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Carmakers Defeated On Emissions Rules

Washington Post – September 13, 2007

Yes, I understand. It is the right of every US citizen and US corporation to go to court when they feel wronged. It is also their right to try and convince the elected officials to do something that would be in their interest. However, in this case, can’t the US automakers understand that we need to curb the use of gasoline? This will reduce the effect of the US reliance on Mideast oil.

But that isn’t what this suit is about. I would support the government of Vermont in their efforts to reduce our “addiction” to oil. But this suit is to stop the government from inflicting a supposedly to heavy burden on the automobile industry. The Vermont government apparently believes that cars are the only or the biggest source of greenhouse gases. This is likely misguided.  So, the automotive industry has no other course but to sue to protect their interests.

Does the Earth Have a Temperature Regulator?

24 Hour News & Blogs – September 9, 2007

This is a very interesting post on this news site that compiles and discusses the observed phenomenon that historically CO2 rises after temperature rises. Real Climate goes on to describe that this rise in temperature is aggravated by the warmth absorbing properties of the increase carbon dioxide.

One would assume that this is a runaway train. Temperature rises then CO2 increases causing more temperature increase which should cause more CO2 to enter the atmosphere. But something has happened in history that we don’t seem to understand – eventually, the temperature drops and so does the CO2.

Can saltwater be burned as a fuel?

Engadget – September 11, 2007

I first saw this on Engadget but that brought me to the link on YouTube which is a captured video of a TV station that appears to be in Erie, PA.

Apparently, John Kanzius was trying to use radio frequency waves to be used to treat cancer. In the process of doing some tests, he stumbled upon the realization that saltwater can be excited by the radio waves to release its hydrogen, which can then be ignited, and used as a heat source. Further testing and some chemical analysis has shown that this isn’t a hoax.

Mathematics Of Ice To Aid Global Warming Forecasts

ScienceDaily – September 11, 2007

Once again, I am impressed that our body of knowledge regarding our world is increasing. I also wonder at how someone can say that we understand all of this well enough to use climate models that are based on 1970s and 1980s technology and assumptions.

This short article discusses how sea ice melts and what happens to it as it moves through the ice and the sea. Understanding the mathematics of this is incredibly important for analysis and prediction of how Earth responds to changing climates.

University of Utah mathematicians have arrived at a new understanding of how salt-saturated ocean water flows through sea ice — a discovery that promises to improve forecasts of how global warming will affect polar icepacks.

Consensus discussion – Liars or Statistics?

There is an old saying that statistics don’t lie but liars use statistics.

While I am not going to call anyone a liar, I will point out that the belief of the individual analyzing raw data can affect the outcome of the data. This is one of the reasons why one should always be skeptical.

This posting will not be about any given article but rather will cover several articles that have recently been getting a lot of discussion among skeptics and non-skeptics on the theory of global warming and its causes. I admit that I am somewhat of a “junkie” when it comes to climate news so you may not have been affected by all of the news so here is the high-level:

Kyoto protocol ‘promotes deforestation’

Reuters – August 14, 2007

To continue my ranting about carbon credits, I present this article that claims that credits that are in the Kyoto protocol actually encourage deforestation.  While the author does not claim that you get direct credits for cutting down trees, there is no doubt that the logic is sound.

Carbon credits allow the polluter to buy non-polluting capability of others to offset the polluters sins.  I have discussed this often in the past (see here) but go to this post for probably the best overall description of the technique.

The current carbon market actually encourages cutting down some of the world?s biggest forests, which would unleash tonnes of climate-warming carbon into the atmosphere….

Why is Arctic ice melting 50 years too fast?

HowStuffWorks

This is an excellent article to give you some background on the recent announcement about the increasing speed of Arctic ice melting.  In August, a survey of scientists funded by Japan announced that the Arctic is melting much faster than current climate models indicate that they should.

Can you buy a greener conscience?

Los Angeles Times – September 2, 2007

P.T. Barnum supposedly said that there was a sucker born every minute. Sometimes, when I read about carbon credits, I am not sure who the sucker is – the person buying, the person selling, or the general public for thinking it is helping!

I really don’t like carbon credit schemes.  I have written about them multiple times and most of what I read simply doesn’t make sense and is closer to scam than it is to solution.

In order for credits to be feasible and to be more than a “feel good” gesture, we need solid accounting, accountability, and penalties. We have none of that now and this article makes this painfully clear. We cannot allow credits to be used for minor contributions to a project. The credit must go to the cost of reducing the greenhouse gas. 

How Carbon Trading Works

HowStuffWorks

This is a great overview article if you want to learn more about carbon trading and how it works. As frequent readers know, I am not a big proponent of these schemes because I think they are ripe for abuse and many of the “improvements” are just part of the standard process for constant economic savings. Also, as fuel prices rise, improvements become much more necessary.

It does seem likely though that some type of system is going to be implemented in the US and in other countries. So we should all learn more about these systems, their weaknesses and their strengths.

New Times Atlas displays effects of climate change

Breitbart – September 3, 2007

There is no doubt that weather changes the topology of Earth’s surface. This article makes the claim that the most recent changes include those caused by climatic change. This is interesting although probably impossible to truly prove the causality. While there is no doubt that the evolving climate has change the article does not make the claim that it is due to the efforts or non-efforts of the human race.

Creators of the Times Atlas have had to make significant changes to their latest edition because of changes to the world’s landscapes caused by climate change….


Cartographers have had to redraw coastlines and reclassify types of land to reflect changes to geographical features like Lake Chad in Africa, which is now 95 percent smaller than it was in 1963.