Global Warming: Just Step Away From That Car

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

According to a new study revealed in The Washington Post [via MSNBC], the world needs to cease carbon emissions altogether, within a matter of decades, to avert global warming. And in case you’re wondering who’s the bad guy in this incipient environmental catastrophe, the lead photo shows a [choose one] jet contrail, a coal-burning plant, a ship at sea, traffic on the smog-filled streets of Beijing. Correct! So pull over and take Lord Humongous' advice: just walk away. “The world must bring carbon emissions down to near zero to keep temperatures from rising further,” Gavin A. Schmidt, of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies warns. "The idea of shifting to a carbon-free society appears to be technically feasible. The question is whether it's politically feasible or economically feasible." I’d blog the rest of this story but what’s the point, really? If all of these conclusions bear out, Hell will freeze over the oceans will come to a boil long before our entire planet reduces carbon emissions to near zero. Party on?

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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  • Dean Dean on Mar 11, 2008

    GS650G - a little parochial, don't you think, to credit global warming hysteria to U.S. politics? The world is a lot bigger than one country, and the hysteria is worldwide. It isn't going away. Personally, I'm torn. On one hand I think it is prudent to recognize that we can't put massive amounts of anything into the environment without potential consequences. On the other, the science around athropogenic global warming has too much of a "drinking the KoolAid" feel to it. I just get the feeling that scientists are, for political reasons, under pressure to support AGW and are suppressing contrary evidence or opinion. When science claims to be "settled" and stops challenging the prevailing theory it ceases to be science and becomes dogma. The fact that scientists that challenge AGW are derisively labeled as "deniers" and accused (rightly or wrongly) of being on the payroll of big oil, adds little but FUD to the debate.

  • Akitadog Akitadog on Mar 11, 2008
    Lumbergh21: Maybe that’s because they understand the difference between a theory and a fact. Is the sunspot activity/earth's weather corollary a full-blown theory or is it still a hypothesis? I think you're using the term "theory" to mean "hypothesis" in this case (a common error). A theory is a way to explain a set of known facts and how they relate to each other, or how said facts explain phenomena. People tend to use the word theory to mean guess, hunch, or hypothesis. This is particularly (and erringly) employed against the Theory of Evolution, as in, "It's just a theory." Just sayin...
  • KixStart KixStart on Mar 11, 2008

    geeber, I wrote poorly. I was thinking more along the lines of "has not been reduced in direct proportion because of increasing..." It would be difficult to phrase, anyway. I was trying to head off the frequent, "then why is there still pollution?" However as to the pollutants emitted by the Town Car vs the Fit, our pollution test (a short-lived thing of the '90's) measured pollutants in PPM. If the standard is in PPM, and a larger vehicle used more air, gas, etc, total pollultants per, say, mile driven, could be higher. Unless PPM was just a convenient way of screening at the facility. I confess, I hadn't given it a great deal of thought or actually looked up the law.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Mar 11, 2008

    akitadog: I believe that it could rise to the level of "theory" in that it seems to be generally accepted by physicists that sunspot activity correlates directly to weather patterns, e.g. increased sunspot activity results in decreased rainfall, at least on the western seaboard of the US. You are right that maybe it should only be considered a hypothesis at this time.