Why NOT to Look To Aviation For Greenhouse Gas Reduction

March 3rd, 2012
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A lot has been made recently of a plan by the European Union to assess fees on airlines landing in EU airports for the carbon dioxide emitted by those aircraft.  Many countries outside the EU are not taking kindly to the proposal.  The US is one of them, but Russia, China and a few other Asian countries have gone even further in calling for an end to proposals of carbon fees on airlines. Officially the fees took effect on January first, though not all EU countries are expected to begin enforcing them right away.

Via the BBC:

Countries rally against EU carbon tax on airlines
Delegates from 26 countries opposed to a new EU carbon tax on airlines are meeting in Moscow to consider possible retaliation, amid fears of a trade war.

China, India, Russia and the US are among the countries opposed to the EU fee, which took effect on 1 January.

Critics say the EU has no right to impose taxes on flights to or from destinations outside Europe.

But in December the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU tax on CO2 pollution from aircraft was legal.

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) creates permits for carbon emissions. Airlines that exceed their allowances will have to buy extra permits, as an incentive to airlines to pollute less.

“Nobody has fought harder than the European Union over the years to get a global deal.

The number of permits is reduced over time, so that the total CO2 output from airlines in European airspace falls.

The EU’s Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, said the opponents should work with the EU to create a global scheme to cut aviation pollution.

“Nobody would be happier than the EU if we could get such a global deal,” she told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This is just a bad idea. If you’ve concerned about pollution and especially greenhouse gasses, don’t go after aviation. It’s the smallest, highest hanging of the fruit you can pick from. Well under 1% of human generated greenhouse gases come from aviation and yet that relatively small percentage comes with enormous benefits to mankind.

Far more CO2 is generated by processes as low profile and unnoticed as cement manufacture. Additionally, it’s really the height of insanity to burden airlines and passengers in the name of reducing greenhouse gas emissions when most of the electricity generated in Europe comes from fossil fuels. Yet pinching aviation to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has an exceptionally poor cost-benefit ratio when compared to reducing power plant emissions.

Furthermore, the idea that reducing the number of permits over time will reduce pollution by making airlines more efficient is ridiculous.  Considering the price of fuel and the fact that airlines pay more for fuel than any other expense, they have already done all things reasonably possible to improve aircraft efficiency.  Modern turbofan engines have gotten very good, and while a tiny bit more fuel efficiency may be squeezed out in the years to come, it’s not likely that there’s going to be any development that will magically reduce the amount of fuel required by aircraft.

So why are they doing it? Personally, I think it’s politics plain and simple. Airplanes are conspicuous and everyone knows they burn fuel, but most people are likely unaware that cement manufacture is a major CO2 source. Airline travel may also be cast as a luxury (even though it is increasingly a necessity) and therefore can play into various social ploys.

Really, however, if you were just looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, you would focus your energies elsewhere.

Reasons why civil aviation is good, should be encouraged and not burdened by additional costs:

  1. It’s a huge industry which provides a large number of jobs, many of them skilled and very high paying.
  2. Many other sectors are heavily dependent on aviation for travel, rapid shipping of products and other important uses of aircraft.
  3. Tourism is almost completely dependent on aviation and makes up a huge part of the economy of many nations.  Innumerable businesses and livelihoods depend on economical travel to exist at all.
  4. Many areas of the world are entirely dependent on aviation-based tourism and without economical air travel their entire economy will completely disintegrate.  These include some of the most ecologically sensitive areas of the world which are preserved largely because they draw tourists and, if they didn’t have tourist potential, would probably be destroyed by the locals trying to get by on whatever resources they could recover.
  5. World travel is educational, mind expanding and results in cultural exchange that cannot otherwise occur.
  6. When people travel they see the most majestic parts of the world, which would tend to make them want to preserve them.
  7. Many areas of the world are entirely dependent on aviation for things far beyond tourist travel.  For island areas, especially, planes may be the only traveling and of bringing in critical goods like medical supplies and even food.
  8. When disaster strikes, civil aviation is often pressed into service for evacuation or transport of vital supplies.  You want a healthy airline sector in case you ever need to suddenly use it for this.
  9. The airline business is already extremely cutthroat.  Profits margins are razor thin.  Airlines file for bankruptcy and are restructured frequently.  Even a small additional burden can make a big difference.
  10. Aircraft are about the safest way possible to travel.  If flying becomes more expensive, it becomes more attractive to drive long distances.  More people drive, which is more dangerous and thus a net increase in deaths.
  11. There’s simply no way of reducing the carbon footprint of aircraft by any significant amount other than just not flying as much.  Fuel is already the number one expense to airlines, so they already take all reasonable measures to conserve it.  There’s really nothing other that can be used to fuel an aircraft other than hydrocarbons.  Hydrogen is too low density and requires special handling and storage.  Ammonia is only slightly better and batteries are far too heavy.

Reasons why civil aviation is bad, should be discouraged and burdened by additional costs:

  1. It produces carbon dioxide, although not very much in the grand scheme of things.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 at 9:38 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Enviornment, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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66 Responses to “Why NOT to Look To Aviation For Greenhouse Gas Reduction”

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  1. 1
    Joseph Hertzlinger Says:

    Cement manufacture? Doesn’t cement also absorb CO2?


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  2. 2
    Mickey Says:

    Someone told me that the guy who does this site has some uranium. Anyone know that true or not? If it’s true don’t you think someone body should probably do something about it? I don’t know if it is true. any1 know?


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  3. 3
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Mickey said:

    Someone told me that the guy who does this site has some uranium. Anyone know that true or not?

    If it’s true don’t you think someone body should probably do something about it?

    I don’t know if it is true. any1 know?

    Damn! You caught me! I guess you should be the one to decide what to do, being the genius you obviously are.


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  4. 4
    DV82XL Says:

    Air travel has always been seen by governments as tax cash-cows, and this is just the latest instance. You are right in thinking that airline travel is being cast as a luxury, and this is just a politically correct way to squeeze it a bit more.


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  5. 5
    Jason C Says:

            Mickey said:

    Someone told me that the guy who does this site has some uranium. Anyone know that true or not?

    If it’s true don’t you think someone body should probably do something about it?

    I don’t know if it is true. any1 know?

    No doubt it would be a huge shock to you to learn that everyone, yourself included, is carrying uranium in their bodies of around 90 micrograms in quantity. There’s nothing you can do about either.


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  6. 6
    Anon Says:

    Why not burn pentaborane and see how the EU likes a real carbon neutral plane? Now why do the turbines keep getting sandblasted? You also left out hydrazine which doesn’t contain any carbon and trisilane which also doesn’t contain carbon.

    Realistically this will probably just cause the airlines to switch to biofuels to claim that they are carbon neutral, of course we all know how crap biofuels are around here but the politicians don’t care if a bunch of third worlders starve.


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  7. 7
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Anon said:

    Why not burn pentaborane and see how the EU likes a real carbon neutral plane? Now why do the turbines keep getting sandblasted? You also left out hydrazine which doesn’t contain any carbon and trisilane which also doesn’t contain carbon.

    HYDRAZINE? Christ! You really want the guys fueling the aircraft to be wearing moonsuits? Damn. You get a tiny fuel spill or leak and you’d have to evacuate half the airport. Hydrazine is nasty nasty stuff.


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  8. 8
    Anon Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    HYDRAZINE? Christ! You really want the guys fueling the aircraft to be wearing moonsuits? Damn. You get a tiny fuel spill or leak and you’d have to evacuate half the airport. Hydrazine is nasty nasty stuff.

    It’s not as bad as pentaborane or trisilane and it does have decent density and energy content, if you insisted on using a non-hydrocarbon fuel it’d probably be the only way to get the same performance as kerosene.

    Freezing point is a bit high for cold weather use though.

    I should just say that I don’t think we should be using the fuels I mentioned.


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  9. 9
    Kit P Says:

    I really do not think that AGW is a problem that those who wing their hands and go OMG the sky is fall are really serious about solving. There are only about 8,000 LCA pointing to good solutions.

    Look at POTUS Bush for an example of doing it right. The National Energy Policy, May 2001, makes it a priority. The action is to promote building new nuke plants in the US and China. I can provide a whole list of examples of effective policies to reduce ghg.

    POTUS Obama has no stated policy other than vague speeches about ‘clean’ energy. Focusing on natural gas and solar are ineffective policies to reduce ghg. NG is still a fossil fuel. Solar does not reduce baseload coal use. POTUS Obama has used more jet fuel to go to ribbon cutting ceremonies that the solar systems will ever produce.

    If there is a strategy at all it coming from POTUS Obama, it is to make energy more expensive so that poor people use less.


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  10. 10
    DV82XL Says:

            Kit P said:

    If there is a strategy at all it coming from POTUS Obama, it is to make energy more expensive so that poor people use less.

    And this has to do with a European carbon tax on air travel exactly how?


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  11. 11
    MikeC Says:

    Are more things than “just” making CO2 that are “bad” about aircraft emissions.

    Firstly they are thought to be more effective as GHG’s than ground level emissions – eg see http://www.carbonplanet.com/downloads/Flight_Calculator_Information_v9.2.pdf

    Also contrails (no, not chemtrails!! :) ) are possibly more effective at global warming than CO2 – albeit only while they exist, and on a per sq m basis so they actually cover a minuscule part of the surface area of the earth whereas CO2 covers the whole earth so the absolute amount is very small. http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n1/full/nclimate1068.html

    And also aircraft generate conditions that alter the amount of cirrus cloud and that may be having an effect on AGW.

    So there are good reasons for continuing to try to drive down aviation fuel use – especially since the amount of aviation is set to increase by up to 5%/year for a decade or more.

    We may be happy that engines now are more efficient than they weer in the 1960′s – but as pointed out in the 1st link above, there are a lot more a/c flying….and the bar was artificially high – the old piston engined a/c used a lot less gas than the early jets that replaced them too!!

    Air travel will stay around (I hope – it pays me well!!) but I think there need to be a lot of structural changes in the next 20 – years – including possibly a lot slower speeds – the turboprop golden years for short range travel in the 1990′s need to come back with a vengeance, ultra-high-bypass ration engines need to become the norm, etc.

    IMO of course :)


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  12. 12
    Anon Says:

            MikeC said:

    Firstly they are thought to be more effective as GHG’s than ground level emissions – eg see http://www.carbonplanet.com/downloads/Flight_Calculator_Information_v9.2.pdf

    The atmosphere is well mixed below the turbopause so there isn’t going to be any lasting increased local concentration compared to the rest of the atmosphere below about 100 km.

            MikeC said:

    Also contrails (no, not chemtrails!! :) ) are possibly more effective at global warming than CO2 – albeit only while they exist, and on a per sq m basis so they actually cover a minuscule part of the surface area of the earth whereas CO2 covers the whole earth so the absolute amount is very small. http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n1/full/nclimate1068.html

    Contrails can be reduced by using fuel with lower impurities and also by moving to different altitudes.

    The B2 actually was designed to mix chemicals into the exhaust to suppress contrails (though they haven’t actually used that in service).

            MikeC said:

    So there are good reasons for continuing to try to drive down aviation fuel use – especially since the amount of aviation is set to increase by up to 5%/year for a decade or more.

    More efficient aircraft engines are more likely to just result in more flights being made because air travel becomes cheaper, though that’s not such a bad thing.

            MikeC said:

    Air travel will stay around (I hope – it pays me well!!) but I think there need to be a lot of structural changes in the next 20 – years – including possibly a lot slower speeds – the turboprop golden years for short range travel in the 1990′s need to come back with a vengeance, ultra-high-bypass ration engines need to become the norm, etc.

    Actually I’d much rather bring back SSTs or at least the Sonic Cruiser.

    Still, turboprops are better for short ranges and propfans might even make a comeback (or merely just get used) if fuel prices get high enough (and the noise problem can be dealt with, maybe those active cancellation systems could help there).

    Oh and the regional jet for everything fad would be better off gone, not that they’re are a bad idea, just that using them when you should be using 737s is a bad idea.


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  13. 13
    MikeC Says:

    While the troposhere is well mixed, it takes time for a concentration at a given altitude to become evenly spread – ground generated pollutants take tiem to get to 35,000 feet, and vice versa.

    SST’s and Sonic cruiser will never be considered again IMO – they are far too expensive. And changing altitudes to avoid contrails simply results in burning more fuel – since jets already fly as high as possible/allowed so the only option is to fly lower with a higher fuel burn.

    The chemical the B-2 was going to add to exhausts was chlorosulfonic acid – corrosive and tricky to handle – it’s not a go-er for civil aviation, and there is nothing else AFAIK you can do to chemically suppress contrails – no changes in fuel will mater as long as burning jet fuel generates a huge amount of water.

    And somewhat ironically it seems higher propulsive efficiency for jets leads to more contrails.


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  14. 14
    drbuzz0 Says:

    I have heard arguments that contrails cause global warming and that they have a cooling effect, bu turning water vapor (which allows visible light to pass) into tiny water droplets, which has a shading effect. I’m not sure what the full body of evidence would indicate


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  15. 15
    DV82XL Says:

    SST type aircraft will not come back as the traveling public wants frequency of departures, rather than short transit times, and a large SST fleet is not economically supportable. Large gauge turboprops aren’t coming back ether, at least not in the configurations that they have been traditionally in. Rather they will be in the form of very high bypass fans, enshrouded or unenshrouded.

    Regional jets are here to stay because of the frequency issue, and because the are less expensive to operate than DC-9, 727, 737 and even MD-80s. In particular the first three are getting close to needing main spar replacements, and that is nether easy or cheap. As well they are also going to need to be re-engined soon again as the hours are building up there as well.


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  16. 16
    George Carty Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Regional jets are here to stay because of the frequency issue, and because the are less expensive to operate than DC-9, 727, 737 and even MD-80s. In particular the first three are getting close to needing main spar replacements, and that is nether easy or cheap.

    Don’t regional jets put a huge strain on airports though, both because you’d need a lot more of them than you would 737s or A320s to do the same work, and because they can’t be shoved into a corner like you could with turboprops?

    What’s the point of more frequent flights if most of them are delayed?


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  17. 17
    DV82XL Says:

            George Carty said:

    Don’t regional jets put a huge strain on airports though, both because you’d need a lot more of them…

    I have not seen this stated as a factor. Most RJs cycle at the gate faster than big birds and thus have a better turn around time. That would help decrease the load on the ground facilities.

    BTW what makes you think that there is any less maintenance on a turboprop, and why can one be ‘shoved into a corner.’ Generally speaking the maintenance burden on any aircraft is primarily a function of its age/time flown, not how it is powered.


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  18. 18
    Robert Sneddon Says:

            DV82XL said:

    I have not seen this stated as a factor. Most RJs cycle at the gate faster than big birds and thus have a better turn around time. That would help decrease the load on the ground facilities.

    The problem is runway slots. Each flight, whether a 20-seat puddle-jumper or an A380 requires several minutes of runway time to take off and several minutes of runway time to land. The really big jets cause turbulence that can knock a smaller plane out of the air so the delays can be greater — the controllers like to bunch big planes for takeoffs for that reason. More RJs and more evolutions means more runway slots used per day.

    Many busy airports around the world are limited by runway capacity — Heathrow in London is one case with two runways in use pretty much continuously during the day. There were plans to build a third runway but they were abandoned due to local protests from folks like the residents of a nearby village that would have been demolished to make way for the new construction. The busiest airports like Atlanta Hartsfield have four runways and there are (or were) plans to build more.


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  19. 19
    DV82XL Says:

            Robert Sneddon said:

    The problem is runway slots.

    First most RJs are 50 passenger aircraft and while you are right about the runway issues the fact remains that flying 70-100 seat equipment, half full, will use the same number of slots, which was what was happening, so as a consequence this is not a factor to the extent you are implying it is.

    Much in the way of delays can be attributed to the fact that ATC seems to be stuck in the Fifties technologically, and until that is fixed, there is little that adding runways to existing airports will do towards relieving congestion. As well, airlines must rethink hub-and-spoke operations, and small gauge is the only way to move away from that paradigm.


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  20. 20
    George Carty Says:

            DV82XL said:

    I have not seen this stated as a factor. Most RJs cycle at the gate faster than big birds and thus have a better turn around time. That would help decrease the load on the ground facilities.

    As Robert has already pointed out, the issue is runway slots.

            DV82XL said:

    BTW what makes you think that there is any less maintenance on a turboprop, and why can one be ‘shoved into a corner.’

    I wasn’t thinking about maintenance at all.

    I meant “shoved into a corner of the airport“, alluding to the fact that most turboprop aircraft can manage on much shorter runway lengths, and operate at lower flight levels than jets, meaning that turboprops do not compete for airspace and runway slots with big jets as much as RJs do.


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  21. 21
    Edis Says:

    I fail to see why airlines should not pay for the emissions they cause just like everyone else? The fact that airlines cause a small part of the total emissions is not an excuse; there is always a bigger fish out there somewhere.

    Also, the purpose of the emission trading system is not to force the aviation industry to emission reduction measures which are not cost effective. Quite the opposite actually. The emission trading system was designed to put a cap on how much CO2 can be released by “high emitters”. This cap is decreased over time and all industries that are covered by the system must have permits for every tonne of CO2 they release. These permits can either be given to them free of charge or bought (airlines will be given roughly 90% of the permits they need), and if they have more permits than they need they can sell them. This puts a price on the release of CO2 depending on how expensive it is to get the emissions under the CO2 cap.

    So in effect the price paied by airlines for CO2 emissions force cement factories, coal fired power plants and other large emitters to reduce their emissions if this can be done cheaper rather than by the airlines themselves. The permit to release a tonne of CO2 currently cost about 25 euro, so if you can’t reduce your emissions for less than that it will be cheaper to buy the permits you need.


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  22. 22
    Anon Says:

            DV82XL said:

    SST type aircraft will not come back as the traveling public wants frequency of departures, rather than short transit times,

    Evidence? Ask people flying transpacific if they care more about more travel time or frequency and you’ll probably find they have more complaints about the planes taking > 10 hours than about there not being an hourly flight.

    Though really what the general public wants is the cheapest fare, business fliers who don’t pay for their own ticket are the ones who care about things like frequency (and on short flights planes are as fast as they could possibly be).

            DV82XL said:

    and a large SST fleet is not economically supportable.

    Probably true and even though a small SST fleet could probably pay for its operating costs I’d be surprised if it could pay back development costs.

    Maybe someone will eventually build a supersonic bizjet though, that’s probably the only hope for civilian supersonics.

            DV82XL said:

    Large gauge turboprops aren’t coming back ether, at least not in the configurations that they have been traditionally in.

    Define large? Do you mean Dash 8 size or Tu 114 size?

    Though any route where large turboprops of around the size of a 737 would make sense is probably also one where high speed rail would make sense so there probably isn’t even a niche for them (though maybe long range cargo).

            DV82XL said:

    Regional jets are here to stay because of the frequency issue, and because the are less expensive to operate than DC-9, 727, 737 and even MD-80s.

    The 737-800 is actually cheaper per passenger than an RJ, unless of course you can pay the crew of the RJs less (which probably has more to do with the regional jet dominance than any superiority of the smaller aircraft).

            DV82XL said:

    First most RJs are 50 passenger aircraft and while you are right about the runway issues the fact remains that flying 70-100 seat equipment, half full, will use the same number of slots, which was what was happening, so as a consequence this is not a factor to the extent you are implying it is.

    That could also mean they were flying the planes too often.

            Edis said:

    I fail to see why airlines should not pay for the emissions they cause just like everyone else? The fact that airlines cause a small part of the total emissions is not an excuse; there is always a bigger fish out there somewhere.

    So go after those bigger fish and make the Germans shut down those coal plants (it’ll do much more good than anything you could do with transportation and with no need to increase airline ticket prices).

    If you were going to do a carbon tax then you should apply it to everything, but this isn’t a carbon tax but some stupid cap and trade token (and probably won’t even reduce emissions anyway, cap and trade with COâ‚‚ has a record of failure).

            Edis said:

    Also, the purpose of the emission trading system is not to force the aviation industry to emission reduction measures which are not cost effective. Quite the opposite actually.

    What it’ll most likely do is cause airlines to use more biofuels which they can claim are carbon neutral despite actually being worse.

            Edis said:

    The emission trading system was designed to put a cap on how much CO2 can be released by “high emitters”. This cap is decreased over time and all industries that are covered by the system must have permits for every tonne of CO2 they release.

    But you can’t predict how much each tonne of COâ‚‚ is going to cost, therefore making it basically impossible to determine which methods of reducing emissions are actually cost effective enough to be worth implementing.

    Besides, all cap and trade has managed to do is give the politically connected more money, a real carbon tax has the possibility of actually working to encourage emissions reductions but that’s not what the EU will implement.

    Though really, whilst a real carbon tax could help most such proposals (as well as proposals for the vastly inferior cap and trade) are really just a way of deflecting attention away from the fact that there’s no solution to global warming that doesn’t involve replacing coal and methane with nuclear.


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  23. 23
    drbuzz0 Says:

            DV82XL said:

    SST type aircraft will not come back as the traveling public wants frequency of departures, rather than short transit times, and a large SST fleet is not economically supportable.

    There seems to be a viable market for supersonic aircraft in the charter and business sector. Gulfstream has been working on it for some time and others are showing interest. Basically would be looking at aircraft designed to be able to cruise at high subsonic speeds and supercruise up to mach 1.75 or so.

    I think we’ll likely see that in the next couple of decades. Unfortunately, governments have been unwaivering on banning supersonic flight over land. That makes an SST dead as a general purpose form of transportation. If more than a tiny portion of the flight is subsonic, it loses all major advantages. An SST would be okay for New York to London, but Chicago to Munich would be no good, because too much flight over land. That makes it a highly inflexible aircraft that only can serve very limited markets.

            DV82XL said:

    Large gauge turboprops aren’t coming back ether, at least not in the configurations that they have been traditionally in. Rather they will be in the form of very high bypass fans, enshrouded or unenshrouded.

    They seem to have found an excellent nitch as cargo haulers especially to relatively sparse airfields.


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  24. 24
    Edis Says:

            Anon said:

    So go after those bigger fish and make the Germans shut down those coal plants (it’ll do much more good than anything you could do with transportation and with no need to increase airline ticket prices).

    If you were going to do a carbon tax then you should apply it to everything, but this isn’t a carbon tax but some stupid cap and trade token (and probably won’t even reduce emissions anyway, cap and trade with CO₂ has a record of failure).

    Why should coal power pay for its emissions but not airlines? If we put the cost solely on coal this will also punish everything that also uses electricity, including efficient electric trains that causes far less pollution that air travel.

    The system is applied to all large emitters of CO2 with a few exceptions. Some fuels are taxed using a regular carbon tax instead, like gasoline, diesel and heating oil.

    The system doesn’t have a fixed cost per tonne of CO2 as a carbon tax, but will otherwise function similar.

    Why should the system not work? Do you imply some sort of cheating?

            Anon said:

    What it’ll most likely do is cause airlines to use more biofuels which they can claim are carbon neutral despite actually being worse.

    Today most biofuels are significantly better than fossil fuels in terms of total greenhouse gas emissions. Some as much as 90% better. There are a few exceptions of course, but that’s why EU introduced the sustainability criteria for biofuels. Unfortunatly there are no sustainability criterias for fossil fuels.

            Anon said:

    But you can’t predict how much each tonne of CO₂ is going to cost, therefore making it basically impossible to determine which methods of reducing emissions are actually cost effective enough to be worth implementing.

    Besides, all cap and trade has managed to do is give the politically connected more money, a real carbon tax has the possibility of actually working to encourage emissions reductions but that’s not what the EU will implement.

    Though really, whilst a real carbon tax could help most such proposals (as well as proposals for the vastly inferior cap and trade) are really just a way of deflecting attention away from the fact that there’s no solution to global warming that doesn’t involve replacing coal and methane with nuclear.

    It will be harder to predict the long term cost of a tonne of CO2 compared to a carbon tax, but the latter might need adjustment in the future to actually decrease emissions anyway.

    Since the permits increase the cost of producing carbon intensive electricity, nuclear do become more cost competitive. EU currently gets a little less than 30% of its electricity from nuclear.


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  25. 25
    Anon Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    There seems to be a viable market for supersonic aircraft in the charter and business sector. Gulfstream has been working on it for some time and others are showing interest. Basically would be looking at aircraft designed to be able to cruise at high subsonic speeds and supercruise up to mach 1.75 or so.

    But no one has actually built one, it also looks like most of the companies who looked at it ended up doing other things (including Gulfstream).

    Still, if there is a place where SSTs can actually pay their way its there.

            drbuzz0 said:

    Unfortunately, governments have been unwaivering on banning supersonic flight over land. That makes an SST dead as a general purpose form of transportation.

    A quite supersonic aircraft which doesn’t produce an audible sonic boom at ground level would probably be enough to change that (those super bizjets are intended to not produce a sonic boom that could be clearly heard on the ground).

            drbuzz0 said:

    If more than a tiny portion of the flight is subsonic, it loses all major advantages. An SST would be okay for New York to London, but Chicago to Munich would be no good, because too much flight over land. That makes it a highly inflexible aircraft that only can serve very limited markets.

    There’s still a decent market for over the oceans travel and a lot of US businesses are on the east coast and could benefit from being able to cross the pond a bit quicker (even Chicago to Munich would still be faster on an SST).

    Transpacific is harder due to the longer distances but would offer even more benefit (of course a longer range subsonic aircraft could by not refuelling get there quicker).

            drbuzz0 said:

    They seem to have found an excellent nitch as cargo haulers especially to relatively sparse airfields.

    Such as? If there is a place for large turboprops it’s as cargo planes but I can’t actually think of a large one that’s still being built new for that purpose. Il-76s can handle rough fields and unequipped airports anyway and seem to be what is being used for that.

            Edis said:

    Why should coal power pay for its emissions but not airlines?

    Coal power should just be banned outright (or at least new construction of them), no need to add extra costs to it.

    A carbon tax is really something you’d do after you’ve dealt with electricity production (or at least made a start on that) as a way of dealing with what’s left of the problem but in this case I suspect it’s just a way of not doing anything about electricity while appearing to do something for the environment.

            Edis said:

    The system doesn’t have a fixed cost per tonne of CO2 as a carbon tax, but will otherwise function similar.

    Except that you can’t actually know how much a tonne of COâ‚‚ will cost to emit so you can’t decide whether it’s actually worth not emitting it.

            Edis said:

    Why should the system not work? Do you imply some sort of cheating?

    Cap and trade is pretty much made for cheating.

            Edis said:

    Today most biofuels are significantly better than fossil fuels in terms of total greenhouse gas emissions. Some as much as 90% better.

    Be nice if that were actually true although even if it were the increase in food prices they cause is worse than global warming.

    The only sensible use for biofuels is when they’d otherwise go to waste or cause release of methane (which is a worse greenhouse gas than COâ‚‚), otherwise we’d be better off just giving the land they’d be grown on back to nature.

            Edis said:

    There are a few exceptions of course, but that’s why EU introduced the sustainability criteria for biofuels. Unfortunatly there are no sustainability criterias for fossil fuels.

    Biofuels are inherently not sustainable at the rate we’d need to use them to run our transportation systems, there’s a reason why fossil fuels replaced wood.

            Edis said:

    It will be harder to predict the long term cost of a tonne of CO2 compared to a carbon tax, but the latter might need adjustment in the future to actually decrease emissions anyway.

    The rate of a carbon tax would be increased over time but it would be at a pre-determined rate which can be factored into economic calculations.

            Edis said:

    Since the permits increase the cost of producing carbon intensive electricity, nuclear do become more cost competitive. EU currently gets a little less than 30% of its electricity from nuclear.

    Yes, though it’d be better to just ban forms of electricity generation which release too much COâ‚‚ from consideration for new generation capacity and make it easier to actually build nuclear power plants (which properly regulated can undercut coal without even needing a carbon tax).


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  26. 26
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Edis said:

    Why should coal power pay for its emissions but not airlines? If we put the cost solely on coal this will also punish everything that also uses electricity, including efficient electric trains that causes far less pollution that air travel.

    Coal is the one and only fuel that I consider absolutely unusable for any large scale power generation. Oil, gas and others, I’m not especially fond of but I’ll admit they have uses and can be kept as long as they are used sparingly and properly. But coal has such a poor ratio of energy to environmental destruction it’s the worst of the worst. It’s the only thing I can think of that’s dirtier than dirt.

            Edis said:

    The system is applied to all large emitters of CO2 with a few exceptions. Some fuels are taxed using a regular carbon tax instead, like gasoline, diesel and heating oil.

    I suppose, but if you tax carbon-based fuels enough you can run into some unfortunate side effects. People will seek cheaper alternatives, which may include heating by burning garbage, tires and dirty motor oil. It’s happened before when heating oil and gas have become expensive.

            Edis said:

    Since the permits increase the cost of producing carbon intensive electricity, nuclear do become more cost competitive. EU currently gets a little less than 30% of its electricity from nuclear.

    I suppose it would, except there are already countries that have decided that it’s bad for nuclear energy to become a cash cow because it’s comparatively low in CO2 emissions. Many areas have proposed “windfall taxes” on nuclear energy to prevent it from ever becoming more financially viable than coal.


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  27. 27
    DV82XL Says:

    The industry has struggled with the gauge vs. frequency issue for decades, and frequency has won on most routes. Blithely asserting that low load factors means that aircraft are flying too frequently demonstrates a superficial awareness of how the industry works, and what the public will put up with. The evidence is in the way the system is working now in domestic markets, with a trend to smaller gauge. Long haul is a different story, but that has little to do with the issue as these routes are already served by large widebody aircraft.

    The problem is multifaceted and little to do with simple convenience. Connections are one of the more obvious issues in that it is unacceptable to require passengers to layover at airports for extended times, and maximizing aircraft utilization means that positioning, (the requirement to has an aircraft a a given city) regardless means that flights will go under filled. It is a very complex problem that can’t be waved away by saying the schedule should be contracted.

    As for turboprops, I was thinking of ones like the size of the Lockheed Electra. Dash-8s can and do serve smaller markets, but they cannot replace RJs on medium haul. I was only referring to passenger travel here, if we expand the subject to include cargo, then a different set of parameters comes into play, and indeed turboprops can serve, and do.

    Watch out when looking at the cost of aircraft operation, it is very dependent on load factors. Thus it is meaningless to assert that a larger aircraft is less expensive to run than a small one on a strict revenue passenger mile bases. You also have to look at utilization, as mentioned above, to determine load over the whole fleet, rather than just individual city pairs. At any rate the Boeing 737NG series is competing with the A320 series, not RJs.

    I’ve spent a very long time in the industry, and believe me there are no easy answers. At best one is left with a tapestry of compromises where making one aspect ideal can only happen at the expense of making several others worse.


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  28. 28
    Sigivald Says:

    Edis said: I fail to see why airlines should not pay for the emissions they cause just like everyone else?

    To which I quite uncharitably replied: Emissions? Cost? BWahahahahahaha.

    Oh, that’s funny.

    CO2 doesn’t “cost” anything. Pretending that it does is a bad joke.

    (Also, Mickey?

    It’s perfectly legal to own uranium. Turns out uranium is pretty much harmless.

    United Nuclear will be happy to sell you some in various forms, like the ores previously linked, or as refined isotope samples.

    Cute attempt at a troll, though. Not very effective due to utter ignorance, but cute.)


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  29. 29
    Graeme Says:

            Sigivald said:

    CO2 doesn’t “cost” anything. Pretending that it does is a bad joke.

    Um, is this in the same way that other pollutants with known costs to society don’t ‘cost’ anything? In the sense that corporations ‘externalise’ the costs? (i.e. they make everyone else pay for them, the little dears)


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  30. 30
    Anon Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    I suppose, but if you tax carbon-based fuels enough you can run into some unfortunate side effects. People will seek cheaper alternatives, which may include heating by burning garbage, tires and dirty motor oil. It’s happened before when heating oil and gas have become expensive.

    Making sure that you’ve got a decent alternative available would help there, for heating nuclear generated electricity is probably what you’d be promoting (backed up with anti-pollution laws to deal with those few who insist on burning old tires, motor oil, etc, actually those anti-pollution laws should exist regardless of whether or not you’ve got a carbon tax).

            drbuzz0 said:

    I suppose it would, except there are already countries that have decided that it’s bad for nuclear energy to become a cash cow because it’s comparatively low in CO2 emissions. Many areas have proposed “windfall taxes” on nuclear energy to prevent it from ever becoming more financially viable than coal.

    It’s not the low COâ‚‚ emissions but protection of fossil fuel and renewable energy industry profits which motivates that.


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  31. 31
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Anon said:

    Making sure that you’ve got a decent alternative available would help there, for heating nuclear generated electricity is probably what you’d be promoting (backed up with anti-pollution laws to deal with those few who insist on burning old tires, motor oil, etc, actually those anti-pollution laws should exist regardless of whether or not you’ve got a carbon tax).

    Yes, but one of the issues can come down to the fact that there may be a huge number of tiny single-home operations, which are hard to police. Germany ran into a problem with wood burning stoves. They fell into a permitted area of what would be considered renewable fuel which became more economical given energy standards. Unfortunately, in practice it turned out to cause a lot of local pollution. Some restrictions were made but so many people had already started heating with wood that they had to be grandfathered and allowed to keep using them.

    I know people who have wood burning stoves and the unfortunate thing is that they don’t all burn wood in them. Some have come to the conclusion that any flammable garbage will work just fine as a cheap fuel. Not so bad if it’s paper, but once you get plastic and stuff like that being burned, that’s just no good.

            Anon said:

    It’s not the low COâ‚‚ emissions but protection of fossil fuel and renewable energy industry profits which motivates that.

    That is undoubtedly part of it, but the other is likely the fact that politicians like to make money by taxing things and they can beat up and exploit nuclear energy quite a lot in many places and nobody will object because they already think nuclear is evil and making too much money.


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  32. 32
    drbuzz0 Says:

            DV82XL said:

    I’ve spent a very long time in the industry, and believe me there are no easy answers. At best one is left with a tapestry of compromises where making one aspect ideal can only happen at the expense of making several others worse.

    That’s an industry I don’t think I have the nerves to be part of. Not that I pretend to know the extent of it, but I do know it’s extremely cutthroat and that airlines seem to file for bankruptcy protection very frequently and that nothing ever seems stable in that business.

    I’d imagine there are no easy answers other than to keep working at it and stay ontop of things as best as possible.


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  33. 33
    Anon Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    Yes, but one of the issues can come down to the fact that there may be a huge number of tiny single-home operations, which are hard to police.

    Yeah, that is a problem, neighbours who prefer clean air could probably help somewhat but by the time you should be thinking of actually introducing a carbon tax you should be well enough on the way to getting rid of fossil fuels from your electricity grid that even if you did apply the tax to the few remaining COâ‚‚ spewers it wouldn’t have much effect on the price of electricity.

            drbuzz0 said:

    Germany ran into a problem with wood burning stoves. They fell into a permitted area of what would be considered renewable fuel which became more economical given energy standards. Unfortunately, in practice it turned out to cause a lot of local pollution.

    As if it couldn’t have been foreseen, wood is hardly a clean or sustainable fuel (there’s a reason coal replaced it after all) anyway so shouldn’t be promoted as fuel.

            drbuzz0 said:

    I know people who have wood burning stoves and the unfortunate thing is that they don’t all burn wood in them. Some have come to the conclusion that any flammable garbage will work just fine as a cheap fuel. Not so bad if it’s paper, but once you get plastic and stuff like that being burned, that’s just no good.

    I guess the best you could do there would be to publicise any convictions you get for that kind of thing as widely as possible to let those who burn anything know that it’s unacceptable.

            drbuzz0 said:

    That is undoubtedly part of it, but the other is likely the fact that politicians like to make money by taxing things and they can beat up and exploit nuclear energy quite a lot in many places and nobody will object because they already think nuclear is evil and making too much money.

    Not to mention that even the nuclear plant owners aren’t likely to fight back much, they’ll just pass it on to the ratepayers in the form of higher electricity prices.

            drbuzz0 said:

    That’s an industry I don’t think I have the nerves to be part of. Not that I pretend to know the extent of it, but I do know it’s extremely cutthroat and that airlines seem to file for bankruptcy protection very frequently and that nothing ever seems stable in that business.

    I’d imagine there are no easy answers other than to keep working at it and stay ontop of things as best as possible.

    Any industries which aren’t like that?


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  34. 34
    Kit P Says:

    “I fail to see why airlines should not pay for the emissions …”

    It is called taxation without representation. There is a reason our founding fathers required treaties, to be approve by two-thirds of the senators. If you do not gourd your rights carefully, they will disappear one at a time. Such as:

    “Coal power should just be banned outright …”

    Really! I think there should be an exceedingly good reason to tell other places how they should to things. While I work in the nuclear industry, I think the folks in West Virginia do a very good job of making electricity.

    California state motto is ban something today. First it was nuclear power. Then it was offshore drilling. Then it was coal. Sure they are okay with wind turbines as long as they are in the PNW.

    In the United States we have clean air and water. Energy is a cheap commodity as is food. We are living longer and healthier.

    The problem? Just the ones they make up in SF, DC, NYC, and the cesspools of Europe they call great cities.


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  35. 35
    DV82XL Says:

    The coal shill sounds off again…

    And when, pray tell, has any government needed a mandate from the taxed to impose a charge on a corporate entity? Are you suggesting that commercial concerns be given the right to vote.


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  36. 36
    Matthew Says:

            DV82XL said:

    The coal shill sounds off again…

    And when, pray tell, has any government needed a mandate from the taxed to impose a charge on a corporate entity? Are you suggesting that commercial concerns be given the right to vote.

    Well, given that taxes on corporations (and businesses in general) don’t exist, I’m not entirely sure what you’re driving at here.

    Remember, for a business, tax is just another budget item, to be covered with:

    A. Higher prices (so that their customers pay the tax)
    B. Lower wages / benefits (so that their employees pay the tax)
    D. Fewer dividends (so that peoples’ pension funds pay the tax)

    also, as a second order effect, D. Less expansion due to lowered profitability, so that the burden falls on the people who would otherwise have been hired.

    This applies to everything from Boeing and Microsoft down to a mom and pop store. Business taxes are just sales and payroll taxes that the business collects on behalf of the government.

    The taxation without representation applies not to businesses, but to the individuals who actually pay the tax via their grocery bills and paycheques.


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  37. 37
    Kit P Says:

    Foreign counties are trying to impose policies on the US that will hurt the US economically and will do very little if anything to reduce ghg. Furthermore, climate change legislation has been rejected by congress over and over. The only thing a tax on carbon will do is make energy more expensive. For those who think building new nukes is a good idea, like me, provide incentives like a PTC and load guarantees for nukes.

    Wait POTUS Bush already did that! Let me check to see if we are building new nukes. Yes we are, Bush implemented policies that resulted in a change of policy from POTUS Clinton.

    POTUS Obama has made it more difficult to get anything done as far as build new power plants with regulatory uncertainty. The first thing POTUS Obama did was stop the geological repository and put an anti-nuke in charge of the NRC.

    I am not a shill for the nuclear industry because I openly admit that I work in the nuclear industry. I am not a shill of the coal industry just a customer. My utility does does a good job of making electricity with coal-fired power plants. When I look at California and Germany, I do not see an effective policy to reduce ghg. I do see an effective policy to import natural gas.


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  38. 38
    I'mnotreallyhere Says:

    Tax on aviation fuel you say? Pointless political posturing you say? I think you’ve all missed the trick here :

    Trains.

    High-speed electric trains running from nuclear and hydroelectric power.

    Welcome to France.

    A few weeks ago, I chose to travel from Marseille (where I live) to London (where my brother lives). I originally wrote “I had to travel” but that’s clearly a lie.

    As the crow flies, this is approximately 700 miles. And for the giggles, I did it entirely by train. I was on the move for somewhere around six hours, with an extra ninety minutes of unfortunate waiting around. For the record, the direct flight option works out as about two hours of flying, one hour on bus/train transfers and four hours of waiting around.

    Now I didn’t do it because I’m some hippy or emissions-nazi or even a train-spotter, I mainly did it because it seemed like a laugh. And let me tell you, it’s a great way to travel. And increased taxes on aviation fuel would make it a more popular choice.


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  39. 39
    Anon Says:

    Of course that TGV network and the Chunnel were built without any carbon tax on air travel and have managed to get the majority of market share away from the airlines (notice how Air Inter doesn’t exist anymore?) also without need of a carbon tax.


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  40. 40
    DV82XL Says:

            Matthew said:

    The taxation without representation applies not to businesses, but to the individuals who actually pay the tax via their grocery bills and paycheques.

    Yes well that was the point I was trying to make. It was Kit P that brought the subject up.

            Kit P said:

    Foreign counties are trying to impose policies on the US that will hurt the US economically and will do very little if anything to reduce ghg.

    And the U.S. has never made domestic policy without considering the impact on other countries? Every nation’s government passes laws theoretically for the benefit of that nation, and need not concern itself with how those policies impact other countries. Yes, sometimes this is a consideration, but it is not some unwritten norm.

            Kit P said:

    Furthermore, climate change legislation has been rejected by congress over and over. The only thing a tax on carbon will do is make energy more expensive.

    Because like every other political assembly around the world, the U.S. Congress is made up of scientists and rational actors who will put the future ahead of their own immediate political needs.


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  41. 41
    BMS Says:

            I’mnotreallyhere said:

    A few weeks ago, I chose to travel from Marseille (where I live) to London (where my brother lives).

    I too have done the trip by train from south-east France to London through the tunnel, but I did it for the experience of riding the train, not because it was cheaper.

    Even factoring in the cost of transportation to and from the airports, a flight would have been less expensive.

    Hanging out in an airport is not a lot of fun, but my trip by train required two transfers between stations, one between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon in Paris (achieved by metro) and another between the two train stations in Lille (within walking distance, much like transferring from one concourse to another in a large airport). Of course, things might have changed since the last time I did the trip.


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  42. 42
    Anon Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Because like every other political assembly around the world, the U.S. Congress is made up of scientists and rational actors who will put the future ahead of their own immediate political needs.

    You shouldn’t be leaving the <sarcasm> tag off, someone may believe you.


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  43. 43
    drbuzz0 Says:

            DV82XL said:

    And the U.S. has never made domestic policy without considering the impact on other countries? Every nation’s government passes laws theoretically for the benefit of that nation, and need not concern itself with how those policies impact other countries. Yes, sometimes this is a consideration, but it is not some unwritten norm.

    Because like every other political assembly around the world, the U.S. Congress is made up of scientists and rational actors who will put the future ahead of their own immediate political needs.

    Well, unfortunately the US Congress is not a bastion of reason and science because of the nature of politics. This is something I’ve learned quite a bit about.

    When you stand up and say you are for more science-based policies, more environmental policy based on the facts, more conventional medicine, more freedom for scientific departments to allocate their budget as they choose etc etc, the best you can expect to get is a lukewarm response.

    It’s all about money and getting donations, because that’s how you get elected and the way you do that is by hitting hard on a core issue for some special interest. It’s sad, but you say something like you’ll oppose gay marriage and you get a big outpouring from a group who really wants to see that. It does not even matter if the group is big, you just need to hit the sweet spot on a few special interests.

    The easiest way to do this is with a give-away to a narrow group. Lets say, hypothetically, there is a large company that makes helicopters. Now this large company has a lucrative contract to replace gearboxes in helicopters. However, this company is concerned that with the end of wars and the winding down of military spending helicopters will spend more time on the ground and less in flight, and thus require less frequent replacement of gearboxes. So this company approaches a congressional candidate and tells them that they want this candidate to fight for legislation which would pay up front for the gearboxes and then they get the money whether or not they need to be replaced. If the candidate agrees, they get a big fat donation.

    It’s easy to make some money for the campaign if you simply agree to a bunch of handouts like that.

    And the thing is politicians are really only loyal to one thing: Their own reelection. Not to their country, their political philosophy or even their party. They want to be reelected and that’s just what it comes down to.


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  44. 44
    DV82XL Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    Well, unfortunately the US Congress is not a bastion of reason and science because of the nature of politics. This is something I’ve learned quite a bit about.

    Well of course I was being sarcastic, but I add in haste that every legislative body in all democracies suffer from this fault. These institutions were developed in a different time and were never meant to work under the scrutiny that they are under now.

    This may seem perverse, but what we now have is more like a continual election campaign punctuated by moments of lawmaking, rather than the other way around. Even things like the EU carbon tax on airlines under discussion here is driven more by appearance than any real need.

    The paradox is that we are now swimming in a sea of information far beyond our ability to verify and integrate, and this has created more issues than the lack of information we suffered from in the past. At least then, every Tom, Dick, and Harry didn’t consider themselves instant experts on a subject because they could use a search-engine. And those of unsound mind were limited to pamphleteering in front of the Post Office.

    I’m not suggesting it would be better to go back, but I do hope the next generation is being taught better filters than what most have now.


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  45. 45
    Anon Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Well of course I was being sarcastic, but I add in haste that every legislative body in all democracies suffer from this fault. These institutions were developed in a different time and were never meant to work under the scrutiny that they are under now.

    So how do we fix them?

            DV82XL said:

    The paradox is that we are now swimming in a sea of information far beyond our ability to verify and integrate, and this has created more issues than the lack of information we suffered from in the past. At least then, every Tom, Dick, and Harry didn’t consider themselves instant experts on a subject because they could use a search-engine.

    Instead they considered themselves instant experts because they could read a highly partisan magazine or watch a highly partisan TV show.

            DV82XL said:

    And those of unsound mind were limited to pamphleteering in front of the Post Office.

    I’m not suggesting it would be better to go back, but I do hope the next generation is being taught better filters than what most have now.

    Sorry, I don’t think anyone is bothering to teach those filters pretty much anywhere.

    There is probably these days much less filtering at the publication side than in the past due to the internet but even before there was still a lot of crap getting through those filters at TV stations, magazines, etc.


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  46. 46
    DV82XL Says:

            Anon said:

    So how do we fix them?

    Don’t get me started…

            Anon said:

    Instead they considered themselves instant experts because they could read a highly partisan magazine or watch a highly partisan TV show.

    I’m old enough to remember when there were a limited number of news broadcasters on television and when the Cronkite’s, and Huntley and Brinkley and similar news professionals fronted programs that were well balanced and informative rather than biased and sensationalistic. Print publications were partisan but at least they were upfront about it. Ether way the media seemed to recognize that it had a certain social responsibly then that is very much lacking now.

    In those days people did have opinions yes but there was not the same level of ignorant arrogance we see now. Marshall McLuhan saw what was going to happen when he coined the phrase “The medium is the message” and when writing of the Global Village predicted that we would fall back into ‘tribal involvement’ as connectivity increased. That is exactly what is transpiring now: we have created a world of tribes, made up of people that would have had difficulty finding each other in the past. This could be a good thing, but it seems that the groups that are the most organized, and most effective are largely those with agendas that are just plain wrong – most of the ones featured on this very site, attest to this.

    The reality is that the rational are not very effective organizers and generally poor demagogues. Even the few successful areas like atheism, and skepticism have not founded effective movements on the ground that get the attention of politicians in any meaningful way, unlike say, the anti-vaccination movement.

    While I don’t want to see things go back, I am somewhat afraid of how things might be moving forward, give what I see today.


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  47. 47
    Kit P Says:

    “The paradox is that we are now swimming in a sea of information far beyond our ability to verify and integrate, and this has created more issues than the lack of information we suffered from in the past. ”

    It is certainly is not beyond my ability to apply a BS meter to know when I reading a load of it. What is fact, what is BS? AGW is a weak theory. The ‘no safe level of radiation’ is a weak theory. Low levels of air pollution are harmful is a weak theory.

    The L/D 50 for radiation is about 400 Rem. Hydrogen below 2% will not explode. I can look up the L/D 50 for many things like arsenic, ammonia, and nicotine. Using science based facts, we can and do produce energy safely with insignificant environmental impact.

    While I am skeptical about AGW, as an engineer I can take any of the many LCA and use it as a tool for reducing ghg emissions. However, when I hear that natural gas is a good way to reduce AGW my BS meter goes off. Coal-fired power plants do emit more ghg than a CCGT but that ingnores how much methane leaks from coal mining and drilling and transporting NG.

    If you are talking about a tax on airlines and bragging about solar ‘capacity’ but I fact check find out that you import large amounts of NG from Russia, my BS meter pegs high.


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  48. 48
    DV82XL Says:

            Kit P said:

    It is certainly is not beyond my ability to apply a BS meter to know when I reading a load of it. What is fact, what is BS? AGW is a weak theory.

    And that is a weak argument, based on your opinion only. While sometimes a theory can be so far fetched that it can be dismissed out of hand, AGW is not one of them. You’ll have to come up with something better is you want to convince anyone here.


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  49. 49
    Kit P Says:

    AGW is a relatively new and weak theory replacing the old well founded theory from the 60s that we are at the end of an interglacial warming period with glaciers soon to be covering Canada again.

    As far as convincing people, tell me what your plan is. It is easy for California and France to not use coal because they have none. All the AGW believers have one thing in common. They want everyone else to change while they maintain a consumptive lifestyle.

    Gore and Obama live large. They could adopt a frugal lifestyle like Kit P and his family. Most of us use energy to meet our needs. Those who live large project energy use as an evil. Sin taxes on smokes and booze are popular. Just protecting the little guy from themselves.

    This is where the American sprit diverges from Canada and the EU. We just do not think that those ‘paternal’ government are all that good at making personal choices let alone dictating choices for others.

    It takes a very compelling reason to get people to change. In the 60s we had compelling reasons for the CAA and CWA. Forty years later no one would argue with the results. Fortunately, AGW is not that compelling of a reason to change.


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  50. 50
    Anon Says:

            Kit P said:

    AGW is a relatively new and weak theory replacing the old well founded theory from the 60s that we are at the end of an interglacial warming period with glaciers soon to be covering Canada again.

    If it weren’t for our COâ‚‚ emissions we would be in a slight cooling period though it’d be thousands of years before another ice age actually started.

            Kit P said:

    As far as convincing people, tell me what your plan is. It is easy for California and France to not use coal because they have none.

    Doesn’t stop Ca from using coal anyway, they just move the emissions to another state.

            Kit P said:

    All the AGW believers have one thing in common. They want everyone else to change while they maintain a consumptive lifestyle.

    No, we can reduce COâ‚‚ emissions quite massively without any need for lifestyle change, replacing coal and methane with nuclear would do most of what needs to be done and electrified public transport where it’d be used could help significantly with the rest. There’s just no need to sacrifice the standard of living of those who aren’t fossil fuel profiteers (although even then they’d still end up doing better than average).

    Had we never had an anti-nuclear movement we’d actually have time to avoid the effects of global warming (as well as much better placed to deal with land and sea transportation).

            Kit P said:

    This is where the American sprit diverges from Canada and the EU. We just do not think that those ‘paternal’ government are all that good at making personal choices let alone dictating choices for others.

    LOL. So that’s why no one in the US is trying to ban abortion.

    No, I’m afraid the US is every bit as inclined to such ‘paternal’ governments.


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