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Global Warming’s Impact on Lobsters Has Scientists in a Stew

The Ellsworth American – December 27, 2007

I have written before on the possible repercussions of global warming on plant and animal life (a few examples are here, here, and here).  Most of these repercussions come off as solid conclusions even though they really are just educated guesses on the reaction of the given species. In this case, the author was much more balanced and more fair, as he states that it could be good for lobsters or it could be bad. This acknowledgement that a complicated climate model interacting with a complicated species is not a sure science is refreshing. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

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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.

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Compact fluorescent lamps

Wikipedia

My interest in this subject came from a lot of talk on the web about replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). Much of this talk is surely driven by the Answer the Call: Make The Commitment campaign that Live Earth is currently promoting. While I was confident that fluorescent was better at producing light for a given amount of energy coming from the socket, the mechanical engineer in me questioned that it was a free lunch.

It didn’t take long for me to start to realize that lunch costs money!

Let’s start with Wikipedia which is always a decent source but sometimes can’t be trusted so we will dig more lower in this post. You can read the full Wikipedia reference here but I will pull out a few key passages and then add my comments.

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Rapid rise in global warming is forecast

Times Online – May 18, 2007

The oceans are the biggest sink of carbon dioxide.  The ability for them to absorb CO2 is a topic that is discussed often in the scientific periodicals.

This article covers a scientific study which concludes that the oceans are slowing down in the absorption of CO2 gas. This is a danger as CO2 is one of the greenhouse gases and if its concentration increases too dramatically there could be more heat captured into the atmosphere, increasing the temperature of the globe.

The oceans are losing the capacity to soak up rising man-made carbon emissions, which is increasing the rate of global warming by up to 30 per cent, scientists said

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They call this a consensus?

Financial Post – June 2, 2007

What an interesting article. The author begins by saying that his original intent when starting a series of articles was to write about the dissenters of global warming. His belief was that most scientists believed that global warming induced by human activity was occurring and he wanted to give a voice to those few dissenters that remained.  He was sure that they weren’t the kooks that everyone was calling him. He appears to have run into a problem – there are a lot of dissenters in the scientific community!  Of course, if you listen to statements by former Vice President Al Gore and the IPCC you wouldn’t arrive at that opinion.

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Seeking a car that gets 100 miles a gallon

CNET.com – April 1, 2007

This is related to global warming only in that most people that believe that humans are causing global warming blame our automobile pollution as the prime culprit. In this article, the X Prize Foundation is offering prize for the first automobile that is commercially viable that can travel 100 miles on a gallon of gasoline. This is a great effort, not only for the global warming issue but, more importantly, the reduction of harmful pollutants and the reduction on the US economy reliance on oil as a form of liquid fuel.

The same group that awarded $10 million to a team that built the first private spacecraft to leave the Earth’s atmosphere is expected on Monday to announce the rules for its automotive competition.

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Global Warming: Fact, Fiction and Political Endgame

Townhall.com – February 26, 2007

This is a commentary article about Al Gore, his recent accolades for “An Inconvenient Truth”, and some of the background science of global climate change.  It is a very good read and I encourage my readers to click through to the source article (especially since the title is quite close to the URL of my blog). 

It is interesting that the author tries to draw a correlation between the Academy Awards that Mr. Gore received and the timing of the IPCC report.  I don’t think that this is anything but coincidence and all of my research indicates that the two are not tied together.  We know that the Academy Awards are always held the same time of the year and it appears that the IPCC was always trying to put their release out at that time of the year.  It does not appear that Mr. Gore’s very well made documentary had anything to do with it.

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