By on February 12, 2008

mfchev4.jpgSorry cubicle dwellers but the truth hurts. D Magazine reports that GM Car Czar Maximum Bob Lutz told a group of journalists that global warming is "a total crock of shit." When pressed on his enthusiasm for the Volt, Maximum Bob explained "I'm motivated more by the desire to replace imported oil than by the CO2 (argument)." Yes but– MB wasn't so keen on on other automotive technologies aimed at diminishing our demand for foreign petrochemicals. Even though GM is touting their big, honkin' hybrid SUVs and hybrid-lite cars and spending multi-millions on a hybrid research center in China, he thinks hybrids "make no economic sense." GM's Vice Chairman of Global Product Development also stated diesel cars have no place in a market where gas and diesel prices are comparable (i.e. in the U.S.). And just to show solidarity with GM dealers facing GM's sliding market share and the current economic downturn, Maximum Bob said "they've got to isolate themselves from the economic forecasts and say, 'I make my own prosperity.'" Sounds like TTAC's leading candidate for our soon-to-be-announced Bob Lutz award may have been sniffing too much JP-8 or whatever imported-oil-based petrochemical he burns in his jets.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

115 Comments on “Lutz on Global Warming: “It’s a crock of shit”...”


  • avatar
    mistercopacetic

    Well we had fun Mr. Lutz, but it’s time for you to leave the US market for intelligent customers, the exit is on your left. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

  • avatar
    John R

    And the hits keep on coming…

  • avatar
    TriShield

    Give him a little credit, he’s absolutely right about diesel in the US.

  • avatar
    NickR

    When they write GMs epitaph, you will feature prominently, Mr Lutz. But please, go ahead, when the market has shifted almost entirely to fuel efficient vehicles, and GM’s market share is lower than say Kia’s, I will remind you of that quote.

    I suppose he came to that conclusion after a thorough review of the scientific literature?

  • avatar
    gronald

    Well, Lutz has been right about everything else.

    Oh, wait a sec . . ..

  • avatar
    Raskolnikov

    Although Bob, at least the way he’s presented here, seems to be flirting with senility, he was correct about CAFE.
    To paraphrase, he said CAFE was like fighting America’s obesity problem by setting a cap on the size our pants.

    And TriShield I agree.

    As far as global warming, well, everyone keeps saying the debate is over. Regardless of his personal beliefs, Bob needs to make sure his company leads in the effort to take personal transport out of the equation.

  • avatar

    @mistercopacetic- I think you meant to say, please let the door hit you on the way out.

    Even if he doesn’t believe it, everyone else will have far more efficent vehicles that will be cheaper to run. Plus how will he sell in Europe or other countries? Better to believe it than not as far as the car industry is concerned. Better to take the lead.

  • avatar
    carm

    This guys is doing his best to convince me he has the intelligence of a lug nut…

  • avatar
    jaje

    Diesels are the best compromise we have at current technology levels even if a gallon costs the same as gasoline b/c you get 20/30% better mpg. Diesel would have to cost a good 20% more a gallon before it is not longer useful. This is all aside from building the 50 state EPA/CARB clean diesels – but diesels are comparable priced to build as you remove the ignition phase and equipment in an engine but slap on higher compression direct injection fuels system (just like Direct Injection gas engines which add cost and only give 10% better power/fuel).

    Lutz is a complete moron who has no idea of what is really going on the world – just in his fancy palace. It was GM who basically ruined the market for consumer diesels anyway (trying to cheaply convert a gas v8 to a diesel v8) – so why would they want to evoke one of their dumbest and cheapest moves they’ve ever done.

  • avatar

    Hey Lutzy-boy! You should know this, you’re “running” a humongous car making setup:

    Diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline (petrol) engines of the same power, resulting in lower fuel consumption. A common margin is 40% more miles per gallon for an efficient turbodiesel. For example, the current model Škoda Octavia, using Volkswagen Group engines, has a combined Euro rating of 38 miles per US gallon (6.2 L/100 km) for the 102 bhp (76 kW) petrol engine and 54 mpg (4.4 L/100 km) for the 105 bhp (78 kW) diesel engine. However, such a comparison doesn’t take into account that diesel fuel is denser and contains about 15% more energy by volume. Although the calorific value of the fuel is slightly lower at 45.3 MJ/kg (megajoules per kilogram) than gasoline at 45.8 MJ/kg, liquid diesel fuel is significantly denser than liquid gasoline. When this is taken into account, diesel fuel has a higher energy density than petrol; this volumetric measure is the main concern of many people,[attribution needed] as diesel fuel is sold by volume, not weight, and must be transported and stored in tanks of fixed size.

    Adjusting the numbers to account for the energy density of diesel fuel, one finds the overall energy efficiency of the aforementioned paragraph is still about 20% greater for the diesel version, despite the weight penalty of the diesel engine. When comparing engines of relatively low power for the vehicle’s weight (such as the 75 hp VW Golf), the diesel’s overall energy efficiency advantage is reduced further but still between 10 and 15 percent.

    ===

    But I guess that at GM it’s Cover Your Ears and Ass, right??

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    I love this guy he makes the day entertaining.

    We should have a Lutz wrong-o-meter and keep track of all the things he’s been wacked out and wrong about. I would say your current take on the markets direction hasn’t been all that correct.

    ‘I make my own prosperity.’ Because I have a fat contract worht millions weather they make money or lose billions, with bonuses regardless of performance or how stupid I make the company sound. And my nice golden parachute just incase the company is not prosperous and it all goes bad.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    This is why maxi-Bob makes the big bucks.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    AND he will retire with billions…

  • avatar
    shaker

    Makes me want to risk my money even less on a GM vehicle…

    As far as diesel goes, yes, on paper it’s superior to gasoline in mileage and CO2 emissions; yet the price won’t stay where it is if a (relatively) sudden increase in demand occurred. To make room for automotive diesel, we’d need a strategy that would increase the shipments of less time-sensitive goods by rail. Of course, that would have to be the part of our coherent enegy policy. OH snap.

  • avatar
    LXbuilder

    If America wants diesels so badly, then why are VW sales less than 25% of their U.S. volume. By contrast in Canada diesel makes up almost 75% of their sales. Diesel is more expensive here in Ontario also.

  • avatar
    jl1280

    So I’m in a business that makes a product that burns oil and pumps CO2 out its back pipe. Is anyone surprised when I say that CO2 doesn’t have anything to do with global warming. And further, I want to sell more product next year which will result in an increased burn of oil. So now I better deny that oil is a finite resource. But I can’t just deny all this I better be emphatic about it and call it a crock of shit. That will go a long way in explaining to the scientists that Global Warming is just a crock of shit. And as for the oil geologist they’re just a crock of shit too. And the oil company execs who admit that oil is tight – well they’re just a crock of shit too and probably commies to boot! Now let me get back to running a decent all american business – too bad it’s a crock of shit too.

  • avatar
    Johnson Schwanz

    He’s right…global warming IS a crock of shit.

    The earth has been warming since the original ice age due to much more than man-made energy usage.

    The industrial age has some impact, but you can’t correct or postpone the inevitable warming of the earth when producers and consumers are not the problem.

    Even a passing study of paleoclimatology will yield a view of how the climate has changed since 1000 AD – both warming and cooling.

    Politicians need platforms to run with; therefore, in order to squeeze tax dollars and campaign financing, wishful concepts like global warming are created, emphasized, and band wagoned. It’s all BS, and at least the head of GM has realized it.

    But if global warming creates jobs for researchers, topics for universities, and encourages new infrastructure development to stimulate the economy, I’m all for it. But some people are employed by companies that search for and believe in flying saucers, just don’t ask me to buy into it.

    Everyone has an agenda.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    Finally, someone else has figured out that Al Gore invented global warming and is heating up the planet with a giant satellite dish located in the north pole.

    I don’t know who this Bob Lutz fellow is but based on the comments I read in the blurb above he is clearly a courageous pioneer of brilliant proportions.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    This guy should be given a medal or something. THANK GOD someone has the balls to say it.

    THANK YOU Mr. Lutz!

  • avatar
    Alcibiades

    The global warming debate is not over. There are a lot of thoughtful, intelligent scientists who question the man-made global warming theory, and are looking at other potential causes for the current warming, such as solar activity.

    Man-made global warming may be a legitimate theory, but it could be (and my money is on this alternative) that Bob Lutz is right.

  • avatar
    LXbuilder

    Scientists say the polar ice cap has melted a number of times during earths life. Mankind just thinks he is so important that he can control these things. And Al Gore looks like a hero to the world, while poor President Bush looks like a zero. Go figure?

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Oooooh, a heretic.

    Shall we burn him on a cross?

    Or maybe just send him to a reducation camp?

  • avatar
    Orian

    Wow…global warming from CO2 has been discussed since the late 1800’s…yet people still doubt it could possibly exist. I mean the population of this planet has exploded and with it a massive deforestation to make room for people and business/industry.

    In that process of expanding and deforestation we remove the planet’s ability to convert CO2 back to good old Oxygen.

    And you folks want to say Al Gore invented something that is over 100 years old.

    Go do some research folks – even if you don’t 100% agree with what scientists have found, you won’t sound like a bunch of blathering fools like Bob Lutz when you claim someone that is alive today came up with Global Warming.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    If you break his arguments down point by point, what he’s saying isn’t that outrageous

    1) (Man made) Global warming is B.S.-The jury is still out on this one, there are persuasive arguments on both sides, I don’t agree with his outright dismissal of the possibility though

    2) Hybrids don’t make economic sense-This is probably technically correct since it’s very hard to offset the hybrid premium with gas savings. Of course this doesn’t take the ‘green halo’ effect into account (although GM may not be capable of taking advantage of this effect anyway)

    3) Diesel cars have no place in the U.S.-Last time I checked, Diesel is more expensive than premium. Couple that with the fact that diesel engines are more expensive, and it is definitely possible that the U.S. market won’t warm to diesels any time soon

    4) Making your own prosperity-It’s hard to argue this one on an empirical basis, but there are probably plenty (or at least a few) of examples of businesses thriving, or at least not suffering during recessions

    I don’t really see what’s so outrageous about any of his statements

  • avatar
    Johnson Schwanz

    Let’s rename this site The Truth About Global Warming!

    I get flamed by EVERYBODY when I say that global warming is BS, but thanks to Bob Lutz and the past 5 posters, I see that there is more sense in this world!

  • avatar
    Johnson Schwanz

    thetopdog:

    Thank you for being reasonable. He makes valid points.

    Has anyone ever done a ROI on the Lexus hybrids? I think it’s a 22 year break even on their Hybrid LS.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    And you folks want to say Al Gore invented something that is over 100 years old.

    WOW! The internet is 100 years old?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    What a friggin’ idiot

  • avatar
    Orian

    Hmm, my last post didn’t go through – not sure why, but here we go with a slightly different approach:

    Since we’re here to discuss Truth (about cars), lets make sure we stay truthful about Al Gore et al:

    Quote from Wikipedia:

    “Gore has been involved with the development of the Internet since the 1970s, first as a Congressman and later as Senator and Vice-President. Internet pioneers Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn stated in the 2000 article “Al Gore and the Internet”, that Gore was “the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development.”[140] His High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991 (often referred to as the Gore Bill) was passed on December 9, 1991 and led to the National Information Infrastructure (NII)[141] which Gore referred to as the “information superhighway.”

    In a March 9, 1999 interview on CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, Gore stated, “During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.”[142] This statement was often misquoted by media outlets and led to the creation of a widely spread urban legend that Gore claimed to have “invented the Internet.”[143]”

    Emphasis to point out this is an urban legend, and not fact as many like to try and say.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    Making a 50-state diesel car is such a pain in the ass that diesel is not likely going to be a major factor in the United States any time soon.

  • avatar
    simonptn

    Notwithstanding what he actually “believes” he seems to be subscribing to the Bushian philosophy that continuous repetition of a statement will make it true. We know that how that worked out.

    But hey, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt on all these issues. Maybe he’s right.

    Unfortunately the fact is the market does not give a shit about what he believes so we should just stop asking him.

    It is clear that the market is hearing something completely different. Pity nobody in GM seems to hear it too. Deafened by lunatic ravings maybe.

    Last year it cost them $38 billion.

    Imagine what the bailout is going to cost US. Let’s (forlornly) hope that MB and RW don’t see a penny of it.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Orian: Cheers to you! Ai Gore remains the favorite “whipping boy” of the right, and his crusade against anthropomorphic climate change really gets under their skin. His backing, however has probably induced the conservatives to drum up some pretty convincing “scientific” evidence to the contrary; thus extending the “debate”, and delaying timely measures in government and industry to correct it.

    Yeah, hybrids suck; that is until there are lines at the gas stations, and 10 gallon limits…

    In that scenario, the hybrid owner looks pretty goddamn smart.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Please. The development contract for ARPANET was let to BBN in 1969 and the development followed concepts developed in the early and mid 60s. You can find that on WIKI also. The template for the internet emerged from the work on ARPANET, initially with character based terminal communications (and I’m old enough to have used same). Al Gore’s claims he ‘took the initiative’ is as laughable as the claim he was a role model for the chick book Love Story – which he quickly retracted. Yeah, he didn’t claim he invented the Internet, but he clumsily implied it wouldn’t have happened without him when he was a member of the Gang of 435. Thus, he deserves the ridicule he gets.

    re: anthropogenic global warming. At the intersection of politics and science, there stands a statue. It is of Trofim Lysenko. We can start planning who to add with respect to AGW…..

    Lutz is like a broke cuckoo clock and its the time of day where he’s right.

  • avatar
    Johnson Schwanz

    shaker, get real. It’s not a political, liberal/conservative debate as much as it is a scientific debate. There’s facts, and the rest is all talk. Fact is that before mankind even made the first car, the earth had cycling climates. All of this El Nino, la Nina, global warming crap is done so to scare voters into supporting a candidate or purchasing some overpriced good or service.

    And in your scenario, how smart does the hybrid driver look when he STILL has to stand in that gas line at some point, while STILL paying more to maintain his vehicle? It would be different if the modern hybrid was a true electric, but it’s not; therefore, the hybrid is useless. It’s not even a proof of concept – just a way to get more money through new car sales and service, and according to Lutz, a way to reduce the dependency on foreign oil.

    So at least Lutz has the intestinal fortitude to say that the hybrid just decreases the requirement for foreign oil, and does nothing for this global warming nonsense. I applaud him.

    But the global warming people don’t want to look at the fact that cows release more natural CO2 than anything. Maybe they should crusade against beef and leather seats to reduce the CO2 emissions. Ridiculous.

  • avatar
    gm-uawtool

    I am well aware that this website is dedicated to the premise that GM will (must?) go bankrupt, hence the deathwatch series. Along with that comes bashing of any executive/employee of said company. Bob Lutz has forgotten more about cars than any of us will ever know, and fortunately he is not afraid to speak out when he sees theories and misinformation accepted as scientific fact e.g. CO2-induced global warming. While we have had slightly warmer temps on earth’s surface recently, they pale in comparison to the heat that was endured during the 1930’s. Five, ten or even 30 years does not a trend make when it comes to climate change on a planet billions of years old. As an earlier poster said, this is about money – for universities and researchers and ultimately for the carbon traders that will surely come as the cap and trade system is implemented. Gee, another Gore innovation.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    “Global warming is B.S.-The jury is still out on this one, there are persuasive arguments on both sides”

    Likewise, there are “persuasive” arguments that creationism is right. And that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

    For a given value of “persuasive”, which in this case, like in the tobacco “science” of the 1950s through 1980s, means “how much money does it take for us to persuade a few unethical scientists to say what we want them to say”.

  • avatar
    jaje

    The “I invented the Internet” quote was taken well outside the context. But with how poorly our masses educate themselves (from cable news) they take it as fact. It’s not like FNC didn’t take the lead in order to refute Gore in 2000 – As we see on FNC / CNN / MSNBC misinformation and the “fear factor” works as well as truth nowadays.

    Lutz is an idiot – don’t really care if he forgot more about cars than I’ll ever know. He’s wrong in his position to so often backtrack and spew out misinformation to the masses. It’s idiotic.

    As for the GW detractors who don’t believe it is happening. I believe that we must have an effect on our climate. The effect we have I’m not sure how significant or how dangerous. But to simple ignore it or say our actions have no effect is just wrong (current estimate is we burn 90 million barrels of Oil a day for our energy needs in the US – the equivalent of OPEC’s current production for the world).

    Lessons from history include: Coal fired plants were roaring for decades and the posions they emitted – ignored and the people in power who made their living from those riches of course denied them. What about the 2,000 square mile area in the Gulf of Mexico where nothing can live except algea (same major problem the Great Lakes States are dealing with) b/c of the fertilizer and sewage runoffs – the US’s greatest dumping grounds. Again, Denial as it can’t be b/c of us. Now jump ahead 40-50 years and we take them as fact (now that the overly conservatives are no longer in power to detract these facts). Don’t forget Love Canal – the money told us nothing was out of the ordinary – but couldn’t pay off everyone forever.

    In fact a very recent sponsored report by the White House on Global Warming (2002-2003 I think it was released) our President asked his scientific counsel and even a non scientist to revise a lot of the findings and reduce the importance of our effect we had on the environment. So the findings were pooh-poohed in order to fit a political agenda.

    Now I’m no tree hugger but I’m not blind and I actually worry about the footprint I leave whether it be CO2 or material waste, etc. The previous generation passed on a lot of problems, wasted a lot of resources, to mine b/c of they unwillingness to do anything b/c of the money and the “what can I do effect”. I don’t want us to make the same mistake and force our children to make up for our purposeful ignorance.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    M1EK :

    Your refusal to even consider the fact that the current warming ‘trend’ may not be entirely due to man-made emissions seems as short-sighted as Lutz’s statement that global warming is B.S. At least provide a link or some kind of reference to back up your point, since you seem to feel so strongly about it.

    I honestly don’t care either way. I researched the subject of global warming for a paper I wrote a few years ago in college and from what I read, I couldn’t be entirely convinced that the warming we are currently seeing is entirely (or even mostly) due to anthropogenic emissions. Perhaps you have researched the subject as thoroughly as I have, or perhaps you’re just parroting back information on a subject you don’t fully understand (I don’t blame you for not fully understanding all factors that influence climate change because nobody understands everything about climate change). All I know is that I have yet to see irrefutable evidence for or against global warming, so I am keeping my mind open. I suggest you do the same

  • avatar
    MrUnexpected

    “Likewise, there are “persuasive” arguments that creationism is right. ”

    Funny that is mentioned. “Human caused global warming” and Creationism are both presented, pushed, and argued very similarly, and both in very non-scientific ways.

    Science STARTS with a question. (How old is the earth?) Then, science works, without prejudice, using logic, facts, math, etc… to find possible answers. (These are called hypotheses.) A hypothesis that stands hard scrutiny and gains acceptance as fact is called…. a theory. One that is able to be PROVEN is called a law. This is very difficult, and impossible for most theories. Like gravity. We have gravitational theory, not gravitational law. We can’t prove gravity exists. (“Law of Gravity” is misnamed) Evolution is on the same level of scientific acceptance and relevance as gravity, folks. Deal with it.

    Now, religions start with an ANSWER. “God made earth and life in a week.” Thats the answer. Period. They then ignore logic, and twist some facts, ignore others, to try to justify their answer. Science is about FINDING better answers, not making claims, and justifying them. Its a world of difference. People who question the religious answer are not met with disagreement. they are labeled as heretics, as questioners of some fundamental truth, not questioners of man’s explanations. Thier objections are not attacked, THEY are.

    Environmentalism, and global warming specifically, are a “new” religion. The world was once perfect and at peace. Man gained knowledge and has soiled the earth, bringing pain and destruction. Now, an enlightened few know the truth, and its their duty to spread the word, and convert the actions of others, even in the face of opposition. Sometimes, in the name of their cause, it may be necessary to make sacrifices, and bend some rules. Maybe be a little unethical, but its all for the greater good…Right?

    As was said, warming trend is nothing new. The Earth’s temp has NEVER been constant. Ever. For millions of years. We started coming out of a little cold spell 200 years ago. We’ve been warming for those 200 years (few degrees), yet polluting for only 100. Our contributions to the gasses as minimal, in comparison to the natural emissions from various sources (less than 5% for all the gasses). Hell, CO2 isn’t even the biggest warming agent as far as effect goes (by far).

    Ice caps? Have been melting at roughly same pace FOR 10,000 YEARS. Since last “major” Ice Age.

    Oh, also, we have more trees in the US now, than 100 years ago. We’ve been replanting. And these new growth trees suck down way more CO2 than old tress do. In fact, its good for the earth to cut old trees down and replant saplings.

    Hurricanes? They follow a neat cycle, looks like a sine wave, up and down, over the years. Katrina was about the peak of the newest “up” years. We just noticed this last cycle, because only recently have people been so densely populated in hot-ass hurricane zones. That an 24 hour news, etc… We’ve had storm like this before.

    Oh, and Al Gore didn’t invent, take initiative, or create anything. What he was involved with was called “The Information Superhighway.” No, not the internet, or the Web (two different things). This was supposed to be a new network. It talked about in the early to mid 90’s and was supposed to replace the internet, telephones, tv, radio, the whole bit. One, new, all-in-one comm network. Like Skynet. ;-) It never left the ground. Al Gore took the initiative in creating a failed pipe dream. At best, his ’91 bill helped fund the FURTHER development of Mosaic at the U of I.

  • avatar
    shaker

    The problem with “studying” AGW, is that the longer we wait, the closer to the “tipping point” that we get.
    Since many seem to agree that there’s still “debate” on the issue, there’s an implication that the doomsayers might be right.
    As has been said before; if there’s AGW, and we do what it takes to reverse it, we’ve saved the planet.
    If there isn’t, then we’ve become more efficient and energy independent (at some cost and “inconvienence”, to be sure).

    I don’t understand why we don’t see this as an opportunity to become the champion (and major source) of “green” tech; as it is, we’ll just sit on our collective asses, gulping oil until we have to buy the “green” tech from someone else.

    It’s pitiful that we have to rely on BP or Chevron to develop these technologies; they’ll do it at a pace that suits their business model, not the global enviornment.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    The argument for diesel fueled cars isn’t that diesel fuel costs less. The argument is that diesel fueled vehicles get around 30% more miles per gallon than do gasoline powered ones.

    “If America wants diesels so badly, then why are VW sales less than 25% of their U.S. volume.”

    Because you haven’t been able to buy a VW diesel in California, Massachusetts, Maine, New York and Vermont. California and New York are the two largest car markets in the country. Massachusetts is huge as well.

    Lutz joined GM in 2002. In 2002 GM enjoyed a 28.3% of the US market. Ref: http://www.gm.com/corporate/investor_information/docs/fin_data/gm03ar/fin_mda_2.html

    Today GM’s US market share is running 22%-23%: Ref: http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/press/124535/article.html

    So in five years of having Mr. Car Guy on board General Motors has lost 5-6 percentage points of US market share all while launching a “Product Renaissance”.

    Now tell me why ANYONE cares what Bob Lutz says ????

  • avatar
    MrUnexpected

    “Since many seem to agree that there’s still “debate” on the issue, there’s an implication that the doomsayers might be right.”

    ^My point exactly, toss science out the window. “Theres a doomesday possibly coming!”

    Please. This is the same “sky is falling” crap that has been used in every civilization ever to control the population by passing more laws and restrictions.

  • avatar

    Gravity is also just a crock of shit – just wait, one day we’ll all just float off.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “Has anyone ever done a ROI on the Lexus hybrids? ”

    I’m still waiting for the ROI analysis of buying a “luxury” vehicles instead of it’s standard brand sibling.

    Hybrid technology is the only automotive option people ever ask about the ROI on. What is the ROI on an 8 speaker sound system, leather interior, sunroof or a GPS navigation system?

  • avatar
    mel23

    I’m not a fan of McCain, but I think he states it pretty well. If we do nothing and global warming is heavily influenced by man, we’re screwed. We being all humanity and most life forms in fact. We can’t turn on a dime and pass laws, revalue our currency, etc. and fix it. We’re screwed. So it seems prudent to change our course. If we’re wrong and there is no significant human affect on climate change, we’ll end up with a cleaning environment as a bonus.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    This is one issue I agree McCain on.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    I think it’s pretty hard to avoid talking about ROI on a hybrid when we’re discussing Lutz’s comment that hybrids ‘make no economic sense. Saving money by saving gas is an integral part of the hybrid raison d’etre, although reducing emissions/dependence on foreign oil also plays a role

  • avatar
    Skooter

    “I suppose he came to that conclusion after a thorough review of the scientific literature?”

    Yes. He swallowed all of Al Gores horse***t.

  • avatar
    Johnson Schwanz

    jthorner:

    There’s no ROI in an 8-speaker sound system, leather, sunroof or GPS – those are options and are are chosen for the enjoyment or the benefit of the buyer. But there’s no politician attached to a Mark Levinson sound system screaming that it is the answer to all of the world’s problems.

    That is what ticks me off.

    Obama had to sell his Chrysler 300C and get a freaking Escape Hybrid because if he drove the V8 Hemi and tried to attract the liberal voters, he’d be crucified by the extreme environmentalists. Come on…

  • avatar
    drifter

    How about ROI of V8 option in terms of power/fuel economy vs V6s?

  • avatar
    Johnson Schwanz

    drifter, again, there is no politician saying You can save the world if you get a V8 over a V6!

    ROI – has the world become a cleaner place since the Prius and Honda hybrid? No. Did Toyota catch on and go hybrid-crazy through its lineup? Yes. Is everyone seemingly championing them for going “green?” Yes.

    So from a manufacturer perspective, the ROI is positive press and newly-bamboozled hybrid shoppers. But when the hybrid buyer sees increases in maintenance costs and has to replace one of those batteries, AND realizes about a marginal increase in gas mileage, the joke is on them.

  • avatar
    brownie

    That’s why I love The Onion.

    Wait, he actually said all of that stuff?

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Johnson, lies have no place on this site – you can and will save gas money with a good hybrid like the Prius; and the emissions benefits are even greater. The positive externalities this creates are worth subsidizing, or at least encouraging.

    And the crap about the batteries – GMAFB. Heard about the Prius taxis? Your lies aren’t even new; they’re old stuff that ought to be embarassing to even try to parrot by now.

  • avatar
    Snagor

    We should take a different tact – global warming is good for humans and crops (obviously within limits, but fairly sizable ones). If you look at history, humanity has thrived during the warm periods, and done its best to survive during the cold times, and avoid famine. We are leaving an abnormally cold time geologically, so Earth warming gradually, shouldn’t be a surprise.

    Naturally, people are afraid of any change, and many are exploiting this fear by presenting horrific scenarios to frighten us all into some oddball behavior. Now you have to ask yourself, if their scenarios come to pass, and the earth does warm by a few degrees over the century, will having the same climate as a hundred or so miles to the south of you be all that bad? Will being as warm as it was a thousand years ago be an utter catastrophe for us while our predecessors thrived in it? Do people tend to move to warmer climates because it’s more uncomfortable to them and they’re masochists? :)

    It’s amusing that they’re targeting CO2, as it promotes plant growth, instead of methane which doesn’t have such nice side effects. Unfortunately above a certain concentration CO2’s additional impact is minimal, and we’re well above that level. Otherwise, I’d say, let’s clean up the other more real pollutants in car exhaust, and have them dump more CO2 into the air so we can make this a nicer world for humans and plants! Well the diminishing availability of cheap oil makes that less of a useful strategy, but I digress.

    So, sadly I have to agree with Lutz on this one, the Earth’s climate is going to change no matter what we do. Now if only he could base some of his other decisions on reality, GM would be in better shape…

  • avatar
    simonptn

    Well Johnson “the joke may be on them” or not we don’t know yet.

    But, since Toyota is about to become the world’s largest automaker, it is definitely not on them is it?

    MB’s opinion is of no consequence – right or wrong. He has lost sight of the market, blinded by his own prejudices.

    It is a businees. GM’s business is to sell cars at a profit. If his opinions had been right for the last 5 years you would have to assume that business would be a bit better, wouldn’t you?

  • avatar
    M1EK

    “Your refusal to even consider the fact that the current warming ‘trend’ may not be entirely due to man-made emissions seems as short-sighted as Lutz’s statement that global warming is B.S.”

    That’s just laughable – as others have pointed out, even the right-wingers in Europe don’t dispute the science. It really is just about as settled as it can possibly be without an additional series of Earths on which to run controlled experiments.

    The gentleman who says he’s been studying the issue is either being disingenuous or a fool – the climatologists are as close to unanimous on the subject as you ever get on an issue like this one; absent a few paid flacks and some crackpots, there is no debate. You’ve been misled by people with economic interests at stake into believing otherwise, just as happened with the tobacco-lung cancer link.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    Read carefully, I said it hasn’t been proved that global warming is entirely responsible for the current climate trends we are experiencing. I have no doubt that CO2 emissions, methane emissions from cows, etc. play some kind of role. I’m not arrogant or gullible enough to try to pretend that I (or anybody else for that matter) can say exactly what that role is.

    I actually lean towards believing that man-made global warming is real, but I still maintain that nobody has been able to fully grasp the incredibly complex way in which anthropogenic emissions interact with earth’s constantly changing ecosystem. So far I have seen a lot of people that are incomprehensibly passionate about global warming existing or not existing, but very few people with a thorough knowledge of all the science involved.

  • avatar

    Bob (Kahn) and I believe that the vice president deserves significant credit for his early recognition of the importance of what has become the Internet. – Vinton Cerf

    http://www.politechbot.com/p-01394.html

    Also, why have we never, ever seen a clip of what Gore actually said to Blitzer? We see everything else that’s ever been on TV. If he had actually claimed to have invented the internet, don’t you think it would have been shown over and over?

    Erich Segal said that the main character in Love Story was based on a composite of Al Gore and his college roommate, Tommy Lee Jones. A newspaper incorrectly quoted Segal as saying that Love Story was based on Al & Tipper, an error that Gore dismissed immediately.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    ChuckR,

    And BBN developed a networking system of limited utility that ran on gizmos called IMPs, was extremely limited in scope and was nothing like the TCP/IP that we know and love today. That was the principal compeition when DEC got started with DECnet. DECnet was way better. After all, DEC was trying to build something that people would buy and, once BBN was done, there wasn’t a lot of additional ARPAnet development going on. However, DECnet was proprietary and probably died as an indirect result of Al Gore’s efforts.

    A lot of other networking died, too, along the way.

    We can not predict what networking would be like today without Gore’s sponsorship of legislation to advance high-speed networking but, also from Wiki, although I’ve seen it elsewhere:

    In response to the controversy, Internet pioneers Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn argued in a 2000 email that, “We don’t think, as some people have argued, that Gore intended to claim he “invented” the Internet. Moreover, there is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore’s initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving Internet.”[20]

    And you misinterpret the current situation and its relationship to Lysenko. Stalin decreed Lysenko was right and that was that. In the current case, researchers are allowed to slug it out amongst themselves. If a dictator simply declared “AGW” to be “right,” then we could get on with doing something about it.

    Protestations that researchers who are skeptics can’t get a hearing are laughable. Who’s in office today, with their hand on the Federal Cash Bag? Right, Exxon-Mobil Bush-Cheney.

    Most of the money involved in “global warming” reasearch is simply money spent to measure stuff. The measurements could be used to disprove AGW, if the science would support it.

    Schwanz,

    It is my fervent prayer that, someday, when someone such as yourself says that “global warming people” do or do not think or do such-and-such, that that person has actually read what the “global warming people” have actually written and that person actually makes a reference to something that the “global warming people” think or don’t think or do or don’t do that’s grounded in reality.

    The effects of animal husbandry are, in fact, in the IPCC report.

    In the case at hand, you probably got your American Enterprise Institute or Heartland Institute Talking Points confused or misremembered something you heard on Talk Radio and you’re probably intending to refer, not to CO2, but to CH4 (methane, an important component of cow farts) which, the “global warming people” will actually acknowledge (in spite of additional Denier protests to the contrary) as a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 and, so, yes, cow farts are discussed in the IPCC report and included in the models. Methane, by the way, oxidizes away in, typically, 8 years, so it isn’t quite the threat that increased CO2 levels are. CO2 is very long-lived.

    Of course, I could be wrong and you could actually be talking about CO2 emissions from cows (read: breathing). Breathing is also covered. But it’s not as much fun to say as “cow farts,” which is why Talk Radio spends so much time claiming that the “global warming people” are ignoring methane.

    MrUnexpected,

    There is no similarity between AGW theory and Creationism. AGW theory did, in fact, start with a question… a lot of them, in fact. Or, if you like an observed phenomenon… CO2 traps heat. This has been known for a century. Then the question, how does that work in the atmosphere? Then another observation, CO2 is increasing (known since 1960-something). Then, more questions, increasing since when? How can we tell? What effect does this increase have? How can we tell? What other gasses are important? Are they increasing? Decreasing? How will they affect each other? Where did this additional CO2 come from? How can we prove that?

    That’s not religion, that’s not Creationism, that’s science. It might be inconvenient but, there you are.

    Now, Global Warming, as popularly known, is more interesting and more open to debate, of some kind, than many other things, like gravity, because it’s very interdisciplinary. Gravity fits pretty neatly within the realm of physics. Climate involves a world of stuff and then some. The atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, the Sun, cosmic rays, who knows what else, all come in to play. Discerning the truth is difficult. However, there’s lots of good science being done. There’s a gazillion footnotes on the IPCC report, all pointing to some piece of work done, in earnest, by someone who simply wants to know more.

    Now, to say that “the Earth has been through cooling and warming cycles before and therefore there is no reason for us to be concerned or to take any interest or action,” that is FAITH.

    Also, your flip comment, “Please. This is the same “sky is falling” crap that has been used in every civilization ever to control the population by passing more laws and restrictions.”

    Really? Cite some examples.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    I’m similarly confused by the constant railing on hybrid ROI. It assumes there is exactly one variable between the hybrid and its alternative, that being fuel economy.

    Okay; say I have $21,000 to spend on a new car. I could buy a Prius, or, since there is no gas-only Prius, I could buy a Corolla. The Corolla is cheaper, gets good mileage and is reliable, just like the Prius. It is also rolling oatmeal. If I buy it, no one will ask me questions about my car in parking lots. There’s no unusual technology under the skin. There’s nothing interesting about its interior. There’s no silent drive at low speeds, and no futuristic readouts. And so forth.

    And people wonder why buyers are willing to spend a few extra grand on the Prius?

    As others have noted, I cannot remember the last time someone asked a Corvette buyer how long it would take to “make back” the money they would have saved with a Cobalt. That’s easy to understand; the choice is about the performance metrics said buyer values, and the subjectivities that make the pricier car feel “worth it”. It’s a similarity some enthusiasts forget when the subjectivities being valued are not aligned with their own social or political preferences.

    Anyway, if Bob Lutz truly cares about the long-term viability of GM, he ought to be clamoring for more competitive hybrids and compacts simply because people want to buy them, regardless of his position on the issues driving those trends.

  • avatar
    Snagor

    To M1EK – the science is far from settled, why else would there be so many climate models, especially ones that contradict each other? Heck, you can’t even get a localized climate model that’s accurate for 24 hours. How do you think they can do it for the entire earth for many years in advance? And oops, the last month was “much” colder than expected according to NASA’s GIS temp (-.75 C from ’07 and coldest since ’89), did they predict that? There’s way too many variables and too many places that have no measurements, and minor unpredictable things like volcanoes that annoyingly interfere.

    The only thing settled is the economics. Most companies have figured out ways to profit from this, of course at tax payer expense. So, even the polluting energy companies are now all for it. For climate scientists, if you’re not predicting ‘doom and gloom’, well your research is obviously unimportant in comparison to the great global warming juggernaut, and not worth funding, meaning they may have to find a new job. Many scientists are quietly coming out and pointing out flaws in the science; the media just doesn’t jump all over it, because it doesn’t “sell newspapers” to say there’s no pending doom hanging over our heads. So lowest size of the Arctic ice mass is loudly trumpeted as the herald of forthcoming woe, while the concurrent exceptionally large ice mass in the Antarctic is ignored.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    Snagor,

    Regarding the money trail, I think we can agree that it’s a moot point. That is, there are at least as many people whose financial interests are served by dismissing public environmental concern (fueled by AGW publicity) and doing business exactly as they have been for decades.

    Like Bob.

  • avatar
    jaje

    With science you can prove through repeated experiments – that’s how a scientific theory becomes a scientific law. On the complete other hand, Faith can’t be proven so any comparison between the 2 (such as Creationism) isn’t possible.

    I just don’t understand why the God Squad needs Religion to explain the world around them – I assume it is b/c it questions their faith and a lot of people cannot take it. Look at the extremes with Pat Robertson.

    That’s why when I see the extremes from posters here on TTAC saying man has nothing to do with Global Warning – I smack my forehead with my hand – how can people just be so obtuse. We are part of this phenomenom – we just don’t know how much. I don’t think we are the cause of it…but Global Warming is not a crock of shit – Bob Lutz is.

  • avatar
    NickR

    The mass media has perpetuated the myth that scientists weigh in on global warming at about a 50/50 split. The truth is that a tiny percentage deny it, most of whom are in a serious conflict of interest.

    The only people digging their heels in and buying this dreck are a few political buffoons (read: Republicans), a few talking head buffoons (Glenn Beck), and a few people who find it easier to believe it’s not true because then they can abdicate their responsibility for doing anything about it.

    In any event, as other people on the thread have stated, for Bob Lutz to suggest it is a crock is a clear indication he will do as little as possible to acknowledge it, and in so doing will concede more and more of the market to competitors who make good, fuel efficient vehicles.

    Bob Lutz is an idiot.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    Sangor:

    Thank you. It seems like people who are most passionate about the issue of global warming are also some of the least educated about the subject. To claim that human activities are responsible for all of the recent trends in climate is as short sighted as people that claim global warming can’t be happening because this Monday it was colder than the temperature on Feb 11, 2007. It is not that simple, but unfortunately you need to know a little bit about climate change to realize how little you actually know about climate change

  • avatar
    Snagor

    Why do you think Bob is now keen on getting the Volt all rolled out during the next few years instead of letting it languish?
    1) Do something that will lower CO2 output right after they assign you your “cap”. You were probably going to have to do this anyway due to EPA or other regulations.
    2) Reap profits from the carbon offsets you have created (or delayed implementing).
    3) Get whatever price you can from the car buyers for an early model “super green” car.
    4) Beg the government for as much money as possible to cover your R&D expenses.

    Or another way:
    Old World – Whine about having to implement new EPA regs, fight in Congress. Try to pork barrel in research funds.
    New World – Get paid (or at least partially reimbursed) for implementing EPA regs. Advertise that you’re a “green” company that cares for the environment. Tap into environmental (slush) funds for the research if you can, too.

    :)

  • avatar

    Oh, Bob Lutz will be eating those words in a few days, no reason to worry.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Snagor, you’re seriously equating the economic incentives to play down global warming from oil and coal companies to the massive solar/hydro/wind conspiracy? Or is it to the well-known collectivists at the Bush Administration that we owe this massive corruption of science? Where, exactly, is this global warming juggernaut?

    Give me a break. For every dollar spent by somebody pushing too hard on the AGW side, there’s a MILLION being spent by people like Exxon-Mobil.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Kixstart,
    Nice post.

    Now if only you could teach Lutz some basic math. If a diesel or hybrid costs an extra $3,000 and you save $500 a year, why does that “make no economic sense?”

  • avatar
    Snagor

    M1EK – perhaps you should listen to your local media more often. It’s hard to get away from talk of global warming. The oil companies have all recast themselves as energy companies and diversified, and they’re advertising how green they are. They don’t need to spend money countering GW talk because they’ve figured out how to take advantage of it. People are going to use oil anyway, and they have developing markets to tap if we magically turn off our oil consumption at an amazing pace that would defy economics. Newsweek had the same idea as you, and then had to essentially retract their work earlier this year.

    Why fight it if you can benefit from it, that’s what they’ve realized.

    It’s basically a bunch of nonsense that we can do much other than make wild guesses about our future climate with our present knowledge sadly. We can see what has happened in the past, and we know from that our temperature is going to fluctuate over centuries, and sometimes faster. I’m not saying that humans don’t have some influence on weather, especially on a local level, but well the nights are what 10-15 degrees colder and the seasons still cause maybe 50 degree average variations in weather or more. So, logic would tell me that the Sun and the Earth’s orbit/rotation are a bit more significant than our contribution. And as I previously stated from historical evidence, warmer earth = good for humans, colder earth = bad for humans & crops, so let’s keep the global warming going.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    Snagor said:

    warmer earth = good for humans, colder earth = bad for humans & crops, so let’s keep the global warming going.

    ^^^Brilliant, unbeatable logic right there.

    1) If you don’t believe in man made global warming… well, there’s nothing to worry about then.

    2) But let’s assume for a second that you’re some left wing, associate professor hippie crackpot who teaches a feminist movement class at the University of Michigan or UC Berkley or something and can’t see Al Gore’s secret satellite dish in the north pole that he invented to warm up the Earth and make trillions off of the ensuing aftermath. Well guess what?! JOKES ON YOU MR. GORE!!! HAHA! Because global warming is GOOD for us, didn’t see that coming did you? Guess you shoulda studied science harder at that hippie school you graduated from. How do you like inventing the internet NOW?!?

    So guys, let’s pack it up!!! Go home kids! No need to argue about this C02 junk anyways. And btw, is anyone even sure CO2 actually exists? I bet you haven’t even considered the idea because you’ve been so brainwashed by that neo-feminist professor you had back at Berkeley you didn’t even consider it might just be made up so they can take away your 2nd amendment liberties and F-350 Tritons and private rights and crap… man those eggheads can be evil geniuses when they put their mind to it. Plus think about it, it just sounds made up to me: C02. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the debates over, just remember:

    warmer earth = good for us

    colder earth = bad for for us

    global warming real? = doesn’t matter, it’s win win win baby!!! (extra win is awarded to me for solving the global warming debate… thank you, thank you. I’ve already booked my flight to Stockholm, if you’d like my autograph you can hound me at the airport like the rest of my adoring groupies.)

  • avatar
    chuckR

    kixstart

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is just that. It funds initiatives that are on the leading edge. In automotive terms, had it been around in 1890, it might have funded a steamer, an electric car and an IC car. But by 1915, funding of auto refinements might very well been outside its charter. ARPANET was the precursor of the internet precisely because it showed it was feasible to implement. Others like DEC took it from a clunky implementation to a commercially viable one. And they did so before Al Gore had a say in it. He was front-running a parade. As for Cerf’s comment, it was a prudent one. You should always be kind to someone who has the power to investigate, regulate and/or effectively destroy your creation. Bill Gates found that out a few years ago.

    re: Lysenkoism Stalin sent people to Siberia; today a climate researcher who doesn’t toe the AGW line is merely sent to grant Siberia.

    Money spent on measuring stuff may be usefully spent, but measuring, curve fitting, extrapolating and performing regression analyses do not a theory make. Its hard enough to quantify the past; the future more so. AGW models have to use the Navier-Stokes equations as they project decades into the future. Yet the Navier-Stokes equations have never been solved in 3 dimensions; what do you suppose that means for the ability to scale or apply predictor/correctors? As someone who has worked with FEA and CFD for 30+ years, I’m amazed by the confidence of the people making various climate predictions.

    Apologies to all who mistakenly thought this was some sort of blog about autos. And to RF for going all tangential.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    At least this Maximum Moron seems to understand that there’s one road to energy independence and to stop Global Warming. To reach either goal, we need to use fuel more efficiently. There’s no tactical conflict between these two goals- we’d get there along the same path. I expect GM to get there last, if at all.

    As for those who believe the only reason to drive diesel is to save money, I’d ask them to own two identical cars, as I did, one with the stock gas engine and one with a modern Turbodiesel. My Golf TDI surpasses the 2.0 gas car in every way. It’s more powerful, but 40% more economical, and it’s far quieter at cruising speeds.

  • avatar
    picard234

    I say bring on the global warming. I live in Michigan. If I could put some nice palm trees on my property, it might actually increase in value.

  • avatar

    But the white house tells me that global warming is a good thing:

    “…many people die from cold-related deaths every winter. And there are studies that say that climate change in certain areas of the world would help those individuals.”

  • avatar
    M1EK

    “re: Lysenkoism Stalin sent people to Siberia; today a climate researcher who doesn’t toe the AGW line is merely sent to grant Siberia.”

    Again, this is spectacularly delusional. The amount of money and political power on the denialist side is a veritable Mount Everest compared to a molehill on the environmentalist side.

    Did you miss the recent story about oil companies paying for favorable research? Or are you pretending they only had our best interests at heart, to overcome the science establishment funded by the hippies at the White House?

  • avatar
    KixStart

    ChuckR,

    I admire that. Cerf said something you disagree with, so he must have ulterior motive and he’s lying. QED.

    Of course, Cerf’s reputation and career were long established by 2000, so he had nothing at stake and was free to simply correct the historical record but that needn’t concern us here.

    As for a comparison to Lysenkoism; get real. There’s no way that the Federal Money Bag would be closed to those who were willing to toe the Administration line on Global Warming. The Administration felt entirely free to have shills and lobbyists rewrite whatever NASA scientists produced whenever they felt like it. Google up “Phil Cooney” and look over his history. He went from a cushy energy job to a cushy job red-lining climate reports back to a cushy energy job.

    The Administration has since, to some extent, changed its tune. They’re still not willing to actually do anything but at least they’re no longer in complete denial.

    As far as I can tell, science is all about curve fitting. And about determining the limits of curve-fitting and regression. And prediction.

    It’s easy enough to determine the properties of air with varying concertrations of CO2. People have done this.

    Does this transfer directly to the atmosphere in general? No one has claimed this but they have used the knowledge as a basis for investigation. Does everyone involved in the IPCC agree on the exact effects? No. No one claims to have perfect knowledge. However, they agree that there’s a sound physical science basis for concern, they think they can describe the likely change and they think there’s cause for concern.

    Sensible people might say, “Why take chances?” We know we have a pleasant, benevolent environment at X ppm CO2, let’s work to keep it that way. If we go to 2X ppm CO and it’s not so pleasant, what do we do? Reboot?

    Also, I looked up Navier-Stokes and I believe you are misrepresenting the situation. They are very widely used for a wide variety of fluid analyses and are considred an extremely useful tool. The fact that they are not mathematically ideal or proven in all abstractions does not reduce their utility.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    M1EK,

    You said, “Likewise, there are “persuasive” arguments that creationism is right. And that the Sun revolves around the Earth.”

    Now, matters of faith are often persuasive, so I will agree with you there. However, I wait breathlessly to hear a persuasive argument about the sun orbiting the Earth. Do tell.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    The Sun moves in the Earth sky, just watch it go around. You’re telling me it’s us that’s moving and not the Sun?

    That’s far more persuasive than any creationist argument I’ve ever heard.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Orian,

    Allow me to call BS again.

    Wiki is not a great source on anything of this sort. There was no “urban legend” that Al Gore claimed to invent the internet. There was merely the use of humor to point out how he was inflating his self worth. No one of any worth actually thought that Al Gore believed he created the internet, even his worst detractors knew better.

    Mr. Gore overstated his case, and now will likely not get the credit he WAS due because of his statement. Furthermore, having worked for a silicon valley company that had a lot more to do with the internet than Al Gore ever did, I can tell you that those sandal wearing millionaires out there would say anything to have helped him get elected.

    Sorry, but your post is no more proof of anything than the so called consensus of climatologists. Would you believe the pilots union if they were all in consensus that interstate driving was unsafe, and we should all fly? They may be right.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Imagine a world where GM was AHEAD of the curve and had introduced the Prius. GM was a much larger company than Toyota at the time of the Prius introduction, and GM spent a small fortune developing the still-born EV1.

    Imagine a world where GM leads the industry instead of stumbling along behind it. In Sloan’s day GM was the undisputed automotive leader in the world. Today it is a tired old punch drunk boxer blathering semi-coherent nonsense … or is that just Bob Lutz?

    Even if there weren’t a global warming issue we would still need to grapple with the fact that the US is now spending $1 Billion per day importing oil and then burning it. And look at the wonderful countries who are enjoying that cash flow. Putin’s Russia. Chavez’s Venezuela. The endlessly corrupt Mexican government … not to mention the Middle East. Even Canada is enjoying a windfall on our backs.

    Forget the global warming argument, this is a matter of national economic survival.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Landcrusher,

    Snopes covered the Al Gore / Internet question, so there is certainly a presumption of an urban legend here.

    It’s clear from his full remarks that he was talking about his actions as a Congressman in sponsoring legislation and nothing more. And he did not use the word “invented.”

    Moreover, the allegation that Gore claimed to have “invented” the Internet is, for example, STILL on Rush Limbaugh’s “Hall of Fame” page, along with quite a few other unsupported slams on Gore. A Limbaugh staffer or, even, intern could trouble to look up the facts and correct the error but… no. After all this time, they haven’t. What a shocking surprise.

    In the context of Gore’s actual remarks, it’s clear that he did not overstate his case; he saw an opportunity to sponsor legislation that would promote networking. He thought this would be a strategic improvement. He had some vision of high-speed networking providing new services to Americans in their homes, schoold workplaces. he sponsored said legisltation.

    It is impossible to say where networking would be today without Al Gore’s support then. Exactly where we are? Maybe. Ahead? Maybe. Behind? Probably.

    But that was the path we took to get here and Gore was certainly the champion for it in the legislative process.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Qusus,

    Not persuasive.

    You haven’t been listening to the right people, or your mind is simply closed. There is certainly more persuasive arguments for creation than there are global warming. I have an avowed agnostic friend who would agree, and he has two graduate degrees from top universities.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Kix,

    I will be happy to give you the context excuse if you agree to give it everywhere else it is due! Of course, that would be two of us playing by that rule.

    Still, even Orian did not put down the full context. I stand by my point. Al Gore stepped on it, and furthermore, not everything on Snopes is an urban legend either. Calling it an urban legend is a great tactic to try and dismiss it without making a good case. You make a better case, and you didn’t even give evidence.

    Whenever I have heard or read the remarks, it starts at the same place, and it sounds to me like he is padding his resume. Rush Limbaugh is certainly not the only guy who jumped on the line. There were plenty of people from other political spectrums that jumped on that one. Even Gore himself has parodied it.

    If the global warming crowd want to raise Al Gore up as their bodhisatva, they will have to take him whole. My earnest judgement is that he is a really bright guy, with a good heart, and a whole helping of hubris. He seems to be one of those guys who thinks he has a destiny. The idea that he could be President honestly scared me. Hillary Clinton doesn’t scare me like that. Iraq is nothing compared to the Dr. Strangelove style drama that an Al Gore type might get us into.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The Al Gore internet comments are much ado about nothing.

    Let’s put this into context. While Gore was vying to beat Bill Bradley for the Democratic nomination during the 2000 presidential election, Wolf Blitzer of CNN posed this question during an interview:

    Why should Democrats, looking at the Democratic nomination process, support you instead of Bill Bradley, a friend of yours, a former colleague in the Senate? What do you have to bring to this that he doesn’t necessarily bring to this process?

    Gore responded by asserting his credentials as a forward thinker, which included the internet as one example of that:

    During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

    During a quarter century of public service, including most of it long before I came into my current job, I have worked to try to improve the quality of life in our country and in our world. And what I’ve seen during that experience is an emerging future that’s very exciting, about which I’m very optimistic, and toward which I want to lead.

    As noted above, Vint Cerf defended Gore’s comments by issuing this statement to MSNBC:

    VP Gore was the first or surely among the first of the members of Congress to become a strong supporter of advanced networking while he served as Senator. As far back as 1986, he was holding hearings on this subject (supercomputing, fiber networks…) and asking about their promise and what could be done to realize them. Bob Kahn, with whom I worked to develop the Internet design in 1973, participated in several hearings held by then-Senator Gore and I recall that Bob introduced the term “information infrastructure” in one hearing in 1986. It was clear that as a Senator and now as Vice President, Gore has made it a point to be as well-informed as possible on technology and issues that surround it.

    As Senator, VP Gore was highly supportive of the research community’s efforts to explore new networking capabilities and to extend access to supercomputers by way of NSFNET and its successors, the High Performance Computing and Communication program (which included the National Research and Education Network initiative), and as Vice President, he has been very responsive to recommendations made, for example, by the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee that endorsed additional research funding for next generation fundamental research in software and related topics. If you look at the last 30-35 years of network development, you’ll find many people who have made major contributions without which the Internet would not be the vibrant, growing and exciting thing it is today. The creation of a new information infrastructure requires the willing efforts of thousands if not millions of participants and we’ve seen leadership from many quarters, all of it needed, to move the Internet towards increased availability and utility around the world.

    While it is not accurate to say that VP Gore invented Internet, he has played a powerful role in policy terms that has supported its continued growth and application, for which we should be thankful.

    “Taking the initiative” is subject to debate, but it cannot be denied that Gore did what politicians do when they back specific initiatives — they hold committee and subcommittee hearings to give attention to their pet topics, and co-sponsor legislation to move things along. Gore did just that in respect to computer technology, so it sounds as if he deserves credit for playing the political role that he did. He didn’t invent anything, but given that he never claimed to have invented anything, that point is moot.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    PCH,

    Yes, “taking the initiative” is subject to debate, and so is “is”. But seriously, the reason Al Gore won’t get credit is precisely his statement.

    That’s it. He would probably agree. It’s not fair, but it is the way it is.

    Much like my comment to Kix, we can raise the level of the debate, but there would only be two of us.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Landcrusher,

    PCH101 gave a more full excerpt from the Blitzer interview. I read the whole thing. Gore didn’t overreach, he used the phrase “in Congress,” so there’s no confusion with “when I was doing hardware and software engineering” and he didn’t overreach. He found intiatives to support and he supported them. This is what good legislators do. It would be difficult to argue that the Internet hasn’t brought some benefits. People think enough of it to pay to tap into it… and there’s lots of jobs as a result, too. Or there were… Administration policies seem to favor H1B visas. While American companies lay off talented people who actually know their businesses, they reach across the ocean to pick up marginally trained foreigners and pay them a pittance to develop software that’s full of bugs, late and actually more expensive than could have been produced domestically if they’d trained some of those people they let go.

    But, I digress…

    Moreover, nowhere did Gore use the key word “invent,” yet, this is PRECISELY the word that Rush Limbaugh’s web site selected. Rush is either careless beyond belief (he is that) or intentionally distorting the record (I believe he does that, too).

    It’s a smear, deliberately spread by Rightards. The popular acceptance of it has given it “urban legend” status.

    As for Gore being someone’s “bodhisatva,” which I’m not going to look up at this time, “Essentials of Main Stream Buddhism” being fairly well in sight on my reading list, the environmental movement is grateful to Gore for presenting a reasonably accurate portrayal of the situation, energizing people to think about it and getting it more fully into the national dialogue. But we don’t worship him.

    And we are well aware that Gore didn’t invent global warming theory, he just paid attention to scientists and reported on it. This goes back ages. I’d heard of the effect of GHGs in the ’80’s and heard speculation on the effects, too.

    However, the charge that we worship Gore is a favorite of Rightards, Deniers and fossil fuel lobbyists, who prefer to link Gore inextricably to Global Warming. They like to phrase things as though he thought it up himself and they’d like to make “Gore” and “Global Warming” into synonyms, as they have had plenty of support in demonizing him and this demonization is useful for the suppression of the science of Global Warming.

    Gore’s crime here, is that he’d like to get out in front of this before it becomes a hair-on-fire emergency. People hate to think ahead.

    As for the idea that Gore could be President “scared” you… Well, I just have to ask, why? Has the current Presidunce been some sort of champion of Limited Government? A good steward? A careful planner? A “uniter?” Instrumental in putting us on a sound financial footing? Capable of weilding the veto pen to rein in Congressional spending binges? Someone who brought luster to our national image? Someone whose foreign policy enhanced our leadership?

    If Gore had been elected (and I’d like to remind you that he won the popular vote, so it’s not like Dubya had a “mandate” from the People), I can’t say for sure that we wouldn’t have gotten bogged down in a pointless, expensive and counter-productive war but we likely would have made soem sort of useful strides towards energy independence and, I hope, reining in CO2 production.

    We’re shipping $300 billion overseas every year to feed our oil addiction. A significant reduction in our demand would not only be a straight line reduction in the trade deficit but it would also be downward price pressure on the oil itself, probably yielding a further leveraged reduction in the trade deficit. OPEC would probably move to reduce supply and apply further upward pressure but – and this just breaks my heart – that would deprive dictators and terrorists of some of their funding. D’ya suppose that would have the effect of enhancing chances for real freedom around the globe?

    And how are things lately, sans Al Gore? How’d that other guy work out? How do you like extra-judicial tribunals? A badly planned and worse executed invasion of a country that didn’t pose a threat? Plunging said country into chaos? Breeding new terrorists (the CIA, the Israelis AND the Saudis have all come to this conclusion)? Letting the terrorists who actually attacked us get away? Abrogating long-standing, respected international treaties? Selective, capricious, arbitrary suspension of habeus corpus? Signing statements? Warrantless taps? Refusal of due process and judicial oversight? Rendition? Torture? An Administration crewed by failed horse judges and the like? The elevation of religion over scientific inquiry? Funnelling money to favored church groups?

    Do you LIKE having our country known as a country that tortures people?

    GORE scared you?

  • avatar

    Wow did this conversation stray off topic!

    I really don’t think anyone on this board, and certainly not Bob Lutz, is in a position to assess the shittyness of global warming. I never understood why people seem to think that a few hours reading Wikipedia articles is sufficient to counter the arguments of scientists with Phd’s…maybe I’m just a slow learner.

    Also, I’m curious how global warming models use Navier-Stokes since its primarily an energy conservation problem.

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    Well, mark it on the calendar, because I actually agree with ol’ Bob on something for once, global warming IS a crock of sh!t. Of course, he should have probably specified that manmade global warming is what is the crock.

  • avatar

    Ah, Armadamaster, I see you are cutting and pasting your global warming skepticism into several threads.
    Let me post my question here, as well:

    @armadamaster

    Out of curiosity – what’s the basis for your skepticism concerning a human contribution to the marked rise in average global temperatures at the same time that the sun’s output is entering a long cycle decrease?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2006/sep/24/spaceexploration.theobserver

  • avatar

    Forget about Gore, he’s just a Nobel Prize winner with a Powerpoint presentation.
    We have umpteen messages now, discussing the internet statement, take it somewhere else. The issue is whether Global warming is a crock of crapuscular excrescence.

    Here’s what I posted in the podcast thread:
    Those who dispute global warming, without themselves being scientists and invested in the tremendous amount of research being carried out on the topic, might want to coast a little when declaring it a fraud.

    Or else just check the weather.

    Whether it is caused by humans or not, it’s happening. Can we do something about it? Who knows – fortunately, the sun is cooling down just as the planet is heating up. That source of heat has turned down the thermostat a couple of ticks since the early 90s.

    As a senior officer of GM, Mr Lutz’ opinion on GW should be in line with his company’s — the fact that it isn’t clearly demonstrates why GM has absolutely no credibility whatsoever as an environmentally concerned or friendly automaker. And since car buyers to a greater and greater extent are concerned about the environment, that is not so good for GM.
    Whether Lutz feels it’s the macho thing to do – to deny GW – again, who knows? I mean, why get all touchy feely about it, it’s just a lot of noise, standing in the way of the amazing cars Lutz was going to build. What’s tens of thousands of scientists and millions of potential customers compared to his global ambition?

    Mr. Lutz goes on to demonstrate his ignorance of science in the next sentence of his global warming “statement.”
    “I’m motivated more by the desire to replace imported oil than by the CO2 (argument).”
    This with reference to the Volt. Throughout his career, Mr Lutz has been one of the major forces leading the US to its total dependence upon foreign petroleum. The cars he has “built” and the absolute disregard of fuel economy he has championed are a major contributor to this sad state of affairs. To recap: the US has 4% of the world’s known oil reserves, and consumes 25% of worldwide production. The level of hurt the US could suffer should the supply lines falter is unimaginable – and Lutz is one of the chief “architects” behind that tottering house of cards.

    Whether you are driving a Volt or a Trailblazer doesn’t matter much — as the energy to run both has to come from somewhere. The same amount of what physicists call work is required to move car and occupants from A-B, unless the Volt is aerodynamically more efficient and a lot lighter. Given the look and spec’s, don’t hold your breath for that one.
    So – where’s the energy going to come from? Is Lutz embarked on an alternative energy project of some kind? The best contribution he can make, if his concern really is to reduce dependency on imported oil, is to reduce the size and weight of his cars, across the board and to make them a lot more energy efficient.

    Having Lutz in charge of GM’s global product planning at this point in time probably makes as much sense as having Jack the Ripper spearheading nighttime pedestrian safety in Victorian London.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    Diesle is cheaper per mile, but not better. for God`s sake, before they started using soot filters, those diesles were stinking more than a showerless dog . Don`t even mention diesels being more cancerogenous. And this vibration! Damn, i 1ve seen brand new merces s-class trembling and shaking more than arussian Lada dragged out of a museum. It is so funny to see overloaded Brabuses or other german-the-sames to have every option and gizmo possible ,yet their engines gave out sounds of a tractor , or robots in last phase of Parkinson`s. Damn those diesles, for deaf are people who enjoy them. And diesels are heavier, making front chassis to wear out faster, diesels maintanance is more expensive, they are more troublesome in wintertime and offer miserable Nm at high revs, meaning lack power at high speeds. They are good for intersection fights probably, not race circuits. I curse you Diesel, you may spin your Nm righ in your grave…., like the poor Henry does now.

  • avatar
    shaker

    jurisb:
    “…robots in the last phase of Parkinsons”.

    Outstanding.

    But Diesels have the advantage of locking up carbon emmissions in soot, which is speculated to have a “global cooling” effect with enough concentrations.

    I wonder why this hasn’t been exploited to some extent? Oh, that “cancer” thing.

    Oh, well.

    Wow, don’t these GW threads eat up resources! Probably emitting MORE CO2 by the “heated” response.

    I wonder if Rush Limbaugh will ever win a Nobel Prize for Journalism.

  • avatar
    simonptn

    Att: jurisb

    “They are good for intersection fights probably, not race circuits.”

    You might want to discuss that with Audi. Remember Le Mans?

  • avatar

    # simonptn :

    Att: jurisb

    “They are good for intersection fights probably, not race circuits.”

    You might want to discuss that with Audi. Remember Le Mans?

    ===

    Oh, Simon. Now that we were all having fun at the expense of diesel.

  • avatar
    Johnson Schwanz

    jurisb:

    I had the displeasure of renting an Audi A3 1.9TDI during my last trip to Koln, Deutschland. That thing sounded like a Mack truck!!!! Gee whiz!!

    While the turbo whine was cool, the noise it made was incredible.

    I originally rented a VW Golf, but had to return it because the rental company Sixt hadn’t switched to winter tires, and because it didn’t have a navigation system. That car was quick, cool, and would be my car if I lived in Deutschland. However, I do not think I’d drive a diesel even if you paid me to do it.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Let’s get some things straight here…first, skepticism regarding global warming is not limited to “rightards,” Rush Limbaugh followers or people who work for Exxon.

    Go to blogs such as the volokhconspiracy.com, which features discussions about this very topic. The depth of knowledge among posters regarding this topic is truly impressive, and shows that skepticism regarding manmade global warming isn’t just limited to those on the right side of the political spectrum.

    Personally, I’ll be a little more convinced that activists really believe in global warming when they advocate widespread use of nuclear power. But then, I just read that a bunch of old rockers from the first No Nukes tour (in the late 1970s) are launching a new anti-nuclear campaign, because they believe that the nuclear power industy is using publicity over global warming to get new plants approved!

    As for dragging Mr. Gore into any global warming discussion – he has been speaking about this topic for years, and he has even won major prizes for his documentary and work on this very subject.

    He has worked hard to become identified with this subject, so complaints about bringing up his name in any discussion about global warming, or questioning his credibility, are more than a little disingenuous.

    HE wanted the credit and he uses his name to open doors and garner media attention, the lifeblood of any cause in this country. (Anyone who says that mainstream media is dismissive of his claims or doesn’t give enough credence to manmade global warming is either illiterate or in a coma.)

    In a free country he has every right to do this, and if he believes in his cause, I encourage him to do so.

    For the record, I do believe that he is sincere in his beliefs, and I don’t care what he (allegedly) said about the internet.

    On the other hand, he did say that he and Tipper were the inspiration for Love Story, and if he did inspire the author (he went to Harvard with him), then I can never forgive him. Foisting Love Story on an unsuspecting population? Oh, the humanity…

    I will tolerate no complaints about continually dragging Mr. Gore into the discussion, when Mr. Leikanger posts this about Mr. Lutz:

    Throughout his career, Mr Lutz has been one of the major forces leading the US to its total dependence upon foreign petroleum. The cars he has “built” and the absolute disregard of fuel economy he has championed are a major contributor to this sad state of affairs.

    Mr. Lutz did not even work in the American automobile industry until the late 1980s, when he joined Chrysler. Our dependence on foreign oil began LONG before then. (He had worked for both GM and Ford before then, but it is my understanding that the worked primarily in their European subsidiaries.)

    Even if he had advocated that Chrysler (his employer in the 1990s) only build vehicles that got more than 30 mpg, it would not have made any difference, except at Chrysler, which would have gone out of business in the 1990s. Buyers were not willing to make the necessary sacrifices to obtain that kind of mileage.

    Please don’t complain about making Al Gore the whipping boy when we often do the same thing to Mr. Lutz. Both have put themselves front-and-center in the debate over their respective issues.

    Realistically, GM’s problem isn’t that it doesn’t have a competitor to the Prius, or that it’s cars don’t get good enough gas mileage…GM’s problem is that it doesn’t have an effective competitor to the (regular) Civic, CR-V or RAV4, and it only has one really good competitor to the Camry/Accord, and that one is hobbled by the baggage its maker has accumulated over the past 30 years.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Kix,

    Two things, you obviously did not even try to understand my post so I have one upped you and didn’t bother to read most of yours. Please point out to me where I ever got confused on the invention thing? Did I not point out that Gore is due credit? If you are not willing to agree to that I am obviously not claiming he said “invent” and that I have pointed out he is due some credit, then WE cannot have a discourse. (BTW I am still looking forward to that persuasive earth at the center of the solar system argument).

    The concerns I had over Mr. Gore as President of the United States are that the results would be earth shattering, Stalinesque size death and destruction. It’s just my opinion. I am entitled to it. I offer no evidence, and do not expect to convince you I am correct about it.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Landcrusher,

    OK. I’ve had my tranquilizers.

    I fail to see how Gore as President would lead to an earth shattering, Stalinesque size death and destruction. Kindly explain that.

    We don’t elect a President in a vacuum; it’s not an up or down vote. If you didn’t support Gore (or, maybe, some third party that actually had a chance), you were part of the electorate that put Bush in office.

    I do not see how Gore could have possibly been worse.

    “The Sun revolves around the Earth…” that wasn’t me. At least I don’t think it was.

    However, whether or not that’s good science is actually something worth thinking about.

    For a primitive society with no travel and no system of record-keeping, “The Sun revolves around the Earth” is not bad science. It’s wrong but that doesn’t mean it’s bad science. It requires long-range communications and/or travel (implication, level of technology necessary to build and navigate a ship and/or a system of maps) to learn that the Earth is round and what the approximate diameter might be. Or it takes some years and many observations to discern some pattern of the actions of the planets. Then one has to work out modeling techniques for dealing with the data.

    Classical mechanics was wrong but we still study classical mechanics today and use it because it works until you go pretty darned fast or the particles are really, really small or really, really big.

    For describing things that happen in the lab on an air track, it’s just peachy.

    Clinging to classical mechanics as “the way the universe works” when observations don’t fit, THAT is Bad Science. It took us through probably the latter part of the 19th century to arrive at the limitations of classical mechanics.

    A person in a primitive society could live out his life without making (or noticing or having time to notice) any observation that would upset the the Earth-Centric Universe theory.

    You and I use the Earth-Centric Universe model all the time, unwittingly. We have labeled the Earth with directions, NESW. We note that the Sun came up in the East and we note that the Sun is now going down in the West. Who pauses to reflect, at that time, that the Sun hasn’t really moved, that we’ve actually rotated towards it and then away from it? Few do this. The Sun has MOVED from East to West is our natural thought. It’s wrong.

    Of course, that’s not exactly science for us, it’s just a convenience of frame of reference. If you attempted to describe the Universe in those terms, however, given our level of tech and record-keeping, you would pretty quickly run into observations that can’t be adequately described by the Earth-Centric Universe. To cling to the Earth-Centric model in the face of these observations is Bad Science.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    As for dragging Mr. Gore into any global warming discussion – he has been speaking about this topic for years, and he has even won major prizes for his documentary and work on this very subject.

    He has worked hard to become identified with this subject, so complaints about bringing up his name in any discussion about global warming, or questioning his credibility, are more than a little disingenuous.

    I believe that you are missing Mr. Leikanger’s point.

    The science of climate change is what it is. If one is going to argue that it isn’t happening (a position that, incidentally, is not widely held in the scientific community, and is largely the domain of right-wing US politicians), then the arguments should be based upon the science.

    The rights to personally dislike Al Gore and to mock him on the internet (that he never claimed to have invented) are protected by the Constitution. But disliking Al Gore is not a credible rebuttal to the science of the climate change hypothesis. That would be akin to opposing freeway construction in your neighborhood based solely on the premise that Hitler would have supported it.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Landcrusher,

    And, working back towards where you think I got off the rails, you offered this:

    “If the global warming crowd want to raise Al Gore up as their bodhisatva, they will have to take him whole.”

    No, we don’t.

    I explained the situation reasonably well. We are grateful to Al for getting the message out front. “An Inconvenient Truth” had some warts but was entertaining, informative and widely viewed (and almost as widely despised). Al pulled together a lot of information and presented it in a reasonably coherent fashion.

    But Al Gore is not Global Warming personified. Deniers prefer to project Al Gore as Global Warming personified, so that Al can enjoy residual demonization and the science can be ignored but that’s not discussing the Science, that’s demonizing Al Gore. It’s dishonest.

    Certainly none of the panelists at the IPCC look to Al Gore for guidance on the science. He doesn’t do research and he doesn’t come up with new models or projections.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Kix,

    Okay, that was not persuasive. It would have been a long time ago, but it’s not today. OTOH, there are some really serious creationist scientist still today. It is interesting to read their stuff, because it does point out a bunch of holes in evolution science. Then you get the intelligent design bunch thrown in, and it gets really cool. At any rate, we are not Vulcans, so arguments for faith can be really persuasive. Perhaps when an immortality treatment comes along, that may change.

    Also, my use of earth centric navigation is not unwitting. Since I intend not to leave the earth, but to travel from one point on it to another point on it, it would be more unwitting to use anything else. Is unwitting a word?

    This thread does bring up a big point and it also addresses a point from…

    PCH,

    I agree with your post, very sound. One side note though. It is completely valid to counter a non scientific argument with another equally non scientific one. I specifically mean the “consensus” arguments. After all, for hundreds of years, a consensus of scholars were creationists. Were they correct?

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Kix,

    Back to Al Gore.

    Once again, I will give you that your logic is sound, but even if we agree, that will only be two of us all over again.

    It would be better if the global warming scientists would denounce Al Gore’s mistakes quite publicly. Without doing so, they lose credibility to guys like us, but apparently, both sides believe that we are in the minority. Best to stick with the team and the truth be damned. They both want to ensure “support” in the form of money and votes.

    I think both sides take terrible risks when they are less than totally honest about important issues. They always get caught, and then the parts they were right about get tossed out with the bath water. Which sort of brings us back to the whole “initiated” problem. One foot in the mouth, and a whole lot of people will never listen to the guy again.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    By “that was not persuasive,” you mean my discussion of whether or not an Earth-Centric universe can be good science? As in, you reject the notion?

    If so, do you realize that the logical extension would be that anyone doing science, from my hypothetical primitive to Galileo to Einstein to … whomever… must accurately model things we don’t yet know?

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I meant it is not persuasive, TODAY. Now that we have more data.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    I barely feel like typing this because KixStart has essentially covered everything I would want to say; his comment on bad science is especially on it’s mark.

    First of all, and I’m trying to be calm about this because it was rather obtuse: but please don’t ever say that I don’t find creationism “persuasive” because

    A) I am not properly informed and not well read

    or

    B) Close-minded

    In addition to being offensive, it’s really just bad argumentative technique. It’s the equivalent of calling me stupid.

    You don’t think the sun revolving around the earth arguments are persuasive because they were only persuasive back in the day? Why is that? Because we have an increased body of knowledge today that makes it so that no matter what the sun “appears” to be doing we know from our background knowledge that it is merely an illusion.

    Creationism is quite persuasive, a logical explanation for why living things exist. Then you learn about biology and natural selection and the history of creationism and the argument becomes just as persuasive as the geo-centric universe.

    Although our views have always been diametrically opposed, I am stunned you would claim there are serious creationist scientists. There may be serious scientists who believe in creationism (rare but they exist), but no such thing as serious creationist scientists.

    I’m not saying Darwin’s evolution is infallible, in fact, his exact model is almost certainly wrong. Nor am I stating that a all powerful being created us is definitely wrong, it is certainly possible, but very very very very unlikely given our body of evidence.

    As for creationism literature, I have read quite a few books on the matter, including Not By Chance by Spetner and The Creation Hypothesis by Moreland, as well as several Bayesian arguments (one by a guy named Steve Unwin I think, I forget it exactly) in addition to their rebuttals. I worked with the conservative, Bush appointed judge that ruled against I.D. when it was an issue in P.A not long ago. Their arguments are not persuasive from a scientific or logical standpoint. I could give you a million books that take such arguments apart, but if you haven’t read Richard Dawkin’s newest book I suggest that.

    If you believe in creationism and take the Bible as an accurate account because of your faith, that’s great (not saying you do, just hypothetically). You might even be right in the end. But faith is just that, faith. And it’s not like we need to have science validate all our beliefs anyways, I believe plenty of things without concrete evidence. But I would never call those beliefs “serious science.”

  • avatar
    Pch101

    It is completely valid to counter a non scientific argument with another equally non scientific one. I specifically mean the “consensus” arguments.

    A wrong minded argument. You act as if scientific “consensus” is some sort of opinion poll or popularity contest, akin to voting for the prom queen.

    Climate change is not the equivalent of high school entertainment. It’s a conclusion reached by scientists who have studied it and subjected their conclusions to the rigors of the method and to peer review. There is virtually no disagreement within the scientific community about it.

    The fact that there is minimal debate among those qualified to comment (the “debate” exists only among the chattering classes who don’t know what they’re talking about) is a good indicator that compelling scientific rebuttals to climate change theory are few and far between. You certainly don’t find many credible scientists being critical of climate science.

    Add to this that most of the arguments against climate change are not subject to scientific peer review and are bought and paid for by industry and by US right-wing organizations, and it becomes clear that the “debate” about climate change is found in pop media, not in the scientific literature.

    Virtually all of the rants against climate change are sponsored by business and political lobbies with vested interests to pretend that it isn’t happening. It’s reminiscent of when the tobacco companies claimed that cigarettes don’t cause cancer, even though you would be hard pressed to find any credible research to support them.

    After all, for hundreds of years, a consensus of scholars were creationists.

    There was consensus among theologians, not among scientists. Unfortunately, it was a bit difficult for those hundreds of years to find any sort of biological research when routine fact finding subjected one to the pleasures of the Inquisition.

    Biology is accordingly a relatively new field. But with the rise of the Enlightenment movement that led to the creation of modern secular states, the theory of evolution followed not long thereafter. Once we were given the opportunity to cast off the yoke of Christian dogma and put an end to the persecution of secular ideas, it didn’t take long before someone such as Darwin could come along and bring out the truth. Had we not been subject to centuries of faith-based tyranny and violence, we may have been able to discover the truth that much sooner.

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    “Ah, Armadamaster, I see you are cutting and pasting your global warming skepticism into several threads.
    Let me post my question here, as well:

    @armadamaster

    Out of curiosity – what’s the basis for your skepticism concerning a human contribution to the marked rise in average global temperatures at the same time that the sun’s output is entering a long cycle decrease?”

    Thanks for noticing, and when the question and/or issue remains the same, so shall the answer:

    The fact that mankind in general are fleas on the back of this big blue hound we call Earth.

    Unless you wanna argue that setting off every nuke on the planet simultaneously would cause some manmade global warming, I’ll secede that one.

    Of course, if you are looking for a more scientific answer, all I can say is for every ten pro-manmade global warming scientists you can put up, I can put up another ten that say otherwise, which all in all equates to a gigantic “We don’t know”.

    Summarizing, the big “We don’t know” is grossly insufficent IMHO to burden a populus with major financial, industrial, and lifestyle changes that the environazis demand in the interim.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Qusus: First of all, and I’m trying to be calm about this because it was rather obtuse: but please don’t ever say that I don’t find creationism “persuasive” because

    A) I am not properly informed and not well read

    or

    B) Close-minded

    In addition to being offensive, it’s really just bad argumentative technique. It’s the equivalent of calling me stupid.

    Then let’s extend the same courtesy to those who question whether global warming is occurring because of mankind’s actions.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Qusus,

    I apologize for the remarks. It was not my intention to call you names or degrade you. Again, my apologees.

    If you have read all of that, then we simply disagree on the meaning of persuasive. You disagree, and therefore say nothing is persuasive. I say that many of the arguments are well thought out and ARE persuasive – whether or not I agree. You might want to check your thoughts on the word persuasive against the crap you here in the political debates. Much of it nonsense, yet many are persuaded to believe it.

    Lastly, no judge in this country ever ruled against I.D. They may have ruled on some matter pertaining to it, but the Constitution is pretty clear on actually putting matters of faith on trial.

    PCH,

    I believe that, without regard to it’s merits, Global Warming is precisely a popularity contest with the added benefit of being a faith required of all the disciples who want to make a living in science. Just like all the scientists of yore were trained in the church, afraid to investigate certain matters, today’s academy acts in a less aggressive, but wholly similar fashion. To disagree is to be cast out, denied tenure, grants, and a livelihood. It may not be the inquisition, but it has a similar effect.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Geeber,

    The real hurt was realizing, as you pointed out, that I had lowered myself to the level of the global warming fans. Ouch.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I believe that, without regard to it’s merits, Global Warming is precisely a popularity contest with the added benefit of being a faith required of all the disciples who want to make a living in science. Just like all the scientists of yore were trained in the church, afraid to investigate certain matters, today’s academy acts in a less aggressive, but wholly similar fashion. To disagree is to be cast out, denied tenure, grants, and a livelihood. It may not be the inquisition, but it has a similar effect.

    I’m sorry, but you have absolutely no facts with which to defend this statement.

    Climate change has been studied to death. Virtually every study that has been subjected to peer review supports the position that it is happening, that it is man-made, and that it is detrimental.

    To believe otherwise is to akin to a whacko conspiracy theory, which is frankly just nuts.

    The global warming skeptics are much like the 9/11 “truth movement”, which cooks up all sorts of odd suppositions and accusations based upon distortions and weird interpretations. To support the skeptics position requires a proactive need to ignore the research and willfully misinterpret it.

    I’ve seen examples of it in the comments section of this website, in one case when a poster provided a list of sources that allegedly contradicted the climate change hypothesis. Yet reviewing a sample of those articles showed that they not only supported climate change theory, but that their authors had taken clear positions in support of climate change — in other words, precisely the opposite position claimed by the amateur skeptic (who probably cut-and-paste the list from some dubious source and had never bothered to read the articles for himself.) To appreciate these sorts of tactics, you’d have to run a tobacco company…

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    PCH,

    I guess we are about stuck again. This is not simple matter of “facts”. It’s a matter of how the system works. Science IS a popularity contest. Of course the majority of scientists refute this, they have done their best to cull the ones who don’t go along for decades. Those who manage to get to a position without joining the herd, or who one day decide to reject the herd, are cast out and belittled. No one is immune. I have been a graduate student, and almost all my close friends have been. Many have multiple degrees. My mother works in the administration of a top university, where I spend a lot of time myself. I know of what I speak.

    I am of the age that I have now seen it a million times. Systems develop these situations time and time again, and very few people ever seem to be able to see it with or without hindsight. GW has all the symptoms of evolution, eugenics, enron, communist economics, the medieval church, and the subprime debacle. The system influences the actors and there is no strong check in the flow. It doesn’t matter whether the information output is true or not, the information must be distrusted because the system producing it is flawed and corrupt.

    There are lots of studies that look plenty credible that debunk a lot of the previously accepted, peer reviewed ones. We hear about them all the time, and yes, a lot of the time the author then states that this does not refute climate change, only the one study. Why do you think they do that? So they will not be cast out. They should state no such thing and let the findings stand on their own merit.

    The beginning of the end for me was when a study came out claiming that among heterosexuals, men had more partners on average than women did. Clearly mathematically impossible, and it was months before it was withdrawn. That was over ten years ago, and my skepticism is reinforced the longer I live.

    We can’t argue it, because I simply distrust ALL the sources. I try to conserve anyway, based on personal cheapness, an appreciation of efficiency, a dislike of waste, and a knowledge that CO2 being a problem or not, there are other pollutants that clearly are a problem. So, don’t blame me for global warming. If you want to fix something, fix the Academy first. The results will be far more valuable than simply reducing carbon.

  • avatar
    Bytor

    Science is only a popularity contest for those who don’t understand science or even basic critical thinking. Unfortunately that number seems to be swelling.

    Since the dawn of the internet people have been getting more and more disconnected from critical thinking and for some reason swayed into believing many crazy ideas that don’t stand any critical examination. Today more than 30% of people believe that Princess Di was murdered to keep her from marrying Dodi, the same goes for the numbers that believe the US government was involved in the 9/11 attack on it’s own people.

    I think this phenomena happens because people with crazy ideas would be shunned in the past, but now on the internet you can quickly find a mob that will agree with you and crazy ideas instead of being weeded out, are encouraged to grow.

    There is a simple question I ask deniers that has them shout, change the subjet or walk away. They seldom ever attempt to answer because they are only interest in politicizing and muddying the science. Personally I see them as two separate issues. The science is clear. c02 is contributing to global warming, the question of what to do about it should be the politcal part.

    The question I ask is based on two simple undisputed facts. 1: C02 is a heat trapping gas. 2: We pump billions of Tons of C02 into the atmosphere every year increasing the concentration of C02 measurebly.

    The simple question is: how can more heat trapping gas in the atmosphere not result in more heat being trapped?

    The denier camp with its distrust of science, also seems to be in complete opposition to simple straight forward logic.

    People need to stop letting their idealogy short circuit thier thinking to the point that 1+1=3 if their percieved enemy says 1+1=2.

    1+1 still equals 2 even if GW Bush or Al Gore says it.

  • avatar
    simonptn

    Nice one Bytor.

    Thank god there is someone else out there who can see the forest and isn’t concerned about what CO2 absorbing trees are in it.

    Oh wait … too late … they cut down the forest and planted corn to make ethanol.

    Fortunately I am old enough that, if I am lucky, I will probably be shuffling off this mortal coil just about when someone is going to be proved right.

    “I told you so” make good last words.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States