Thursday, March 06, 2008

California Dreaming

In late December, Congress passed, and the President signed, legislation upping the national vehicle gas mileage standard (the so-called "CAFE," short for corporate average fuel economy) to require a 35 miles per gallon average of cars produced by each major automaker by 2020.

Kos diarist Devilstower isn't satisfied--because the EPA recently denied California's request to adopt stricter mileage standards for new vehicles purchased within the state. DT called Johnson's decision "nonsense" designed to block global warming mitigation from "be[ing] addressed anywhere." Is DT right? Nope.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Man, I love reading your obsessively backed-up posts, and save the links for reference in my bookmarks. May you attract worthy opponents to this one, unlike - well, I won't name names.

I will note that on anything governments pass to take effect in 2020, the voting and the discussion is mostly posturing and symbolic. Even the congresspersons who vote as I like are often doing so without understanding the consequences so much as rooting for a side. Environmental legislation may be the most susceptible to this in the early 21st C.

Carl said...


Thanks--and I mostly agree. However, the new CAFE rules will be phased in for cars starting in the 2010 model year and for light trucks two years later.

OBloodyHell said...

> I dispute our ability to affect warming by reducing greenhouse gases and the cost effectiveness of doing so...

More critically, even the desirability of doing so in many cases -- there are potential benefits to global warming, too, which partly counterbalance issues that may arise as a result of it -- more CO2 means plants grow and thrive better -- warmer winters mean fewer deaths per year(year-round), not more, because more people die from cold than from heat -- warmer means wetter, which means arid areas are more likely to recieve rain rather than less, which suggests that the edges of some currently desert areas are likely to bloom.

It's possible to go on and on with potential benefits, which is another element of the cost effectiveness equation which should be applied to every single option considered.

When idiots favoring Kyoto support it despite the fact that it would cost trillions to implement -- despite the fact that China and India, two of the largest developing economies, are immune to it (meaning it will clearly chase power-utilizing industries there, as is already beginning to happen in Europe) -- despite the fact that it would, at best, slow up the "assumed rate" of GW by a factor of about 10-odd years at best...

When said idiots continue to yammer on about how important Kyoto is, despite its essential uselessness in actually doing anything good about its supposed goal, they demonstrate what monumental fools they are -- policy should have an openly stated goal, and action-options which undermine or fail to work towards that goal should be rejected, especially when they cost a lot of money and threaten to ruin the economy.

Carl said...

From Monday's WaPo:

"The task of cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough to avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures may be far more difficult than previous research suggested, say scientists who have just published studies indicating that it would require the world to cease carbon emissions altogether within a matter of decades.

Their findings, published in separate journals over the past few weeks, suggest that both industrialized and developing nations must wean themselves off fossil fuels by as early as mid-century in order to prevent warming that could change precipitation patterns and dry up sources of water worldwide.

Using advanced computer models to factor in deep-sea warming and other aspects of the carbon cycle that naturally creates and removes carbon dioxide (CO2), the scientists, from countries including the United States, Canada and Germany, are delivering a simple message: The world must bring carbon emissions down to near zero to keep temperatures from rising further."

How in the hell could we accomplish anything like zero carbon emissions?