Red flags to prevent global warming by rogue politicians



POLITICAL BLOCKERS - In Britain in 1865, the legislative response to the increasing introduction of self-propelled vehicles on our roads was the Locomotive Act (sometimes known as the Red Flag Act). Amongst a number of provisions, it stipulated that self-propelled vehicles needed to be proceeded with a man walking 60 yards ahead carrying a red flag to warn other road users of the vehicles approach. The objective of powerful stakeholders was to hinder progress to protect their investments in horses, carriages and trains.





155 years ago, Lord Palmerston's Liberal government passed a law that, according to one writer, "effectively stopped innovation in powered road transport in Britain for over a quarter of a century". The Locomotive Act 1865 became known as the Red Flag Act, thanks to its extraordinary stipulation that any self-propelled road vehicle had to be preceded by a person walking at least 60 yards ahead, carrying a red flag.

The Act followed intense lobbying from horse-drawn carriage operators and the public railway industry. And in a rather severe response to the dangers posed by road vehicles, the Red Flag Act also brought into force the world's first road speed limit: 4mph in the country, 2mph in towns, and a £10 fine for "speeding".

As motoring innovation gathered pace, the Act – originally passed with hefty traction engines in mind – looked increasingly absurd, and many campaigned against it. It was finally repealed on 14 November 1896, when the Locomotives on Highways Act scrapped the flag and raised the speed limit to 14mph.

Motor car fans rejoiced. In celebration, a London to Brighton rally, billed as "The Emancipation Run", began with a breakfast at the Charing Cross Hotel, where Tory politician Lord Winchelsea symbolically ripped a red flag in half. (That rally still takes place each November.)

But maybe we had it lucky in Britain. That same year, 1896, a law was proposed in Pennsylvania requiring all drivers of horseless carriages, "upon chance encounters with cattle or livestock to:


(1) immediately stop the vehicle, 

(2) immediately and as rapidly as possible disassemble the automobile, and 

(3) conceal the various components out of sight behind nearby bushes until equestrian or livestock is sufficiently pacified." 




Now what about electric cars and service stations for instant recharging?





When incumbent industries are threatened by a new and disruptive technology, they will use any justification imaginable to kill it in its infancy, trying to convince legislators that their particular special interest is a public interest. It always ends badly.

In the second half of the 1800s, cars started appearing in Western Europe. At first, they were powered by steam engines, and later by various liquid fuels. We’re currently seeing a rerun of the political game surrounding zero emission vehicle development.

As industries become threatened by new technology, they typically embrace it in public and talk passionately about its potential, but only in terms of how the new technology can support the existing industries. Under absolutely no circumstances must the new technology be allowed to come into a position to replace the existing industries.

A famous example of this is the Locomotives Act of 1865 in the United Kingdom, better known as the Red Flag Act. It was a law that limited the speed of the new so-called automobile to 2 miles per hour in urban areas, and required them to always have a crew of three: a driver, a stoker (!), and a man who would walk before the automobile waving a red flag (!!).

The car was fantastic, but only as long as it didn’t threaten the railroad or stagecoach industries.

These industries, it turned out much later, were behind the lobbying that led to the Red Flag Act. The fledgling automobile industry stood to make the older industries obsolete, or at least significantly smaller, which could not be permitted. Therefore, they went to Parliament and argued how tremendously important their industries were, and claimed that their special interest was a public interest.

Essentially, the stagecoach and railroad industries tried to limit the permissible use of the automobile to carry people and goods the last mile to and from the stagecoach and railroad stations. That wouldn’t threaten the existing industries, and they could pretend to embrace its usefulness.

Parliament agreed in its time that the stagecoach and railroad industries were important. But Parliament made the mistake of seeing yesterday as the present time and eternal: those industries were only important before the technology shift that the car brought, a shift which was already underway. The special laws that these industries pushed through — with emphasis on the Red Flag Act — caused the inevitable technology shift to delay in United Kingdom, and therefore, the car industry of the United Kingdom lost considerable competitive edge against its foreign competition, being ten to fifteen years late into the game.

The moral of the story is that an industry troubled by technological advances should neither be allowed special laws nor be confused with the public interest, but instead be permitted to die as swiftly as possible, so that new industries and new jobs can take its place. If you do the opposite and keep that industry alive with artificial respiration and repressive legislation, you not only hurt respect for the law, but also the future economy and competitive capability. Extract of an article by Rick Falkvinge









In the United States, the state of Vermont passed a similar Red Flag Law in 1894, only to repeal it two years later. The most infamous of the Red Flag Laws was enacted in Pennsylvania circa 1896, when legislators unanimously passed a bill through both houses of the state legislature, which would require all motorists piloting their "horseless carriages", upon chance encounters with cattle or livestock to:


(1) immediately stop the vehicle, 


(2) "immediately and as rapidly as possible ... disassemble the automobile", and 


(3) "conceal the various components out of sight, behind nearby bushes" until equestrian or livestock is sufficiently pacified.


The law never took effect, due to a veto by the state’s governor, Daniel H. Hastings.




"God of all creatures, both great and small, if Isabel was a tiny demonstration of your power and might, then we stand in awe. But frankly, such demonstrations are getting very boring. If you truly hear our prayers, then we pray for you to re-evaluate your own priorities. Unleash your fury on polluters who poison your oceans instead of your lovely coastlines. Visit your wrath on profiteers who would make a buck by any means possible, even to the detriment of this tiny dust speck we call home. Strike down politicians bought by the highest bidder whose vote to clean the environment is silenced by big money.

In a similar manner, O God, infuse into us a mighty dose of your indignation and courage. As we ask you to get your priorities straight, so, too, do we pray that you will help us to get our priorities in order. Give us the might and the fury of Isabel to attack polluters, profiteers, and crooked politicians at every opportunity. Let them know that because of us, by comparison, Isabel was nothing but a puff. Let them learn to fear us more than they fear a hurricane, and give us the courage or our resolve to act as your agents. Help us to be your hurricanes for good.

Once again, we ask you to pay attention to a handful of sea turtles. Keep them out of polluted waters, and away from all our gadgets that cut them or drown them. But most importantly, keep them away from our kind who attacks them for money or sport. And may the calm that follows a hurricane become the peace we have in our hearts because we have done your work, and have done it well. Amen."








THE LOCOMOTIVE ACT 1865, also known as the RED FLAG ACT, required:

1. Self-propelled vehicles to have a speed limit of 4 mph(6 Km/h) in country roads and 2 mph (3 Km/h) in city roads.

2. It should have a crew of 3 – a driver, a stoker and flag man.

3. The flag man need to carry a Red flag and walk 60 yards (55 m) ahead of the vehicle.

This effectively restricted the speed of the vehicle to the walking speed of the man carrying the Red flag. He has to warn the horse carriages about the self-propelled vehicle ahead and ensure that the driver stops the vehicle till the horse or the horse carriage passes by.

The amended Highway & Locomotive act of 1878 reduced the distance of the Red flag man to 20 yards but all the other conditions remained same.

These restrictive rules and regulations choked the development of the British Motor Industry , helped by the Railway and Horse carriage lobbies.

Finally, on 14 November 1896 , the new Locomotives on Highways Act 1896 was passed with the following changes and was applicable to vehicles less than 3 tons in weight.

1. Speed limit was increased to 14 mph (22 Km/h)

2. Was exempted from the 3 member crew as well as the Red flag

To celebrate this event, Harry Lawson of Daimler (England) and his friends organised for the London to Brighton “Emancipation” run. The London – Brighton run starts off with the symbolic tearing of the RED flag. The London – Brighton run has bee a regular event from 1927 to modern times.

By 1903, the speed limits were increased to 20 mph and later on the laws were repealed.





From 1865, through 1896 through to 1903 and beyond, politicians in the UK used their positions of trust to hinder progress. That is 38 years and more of blocking technology, by the very people who should have been looking to advance technology.


The modern cars we rely on today are the product of the Collective Human Brain. We stand on the shoulders of giants and take our conveniences for granted.


If it took 38 years for our (then) leaders to recognise the advantages of the motor car, what chance have we got to halt Global Warming?


Yup, not much!


In the words of Winston Churchill. "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." Get ready then for World War Three. WWIII will be about food and water.


Warming of the planet reduces agricultural land to grow crops and raise livestock and fish harvests.


As the population grows, we will be unable to feed the billions of humans on the planet.


The military in every G20 country know this. They know we are headed to war, and that is why they keep spending buckets of tax dollars on submarines, nuclear missiles, fighter planes, drones and aircraft carriers.


You don't have to be  mind reader to see the signs. These are the real life Hunger Games.





You may realize from this brief history that politicians and policies follow technology. Politicians and policy makers do not create the technology. The rule makers simply make it harder for the advancement of the human race, as they build their part to justify their existence.


Progress depends on inventors and engineers, biologists and researchers. One way to limit the braking effect of all the Red Tape generated by the rule makers, is to force them to Tell The Truth. We need Green Flag politicians who stand for the honesty and decency that is missing from politics today.




A famous marine chronometer



INSTITUTIONALIZATION - Study of the British Board of Longitude reveals more than just the story of an institution. It shows how economic interests influenced the political and scientific activities of a state. 

The Board of Longitude can be equated with the process of ever-increasing institutionalization, the aim of which was to steer knowledge production. In this way, the production of knowledge was closely linked to the state.


The reasons for this were changes within the "scientific landscape" of the United Kingdom and the concomitant struggle for supremacy in influencing the distribution of state support for the science of astronomy and other related scientific projects, the proof of which is that all the surviving papers come from the archives of the Royal Astronomers and their successors, as if John Harrison's solution was perceived as a threat to their dominance of science. John Harrison was thought of as a maverick, who was grudgingly provided financial support, instead of being generously funded to accelerate development.


We should always then look at the appointment of committees and the interests of their members, that should perhaps be recorded in a book declaring such interests such as to avoid potential conflicts. But there is no point in having such a book if there is no effective policing of the corruption that is inevitable where many can be made from technology for those in positions of trust.


Poor old John Harrison was caught up in this mire of subterfuge. But do not think for one minute, that it is any different today.






This is a wonderful story about an ordinary clockmaker from the country who took on the scientific experts in the City of London, the military and the political community and beat them to a standstill.


The bad news for our hero John Harrison, is that it took him all of his life to do so. The good news for millions of sailors is that navigation was improved saving lives, and that John's name will forever be associated with state sanctioned discrimination and political obstruction that became institutionalised.


We would thus urge the United Nations, European Union and G20 members to put in place the necessary policing to prevent contributing members of society from being sidelined. It is a sad fact that many of the great creators of this world are not conformists. People who don't conform are not understood and so become targets of derision, rather than receive the support that would make them more productive.











There is little point having such objectives if member nations only pay lip service to the aims.





1. TRANSPORT: Phase out polluting vehicles. Governments aim to end the sale of new petrol, and diesel vehicles by 2040 but have no infrastructure plan to support such ambition. Such infrastructure should exceed the performance of fossil fuel filling stations, prolong EV battery life and provide power grids with a measure of load leveling. Any such system should seek to obviate the provision of millions of fast charge points where implementation could prove to be a logistical nightmare. This may involve international agreement as to energy storage format and statute to steer car makers to collaborate in part in a world of competition.


Marine transport can be carbon neutral given the right policies, with phased transition in specific stages such as not to unduly penalize present investment in LNG shipping and other recent MARPOL compliant IC powered vessels. Future cargo vessel should be at least in part powered by renewable energy, on the road to zero carbon, making allowances for technology catchup.


Air travel powered by kerosene should attract hefty mitigation offset, where low carbon alternatives should be encouraged.


2. RENEWABLESRenewable energy should replace carbon-based fuels (coal, oil and gas) in our electricity for homes, factories, heating and transport. Coal and nuclear power plants should be phased out.


3. HOUSING: On site micro or macro generation is the best option, starting with new build homes that are both affordable and sustainable by design to replace crumbling housing stocks. Encourage building in timber to provide carbon lock from a renewable natural resource.


4. AGRICULTURE: We need to grow more trees to absorb carbon emissions from a growing population, air travel, and to build new homes. We should promote reductions in food waste and eating of foods that use less energy to produce. Educate children on these matters in schools and via campaigns such as no meat Mondays, should be part of ordinary study.


5. INDUSTRY: Factories should be aiming for solar heating and onsite renewable energy generation. EV parking and even service facilities should be part of new industrial estates as part of any building permissions.


6. POLITICS: - National governing bodies need to adopt rules to eliminate administrative wastages, to include scaling down spending on war machines, increasing spend on educating the public and supporting sustainable social policies that mesh with other cultures. This includes fostering policies and making funds available to close links in the technology chain to make up for lost time. Kleptocratic empire building must cease in the search for natural equilibrium.





What happens on your doorstep is what is happening all over the world. Everyone is empire building, over fishing and dumping waste in our oceans in the belief that a little bit more indulgence won't matter. Yes it will!!



Poverty UN sustainability goals 1Zero hunger and food security UN SDG2Health and well being UN SDG3Education UN sustainable development goal 4Gender equaltiy for men and women UN SDG 5Sanitation and clean water for all SDG 6

Clean affordable energy for all UN sustainability goal 7Jobs and sustainable economic growth SDG 8Innovation in industry and sustainable infrastructure SDG 9Reduced inequalities for all sustainable development goal 10Cities and communities that are sustainable goal 11Consumption and production that is sustainable SDG 12

Action against climate change sustainable development goal 13Ocean and marine conservation UN sustainable development goals 14Biodiversity conserving life on land SDG 15Justice and institutional integrity for peace SDG 16Partnerships between governments and corporations SDG 17United Nations sustainable  development goals for 2030







The present patent system discriminates against the ordinary inventor. It works against promoting new technology, where only rich companies and already wealthy persons can afford to take a gamble on developing technology, that the ordinary man in the street simply cannot entertain with an empty bank balance.


Yet, mankind depends on advances to become sustainable and create a circular economy.


Big companies like it the way it is because it means they control the rate of development. That is one reason we have plastics in the oceans and global warming that is changing our climate.


We would urge the United Nations to level the playing field. Patents should be as open an arena as copyright, or design protection. Fees should be at a level where an ordinary working person on an ordinary wage, can apply and compete to be able to develop their contribution to survival of the human race, including protection mother earth and all life on it.


The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030. Click on any specific Goal below to learn more about each issue.




The rules on flying flags in the United Kingdom fall subject to some standard conditions. As such, all flags flown must:

- Be properly maintained and kept in a safe condition.

- They should not impair the overall visual appearance of the site. Flags should be removed with due care when required to do so by local planning authorities.

- Have permission from the owner of any site on which they are displayed. That includes the Highway Authority if it is flown on highway land.

- Not obscure (or hinder) the interpretation of official road, rail, waterway, or aircraft signs.

- Flags must not create any hazardous situation in relation to the use of these types of transport.

Following the compliance of these standard conditions is law. Even so, there are three (3) different categories of consent for flying flags in the UK:

1. Flags which can be flown without consent of the local planning authority.


2. Flags which do not need consent provided they comply with further restrictions (deemed consent).


3. Flags which require consent (termed express consent).




Previous law amendments and new regulations now allow for a wider range of national, sub-national, community, and international flags. The full list of flags that do not require consent includes:

- The national flag, civil ensign, or the civil air ensign of any country.


- The flag of Saint David or Saint Patrick.

- The flag of any administrative area within any country outside the United Kingdom.


- Any flag of Her Majesty's forces.


- The Armed Forces Day flag.


- The flag of the Commonwealth, the European Union, the United Nations, or any other international organisation of which the United Kingdom is a member.


- A flag of any island, county, district, borough, burgh, parish, city, town or village within the United Kingdom.


- The flag of the Black Country, East Anglia, Wessex, any Part of Lincolnshire, any Riding of Yorkshire, or any historic county within the United Kingdom.


Note: Flying the British flag (the Union Jack Flag) is not illegal in 2020. The flag institute recognises the flags of St George and St Andrew as the national flags of England and Scotland respectively. But, they list those of St David and St Patrick 'separately' because they do not fall into the usual category of a country's national flag.


The flags (or their flagpoles) must not display any advertisement or subject matter in addition to the actual design of the flag.


New regulations allow the attachment of a black mourning ribbon to either the flag or the flagpole. This applies to those flown at half-mast or those projecting outward at an angle from the side of a building.
Use of the word 'country' in the list includes any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and any British Overseas Territory.

Can I Fly the English Flag (St George's Cross)?

Many people asked whether it is illegal to fly the St George Flag in England. They felt discouraged to express their pride during the FIFA World Cup and other sporting events.


In fact, it is legal to fly the flag of St George under UK flag laws. But, the person who flies the English flag must have permission from the owner of the site. It must be flown in a safe condition and not cause any danger (e.g. obscuring official road traffic signs).


As a flag flier you would need the permission of the site owner to display any flags (e.g. public houses). Property owners have the right to disallow flags in their buildings or on any vehicles that they own.








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