2) USA Today was alone - 3 weeks later - in echoing Professor King's unprecedented, voice-in-the-wilderness call for the replacement of the Internal Combustion Engine - BUT that article now ominously appears to have vanished from the newspaper's website/archive. Only EVworld has a
web-copy of the "incriminating evidence".
3) BBC Radio 4's World At One/Yoursay website still also holds an archived (later)contribution from EVUK's Paul GOVAN on this same subject - a missive this time prompted by a headlining, unconvincing Tony Blair speech backing "science, research and innovation". Go to BBC World at One Archive for 5/6/2002 -then ctrl+FIND on keyword(s): GOVAN/zero emission/David King ...or similar.
(Also from The Independent: )