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Are automobiles a major cause of global warming?

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  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "It looks like a new and different approach to re-distribution of wealth."

    Boy, are you ever cynical. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the party most interested in "wealth re-distribution" ALSO happens to be most in favor of "carbon taxes"...... ;)
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "edit...isn't Carl Sagan dead?!"

    Yep. So is Robert Kennedy......
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,295
    Maybe we should get back to "are autos a major cause of global warming?"

    Thanks Larsb. ;)

    And it's RFK, Jr. who's still around - big whitewater kayaker. How can you not like the guy? :P

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "And it's RFK, Jr. who's still around....."

    Oh hell, I missed the Jr. part.

    "How can you not like the guy?"

    He looks WAY better than I do. Of course, by that logic, I ought to be irritated by 95% of the adult male population.... :blush:
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,689
    Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that CO2 is a pollutant and the federal gov't has the right to regulate it. I can see it all now: "Well Mr. Smith you were seen driving your 20 hp Sludge mobile over the national 20mph speed limit. We have to tax you $8ooo."

    Next, they will make us buy carbon credits for the CO2 we breath out. Don't worry about not having a car, hell, worry that some gov't bureaucrat will come to your house and stuff a gag in your mouth to "save the planet".

    This is the logical conclusion when radical enviromentalism morphs into "Giaism" (worship of mother earth).

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285

    Localized pockets of air stagnation that frequents the LA area deserve strict emission standards, but it is not cost effective to inflict those same emission gadgets on new cars operated in sparsely populated regions.


    Exactly - euph. Oil fires in Kuwait that burned out of control for a year, also made zero difference in the world's or even the region's climate - It's arrogant for humans to think they actually have that much control over the planet's natural order of things.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    electric bill to heat my house with electric from coal burning electric plant: $450/month in January

    electric bill to cool my house in summer: $170/month. Much less.

    Cold months cause more coal burning than the hot months do for us northerners.

    Gasoline for my houshold to drive for a month: $525 at $2.95/gal

    Cost to move closer to job :$20,000. 7% realtor commission, etc.

    Cost of a higher efficiency car: $25,000. My 11 yr old 3690 lb. car gets 27 mpg.

    My family's monthly gas savings from replacing our worst, 22 mpg car with a 35 mpg car: $24. More could be saved by replacing our Astro van but it can't be replaced by anything more efficient in it's equivalent size. The Astro gets 23 hwy and has 170 cu ft. cargo capacity.

    Tax on new car in first month of ownership, including excise for 1st year: $1440

    Number of 24's in a 1440: nearly 60. 5 years is a long time just to recoup the day 1 taxes on the efficient car. If you double the 6000 miles a year we drive our least efficient car to 12,000 miles a year, then the taxes are recouped in 30 months.

    Savings from driving less since 2004 when gas started going up: $56/mo. Cost to do that: $0. this looks more promising.

    Does a new high efficiency car really help the planet? Gas consumed for workers to earn $18,000 which is the value of the efficient replacement car? I figure the avgerage contributor to the car makes $18/hr, so 1000 hours of work is required. that's half a year. Avg energy consumed by 1/2 year for an American worker? I assume they live just to make the car. I guess 6 months electric bill at $1200 and 6 months gas at $1200. It takes energy to make food and water too but I'll leave that out. That $2400 of energy, which if converted to all gas at $2.50/gal is 960 gallons burned. How many miles does the new car have to drive at 35 mpg instead of the old car at 22 mpg to save these 960 gallons? It saves 169 gallons/10k miles. So it takes 56,800 miles to hit the break even point for the planet for gas consumed. How many people keep their car more than 56,800 miles? Both cars don't have equal emissions, but the driver of the 35 mpg car probably drives a bunch of extra miles because it's so efficient. Then consider the manufacturing and houshold waste products of everything that goes into making the new car and someone living to make the new car. Way more landfill for that stuff than the car itself will ever need.

    Luckily, the US greenhouse gasses are only 10% attributable to personal vehicles. The Airplanes, Trains, ships, semi's, busses, power plants, nascar, and all the other things make the other 90%. The US is a tiny piece of the Earth's population, maybe 5% of it. A reduction in US private auto emissions or an increase in US car mileage would not be noticable on a global scale. In how many months does the world's population grow by the population of the US? Maybe 30?

    So I see the best moves as keeping your car as efficient as possible, driving efficiently, consolidating trips, and buying new only when necessary. I'm not always doing these things myself. Strangling our American industries with emissions or CAFE regulations can't help much and might end up increasing imports that can be made in China where they don't care at all about pollution and a new coal burning power plant comes online every day. Why should they (US industry) have to act much better than we do? Their health enables them to provide us the jobs we can't survive without.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    The automaker's will be dead because of CAFE. I guess it's back to the Horse and Buggy or will they even be allowed. Will we have to hook up a emissions sensor underneath the tails and make sure they pass Al Gores, standards ? I'm sure the 4-legged creatures will have to wear some sort of particulate filter to capture the smell and fecal matter problem.-Grin.

    Oh well it could be worse as we might be forced to walk...... :sick:

    Rocky
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,335
    only because they get a $3,000 Fed Tax Credit Plus another big credit on their state income tax.

    Every once in a while we are subjected to myths. Before GW it was the Millenium/Computer problem and today most people still think the new millenium began in the year 2000.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, Y2K was just as legitimate a scare as Global Warming, wasn't it? GW is just a way for Algore to finally matter somehow... At least that's how I see it. But before he's through, we'll have no more cars or gasoline, commerce will come to a standstill, and the world will wish it was warm.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,052
    I think you are right. Abolition of the ICE was strongly proposed in his poorly written book "Earth in the Balance". It was so popular that I bought it on Amazon shortly after it came out in 2000 for $.01 plus postage. I could probably make a buck on it as it has received a second chance at gaining gullible readers. Where did I put that book? I think he really believes in his heart that only those in his position should have personal transportation. The masses need to ride mass transit.

    I wonder if by some miracle he was elevated to the Presidency, how he would approach our energy needs and "GW"?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,335
    A few weeks ago Oswego, NY was contending with sub zero temps under 12' of snow. Tonight Blizzards are hitting the NE and this is the middle of April.

    Latest report from ski resort Whistler/Blackcomb is they have had over 42 feet of snow fall on them this season.

    Just as sure as there are more airplanes in the bottom of the oceans than submarines in the sky GW is a political myth. ;)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,052
    Snow in the NE is just a marketing gimmick of the Gore man. He is promoting his next movie "Frozen out of the Whitehouse". GW played a dirty trick on me. John Kerry wanted a part in the movie. Al said not unless you scrap your 6 Suburbans, and give up 3 or 4 of your McMansions. Well you know that won't happen. It looks like Barby & Meathead are shoe-ins for cameo roles. Ain't Hollywood grand? Name your disaster and we will make it come true.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I think he really believes in his heart that only those in his position should have personal transportation. The masses need to ride mass transit.


    I was shocked to find out he drives a car like mine (Lexus LS430), not a Prius!! What a hyprocrite! I'm glad to see virtually everyone here isn't buying this junk, but has a brain sufficient to see through the desperate attempt to be relevant. But the media would have you believe that it's a foregone conclusion.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Although I've read most of the posts here, I've undoubtedly missed some, so...please correct me if my assumption is wrong.....

    Has anyone defined "major" here? After all, the topical question requires a definition, presumably some percentage to qualify as "major". Unless one assumes that a) there is no global warming going on and/or b) the emissions that cars are adding to the atmosphere is zero, the question is not whether cars are contributing but rather what % contribution they represent.

    Further, has anyone offered a % to prove the case either way?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,295
    I don't think we've even defined global warming (as opposed to, say, climate change). Seems like a lot of the conversation is just about the weather. ;)

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,052
    Those that are so sure about Global Warming are not forthcoming on where this rise in temperature was measured. Or any specifics about the supposed scientific consensus.

    I also asked which countries that signed onto the Kyoto treaty had met the goals set forth. Same lack of response. So at this point in the thread I would say the automobiles have little affect on our changes in climate.

    Quite frankly I am more concerned about the 60% reduction in the bee population than global warming. I doubt that cars have had much affect on the bees. We have plants and trees that need the bees for pollination.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Has anyone defined "major" here? After all, the topical question requires a definition, presumably some percentage to qualify as "major". Unless one assumes that a) there is no global warming going on and/or b) the emissions that cars are adding to the atmosphere is zero, the question is not whether cars are contributing but rather what % contribution they represent."

    I've read that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that is directly attributed to man's industrial activities is roughly 5%. Of this amount, the CO2 from burning fossil fuels for private transportation is less than 20%.

    Meaning that ALL private transportation, around the globe, contributes roughly 1% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. So, if we WERE to reduce the amount of CO2 released from vehicles (globally) by 10%, then we would be reducing the amount of C02 going into the atmosphere by 0.1%.

    I'm not even going to go into how much less CO2 we in America would have to cut just to offset the INCREASES of CO2 production in India and China.......
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,295
    From the UN - it's almost readable, lol.

    Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Summary for Policymakers (pdf file)

    One factoid says that heavy precip events are more likely because of human contributions. Any Nor'westers here? Or is the ~7" of rain in NYC this last weekend just weather?

    Regardless of your own opinion, it is nice to read a report drafted by (presumably) Ph.D. types instead of actors or politicians. :)

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Excellent work coming up with that source, Steve.

    It'll make good train reading tonite. Should be a good basis for addressing this topic.

    Yes, that was a threat :)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,295
    The way this conversation is going (in here and in the rest of the world), we better prep dossiers on all the drafters of the article. We need to know dissertation topics, who's funding their research, who's asthmatic because of car exhaust and how badly they were sunburned as a child. :shades:

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,052
    I do not pretend to understand most of what that report is saying. A few statements did catch my attention. Most of the report is just that a compilation of many scientific studies. I have no reason to doubt the validity of what it is saying. I do not get the same level of hysteria that is coming from the Global Warming cult. If I am reading this correctly it is saying if we were to stabilize our output of GHG it would not have much affect for centuries to come.

    Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise would continue for centuries due to the timescales associated with climate processes and feedbacks, even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized.

    Something else caught my attention. And this should be posted in the diesel forum. Most of the NoX and Methane are from agriculture. NoX is main reason we cannot buy diesel cars in several states. Sounds to me like we were beating a dead horse on the NoX issue with diesel cars.

    Lastly in this report to the UN it appears that they are not backing the Kyoto Treaty.

    The SRES scenarios do not include additional climate initiatives, which means that no scenarios are included that
    explicitly assume implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or the emissions
    targets of the Kyoto Protocol.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    WOW, What a good article....I had to re read it again pal !!! ;)

    Rocky
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That article is full of falsehoods.

    The CNW study has been WIDELY debunked, and not just by the hybrid lovers either.

    The nickel thing is vastly overstated and Toyota uses FAR less than the article implicates.

    Believe that story at your peril. I have read posting after posting of facts which debunk it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,052
    The nickel thing is vastly overstated and Toyota uses FAR less than the article implicates.

    Do you have any data to back up your statement? Sounds like a problem to me. I know many have discounted the CNW report because it does not fit their preconceived notions. I would be interested in this new bit of information concerning nickel as in NiMH batteries. 100lbs per hybrid. 500,000 hybrids sold that is 50 million pounds of batteries, that will have to be dealt with. How much of those batteries is nickel? How much GHG is expelled in recycling those batteries? We know that recycling is more energy intensive than using raw materials.

    I have no problem believing the xB is a far more eco friendly choice than the Prius. Or the Echo that the original Prius was built on.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    On the nickel issue:

    - The typical non-hybrid car uses 50 pounds of nickel
    - The Prius battery pack uses 22 pounds
    - Electronic appliances such as cell phones use way more nickel in their NiMH batteries worldwide than hybrids
    - Toyota is not a primary customer of this factory - 1,000 tons of nickel is far too little to keep it in business. That Inco plant produced 267,500 tons of nickel in 2006.
    - The 1,000 tons of nickel is not dedicated to the Prius, but Toyota. Tundra probably uses more nickel.
    - The plant is not owned by Toyota or joined at the hip.

    The studies are reported on two small lakes at Sudbury, Ontario located close to a nickel-copper smelter which closed in 1972.

    25 years later, Toyota Prius was introduced in Japan in 1997.

    So reporters need to REALLY check the facts before doing something like this. The world is far better off with hybrids like the Prius on the road, not vice-versa.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I agree with you. The fact that Toyota, doesn't own the nickel producing factory doesn't mean it's not a contributing factor to global warming. This article should be on the front pages of major newspaper's IMHO. ;)

    Rocky
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Read again:

    The nickel plant in question sold 267,500 tons of nickel and only a mere 1000 of those tons went to Toyota.

    All the damage the nickel plant did was done decades ago, long before the Prius.

    - The typical non-hybrid car uses 50 pounds of nickel
    - The Prius battery pack uses 22 pounds

    EVERY CAR and EVERY CARMAKER contribute(s) to global warming in a small way, some more than others, but the Prius balances it's production by producing FAR LESS GHG gasses than most cars during the total of the lifetime.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Do you have a link to back up your facts ? I have a hard time believing only 1000 tons of nickel is purchased per year by Toyota.

    Rocky
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