Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Who Killed the Electric Car? / Global Warming

We watched a great documentary today, Who Killed the Electric Car?. It goes into to the various agencies and conditions that contributed to the demise of the popular GM electric car, the EV1. A girl that I used to work with leased an EV1 and loved it but were forced to give up their car at the end of the lease and had no option of buying it. Despite how much my friends and others loved their cars, GM took all of them back and destroyed them.

Many things contributed to the EV1 and other electric cars being phased out, including energy companies, the auto industry and a government in bed with both of them. But also consumers with a myopic view of the future and a desire to have the biggest, least efficient vehicles possible.

The movie is pretty even-handed and gives both sides opportunities to state their case. But ultimately, even the words of the auto companies themselves expose the real agenda. Grade: B+


from: Global Warming Cartoons

In a related vein, I caught a bit of the congressional hearings on global warming. My observations:

If you have the preponderence of scientific evidence and the overwhelming majority of scientific minds firmly in your camp, who do you march out in front of Congress to speak on the dangers of global warming ... Al Gore, of course. A person accustomed to speaking before Congress and a man with more than 30 years of interest and involvement in the environment.

What do you do if you are on the other side, with the flat-earthers, with one of your biggest advocates being the man who wrote Jurassic Park? You march out a parade of clowns who couldn't find their asses with two hands and a flashlight:

Texas Republican congressman Joe Barton, who has in the past regaled us with such gems as:

"I cannot imagine any objective finding that CO2 is a pollutant," he said. "If that's true, God is a polluter."

"As long as I am chairman, [regulating global warming pollution] is off the table indefinitely. I don't want there to be any uncertainty about that." — Congressional hearing entitled, "National Energy Policy: Coal" Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality (March 14, 2001)

and this week,
"You're not just off a little, you're totally wrong," - to Mr. Gore.

I try not to sink to ad hominem attacks, but the lack of quality and credibility of these critics directly comes to bear on the issue:

'Mr. Barton, a member of the Republican Study Committee, which promotes "the preservation of traditional family values", Barton divorced his first wife, the former Janet Sue Winslow, with whom he has three children, in 2003.'

This group pushes conservative themes and is promoting the Marriage Protection Amendment. I find it sickening how many people that push this amendment on religious grounds have no problem divorcing, an issue that was talked about a whole lot more in the Bible than homosexuality.

Opposed the extension of the Voting Rights Act in 2006.

People like Barton and his ilk disgust me. Their angle on global warming is so predictable, it's painful. Guess where the most campaign contributions for Barton have came from ($2 million and counting) ... energy companies and their PAC's.

Oklahoma senator James Inhofe:
famous for being outraged at people that were outraged about Abu Graib

In 2006, Inhofe was one of only nine senators to vote against the McCain Detainee Amendment banning torture on individuals in U.S. Government custody

Only Texas senator John Cornyn received more campaign donations from the oil and gas industry in the 2004 election cycle. The contributions Inhofe has received from the energy and natural resource sector since taking office have exceeded one million dollars.

He believes in god dictating policy: "I believe very strongly that we ought to support Israel; that it has a right to the land. This is the most important reason: Because God said so. As I said a minute ago, look it up in the book of Genesis. It is right up there on the desk."

Inhofe had previously claimed that Global Warming is "the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state."

No, actually, the first and second largest hoaxes in history would be yours and Joe Barton's tenures in Washington. So, to you two, I say, "You're not just off a little, you're totally wrong."


Sadie Lou said...

Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He has taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT.

I don't think it's really accurate or fair to sum Crichton up as "the guy that wrote Jurassic Park". Do you? What if you had all those achievements under your belt on top of writing like a zillion best sellers, winning academy awards, emmys and edger allen poe awards.

CyberKitten said...

Sadie said: I don't think it's really accurate or fair to sum Crichton up as "the guy that wrote Jurassic Park".

Maybe so... but that hardly makes him an expert on the worlds climate....

dbackdad said...

It's completely fair to sum him up that way. He does not have the slightest bit of credibility in this field.

- Crichton doesn't believe that DDT should have been banned or that second-hand smoke is harmful (Unadmirable Cricton).

- He has been proven to misstate environmental studies facts in his works of fiction. He can say anything in a novel without having to prove it. (Michael Cricton and Global Warming)

- He has obvious views on climate change but has never submitted a non-fiction work to peer review. His only non-fiction works were written 20 and 30 years ago and were about medical school and hospital cases.

Writing crappy works of fiction doesn't make one an expert. After all, this is the man that wrote the screenplay for Twister. That alone should be grounds for having the man committed.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

DDT shouldn't have been banned:

Deaths from malaria in 2006: 11.5 million

Deaths from DDT: 0

Second hand smoke is hardly as harmful as the anti-smoking lobby would have people believe.

Global warming is highly politicized junk science that many scientists and even environmentalists don't agree with Al Gore on.

"Experts" are over rated.

dbackdad said...

OK, Mr. Stossel.

dbackdad said...

A couple of things:

- DDT is banned for agricultural use, not for antimalarial treatment. Using the DDT/Malaria correlation is very popular by people like Stossel and Crichton. They assume that people will not look into the issue deeper.

- many countries have stopped using it even for antimalarial use because of it's lack of effectiveness (mosquitos developing resistance)


There are so many studies showing the effects of second hand smoke that it's not even worth responding to your statement.


"Global warming is highly politicized junk science ..." - The term "junk science" is almost exclusively used by the Right and was put into popular vogue by them:

"The term was further popularized by Fox News columnist Steven Milloy, who used it to attack the results of scientific research on global warming, ozone depletion, passive smoking and many other topics. The credibility of Milloy's website, was questioned ... in the wake of evidence that Milloy had received funding from Phillip Morris, RJR Tobacco, and Exxon Mobil ..." - Apparently, "real science" is science funded by someone with an economic interest in the outcome?