at a post-election
press conference at the White House on Wednesday, U.S.
President Barack Obama called on his political rivals the Republican
Party (also know as the GOP, short for Grand Old Party) to join him
in supporting electric vehicles. He said that while the pair
sparred on many issues, that he hoped electric vehicles would be
something that the two parties would see eye to eye on.The
President will need GOP cooperation if he hopes to push further
grants for the EV industry. While the Democratic Party hung on
to control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans seized a majority in the
U.S. House of Representatives.Obama is trying to sell
Republicans on his
plan to push one million electric vehicles onto U.S. streets
by 2015.Automakers have been partially supportive of Obama's
plan. They've lauded the $5B
USD in special battery and EV technology loans and grants
that he's lavished them with. The legislation to fund these
grants did enjoy a degree of bipartisan support, with some
Republicans jumping on board.However, $10B
USD more in proposed EV loans and grants for the EV industry
was torpedoed during President Obama's first two years in office.
Opposition came primarily from the Republican party, but also from
some fiscally conservative Democrats.Obama tried to drum up
support for more EV grants among both parties at the conference,
stating, "There's a lot of agreement around the need to make
sure that electric cars are developed here in the United States, that
we don't fall behind other countries. That gives opportunities
for Democrats and Republicans to come together."Many of
the big Japanese and U.S. automakers are preparing to release
electric vehicles this year or next. Nissan will release
EV and General Motors Company will release
the Chevy Volt. Next year the Ford
Focus Electric and the Toyota
Prius Plug-in will launch.Automakers have asserted
that grants will be greatly helpful in ensuring that the expensive
research needed to develop electric vehicles -- a radically different
internal architecture -- moves head at a sufficient pace. But
while they have praised the "carrot" side of Obama's EV
approach, they have noisily
criticized the "stick" side of his plans -- a proposal
to mandate a 62 mpg average light vehicle efficiency by 2025.
Automakers were forced to begrudgingly accept a 34.1
mpg mandatory fuel efficiency increase that must be reached
by 2016.Perhaps acknowledging that he faces an uphill battle
to pass more electric vehicle legislation, Obama took an apologetic
tone about the broader bailout, stating, "[Some voters] started
looking at all this and it felt as if government was getting much
more intrusive into people's lives than they were accustomed. We
thought it was necessary, but I'm sympathetic to folks who looked at
it and said this is looking like potential overreach."Very
significantly, the President also essentially agreed to drop plans
"cap and trade" legislation which would
(if not trillions) in taxpayer money to set a hard limit on
the amount of greenhouse gases companies can emit, in a bid to fight
the supposed "global warming" crisis, which some
researchers claim mankind is causing.The President
acknowledged that the bill wouldn't pass the House due to Republican
opposition and argued that he only tried to push it because of the
Supreme Court decision that found greenhouse gases a danger to public
health. That decision mandates the EPA to adopt some sort of
action to fight GHG emissions in the U.S.Obama said that
there's plenty of alternatives to cap and trade, though -- including
promoting lower-emission EVs (centrally produced power, even with
transmission losses is typically lower emissions than small internal
combustion engines). He states, "Cap and trade was just
one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means,
not an end. And I'm going to be looking for other means to address
quote: It's higher than any historical CO2 levels observable through analysing air packs trapped in ice.
quote: A study by Thomas F. Stocker of the Physics Institute at the University of Bern, in Switzerland, and colleagues describes Dome C core data that reveal the relationship between global temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations for the period 390,000 to 650,000 years before present (Science 2005, 310, 1313). The data indicate that the current concentration of CO2, at 380 ppm, is 27% higher than the preindustrial level and higher than any level attained during the past 650,000 years.
quote: We introduce the CO2 into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, and this output is controllable by us.
quote: Get this through your head, CO2 is NOT harmful. Something we exhale, and that every living thing on the planet depends on, can't be a poison.
quote: If you're really convinced CO2 is not harmful, tape a plastic bag around your head and see how long you continue to hold that position.
quote: In the era when it was 10 times higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations, there were no land plant life
quote: ClimatePrediction.net , which uses BOINC to distribute the workload to test some of these models have amassed over 90 million years worth of CPU time so far. Some of the worlds most powerful supercomputers are used in testing climate models.
quote: CO2 levels are steadily rising ever since reliable recording of it started in 1960. It's higher than any historical CO2 levels observable through analysing air packs trapped in ice.
quote: Estimating past levels of CO2 in the atmosphere for periods older than those sampled by ice cores is difficult and is the subject of continuing research. Most estimates agree that there was a significant decrease of CO2 in the atmosphere from more than1000 ppm at 50 million years ago (during the Eocene) to the range recorded in the ice cores of the past 800,000 years22.
quote: Marine and continental records1 show an abrupt negative shift in carbon isotope values at ~55.8?Myr ago. This carbon isotope excursion (CIE) is consistent with the release of a massive amount of isotopically light carbon into the atmosphere and was associated with a dramatic rise in global temperatures termed the Palaeocene–Eocene thermal maximum (PETM). Greenhouse gases released during the CIE, probably including methane, have often been considered the main cause of PETM warming. However, some evidence from the marine record suggests that warming directly preceded the CIE2, 3, 4, raising the possibility that the CIE and PETM may have been linked to earlier warming with different origins. Yet pre-CIE warming is still uncertain. Disentangling the sequence of events before and during the CIE and PETM is important for understanding the causes of, and Earth system responses to, abrupt climate change. Here we show that continental warming of about 5?°C preceded the CIE in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming. Our evidence, based on oxygen isotopes in mammal teeth (which reflect temperature-sensitive fractionation processes) and other proxies, reveals a marked temperature increase directly below the CIE, and again in the CIE. Pre-CIE warming is also supported by a negative amplification of d13C values in soil carbonates below the CIE. Our results suggest that at least two sources of warming—the earlier of which is unlikely to have been methane—contributed to the PETM.
quote: We put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the climate will warm. Models and predictions only disagree by how much at this point
quote: One doesn't have to be sensationalist about this.
quote: We can take steps to reduce CO2 and other harmful emissions. It is in our best interest to do so. It doesn't mean the economy has to be gutted, but not recognising the issue, and not taking _any_ steps is irresponsible at best.