Sunday, November 23, 2008

Green Obama's official limo is a gas guzzler

The usual Leftist "Do as I say, not as I do". Al Gore take a bow too

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama promised to get a million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015. His own new presidential limousine will be far from green, however. The Obamobile being prepared for the president-elect is said to be a monster gas-guzzler made by General Motors, the troubled car giant. It will look like a black Cadillac but is built like a tank. A spy photographer who tracks down future car models for magazines snatched pictures of the heavily disguised first-car-in-waiting when it was being road-tested last summer.

The armour-plated car, which has a raised roof, windows up to 5in thick, extra-strength tyres and a body made of steel, aluminium, titanium and ceramics, is thought to be based on a GMC 2500 truck that gets less than 10 miles to the gallon. Three cars are believed to be in production so that two can serve as decoys. While security is paramount - the car is built to survive roadside bombs as well as gunfire - there are hybrid four-wheel drives on the market, such as Ford's Mercury Mariner, which some critics believe could have been adapted for the president.

Most environmentalists are in forgiving mood at the prospect of the greenest US president yet. Obama vowed to press ahead with his plans to reduce CO2 emissions while speaking last week to a bipartisan conference on climate sponsored by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California. Obama repeated his campaign pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and to invest $15 billion a year on energy-saving technologies despite the economic melt-down. "Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all," Obama said. "Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response."

Carl Pope, the director of the Sierra Club, the environmental group, believes that America will soon outstrip Britain and Europe as a model green nation. "It's easier for us to change course quickly because we only have one president," he said. "If America engages on this issue, we'll trump Europe quickly." John Podesta, the head of Obama's transition team, said: "I anticipate [Obama] moving very aggressively and very rapidly on the whole question of transforming the energy platform in the US from high carbon energy to low carbon energy."


Another Dissenter: Astrophysicist says put IPCC reports `in the trash!'

In the only country still debating whether global warming is man-made, according to SJSU professor Alex Gershenson, another contest to discuss it was held Tuesday night at San Jose's Rotary Club. The event, put on by The Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley, saw two speakers on each side of the issue go head-to-head for 90 minutes on the validity of global warming and its attribution to the activities of humans.

"No other civilized, developed country is having these kinds of debates, period," said Gershenson, an environmental studies professor at SJSU. "It is very frustrating. The overall understanding of how science works is very low in this country."

Four individuals presented a large array of graphs and data to the 500-plus attendees in an attempt to demonstrate the validity of their arguments. The team representing the opinion that global warming is man-made, consisting of SJSU professors Eugene Cordero and Alex Gershenson, weighed their arguments on the consensus of opinion within the scientific community. The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, commissioned by the United Nations, included 2,500 scientific experts from around the globe. "The IPCC report that just came out states that most of the warming is very likely due to human cause greenhouse gases," Gershenson said.

Despite the scientific prowess of the panel's reports, the team arguing that global warming is not man-made disregarded its validity. "What I'd do with the IPCC report is to put it in the trash can because that's all it's worth," said Dennis Hollars, who holds a doctorate in astrophysics from New Mexico State University. His brazen pronouncement produced an eruption of laughter among the packed audience. Hollars produced a similar reaction from the crowd when, challenged by Gershenson about the inconsistencies of the data in the graphs he was presenting, he claimed to "not care" which one was accurate. It was hard to tell whether the audience was laughing out of the humor of Hollars' delivery, or because they disagreed with him.

One of the central arguments of the side arguing that global warming is a natural occurrence was that temperatures were driving the increase in carbon dioxide, rather than the commonly accepted reverse. "CO2 has never led to an increase in temperature, based on historical record," said Robert Cohen, a certified consulting meteorologist.

This point was countered by Cordero, who cited hundreds of scientific studies that showed that the temperature increase that has occurred over the last 50 years would not be possible without human-produced chemicals.

Hollars, meanwhile, claimed that carbon dioxide was an insignificant component of the earth's atmosphere and that, rather than being the purveyor of doom it is currently viewed as today, it is needed in order for plants to grow. "Mars' atmosphere is about 95 percent CO2 and has no global warming," Hollars said.

Gershenson pointed out that while carbon dioxide may be a very small component of the earth's atmosphere, it is one of only two components that absorbs and traps heat.

At the culmination of the debate, moderator and SJSU professor Genelle Austin-Lett conducted an informal poll of the audience to gauge its reactions to what they had witnessed. Although few people declared to have had their mind changed by the debate, more people who were unsure about the causes of global warming beforehand said that they believed the causes were man-made.

"I thought that the negative side did a good job in giving us evidence, whereas the other side had a little bit of evidence, but then didn't really have a lot to follow up on when they were questioned," said Candice Howsden, a senior communication studies major.

Gershenson said the debate came down to whether you trust the scientists who say that there is a nine out of 10 chance that global warming is man-made. "If I have a child and I have 10 doctors see that child," Gershenson said, borrowing from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's rationale for supporting California's California climate change legislation, "and nine of the doctors that see my child say that the child is sick and one says well, maybe not, I'm going to go with the nine." [Wouldn't it be better to discuss the evidence for the various verdicts? Incorrect diagnoses are common]


Green fascism

One thing I got wrong in trying to answer The Big Question in The Independent this morning, was to say that "one of the most surprising" names on the leaked BNP membership list was that of someone who stood as a Green Party candidate in the 2001 and 2005 elections. What I meant was "one of the names that was not surprising at all", because there has been a philosophical overlap between the "deep" green movement and fascism from the early years of both.

Yesterday, the Green Party admitted that two of its former activists had been exposed as members of the BNP: Keith Bessant, its parliamentary candidate at Cheltenham in 2001 and 2005, and a Rev Stanton.

This reminded me of the origins of the British National Party in the break-up of the National Front in 1980, and the confusion that followed. For a while there were two National Fronts, as well as a growing BNP. The larger NF fell under the influence of Patrick Harrington, the most recent prophet of the "Third Way" before Tony Blair (the phrase has both fascist and centrist antecedents, with Oswald Mosley's New Party and Harold Macmillan both using it in the 1930s).

The NF relaunched itself as the National Democrats in 1995 as a final spasm before lapsing into its present almost moribund state. But that whole phase was heavily influenced by an eco-nationalist message based on the "blood and soil" notion of a smaller, more sustainable, culturally and ethnically homogenous population, a kind of sub-Tolkien Anglo-Saxon fantasy.It is a fantasy that can come uncomfortably close to some of the more backward-looking politics of the fundamentalist wing of the green movement.


Australia: Global cooling hits the State of NSW

Gale force winds and snow in the NSW central-west are keeping State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers busy, just a week from the start of summer. Since Friday, SES crews have responded to 18 requests for assistance in the Blayney, Bathurst, Lithgow and Orange areas. Most of the damage has been caused by falling trees, but local roads are also being monitored after snow falls on Saturday night. The road between Bathurst and Oberon is currently closed but all other roads are open.

SES Central West Region Controller, Craig Ronan, said the weather conditions are particularly unseasonable. "It's very unusual the week before summer to have such weather conditions," Mr Ronan said. "I believe it's supposed to ease this afternoon. "Let's hope it does ease but obviously our volunteers are ready to help and they're willing to help."

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for NSW, with a deep low pressure system off the south coast expected to bring gale force winds to most of the state before it moves east late on Sunday. Winds are expected to average 65km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90km/h.

Blizzard conditions are also anticipated in alpine areas of the Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes and the ACT. "As winds continue, I'd say we'll get a few more calls today," Mr Ronan said.


Australia: This Week's Brisbane Storms Due To Global Warming?

Here is that loveabale TV celebrity of Two Men & A Tiny fame, Tim Flannery prediction on March 3rd 2007.
Environmental researcher Tim Flannery has warned that Brisbane & Adelaide …. home to a combined 3 million people could run out of water by years end.. He said the country was facing a ‘catastrophic’ situation.

‘Even a year ago, this would have been unthinkable,’ Flannery told AFP. ‘I think it’s the most extreme and dangerous situation arising from climate change facing any country in the world right now’

In May last year Brisbane’s water supply dams were hovering at 23%. Rain since August 2007 to current has lifted Brisbane’s water supply dams to 45% and it’s only the start of the wet season.

Agmates reader Margaret tells us that QLD Premier Anna Bligh is blaming this weeks tropical storms on … Climate Change. Margaret said:
Premier Bligh and the AM commentator this morning were both pushing hard the idea that the intense storms in Brisbane were due to global warming. It was PATHETIC how they were talking - as if there was no doubt about it. The ABC is so much a propaganda government media tool it is TERRIBLE.

University of Southern Queensland professor of climate and water resources Roger Stone agrees with the Premier that the rain is a sign of climate change.
ONE of Australia’s leading climatologists has warned the extreme weather that hit southeast Queensland this week is consistent with climate change modelling of weather patterns.

However the Australian Newspaper in the same article speaks with Queensland weather bureau spokesman Gavin Holcombe who states what is obvious to anybody who is a long term Queensland resident:
But back in the 70s and 80s we did have plenty of Novembers which were very wet indeed. I just think people are now thinking of the sort of dry Novembers that we’ve had over the past decade as the norm, but if you look over the long term, there have been plenty of wet Novembers.

You can’t win with the global warming alarmist. Dry weather is a sign, wet weather is a sign, hot weather, cold weather it does not matter, its all a sign to the green religion faithful.


Peak oil freaks eat your heart out

A comment from Australia

California car company Tesla Motors is manufacturing it’s Tesla Roadster. The all electric car that is faster from 0-100kms than a Porsche or Ferrari . In the weekend read section of Business Spectator Simon writes:
Driving an electric car feels like stepping into a jet aircraft after a lifetime of flying little bug smashers with propellers. Eerily quiet, they have a flat torque curve from zero rpm. Putting your foot down - at any speed - commands an instant kick in the back. They operate with ease at US highway speeds. The EV’s only real challenge was range, as a function of the available battery technology. As anyone who watched the movie knows, GM couldn’t kill them off fast enough as soon as CARB lost their nerve in the face of extensive political lobbying from the car industry at the time.

Fast forward to today. Tesla Motors have created an electric sports car for today. It’s the first full production EV since the EV I era and like the EV I, it rocks: 0-100 km/h in less than four seconds. Over 360 km range - far more than most Australian cars in the real world. Silent. Pretty. Zero tailpipe emissions. Able to be charged from solar panels on your own roof.

image Tesla Roadster
I had been wanting to buy an EV ever since I was hooked on the GM EV I, all those years ago. So it was no surprise that I became the first (and to date, the only) Australian to order a Tesla Roadster. Mine gets built in Q1 2009.

Why are the world car manufacturers concentrating on building hybrid cars when companies like Tesla can build all electric cars that use no oil what so ever? You can only guarantee one thing, this technology will get better and better and within the next decade we could see the combustion engine the same way as we view the steam engine, as museum pieces. Those that carry on about ‘peak oil’ as they did in the 70’s will once again discover that man’s ability to develop new technologies to replace what was once considered a scarce natural resources (oil) means we never have peak anything.

The electric car that's faster than Porsche and Ferrari



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1 comment:

Phillip Young said...

Your writing is interesting. Brisbane City Council pays more than $1 million each year to agencies such as BP and Origin for their alleged activities balancing our carbon footprint. Just spend it
locally on initiatives that provide a healthier environment.