By on February 28, 2014

14-02-04-Parlement-européen-Strasbourg-RalfR-046

The European Union Parliament approved new CO2 targets for the year 2020, mandating an average of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer, or roughly as much as a Toyota Prius emits. Current standards sit at 130 grams per kilometer. Just-Auto reports that within a few months, discussions will kick off regarding a post-2020 target.

So what does this mean for enthusiasts? Well, expect more of the things that so many of us complain about. Automotive designs will have to work within narrow parameters to meet both design and safety regulations, so expect further homogeneity on that front. Under the skin, we’ll see more turbocharged engines (and fewer naturally aspirated ones), with smaller displacements and cylinder counts, as well as the increasing proliferation of hybrid systems in various forms.

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93 Comments on “EU Ratifies New CO2 Targets...”


  • avatar
    Garak

    We’ll probably see efforts to build camless engines – getting rid of the mechanical valve train could improve fuel economy and lower emissions. The customers would of course be the beta testers.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Koenigseggesgggggeggg has a running example of one. Pattakon also has some super simple but phenomenally variable valve lift/timing systems for all kinds of valvetrain configurations. I haven’t given up hope yet. Manufacturers are clinging to old simple techs to try to minimize costs… but they have only chipped the tip of the iceberg from what I’ve seen.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I fully support deleting the cam design in favor of one similar to Koenigseggsnbacon’s. Unfortunately, Koenegseggsbenedict doesn’t tell us the downsides or what challenges they have, so we don’t know exactly what we’d be getting into with the switch.

        I also would really like to see these things be sold as retrofit kits for older engines with computer reflashes. It seems like a great & simple way to upgrade your engine.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    That works out to be an average of 57 mpg for gas, 66 mpg for diesel. I’m curious to know what this actually means in the real world.

    Just as the CAFE standard has loopholes and alternative methods of calculating MPG, I would presume that the EU has similar ways of achieving these standards. The EU testing regime is already ridiculously optimistic as is, and the Germans had been lobbying for supercredits akin to what the US has.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m going to check back and look for documents from the EU. When I did my CAFE article in 2012, the now-outdated regulations were online.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’ll leave the heavy lifting to you, but this might help:

        http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/vehicles/cars/index_en.htm

        It describes a few loopholes:

        Eco-innovations

        Under the test procedure used for vehicle type approval, certain innovative technologies cannot demonstrate their CO2-reducing effects when being type approved. Manufacturers can be granted emission credits equivalent to a maximum emissions saving of 7g/km per year for their fleet if they equip vehicles with innovative technologies, based on independently verified data.

        Super credits

        The cars Regulation gives manufacturers additional incentives to produce vehicles with extremely low emissions (below 50g/km). Each low-emitting car will be counted as 3.5 vehicles in 2012 and 2013, 2.5 in 2014, 1.5 vehicles in 2015 and then 1 vehicle from 2016 onwards. This approach will help manufacturers further reduce the average emissions of their new car fleet.

        Pools acting jointly

        Manufacturers can group together to form a pool which can act jointly in meeting the emissions target. In forming a pool, manufacturers must respect the rules of competition law and the information that they exchange should be limited to average specific emissions of CO2, their specific emissions targets, and their total number of vehicles registered.

        (That 7 g/km bit buys them about 4 mpg for gas, 4 1/2 mpg for diesel. Not bad.)

  • avatar
    daver277

    Europe ‘GETS’ global warming.

    Meanwhile, North America keeps electing deniers financed by big oil…..

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Since there has been no “global warming” in the last 17 years, that’s a good thing.

      What do you think about “ethanol deniers”?

      Nations are abandoning the U.N.’s climate hype-promoted Kyoto carbon emission reduction commitments in droves as ithe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change struggles to explain why its model-based predictions have been spectacularly disproven by reality. There is absolutely no credible scientific consensus that human activities, including fossil burning, are having a dangerous (or even measurable) influence on climate change…either for warming or cooling.

      How’d that carbon trading scheme work in Europe? Failed completely here just as the warming profiteers were ready to cash in (and out).

      Unlike politicians who line their pockets off of climate hysteria – Al Gore – I thank big and small oil for working to make US energy independent. This is despite the worst efforts of some politicians who demonize and hobble them – while having the chutzpah to then try and take credit for the US becoming less reliant on foreign oil.

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        Oh, you know what’s going on with the world’s climate? Well thank goodness because I was thinking real science up until this point was just trying to quantify uncertainties and hedge our bets against destroying the only planet we have to live on.

        But if you’re the guy who figured it all out, that’s pretty cool.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          You’ve got it 180 degrees off. It’s the other crowd that has it figured out and brooks no dissent.

          I guess you aren’t awake yet or just truculently obtuse.

          The Period Of No Global Warming Will Soon Be Longer Than the Period of Actual Global Warming
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2014/02/24/the-period-of-no-global-warming-will-soon-be-longer-than-the-period-of-actual-global-warming/

          • 0 avatar

            .

          • 0 avatar
            philipwitak

            re: http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2014/02/24/the-period-of-no-global-warming-will-soon-be-longer-than-the-period-of-actual-global-warming/

            in the interest of accuracy, i sincerely suggest that you rely on reputable, peer-reviewed scientific resources to inform your opinions on this topic rather than such a crass, profit-oriented periodical of dubious value.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Too bad the science long ago got hijacked by politics. Lots of people have figured it out. Someday you may as well.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            As George Will explains today, the the hijackers appear to be losing the argument:

            “Consider Barack Obama’s renewed anxiety about global warming, increasingly called “climate change” during the approximately 15 years warming has become annoyingly difficult to detect. Secretary of State John Kerry, our knight of the mournful countenance, was especially apocalyptic recently when warning that climate change is a “weapon of mass destruction.” Like Iraq’s?

            Blogger Steven Hayward noted that Kerry, he of the multiple mansions and luxury yacht, issued this warning in Indonesia, where the average annual income ($3,420) suggests little latitude for people to reduce their carbon footprints. Never mind. Obama says “the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

            When a politician says, concerning an issue involving science, that the debate is over, you may be sure the debate is rolling on and not going swimmingly for his side. Obama is, howeverhttp://, quite right that climate change is a fact. The climate is always changing: It is not what it was during the Medieval Warm Period (ninth to 13th centuries) or the Little Ice Age (about 1500-1850).

            In Indonesia, Kerry embraced Obama’s “Shut up, he explained” approach to climate discussion: “The science of climate change is leaping out at us like a scene from a 3-D movie.” Leaping scenes? The “absolutely certain” science is “something that we understand with absolute assurance of the veracity of that science.” And “kids at the earliest age can understand.” No wonder “97 percent” — who did the poll? — of climate scientists agree. When a Nazi publishing company produced “100 Authors Against Einstein,” the target of this argument-by-cumulation replied: “Were I wrong, one professor would have been quite enough.”
            http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-the-liberal-agenda-is-being-good-to-liberals/2014/02/26/e600a0c4-9e4e-11e3-a050-dc3322a94fa7_story.html

          • 0 avatar

            > Too bad the science long ago got hijacked by politics. Lots of people have figured it out. Someday you may as well.

            Unlikely. These people keep the faith that the earth is 6k years old and flat and on the backs of turtles all the way down til the day they die. Lord have mercy on their soul.

            Until then, plenty of internet links to hit-and-run with and plenty of internet sites to thump their phrasebook on.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            Maybe you two should read more carefully:

            “… Real science up until this point [is] just trying to quantify uncertainties…”

            This means that simply put, no one knows what’s going on. You don’t know what’s up and neither does the EU. There is no cut and dry conclusion; climate science is fcking complicated.

            Complaining about the politicization of climate science then linking to an article on Forbes, written by an economist, which starts out by complaning about “the “Progressive” bonds holding [our modern industrial revolution] back” doesn’t help your point either. Try this:

            http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Climate%20model%20results/over%20estimate.pdf

            That backs up that our models were wrong, and that the climate isn’t imploding like we thought; it also says that we don’t really know where we went wrong, hence, quantifying uncertainties.

            The politicization on the left generally isn’t people trying to get rich, either. It’s just taking the desire to do the right thing to an unreasonable extreme. There are unscrupulous people on every side of every issue of course, who will exaggerate and lie to make a buck or gain some profile, and they can be safely ignored. This is why I said “real science” and not “Al Gore.”

            Fact is, if there’s even the slightest chance that we might be harming the only environment we have, shouldn’t we hedge our bets? Especially when the cost is just a little physical pleasure. Not that the EU is doing it right, even, but it’s irresponsible to pretend we can do whatever we want to the environment in which we live without any consequence. It’s also called “shtting where you eat.”

            So, you cannot know that we have no effect on the climate. There is no way for you to know, since science does not know. If some schmo on the internet said they knew the function of every cell in the brain, it wouldn’t be truculent at all to say, no, you don’t, and these are equally complex subjects.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            More straw men than a Kansas cornfield.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            I sure hope you’re responding to agenthex there, because that would be a complete non-sequitur to what I wrote, unless you have no idea what a strawman is.

            I’m open to debate, but you gotta make sense.

          • 0 avatar

            > So, you cannot know that we have no effect on the climate. There is no way for you to know, since science does not know.

            Actually the science does know:

            http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/global-warming-since-1997-underestimated-by-half/

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            “When a Nazi publishing company produced “100 Authors Against Einstein,” the target of this argument-by-cumulation replied: “Were I wrong, one professor would have been quite enough.”
            http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-the-liberal-agenda-is-being-good-to-liberals/2014/02/26/e600a0c4-9e4e-11e3-a050-dc3322a94fa7_story.html”

            That story, if true, would have taken place after the Nazis came to power, by which time many of the world’s physicists were generally in agreement with Einstein concerning the relationship of mass to energy and relativity theory.

            It’s also interesting to note that Einstein had a great deal of trouble with quantum mechanics and considered it preposterous; he came around, of course, as the evidence mounted up.

            One thing that Einstein didn’t do was to get information about science from political columnists. Neither do people who are serious about climate science. In fact, in spite of the noise from some politicians, warming has not ceased in the last 17 years, although much of the heat has gone into the ocean (for reasons that most climate scientists will admit they don’t understand). I don’t have a sophisticated understanding of these things but I’d bet it won’t stay there forever.

            Different gasses have different properties with respect to radiation transmission, this has been known for years. The exact effect of changing the mix of gasses in the atmosphere can be quantified in the lab. That’s the starting point for ACC theory. If you reject that, your job is to show what mechanism exists that prevents heating. This would actually make you a climate science hero.

            Get on with it. Show your work.

          • 0 avatar

            > It’s also interesting to note that Einstein had a great deal of trouble with quantum mechanics and considered it preposterous; he came around, of course, as the evidence mounted up.

            This is one of those pop sci myths. He was one of the contributing “founders” of qm, but didn’t like the loss of determinism so sought an alternative explanation (for the same results).

          • 0 avatar

            > That backs up that our models were wrong, and that the climate isn’t imploding like we thought

            The data used for your link is somewhat incomplete:

            http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/global-warming-since-1997-underestimated-by-half/

          • 0 avatar

            > So, you cannot know that we have no effect on the climate. There is no way for you to know, since science does not know. http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Climate%20model%20results/over%20estimate.pdf

            Actually the science does know:

            http://goo.gl/zz1c0B

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            You’ve missed the point. Science does not deal in absolutes. The fundamental purpose of science is not to be right or wrong, it’s to learn as much as possible and try to figure things out.

            We do not know everything about the earth’s climate, nor do we fully understand how it works. We won’t have perfect information for a while yet, and the article you linked to is indicative of this.

            Yes, it’s ridiculous to say that earth’s most prolific life form, the only one which needs to drastically modify it’s environment for survival, has no effect on the planet. If you don’t keep your house clean, it becomes dirty. But we just don’t know everything.

            Also, you’re doing more harm than good by going in ad hominem.

          • 0 avatar

            > The fundamental purpose of science is not to be right or wrong, it’s to learn as much as possible and try to figure things out.

            Sure, that’s why you should learn what’s missing from that commentary you linked. It’s no coincidence why it was posted instead of more complete info. More complete info is more right, and being more right is what science is about.

            > But we just don’t know everything.

            Note that “gaps in temp data” is not “everything”.

            > Also, you’re doing more harm than good by going in ad hominem against these people.

            An “ad hom” is a faulty way of discrediting someone’s argument. I didn’t realize anyone was giving these “arguments” credit in the first place.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            agenthex: “This is one of those pop sci myths.”

            To the best of my knowledge, it was QM that prompted Einstein to say, “God does not play dice with the universe.” “Preposterous” may not be the best word but it’s in the zone.

            The larger point is that there’s always going to be some disagreement. The Nazis, who were politicians (and thugs) apparently wanted to prove Eisntein wrong for some reason and went to some lengths to get “scientists” to say he was wrong. This is akin to the OISM’s infamous lists of “scientists” who don’t believe in ACC theory (premier name among them being Edward Teller, who was w-a-a-a-y off the reservation).

            The fact is, the “scientists” doing the signing of these bogus assertions aren’t the guys who are sweating the data and the math and generally don’t have a clue.

            Yet, the Denialist blogosphere uses this crap all the time.

            The scientists who are critical of AGW theory, who actually have some credibility on the subject, are not critical of the basis but are arguing over magnitude or proposing as-yet-unproven theories regarding negative feedbacks (Lindzen and his “iris” theory, for example). Those guys do have something to say but the Denialist blogosphere reaction to their criticisms is way overblown.

            The fact is, 97% of the scientists doing the research are comfortable with the IPCC projections and error bars. And these are the guys who do the work and the math. And they don’t have “consensus” as a way to dictate anything but they have “consensus” because they’ve all looked at the data, poked at the data, argued about the theory and the models and this is what they are generally agreeing on because it’s where the work is most solid.

          • 0 avatar

            > To the best of my knowledge, it was QM that prompted Einstein to say, “God does not play dice with the universe.” “Preposterous” may not be the best word but it’s in the zone.

            He didn’t specifically like the copenhagen *interpretation*, which prompted the EPR paradox paper. The interpretation doesn’t change the results, it’s for the sake of our monkey brains to grasp the unintuitive nature of qm.

            > The larger point is that there’s always going to be some disagreement. The Nazis, who were politicians (and thugs) apparently wanted to prove Eisntein wrong for some reason and went to some lengths to get “scientists” to say he was wrong. This is akin to the OISM’s infamous lists of “scientists” who don’t believe in ACC theory (premier name among them being Edward Teller, who was w-a-a-a-y off the reservation).

            In terms of disagreement the EPR situation isn’t remotely comparable except maybe to the more literally monkey brained. :) Though the Nazi and OISM situation are akin. The basic physics of AGW are pretty robust; the problems are with our measurement limitations I tried to explain here: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/eu-ratifies-new-co2-targets/#comment-2876481

            IOW, the carbon will catch up to us as matter of matter conservation, the only disagreement is over specifics of when and where.

          • 0 avatar

            Probably the best to describe the “problem” is that we know it’s going to be hotter in the summer than winter based on basic physics of where the earth is relative to the Sun, but we have no idea precisely how hot. Stats collected over time (eg historical temp records) can help aid in prediction, but have a lot of noise year to year; yet we still know for sure it will be hotter relatively speaking in the summer based on how the universe works.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          brenschluss, I was not responding to you. Your first post was pure sarcasm, which is fine with me. Your second one I strongly disagree with but respect.

      • 0 avatar

        > Unlike politicians who line their pockets off of climate hysteria – Al Gore – I thank big and small oil for working to make US energy independent.

        I saw your anti-science claptrap in the last tangentially related article and this one, so it’s reasonable to assume it’s on every energy-related thread.

        The last thread also had several people posting science-sourced refutations to your not-really-science hyperbole, so I anticipate that speaking of science is a futile effort since you obviously can’t understand any. Why people who can’t understand something think their opinions on it need to be proselytized is a puzzle; we’ll have to leave that as one of God’s great mysteries.

        On the other hand you do speak much of politics which I hope provides more fertile ground for getting a point across. Since more points can be confusing, we’ll stick with one. That one point is given big oil has far far more money to line pockets with, why don’t they sponsor their own politicians and universities?

        The answer in your mind is that they must be god-fearing honest people who would never lie or cheat their way to greater profits. Everything their politician tell must be the truth, and those petroleum/meteorological experts speaking outside of their profession (sort of like “car guys” here vs automotive engineers) can’t possibly be poorly informed. See how stupid this sound when I say it even though that’s exactly what’s going on in your mind? Why does it make so much more sense when you say it?

        These are real questions you need to answer and I’m not someone to take diversionary ploys kindly. So think up and careful before you post again, because this is going to take more figurin’ than parroting the same crap as before.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          All those words and not a single fact. Just sarcasm and straw men.

          • 0 avatar

            > All those words and not a single fact. Just sarcasm and straw men.

            Facts are for people who can grasp what they are. If you can read the research papers or at least the summaries we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            thelaine: “All those words and not a single fact. Just sarcasm and straw men.”

            Why bother with anything else? The facts are there, you refuse to acknowledge them. You are like thornmark… you’ll get your “science” from someone like George Will, whose livelihood depends on the warm embrace of the GOP.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            I have never listened to George Will. Evolution is a non sequitur. Oil companies are irrelevant. (Many of them love the hysteria because they push natural gas and destroy the coal industry.) The fact is that the global warming hysterics are wrong and the evidence for catastrophic man produced global warming is not there. The predictive models have proved useless. There is no evidence of impending global catastrophe. The earth has warmed very, very slightly and predictably due to carbon dioxide release, but this is either neutral or beneficial in its effect, as marginally higher CO2 and temperatures are associated with greater crop production. There are many in the scientific community who share this opinion. There are many who do not. Believe whomever you wish.

          • 0 avatar

            > There are many in the scientific community who share this opinion. There are many who do not. Believe whomever you wish.

            I really wish that the scientists working together on these problems can come to some kind of general agreement, some kind of consensus. Oh wait.

            There’s no doubt that most denialists are working off of the “believe whomever you wish” model of fact analysis (which isn’t really science, btw). Not everyone else is, though.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            You are a sheep.

          • 0 avatar

            > You are a sheep.

            People who are experts in anything are aware of the importance of domain expertise. Who does that leave?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    A draft law was passed for the new CO2 targets in the first half of 2013.

    From what I’ve read it will get much worse. By 2025 106mpg will be the target.

  • avatar
    SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

    This has absolutely no consequences for any of the car makers which can simply:

    1) Pretty much make their own fuel economy numbers for new cars: The European test cycle is so easy to game that you wouldn’t believe the extend the car makers go to cheat on it. If you think Ford was bad when they used Fusion ratings for the C-Max, then you would run away screaming if you saw the European “blue” diesels.

    2) Make an electric vehicle and it counts as 3.5 vehicles emitting 0g/km of CO2. This helps a lot when you want to sell some cars which don’t have a gutless engines made to excell at 1)

    3) Team up in pools with car makers that beat the goals. This is just another loop hole.

    4) Just ignore the rules, pay Merkel off and make one of the largest countries in Europe fight for an exception for your company.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN
      After 2016 one EV = 1 car.

      The Europeans are also going to change from the lab results to a result more aligned to real life FE.

      • 0 avatar
        SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

        Oh good. I didn’t see the 2016+ EV alignment, but it is good to see a little bit of sense.

        Do you have sources for the real life FE claim? Every time it comes up there seems to be a consensus for changing it, but never have I seen actual target times or ideas to stop the loop holes.

    • 0 avatar

      This is generally how a functional regulatory process works in contentious areas. The regulators try extract the most possible and industry pushes back. A dysfunctional process/result wouldn’t gradually get tougher with time for example and usually serves as a gold star of approval for plausible deniabilty later. See US financial sec reg.

  • avatar
    bg

    If one truly believes we are harming the planet then the only logical thing would be to remove as many people as posssible from it.

  • avatar
    kurkosdr

    This the EU’s way of saying to automakers “if you want to sell high-margin sportscars, you ‘d better invest in electric and hydrogen technology”.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    I am not a climate change denier, but these marginal C02 efforts are just emptying the Titanic with a bucket.

    If climate change is really an existential threat to civilization as we know it, and I’m not saying that it isn’t, then the solutions are things like one-child policies enforced on a global level.

    “A 2009 study of the relationship between population growth and global warming determined that the ‘carbon legacy’ of just one child can produce 20 times more greenhouse gas than a person will save by driving a high-mileage car, recycling, using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, etc. Each child born in the United States will add about 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average parent. The study concludes, ‘Clearly, the potential savings from reduced reproduction are huge compared to the savings that can be achieved by changes in lifestyle.’”

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/climate/

    Not tiny dents in automotive C02 output.

    From an aesthetic standpoint I like small turbo engines and smaller cars. And these kind of policies get some of the larger cars that I don’t want to have an asymmetric crash with off the road. But this is just an impotent feel good effort, not any kind of solution.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The EU isn’t in a position to impose a one-child policy on anyone.

      In any case, industrialized nations already have low or zero population growth. The US is an exception, and that’s only because of its high level of immigration.

      The third world nations where population growth rates are highest tend to generate the least amount of carbon. They can’t afford to burn diesel and gasoline like we do.

      This is essentially a European version of CAFE. Along with carbon-based registration fees/ road taxes, this just puts the nail in the coffin of the V6 family car in Europe. With its dependency on oil imports and the impact of those on political and economic dynamics, it’s probably just as well.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        “In any case, industrialized nations already have low or zero population growth.”

        If global warming is an existential threat then population reduction is critical, not just population maintenance. Obviously restrictions are not politically viable. But even optional measures like free or subsidized vasectomies and ligations are off the table because at the same time that Europe is scared to death of global warming its social structures are based on Ponzi-like schemes that require growing, or at least not shrinking, population to avoid collapse.

        “This is essentially a European version of CAFE. Along with carbon-based registration fees/ road taxes, this just puts the nail in the coffin of the V6 family car in Europe. With its dependency on oil imports and the impact of those on political and economic dynamics, it’s probably just as well.”

        That it is analogous to CAFE is obvious, I never said anything to the contrary. I’ll agree there are side benefits, but with respect to the stated goal they are p_ssing into the wind.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        “In any case, industrialized nations already have low or zero population growth.”

        If global warming is an existential threat then population reduction is critical, not just population maintenance. Obviously restrictions are not politically viable. But even optional measures like free, subsidized or incentivized vasectomies and ligations are off the table because at the same time that Europe is scared to death of global warming its social structures are based on Ponzi-like schemes that require growing, or at least not shrinking, population to avoid collapse.

        “This is essentially a European version of CAFE. Along with carbon-based registration fees/ road taxes, this just puts the nail in the coffin of the V6 family car in Europe. With its dependency on oil imports and the impact of those on political and economic dynamics, it’s probably just as well.”

        That it is analogous to CAFE is obvious, I never said anything to the contrary. I’ll agree there are side benefits, but with respect to the stated goal they are p_ssing into the wind.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Carbon output and falling birth rates follow industrialization. If you want to get rid of carbon production, the thing to target would be industrialization, not child bearing — child bearing is an inverse symptom of the problem. (When societies become more prosperous, they don’t need and can’t afford to have as many kids.)

          But naturally, we don’t want to target industrialization, as we live better lives because of it. Unfortunately for the planet, the stuff that makes life better in the short run is also bad for the planet over the long run.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            “If you want to get rid of carbon production, the thing to target would be industrialization, not child bearing — child bearing is an inverse symptom of the problem.”

            The study I cited above shows that they are both part of the problem, and that reducing reproduction is 20 times more effective than reducing consumption. At least within the scope of consumption reduction considered reasonable even by those strongly advocating climate change policy.

            I agree that industrialization has self-correcting attributes, but apparently they are not working quickly enough.

            As long as people advocating climate change policy fail to mention (and shame contributions to – they do it for other contributions to carbon) the birthrate (because of obvious political reasons that are even more sensitive than industrialization) it is hard for me to take them serious.

            I will point out that you have it backward. Climate change is fine for the planet in the long run. It is bad for us in the short run.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The point is that not all of us are created equal when it comes to producing carbon.

            This is easy to see — just compare per capita CO2 output by country.

            Your typical poor country will produce just a tiny fraction of C02 per person compared to the average American. An eight-person extended family in a typical sub-Saharan African country will produce less carbon over a given period of time than one single American.

            If you want to dramatically reduce global CO2 output, then you can either kill off Americans en masse, or else ship a bunch of them to a poor, undeveloped place and make them live like the natives.* It isn’t the population that’s the problem, it’s particular members of the population who create far more C02 emissions than others. All westerners are guilty of that to some degree.

            *We could start with the congregation of Westboro Baptist. And whoever designed the Pontiac Aztek.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Pch101
        You are incorrect, again. The US has quite a low rate of immigration.

        The rest of the world?? Low immigration in the EU?? Australia and Canada have far higher immigration rates than the US, even double.

        What about Greece, Italy, France the UK?

        Boy, for an analyst you sure have problems with numbers and data.

        Stick to subjects you have knowledge of.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbob457

      @ racer-esq.
      ‘Not tiny dents in automotive C02 output.’

      Thank you for your gleam of intelligence in a sea of comments by over-educated morons. A simple back of the envelope calculation (this is a secret method restricted to REAL engineers) shows that the new proposed EU regulations, even if actually implemented, would have an almost negligible impact on overall global CO2 emissions.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        You have to start somewhere. Nobody is kidding themselves that this ends the threat but politics is the art of the possible.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Road transport contributes about one-fifth of the EU’s total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas. CO2 emissions from road transport increased by nearly 23% between 1990 and 2010, and without the economic downturn growth could have been even bigger. Transport is the only major sector in the EU where greenhouse gas emissions are still rising.”

        http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/vehicles/index_en.htm

        Translation: Transportation is just about the only area that provides an opportunity to slow the growth rate.

        • 0 avatar
          jimbob457

          @Pch101
          ‘Translation: Transportation is just about the only area that provides an opportunity to slow the growth rate.’

          That would apply to CO2 emissions from just one energy using sector in the EU. How can you think this is of any real importance? CO2 emissions are a GLOBAL phenomenon. You have to consider your little village’s actions in the larger context that is reality.
          Consider that the lignite fueled power plants in the EU country of Germany are their nation’s biggest contributors to CO2 emissions. Shut them down, and you might actually make a small, but significant difference in the overall global picture.
          Managing global warming is going to take a combination of first class scientific and engineering expertise plus the very best skilled diplomacy on the planet. There is no need to muddy the waters with a bunch of foolishness.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The EU signed the Kyoto accord. If other nations that signed it keep their end of the bargain, then there will be global benefits.

            The concept here is one of **marginal** benefit and cost. The automotive emissions are the ones that are rising the most, so curbing those creates the most marginal benefit, since they currently pose the greatest risk. You need to do the right math.

          • 0 avatar

            > Consider that the lignite fueled power plants in the EU country of Germany are their nation’s biggest contributors to CO2 emissions.

            > The concept here is one of **marginal** benefit and cost. The automotive emissions are the ones that are rising the most, so curbing those creates the most marginal benefit

            An easier way to explain the decision-making is that cars are simply on a much short lifecycle than most CO2 sources. For example, by 2030 most cars on the road will adhere to these 2020 standards or better whereas most powerplants will still be old ones, and this improvement is made without decommissioning functional powerplants or whatever. The equivalent of the latter for cars would be prematurely replacing existing ones with new vehicles which has some obvious inefficiency.

          • 0 avatar
            jimbob457

            If memory serves, the latest data show that CO2 emissions from light vehicles in the EU were less than four percent of the global total arising from the energy using sector. Cow farts et. al. were not included in this calculation. The proposed EU regulations presumably would reduce this putative four percent by only a very little.

            Are you guys out of your minds? Do you seriously think that a few bureaucratic regulations can control an unruly public to accomplish such negligible gains?

            Politics is the art of the possible.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            “If memory serves, the latest data show that CO2 emissions from light vehicles in the EU were less than four percent of the global total arising from the energy using sector.”

            It’s not important to Europe that this particular item is 4% of the global total, it’s a significant part of the European total, which is what the Europeans can influence. So, they can do something about it and they will do something about it.

            The EU also has initiatives to cover a lot more sources of CO2 and they have been fairly aggressive about renewable power sources.

            “Cow farts et. al. were not included in this calculation.”

            I’m not sure why you think that’s relevant here. In any event, biologic methane issues are included in the IPCC report and the Europeans are well aware of them. You should spend more time reading and less time opinionating.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    If you want to know the facts about climate change, read this:

    Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, went before the U.S. Senate this week to tell his story as it relates to global warming/climate change:

    “After 15 years in the top committee I had to leave as Greenpeace took a sharp turn to the political left, and began to adopt policies that I could not accept from my scientific perspective. Climate change was not an issue when I abandoned Greenpeace, but it certainly is now.

    There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” (My emphasis)
    “Extremely likely” is not a scientific term but rather a judgment, as in a court of law. The IPCC defines “extremely likely” as a “95-100% probability”. But upon further examination it is clear that these numbers are
    not the result of any mathematical calculation or statistical analysis. They have been “invented” as a construct within the IPCC report to express “expert judgment”, as determined by the IPCC contributors.

    These judgments are based, almost entirely, on the results of sophisticated computer models designed to predict the future of global climate. As noted by many observers, including Dr. Freeman Dyson of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies, a computer model is not a crystal ball. We may think it sophisticated, but we cannot predict the future with a computer model any more than we can make predictions with crystal balls, throwing bones, or by appealing to the Gods.

    Perhaps the simplest way to expose the fallacy of “extreme certainty” is to look at the historical record. With the historical record, we do have some degree of certainty compared to predictions of the future. When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today. There is some correlation, but little evidence, to support a direct causal relationship between CO2 and global temperature through the millennia. The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.

    Today we remain locked in what is essentially still the Pleistocene Ice Age, with an average global temperature of 14.5°C. This compares with a low of about 12°C during the periods of maximum glaciation in this Ice Age to an average of 22°C during the Greenhouse Ages, which occurred over longer time periods prior to the most recent Ice Age. During the Greenhouse Ages, there was no ice on either pole and all the land was tropical and sub-tropical, from pole to pole. As recently as 5 million years ago the Canadian Arctic islands were completely forested. Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. There is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.

    Moving closer to the present day, it is instructive to study the record of average global temperature during the past 130 years. The IPCC states that humans are the dominant cause of warming “since the mid-20th century”, which is 1950. From 1910 to 1940 there was an increase in global average temperature of 0.5°C over that 30- year period. Then there was a 30-year “pause” until 1970. This was followed by an increase of 0.57°C during the 30-year period from 1970 to 2000. Since then there has been no increase, perhaps a slight decrease, in average global temperature. This in itself tends to negate the validity of the computer models, as CO2 emissions have continued to accelerate during this time.

    The increase in temperature between 1910-1940 was virtually identical to the increase between 1970-2000. Yet the IPCC does not attribute the increase from 1910- 1940 to “human influence.” They are clear in their belief that human emissions impact only the increase “since the mid-20th century”. Why does the IPCC believe that a virtually identical increase in temperature after 1950 is caused mainly by “human influence”, when it has no explanation for the nearly identical increase from 1910- 1940?

    It is important to recognize, in the face of dire predictions about a 2°C rise in global average temperature, that humans are a tropical species. We evolved at the equator in a climate where freezing weather did not exist. The only reasons we can survive these cold climates are fire, clothing, and housing. It could be said that frost and ice are the enemies of life, except for those relatively few species that have evolved to adapt to freezing temperatures during this Pleistocene Ice Age. It is “extremely likely” that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.

    I realize that my comments are contrary to much of the speculation about our climate that is bandied about today. However, I am confident that history will bear me out, both in terms of the futility of relying on computer models to predict the future, and the fact that warmer temperatures are better than colder temperatures for most species.

    If we wish to preserve natural biodiversity, wildlife, and human well being, we should simultaneously plan for both warming and cooling, recognizing that cooling would be the most damaging of the two trends. We do not know whether the present pause in temperature will remain for some time, or whether it will go up or down at some time in the near future. What we do know with “extreme certainty” is that the climate is always changing, between pauses, and that we are not capable, with our limited knowledge, of predicting which way it will go next.”

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      _333 – Exactly

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Funny. I thought that you didn’t like sheep.

        If you can find a peer-reviewed study written by Moore that supports his assertions, then provide a link to it.

        • 0 avatar
          E46M3_333

          I’m the sheep? I’m actually fighting back against the forces that would have us stand passively while being sheared by misguided environmental policies.

          Moore’s letter is not a scientific paper; it’s one man’s judgement, which I happen to agree with, based on the available science. Instead of giving me a homework assignment, why don’t you tell us your judgement, and what it’s based on? My agreement with Moore’s conclusions is based on spending many hours reading papers, studying graphs, and researching the available evidence on my own.
          .
          .

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “I’m actually fighting back against the forces that would have us stand passively while being sheared by misguided environmental policies.”

            I got an image of a “greenie” GI Joe.

            Additional: What are your thoughts on the Japanese nuclear disaster with regard to climate and biodiversity?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Moore’s letter is not a scientific paper”

            Well, gee whiz, that would be the point, now wouldn’t it?

            He’s an ecologist, not a climate scientist. He has produced zero research to support his position.

            You should notice that this small group of scientists who are climate deniers speak to uneducated populists like you, instead of to their scientific brethren. There are reasons for that, and it isn’t because he has special talents.

            The process of science requires the testing of theories and exposing those tests to other scientists who can scrutinize the results. This guy is just offering an opinion that isn’t based on much of anything, and he has no research of his own to back it up.

            And he’s offering that opinion to dupes like you, who don’t know better. You lack the talent to judge anyone’s scientific work, and you really shouldn’t bother to try.

          • 0 avatar

            > Additional: What are your thoughts on the Japanese nuclear disaster with regard to climate and biodiversity?

            I didn’t take you to be the sort to mock others so cleverly.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I was actually being serious about Fukushima, the man claims to be a champion of the environment wanted to get his take. There is much debate on climate change, the effects of cesium, strontium-90, and iodine-131 are well known.

            http://www.geigercounter.org/radioactivity/isotopes.htm

          • 0 avatar

            > I was actually being serious about Fukushima

            You must be the most optimistic person on earth to forgo appearance of cleverness for whatever you’re hoping for.

          • 0 avatar
            philipwitak

            re: “…Moore’s letter is not a scientific paper; it’s one man’s judgement…”

            then why even bring it up?

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            e45m3_333: “Moore’s letter is not a scientific paper; it’s one man’s judgement, which I happen to agree with, based on the available science.”

            It’s one man’s judgement based on a very select and distorted subset of the available science.

            If you want the whole story, in one convenient package, go read the most recent IPCC report. The physical science basis section is written by the people who actually do the work. I haven’t looked at the most recent one but the last one had about 20 pages of footnotes.

            One of my favorite patterns in Denialist “argument” is “But the ‘scientists’ have overlooked .” Most often, the was water vapor or insolation but other things often come up. Every time, with the possible exception of cosmic rays, the was somewhere in the report and its effects measured and weighed against other known effects.

            Yet, the Denialist blogosphere repeated these objections ad nauseam. It quickly becomes clear who’s interested in the science and who’s interested in obstructionist bloviating.

            The fact of the matter is, the CO2 effect has been understood for over 100 years, it is demonstrable in the lab, if it was fundamentally wrong any physics major would be able to refute it, objections would come from scientists who study non-Terrestrial atmospheres, projections of warming were done in the ’30′s and these projections have, in fact, panned out.

            The Earth does, to this day, continue to warm and much of the warming is presently going into the ocean. I am not an expert and I haven’t seen any projections, yet, from those who are but I expect that heating is going to manifest itself in the atmosphere in the relatively near future and I’m not going to be surprised by it.

          • 0 avatar

            > It’s one man’s judgement based on a very select and distorted subset of the available science.

            The best way to explain the science vs skeptic position is with an example from the office. Consider two employs, X and Y, who are both asked to write a report on a complex topic. X is an expert in the relevant field and thus does a ton of research & analysis before finally writing his report. Y has little knowledge of the topic so sits on his a$$ all day and at the last minute sneaks a peak at what X is doing and writes the complete opposite claims.

            As a consumer of the reports it doesn’t take much smarts to figure out the X report is the only one worth reading. A pretty dumb person might believe the truth is somewhere in the middle of the two. Then there are drolling morons who think the Y report must be right because X is an ivory tower elitist.

    • 0 avatar
      LALoser

      In my narrow scope of work, we use extreme modeling for thermal, impact reaction, wind-loading and a few other things for single or cluster structures, or entire areas. It seems a determined group, could model what is going on. We know several things: Number of vehicles, farm area, industrial area, *China, India, et al being a guess*, green areas, amount of surface reflection, historical numbers, and so on and on. We have engineering marvels like the Hadron Collider…so…we can’t do this?

      • 0 avatar

        > In my narrow scope of work, we use extreme modeling for thermal, impact reaction, wind-loading and a few other things for single or cluster structures, or entire areas. It seems a determined group, could model what is going on.

        I can’t really be bothered to read what you’re replying to but if you’re talking about climate in general it’s a genuinely complex problem because so many varied systems interact, and often the data is proxies or patched together from differently gathered sets.

        The general framework is that given a certain mix of gases and reflectivity and so on we can approximate how much the temp changes with physics. This is the easy and most reliable part: in a steady state equilibrium we know for sure some measure gas = another more temp. The problem is the earth isn’t uniform and the data (ie equation inputs) can only be collected locally (not globally/uniformly), and not all locales are equally easy to collect.

        So we have this rough idea of what’s going on at *different places* at time X, do the good physics/math to figure out theoretical *uniform* average at time Y, and hope all the physical location data at Y *average out* to match. With this sort of math it *eventually* merges to the basic physical steady state model result in the long run as stats tend to, but in the interim there’s a lot of noise since carbon/temp/water effect each other locally.

        The main difference to more familiar modeling in industry is that those are generally *engineered* environments which can be easily/arbitrarily probed if need be (at least compared to the earth), and if the results tend to noisier than ideal in the necessary time frame they can be *engineered* to tighter specs or whatever to comply. We can’t re-engineer the earth to more conducive measurement.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @agenthex
          “The general framework is that given a certain mix of gases and reflectivity and so on we can approximate how much the temp changes with physics. This is the easy and most reliable part: in a steady state equilibrium we know for sure some measure gas = another more temp.”

          What a pile of $hit.

          Do you even comprehend half of the crap you put forward.

          I might be considered ‘a politically incorrect and parvenu’.

          But at least I can support my arguments, a little harshly at times.

          WFT is that statement. I’m heavily involved in fault finding, trending, etc, but with mechanical components. This used so we can more accurately life components and servicing schedules.

          It’s pure science.

          What are you discussing? Going to the toilet.

          Expand.

          • 0 avatar

            Why do you even bother writing crap that nobody’s going to read anyway? Note that’s more a question to ponder for yourself because I’m not going to read the answer anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @agenthex
            Reflecting and gas??? The bathroom?

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “If you want to know the facts about climate change, read this:”

      When I want the facts about climate change, I’ll go to the published experts who actually do the work, not to some doofus bloviating in front of Congress. Since 1991, Moore has made a very good living representing industrial interests.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    The EU is a dying economic system.
    GDP 2013 is forecast at -0.4 percent.
    Global Warming is a part of their terminal illness.
    Germany shut 5 nuclear reactors to install wind power from the North Sea. At national and household consumer budget busting costs.
    Their partial remedy was construction of three lignite burning power plants. Massive CO2 emissions.
    It may rain mainly in the plains of Spain but their economic rain is also fueled by PV in various forms. It has been recommended that USA do the same. After all, GW is the greatest threat to civilization.
    Period.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @RogerB34
      There’s a reason why the German’s have moved to coal.

      The influence that has lead the German’s down that path is called Russia and it’s gas.

      If you read up on what’s occurring in the Ukraine you’ll also see that the Ukrainians have also halved their dependence on Russian gas.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Why close nuclear plants and move to coal?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @thelaine
        Straight after Fukashima Angela got on the TV and stated she would close down the older reactors in Germany.

        I want countries to use nuclear energy, especially Australia.

        It would be good for our economy.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    .

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    It looks like the Brussels bureaucrats will kill off the European car biz. All they’ll be building are 4-wheel scooters, so the best thing for American manufacturers to do is write off the European market entirely and seek sales elsewhere. Those places that have adopted Euro standards will wise up eventually.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    You can “win” the argument by Ruggling if you want, but hydrocarbons are going to continue to be consumed as fast as they can be found and pulled out of the ground. That is because people do not want to be poor, hungry, sick and cold. Ultimately, you are pissing into the wind. Most people, correctly, don’t believe your chicken little cries anymore, and in 20 or 30 years you will all pretend you never believed it yourself. Nothing can stop the burning of every reasonably available hydrocarbon fuel on the planet. Ruggles yourselves to death.

    • 0 avatar

      > You can “win” the argument by Ruggling if you want,

      Not bad.

      > That is because people do not want to be poor, hungry, sick and cold.

      The same argument used to be made by your sort about *all* pollution, yet it seems they were wrong and continue to be wrong. Not sure Ruggling is quite the right word to describe this, but close enough.

      > Most people, correctly, don’t believe your chicken little cries anymore, and in 20 or 30 years you will all pretend you never believed it yourself.

      Sure, if by most people you mean american conservatism. Remember these are also people who believe the earth is 6k years old or that evolution is a hoax. Frankly it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they started a campaign to assert the earth is flat. Not exactly the best of compatriots for an appeal to popularity.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        I rest my case, Ruggles. You win because you posted last. No one has brought up evolution in this thread except you. You are desperate to stereotype and caricature people who disagree with you. You are a child. Now you need to post one more time, so you can win.

        • 0 avatar

          > You win because you posted last.

          It’s only proper that folks who’re right win. If you can’t learn any science at least learn how an analogy works.

          Also consider coming up with your own ideas sometime; at least ruggles has his own style.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            agenthex: A valiant effort, indeed :-)

            This thread was a good read, in the same way that one can always watch “Casablanca” one more time – even though you know what to expect.

            “Climate science”, “denial”, “Strawman”, “Ad Hominem” are always good search terms for a fun time on TTAC.

            Of course, while we trumpet (and enjoy) each other’s ignorance, Rome burns.


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