Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fuss about nothing?

The airlines have revolted and are flying planes into UK airspace, forcing the airports to open.
Millions have had their travel plans disrupted and the MotoGP race due to take place this weekend has been cancelled.
So what is actually going on?

The Register is reporting this-

"So the UK Met Office closed European civilian airspace on the basis of one computer model, which it didn't check against reality. We already knew that the great volcano shut-down was based on a model, but we didn't know how little atmospheric sampling was performed to test the simulation against the atmosphere. It turns out only four test flights have been made to sample the composition of the cloud.
Matthias Ruete, the European Commission's transport chief, accused the Mystic Met of preferring virtual reality to evidence. "We have a model that runs on mathematical projections. It is probability rather than things happening," he said.
As a result the Met Office continued to issue projections of where it thought the ash cloud should be, but was unable to report its density and composition with confidence. These are critical vital factors an airline needs to know. European airlines sounded the alarm on Sunday, when they noticed that the satellite pictures didn't tally with the centre's output."

You can read the rest of the article here-

So what is going on? I assume that the insurers hold the key. Everybody fears being sued and nobody is willing to put their jobs on the line.

Im a big fan of Ayn Rands "Atlas Shrugged". In her book the action revolves around a transcontinental railway as airlines hadn't taken hold in the US when she wrote it.
However, the parallels are uncanny.

Then there is the governments response. What response I hear  you say? Exactly.

A TV presenter named Dan Snow took three inflatable boats to Calais to collect some friends. The French authorities wouldnt let him take them for hours. In the end he was able to bring some Brits home, but not his friends.
The media picked up on this and the government was stung into action.

I can imagine the conversation-
PM- We must do something!
Flunky- That bloke off the TV has taken some boats to Calais in a rerun of Dunkirk. He s getting all the media attention.
PM- Media attention? We must do something about that. Theres an election going on.
Flunky- Why not a rerun of Dunkirk? You know, send a warship or two over to collect our people?
PM- We must do something. Were losing in the polls!
Flunky- This is something.
PM- Let's do it! Erm, do we have any ships left?

Its a fiasco of the worst kind. Knee jerk politics. Media hype and scaremongering.

Ayn Rand was right all along.

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