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Are automobiles a major cause of global warming?

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Comments

  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Does anyone have a link to any data which compares California air cleanliness over the period of the last two decades?"

    Not sure if this is precisely what you're looking for, but you may find something:

    http://www.arb.ca.gov/adam/cgi-bin/db2www/polltrendsb.d2w/start#
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Thanks for the link...

    That site indeed shows that the air in the San Bernadino area is FAR cleaner today than in the mid 1980s.

    So, what can we conclude from that?

    1. That CARB has done it's job pretty darn well.

    2. Visitors to Raging Waters probably will not be coughing from smog.

    What we CANNOT conclude from that data:

    1. The huge increase in the number of cars on the road in California in the last 20+ years has made the air considerably dirtier.

    1984 total registrations in CA: 20,276,000 (approx)
    2005 total registrations in CA: 33,164,000 (approx)

    The total of vehicles almost doubled, but the air is much much cleaner. So where is the vehicle effect data?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    I can tell you from experience it is a lot better now than it was in the 1960s & 70s. We were in San Bernardino last week. It still has the brown haze laying over it. My lungs did not hurt when I breathed. I think the difference is unleaded gas. I hated going back to visit family when I was young. It would cause shortness of breath. I can also tell you that Phoenix is just about as bad as San Bernardino. Much worse than LA or San Diego.
  • jrizjriz Posts: 5
    "Last I checked...didn't the Government/Courts rule that there was no such thing as Global Warming?"

    Check again. It was actually the exact opposite in regards to the Supreme Court. They ruled that the EPA has the right to declare CO2 a harmful substance and limit its emissions. The Federal Government is a different story, as they're too entrenched in special interests to ever get anything done. 19 states and numerous municipalities have taken steps to combat global warming. It's real, we must slow it and "believing" otherwise is like "believing" Earth is at the center of the universe in the 16th Century because a few "scientists" say so.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Phoenix and San Diego are sharing 18th place as "Metropolitan Areas with the Worst Ozone Air Pollution".

    LA is all alone as the worst.

    San Bernadino is the dirtiest county in the country.

    See this page:

    Clean and Dirty cities and counties
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "The total of vehicles almost doubled, but the air is much much cleaner. So where is the vehicle effect data?"

    That is probably a much more difficult metric to establish conclusively. However, I would believe that you are seeing the actual effects of more and more stringent pollution controls on newer cars gradually replacing the non-existent or ineffective controls as older cars are removed from service.

    In other words, the pollution control technology works. The general California population was able to 'enjoy' more and more automobiles clogging their roads while AT THE SAME TIME reducing the levels of harmful pollutants going into the atmosphere.

    So, in the face of this scenario, what was the typical anti-car environmentalist to do? Afterall, the mantra for decades was 'reduced pollution through reduced consumption' when technology (apparently) has shown us another way.

    Answer? Redefine the pollutants. Now, the pollutant is CO2, which is unaffected by the pollution controls, and the ONLY way to reduced CO2 as a 'pollutant' IS to reduce consumption.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Most people agree that the earth over the last hundred or so years has had a very slight rise in temperature. Where the conflict comes in is to the cause. If you are willing to fall in goose step behind a scientist with the credentials that Al Gore has, and believe what they are preaching in their little cult. It is a free society sort of. Just don't be feeding that propaganda to my children as solid science because IT IS NOT. It is based on the same political propaganda put out by many of the same pseudo scientists that had us moving into another ice age just 30 years ago.

    You can ride around in a Yugo while these so called experts are riding in private jets, Limos & yachts, don't count on me to join your circus parade.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That's a good stance for 10 years ago Gary.

    Not so much in 2007.

    As Ahnold said in 2005, "The debate is Ovah."

    There are vastly more studies and credentialed scientists now who have data supporting AlGore's view than there were a few years ago.

    If CO2 is a greenhouse gas (most everyone believes it is) and cars and manufacturing operations which are geared toward creating things which humans use create CO2 and it adversely affects the global climate, then cars DO contribute to the problem.

    How muchso is the question.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    How much is a BIG question mark. Real scientists do not make claims, that people like Ahnold and Al make, without solid facts to back them up. Remember cows, volcanoes and people produce CO2. We have little chance of curbing those sources of CO2.

    I don't see any plan laid out that will not be economically disruptive. No country that has signed on to Kyoto has lived up to the treaty. That should tell you something. Japan is trying and is way behind their goal. Kyoto was ill conceived and a political tool, nothing more.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "If CO2 is a greenhouse gas (most everyone believes it is)..."

    Yep, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. So is water vapor. And water vapor contributes FAR more to the 'greenhouse effect' than does CO2.

    Which begs the question: why the heated debate over man-made CO2 emissions? Why no debate over man-made water vapor? Has the amount of WATER VAPOR in the atmosphere changed perhaps?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    rorr says, "has the amount of water vapor changed?"

    You know it has. Melting snow produces water vapor. More snow melts because the temps are hotter.

    Are autos a considerable cause?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "You know it has. Melting snow produces water vapor. More snow melts because the temps are hotter."

    Very good. But, if WATER VAPOR is a much greater component of the greenhouse effect, is it POSSIBLE that NATURAL processes leading to additional water vapor in the atmosphere has a GREATER impact on global warming than manmade CO2 (which has a much lesser effect in the greenhouse effect).

    In other words, could a NATURAL PROCESS (perhaps, increased solar radiation) lead to increased evaporation rates, leading to increased water vapor, leading to a greater greenhouse effect?

    And, if water vapor is a BIGGER COMPONENT of the greenhouse effect, and if we feel than man is at least partially responsible for water vapor, why not concentrate efforts on reducing man-made water vapor?

    BTW, what is the tailpipe emissions from a hydrogen powered automobile?

    Um, water vapor....... ;)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Can there not be multiple causes of global warming?

    Those we CAN control and those we CANNOT control?

    Is that not a logical conclusion?

    Control what you can control and the rest is out of your hands.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    I believe what rorr is saying is no matter what man does he is going to have some affect on the atmosphere. As we multiply in number we multiply the affect. We cannot stop working, eating, having babies as some would have us believe. Curbing consumption is not going to happen as long as we have the where withal to consume. Man is insignificant with little if any control. If you do not believe that re-visit the Tsunami in Sri Lanka, Mt St. Helens and Katrina.

    I am not saying that we should all build bonfires with old tires and dump raw sewage into the streets. I just think the whole issue of "Global Warming" is designed to play on the ignorance of the masses. What these jerk politicians are saying is you little people have to sacrifice so we can maintain our opulent lifestyle undisturbed. When Al & Ahnold bring their tonnage of CO2 down, I'll think about doing the same. Guess what I can add a few hundred tons a year and still be a better example than they are.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Can there not be multiple causes of global warming? "

    Yes. I believe that global warming is caused by several factors.

    "Those we CAN control and those we CANNOT control?"

    Ask yourself: if water vapor is a much bigger component of the overall greenhouse effect, AND if man's activities lead to more water vapor in the air, then WHY is all the political pressure focused on CO2? Does the pursuit of "alternate" energies/fuels/technologies reduce CO2 yet lead to MORE water vapor?

    I think that's a fair question.

    Here's another one for you larsb: what is the Earth's "normal" temperature? Just WHAT is the "optimal" temperature for the planet? Why the AUTOMATIC assumption that ANY change in global temperatures (either up or down) is, by definition, bad?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    rorr says, "Why the AUTOMATIC assumption that ANY change in global temperatures (either up or down) is, by definition, bad?"

    I don't know what people are saying about "lowered temps" but let me comment on "higher temps."

    Negative affects of higher temps:

    1. More and longer droughts, leading to more wildfires in the West (where I live)
    2. Melting polar ice means rise in sea levels, which means coastal areas (expensive homes and beautiful beaches) will be swamped and the coast will move inland, costing you and I (via government spending) billions of dollars to re-work the beach for tourism.
    3. Warmer gulf waters means stronger hurricanes.

    See tons more info here:

    Click here
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    Those are all subject to interpretation.
    If you look at the evidence of global temperatures over what time man can scientifically gather information from, you will see that the evidence shows that the earth has and will continue to, undergone temperature changes.

    Some fairly severe. And man wasn't around during those times, so what factors do they contribute those to?

    As I said before, there are many scientists and data who say it is happening and many who say it is a natural trend of the earth. There are those who will filter the data to read the way they want.
    There have been soil samples that show a high CO concentration from times where they calculate the earth's temps were warmer. What was the CO levels from? Us?
    We weren't around.

    So, we are in for drought, famine and mayhem.
    What's new? This has been an ongoing thing since the 70s.
    The vehicles today are 100 times more efficient. They produce far less "greenhouse" gases in the last 10 years, than the last 100 years.
    If you really want to cut down CO levels, then let's concentrate on one of the largest contributors of CO.

    MAN. Not manmade things, but man himself.
    What we exhale.
    So, why don't we eliminate the problem.
    Let's put a limit on kids. 2 per family.
    Let's limit how many breaths we take per day, allot each person so many breaths per day and fine them for going over their allotted usage.
    Man has over run this planet and we continue to multiply. So, let's limit everything.

    Kind of sounds silly, doesn't it? ;)
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    the earth has and will continue to, undergone temperature changes.

    I don't think a single person that knows anything about the science of GW is not aware that climate changes have occured for billions of years on earth, for many reasons.

    There's also absolutely no doubt that man adds carbon to the atmosphere and we know why. The question is, how much is that addition affecting current (and future) climate change.

    there are many scientists and data who say it is happening and many who say it is a natural trend of the earth.

    The reason is that it is both. Climate change is a natural trend. Man's impact, whatever it is, is superimposed on the natural trend.

    The vehicles today are 100 times more efficient.

    They've improved, but not even in that time zone. In 1971, the fleet average was about 14 mpg. In 2000, it was about 22. New car averages went from about 15 to about 28. This is about 100% (double) which is perhaps what you meant.

    Let's limit how many breaths we take per day...

    Our options are not limited to such things. We can find alternative energy sources (non fossil-fuels) and develop carbon sinks. Not to mention other, presently unheard-of technology to stabilize things.

    Ignoring the problem is, OTOH, undoubtedly not a good idea for our decendants, if not us.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542

    The vehicles today are 100 times more efficient.

    They've improved, but not even in that time zone. In 1971, the fleet average was about 14 mpg. In 2000, it was about 22. New car averages went from about 15 to about 28. This is about 100% (double) which is perhaps what you meant.

    I was referring to emissions.
    I mis-spoke.
    I should have typed that the polutants are about 100 times less. Diesels, especially.

    Our options are not limited to such things. We can find alternative energy sources (non fossil-fuels) and develop carbon sinks. Not to mention other, presently unheard-of technology to stabilize things.

    One solution, with Ethanol, E-85 and biodiesel, while is theoretically great, all have their short comings.
    With the demand for corn, will come rising corn costs. Greater demand will bring higher costs and lower availability.
    Biodiesel has problems with gelling and causing filtering problems and until those can be solved, can't be used very efficiently in the winter without additives.

    Ignoring the problem is, OTOH, undoubtedly not a good idea for our decendants, if not us.
    Oh trust me, I am not saying to ignore the problem, but to say that the sky is falling is reaching a bit.
    Take the facts and make your own judgement, but take in ALL the facts, not just the ones that Gore wants you to hear.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I don't know what people are saying about "lowered temps" but let me comment on "higher temps."

    Nice sidestep - but you're ignoring my point: just WHAT IS the "optimal" average global temperature? Did that temperature just HAPPEN to be whatever it was in the year 1900?

    If global WARMING is "bad", then the flip side (global COOLING) must be "good", correct? No?

    Then are you saying that ANY CHANGE to our global temperatures (whether man-made, man-contributed, or completely natural) MUST be bad? Does this even make any sense?

    All I'm asking is for you to ask yourself: if this is PURELY a scientific debate, WHY does one NEVER hear about the possible BENEFITS of global warming?

    Now, about your 'negative affects':

    "1. More and longer droughts, leading to more wildfires in the West (where I live)"

    Warmer global temps means more evaporation of surface water to the atmosphere. More water content in the global atmosphere means GLOBALLY more precipitation. Is it possible that weather PATTERNS would be affected leading to LOCAL areas receiving less average rain? Sure. But it's also possible that areas currently receiving little rain may in fact receive MORE desired and needed rain. You can't just look at YOUR little corner of the globe and say "gee, we may get more wildfires so global warming is bad for EVERYBODY" (I also find it mildly suspicious that the geographical areas of this country MOST prone to believing alarmist environmental propaganda ALSO happen to be the areas to suffer the most in a GW scenario.....)

    "2. Melting polar ice means rise in sea levels..."

    First point of physics: if we (hypothetically speaking) melted every last ounce of SEA ice on this globe, sea levels would not rise by a single mm. Fact. Floating ice ALREADY displaces it's own mass of liquid water; melting it wouldn't do a thing.

    Second - the latest updated UN reports on sea level rise, over the next 100 years, is less than 20". That's 20 INCHES. Over 100 years. In fact, it's been difficult to actually measure just how much the global sea levels rise (or fall) due to the simple fact that the land ITSELF rises (and falls) over time. It's called plate tectonics.

    "3. Warmer gulf waters means stronger hurricanes."

    In simple terms, a hurricane is a heat engine, which depends on a difference between a heat supply and a cold sink for its power. For a hurricane this is the difference between the temperature of the ocean at the storm's bottom and the upper atmosphere at its top.

    So yes, warmer water temps would lead to stronger hurricanes IF THE ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE WAS CONSTANT. But, ummmmm, aren't we talking about global warming, in which the ATMOSPHERE gets warmer? And, since the atmosphere tends to warm up MUCH faster than water, one would think that the temperature DIFFERENCE between the water and the air was being REDUCED, leading to (ta daaaaa!) WEAKER hurricanes.... ;)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Maybe we should get back to "are autos a major cause of global warming?"

    I don't think anyone has shown that to be true.

    Why don't we just conclude "NO" as an answer and retire this topic?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Why don't we just conclude "NO" as an answer and retire this topic?"

    That sound you heard was my jaw hitting the floor...... :surprise:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    stated in a recent poll that they think global warming is a very serious problem. 27% said it is a somewhat serious problem that should be addressed. I guess that means only 17% said they do not think it is a problem, or had no opinion. Interesting.

    That 56% represents about 20 million people. No wonder California is taking the lead on new standards for greenhouse gas emissions.

    I will be interested to see if the EPA changes its stance at all after the anti-science Bush leaves office.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Does that mean I can get a bigger SUV? :)

    Actually we are not off course. It must be determined if GW is a man made phenomnon or natural, before we can put the blame on the automobile. I am firmly on the side that says GW is a political tool used to gain control over the people.

    As was pointed out alternatives to fossil fuel powered automobiles may be even more contributory to GW.

    One last question. Where did they measure this temperature that has supposedly gone up? It was not in San Diego or the rest of the US. I believe this Winter is the coldest in the last 150 years or so. It is the coldest winter in my memory. It killed trees in our neighborhood that are at least 50 years old.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    I would bet if you asked those same uninformed folks who their representative in Congress is they would not know. They believe it is so because they hear it and see it spewed forth by their favorite movie stars. It is political nothing more.

    How many of those disciples of GW in Hollywood have denounced their opulent CO2 producing lifestyle? It is all elitist propaganda.

    PS
    56% represents the blue constituents in the state. It further shows how polarized we have become. No science involved just politics at its ugliest.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "I am firmly on the side that says GW is a political tool used to gain control over the people. "

    Whew !! Conspiracy alert !! Conspiracy alert!!

    Gary, please enlighten us:

    Whom, Praytell, is this mysterious group of people who are attempting to "gain control over us?"

    That's really very...........(better button my lip before the hosts whack my mole)

    Deny, Deny, Deny all you want. There are some fairly good and reasonable arguments that can be made against it

    But there is even more data supporting "GW" as you call it too. That data is not denied by thousands of educated scientists who have done the science.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Does it not seem strange to you that many of the same scientists were proclaiming 30 years ago a new ice age? That included some high profile names like Carl Sagan.

    If GW is not a political tool. Why would a high profile politician such as Robert Kennedy Jr. come out with all these wild claims after Katrina that this disaster could have been avoided if we had signed the Kyoto Treaty? Why has Al Gore made a movie about GW? Could he be trying to get aligned for another shot at the White house? DO you think either of these very wealthy politicians have given up their contribution to GHG?

    I am not proclaiming or denying a change in global temperature. I would be interested to know how they came up with that information. When there is a wide disparity in scientific opinion on a subject it cannot be considered fact or a consensus. I have talked to REAL scientists from the University of PA that were studying the upper atmosphere in the Arctic. They do not make any wild claims on the cause of this possible warming trend.

    I think I asked this before. Which countries that have signed onto Kyoto have met the goals on cutting GHG?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Whom, Praytell, is this mysterious group of people who are attempting to "gain control over us?"

    Well, here's one group for starters:

    http://www.carbontax.org/
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    There ain't nothing more political than raising taxes. I say a penny a breath should help fill the coffers in DC. :sick:

    It looks like a new and different approach to re-distribution of wealth.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    So if Al Gore doesn't run for president again, will you give GW another look? ;-)

    Did Robert Kennedy really say Katrina could have been avoided if we had signed onto Kyoto? Or was it something more like, "Katrina is the type of natural calamity that worsens as a result of GW, which is why we ought to be doing something about it, like signing onto Kyoto"? I honestly don't know exactly what he said, but the comment you attributed to him would be very much on the brash side, even for him.

    I heard today that Schwarzenegger converted one of his Hummers to run on biodiesel, and the other one to run on hydrogen. ;-)

    edit...isn't Carl Sagan dead?!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

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