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Hector

OT - Is this an example of "global warming"?

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The problem I see, from a fuel efficiency standpoint, is that a lot of drivers buy and drive big pickups when they don't need the hauling capacity. When I drive the Baltimore I-695 Beltway, I routinely see drivers commuting to work in their gas-hog pickups when they could be getting three or four times better gas mileage if they were driving a Fiat-Panda-type vehicle.
That's the same here. Cars are status symbols, and Mr Big Boss won't show up at work in a Fiat Panda, even if the fuel keeps getting more expensive...

 

Even if we still have the chance to stop the worst of the human contribution to climate change, I don't really believe we will do it. It just isn't human nature.

If we were that brainy, we surely wouldn't keep building huge cities at the foot of Vesuv or on top of the San Andreas fault. We just seem to live in the present, hoping for the best, no matter how much foresight we think we have.

 

I'm not saying I'm the one golden exception, I just don't really believe we have what it takes to stop it...but I still sort out the garbage, etc, in case I'm just a hopeless pessimist.

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Originally posted by Hector:

The problem I see, from a fuel efficiency standpoint, is that a lot of drivers buy and drive big pickups when they don't need the hauling capacity.

I will agree with you there, the problem is that there are many people who do have a legitimate need for such a vehicle.

 

I'll agree with you on another point - well you haven't really made the point, but I think you would agree - people need to get over their fear of the diesel engine whether it is in big trucks or little commuter cars. Diesel is a more efficient technology than gas burners and has come an awful long way in the past 20 years in terms of cleanliness, power, acceleration and noise. The new diesels are pretty danged quiet.

 

The new Ford 6.0 gets an actual (measured by me) 19+ mpg on the highway at 75 mph and could pull itself up the side of a building. That's a 6000 pound, 325 bhp vehicle getting that mileage at speeds that are surely beyond optimal where mileage is concerned.

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Firchow --

 

Very interesting. That is excellent fuel economy for a large vehicle. Yes, diesel engines have come a long way. If I could buy a vehicle like the Fiat Panda with a 1.3 liter diesel engine, that would definitely be the type of car I would choose. I just wish that type of vehicle was available in the USA.

 

Just a little personal history on vehicles -- in 1972 I bought a new Chev 6.5 liter V8 pickup truck and put a camper on it. Back then all trucks had carburators (not fuel injection), and the camper had a high profile that provided a lot of wind resistance. It got about 9 miles to the gallon. Of course gas only cost $.35 a gallon at the time I purchased the truck.

 

I kept that truck for 32 years, finally selling it in 2004 with -- get this! -- 78,000 miles on it. Yes, that's right, I averaged only 2440 miles a year on that truck for the 32 years I owned it. The original purchase price was $4400. I guess I got my money's worth out of it!

 

During that same 32 years I averaged 5000 miles a year on a bicycle (20 miles a day X 250 days a year) and I rode about 50,000 miles on the public bus line. I very seldom drove the truck to work, as I commuted by bike or bus.

 

To be honest, I did the bike commuting to stay physically fit -- not to save the earth's atmosphere, since global climate change was not being discussed for much of that time period.

 

But now in hindsight I am glad that I didn't contribute any more than necessary to global climate change from vehicles.

 

When I mentioned the idea of raising the gasoline tax, that idea went over like a lead balloon. Just for information purposes -- people in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) currently pay $3.79 a gallon in taxes. The average gasoline tax in the USA is $.42. When you consider the fuel efficiency of the average car in the UK versus the average car in the USA, you can see the positive effect of higher gasoline prices.

 

Better fuel efficiency translates into lower greenhouse gas emissions (GGE). If the USA wants to get serious about reducing GGE, then raising the tax on gasoline would be a good place to start. That tax would have to increase by 8.9 times to equal the current tax rate in the UK.

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"The problem I see, from a fuel efficiency standpoint, is that a lot of drivers buy and drive big pickups when they don't need the hauling capacity. When I drive the Baltimore I-695 Beltway, I routinely see drivers commuting to work in their gas-hog pickups when they could be getting three or four times better gas mileage if they were driving a Fiat-Panda-type vehicle."

 

Thats great of you to expect everyone to own 3 or more vehicles. Most folks who need a pickup own a car and the truck. So while DW takes the gas sipping sedan to work, what's DH left to drive? Think about it. Not everyone has the money to buy vehicles for use specific to their puropse.

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I was suprised to see how much we can do. Check out the link on what you can do at home. I went ahead and changed my energy preferences with my electric company so that I can get wind generated electricity. Costs me $5 more per month. Simple things like unplugging certain appliances helps reduce co2 emmissions.. etc..

Action Items

Check it out at Climate Crisis Take Action

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Originally posted by Hector:

If the USA wants to get serious about reducing GGE, then raising the tax on gasoline would be a good place to start.

Well, we're in different solar systems when it comes to believing in punitive taxation on individuals.

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top of the San Andreas fault
Um, well, considering one the world's prime port locations would be that city so inconveniently placed (and the fact that the fault has "Gone off" maybe twice to a disasterous effect in the last two centuries, I think the risk to benefit factor there is an acceptable one. There's danger anywhere you'd propose to locate a metropolitan area. Let's talk about what would happen if a hurricane took aim on Manhattan . . .

 

http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/38hurr...ane_future.html

 

http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/...icane_1938.html

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I don't know where you are getting your 30-mpg figure for a V8 pickup truck, but I think you need to check that data. If you really want to know the actual mileage you would have to track that yourself (buy the gas) for a week.
Actually I was saying that we owned a Toyota pickup, and it does get great milage. We just can't use it for everything we need, or it isn't efficient to do everything we need (ie, we can haul about 15 bales of hay with the Toyota, or 40 bales of hay with the Ford 250).

 

I'm not disputing the fact that vehicles are used as status symbols, or that many folks may not need that super-charged vehicle. But to make sweeping generalizations of what everyone needs, or rasing taxes to promote a demand for fuel efficient vehicles is not the answer.

 

When I mentioned the idea of raising the gasoline tax, that idea went over like a lead balloon. Just for information purposes -- people in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) currently pay $3.79 a gallon in taxes. The average gasoline tax in the USA is $.42. When you consider the fuel efficiency of the average car in the UK versus the average car in the USA, you can see the positive effect of higher gasoline prices.
The problen is our economy is not geared towad that right now. The one thing I guarentee higher gas taxes will do is put a greater financial strain on folks who really can't afford it. It would make much more sense to place higher license fees/taxes on Hummers and the like. Or how about offering tax rebates on fuel efficient vehicles?

 

Hector,

You're just looking at the situation from one prespective. Everything sounds good from you point of view. but try putting it into practice in a variety of situations. It's kind of like reading a variety of parenting books, then (having no personal experience with children) handing out all that great advice to parents.

 

 

If you live on a farm, but commute to a job in a town, then the Panda would make a great commuter vehicle
I'd also like to point out the reason many farmers have "city jobs" is because they can't make ends meet on the farm.

 

My grandparents are farmers. They were only able to pay off the farm after grandpa got an outside job. 25 years of getting up at 4am and milking cows didn't do it. And BTW, grandpa drove 3 different cars to work in his 22 years of holding that job - a VW rabbit, a Ford escort, and a Dodge shadow. All got 30+ mpg. All were bought used.

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Originally posted by Rebecca, Irena Farm:

quote:
top of the San Andreas fault
Um, well, considering one the world's prime port locations would be that city so inconveniently placed (and the fact that the fault has "Gone off" maybe twice to a disasterous effect in the last two centuries, I think the risk to benefit factor there is an acceptable one. There's danger anywhere you'd propose to locate a metropolitan area. Let's talk about what would happen if a hurricane took aim on Manhattan . . .

 

http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/38hurr...ane_future.html

 

http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/...icane_1938.html

Yes, of course, that was only an example. What I meant was that these risks (including climate change), however real they might be, will always take a backseat to more immediate concerns (money, etc).

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I am going to go a little OT here and just throw out that the best wine I have ever had came from an all natural winery in Carmel Valley California. They used bio-diesel(soy bean I believe they said) to power their tractors. They lady said the initial switch had been expensive but that it was saving them money big time (of course they knew I went to school in Boulder, CO at the time and were going to say anything to get me to buy wine) I do not know how economical it would be for small farms to switch over, but I do think after such a heated discussion we all deserve a glass of bio -diesel wine!

NBC in depth tonight is about Global Warming

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Just read this - written by an ABC Weatherman who was disturbed by some special on the Weather Channel. Missed both of those things - but what he wrote was very thought provoking.. I'll post it below.

~Kim

---------------------

 

?The Weather Channel? Mess

January 18, 2007, 5:45 pm | James Spann | Op/Ed

 

Well, well. Some ?climate expert? on ?The Weather Channel? wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent ?global warming? is a natural process. So much for ?tolerance?, huh?

 

I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can?t find them. Here are the basic facts you need to know:

 

*Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story. Even the lady at ?The Weather Channel? probably gets paid good money for a prime time show on climate change. No man-made global warming, no show, and no salary. Nothing wrong with making money at all, but when money becomes the motivation for a scientific conclusion, then we have a problem. For many, global warming is a big cash grab.

 

*The climate of this planet has been changing since God put the planet here. It will always change, and the warming in the last 10 years is not much difference than the warming we saw in the 1930s and other decades. And, lets not forget we are at the end of the ice age in which ice covered most of North America and Northern Europe.

 

If you don?t like to listen to me, find another meteorologist with no tie to grant money for research on the subject. I would not listen to anyone that is a politician, a journalist, or someone in science who is generating revenue from this issue.

 

In fact, I encourage you to listen to WeatherBrains episode number 12, featuring Alabama State Climatologist John Christy, and WeatherBrains episode number 17, featuring Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, one of the most brilliant minds in our science.

 

WeatherBrains, by the way, is our weekly 30 minute netcast.

 

I have nothing against ?The Weather Channel?, but they have crossed the line into a political and cultural region where I simply won?t go.

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I'm not much of a Doonesbury or Trudeau fan, but the global warming discussion reminds me of a Doonesbury strip from the 80's where a college professor is at his lecturn spewing nonsense ("black is white," "the world is flat" etc.) and a student at his desk says "Wow, this is great! I didn't know any of this" and another student says "Baaa."

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The meaning to me was that there was no critical thinking going on - just a blind willingness to accept as truth what someone said simply because they were supposedly the "learned one."

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LOL that cartoon is pretty true. many proffesors use the class room to push their own agenda, and most of the time students don't take the time to question and look at whether or not their agenda has substance.

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LOL that cartoon is pretty true. many proffesors use the class room to push their own agenda, and most of the time students don't take the time to question and look at whether or not their agenda has substance.
Oh, give me a break. I'm out of here.

 

Kim

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There seems to be a consensus among the majority of scientists (not referring here to broadcast meteorologists) that at least a significant part of global warming is caused by greenhouse gas emissions, and that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the same or increasing rates, the consequences for the planet will be grave and at some point irreversible. A relatively small minority of scientists disagree, but over time it seems that the consensus is building. My scientific knowledge is certainly not adequate for me to make an independent judgment that's worth much, though as I look at the published information from each side the majority view seems more persuasive to me. But a comic strip about professors "spewing nonsense" and people accepting it like sheep isn't something that would occur to me as a parallel situation.

 

What the global warming discussion does remind me of is the controversy in the late 1950s and the 1960s about whether cigarette smoking causes cancer. There was enormous resistance to the idea, not just because the tobacco companies had scientists and studies they could point to in "debunking" the studies that showed it did, but because smokers (and the great majority of the adult population were smokers then) were so desperate to believe that the debunkers were right and the growing body of evidence that it did was wrong. They didn't want to give up smoking cigarettes any more than we want to give up the conveniences and luxuries we get from burning carbon fuels. Arguments like "My uncle Al smoked two packs a day all his life, and he's still going strong at 80, so what does that tell you?" were clung to. The pro-cigarette studies (many of them ultimately discredited) were flourished.

 

There are differences, of course. The consequences of cigarette smoking are individual, not global. But the main truth I see in discussions like these is that what you WANT to be true is a very powerful determinant of what you choose to believe.

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Hi Glenn,

Healthy skepticism is good, of course, and indeed for many years the science of attributing climate change to global warming has been less than definitive. However, as Eileen points out, I really think we've gone beyond that point now and that the overwhelming scientific consensus is that the burning of carbon based fuels has had a significant and possibly irreversible effect on the earth's climate.

I highly recommend Elizabeth Kolbert's book "Field Notes from a Catastrophe", originally a three part series I read in the New Yorker.

Baaaaaaa!

Andrea

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Originally posted by kajarrel:

quote:
LOL that cartoon is pretty true. many proffesors use the class room to push their own agenda, and most of the time students don't take the time to question and look at whether or not their agenda has substance.
Oh, give me a break. I'm out of here.

 

Kim

You may have a different experience, but that was a large part of what I saw at CU Boulder. LOL just because someone has a PHD doesn't mean they are right ( I am working towards one myself and I hope I always have something new to learn), my favorite proffs loved when students questioned why they made the conclusions that they did. It's unfortunate if my comment upset you, that was not my intention. That cartoon expressed some fraustrations I felt with other students in my undergrad and I like to laugh it off, holding onto that bitterness never made me feel better.

 

***Ditto on Field Notes of a Catastrophe-- Great Book

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quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LOL that cartoon is pretty true. many proffesors use the class room to push their own agenda, and most of the time students don't take the time to question and look at whether or not their agenda has substance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Oh, give me a break. I'm out of here.

 

Kim

 

--------------------

Black Dog Farm

http://www.blackdogfarm.com

i dont get what made you upset. or was this an inside joke that I don't get being new to the board?

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Hi Glenn,

Healthy skepticism is good, of course, and indeed for many years the science of attributing climate change to global warming has been less

Science shouldn't be a consensus, it's either a fact or not. I don' doubt climate change, but I have seen no prof that it is caused by man, and I dont see how they can prove it is man made and not a natural cycle of the earth.

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When almost any question or topic is debated, you will find two groups of people with opposing views. That applies to global warming. But what is necessary is to look at the credentials and number of people on each side.

 

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is comprised of 2000 climatologists world wide. These are THE LEADING SCIENTISTS on the subject of global warming. The IPCC strongly believes that human activity, namely the burning of fossil fuels, is the driving force behind the observable global warming that is happening over the past 50 years.

 

The reason they think that this climate change is not "natural" is (1) the size, and (2) the speed of the changes. Nature doesn't change that fast, according to the experts.

 

Sure, you get a few broadcast weathermen who have an opposing viewpoint, but that doesn't mean that they are correct. You have to consider the credentials and numbers. I am not a scientist, but I am willing to cast my vote with the IPCC.

 

It may already be too late to avert a global catastrophe. But sitting around doing nothing while waiting for "absolute proof" is the best possible way to GUARANTEE that the catastrophe will happen.

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I'm all for being responsible and caretaking the earth. But I get uneasy that maybe some people aren't thinking that they are talking about real lives here. Like blithely proposing that the farmer purchase three different brand-new vehicles or pay $4/gallon in taxes on the fuel that gets food to YOUR table.

 

what is necessary is to look at the credentials and number of people on each side.
I don't think number of people has anything to do with the validity of a theory in science. Historically, fact has quite often run against the herd.

 

I have to say I am highly suspicious of scientific pressure which boasts a social/moral directive. I am actually reminded less of the tobacco issue of our time, and more of the "White Man's Burden" of Victorian times, which was driven by a crude notion of human evolution in the neonatal stages of that theory's development.

 

If you can connect your science to a socio-political theme, you move up the food chain in the grant money tussle. If your research is not that interesting to politicians, down you go, regardless of the quality of your work or its real importance to the body of knowlege.

 

Hector, your appeal to authority on the IPCC is rather circular. The people who are charged with deciding whether global warming is a sociopolitical problem, are the ones who have the most to lose if they say, "No, false alarm, guys. Carry on."

 

You are arguing they are right because they are the leading scientists on the subject. But they are the leading scientists because they've been at the forefront of these claims - that's why they were chosen to serve on this panel. Look at the names, CVs, and their publications.

 

One last thing I've been thinking about today. My question is, if they ARE right, what on earth can be done? We're talking about emissions building up since the 1700s. I cannot believe anything we can do now can significantly change an effect that is apparently just now registering (the period from about 1300 to the early 1900s was actually a cold dry period called the "Little Ice Age").

 

Think about it - we're talking about reordering societies and thrusting punitive taxes on the people who can least afford it - farmers, the elderly, and poor people - on the CHANCE that we can somehow affect the characteristics of glaciers, and, I don't know what, hurricanes?

 

Seems kind of arrogant to me.

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the people who can least afford it - farmers, the elderly, and poor people -
Rebecca, I'll add "parents with kids entering college."

 

Wake Forest + law school = poorhouse

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Rebecca --

 

With all due respect, it does not appear that you understand the problem. Read this article about Global warming and rising sea level .

 

You think I am being arrogant? Do you think that trying to significantly reduce the output of greenhouse gasses will impact your life? Where is your empathy and compassion for your fellow humans around the world who made the mistake of being born into a low-lying country?

 

Global warming causes glaciers to melt, which raises sea level. A country like the Republic of the Marshall Islands (population 62,000) will go completely underwater. It will vanish beneath the sea. That means the people lose their homes, their land, their whole country.

 

A significant portion of Bangladesh (population 147 million) -- (have you ever heard of this country?) -- will go underwater. That displaces tens of millions of people from their land. They have nowhere to go. It's not like there is a lot of vacant land somewhere else in their country.

 

Do you want to donate enough land in North Carolina to support ten million climate refugees from Bangladesh? Or do you want to just ignore the problem of them having nowhere to live and therefore starving to death?

 

Here are some data about per capita (person) income by country :

 

....................Per Capita Income......World

.....Country..............2004.....2005....Rank

 

United States........$41440...$43740.....6

Marshall Islands.......2810.....2930......80

Bangladesh..............440........470....155

 

Above data came from here .

 

On a per capita basis, the USA is 93 times wealthier than Bangladesh. Might it seem reasonable to you, Rebecca, that the USA, the world's biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GGE), should worry less about the cost to itself of mitigating GGE, and worry more about the cost of GGE to poor, low-lying countries like Bangladesh whose land would be flooded?

 

Oh, wait -- I forgot -- that catastrophe might not happen in our lifetimes. So we here in the USA don't need to concern ourselves about it right now.

 

Hector

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