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Are automobiles a major cause of global warming?



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Very good points. If one side of the house has its way I look for a decrease in MPG. The more emissions devices added the lower the mileage. By the time the EPA & CARB get done, we will be lucky to attain MPG comparable with cars from the 1980s. The industry average is no better than it was 20 years ago. Oh cars are faster, bigger, cleaner & safer. If we have a net gain of about 6-8 million cars per year we will run out of parking places before we run out of oil. Meanwhile my friends in Alaska have requested we drive more as they are freezing up there.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    If we are responsible for global warming, what caused the last few ice ages? This is part of the problem, earth previously warmed and cooled on it's own for millions of years and now man is responsible? Maybe we can do better, but it does not seem logical we are the culprits.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    I wish someone would send a warming trend to Southern California. I have lost most of my tropical plants and trees to all the freezing weather. It is still in the 30s at night here. I have trees that are 30 years old that were killed by the cold weather this year. As soon as people come to the realization that "Global Warming" as being expounded around the country is just a political tool with little basis in fact, we can go on to the next issue.

    I think that many that are playing scientist, did not expect the pollution problems to be resolved. So as our air got clearer in many areas, they had to come up with some new way to eliminate the automobile and push us all into buses.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    The Earth is now warming at a much faster rate than it has at any time previously, and the extra speed with which it is warming is the man-made part.

    Plus, it is worthwhile to remember that man didn't have to survive most of those global temperature fluctuations (as we weren't around yet), and certainly not while trying to feed 6-7 billion mouths.

    Gagrice: while the overall temperature of the atmosphere on a worldwide basis continues to climb, hence the term global warming, climatic variations will continue to occur locally as they always have. Hence our really cold spell this last winter here in California.

    Where the problems are occurring and getting worse all the time are near the poles, where the warm temps are melting the polar caps at an alarming rate, winter ice floes are no longer forming in the oceans, and glaciers are disappearing. Weather instability on a global scale and rising seas are the symptoms of global warming. In other words, you can't take the temperature of global warming by what is happening in your own back yard in SoCal.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    I did work in the Arctic the last 25 years. This last winter was the coldest on record with over a month at close to 50 below zero. As a matter of fact, last summer they almost did not get the barges in as the ice pack was too thick.

    I visited with REAL scientists that stayed at our camp in Prudhoe Bay. They were there doing the studies that are so frequently misused. I did not hear them condemning the use of fossil fuel as a big contributor to global warming. They admitted there is not enough solid data to back up these scatter brained politicians like Al Gore.

    If as you say the earth is warming at an alarming rate. Does that make guys like Carl Sagan out to be liars when they claimed we were in for another ice age just 30 years ago.

    The sad part is much of the data is opinion or theory and it is being taught to our children as fact. Forcing a child and his parents to watch Al Gore's political movie or else, as is happening in Florida is criminal.

    No one is going to wave a magic wand and everyone start driving less. No politician is going to convince you to start riding the bus while he flies around in a jet and uses $2500 a month in electricity to run his mansion. So why are people so gullible. Why do they want to believe every hack that comes along with a theory. We should be happy that the smog in CA is not nearly as it was in 1970. That is solid progress. I believe in working to save on fossil fuel. I don't think that anyone in Congress is really interested in doing that. It would mean bucking the people that fill their war chests with money.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,962
    That's a FACT... too bad it's taking place on Mars. A pretty inconvenient truth since Toyota, GM, or any other manufacturer hasn't set up shop there... YET :shades:

    This hysteria isn't new and has been going on for over 100 years.

    It was five years before the turn of the century and major media were warning of disastrous climate change. Page six of The New York Times was headlined with the serious concerns of “geologists.” Only the president at the time wasn’t Bill Clinton; it was Grover Cleveland. And the Times wasn’t warning about global warming – it was telling readers the looming dangers of a new ice age.

    The year was 1895, and it was just one of four different time periods in the last 100 years when major print media predicted an impending climate crisis. Each prediction carried its own elements of doom, saying Canada could be “wiped out” or lower crop yields would mean “billions will die.”

    ...Those concerns lasted well into the late 1920s. But when the earth’s surface warmed less than half a degree, newspapers and magazines responded with stories about the new threat. Once again the Times was out in front, cautioning “the earth is steadily growing warmer.”...

    ... The New York Times ran warming stories into the late 1950s, but it too came around to the new fears. Just three decades ago, in 1975, the paper reported: “A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable.”...

    Thiry years ago, "scientists", some of the same ones currently screaming about global warming, were telling us that we had to act NOW and melt the polar ice caps to save ourselves from being buried under glaciers. They had me convinced then. They were scientists weren't they??

    So forgive me for believing that the planet is NOT in a precarious situation based on the VERY selective observations of some who pick and chose only the evidence that supports their dire conclusions.

    Fool me once, shame on me...

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    It may have been our Mars probe put a hole in the Ozone and let in the hot air that some politicians are so good at spewing.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    Just listened to a program on Wnox FM Knoxville on the way to the mountains about global warming not being supported by scientists and they're climatologists. One is someone named James Taylor of Heartland group. They point out the ones purporting climate change are mostly meteorologists rather than climatologists.

    I think the VP had it right about MAN being the source of global warming and after seeing one of Al Gore's electric bills and his other uses of energy we know _which_ MAN it is.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Hehehehe, so the scientists working for the oil fields at Prudhoe weren't condemning the use of fossil fuels, the very thing putting bread on their plate??!!


    Last time I visited Barrow, a place I like to go frequently, they were already talking about the polar bear die-off because the sea ice wasn't reforming each winter to its previous extent. The bears had no place offshore to hunt. Some of the bears had figured out that in hanging around the town they might be able to replace that food source.

    So I will see your scientists, and raise you some native Americans! One anecdote for you, one for me. :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Got you covered on both.

    First most are University studies. Do they get money from the Oil companies? Probably, everyone does. Do they have an agenda? They may everyone does.

    Second, having maintained the 7 arctic villages plus Barrow's, telephone systems for the last 25 years, I have a good idea about where the polar bears go. Many are killed by Eskimos, to sell the parts in the Orient. It does not make the major news as it would not be politically correct. If you want to see polar bear pictures I have hundreds of them. They have become garbage bears because the same folks killing whales and leaving the carcasses rot. That attracts polar bears like you cannot believe. You can have Barrow, Pepe's is the worst Mexican food on the planet. You can have the whole Arctic. It is a good place to produce oil and that is about it.

    They almost did not get their supplies in last Summer due to the ice going out so late.

    Your turn! :)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," Justice Stevens wrote for the Supreme Court majority today.

    "The lawsuit against the EPA was brought by 12 states and numerous environmental groups, which began pushing the agency in 1999 to begin regulating car and truck emissions under the Clean Air Act." Supreme Court Decides 5-4 EPA Can Regulate Auto Emissions (Wall St. Journal paid ? link)

    I'm sure there will be a ton of free links as the day and week goes along, so don't worry if you don't have access to that WSJ link.

    Ah, here's one now:

    Auto Industry Reacts to Court Decision (Yahoo)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    I love it when judges or politicians become scientists. Movie stars also leave themselves wide open when criticizing everyone else. Barb Streisand and her use of motor homes for around town so she can have her own clean bathroom?

    I find the scientists who are climatologists and say that there are much bigger factors at work than CO2 concentration in modern times (wasn't measure in earlier centuries) are more credible than the politicians citing a few scientists who feel the other way.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the Supreme Court, 2 of whose 9 justices were nominated by Bush, has sided against him!

    And this means that California's new GHG emissions standards will probably go into effect (and there are 10 states that follow California's standards? I thought it was less. But those states will follow suit), although that suit has yet to be settled. The automakers' side has an uphill battle after this decision though.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • After Gore's movie I felt satisfied that I drive an '04 Prius for these last 3 1/2 yrs but everyday I see countless semi's belching out diesil fumes that leave me wondering why "they" get away with such excessive pollution. Also I'm a retired locomotive engineer wondering why so many commercial trucks when a train is 20 times more efficient.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Whether you believe in autos being a major contributor or not, it looks like those 1+ billion people in China are continuing to consume more and more oil and coal for their industry, and their desire to drive. I guess competition for gasoline and price increases will be worse.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    The only realistic way to cut GHG is use diesel engines instead of gas. You get 1/3 less CO2 right off the bat.

    It does not sound like the decision was a slam dunk on anything but giving the EPA the authority to decide on how to handle GHG. Same people at the EPA that have fought against CA making rules that were not in line with the EPA. Ahnold is still asking the EPA to grant authority to CARB. So what was really won with that decision?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Any new rules about tailpipe emissions are likely to be years away."

    Supreme Court Decision Sets Stage for Tighter Regulation of Tailpipe Emissions

    The fight does remind me a bit of the Freon battle; DuPont made a lot of money switching over to other refrigerants. Some say DuPont backed the Montreal Protocol just because their R-12 patent was expiring - in any event the company made money and came out of the battle looking a bit greener. And green is selling right now.

    The smart automakers (Honda?) will embrace the latest trend too, instead of waiting on the regulators.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    I'm not a real Honda fan, but they do keep ahead of the curve on emissions. I think they should have the Green banner way ahead of Toyota.

    As far as GM and Ford, I think they have already side stepped the GHG issue with offering E85 equipped vehicles. They are touted as practically carbon neutral by some folks. Now it is up to the farmers and ethanol producers to supply this elusive fuel. Buy a Ford or GM truck that is Nature Friendly. Not some gas guzzling Tundra or Titan. :) Who cares that 99% of those big trucks will never smell E85.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Careful or I'll be plugging stuff on the site all day. ;)

    "GM has made a commitment to producing E85 FFV’s, with more than 2 million of these vehicles on the road in all 50 states."

    GM and Ethanol E85 Team Up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (The Driving Woman)
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,659
    The sky is falling. Sound familiar?

    Now I agree that man has made mistakes and treated this world poorly, but they have found that Mars and Saturn's temps are raising comparably to Earth's and as far as I know, we haven't been to either one yet.

    35 years ago, they were one a tangent about how the hole in the ozone would cause the polar ice caps to melt in 25 years and raise seal levels and all that. Well, 10 years past that point and there hasn't been much change.

    A person can argue this subject for a hundred years, cite thousands of articles which contradict each other over and over and we would all end up in the same spot.

    If you were to look at fossil data showing the temps of the earth during certain period and CO levels during those periods, you would find data that shows that in some instances, the CO levels were 3 times what they are now.
    Sadly, man wasn't around during those times.
    The earth has gone through some pretty severe climate changes in the past and not one of them were related to man.

    The bottom line is to take a look at the history of the earth, the data available from those times and the current data and sift through the garbage and draw your own conclusion.

    The thing that bothers me is the folks who say that people are wrong for believing one thing or another. When you have half the scientist saying one thing and the other half saying the opposite, no wonder things are messed up.

    Understand that Al Gore is NOT a scientist. He is a politician. And as was once said of politicians, they are like diapers. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reasons.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Well, it not only gave the EPA the right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, it mandated that they either do so or provide very compelling evidence why they should not.

    And either way, it basically leaves them without grounds for denying California a waiver to do its own thing, which is all that California was asking of the EPA anyway. Which is why that one should go ahead fairly quickly, hopefully this year (to take effect for the 2009 model year).

    That then leaves the possibility of an injunction by the court over the lawsuit launched by the automakers, not too likely, and the possibility the automakers will win the lawsuit, which is more likely than an injunction but less likely after today's Supreme Court verdict.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    What does CA really think they can do to curb GHG. It is all political BS. The only thing that can possibly happen is for them to further erode an economy that is on the verge of recession. I buy foreclosures. I cannot keep up with the rate of defaults currently going on in San Diego. And we are doing better than most areas of the state.

    What I see Ahnold and his Hollywood buddies trying to pull off will cripple this state. It will make Gray Davis look competent. That is not easy to do.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Cities and states all around the country are signing on to their own version of Kyoto because the federal government has not led the way on this one. All California is doing is joining that movement and the rest of the countries in the world that have been abiding by Kyoto for some years now.

    It is easy to forget how much we depend on natural systems for the wealth of resources we find ourselves with. If humanity damages global ecosystems to the point where the fragile balance that exists is gone, it won't matter how much the cost of Kyoto will have been in dollars, for the people just trying to survive. Whether we are the victims or the cause of other peoples' suffering, it won't be a good feeling.

    We are very very dollar-oriented in the U.S., but there are other things that matter as well. And it's not like California has outlawed the car or something. They have just recognized its crucial role (and no it's not the only contributor) in increasing global warming.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    All California is doing is joining that movement and the rest of the countries in the world that have been abiding by Kyoto for some years now.

    I would be most interested to read about any country that signed on to Kyoto that has lived up to the Treaty. I watched the speech where Tony Blair stated that Kyoto is unreasonable and not achievable without dire consequences to the economy.

    I respect your enthusiasm. I just cannot agree that it is a good thing to be tied to. Remember Japan the initiator of the Treaty has not even gotten close to meeting the time line goal of Kyoto.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    We all need to drive more to help out the folks in the Solomon Islands. It seems the recent earthquake lifted many of the islands as much as 10 feet. It is destroying much of the coral reefs leaving fish to die. They could use a little of that meltdown from the poles.

    The real point is mother nature deals with the planet much more harshly than we do. I think we give our selves way more credit for the changes that have been occurring for millions of years.

    I can't wait for the next movie depicting man's causing earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanos.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I totally agree. The earth may be warming, but my car isn't the cause of it. Most 3rd world countries have zero pollution control on their cars, factories, power plants, etc. They pollute much more than we do, though they may use less fossil fuels. But I don't believe they are the cause either. We are arrogant to think we can actually change the climate of this planet with what we do. She needs to be cared for, and Americans do that more than anybody - but she is not fragile. Mother earth is in control of her own destiny. IMHO.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    This is a pretty good idea if they can pull it off.....force people to REALLY REALLY think if they want to pay an extra $2000 polluter fee if they think they need that big Escalade or Extra-Duty diesel truck:

    Gas guzzler fee approaching passage in Cali

    The Union of Concerned Scientists says that while smaller cars like the Volkswagen Jetta (+$1,282) and Ford Mustang (+$225) would receive rebates — and low-mileage vehicles like the GMC Yukon SUV (-$2,188) or Dodge Viper (-$2,500) would incur fees — plenty of mid-size and small SUVs and minivans would not. For example, buying a new gasoline-powered Ford Escape or Chrysler Voyager would generate no fee or rebate, and buying a Toyota RAV4 (+$993) or Honda CR-V (+$751) would put money back in the motorists' pocket.

    Ruskin included exemptions in the bill for emergency vehicles, transit vehicles for disabled people, vehicles purchased by businesses with fewer than 25 employees and vehicles purchased by very low-income people.

    To dissuade California motorists from leaving the state to buy cars, the bill specifies that such purchases are liable for California fees — but not rebates.

    Although little-known, there already is a federal "gas guzzler tax." Passed in 1978 by Congress, it requires the buyer of any new passenger car — but not trucks — to pay $1,000 if the vehicle's mileage is lower than 21.5 mpg, increasing to $7,700 for vehicles that get less than 12.5 mpg. The tax ensnares mostly exotic sports cars, such as Ferraris.

    Drivers interviewed over the weekend had a range of views on the proposal.

    "I agree with it," said Eric Cross, of Carmel, a U.S. Marine who visited Stevens Creek auto dealers with his wife, Renee, and children looking for a new Toyota RAV4 or Honda CRV. "The folks who would pay the higher prices are already paying higher prices for these big vehicles. If the governor signs it, I would think other states will do it too."
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    30 miles away for several days caused me to understand that Mother Nature contributes to any perceived global warming more than all the diesel logging trucks in the world.

    The climatic conditions are cyclical and not to be feared.

    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.

    Sell California, take the money and buy Canada. ;)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Even Tambora largely dissipated in a year - LA is a beautiful spot if you can catch the valley on a real blustery sunny day. But the last two places I've lived have the same valley inversion problems that are exercebated by smog.

    btw, I got ashed by Mt. Augustine in '86 and it ruined my windshield.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well of course a huge volcanic eruption is a bad single event.

    I lived in California from 1983-1985 and the air was BAD. I went to a Raging Waters theme park near San Bernadino several times which sat in a "low area" in the hills. Because of that location, the smog settled there in the park.

    The air was so bad that if I took a really DEEP breath, it would cause me to cough.

    I was a 20 year old Marine in awesome physical condition and no lung or health problems. I can't imagine what that air did to asthmatics or people with other breathing issues.

    THAT BEING SAID, I have no frame of reference to know whether or not if I went back to that water park if the air there would affect me the same way.

    I do know that I have spent about 15 vacation days in California in the last 3 years, and the air is still dirty and the smog blocks all the views.

    If it (the air) is cleaner now than 1985 that would be a seeming miracle if cars have a noticeable effect, because the number of cars has surely increased MASSIVELY in the last 22-24 years.

    Does anyone have a link to any data which compares California air cleanliness over the period of the last two decades?
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