So said Brian Cox, or maybe he didn’t. Johnny Walker was all over the LHC on R2, of course, so Cox may have had a point, if he did, if he had. Sir Henry Woburn and his increasingly both elderly and priapic readership (we all have prostates, after all) would have been just as giggly about boffins and black holes, but I hear he’s become untethered during the recent flooding, and floated away on idling chucklepower. Last seen picking up speed in lower Buckinghamshire, he’ll fetch up at the tidal barrier by the end of the month if we’re not careful. At least we’ll have something to hang a flag off.
Scientists were almost unanimous in their explanation of the complete lack of danger from the LHC, so while I appreciate hatmandu’s fatigue with the whole subject, he’s confusing the cause with its correlates. As with countless other such puffed-up nothings like the MMR hoax, this one was actually kept afloat by journalists too stupid to really grasp not merely the technical issues, but the way in which laymen can reasonably resolve such issues by consulting peer review. Such thickies reach instead for great narratives, even though they rarely turn out to be true: so a handful of mad people become plucky underdogs, and airing their bonkery becomes—in the words of geocaust deniers and misguided munchkins the world over—“keeping the debate open”.
Speaking of which, there is now a legal precedent to blockade coal-fired power stations in protest at the imminent danger of runaway climate change:
There’s a particularly famous precedent to this precedent, albeit in Ireland: you can dismantle US Navy planes if they’re off to bomb Iraq. What that says about the legality of bombing Iraq you can probably work out for yourselves. Anyway, it seems that illegal actions may be defended by proving you were making urgent attempts to prevent a much greater crime, which makes rather a mockery of the government’s energy policy. It also puts the atrocious actions of the police, at that very same power station twelve months on, into a far worse light than before, being out of step with the law, scientific reality, public opinion, and now the judicial system:
Not that you’d know any of this from Radio 2 and its hilariously awful coverage of anything that might put a crimp in the style of selfish millionaires who think driving across London would be made much easier by removing all the buses. But then Henry himself is currently in absentia, missing presumed beached, so they might get away with honest reporting for a change.
By the way, if you’re anywhere downriver of Henley, do keep an eye out; but if you’re hoping to be the one to recover the flotsam, be careful what you grab.