By on October 28, 2010

In a former life, I had worked a bit with J.D. Power. I knew them intimately. We had our issues. This is one of the few times I wholeheartedly agree with them. “Future global market demand for hybrid and battery electric vehicles may be over-hyped” is the conclusion of a new J.D.Power study, titled “Drive Green 2020: More Hope than Reality.”

For 2010, J.D.Power sees worldwide sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to total 954,500 vehicles, or 2.2 percent of the 44.7 million vehicles projected to be sold through the end of 2010. That picture should surely change 10 years later, no?

No. By 2020, J.D.Power sees combined global sales of HEVs and BEVs at 5.2 million units, or just 7.3 percent of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles forecasted to be sold worldwide by that year. And what’s keeping them? It’s not range anxiety. It’s plain old money.

“While many consumers around the world say they are interested in HEVs and BEVs for the expected fuel savings and positive environmental impact they provide, their interest declines significantly when they learn of the price premium that comes with purchasing these vehicles.”

“Many consumers say they are concerned about the environment, but when they find out how much a green vehicle is going to cost, their altruistic inclination declines considerably,” said Humphrey. “For example, among consumers in the U.S. who initially say they are interested in buying a hybrid vehicle, the number declines by some 50 percent when they learn of the extra $5,000, on average, it would cost to acquire the vehicle.”

If hybrids and plugins are supposed to be a huge success, one, or preferably more of the following needs to happen.

  • A significant increase in the global price of petroleum-based fuels by 2020
  • A substantial breakthrough in green technologies that would reduce costs and improve consumer confidence
  • A coordinated government policy to encourage consumers to purchase these vehicles.

But, says the report, “based on currently available information, none of these scenarios are believed to be likely during the next 10 years.”

“While considerable interest exists among governments, media and environmentalists in promoting HEVs and BEVs, consumers will ultimately decide whether these vehicles are commercially successful or not,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. “Based on our research of consumer attitudes toward these technologies—and barring significant changes to public policy, including tax incentives and higher fuel economy standards—we don’t anticipate a mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade.”

If that’s what their research says, then the truth will be much bleaker. Consumers are known to lie through their teeth when it comes to green issues.

In developing countries, and that’s where the growth is and will be, money plays an even bigger role. Ironically,  if they buy cars with as much abandon as expected, maybe the “significant increase in the global price of petroleum-based fuels” part will happen earlier.

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67 Comments on “J.D.Power: EVs Are Hype...”


  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    This is not going to make Carlos Ghosn’s day.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes and no.  I think, regardless of what he says, that Nissan is building their electric simply because they can.  It’s a one up and something to bring people in or get them thinking about a brand.  Not everyone will by it.  I think the days of “green washing” are closing quickly.  In the toy industry that I am in, I work closely with auto companies.  Even GM is not pushing EV or Volt licenses like they used to.  We produced some alternative energy toys… they flopped.  So, the results of this survey only prove what I’ve started to see happen here at work.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    Which manufacturer charges $ 5,000 for the hybrid? Are they suggesting the Pris as an IC would cost $ 17,000?
     
    If I’m a commuter who drives 20,000 miles a year (and that exists) a Prius for $ 22K likely is very economical compared to a $ 20K IC car of similar size and trim. And this not even assuming $ 4 for gas, which we had.
     
    Ironically when it comes to hybrids and the extra upfront cost people demand the instant payback. when buying a (completely useless) third car just for fun, that all seems not to be questioned.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      It’s called a Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      The Corolla has a hatch, the same cargo volume, passenger volume, and safety rating?
      And a Corolla with automatic climate control etc. cost $ 17,000?
      Corolla has 13.3 ft² cargo volume, Prius has 21.6 ft³. Camry has 15 ft³.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      As well all know, OEMs do not try to sell hatch backs in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      RGS920

      You guys are missing the obvious.  The Matrix, it starts at $16,700, seats 5 adults,  comes in a hatch and has 61.5 ft of cargo space while the Prius can only offer 21.6.  Matrix also has more head, shoulder, blah blah room and comes with a 1.8L ICE which happens to be from the same family (The 2ZR Family) as the 1.8L ICE unit found in the prius. 

      So yes, Toyota charges $5,000 extra for a hybrid where a regular ICE car of the same manufacturer and same basic layout with more room and cargo space and functionality would cost you approximately $5,000 less. 

      And considering that you drive 20,000 miles a year.  And lets just assume a worst case scenario of $3 for regular gas you pay approximately:
      $1,200 a year in a Prius 
      $2,000 a year in a Matrix

      So in order to make up for the $5000 premium you pay on your prius, you will have to hold on to your prius for 6 1/4 years to start saving money over the Matrix. 

      Consider for a moment that the normal person drives maybe 10000 miles a year and gas really doesn’t cost $3, we’re looking at over 12 years for the average driver to recoup their costs for buying a hybrid.  This of course is nothing new considering that there were a number of articles writen on TTAC which already crunched the numbers and determined the amount of years and miles you would have to drive in order to start saving money by buying a Hybrid.

      I’d also note that the premium Toyota attaches on its Lexus Hybrids are far more than $5,000 and those are hybrids ARE the same cars as their ICE counter-parts.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    Big oil/OPEC might just be waiting the current craze out, in fact they might do all they can to ensure that price conditions do not favour EV’s/Hybrids until interest dies out and then…………..?

  • avatar

    So much energy is lost in the changes that take place from coal/oil   – and the transmission of electricity from plant to homes…that its MORE EFFICIENT to simply keep using oil and gasoline.

    So much environmental damage is done using energy (derived from coal and oil)  to tear into the earth searching for minerals for EV’s… its MORE EFFICIENT to simply keep using oil and gasoline.

    And the biggest problem of all is that we waste so much energy on enetertainment that our demand keeps rising regardless the supply.

    • 0 avatar

      Amen.. you put it right on.  It’s all about how efficient it is to get and use the energy and EV as well as Hybrid tech may be doing more wrong than right currently.  At least we do have options for those who want that tech.  I, for one, will not be buying in.

  • avatar
    valkraider

    (EDIT: I clicked reply to “bigtruckseries” comment but it didn’t get placed below there. This is in response to that comment…)

    Right – cause there is no energy consumed to find and extract oil and ship crude to refineries and refine it into gasoline and ship the gasoline to your local gas station…
     
    But in REAL data, even worst case scenario charging an EV with coal during the peak electrical consumption an EV has lower overall energy consumption than ICE.  Best case scenario – say charging an EV during low demand periods with renewable sources an EV can be multiples more efficient than an ICE.
     
    People love to take the BTU of the gallon of fuel burned in the ICE and compare it to life-cycle energy consumption in an EV.  But they usually ignore the life-cycle consumption of producing the liquid fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      + 1
       
      plus the fleet of aircraft carriers, war planes and tanks needed to secure the oil supply. This cost (and environmental and energy impact) also needs to be included in IC transportation. I’m not a fan of coal, but even using that as worst case electricity source: it is domestic (no military needed, no money goes to terrorists) and with mixing in some renewable (domestic again, no military required) makes it better than oil.
      and yes I know, “drill baby drill” people will say we don’t need to import oil. but jsut imagine the magnitude of oil we use and think of some recent incidents trying to drill for oil.

    • 0 avatar

      SIMPLY PUT,  a  gallon of fuel has more potential energy in it than a battery of equivalent size.

      It takes less energy to produce that amount of fuel than it does to produce that gallon’s equivalent in energy. That’s just a simple fact.

      Unless you were somehow able to use only Solar power as your base energy delivery, you can’t beat the laws of thermodynamics. Unfortunately, we’d have to have entire cities covered with solar panels to get energy in amounts high enough to move off petrol.  Unless some genius invents a fusion reactor…

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      To HerrKaLeun’ comment above:

      “plus the fleet of aircraft carriers, war planes and tanks needed to secure the oil supply”

      With all the coal in the US, why not just convert to camphor-burning vehicles like in China and other countries in Asia during WW2? Then they can retire all the bird farms and save boatloads of money!

  • avatar
    Tosh

    One day a light bulb will go on in the head of a Chinese communist party leader, and he will dictate electric cars for all. Only demand in China can make it happen, though, as the USA has lost the chance to influence the car market. (Although it is still possible that the US military can turn things around: they are testing fuels made from algae and electric hybrids…)

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Like central planning much? You can’t just snap your fingers and make a limited use new technology practical or economical. If that did happen the Chinese or at least the ones who weren’t Party members would be back on bicycles.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      Are you really Tom Friedman?
      Trust me on this one, they like every other government in history will pick their battles. The fantasies of western greenies are not on their list. They want to keep ridding the tiger, not winding up as tiger food.

  • avatar
    John Fritz

    Allow free markets to decide if there’s a demand for electric vehicles or not.
     
    Unfortunately, this will not happen because our government has ulterior motives for forcing electric vehicles to become successful.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      Amen.  I’m not against electric vehicles at all, I actually want them to succeed, but I don’t want them shoved down our throat.  I want more choices in the marketplace.
       
      A full size SUV that can run purely on batteries, is affordable, and can go over a hundred miles on a single charge is probably a LONG way off.  Don’t make everyone drive a small hatchback that can only go 30 miles, some people have different needs and can decide for themselves.
       
      I also really dislike the idea of government “paying” people to buy electric vehicles.  If they can’t stand on their own two feet, so be it.
       
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      redrum

      There are several good reasons to promote EVs: decreased pollution, lessen dependence on foreign energy, lessen dependence on a finite resource.  I don’t consider any of those “ulterior motives”.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      EV’s will mainly be powered by coal, since most electricity in the United States is generated by coal power.  i don’t have a problem with that (but I would prefer nuclear), but coal is still a finite resource and does cause pollution.  in addition, many of the materials used to make EV’s are incredibly toxic.
      I want EV technology to move forward, but much of the hysteria against gas-powered vehicles is completely over the top.  Electric vehicles ARE NOT going to solve all of our problems.  The taxpayer shouldn’t be forced to subsidize electric vehicles for wealthy car buyers.
       
       

  • avatar

    Sounds reasonable, this study. It certainly needs more than some early adopters with enough dough to make a mass market, as long as there are other viable options.
    But EVs might be a solution for short-range traffic in metropolitan regions. Let’s wait what cab drivers are doing.

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    My family is about at the point where if we had a golf cart like electric vehicle with a 10 mile range, being charged by solar panels on our south oriented roof, we could abandon liquid fuels for a large portion of our driving – perhaps 75% of our overall consumption.  I don’t think we are unique.  Most people have two cars.  Many could get away with a golf cart like electric vehicle for most purposes.  Solar has moved from r&d to more standard processes of companies doing cost reductions as part of their standard operations.  You can buy a 3 kw solar system for 10k not including installation, and a golf cart for 8k and while not cheaper than the liquid fuel route (due to millions being produced and a century of refinement) allows those with a strong green bent to stop using significant quantities of oil.  For those of us who think cutting the defense budget is important (I would like to see 50% cut) we are putting our money where our mouths are.  Yes, the Chinese now product rare earths and solar panels but all those could be produced domestically.

    It’s not necessarily how you do something today, but how you could do it tomorrow - and the solar panel to short range electric vehicle, all produced domestically, is plausible.  Just need to get started!

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Solar, without massive government subsidies, is multiple times the cost of converntial power production. It might work fine for you, but do you even give a damn about what your exercise is feel-goodism costs the rest of us? I’m tired of paying for everything for everyone. Let the market decide what is most efficient.

    • 0 avatar
      musiccitymafia

      @djoel - small producers of IC derived emissions (or small consumers of foreign oil if you prefer) are inconsequential. Rationalize how to replace large producers of IC derived emissions with (small) asset investments and you’ll be onto something.

      Note: Inconsequential except to keep paying taxes so “we” can afford to give subsidies to the early adoptors … 

    • 0 avatar
      djoelt1

      Mike, that’s the price without subsidies, so no one is paying for it except me.  When I see people pushing the “it’s too expensive angle”, it’s not from a position of current knowledge.  Old knowledge perhaps, or common knowledge, but not knowledgeable of real numbers from real companies and where their development plans are headed.
      Solar will be cost competitive without subsidies for most Californians for a significant fraction of their electricity bill in under 5 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Tricky Dicky

      But Mike, the market has no personality, no psyche, no long term perspective. The market is cocaine-up-the-nose, damn-the-consequences, let’s-do-it-now. It’s not accountable for anything, damns the generations to come, ignorant in the extreme, motivated by fear and led by the masses. The market is blind to structural unfairness, hidden subsidy, manipulation and distortion. You have great faith in this entity my friend. Like believing in the kindness of strangers or something.
      More down to earth, the JD Power results are greatly in line with a study made last year by the International Energy Authority who made some long range predictions about different forms of BEVs, HVs, PHVs, Diesel and Gasoline ICEs and the extent to which they would share the auto markets globally.
      All of these technologies are going to co-exist in 2050, to a greater or lesser extent and it seems that apart from Renault-Nissan, no one is holding out much hope of a radical change in people’s buying habits for powertrains. What we should encourage is the diversity of choices so the most effective and efficient powertrains are available in each situation.

  • avatar
    obbop

    If there is any entity knowledgeable about hype it should be JD Power.

  • avatar

    There was a french study that came out with siimilar predictions for 2030.
    Anyway, this depends on the unforeseen not happening. There are so many things that could interrupt the supply of the magic fuel that I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot more EVs are sold in 2020. Trouble in the Middle East. Some obvious signal that climate change is really happening. Or _____. But if the world keeps going along smoothly, then Power will likely be correct about this.

  • avatar

    There was a french study that came out with siimilar predictions for 2030.
    Anyway, this depends on the unforeseen not happening. There are so many things that could interrupt the supply of the magic fuel that I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot more EVs are sold in 2020. Trouble in the Middle East. Some obvious signal that climate change is really happening. Or _____. But if the world keeps going along smoothly, then Power will likely be correct about this. I’m certainly not going to be buying a hybrid or an EV unless the cost of gasoline goes up very significantly.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    The numbers don’t reflect the first mover status of these technologies. Whoever gets there firstest with the mostest will capture most of the sales as well. Honda found this out going against the Prius and we’ll see how well the Leaf and the Volt fare. Both are nominally first mover technologies and should clean up in their respective fields. Anyone else will have to do it substantially better to conquest sales away from these.

  • avatar
    Daanii2

    Analyses like this do help. It’s nice to think about where things are and where they might go.
     
    But these kind of predictions should not be taken any more seriously than if they came from someone looking in a crystal ball. Predictions are always wrong.
     
    Don’t believe me? Look back at the predictions people were making about the carmaking industry 10 years ago. Then look at where we are now. See what I mean?

  • avatar
    redrum

    Calling something “over-hyped” depends entirely on how you measure the hype.  I don’t think anyone’s expecting EVs to take over in 10 years, but going from 2.2% to 7.3% market share, while not earth shattering, is nothing to sneeze at.  Plus it appears JD Power is making those projections based on NO unforeseen changes in the next 10 years.  While this may be the safest way to make predictions, I’m pretty sure their crystal ball is no better than anyone else’s.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think anyone’s expecting EVs to take over in 10 years
      “Expect” is a strong word, but let me assure you that there are people who “think” EVs will become prevalent within ten years. But how will that 7.3 percent break out into hybrids, electrics and plug-in hybrids ten years from now? It’s hard not to see vanilla hybrids making up the significant majority.
      On the other hand, petroleum volatility isn’t gone for good, and another big spike is going to throw a lot of car sales models off. This is a tough field to be waving ones crystal balls around in.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Consider that customers for such cars are only a “boundary layer” between those who don’t believe there’s a climate change/peak oil issue at all, and those who switch their lifestyles to not needing to use cars much. There are perfectly good alternatives to excessive private car use, and other than hybrid/electric cars, those alternatives are more efficient and therefore cheaper in the long run.

    That said, I think golf-cartish vehicles make sense and would be part of the solution.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Let them make them.
    Let them buy them.
    I say to each their own.
    But Leave Me Out Of It!!!
    Stop using public funds to force social buying patterns!

    One last thought…

    When gas begins, and it will, to rise and rise and rise, ALL ENERGIES WILL RISE IN COST!
    So if your plan is to avoid rising cost by going EV, you’re nuts!

    Unless I have awoken to a completely new world, those very same promoting EV are against nuclear power.
    So somebody please explain to them how electricity is made.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m with you on your first four, maybe five lines. I love my ICE. I’m an ICE junkie. My Accord may not be Mozart, but it IS Salieri to the Boxster’s Mozart.
      But beyond that, things are more complicated and nuanced. Besides coal in china, the fastest growing source of electricity in both absolute terms and percentage-wise (by a good shot) is wind.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Wind!
      Wind you say is the future source for power!?
      Are you suggesting these most horrible  steel towers of wind warms that are beginning to blot out our countryside, removing all remnants of nature are the wave of the future?
      Where there once was prairie is now great steel towers of spinning fans.
      Enough of this madness.
      It’s time we lovers of open fields or farms and trees stand against this group stupid PC rush to build and build and build until entire communities are shadowed by their gigantic wings sending wave after wave of shade, then sun, then shade.
      On and On they turn, eventually turning entire villages into hypnotized zombies.

      Please don’t offer more of this nightmare as a better future,

      Let me ask you.  Have you EVER lived within one of these wind farms? Have you lived close enough that the shade produced hits your house like a regular black out, then its light and then black again.
      I know people who live in this giant outer space experiment. Its not pretty.
       

    • 0 avatar
      musiccitymafia

      Not sure how to take your anti-wind comments. Sticking with an oil vs wind comparison … IF the generated power is used to replace IC engines how can you possibly not be for it? Are you really trying to balance 1,000 little tailpipes (and a big refinery someplace) with someones undesired shade? Of course, if the dollars don’t work well they just don’t work (without being forced in which case they’ll work for a little while … I’d just not make it my career).

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Funny that you mention wind farms being an eyesore; when driving across Kansas last year I thought the wind farms were by far the most interesting/attractive things there.
      After hundreds of miles of dirt, shrubs, corn, and Wizard of Oz billboards; a field full of graceful white windmills was a welcome bit of motion and z-axis.  I took pictures because I thought they were so attractive.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      bikegoesbaa and musiccitymafia

      I apologize for my spelling last night but my mediation was in its full blast and I really shouldn’t be trying to do anything cerebral, unless its as simple as pulling down the bedspread!
      My kids are fond of calling it “dad’s stupid pill”.

      Look, I know I stand alone on this, even within my own family.  Wind farms are considered awesome.
      However, to an old hippie like myself they scream out 1984 or the end of mother earth.
      As a person, I probably plant 30 trees a year on my properties throughout the US. In fact, my neighbors laugh that one yard has a tree or plant for every 10 feet of land.
      I am a worshiper of forest and green.
      I disdain people and crowds.
      Open space allows me to feel less paranoid.

      To call wind a renewable resource but ignore the importance, value and fragility of open landscape and forests is so damned idiotic, I cannot begin to reply.
      Where does this logic originate?

      So, long lecture short, I absolutely hate that we as a people, to satisfy our needs without an eye for the future is enough to make an Indian cry from the grave.
      Are we so short on imagination we have to do this to ourselves and our planet?

  • avatar
    Bancho

    I’m developing my own series of alternative powered vehicles.
     
    I intend to base it all on friction motors and flywheels. I need to work out where the “zip cord” stations will be located and find people strong enough to yank the zip cords. If anyone’s looking to throw away some VC let me know.

    Here’s some video footage of my tests so far:

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Bancho, I’ve got you beat! I have an Extended Range Gravity Powered Vehicle. Unlike conventional gravity powered vehicles (soap box racers, Cozy Coupes, hot wheels cars, and Yugos with > 1000 miles), my design has an internal combustion engine that can be engaged at the bottom of the hill. Just think, no more gravity powered vehicle range anxiety!
       
      The engagement mechanism is simple. In addition to the gas and brake pedal, there’s a third pedal that when released engages the ICE. When you get to the top of the next hill, the car is “charged” again and you can depress the pedal and proceed under gravity power again. I’m going to skip the VC and go straight for a government grant. Extended Range Gravity Powered Vehicles are the future!

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

      I’ll bet it’ll say “Radio Flyer” on it, too! Go for it!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I don’t think we are going to see a big market for battery electric vehicles, but I do expect to see more and more variations of hybrid technologies being put to use. But, before that happens we will see broader implementation of a lot of the little tricks vehicles like the Prius use to maximize efficiency. One of these is low rolling resistance and relatively taller narrower tires. A Prius, for instance, comes with 195/65-15 tires while most other similar sized vehicles are now running 60 series or wider tires.
    Most enthusiasts do not realize that a wider tire both increases the coefficient of drag and increases the effective frontal area of a vehicle.
    http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/tire-width-vs-drag-cd-7475.html
     
     

  • avatar
    gslippy

    After so many decades of battery development, I don’t see any great technology breakthroughs happening soon.

    That leaves us with artificially-high pricing or artificially-driven demand, both of which the governments of the world can provide for us.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    1. Pure electrics will never be practical for more than a small percentage of the population. 7 percent sounds about right as a guess.
    2. Hybrids which use gasoline with electric motors to increase their efficiency are a much better bet.
    3. I am aware of a research project in progress right now to turn natural gas into diesel fuel at the welhead.
    America has a 600 year supply of natural gas. The reason that converting the gas into diesel is better than using it in gas form is ease of transport and usability in our currently existing infrastructure.

    Playing with solar power and windmills is a luxury that we, as a rich country, can afford at the moment, but barely.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      “Playing with solar power and windmills is a luxury that we, as a rich country, can afford at the moment, but barely.”
      How much military spending could the US save if we didn’t need to import a drop of oil from anyone?
      http://greathistory.com/global-military-spending-are-we-crazy.htm
       

  • avatar
    jimboy

    The title of the article says it  all. Much like the whole climate change scam.

    • 0 avatar
      djoelt1

      Regarding the scam that may be global warming…
      If the rest of the world participates in this scam, then we are going to have to participate as well.  What happens when US manufacturers are penalized for carbon emissions?
      The question then becomes, should we act as if the scam is true to ensure companies and employment and invention take place here, or petulantly sit out a potentially significant driver of investment and invention?
       

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      If the rest of the world participates in this scam, then we are going to have to participate as well.

      You mean like with the Kyoto Treaty? That really worked out well, didn’t it. All the other countries really showed the US with that one.

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    Wait. 5 million EVs?  7.3% of total vehicle sales?  In ten years?
     
    I’m sorry, but that would be a LOT more then I expected.  Hybrids have, as the article mentioned, taken ten years and have barely broken the 2% marketshare line.  In the next 10 years if we are going to see a massive 7.9% that is incredible successful.
     
    We also need to keep in mind that is 7.2% of global numbers, by 2020 most of those cars will be in low-margin countries such as China and India, where HEV/BEV will have minimal sales impact.  Hard to build a hybrid premium into a $5k Wuling afterall.  Which means that HEV/BEV marketshare will be disproportionaly high in the developed world.
     
     
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      musiccitymafia

      Now there’s some straight math the JD folks should (maybe) have handled correctly in their “prediction”. Think is, I just don’t see JD in the forecasting business for some reason :-)

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    If the rest of the world participates in this scam, then we are going to have to participate as well.  What happens when US manufacturers are penalized for carbon emissions?
    The question then becomes, should we act as if the scam is true to ensure companies and employment and invention take place here, or petulantly sit out a potentially significant driver of investment and invention?

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    Countries can react to the scam that is global warming without participating in a treaty like Kyoto.  In fact, every country except the US and Australia already has policies in place that reduce carbon emissions below what the citizenry of that country can afford to generate.  In most countries, they do this through fuel economy standards and other standards.  The standards don’t say Kyoto but they have the same effect.
    If we ignore that these countries are taking action to reduce carbon emissions (by directly reduce fuel consumption), our car companies will be blindsided by fuel volatility, when foreign makers will be ready with high mileage cars.  Consumers are fickle.  Fuel goes up $1 due to factors out of our control and the Prius is a top seller.  How many times per decade does this have to happen before Americans get a clue?  Other countries are not going to adopt our gluttonous habits any time soon; we can choose to not compete in the costly fuel world to the temporary benefit on the consumption end but to our long term detriment in being non-competitive in the biggest industries of the future.  We are halfway there already…
     

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      The point is that the Kyoto Treaty failed. Countries that signed the Kyoto Treaty could not reduce their emissions. Nothing they tried worked.
       
      Cap and trade in Europe? Financial failure, no carbon reduction. Build windmills like in Denmark? Financial failure, no carbon reduction. Windmills and solar in Spain and Germany? Financial failure, no carbon reduction.
       
      It’s like the mice that got together to figure out what to do about the cat. Let’s put a bell around its neck. Then we can hear the cat coming and run away to safety.
       
      Brilliant idea! Just no way to implement it.

    • 0 avatar
      Tree Trunk

      Living in Alaska I can see the “scam” every day with my own eyes.
       
      Extreme forest fires in the interior, melting permafrost on the Tundra, disappearing sea ice along the coast, melting glaciers in the mountains etc.
       
      The only thing I have not been able to figure out is how Al Gore can make the “scam” look so real.  He probably goes around with a big hairdryer and melts all that ice, between starting insect out brakes and lighting forest fires.
       
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      There’s little question that the Arctic is warming. The question is why.
       
      Al Gore says that it is warming because humans put carbon dioxide into the air. Science does not bear that out. Could be true. Could be false. There’s no way to prove it, one way or the other.
       
      If you have faith in Al Gore, or James Hansen, or the late Stephen Schneider, go ahead and believe them. They are preaching a religion, in my opinion. Not practicing science.

  • avatar
    Tree Trunk

    Daanii2
    It’s your right to cherry pick what scientific findings you choose to accept, but those who deny study after study that reach the same conclusion; our climate is changing and that change is at least in part influenced by human actions, start looking more and more like the members of the Flat Earth Society.
     
    Like when 400 leading climate scientist released a report on the causes and consequences of Climate Change our Alaskan congressman still doubted their findings and asked for a second opinion! instead of looking at what could reasonable be done to adapt to and slow down the changes we are seeing.
     
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      I’m not doubting that Al Gore and hundreds of climate scientists believe that we humans are causing the earth to warm. Clearly they do. And they are entitled to their beliefs. As are you, and as am I.
       
      But for you and them to claim that they have proved scientifically that humans are causing the earth to warm is false. They have not. In fact, they cannot. There is no way to prove that theory scientifically.
       
      Climate models prove nothing. Don’t believe me? Read a paper by Naomi Oreskes that argues quite persuasively that very point. courses.washington.edu/ess408/OreskesetalModels.pdf As does David Orrell in his book The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction (in Canada the book’s called Apollo’s Arrow). (Incidentally, both those people believe in man-made global warming.)
       
      There’s nothing wrong with believing in man-made global warming. You do, and that’s fine. But realize that you need to take it on faith. You have not proved, and cannot prove, it by science.
       
      As for me, I’m skeptical. And when people who personally profit from proclaiming that theory are the loudest voices (as do Al Gore and climate scientists), my skepticism increases.
       
      Even so, I think all six billion of us are having an impact on the earth. Even an impact on the climate (though I think our impact on the earth’s temperature is small). So I’m all for limiting my own personal impact on the earth.
       
      How do I do that? My family lives in a modest house, much smaller than what we could afford. I quit my job ten years ago to work as a consultant from home. I started an electric car company a few years ago, and we are putting together our first “proof-of-concept” car. (Although I walk or bicycle for errands and haven’t driven a car for a week.) Though I like to travel, I limit my trips — I haven’t flown for over a year.
       
      I live like a man-made global warming believer should live. Compare me to Al Gore. He lives like a prince off his climate Armageddon preaching. To me, Al Gore is a hypocrite. That he does not practice what he preaches speaks more loudly than his voice.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      They have not. In fact, they cannot. There is no way to prove that theory scientifically

      Just for clarification’s sake, that’s how science works.  You develop a theory and then refine or disprove it by experimentation.  “Proof” as people understand the term is rather more the realm of math and law than science.

      We can’t prove how gravity works.

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      We can’t prove how gravity works.

      But we have proved the law of gravity. How? By using the scientific method. That is, you think of a hypothesis. You figure out a way to test your hypothesis. You perform the test. You report the results. If others can repeat the same test and get the same results, your hypothesis becomes accepted.

      With global warming, the hypothesis is that by burning fossil fuels, making cement, and clearing land for agriculture, we are burdening the earth’s air with carbon dioxide. That is making the earth warmer.

      In other words, part of the hypothesis is that the amount of carbon dioxide in the air regulates the earth’s temperature. Increase the amount of carbon dioxide, and the earth heats up. Decrease the amount, and the earth cools down.

      The problem is, how do you test that? What experiment do you conduct to verify your hypothesis?

      Simply put, the answer is that there is no way to test that hypothesis. There is no experiment you can run to prove your hypothesis true or false.

      Since that is the case, you cannot verify the man-made global warming hypothesis using the scientific method. There is no way to prove it scientifically. Global warming science is not settled. Nor can it be.

      Of course, some of what climate scientists are doing is science. Valuable science. They have learned a lot.

      But modelling is not the scientific method. Voting on science is not the scientific method. If climate scientists tell us that they have reached a consensus on global warming, and that means they have scientifically proved that it is due to man, that is a lie. That is not science.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

       
      But we have proved the law of gravity. How? By using the scientific method.
      That is, you think of a hypothesis. You figure out a way to test your hypothesis. You perform the test. You report the results. If others can repeat the same test and get the same results, your hypothesis becomes accepted.
       
      By that logic, we proved Newtonian Physics.
       
      With global warming, the hypothesis is that by burning fossil fuels, making cement, and clearing land for agriculture, we are burdening the earth’s air with carbon dioxide. That is making the earth warmer.

      The problem is, how do you test that? What experiment do you conduct to verify your hypothesis?

      You can’t.  But equally true is that you cannot assume that something you have tested is absolutely true, either.  Absolute truths are the domain of mathematics.  What you can do is prove it demonstrably false, and thusfar that hasn’t been done.
       
      Newtonian physics are a perfect example of this: they appear true and they test true, except that in the greater, quantum mechanical sense, they’re completely not true at all: Newtonian physics comes unglued at the quantum level**. Is quantum mechanics not science because we have to model it, rather than witness it empirically?
       
      Most scientific theories aren’t proven, nor are they ever considered proven.  They’re either further refined, or they’re disproven entirely.  Evolution is such a theory: we can’t prove it, not directly, but we can refine our understanding of it, and it tests out under available evidence. Anthropogenic Global Climate Change is a lot like Evolution: because of the scale, we can’t prove it empirically.  But the evidence thusfar comes down on the balance of “It’s probably happening”, and what we are seeing is further refinements of the theory.
       
      What the inability to prove it true does not mean is that it’s automatically false.  This is where science differs from math (and from politics).  Just because the theory changes and is refined does not mean that you can throw the baby out with the bathwater any more than we can throw Newtonian physics out because we’ve discovered quantum physics.  It isn’t a matter of reputation.
       
      Evolution was treated much the same way AGCC is being treated now, and it’s because denialists have an unintention (or willful) misunderstanding of how science works.  It’s not a matter of faith on the part of the theory’s proponents, it’s a matter of accepting that the theory is true because sufficient proof doesn’t exist to disprove it entirely (or force a change of scale).
       
      **  just as quantum mechanics does as things get bigger
       

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      No, Newtonian physics has been proven using the scientific method. As has much of the physics of electricity and magnetism. My son’s high school advanced physics book has many equations that he and his classmates have verified themselves, in the lab.
       
      Similarly, much of what you might classify as evolution has been proven scientifically. You can use radiation to create random mutations in fruit flies, and see how helpful mutations propagate throughout later generations.
       
      Sure, some things about evolution cannot be proven by the scientific method. For instance, the hypothesis that human beings evolved by chance over billions of years from primordial muck. No way to prove or disprove it.
       
      Science centers on testable hypotheses. Faith is the firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Man-made global warming is faith, not science. Might be true. Might not. No way to know.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      it’s a matter of accepting that the theory is true because sufficient proof doesn’t exist to disprove it entirely

      So a theory is true unless proven untrue? I know, it’s unfair to argue by dueling with sound bites, but that particular statement struck me as more than a bit bizarre.

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    “As for me, I’m skeptical. And when people who personally profit from proclaiming that theory are the loudest voices (as do Al Gore and climate scientists), my skepticism increases.”
     
    Aren’t the people with the most to keep by denying this theory the ones currently making the most money?  Shouldn’t you be discounting them the most?
    This just reveals how powerful the status quo is.  When we think someone pointing out a problem with the status quo is the one with the most at stake…rarely.  The ones denying the possibility of a human impact have the most to keep by their position.  Yes, Al Gore has something to gain, but it pales in comparison to the size of thing that is trying to be kept.


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