California sues governor over global warming

News just in… California is suing its own governor over his Hummer… no, of course not. But California sues carmakers over global warming.

California sued six of the world’s largest automakers over global warming on Wednesday, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have caused billions of dollars in damages. The lawsuit is the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles’ emissions, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer said. It also comes less than a month after California lawmakers adopted the nation’s first global warming law mandating a cut in greenhouse gas emissions. An automaker trade group called the global warming move a “nuisance suit.”
Continue reading “California sues governor over global warming”

Could individuals be converted from a sedentary lifestyle to the use of bicycles for transportation at a cost of less than 1740 USD/yr?

John Fleck found a great paper by Karl T. Ulrich on the ultimate energy costs of using bicycles versus cars. The bottom-line argument is that cycling saves energy, but because you live longer your lifetime emissions will be greater. Such fun. However: Those who adopt the bicycle as a means of transportation could potentially develop an increased awareness of the environmental impact of their actions and may over their lifetimes reduce energy consumption substantially in their other, non-transportation activities.

Some tit-bits:
Continue reading “Could individuals be converted from a sedentary lifestyle to the use of bicycles for transportation at a cost of less than 1740 USD/yr?”

Betting on climate change?

The betting on climate change thing seems to have gone rather quiet. This post is prompted by a comment posted to an old entry on my old blog Probably not betting on climate with Lubos Motl (that post is still worth reading, I think, for the attempt to calculate what are “fair odds”. In some email discussion afterwards, I think I discovered that there isn’t really a good answer to that question). But if you haven’t seen the circuit before, look at James A’s stuff and Brian Schmidt’s. That last post offers a list of bets that GS is prepared to take.
Continue reading “Betting on climate change?”

Media garbling: “Scientists forecast metre rise in sea levels this century”

Scientists forecast metre rise in sea levels this century says The Grauniad. I strongly suspect they have garbled things, though I admit I haven’t read the original Science paper. I have read the NCAAR/UCAR press release Arctic, Antarctic Melting May Raise Sea Levels Faster than Expected.
Continue reading “Media garbling: “Scientists forecast metre rise in sea levels this century””

Record CO2 levels

A variety of stories have come in recently (or at least fairly recently – I’m a bit behind the times, and it was a heavy weekend, wot with E getting chickenpox and the central heating failing) about CO2 levels, e.g. Sharp rise in CO2 levels recorded from the BBC. This turns out to source at a NOAA release, which has a nice pic but I can’t find the data for 2005, only up to 2004. Also note that is “global” avg; just Mauna Loa is here.

Anyway, the point I was going to make was that this could have been better titled; CO2 levels are now at a record (though not at Mauna Loa, because of the annual cycle…) but are pretty much on the long-term trend line; by eye, about 2-and-a-bit ppmv over the last 4 years.

BTW, did you know that 23rd March is World Met Day?