By on August 26, 2012

Honda says it is the world’s first car maker to disclose the totals of all greenhouse gas emissions caused globally during production and use of its products. In the fiscal year that ended March 31, 225.06 million tons of greenhouse gases were produced while making, using, an even disposing of Honda products, including motorcycles, power products, and cars.

During making of those products 4.2 million tons were created, or 1.9 percent of the total. By far the largest amount, 195.88 million tons, or 87 percent, are created while customers use  Honda cars and motorcycles.

The estimates of greenhouse gas emissions were calculated in conformity with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

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64 Comments on “Honda Publishes Cradle To Grave Greenhouse Gas Totals...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Customers? Sales are poor stateside as they don’t have the product. They closed and shipped Goldwing production from Ohio to China as I know a few who goobled up the US version.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    The worst thing isn’t carbon emissions, it’s that nobody had any fun driving these things!

  • avatar
    raph

    Pretty cool trivia but I imagine some marketing suit will try to use this as a green statement. Other manufacturers will join the boat, owners will beam with pride for hurting the earth less compared to thier neighbor. Sales will bump for the percieved green car maker then a manufacturer is going to fudge their green number and in the end GM late to tge party will talk about how green they are when nobody gives a damn anymore.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Well, wait a minute guys. This, plus $$ and energy consumption, is exactly the type of calculation that may be needed (assuming that GHG concept has any validity at all, which may be questionable).

    I’d like to see a cradle-to-grave, FIFTEEN-YEAR … energy-consumption, dollars, and GHG-emissions comparison for:
    1) Small diesel turbo-4 cylinder ICE compact car with manual transmission;
    2) Hybrid/ICE vehicle like Prius (regular AND plug-in version);
    3) All electric car (EV) like Nissan Leaf (including CO2 at power plants that provide electricity)

    Then I’d like to see the performance data on each of those vehicles, such as stopping distances, 0-100 km/hr acceleration, range, skidpad, and slalom.

    That would give a real sense of the trade-offs of what you get for what you “pay” (energy, $$, and GHG).

    We may be shocked to discover that a simple diesel ICE may be still be optimum.

    —————-

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Are you planning on recycling all the parts that can be recycled?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Thats what junkyards do, and that is where most cars end up.

        I love pulling out the fact that junkyards are one of the most pervasive kinds of recycling when talking to ignorant people who idealize recycling. Auto parts stores.even provide discounts to people who recycle old parts (the core charge).

        So, the chances are that all of the good parts of the average Honda Civic will be reused and then melted down and recycled.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Oh, and people will make money at every stage of the process of reusing and recycling that Honda Civic. And you won’t have to do any of the work yourself, if you don’t want to.

        Ain’t recycling in the real world great? :-)

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        As someone who believes that ignorant people throw things away in the trash, why would folks who see the value in recycling not see the value in a salvage yard? Automobiles are probably the most recycled consumer item there is and the salvage yard is a key piece of the chain.

        Kudos to Honda for thinking cradle to grave. If those with control of the power levers in this country did the same with energy, we would not be pouring ethanol into our cars…

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        KixStart,

        As Luke24 points out, we already informally recycle for a profit by virtue of junkyards.

        I know that “forced” recycling of anything is a mixed bag. Sometimes it is financially viable; sometimes not. Most communities that recycle cans, bottles, etc., as done by commercial companies, give those companies subsidies to help them break even. So our taxes really support recycling, and perhaps that could be considered an expense for living on this planet.

        BMW in Germany has a recycling program for their cars, but that means crushing them and remelting the metals, all of which again takes energy and money and causes pollution as well. Is there a net gain? I don’t know. Do we end up paying a higher price for their cars to cover their recycling efforts? Probably.

        I don’t know if recycling is something that Honda is including in its calculations. Knowing their thoroughness, I would assume they have some “factor” involved that would account for re-use or recovery of parts or materials. But it would be good to see their whole proposal/method here.

        ———

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        When I said, “recycling,” I was, in fact, thinking in part of junkyards.

        Even when parts are unuseable, recycling via the crusher for the raw material takes less energy than mining new.

  • avatar

    Carbon sequestration is done BEST by nature in soil.

    If we had MORE SOIL, we could not only sequester soil better, but grow more plants which could help reduce world hunger. Too bad the powers that be WANT world hunger to cull the rising 3rd world populations.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Much of our agriculture is akin to strip mining. Ag researchers are looking at crops that sequester more CO2 but you over-estimate what can be done via different agricultural techniques and how soon they could be applied widely.

      Climate change is going to hurt the 3rd world population more than the 1st world, as they don’t have the resources to bid for scarce food or adapt to changing conditions in wich to grow that food.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Most of the corn out here in my neck of the woods is GMO feedcorn used to feed beef and chickens. Kinda sucks, because when I first came out here, I thought this corn was feeding American people — not American cows

        We could be way more efficient with our food system, but we’re not.

        And, yeah, the corn pulls a lot of good stuff out of the soil. To feed to cattle. And a small fraction of that corn comes back to people in terms of beef. I’m not a vegetarian and I like a good steak every couple of months — but I’d personally rather eat good sweetcorn than see all of that waste mile after mile out of my car window. So I do eat corn instead of beef, most of the time.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Climate change is going to hurt the 3rd world population more than the 1st world, as they don’t have the resources to bid for scarce food”

        Perhaps this goes hand in hand with the alleged depopulation schemes.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      We’d all love to see carbon sequestration by growing forests and building soil, but if you run the numbers you’ll see that building soil can’t keep up with the rate of emissions.

      The other side of the coin is that, if we were to cut emissions by shutting down the fossil-fuel powered machines that keep our society running, lots people would die. My friend who works in an electric cogeneration plant is completely correct when he argues for the importance of his job.

      So, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Using fossil fuels is essential, but has long term consequences at every level (from extraction to climate and everything in between), while not using them has huge consequences. Playing with the numbers, it looks like you could thread a sensible path between these rocks and the hard place with a combination of efficiency and alternative energy, but that’s not politically feasible. So, I’ll just try to figure out how to make it work for my house — prices are getting better, but living a modest middle-class middle-american lifestyle is pretty darned expensive — and trying to figure out a new way to do it without making any expensive mistakes is a tricky business!

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        If you don’t like alternative energy – I’m not implying that you don’t – you could argue for nuclear power to replace coal (shitty) or gas (less shitty) for base load power. I think it’s a bit of a shame that america hasn’t taken to burning garbage (that can’t otherwise be recycled) as it is a pretty darn environmentally friendly way to produce electricity and heating for utilities now that filtration has come a long way.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Nukes have their place but they represent a danger and without immunization from liability, they really aren’t economic. With immunization from liability, there’s no incentive to err on the side of safety.

        In fact, the economics of nukes are tough just from a capital and operational standpoint. It takes 10 years to get one built and that ties up a lot of money, with interest, before the first dollar of revenue. And by the time they’re on line, circumstances may be different and power may be available from other sources, making the nuke less economically attractive.

        And the Greens aren’t going to abandon opposition to nukes without something in exchange. Right now, policy leans towards fossil plus nukes. Greens will tolerate nukes only if they get more renewables and serious action against fossil.

        Well, I can’t speak for all greens; that’s my position and generally that of the greens that I know.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Diesel has more energy per unit of volume, so environmentally (CO2 wise) its “added economy” is a wash

    IOW you get better MPGs, but in each gallon you also create proportionally more C02. Only advantage might be in having to expend less energy to mine it… but I think then you still have to clean it etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      One of the reasons that diesel gets green-car people excited is the possibility of making your own fuel with a couple of old hot water heaters, some redneck engineering, and some high school chemistry.

      But, it’s one of those things that wouldn’t work if everyone did it.

      Also, diesel cars are really nice to drive. The low-end torque is like a V6, and the MPGs are almost as good as hybrids (despite your technically correct objection), so it really seems like a sweet spot in terms of efficiency and performance.

      Alas, many of the diesel cars available in the USA are made by Volkswagen, and I got burned by them the last time (and probably the only time) I owned one. I keep hoping that Volkswagen will admit their mistakes and launch a program to beat Toyota in terms of reliability and serviceability — but I’m not holding my breath. “NEIN, there is no problem!”

      A diesel-powered SKYACTIVE-D Mazda 5 would be a very appealing vehicle, though. It would certainly give the Prius V a run for its money!

      • 0 avatar
        akitadog

        “A diesel-powered SKYACTIVE-D Mazda 5 would be a very appealing vehicle,”

        My wife and I are praying to the various gods of the universe that this becomes a reality. She wants 3 rows of seats, but smaller size and good fuel economy. This may be our only hope (Nope, no Audi or Merc diesels: too expensive for not enough savings).

        We COULD settle on a 2.5 SkyActiv-G Mazda 5, though. Why, oh why did Ford reneg on the Grand C-Max?

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Isn’t the yield for diesel less than that for gasoline per barrel of crude? How much less? Does the difference in yield at the refinery offset the savings in the car – to the point of having no net crude savings? Not saying that as a fact, but I am wondering out loud…

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Simply not true. Yes diesel is more energy dense but a modern diesel engine are far more efficient then a petrol engine, well actually all diesels are more effective then petrol engines of the same vintage due to the inherently more efficient working principle. The latest car diesels are just a smidgen under 50% efficient at optimum load and large low speed ships engines are over 50% efficient.

      Well that’s just the theory, if we look at actual “real world” numbers comparing cars with equal power the diesel still wins in the CO2 department.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Even at 50%, are they going to beat hybrids? Especially hybrids with Atkinson cycle engines? It’s hard to win against an ICE that isn’t running in a vehicle gets energy recapture from braking, particularly in the city.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      On balance it still gives out less CO2. You can go to the EPA’s fueleconomy.gv and compare the cos emissions from a Jetta TDI vs a Jetta with the 2.0T engine or the regular 2.0 engine. You can see a diesel car emits less co2 than the gas cars, even taking into account the EPA’s well known underestimation of diesel cars’ fuel economy.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    Pales into insignificance compared to one Chinese coal-fired power plant and a new one goes online every day.

    I don’t think the greenies will be happy until we’re back to being hunter/gatherers. That will require 99.999% of us to die but that’s a small sacrifice to save Mother Earth.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      So, your plan is, what? To do nothing and ignore the problem until the Chinese are ready to lead?

      I’d consider a plan like that a real disappointment, as I thought my country (the USA) was a world leader.

      Also, waiting is a bad plan in any event. You may well get your hunter/gatherer society by waiting… Life is going to change. And the longer we wait, the more it’s going to change.

      Climate scientists, by the way, do get stuff wrong. They got this wrong:

      http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

      Arctic ice cap shrinkage is running way ahead of estimates from even 5 years ago. At the time of the ’07 IPCC report, a few researchers suggested we could have an ice-free Arctic by the mid-teens but most thought that very doubtful. Well, it just might happen. We’ve just hit a record minimum ice extend, volume shrinks steadily and ice area is also at a record low. Sea Surface temps in the Arctic, though, are running 4-5 deg C above normal, meaning the ice melt will continue at a rapid pace.

      This is a big deal because ice loss is one of those “positive feedbacks,” leading to greater warmth.

      Do we know for certain the outcome of this? Nope! There are some theories about how loss of Arctic ice may change weather patterns but nobody knows for sure.

      In any event, hang on, because we’re gonna find out, the experiment is still running full tilt, thanks to a decade of stalling courtesy of the contemporary Know-Nothing party.

      This page has some good graphs, updated daily, except for PIOMAS, which is done monthly. Be sure to check the PIOMAS update about Sept 6-7th for the latest:

      https://sites.google.com/site/pettitclimategraphs/home

      • 0 avatar
        G35X

        “Diesel has more energy per unit of volume, so environmentally (CO2 wise) its “added economy” is a wash” – Sportyaccordy

        Yes, diesel contains 10 to 13 percent more energy per unit of volume than gas. Therefore, if a diesel vehicle consumes less fuel (mpg) by this amount, it is a wash. But actually diesel vechicles consumes additional 10 to 15 percent less, or just around 25% less overall. This is because of diesel’s higher thermal efficiency due to longer piston expansion travel (higher compression ratio) and absence of airflow-restricting throttle valve (little or no pumping loss).
        As to “mining” of material both diesel and gas are made from the same crude oil and the expenditure is same.

        NMGOM, as you mentioned, EVs such as Leaf emit CO2 indirectly as they consume electricity generated by coal- or NG-fired plants. The best theremal efficiency you can get from the latest combined-cycle NG plant is about 60 percent, while there are many, many older plants whose theremal efficiency is 40 percent or even less. I would think the overall average is about 40 percent excluding Pacific Norhwest, Quebec and British Columbia. This means if a gas car(including HV) goes 50MPG (56MPG in the case with diesel) we can say this car is no dirtier than a Leaf as far as CO2 is concerned inasmuch as we can assume at 50MPG the car’s thermal efficiency is better than 40 percent.

      • 0 avatar
        Ron B.

        Living in Australia has become interesting, as the old Chinese Curse has it” may you live in interesting times”.
        Labor,with the Greens has bought in a carbon tax. Carbon taxes were first thought of by an Indian Professor as an idea to cut pollution in general. The idea being that you tax basic commodities heavily (coal ,oil, gas,electricity) and the cost of goods produced from those commodities rises to the point where all products (food,fuel,clothing) becomes so expensive that demand drops. Thus saving the planet.
        An excuse for these taxes had to be arrived at ,hence the “carbon Tax”. Basically the Australian Government under Julia (the liar) Gillard has achieved political nirvana,she has taxed the very air we breath.
        Unfortunately for Gillard,no grown person believes that taxing air will save anything,especially her political career .
        Carbon,being the very basic building block of which we are made of is the ideal choice of tax creators, it’s not a pollutant and to keep referring to it as pollutant is basically stupid.
        Global climate change ( formerly known as global warming until it was noted that the effect would be 1 degree of warming in 20 years …possibly) is another myth perpetrated by those who wish to make money on the markets by selling carbon credits. think about this carefully, you sell “carbon credit” to big polluters who have been named as producers of carbon…. so they can produce more carbon. Do I hear the words ‘credit default swap’?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Ron B.,

        Well said. The end goal is to lower standards of living in order to lower either impact on the earth or impact on the elite in their effort to hoard everything. The US party of vile liars says that they care about the middle class, but every policy they enact is aimed towards returning the middle class to helpless serfdom, now referred to as sustainability.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “I don’t think the greenies will be happy until we’re back to being hunter/gatherers. That will require 99.999% of us to die but that’s a small sacrifice to save Mother Earth.”

      I depends on the “greenie”. Some think like that, but I’m a card-carrying “greenie” and I think that those people are nuts. In any case, they’re a tiny minority of the population (even in liberal/green circles), so you don’t have anything to worry about.

      But I’d also encourage you to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The grown-up version of environmentalism is mostly about avoiding waste. And “waste not, wont not” is a traditional value that all of our grandparents would claim to respect[0].

      [0] Even if they were just as complicated as we are!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “And “waste not, wont not” is a traditional value that works well for everyone.”

        Agreed wholeheartedly on this point, but I disagree on so called ‘greenies’. The people committed to it are typically at their heart Communists (or Socialists) or ex-Communists whose desire is to control our behavior. Look at who is in the Green parties in Europe and Australian and then take a look at their actions and manifestos. I heard a clever saying months back, the Greens are in fact watermelons, green on the outside, but red underneath.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @28, if you choose a random Western European country, most of which have substantial green parties, and look at the top politicians in that country’s green party, you will likely find a fairly broad spectrum of people, from socialists to liberals to fiscal conservatives. There are green politicians I would be willing to vote for, and others that I would be certain to vote against.

        Green parties are unconventional in that the supporters are united by their desire to protect the environment rather than more traditional right-wing/left-wing political goals.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think its the implementation of conservation or so called Green ideas is what makes all the difference. If you say “hey we want to conserve our resources so to this end we improved Product X to use less Y and last longer, come buy it” I have no qualm. However if you say “hey we need to conserve so decontent product X and then outlaw any alternatives (or force citizens/business to comply by other means)” then I have to take issue with that, because its wrong and fundamentally un-American. Our own gov’t exhibited these ideas recently toying with a mandate to use the new type of lightbulbs or face fines.

        I don’t subscribe to the ideas of the Green parties because so often they involve compulsory control through government. Global warming as we know it is a complete farce, and even if it was not, so many of the world’s major polluters will never comply in order to protect their economies. I don’t see the Red Chinese ever implementing major emissions controls but that doesn’t stop our EPA from imposing fines and taxes onto business which invariable get passed on to the consumer. How about your annual emissions test? Here in PA they stopped doing tailpipe testing for OBD2, its just a computer test now. But that doesn’t stop them from stealing $45 every year to not test the emissions in order to obtain a meaningless sticker. A local representative a few years back introduced a bill to change inspection and emissions for cars built after 2000 to a bi-annual schedule, it was significantly defeated as our state government loves their ill-gotten fees too much.

        Dedicated political environmentalists in concert with dirty politicians are seeking control over you and your behavior, its just that simple.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @28, on the (continental) European political stages, there are few majorities and frequently coalition governments. This reduces the overall polarization seen in the US political system, and the same applies to the green parties as well: they tend to have moderate policies, and the cases where they have been in government (such as Germany and Finland) they have practiced fairly pragmatic politics.

        For example, in 2009 the Swedish Green Party spokesperson defined the party as a natural home also for green-minded social liberals and libertarian socialists, by referring to its liberal policy regarding immigration and its support of personal integrity, participation and entrepreneurship, among other issues.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      I don’t think the corporations will be happy until every inch of earth has been dug up and every stream and river has been polluted with spilled oil, and every cent has been milked out of every poor person’s pocket, and people will start dying in droves due to droughts, and all of us will be wading in seawater…..

      See Darkhorse- I can use hyperbole too. Does this make for a useful debate?

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    KixStart. I am an educated person with two degrees. I understand the theory of AGW and I agree it could lead to global warming. What I am not seeing is definitive proof for either side. Confirmation bias is rampant everywhere. Now a days, it’s really a quasi-religious argument like intelligent design versus evolution.
    Where’s the science?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Talk to the scientists. The media has a trumped up version of the debate that they keep pretending exists.

      I spent the first 10 years of my working life supporting academic science and engineering as a computerman. While scientists are imperfect, and scientific debate is more like regular debate than anyone wants to admit, the quality of the discussion *IS* better than it is in the media

      This question was settled at least 20 years ago, except for the occasional crusty old coot like that physicist who resigned from the APS (and then came around on the issue after studying it for a few years at an oil-company funded think tank).

      One issue is that we can’t say with absolute certainty, because we don’t have another earth with which to run experiments. It’s all statistics and margins of error, examined at every step, checked for errors at every step, and done to the best of the ability by a lot of smart people over decades. If you want absolute certainty, though, real working science is not the place to be. But, we are certain to within a lot of standard deviations that it’s going to play out a certain way. People who’ve come to expect absolute certainty from their preachers and politicians (even if they end up being wrong some of the time) are going to be disappointed by the reality. People who are comfortable with statements like “99 times out of a hundred (with sigma=1.5), burning down your own house while you sit on your couch is going to be harmful to your health” are going to be comfortable with the science, once they dig in.

      Alas, the media has done really a poor job of communicating this, and they profit by pretending that there’s still a debate. And then there are people out there like Joe Bastardi who are deliberately trying to cloud the issue for whatever reason. So, it’s no surprise that an intelligent educated person who is trying to get answers from our media is going to be frustrated with the inconsistent and nonsensical information that they get, because what they hear really does not make sense. But there is a sensible story under there, if you go straight to the source — but, alas, most people don’t have the time to find it and pick up the thread of the discussion.

      • 0 avatar
        Crosley

        Please explain to me that if global warming is the result of increased geenhouse gas production from technology like the internal combustion engine, why was it warmer in the Middle Ages than it is today?

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1426744/Middle-Ages-were-warmer-than-today-say-scientists.html

        And why do “respected” climate scientists feel the need to cook the books ie “hide the decline” of the Earth’s temperatures?
        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/21/science/earth/21climate.html

        We would have never known this had those emails not been hacked.

        People have a reason to be skeptical.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        Crosley: You are citing a newspaper alarmist summary of an unpublished claim, from 2003. Actually just a cursory glance at a composite data from 2005 shows that you are wrong:
        http://www.brighton73.freeserve.co.uk/gw/paleo/2000yearsCO2large.png

        As to the so-called CRU email hacking scandal. The hacked emails shows a bunch of bickering scientists bickering. But what it doesn’t show is any kind of deception, fakery, or malpractice. This has been investigated thoroughly by the birtish government, wchihc convened 3 separate panels to investigate the affair. Absolutely no fakery of the data has been found. The integrity of the data has been upheld.

        Further more, last month one of the most prominent climate change skeptic Richard Muller of UC Berkeley, who had been funded by the Koch Brothers to re-analyze all the climate raw data, has come out and recanted his former position. He is now convinced of climate change. He re-analyzed all the numbers using a different scheme than the climate scientists (he being a mechanical engineer), and came to the same conclusion.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      The burden of proof though falls on the crowd that thinks the world is going to self-destruct as a result of global warming.

      The fact that the Earth has been proven to have been warmer during the Middle Ages then it is today should tell most intelligent people that maybe we should hit the brakes on the alarmist nonsense.

      But like you said, this stuff has become a religion, not science

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Proof, within fairly tight statistical limits, has been available for a decade or two. You just haven’t been paying attention. If you want an absolute proclamation, though, you’ll need to consult someone who doesn’t know much about the issue.

        But the people who’ve actually looked at the issue don’t claim the world is going to self destruct. They’re really saying that the weather patterns that we’ve become accustomed to will change. A change in the weather sounds like a small thing, until you realize the economic, social, and biological impact on the weather.

        For instance, suppose you live somewhere like Colarado. Can you imagine the economic impact if the ski season starts a week later? Can you imagine how much fighting there will be over water downstream if the winter snow-pack (that feeds the rivers) is less than expected? Its a small change, but it has a huge impact.

        There are the people who try to use hyperbole to get attention for the issue. They’re as ignorant as the deniers.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        ….The burden of proof though falls on the crowd that thinks the world is going to self-destruct as a result of global warming…

        If you try to remove the political poison out of it, the science is absolutely clear that man made emissions are warming the planet. What really is not known is exactly what that will do to the climate overall, and what that means for society. But the first step in reducing those emissions is good for a host of concerns. Investing in efficiency gives immediate returns in not only emissions, but in foreign energy dependance and all the military baggage that comes with it. It makes sense to do these first steps even if climate change did not exist. The next steps are more complicated as deeper cuts mean business as usual is not possible anymore. But sadly, drill baby drill will be back, and no gains will be made. Then again, the progress of the past four years didn’t give much hope, either…

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        The science is by no means “settled”, no matter how many times your side repeats that throw away line and tries to bully the public into believing that climate skeptics are akin to holocaust deniers.

        And when you say removing the “political poison” from the science, you must be talking about the government-funded scientists that were caught red-handed faking their data that were the so called experts we’re all supposed to defer to.

        Do people not have the right to question the findings of scientists who were caught perpetrating a fraud?

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Darkhorse,

      The definitive proof is that it *has led* to Global Warming. The National Academy of Science didn’t endorse the notion of ACC because they have some irrational hatred of your SUV. They endorsed it because the theory originated over 100 years ago, based on physical properties of CO2 that could be detected in a lab, CO2 has increased and temperatures have increased alongside the CO2 increase within reasonable statistical limits as predicted by the theory. There *may* be something else going on but, if so, nobody knows what it is, how it works, where the clues to it are or even if it exists at all. CO2 fits and fits very well, so most researchers are quite comfortable with it. Even the most prominent and qualified (and noisy) Skeptic, Dr. Richard Lindzen, of MIT, does not argue with the basic atmospheric physics and CO2′s primary role in warming (he thinks the warming is going to be limited by a secondary effect, a negative feedback, that he has not proven and which is not evident from any historical data).

      Where’s the science? The publications most often referenced are “Nature” and “Geophysical Research Letters.” You will also find developments reported pretty reliably in “Scientific American,” including where to go to read the actual research papers.

      You say you’re an educated person with two degrees. I would expect you to know how to look things up, specifically how to find resources that are reliable. You might be handicapped, though, if you don’t know something about stats (manufacturing stats, the kind I know but rarely practice, is good enough to get by).

  • avatar

    Do we have any reliable figures on “cradle-to-grave” greenhouse gas emissions for each and every human/animal?

    What would we learn from those figures? That there are too many emitting people, plants and animals around?

    Next question: if greenhouse emissions are that deadly, what do we do?
    Answer 1: Ban CO2.
    Answer 2: Set up and pay for bureaucracies that watch CO2 emissions and tax it.

    The correct answer is No. 2, of course. This does not change anything but creates a lot of jobs for otherwise useless people.

  • avatar
    Glen.H

    Well, I think the human induced climate change is real. I’m not a climatologist or any other sort of scientist, but looking at the organisations that are the most climate change skeptical I see a bit of a pattern. They seem to be the same groups that tried to tell us all that smoking was not harmful, asbestos didn’t do horrible thing to your lungs,lead in petrol was fine, and radical deregulation of the U.S financial system just couldn’t go wrong…That’s why I call B.S. on the professional climate change skeptics like the I.P.A and Cato institute!

  • avatar
    50merc

    This debate will never end. AGW is about the future, so unverifiable claims can be made. Statists such as socialists and similar rent-seekers love AGW because it is an excuse to take control of everything. (Yes, everything.) Modern-day Gnostics love AGW because it is the special knowledge that distinguishes them from the lumpen proletariat. Shallow thinkers love AGW because it raises their self-image. The media loves AGW because an anxious (about anything) public is a media-consuming public. Tax eaters love AGW because it is a lever to secure more attention and money. Con men love AGW because it makes money for them. (The skeptics have other ways to make a living.) Conspiracy theorists love AGW because it feeds their paranoia.
    Bottom line: Doom will always be just around the corner.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Put them all together and call it a consensus.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      And the Randian nutjobs hate it because it might require cooperation to keep civilization going, which interferes with their Superman fantasies. The entrenched industrial interests hate it because other industries could emerge and eclipse them over time. The fossil fuel industries hate it because it will erode their profits to charge them for the real costs of their product.

      In fact, the real scientific debate is OVER. Global temp is up in line with predictions made over 100 years ago by a guy named Arrhenius, a more detailed prediction by a guy named Callender working in the ’30s and another prediction made in the ’80′s by a guy named Hansen. The physical properties of CO2 are well understood and the basic atmospheric physics are quite sound.

      At the most recent Fartland Institute “conference” on Global Warming (notable for its near total failure to attract speakers who actually do any kind of climate research), one speaker got up and actually made sense. He told the assembled Rightards that they should forget arguing the science and start engaging the debate on the plicy solutions.

      People who understand that ACC is real and a serious threat don’t have a particular agenda for how CO2 is reduced, they just want action. The simplest way to do this is to tax carbon at the sources and let the free markets figure the rest of the solution out. No complicated rebates, no game-able CAFE regulations, no government-enforced restrictions on particular activities, just simple market pressure to find non-CO2 emitting ways to get things done.

      The longer you wait to do something about this, the more draconian the changes are going to have to be to achieve any kind of success and the more likely you are to have highly invasive totalitarian solutions enacted.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    “In fact, the real scientific debate is OVER”
    Except for mistakes, omissions, and a few lies.
    Biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect is water vapor, so let’s see a plan to eliminate that from the air.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Water falls out of the atmosphere when temperatures fall. It’s self-regulating in a completely different way than CO2, which is sequestered by a combination of biological processes and absorption by the oceans – and the rate at which that happens is limited.

      There aren’t any “mistakes, omissions and a few lies” that have any actual scientific traction. Denialists have made hay with out-of-context e-mails from scientists who got testy. Big whoop. The CRU business engendered three different investigations that found no wrongdoing worth pursuing.

      If you’re suspicious of deceit and government involvement, you should investigate Phil Cooney’s involvement in ACC.

      • 0 avatar
        GS650G

        Oh so now we are call Denialists. I prefer Non-Believers but we don’t get to pick the names, the Heretics do.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Hockey Stick for the win.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Denialist? Sure. You’re the one equating water vapor with CO2. That’s straight out of the Denialist hymn book. As with so many of the tunes in the Denialist hymn book, you’ve got to be entirely tone deaf to appreciate the music. Or, to put it in more relevant terms, applying the least little bit of common sense and understanding of gases would show you why H2O and CO2 behave radically differently in the atmosphere and why one is a significant concern but not the other.

        As for “hockey stick for the win,” the Denialist blogosphere looooves to beat up on “The Hockey Stick.” The only problem with doing so is that the IPCC AR4 document shows at least 7 other “hockey sticks” done as a result of different studies. Mann’s hockey stick is consistent with the others and with the recorded temperature records (as far back as they go, anyway). You don’t find the Denialist blogosphere pointing this out, nor do you find Denialist adherents noticing this… to do so, they’d have to leave the safety of the Denialist blogosphere and go look some sh!t up.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      GS650G:
      You wrote ‘Biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect is water vapor’. A warmer climate would necessarily have more water vapor in the atmosphere. If you believe water vapor is the biggest contributor to global warming, wouldn’t that imply a positive reinforcing feedback loop? Whereby a warmer climate creates more water vapor, which in turn creates more warming, which creates more vapor, and so on. In other words, this feedback loop would make global warming far more severe than scientists realize today.

  • avatar
    Mike Kelley

    When you lefty greenies say “denialist”, don’t you really mean heretic?

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    How many CAGW advocates does it take to change a light bulb?


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