Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I peruse the news for youse

Cargo cult, American style.

There is nothing good about this new jumbo jet

unless it's flying means an equivalent tonnage of less fuel efficient planes are kept out of the air. All this adulation and excitement is a tad shortsighted. I was a youngster attending the Reno Air Show when the Boeing 747 took one of its debut flights for the crowd. It was impressive, forcing ooo's and aahh's when we finally exhaled. It was especially impressive when the pilot rolled the monster on its back an streaked across the sky upside down. Nice. But have you any idea how many million tons of carbon that line of planes have enshrouded our planet with in the years since that flight? How incomplete is the thought of markets!
Fuel consumption

This one's based totally on comparisons that may be tough to imagine. The plane is said to consume about four litres of fuel per passenger for every 130 kilometres it flies. Airbus claims given its size and the number of people on board, it's actually as fuel efficient as a filling up an "economical family car."

If the claimed fuel efficiency of the new plane is no better than that of a car, and that automotive efficiency is what brought our planet to its current overheated condition, what's to celebrate?

Since its something I am good at, let me do the math for you:

My Honda Civic Hybrid, loaded with 4 adults, gets at least 40 mpg. That makes
4*40 = 160 person-miles/gallon.

Your Airbus-for-elephants gets 130 passenger-km/4 liters or
(130 * 3.785liters/gallon)/ (4liters * 1.60934km/mile) = 76.4366 person-miles/gallon
The take-away for innumerate: Airbust sucks my Honda's tailpipe....and it will suck the air out of our skies.

Filthy rich people don't have any climate problems

Big voices and Little voices like mine, the Gray Lady, more specially informed voices like Shokai's, Real Climate Authorities, Career climatologists and most science journalists in any area of geoscience have been sounding this alarm for years so there is nothing whatsoever new in this news except for the high rank of bush bum that is confessing it. A chieftain in the oil tribe whom Bush thought would be the best upholder of the science of air quality has confessed to snipping up the science that came across his desk:
THE Bush administration diluted scientific evidence of global warming, one of its former high-ranking officials has admitted.
Philip Cooney, an oil industry lobbyist now working for Exxon Mobil, conceded during a congressional hearing yesterday that while he was chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality he watered down reports on the adverse effects of man-made emissions on the planet's climate.

"My sole loyalty was to the President and advancing the policies of his administration," Mr Cooney told the house government reform committee.
Documents released by Democrats yesterday revealed that in 2003 Bush administration officials made at least 181 changes to a plan to deal with climate change that were aimed at playing down the scientific consensus on global warming.

There were another 113 changes that made less of the human causes of climate change, and even changes made to herald potential benefits to higher temperatures.

"These changes must be made," according to a note in Mr Cooney's handwriting. "The language is mandatory."

That coverage is from The Australian but most papers had coverage that surfaced in Google news. NYTimes stuck to the facts and that is damnation enough, but you should read the journals like New Scientist. One publication that is loosely labled and losing millions a year as a newspaper chose to cover only Hansen's testimony and then treat it as suspect and just one man's belief. The Washing Times can't launder out the stain of politics or spin away the tampered science. They see no cover up and report as if only Hansen sees it. If there were a god, as the owner of the washing times profess, the mention of "liberal bias" in that ink wasting article would have brought down at least a bolt of lightning. That rag is a harmful and clumsy propaganda organ if used for anything but paper training your puppy.

[And I would suggest that sort of warpped coverage and the late exposition by most outlets of how extensively our government has lied to us is why you NEED to be reading TruthOut or any of a dozen green blogs.]

Abu Gonzales gets the "yer doin' a heckuva job" call

There are about 1000 straight forward reports that Google finds on the web this morning concerning Gonzales state of knowledge and involvement in the firings and retentions of US attorneys based on their adherence to political agenda. Many of them top off with the report that the sonofabush has just given a call of "firm support" for his embattled Atty General. Its interesting then, that even Google puts a Wonkette post on the matter at the top of the page. When the sarcasm rings more like the truth than do the facts, whose fault is that?
[And I would suggest that sarcasm is not coming from the sources who first asked the questions with which Congress is now battering DoJ, but the from the bizarre discrepancies in the emerging answers.]


Anonymous said...

A single eruption from a single volcano throws more ash into the air than all of contaminents ever produced by man. Who's going to stop all the volcanos? OH THE HUMANITY!

irony miner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
irony miner said...

Oh, the self-serving BS of anonymous volcano- worshipers!

Why, yes, I too would like to believe that 30 years of published research by professional climatologists can be undermined by one irrelevant, unsupported assertion - in an anonymous blog comment. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for saving us all from the drudgery of further brain activity.

johnny phenothiazine said...

My Honda Civic Hybrid, loaded with 4 adults, gets at least 40 mpg. That makes 4*40 = 160 person-miles/gallon.

But is your Honda Civic always, or even often, loaded with four passengers? Passenger cars rarely carry their full load capacity; the ratio of capacity to actual payload is even worse for SUVs and those pickups which are used for personal transportation. I read somewhere that the average number of people in a moving car in the U.S.A. is 1.3.

I was thinking about this the other day, when I was looking at one of the streamlined Peterbilt semi tractors. They get 6 to 7 MPG at highway speeds, and they typically carry twenty tons of cargo. That's 240,000 pound-miles per gallon. My car, a Miata with a reasonably small (1.8 L) engine, gets 27.5 MPG and has a load capacity of about 600 pounds, which is only 16,500 pound-miles per gallon. But in actual use it is rarely carrying more than about 250 pounds of cargo. Thus it is 35 times less fuel-efficient than a typical loaded Peterbilt and trailer.

GreenSmile said...

Fair question. Answer is "no" not often. and airlines try damn hard to fill every seat just to stay afloat.

But If there are only two of us in my car we still do better than the Airbust and that is very often the case.

Funny thing, I actually needed that truck millage figure for a grant proposal to nyserda. I wanted to work out the economics of a semi trailer on which you could park a load of short-haul electric vehicles and ply the broad interstates with your little two seater 70 mile range car. The electric car gets you around town or to work but if you want to go from syracuse to NYC, you reserve a slot on a transporter and arrive, car all charged up, without getting frustrated by fools cutting you off on the throughway and having probaly read your way through the Times and posted to your blog.

The losses to air friction of a freight train are even less , per pound hauled, than for trucks but we have torn up a lot of useful rails connections infavor of the "freedom" of the road that was advertised to the consumer and the fortunes of detroit and Exxon that were advetised to the congress.

I feel a movie coming on...title "why we blight"