Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fraud Exposed: Electric Cars

A government report says reliance on electric cars will do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and may merely shift our dependence on foreign sources from one set of dictators to another.

It's a beautiful theory highways full of electric cars emitting no greenhouse gases or pollutants after being plugged into an outlet in our garages overnight. The problem, according to a new Government Accountability Office report, is that the effort may only shift the problem somewhere else. "If you are using coal-fired power plants, and half the country's electricity comes from coal-powered plants, are you just trading one greenhouse gas emitter for another?" asks Mark Gaffigan, co-author of the GAO report. The report itself notes: "Reductions in CO2 emissions depend on generating electricity used to charge the vehicles from lower-emission sources of energy."

The GAO report says a plug-in compact car, if recharged at an outlet drawing its power from coal, provides a carbon dioxide savings of only 4% to 5%. If the feeling of saving the environment from driving an electric car causes people to drive more, that small amount of savings vanishes entirely.

It's much the same effect we saw when the Corporate Fuel Economy Standards were passed in the '70s. Aside from forcing us into less-safe downsized vehicles that increased highway fatalities, the promise of more miles per gallon caused people to drive more miles. The promised energy independence never materialized as we imported more foreign oil than ever before.

Okay, so how about a zero-emission source of electricity nuclear power? The administration has done little to promote it beyond lip service. The administration recently killed the safest place on the planet to store what is erroneously called nuclear waste at the nuclear repository that was being built at Yucca Mountain, Nev. This "waste" is in the form of spent fuel rods the French and others have safely stored and reprocessed. These rods still contain most of their original energy and reprocessing them makes nuclear power renewable as well as pollution-free. The French get 80% of their electricity from nukes, and nobody in Paris glows in the dark.

They will have a place to plug in their electric cars, but right now we don't. The government is promoting solar and wind, which is fine if the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. Both have their own environmental drawbacks. Both require huge amounts of land. Wind turbines tend to slice and dice birds, including endangered species. Solar panels of the size that might be competitive require huge amounts of water to clean. Water is a rare commodity in the areas the sun shines most the arid land of the West and Southwest.

There are the hazards of the cars themselves. We don't yet fully comprehend the hazards to drivers, passengers and first responders after, say, a collision between an electric clown car and an 18-wheeler. Then there's a whole new problem of disposing of a new generation of batteries using lithium.

As for the lithium, Bolivia, under the thumb of its leftist leader Evo Morales, has about half the world's proven reserves. "The United States has supplies of lithium, but if demand for lithium exceeded domestic supplies," warns the GAO, "the U.S. could substitute reliance on one foreign source (oil) for another (lithium)."

Then there are environmental consequences. Just as coal and oil must be extracted from the earth, so must lithium. "Extracting lithium from locations where it is abundant, such as South America, could pose environmental challenges that would damage the ecosystem in this area."

While advertised as "zero emission," electric cars have their own set of issues. As physicist Amory Lovins once put it, "Zero-emission vehicles are actually 'elsewhere-emission' vehicles."


The "Greenest" wheels yet

Designed in Germany but made in China. Hint! Read the license plate

This is not a toy, not a concept car. It is a newly developed single seat car in highly aerodynamic tear-shape road-proven real car. It is ready to be launched as a single-seater for sale in Shanghai in 2010 for a mere RMB 4,000 (US$600)!

Interested? Wait till you learn that it will cruise at 100-120 Km/Hr with an unbelievable 0..99litre/100Km (258 miles/gallon)!!

Impressed? Totally, after you have read all the details below about the hi-tech and space-age material input into this car !!! The Most Economic Car in the World will be on sale next year

More HERE (This story has been around for a while and has not yet pissed on it so maybe it is for real)

G-8 a bust for climate accord

As I predicted yesterday, the G-8 meeting finally reached a climate-control accord, but one with almost no meaning at all, as the developing nations laughed off suggestions that they hamstring their growing economies. Instead of agreeing to cap carbon emissions or commit to industrial limits on energy use, the Western nations instead opted to pledge not to make the Earth warmer:

The world’s leading industrial nations tentatively agreed Wednesday to try to prevent global temperatures from rising above a fixed level, after a more far-reaching proposal to slash production of greenhouse gases fizzled, according to U.S. and European negotiators.

Leaders meeting here for the Group of Eight summit said they would pledge to keep temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above average levels of more than a century ago, before large-scale industrial pollution occurred.

Temperatures have already risen by nearly half that amount, leaving little wiggle room. It was unclear what mechanisms, if any, would be adopted to enforce the target. Some environmental groups saw the announcement as a weak nod at the obvious.

What does this mean? Absolutely nothing. It allows the leaders of the G-8 nations to brag about reaching an agreement that literally binds them to do nothing at all. With temperatures decreasing since 1998’s peak even by the earlier, flawed NASA study, the issue could just as easily be moot.

The environmental groups that had hoped for the imposition of draconian limits on industry struggled to respond to the non-event. Greenpeace didn’t bother to hide its scorn, expressing its disappointment in the “limited” result. The Sierra Club lauded the “symbolic” nature of the agreement. No one pretended that this changed anything at all.

In fact, the G-8 showered disappointment in all directions. The leaders of the free nations made sure to express its “impatience” with Iran over its nuclear program, and to scold the mullahs for the crackdown on protesters following its rigged presidential election. However, they couldn’t quite bring themselves to expand the sanctions on Iran for either of those two issues.

Talk, talk, talk. Blather, blather, blather. They could have reduced the temperature in L’Aquila, Italy, by avoiding the emissions of the empty gas of their rhetoric.


Senate punts 'cap and trade' until after recess

The Senate pushed back consideration of a sweeping climate change bill until after the August recess in Congress.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) announced that she'd pushed back her self-imposed deadline to pass cap-and-trade legislation that squeaked through the House in late June.

Boxer said senators would take up the legislation "as soon as we get back" from the August recess, according to Reuters. She said she's "not a bit" worried the Senate will be able to complete and vote on a bill this year, however.

Boxer also acknowledged that the intense focus in the Senate on healthcare has detracted from her ability to craft a climate change bill to complement the House bill. "A lot of our colleagues are on the health committee," she said. "It's been difficult."

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking Republican on the committee and a noted global warming skeptic, suggested that it was political opposition, not timing, that spurred the delay. "There is no question that the American public flatly rejected the House ramming through legislation that would have devastating impacts on American consumers," Inhofe said in a statement. "So with this delay, the public should expect more arm-twisting and backroom deals — or, in other words, more business as usual in Washington."


Overcoming the Next Ice Age

The most interesting application for climate geo-engineering might be to overcome the next ice age. Milankovich astronomical theory and also the experience of the last 2 million years suggest that the current interglacial period (Holocene) will soon come to an end and that the earth will soon enter into another glaciation. Alarms of an imminent ice age have been raised from time to time, for example in the 1970s after a prolonged period of climate cooling, and even more recently as the climate cooled slightly in the past few years. One needs to distinguish, however, between a Little Ice Age that may be part of a more-or-less regular 1,500-year cycle (and likely related to solar activity) and a true ice age that relates to a change in solar irradiance brought about by changes in earth’s orbit, axis inclination and precession.

Not everyone agrees that such a Milankovich glaciation is imminent. For example, Andre Berger et al believe it might be as much as 40,000 years away. In any case, everyone agrees that a glaciation would bring about unprecedented hardship to the world, including crop failures, starvation – and wipe out much of the earth’s human population.

The accepted mechanism for the initiation for a glaciation is the survival of a snow field at high northern latitudes during the summer, with feedback (due to increased albedo and cooling) enlarging the snow and ice area gradually over the years to cover much of the Northern Hemisphere. This effect may be the ‘Achilles heel’ of glaciation. Can it be stopped before it spreads?

The geo-engineering task would consist of three phases: (1) a more detailed studied of the Milankovich glaciation mechanism; (2) setting up a protocol for satellite search for surviving snowfields; (3) field experiments with soot dispersal to decrease the albedo and cause the disappearance of snowfields so they absorb solar radiation instead of reflecting it.

1. A search of climate literature suggests that the sensitive region for initiation of an ice age is in the vicinity of 56 deg North latitude, which would place it into Canada, Scandinavia, or Siberia. The coldest areas in these regions are likely to be at the higher altitudes, which narrows the search to particular locations. Since the initiation mechanism depends on the survival of high-albedo snowfields throughout the whole summer, one can search existing data sources for such locations and define others where the duration of a high-albedo snowfield might extend well into the summer before melting. It may turn out that the initiation mechanism is more complicated and depends on being “kicked-off” by a century or even a decades-long period (like a Little Ice Age) -- or perhaps even by a major volcanic eruption like the one that led to the very cold summer of 1816 – that promotes the survival of the initiating snowfield.

2. Once the likely locations are defined, one can set up a protocol whereby weather satellites can routinely observe and track the albedo in these regions, locate snow fields that survive during the summer and expand from year to year -- and alert decision makers on the possibility of an ice-age initiation. This task seems fairly routine and could be initiated with existing resources.

3. Finally one would like to demonstrate the feasibility of artificially melting and removing a snowfield. This task would investigate the technical resources needed and define the details and costs of such an operation. One possibility that comes to mind will be to use “crop-duster” planes to distribute soot material over the snow field and observe the rate of melting, comparing it to what would be expected from theory. Such field experiments could be usefully conducted while the other parts of the project are proceeding.

The end result would be to demonstrate a reliable means of overcoming the initiation of a future ice age. The geo-engineering operation of removing the high-albedo snow fields might have to be done year after year until the astronomical conditions change sufficiently so that the sun itself could operate to remove the possibility of an ice age.

SOURCE (SEPP Science Editorial #21-2009)

Gallup survey found global warming ranked dead last in the U.S. among ENVIRONMENTAL issues

The folks behind World Water Day -- a largely U.N.-sponsored effort to focus attention on freshwater resource management, observed this past Sunday -- may be on to something. Pollution of drinking water is Americans' No. 1 environmental concern, with 59% saying they worry "a great deal" about the issue. That exceeds the 45% worried about air pollution, the 42% worried about the loss of tropical rain forests, and lower levels worried about extinction of species and global warming.

All eight issues tested in the 2009 Gallup Environment survey, conducted March 5-8, appear to be important to Americans, evidenced by the finding that a majority of Americans say they worry at least a fair amount about each one. However, on the basis of substantial concern -- that is, the percentage worrying "a great deal" about each -- there are important distinctions among them.

The four water-related issues on the poll fill the top four spots in this year's ranking. In addition to worrying about pollution of drinking water, roughly half of Americans also express a high degree of worry about pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs (52% worry a great deal about this), and water and soil contamination from toxic waste (52%). About half worry about the maintenance of the nation's supply of fresh water for household needs (49%).

Air pollution places fifth among the environmental problems rated this year; 45% are worried a great deal about it. That issue is closely followed by the loss of tropical rain forests, with 42% -- although significantly more Americans say they worry little or not at all about rain forests than say this about air pollution (32% vs. 24%).

Extinction of plant and animal species and global warming are of great concern to just over a third of Americans. However, since more Americans express little to no worry about global warming than say this about extinction, global warming is clearly the environmental issue of least concern to them. In fact, global warming is the only issue for which more Americans say they have little to no concern than say they have a great deal of concern.


Another Meteorlogist Dissents: 'Does carbon dioxide drive the climate? The answer is no!'‏

Chief Meteorologist David Paul, a holder of the AMS (American Meteorological Society) Seal of Approval and the upgraded AMS CBM (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) holds a degree in meteorology and is currently at Louisiana’s KLFY TV10, dissented from man-made global warming fears in July 2009.

“Is there a climate crisis? I say, absolutely not!” Paul wrote in a July 8, 2009 article on KLFY TV 10’s website. “Does carbon dioxide drive the climate? The answer is no! Natural cycles play a much bigger role with the sun at the top of the list,” Paul explained. “There's much more driving the climate than carbon dioxide. There are so many variables at work, known and unknown, that not a single person, or computer model, can predict the future climate for sure,” Paul wrote.

“Then there's El Nino Southern Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation, the Arctic Oscillation, the Pacific-North American Teleconnection, Milankovitch forcing, ocean variations, and so on and so forth. Is there any way to model all these variables? Again, the answer is no! The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, has tried and failed!” Paul added.

Just know this; climate change has occurred in the past, is occurring now, and will occur in the future. Trying to pinpoint that change on carbon emissions and human really a stretch.

“Since before the industrial revolution the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been rising, up to around 385 parts per million by volume today. That amounts to a miniscule 0.0385% of the atmosphere. Increased CO2 levels are beneficial to plants since they require carbon dioxide to grow. In this experiment, plants exposed to CO2 levels of 1,090 parts per million by volume by far exhibited the most growth,” Paul wrote.

“As a forecaster I'll tell you this. Forecasting in the short-term is fairly accurate compared to forecasting long-term. So if these climate models are so far off already, there's really little chance of them being right further out.



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The "Greenest" wheels yet":

This is the solution to the problem of motorcycles which cannot be used in winter yet must be parked outside all winter too (unlike one brand called DiBlasi which folds up) and are also prone to not be noticed by other drivers. Also, due to their weight, they cannot be used by many women or short skinny men who cannot lift a tipped over cycle back up. The need to wear a full helmet to protect one from rain and dust negates any "open road" experience especially since full helmets cover one's ears as well.

Indeed, gas engines are vastly superior to batteries. One day will appear fuel cell electrics which again will burn gas. This is similar to how tungsten light bulbs can be made vastly more efficient by coating the filament with nanowire spikes.