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Piers Corbyn tells councillors “man-made climate change does not exist”… then drives home in beat-up ‘90s Vauxhall Cavalier

The controversial climate change denier was speaking at a council meeting in Oxford on plans for a traffic filter scheme designed to “make walking and cycling safer”

Piers Corbyn travelled to Oxford yesterday, in his bruised and battered 1995 Vauxhall Cavalier, emblazoned with a huge poster protesting London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, to tell local councillors that “man-made climate change does not exist” and that they should scrap plans to introduce a traffic filter scheme designed to “reduce traffic, make bus journeys faster, and make walking and cycling safer”.

The controversial climate change denier, anti-vaxxer, 2021 London mayoral candidate, and brother of former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, was permitted to speak by Oxfordshire County Council’s leader Liz Leffman at a cabinet meeting called to discuss trialling six traffic filters which will stop most drivers in Oxford from using certain routes at peak times.

The council says the filters will help cut unnecessary car journeys in the city and instead make cycling, walking, and public transport the “natural first choice” for Oxford’s residents, the BBC reports.

However, according to the Oxford Mail, Corbyn called on the council’s cabinet to shelve the trial, along with any other “green measures” currently in the pipeline.

“I have spoken around the world on climate and solar matters and I’m here, councillors, to convince you of two things,” the 75-year-old, wearing his now-trademark yellow anti-lockdown t-shirt, said yesterday morning.

“One, that man-made climate change does not exist and secondly, that being the case you should drop all of these green measures and other green measures that you are doing on other committees.

“The point is that the basis of these documents is false: man-made climate change does not exist and if you don’t believe me, look at the sky.

“You should have a special meeting to discuss whether man-made climate change exists or not.”

Responding to the former Labour councillor’s claims, the council’s cabinet member for highways management, Andrew Gant, said: “Mr Corbyn said climate change is not real – this council has formally adopted a position that climate change is real. Mr Corbyn, you are wrong, we are right.” 

> Improvements to notorious roundabout will benefit both cyclists and motorists, campaigners say

Despite Corbyn’s intervention, the cabinet gave the green light to the traffic filters trial, which will commence in January 2024 following the planned revamp of Oxford railway station, with filters set to be placed at Thames Street, Hythe Bridge Street, Marston Ferry Road, St Cross Road, St Clements, and Hollow Way.

The scheme will operate for seven days a week between 7am and 7pm – except those on Marston Ferry Road and Hollow Way, which will only operate during rush hour from Monday to Saturday – and unauthorised drivers caught going through a filter will be handed a £70 penalty.

“Oxfordshire is leading the country in doing this and it will leave a lasting legacy,” says Zuhura Plummer, the campaign director for Oxfordshire Liveable Streets.

“The official analysis of the scheme found that it will mean 35 percent less traffic, road casualties down 9 percent, rush hour buses running 15 percent quicker, and air pollution down at 91 percent of locations.

“This will save lives and make our city more pleasant now and for future generations.”

However, some local councillors have sided with Corbyn’s criticism of the scheme, with Liam Walker, the Conservative shadow cabinet member for highways, claiming that the plans – approved by the council following a consultation involving 5,700 locals – were “hitting residents’ pockets and impacting businesses”.

“Oxford is slowly being shut down under this anti-motorist coalition,” Walker said.

Meanwhile, Thames Valley Police told the council during the consultation process that it has “concerns” about the enforcement of the filters which, the force argued, officers “must not be responsible for”.

> Active travel campaigners release footage of anti-LTN vandals setting bollards alight

Of course, Oxfordshire County Council is certainly no stranger to vocal, co-ordinated opposition to its active travel schemes.

Last week, road.cc reported that campaigners in favour of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Oxford released footage of bollards being driven over, removed, and even set alight by opponents of the traffic-calming measures.

LTNs have been in place in various parts of the city since March 2021, though the scheme has been blighted by what some have described as a “civil war”, with activists opposed to the council’s supposed “anti-car agenda” frequently staging protests and submitting petitions, while some have resorted to carrying out vandalism on the planters and bollards installed at the entrance to the LTNs.

Despite the fierce opposition to the scheme and the consistent acts of vandalism, in July councillors voted to make the Church Cowley, Temple Cowley, and Florence Park LTNs, originally trialled in 2021, permanent.

Oxfordshire County Council also confirmed earlier this month that it will spend around £100,000 installing new steel bollards to replace the destroyed plastic ones after what it described as “unprecedented levels of vandalism”.

> "We're going to block a cycle lane!": Anti-vax mayoral candidate Piers Corbyn parks in bike lane after nearly left hooking cyclist

Meanwhile, Piers Corbyn’s intervention in Oxford’s local affairs isn’t the first time that the conspiracy theorist has neglected to take into consideration the safety of cyclists.

During his ill-fated attempt to become London mayor last year – he finished 11th in the poll – Corbyn was filmed almost left-hooking a cyclist while driving, talking to camera, and holding a Ribena carton during a six-hour-long ‘fly-on-the-wall’ livestream of one of his days on the campaign trail.

In the clip, featured on our live blog, the cyclist can be heard shouting in fear as Corbyn simply mutters “cyclist”, much to the amusement of his cameraman, before driving off.

Later that day, Corbyn – unsure of where he should be going – announced that he was “going to block a cycle lane”, before abruptly parking his car in the lane.

“It seems we are now on foot, so it seems the cyclists are now safe, as far as I know,” the cameraman said as the pair emerged from their illegally parked, and presumably creaking, Vauxhall.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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36 comments

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ubercurmudgeon | 1 year ago
0 likes
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eburtthebike | 1 year ago
9 likes

Piers Corbyn; the very essence of a nonentity.  If his brother hadn't once been leader of a political party, he would be beneath notice.  I think he still is.

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Gimpl | 1 year ago
2 likes

His parents are responsible for two bat shit crazy brothers! They can be so proud

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hawkinspeter replied to Gimpl | 1 year ago
9 likes

Gimpl wrote:

His parents are responsible for two bat shit crazy brothers! They can be so proud

Just imagine the craziness of nationalised energy companies if Jeremy had got into power!

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Rich_cb replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

Imagine indeed.

We'd certainly be at a far higher risk of blackouts this winter.

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hawkinspeter replied to Rich_cb | 1 year ago
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Rich_cb wrote:

Imagine indeed. We'd certainly be at a far higher risk of blackouts this winter.

Why would that be so?

Not trolling, but curious if there's a specific reason or just due to our governments being generally incompetent.

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Rich_cb replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes

Generally nationalised companies are far less able to raise prices as to do so is a political rather than a commercial decision.

When prices go up there will be some element of reduced demand.

When supplies of electricity are tight demand needs to be reduced in order to avoid blackouts.

Without raised prices there will be more demand and therefore higher risk of blackouts.

France is currently facing exactly this scenario. EDF is nationalised and the government limited price increases to 4%. Demand has hardly changed and French wholesale prices are now enormously high, indicating very tight supply.

Hopefully they can get enough of their nuclear reactors up and running again to avert blackouts but they're currently in a pretty tricky situation.

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hawkinspeter replied to Rich_cb | 1 year ago
0 likes

Rich_cb wrote:

Generally nationalised companies are far less able to raise prices as to do so is a political rather than a commercial decision. When prices go up there will be some element of reduced demand. When supplies of electricity are tight demand needs to be reduced in order to avoid blackouts. Without raised prices there will be more demand and therefore higher risk of blackouts. France is currently facing exactly this scenario. EDF is nationalised and the government limited price increases to 4%. Demand has hardly changed and French wholesale prices are now enormously high, indicating very tight supply. Hopefully they can get enough of their nuclear reactors up and running again to avert blackouts but they're currently in a pretty tricky situation.

Okay, that makes sense.

I'd like to say that changing prices according to political reasoning could take into account wider concerns than just profit for that industry, but that would imply that political decisions are made in a considered manner.

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Gimpl replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
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I don't need to imagine, I remember. It was a car crash.

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hawkinspeter replied to Gimpl | 1 year ago
2 likes

Gimpl wrote:

I don't need to imagine, I remember. It was a car crash.

I think you meant that it was a driver crash.

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wycombewheeler replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

Gimpl wrote:

His parents are responsible for two bat shit crazy brothers! They can be so proud

Just imagine the craziness of nationalised energy companies if Jeremy had got into power!

loving the double meaning of "got into power"

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levestane | 1 year ago
4 likes

Anthropogenically-driven climate change is happening as a consequence of a couple of centuries of very poor economic leadership. Women have played very little role in this so it would seem that the majority is indeed man-made.

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hawkinspeter replied to levestane | 1 year ago
6 likes

levestane wrote:

Anthropogenically-driven climate change is happening as a consequence of a couple of centuries of very poor economic leadership. Women have played very little role in this so it would seem that the majority is indeed man-made.

As I understand it, the economic 'leadership' revolved around exploiting as many resources as possible, as quickly as possible. Businessmen that are/were interested in sustainable propositions would be quickly out-competed by more selfish and ruthless competitors. The only real check on destroying the planet in the pursuit of personal greed, are the world's governments, but it seems that most of them are heavily influenced by personal greed and choose to not stop the destruction of our habitat.

We need to stop putting these sociopathic politicians into power.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

I think you missed the boat at the neolithic revolution.  Equality took a nosedive there.  Indeed that change has a lot to answer for, from famine, environmental destruction, overwork, occupational disease, dental decay, epidemics, huge inter-species pathogen transfer to tri-bars.

On the other hand the percentage of folks dying from interpersonal violence * - after a period of adjustment - is waaay down, so there's that.

* per modern-era studies of hunter-gathering societies so disputed.

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hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
2 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

I think you missed the boat at the neolithic revolution.  Equality took a nosedive there.  Indeed that change has a lot to answer for, from famine, environmental destruction, overwork, occupational disease, dental decay, epidemics, huge inter-species pathogen transfer to tri-bars.

On the other hand the percentage of folks dying from interpersonal violence * - after a period of adjustment - is waaay down, so there's that.

* per modern-era studies of hunter-gathering societies so disputed.

That reminds me of some article I read about the rise of society and finding historical evidence for it. Apparently, healed broken bones are the hallmark of society (or at least when you dig up old skeletons looking for it), as before society, most broken bones would lead to eviction by the tribe and thus shortly afterwards, death. When there's society, people will look after the injured and wounded and enable them to heal and recover.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

Interesting.  Although I'm not sure that there are pre-social "human" bones though (depending where you draw the definitions) - there do seem to be some very early examples of social care.  Also very different social practices - e.g. in the case of the Moche healed broken bones are particular associated with sacrifice victims because captives were kept alive for a period before death.  (We know this because although pre-literate they had a tradition of realist painting / pottery now validated by the archaeology - beautiful art but some real-life horror movie aspects to their culture, Cthulu would nod approvingly).

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hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

chrisonatrike wrote:

Interesting.  Although I'm not sure that there are pre-social "human" bones though (depending where you draw the definitions) - there do seem to be some very early examples of social care.  Also very different social practices - e.g. in the case of the Moche healed broken bones are particular associated with sacrifice victims because captives were kept alive for a period before death.  (We know this because although pre-literate they had a tradition of realist painting / pottery now validated by the archaeology - beautiful art but some real-life horror movie aspects to their culture, Cthulu would nod approvingly).

I wasn't thinking of just humans - it could apply to any group of animals that work together.

Keeping people alive so that they can be sacrifices can still count as a society, although a somewhat goulish one.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
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True - plenty of non-human societies out there!  (And subsocial types).

"We must all make sacrifices; in this case, you".

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hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

chrisonatrike wrote:

True - plenty of non-human societies out there!  (And subsocial types).

"We must all make sacrifices; in this case, you".

Found this article which is probably where I came across the idea, although it's specifically about human society/early civilisation.

https://quoteinvestigator.com/2021/07/25/femur/

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Mungecrundle | 1 year ago
16 likes

Piers Corbyn. A man so utterly deranged and down the craphole of too many unproven conspiracy theories to list, that he could stand for the moderate wing of the US Republican Party.

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
11 likes

Today I learned that statistical analysis of worldwide weather patterns and temperatures can be replaced by looking up at the sky and having a meeting.

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wycombewheeler replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

and to use the outcome of such weather gazing to refute policies that have nothing to do with cliate change

Quote:

 scheme designed to “reduce traffic, make bus journeys faster, and make walking and cycling safer”.

Was the scheme designed to impact on climate change?

Might as well walk into a discussion on equal voting rights, and claim water table variations are in no way due to over extraction and are just part of the natural cycle because I looked in a well once.

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Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
7 likes

Is it possible for a person's entire life to be satire?

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Kendalred | 1 year ago
10 likes

Well he's clearly bat-shit crazy, so obviously the best person to address Oxford Council on this issue. Serious questions need to be asked of whoever invited him to speak, and to Liz Leffman for allowing his, frankly, dangerous conspiracy theories to be aired.

Unless of course the council did it for a bit of light relief? “The point is that the basis of these documents is false: man-made climate change does not exist and if you don’t believe me, look at the sky." Must have had them spitting out their tea!

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brooksby replied to Kendalred | 1 year ago
4 likes

Have to admit, I don't understand why he wanted them to look at the sky...  Had he arranged a skywriter?

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Daclu Trelub replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
2 likes

brooksby wrote:

Have to admit, I don't understand why he wanted them to look at the sky...  Had he arranged a skywriter?

Perhaps he wanted them to admire the pollution-enhanced sunset.

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Off the back replied to Kendalred | 1 year ago
5 likes

Piers Morgan x Jeremy Corbyn = Piers Corbyn

Pure Distilled Twattiness. 

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HaveLegsWillRide replied to Off the back | 1 year ago
2 likes

I'd assumed the level of twattiness involved was of course a story about Piers Morgan - it wasn't until the name finally registered reading the article I realised it was the OTHER one

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chrisonabike replied to Kendalred | 1 year ago
2 likes

Possibly to "give some people what they want" and simultaneously use that to discredit the opposition?  "But look - Piers Corbyn also says that LTNs / ULEZ / motor traffic reduction is a bad thing!  See how odd he is?  You must be that odd?  Ergo we cannot take you seriously either."

So letting someone "from the other side" show that some are "swivel-eyed loons" or "fruitcakes" - then it's easy to do "but you cyclists" or rather here "but you objectors to change to our transportation systems"...

To be fair some folks like the Association of Bad Drivers / Fair Fuel UK do a pretty good job of discrediting their own arguments / themselves all on their own.

Use of this tactic by "those on our side" doesn't mean that re-prioritising our transport system is the wrong thing to do of course, or that Piers and some of those on the "stop this dictatorship!" side aren't thoroughly mistaken either.

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IanMK replied to Kendalred | 1 year ago
2 likes

Kendalred wrote:

Serious questions need to be asked of whoever invited him to speak, and to Liz Leffman for allowing his, frankly, dangerous conspiracy theories to be aired.

I did wonder the same. I can only assume it's to tarnish the opponents with the same brush as in "However, some local councillors have sided with Corbyn’s criticism of the scheme ". it's not a good look to be siding with a loon.

I did hold my breath in anticipation that he was able to convince rational people that man made climate change does not exist....but I've had a good look at the sky (it's a bit overcast today) and I'm still not convinced. 

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