The Environment

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Re: The Environment

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:17 pm

I don’t want to hear another damn word about my carbon footprint from this man. Can you imagine the MSM’s reaction if that “out-of-touch” president Bush did the same thing?

Obama Flies Personal Trainer from Chicago to White House.

“With a schedule as hectic as President Obama’s it must be hard to stick to a training regimen without help — but why does he insist on having his old trainer fly out from Chicago to D.C. once a month when Obama and his wife exhort the rest of us to drive less? And in a recession?”


Because, you know, there are no qualified trainers on the East Coast….
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Re: The Environment

Postby Shapley » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:27 pm

Money's no object, if it ain't your money...
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Re: The Environment

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:12 pm

REPORT: Ford Losing Interest in Electric Vehicles.

I love this bit:

What is most significant is the choice of venue for these choice words. It was like preaching Satanism to a nun’s convent. According to a survey conducted at the ECO:nomics conference, half of the respondents said they planned to buy an electric car in the next decade. Most likely, they lied also.
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Re: The Environment

Postby dai bread » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:37 pm

I'm not surprised.

Battery technology is still not up to the job. Nobody is working on the only method of making electric cars generally viable, i.e. a universally-accepted standard battery pack that can be wheeled in and out of a car on a trolley in a matter of minutes, no longer than it takes to fill a tank at present. Until that happens, electric cars will be confined to places where they can be recharged overnight. That makes them essentially town cars, which means that they are for two-car families only.

Plenty of families have two cars, so Ford are wrong to back away, but the point of the speech is valid all the same.
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Re: The Environment

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:04 am

dai bread wrote:I'm not surprised.

Battery technology is still not up to the job. Nobody is working on the only method of making electric cars generally viable, i.e. a universally-accepted standard battery pack that can be wheeled in and out of a car on a trolley in a matter of minutes, no longer than it takes to fill a tank at present. Until that happens, electric cars will be confined to places where they can be recharged overnight. That makes them essentially town cars, which means that they are for two-car families only.

Plenty of families have two cars, so Ford are wrong to back away, but the point of the speech is valid all the same.



Well, according the George Will's editorial on trains only 7% of Americans work in cities so even then that's a small niche market for two or three car companies to compete for.
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Re: The Environment

Postby piqaboo » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:44 pm

Those of us who work in suburbs can make good use of e-cars too.
I'm just not sure I'm sold on the idea.

Re the personal trainer. Sheeit. Twit.
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Re: The Environment

Postby Shapley » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:24 pm

I suggested once that we should build electrified slots into the U.S. Highways, kind of like the ones on those 'slot car' racetracks kids (and many adults) spend hours playing with.

You can drive your e-car around the suburbs and the city on its own power, but to get from city to city, you drop a brush assembly into the slot and let the the highway drive you to your destination. It could even recharge your car's battery while you're pulled along. when you get to your exit, you raise the brush assembly and head for the off-ramp.
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Re: The Environment

Postby dai bread » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:20 am

"Well, according the George Will's editorial on trains only 7% of Americans work in cities so even then that's a small niche market for two or three car companies to compete for."

I suspect very strongly that George Will's idea of a city differs considerably from mine. In any case, there are plenty of towns in the U.S., and a better comment would refer to the percentage of people who live in urban areas, including, as Piq says, the suburbs.
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Re: The Environment

Postby Shapley » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:49 am

dai bread wrote:I suspect very strongly that George Will's idea of a city differs considerably from mine. In any case, there are plenty of towns in the U.S., and a better comment would refer to the percentage of people who live in urban areas, including, as Piq says, the suburbs.


To be effective, long distance high-speed trains would need to make a very limited number of stops, preferably in the midst of major population centers. Our cities are so spread out, with every major city having a number of commerce hubs, that choosing the most beneficial one for a rail stop would be difficult. Tourists, however, usually converge on the 'downtown', and therefore they make the most sense.

Airports are built in the countryside, so they can acquire the land they need to spread. You have to have a bus or auto to get about within the airport, let alone get to it. One of the advantages of rail is that you can locate the station right in the thick of things. It's just a matter of choosing the right thicket.
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Re: The Environment

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:54 pm

Heh. No one saw this coming....

Three states considering taxing electric cars to compensate for lost gas taxes.

“Instead of taxing fuel to finance road infrastructure, a VMT tax system charges motorists based on their ‘road consumption,’ as measured by total miles traveled. VMT could be implemented via the use of GPS units, which records distance traveled and charges motorist accordingly.”
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Re: The Environment

Postby Shapley » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:51 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:Heh. No one saw this coming....

[
“Instead of taxing fuel to finance road infrastructure, a VMT tax system charges motorists based on their ‘road consumption,’ as measured by total miles traveled. VMT could be implemented via the use of GPS units, which records distance traveled and charges motorist accordingly.”


Before there were GPS units, this was proposed using periodic readings of the odometer. This would have been done quarterly, bi-annually, or annualy. This was proposed, if I remember correctly, back in the '70s when fuel-efficient cars were thought to be robbing states of tax revenue because higher MPG ratings meant less tax dollars per mile. Of course, lighter cars meant less damage per mile, but that was not considered material.

Of course, in those days, we still thought forcing peoples' vehicles to tattle on them was unconstitutional. We're so much more enlightened today... :(
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Re: The Environment

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:00 pm

In Hawaii, the government really wants the VMT, so maybe later. Right now we have an additional tax on vehicle weight. This time next year, we'll all be riding around in electric golf carts and solar and wind will be our source.
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Re: The Environment

Postby dai bread » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:13 pm

That's the way we tax diesel vehicles. Because diesel is used for so many off- road engines (boats, tractors, stationary engines) it is not taxed at the pump. Road-using vehicles are taxed on odometer readings. You buy so many kilometers, drive them, then buy more. Periodically, and randomly, checks are made.
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Re: The Environment

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:02 pm

The Obama administration's energy policies have been a disaster, assuming that American decline is not your objective. The administration's efforts to suppress development of our oil resources is well known, but coal is equally important. The United States is blessed with extraordinary deposits of coal, but Obama is determined to prevent us from using it to generate cheap and plentiful electricity. Obama wasn't kidding when he said, as a candidate, that his policies would cause electricity prices to "skyrocket."

U.S. News reports that Obama's EPA is promulgating regulations that will cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose their jobs:

Two new EPA pollution regulations will slam the coal industry so hard that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost, and electric rates will skyrocket 11 percent to over 23 percent, according to a new study based on government data.

Overall, the rules aimed at making the air cleaner could cost the coal-fired power plant industry $180 billion, warns a trade group. ...
Referring to the analysis of the EPA regulations from National Economic Research Associates, Miller said they would be the most expensive rules ever imposed on power plants.


That was yesterday. Today, American Electric Power announced that it will close down five coal-fired power plants and spend billions to comply with the EPA's proposed regulations:

Utility giant American Electric Power said Thursday that it will shut down five coal-fired power plants and spend billions of dollars to comply with a series of pending Environmental Protection Agency regulations. ...

The company, one of the country's largest electric utilities, estimated that it will cost between $6 billion and $8 billion in capital investments over the next decade to comply with the regulations in their current form.

The costs of complying with the regulations will result in an increase in electricity prices of 10 to 35 percent and cost 600 jobs, AEP said.

In total, AEP estimated it will have to close five coal-fired power plants by the end of 2014. Six additional plants would see major changes, including retiring some generating units, retrofitting equipment and switching to natural gas.


I believe the man hates our lifestyles, our exceptionalism and our way of life. Nothing else fits
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Re: The Environment

Postby dai bread » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:30 pm

He was brought up in Indonesia wasn't he? Not exactly a first-world country even now.
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Re: The Environment

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:49 am

Forbes wonders Where’s the warming?:

Global greenhouse gas emissions have risen even faster during the past decade than predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other international agencies. According to alarmist groups, this proves global warming is much worse than previously feared. The increase in emissions “should shock even the most jaded negotiators” at international climate talks currently taking place in Bonn, Germany, the UK Guardian reports. But there’s only one problem with this storyline; global temperatures have not increased at all during the past decade.

The evidence is powerful, straightforward, and damning. NASA satellite instruments precisely measuring global temperatures show absolutely no warming during the past the past 10 years. This is the case for the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, including the United States. This is the case for the Arctic, where the signs of human-caused global warming are supposed to be first and most powerfully felt. This is the case forglobal sea surface temperatures, which alarmists claim should be sucking up much of the predicted human-induced warming. This is the case for the planet as a whole.

If atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions are the sole or primary driver of global temperatures, then where is all the global warming? We’re talking 10 years of higher-than-expected increases in greenhouse gases, yet 10 years of absolutely no warming. That’s 10 years of nada, nunca, nein, zero, and zilch.


Check out the links, which show charts over varying time sets, but which all show basically the same thing: no real change over longer periods of time. Not in the Arctic, which Taylor notes was supposed to be the canary in the coal mine, nor in the northern hemisphere, or the globe overall. That’s even true for just the last decade, but it’s especially true over the period of several decades. Periods of high amplitudes in warming are matched with low amplitudes.

It seems more and more physicists are becoming brave enough to express considerable skepticism of the AGW hysteria, including one who worked in Australia’s climate-change ministry.

This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.

That’s the core of the issue. All the disagreements and misunderstandings spring from this. The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.

What did they find when they tried to prove this theory?

Weather balloons had been measuring the atmosphere since the 1960s, many thousands of them every year. The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.

This evidence first became clear around the mid-1990s.


It’s becoming even more clear now. If carbon increases and the predicted warming didn’t follow, then the obvious conclusion is that the hypothesis regarding cause and effect is incorrect — and the missing hot spots are even further evidence of this.

The AGW mania is coming to an end, thankfully.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: The Environment

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:53 pm

I can't see that Forbes has done an unbiased article here. Checking their sources I find only one side of the argument, all from Roy Spencer. NASA shows a different interpretation of their data. The authors of those graphs, Sato and Hansen, believe global warming is real and man made. Apparently Spencer used to work for NASA, essentially doing what Sato and Hansen do now. Spencer is a proponent of Intelligent Design. I would say this shows a tendency to interpret data to match a preconceived belief.
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Re: The Environment

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:43 am

Old and busted: global warming. New hotness: coldness. Reports from three different studies released yesterday point to the possibility of an extended period of solar inactivity not seen for three hundred years, and one that could bring a new mini-Ice Age:

According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century.

The signs include a missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles, said experts from the National Solar Observatory and Air Force Research Laboratory.

‘This is highly unusual and unexpected,’ said Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network.
‘But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.’
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Re: The Environment

Postby piqaboo » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:29 pm

That'll help the Greek economy, as people flock to the warm places for their vacations!
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Re: The Environment

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:37 pm

Old and busted: global warming.


I don't think there's much reasonable doubt whether warming has occured; the data point there. If it's truly anthropogenic is another story. These two sun studies say a change in the cycles could be happening. Then it's extrapolated that this might cause global cooling. The cycle change seems to be on firm ground, the weather change less so. If we assume all this is true, then we were headed for a catastrophe and saved only by some freak behavior of the sun.

I like my tropical weather; I'm going to go stand outside now and empty some aerosol cans.
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