If climate science is dubious, shouldn't governments give carmakers a break?

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Chuck, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    [​IMG] "If what is taken as gospel in terms of global warming turns out not to be the case, then the automotive industry has been encouraged and forced to spend huge amounts of money effectively for nothing."

    [fimg=LEFT]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/lennon_imagine_no_AGW_copy.jpg[/fimg]Neil Winton - DETROITNEWS - Feb 19, 2009

    ...You may say that I'm a denier
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will be as good as done --Ed.

    In a sane world, European governments would be scrambling to rescind tight regulation and extortionate taxation introduced in the name of saving the planet from the ravages of global warming, induced by CO2 emissions from cars.

    After all, the science justifying action to raise the cost of energy generally and forcing the European automotive industry to raise its fuel economy to unattainably high levels, has been shown to be in doubt, if not downright fraudulent.... [rm]http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20100219/OPINION03/2190437/1148/auto01/If-climate-science-is-dubious--shouldn-t-governments-give-carmakers-a-break?[/rm]
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    1) Petroleum is a limited resource
    2) Pollution is bad

    Demanding higher mileage is only a problem to selfish people.
  3. Earthling

    Earthling Trying to be kind to Mother Earth

    And sending petro-dollars to people who hate us is not only illogical, it's dangerous.

  4. southerncannuck

    southerncannuck Well-Known Member

    The problem with treating AGW as settled science and stiffling all discussion is that now that there is a kink in the armor everything is likely to fall apart. They really should have been more thruthful and open to the scientific process.
  5. Kurz

    Kurz Well-Known Member

    Though how realistic are those MPG numbers? (talking about Europe's)
    How efficient can we make Gasoline and Diesel motors?
    Gas prices aren't at the level to warrant such great efficiency. (Maybe in Europe)

    All I am saying is you can't push the combustion engine's efficiency without making serious sacrifices to what the consumer wants.
    Thats why I love electric cars, I just wish the battery was better than what we have now.
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    All I am saying is you can't give the consumer what they want without making serious sacrifices.

    The idiot who wrote the article complains that the 2015 target about the additional cost of up to $1350 even though that would easily be recovered by the consumer here let alone in Europe.

    According to him it's a bad thing for consumers to produce less pollution, consume less of a non-renewable resource and reduce exports while also saving money. I'm used to people complaining how "normal people can't afford to be green" but this is different.

    The 2020 target of 60mpg NEDC is the rating for the current Prius. (It's approximately equivalent to 49.2mpg on EPA 2008 using a 18% reduction). There are also small European diesels that are currently better than 60mpg. Have a look at this list of efficient cars.

    So, in other words European manufacturers have 10 years to match the fuel economy across their fleet for a current vehicle that's sufficient for a family of five.

    In the EU there are two key factors that will make the requirement much less onerous than in the USA: more diesels; smaller vehicles.

    The coming decade will also introduce PHEVs, BEVs and more LiHEVs which will be above target and will allow some leeway on regular ICE and diesel vehicles.

    Having tough but attainable fleet targets will also help stop the race to the bottom on front end price that costs the consumer and the environment over the vehicle life. For example you can expect every new ICE vehicle to have start-stop technology and LRR tires.
  7. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    If the USA BASED manufacturers had their way we-USA- would not have airbags, side side curtain airbags OR EVEN SEAT BELTS, OR 50 MPG VEHICLES!!

    Yes our Big 3 FOUGHT every every safety mandate and every mpg mandate.They frequently claimed that high mpg cars were impossibly expensive. Of course since I paid $100,000 for my Prius,I guess they were right.

    Our car manufacturers long ago took a 3 month stock price view in respect to long term planning. Not this isn't completely true, but it is kinda' true. The UAW of course had their own narrow concerns and together they almost killed the Big 3, and lost 500,000(or more) jobs in the process.

    Better mpg is win,win, win -better for our national interests, better for the manufacturers, better for the long term health of the planet's warm climate, and coastal inhabitants. The Russians will probably benefit from any long term global warming-maybe the Canadians also..


  8. chibougamoo

    chibougamoo Well-Known Member

    Add to that, we cannot continue to offer every Tom Dick and Harrietta a 500 hp FSP, just because he might need it once a year to go to the cottage, and 6 days a week to intimidate every other reasonable-sized commuter vehicle in his path.

    Nor can we continue to indirectly fund terrorists, just because Joe Truckie doesn't want to change his bad habbits.

    (Not saying a monster pick-up or even the occasional SUV are unwarranted; but encouraging one-vehicle single-occupant bull-headed commuter-cowboys is counter-productive; over 80% of this weekend paper's car/truck ads are for monster-motor P/U's and FSP's).
  9. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    The number of factually inaccurate claims about global warming in his article is stunningly high. No one at UEA fiddled with the numbers, the Himalaya claim was a minor error (and not in the section of the IPCC report about climate science), the debate about the "hockey stick" isn't settled as he claims, and the quote from Phil Jones is ludicrously out of context.

    And btw, here's a good explanation of how no science is "settled."
  10. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    More B.S from Detroit News. Those guys never stop, do they?

    I think it's mostly a myth that the scientific community treats GCC science as so "settled" that there can't be honest debate. This is a strawman argument made to make the science look more "dubious" than it really is. No, we can't say human caused climate change is a serious threat with 99.999% certainty -- what!?! it's not 100% settled !?!? -- but the evidence is pretty solid overall.

    Charlie, I agree that not only have the domestic automakers fought every safety mandate, in many cases they appear to have deliberately botched them. When passive restraints were mandated, GM came out with those awful door-mounted seatbelts that were actually LESS safe than the previous pillar-mounted belts. And when talk started swirling about making DRLs mandatory, GM put them on all of their cars -- using the high beam lens so that they would blind everyone and make the public hate DRLs.
  11. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Friday when I read this, it seemed odd and Englishman would be this skeptical on climate change, then came the idea of working in John Lennon's song Imagine as a parody - irresistible....seriously doubt Lennon would be an AGW denier.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  12. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    Sadly, the Telegraph and Daily Mail regularly misrepresent science or outright lie about it, and Jonathan Leake at the Times has evidently been fabricating quotes from scientists for some time.
  13. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    So it wouldn't be misrepresenting scientists if I say "the IPCC says they currently have no significant evidence that global warming has increased the cost or intensity of natural disasters, and the one study that showed possibly a slight statistical increase was produced by a company that works for BIG INSURANCE"

    I think the general public has been told over and over that global warming has already caused lots of disasters including Katrina, probably from watching Al Gore's movie?

    Good to know that the IPCC says that's all wrong.
  14. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    Do you have sources on the second part of that claim, about the one study?

    Really? When has the public been told that global warming has caused disasters? The concern is that global warming might exacerbate natural disasters, but there's also significant debate among the scientific community about these links. (A useful link here, and the money quote: "there is no way to prove that Katrina either was, or was not, affected by global warming.")

    As I recall from An Inconvenient Truth (though I've only seen in once, and it's been a while; I prefer to get my science news from scientists), Gore points to the concern about AGW and hurricanes but does not claim an observable cause-and-effect relationship.
  15. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Here's an interesting question for you. What if this argument was turned on its head? What if instead of AGW being doubted, it was the effectiveness of all the emissions controls and mileage standards in reducing the impact of personal transportation? What might the debate look like then?
  16. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA



    And most recently


    What other studies did the IPCC use? if that is what you are claiming?

    Let's see, Al Gore said that category 4 and 5 hurricanes had doubled, but gave no context that 4 and 5 have been very low but were much more frequent over 50 years ago, and the IPCC says that 4 and 5s have gone up 75% since 1960. Over the last 50 years yes we have seen increased 4 and 5, over the last 100 no there is a downward trend. It is also inconvenient that we don't really know how many 4 and 5 hurricanes existed but never hit land in the past, so we really can't compare with the 1910s, 30, and 40s when there were more and stronger landfalls but poor non-landfall information.

    I did my own analysis (pretty basic just summarized hurrican intensity by decade) of hurricane landfall in the US using National Hurricane Center data a few months ago, but can't seem to find the spreadsheet. If I find it i'll post the results, IIRC the last decade was not among the worst decades of the the last century for landfall intensity.

    Here is the data I was looking at from NHC landfall database. Sorry for format first column is Beginning year of the decade, 2nd number of landfalls, 3rd average strength, 4th intensity, (average times count).

    1900 17 1.8 30
    1910 21 2.1 44
    1920 15 2.0 30
    1930 17 2.4 41
    1940 23 2.1 48
    1950 09 2.3 21
    1960 15 2.4 36
    1970 12 1.8 22
    1980 16 1.8 29
    1990 14 2.3 32
    2000 19 2.0 38

    The 10s, 30s, and 40s were all greater than the past decade for landfall. The IPCC is cherrypicking when it makes statements about only the last 50 years. 15 years isn't enough for temperature trends as Phil Jones says, and 50 years isn't enough for hurricane trends.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  17. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    ww, I was actually just asking, not claiming there's a connection. The link I provided previously tells the story--the science is complicated.

    But a couple of points. One, does Gore say AGW has caused worse hurricanes, or does he point it out as a possibility? You didn't provide a link or quote for that, and I'm genuinely curious. Frankly, Al Gore isn't a scientist, and I think bringing him up is beside the point; that said, it's worth noting if he's made unsupported claims.

    Second, looking back at the past fifty years of hurricane intensity might actually be important because of the intense rise in temperatures over that period. That's one of the main reasons for concern about AGW, that there hasn't been another rise in temperatures and CO2 this fast historically. If there's a correlation (not necessarily a causation), that's worth considering and studying.

    Third, I haven't seen scientists talk about AGW in terms of natural disasters very much. It's not a primary cause for concern about warming. What Pielke seems so concerned about in those links you provided is information that's in the second part of the report, "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability," not the first part of the report, about the scientific basis. (I also think Pielke doesn't fairly represent how the IPCC treats the issue of AGW and disasters; it's worth noting that Pielke's tactics aren't always on the up-and-up.)
  18. southerncannuck

    southerncannuck Well-Known Member

  19. Tochatihu

    Tochatihu Well-Known Member

    worthywads, it is difficult for me to stay current on the Pielke's work and thoughts because most are on blogs or wordpress sites; both generally blocked in China.

    I do try to stay current on the scientific literature though, and our understanding of current lcimate-related trends, and the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and the earth's energy balance is continuing to improve. Taken as a whole, it does not provide me with great confidence that this century is going to be climatically benign.

    Can't make others read that stuff. Getting it indirectly puts one at the mercy of the understanding (and motives) of the interpreter.

    The transportation sector and building energy efficiency both appear to have a lot of low-hanging fruit in terms of CO2 control. Electrical power generation is $$$, so no matter what claims promises and treaties, I'm rather confident that those emissions will continue to increase. Renewable energy will become a larger pie slice, but the speed depends on investment. Increasing the net biological uptake of carbon seems to me quite underappreciated. This means underfunded.

    Those willing to devote an hour for an improved understanding of the relationship between CO2 and climate could hardly do better than to watch this video:


    It gets a 4.5-star Tochatihu rating. And I'm stingy :)

  20. booferama

    booferama He who posts articles

    Just fyi, the Guardian continues to accept that AGW is real. As does the scientific consensus.

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