View Full Version : A Matter of a Very Tiny Degree
05-11-2007, 02:01 PM
The trial highlighted two starkly contrasting views of the impact of global warming: one an apocalyptic vision of widespread species extinction and vast coastal flooding, the other a view of climate change as an inconvenience more easily adapted to than avoided. (http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-emissions0511.artmay11,0,7652961.story?coll=hc-headlines-local)
MICHAEL REGAN – Courant.com - May 11, 2007
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Two squads of weary lawyers trooped out of the federal courthouse this week after wrapping up testimony in the first - and assuredly not the last - court fight over proposed auto emissions standards aimed at reducing global warming.
They left behind the record of some 80 hours of testimony from two dozen witnesses and tens of thousands of pages of exhibits thick with automotive and environmental arcana: "radiative forcing," "camless valve actuation," "lumped parameter models." Lawyers, witnesses and the judge himself repeatedly tripped over "dyssynergy."
"It is fair to say that judges are not the best people to say what auto companies can do and what they cannot do," U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III, who is hearing the case without a jury, noted as the trial wound down.
By the end, though, the testimony and evidence had made one thing clear: For all the millions of dollars that will be spent litigating the issue, and the billions it will cost the auto industry should it ultimately lose its case against the proposed rules, the new regulation's effect on the world's rising temperature will, by itself, be negligible.
Even if the proposed limits on "greenhouse gas" emissions were applied to every new car in the world - and so far only 13 states, including Vermont and Connecticut, have adopted them and they still need approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - the result would be a tiny fraction of a degree drop in temperature, a leading scientist testifying in favor of the rules conceded.
05-11-2007, 07:29 PM
It doesn't sound too good for hypermilers, does it? Same old crap...
You know, even if there was no such thing as global warming/climate change, our government should have the common sense to realize that an overwhelming percentage of the world's known oil reserves are in the Persian Gulf area. If you look at who owns the oil, it is overwhelmingly in Muslim lands. Add in Indonesia and lands in the Soviet Union while you are at it, and North Africa, all mostly Muslim dominated territory.
Come on, people, wake up!
We need to institute tight fuel economy standards for our own well-being. Why can't people see this? These people hate us. Stop sending them our petro-dollars!
___I cannot wait to hear about a final outcome but would have loved to hear plain speak. I am sure the lawyer/engineers were told to let loose so as to confuse everyone. When you speak with the guys that design our automobiles at the Press events, they do not come off like smart @$$es in the least which is what I would have loved to see the judge force these attorneys to speak like anytime they brought up the double talk. How hard is it to bring in the following like someone suggested in another thread?
Exhibit 1: Mid-size Prius - EPA 60/51 - $22K
Exhibit 2: Compact HCH-II - EPA 49/51 - $22K
Exhibit 3: Mid-Size TCH - EPA 40/38 - $26K
Exhibit 4: Compact Corolla - EPA 32/41 - $16K
___Double speak that!
05-12-2007, 11:17 AM
This was a nice wrap-up of the trial. I don’t usually follow stuff like this, but I admit being fascinated by this case. They say it was rather boring and technical but If it had been on C-SPAN I’d have watched it every night.
It was really about fuel economy and emissions. Which as we know are kind of two halves of the same coin. So this trial just happens to perfectly address the theme of this website. Raise your fuel economy and you lower your emissions. Otherwise this place could just have been called “greatmpg”.
But the environment is not the central issue in the Vermont case. Rather, it is whether the California regulation is an emissions standard, which individual states may adopt under federal law, or a mileage standard, which they may not. The auto industry claims the regulation relates to mileage, because the only way to reduce emission of carbon dioxide - the principal greenhouse gas - in a gasoline-powered vehicle is to make it run farther on less fuel.
I hate to borrow an adolescent phrase but they say this "like it’s a bad thing". Vermont has a valid case for wanting reduced emissions and if that happens to necessitate better fuel economy, that would certainly seem to be also in the public interest. Of interest to their pocketbook, interest to their national security, of interest to earth’s dwindling resources, and interest to the environment. Gee is that enough reasons? The only problem, darn, seems to be that it’s not in the automaker’s interest.
Hansen's grim view was countered by auto industry witness John R. Christy, professor and director of the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Christy, who once disputed the notion of global warming and the role of human activity in climate change, now acknowledges both. But he sees the change as being little cause for alarm - and in some regards positively benign.
"I like to focus on the fact that food production has increased 16 percent solely because of the extra CO2 we've put back in the atmosphere," he said, referring to carbon dioxide as "plant food."
This guy will really need to clean his hair and behind his ears if he ever manages to extract his head from that dark nasty place he has put the thing ......
Christy said Hansen's prediction of an enormous rise in sea levels and widespread flooding is not shared by other scientists. "Rapid sea level rise is not supported by the evidence," he said.
This is where my blood pressure rises. Hanson didn’t pull these predictions out of his teacup. The effects of global warming are only supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, Scripps Oceanography, the National Academy of Sciences, and the EPA. And the national scientific bodies of every developed country in the world, including ours. The IPCC gives a 90% confidence to the fact that we are already seeing the effects of human CO2 on our climate. They all agree on this. They also all agree that we will see impact to every nation with beachfront, even if we haven’t already. This is not 'many scientists'. It is not ‘most scientists’, I think the precise term is ‘virtually all scientists'. Or, if you like, ‘every single one that has been able to do reliable research on the subject’. Or how about ‘the authors of every single peer-reviewed article on the subject’.
Christy, who once disputed the notion of global warming and the role of human activity in climate change, now acknowledges both. But he sees the change as being little cause for alarm - and in some regards positively benign.
And to the extent that global warming does cause climate change, he said, humans are better off adapting - building seawalls or moving inland, for example - than undergoing the social and economic upheaval necessary to reverse CO2 buildup in the atmosphere.
That sounded like “just wait, you frogs will like the hot water … really, you will”
If someone’s going to adapt ... I vote it be the automakers, rather than millions of people and trillions of dollars in property, jobs, and damages.
He and Hansen agreed on one point: The California emissions regulations by themselves will reduce global warming by an almost immeasurable amount - just a few one-hundredths of a degree. The regulations "will have no discernible impact on the environment," Christy said.
Spin the above anyway you want, Christy. Automobiles account for more than 20 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions each year. If that's not sufficient impact, read the idiot list of other benefits I mentioned above.
05-13-2007, 08:35 AM
Okay, what *is* "dyssynergy"? Is that when all the gears
in my planetary crumble into dust?
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