A mere 50 year difference, during the most profligate era of carbon dioxide production.
I just love the taste of denialist tears ....... argue your propaganda around these data!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
However, no-one truly appreciates the carbon cost of public transportation.
In the city in which I live (well, on the fringe), one has a choice of exactly three methods of "public" transport - a bus, a train, or a taxi.
Two of these are mass transit, and the other (taxi) is a sheer indulgence for intoxicated fascist business people (baby killing freaks), so I will concentrate on the mass transit aspects, bus or train.
Now, as a self-employed basket-weaver living in the ex-burbs, I simply don't like travelling to the centre of the city. However, recently I had no choice, as I had to attend a hearing in the Social Security Tribunal re cessation (and repayment!) of my unemployment benefits.
Loath as I was to travel to the Big Smoke, I was forced to do so, and of course I took mass public transit, i.e. a bus.
When I got on, there was only ONE other person on board. I paid $4.60 for the trip, so of course I wanted a bit of company, so I sat beside the other passenger, and struck up a conversation.
Unfortunately, she was not much of a conversationalist, and apparently had to get out at the next stop, and I was left ALONE in this enormous yellow metal tube.
So, I started to fret about my carbon footprint as a result of my using mass transit. Here I was, 10:30 in the morning, the only passenger on this carbon-spewing behemoth. (To be fair, I picked a Gaia friendly bus, which was running on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), which has a far less carbon footprint than diesel buses (of which I waved two on, and it was only because I was approaching the hour of my appearance before the Social Security Tribunal that I flagged down the next bus, which, Praise Gaia, was a CNG bus).
As I craved human company during my long journey, I attempted to strike up a conversation with the Captain of this behemoth, but as I could not speak Farsi, and he could not speak English or Green, the conversation was doomed to failure.
To cut a long story short, I ended up doing a bit of research, and discovered that the carbon footprint of each bus was simply enormous.
See this link for a myth-busting approval of CNG buses from the worthy warriors at Clean Cities.
However, the green-ness of a bus depends solely upon the NUMBER OF PASSENGERS!
When this enormous yellow behemoth was driving me around like the Princess of Wales (it was a Mercedes Benz, after all), I was the only one on board, and OF COURSE the carbon produced in order to transport my skinny body around was significant.
It is precisely the same shit with trains, but on a worse scale! These (eerily, also Caterpillar Yellow) monstrosities do not even attempt to run on anything as as Gaia-friendly as CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).
No, these puppies run on electrickery, produced by Gaia-raping coal-fired power stations. So, I thought to myself, what if I am the only passenger on a train???
Bugger me! I have heard that people don't want to use mass transit systems because of swarthy youths of Middle Eastern appearance setting fire to seats, harassing passengers, and occasionally sitting alone in an oversized trench-coat sweating furiously and mumbling prayers to Allah. What abject nonsense!
What we need to do is ensure that mass transit is fully utilised, otherwise like my lone journey into the Social Security Tribunal, it creates an enormous carbon footprint. We need to ensure that each mass transit unit (MTU) is filled to capacity, and the only way to effectively achieve this is to reduce the number of services.
I firmly hold the opinion that if we reduced the number of MTU's, each remaining MTU would be far more greenhouse efficient, with increased capacity. It would be cheaper for public transit authorities, who could spend left-over funds on decorative woven baskets or somesuch.
This is a radical viewpoint, but came about just thinking about under-utilisation of mass transit facilities. Maybe I can ferment a political movement on this basis, as my comrades of the left, and indeed the Greens, seem hell-bent upon INCREASING mass transit, at a time we should be DECREASING its availability!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The Guardian has published a peer-reviewed scientific consensus article, which proves that unrestrained fossil-fuel combustion is not only going to turn the Earth into a fiery Hell, but subject those who might survive to the very worst of so-called "natural" disasters, like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and the suchlike.
This is the first time that a positive link has been established between such horrible disasters, and Global Warming.
Money quote, from Professors Bill McGuire and David "Gomer" Pyle:
"Not only are the oceans and atmosphere conspiring against us, bringing baking temperatures, more powerful storms and floods, but the crust beneath our feet seems likely to join in too," said Professor Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre, at University College London (UCL).
Professor McGuire, the best-selling author of "Seven Years to Save the Word", first published 1991, is a leading scientific thinker:
In ‘Seven Years to Save the Planet: The Questions … and Answers’ (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), Professor McGuire asserts that for the first time in the history of the Earth one species has grown so numerous and so technologically powerful that it has the ability to destabilize the narrow range of temperature within which life can flourish: “Ours is the guilty generation, but we will only just begin to feel the consequences of our actions; it is our children and grandchildren who will reap the whirlwind.”
Professor McGuire, a leading scientist at the cutting edge of natural hazard prediction and the impacts of climate change, reveals the reasons why humanity cannot afford to wait, among them:
- slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent by mid-century may still not stave off climate chaos
- carbon dioxide levels are rising four times faster than in the 1990s
- warmer oceans have already driven up Atlantic hurricane activity by 40% since the mid-1990s
- the annual number of major floods has shot up from around 100 in the early 1990s to nearer 250 in recent years
- the United Nations identifies 158 flashpoints where wars could be fought over increasingly precious water resources
- even a 1m sea-level rise will threaten the homes of a billion people and put one third of the world’s farmland at risk
- by 2050, a quarter of the world’s land animals and plants could be extinct.
Professor McGuire says: “This book is a call to arms. We have time still to halt and reverse the process. However we need to throw our engines into reverse now to have any chance of controlling our carbon emissions and winning the battle against dangerous climate change and potential environmental catastrophe.”
"Maybe the Earth is trying to tell us something," added McGuire, who is one of the organisers of UCL's Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards conference, which will open on 15 September. Some of the key evidence to be presented at the conference will come from studies of past volcanic activity.
These indicate that when ice sheets disappear the number of eruptions increases, said Professor David "Gomer" Pyle, of Oxford University's earth sciences department.
The Earth is indeed trying to tell us something.