Converted Skeptic on AGW

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by zenMachine, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    'Converted' Skeptic: Humans Driving Recent Warming - NYTimes.com

    Richard Muller, a cantankerous but creative physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who once derided climate change research, then dove in with his own reconstruction of terrestrial temperature changes and confirmed substantial warming, has now concluded that recent warming is “almost entirely” human caused.

    He claims his new analysis, which is being posted later today for public review but has not yet been peer reviewed (more on that below), provides an even firmer view of human-driven warming than the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here’s the general flow of events, which are — as Keith Kloor noted overnight — “great fodder for the long-running soap opera, ‘As the Climate World Turns.’”

    Muller’s team last fall submitted four papers summarizing its review of a vast array of temperature records spanning two centuries to the journal JGR Atmospheres and posted them and supporting data and other material at the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature, or BEST, Web site. (The papers have not been published yet and one of my first questions for Muller and his team now is have they been accepted?)

    The team’s new strong conclusion about human-generated greenhouse gases driving recent warming is one of several findings in a fifth paper that Muller says is being submitted to the journal and posted on his Web site, as well [this afternoon]....
     
  2. Poptech

    Poptech New Member

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    The Truth about Richard Muller
     
  3. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Yes I think we discussed this here in March.
    I like Muller and I have his book Physics for Future Presidents.
    Believe he drives a Prius so that is common ground.
    Last I knew he is quite an EV skeptic, and also he notes that the rest of the world is far surpassing USA in the CO2 evolution. So although he now finally admits to AGW, I am not sure he is saying any drastic action is possible or necessary. He does feel it is a valid political discussion or consideration.
     
  4. Poptech

    Poptech New Member

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    Finally admits it? He always believed this,

    "Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate." - Richard Muller, 2003

    Source: Medieval Global Warming - Technology Review
     
  5. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...interesting reference but we should let Muller speak for himself.
    I cannot tell if those quotes are taken out of context.
    There are some Muller lectures on YouTube and I would say not consistent with the spirit of the article in Poptech.
     
  6. Poptech

    Poptech New Member

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    Taken out of context? All the quotes are fully cited and sourced. Try clicking on the links. Muller already spoke for himself - those are his words!
     
  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Remember the good old days when belief or lack of belief in air pollution in major cities was not debatable? You could simply look at the LA basin and say, gee, that's nasty looking air. So what did we do? Did we have elaborate passionate debates on if air pollution is real or not in the LA basin? No... Actually we got together and said let's take lead out of our gasoline, let's install catalytic converters on our vehicle tailpipes, let's regulate smokestacks to pollute less. It was just simple observation and problem solving...

    But today we're no longer so lucky... Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by the world's biggest polluters to create doubt, confusion, fear of a boogey man enviro and, in general, brainwashing so effectively that the debate has been shifted away from the issue of air pollution as basic observation and problem solving to an issue of doubt and debate of its existence of wondering if air pollution exists in the first place.

    Where were all these critics back in 1970's in California when we had smog alerts and you couldn't go outside and play? Why back then were we not funding/emotionally empowering rabid cynics to maniacally troll around shaming everyone for implying that humans could ever in any way pollute the air?

    What a tragic end to several decades of progressive pollution controls. I guess money really can buy everything?

    The great global warming debate has gone so far off the tracks that we're now doing close nothing to look at air pollution issues that still need to be addressed. We also rarely celebrate our past successes from back when we silenced the critics by forcing them to obey new laws to pollute less! We live in a new era I guess?
     
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  8. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I never read that he was an EV skeptic. He did say that US automobiles have only contributed about 1/40th of a degree C to global temperatures. In other words if we covert every car to solar in the US it will not do much,:) with regard to ghg. It may do quite a bit to petroleum consumption though, IMHO. He also said in the past batteries for electric cars were too expensive. He has said it depended on the technology. I can't find a recent quote from Google, now that battery prices have dropped.

    From what I read he likes being a contrarian, and loves to point out facts that politicians are misrepresenting. Mann has criticised Muller on his blog realclimate, but just because mann doesn't like you doesn't mean your wrong:)
     
  9. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    lol. Here is a newspaper article from 1980 with the president no less pushing a polluting technology from the Coal PAC
    Ottawa Citizen - Google News Archive Search
    Pollution advocacy from those high up in government is not new. We didn't start really going after much of the coal pollution until the 90s. And ignoring it, and pushing coal above natural gas, is still pumping out more ghg and unhealthy pollution today. They did go after more of the air pollution from cars, because the oil companies did not call in the favors, or spend as much money fighting it. The UAW, Auto companies, and IIHS did greatly fight against higher CAFE standards.
     
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  10. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I agree that the biggest polluters fought regulation back then... But public opinion was really hard to sway with all those photos of nasty brown smog burying the skies of LA. It made it easy for public sentiment to squash polluters like bugs! But these days the polluters have become bugs bigger than our feet can squash... Especially when you consider that 2/3 of the world's population is in Asia and SE Asia where pollution control efforts have been inneffective, except during the Beijing Olympics...
     
  11. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Well there are a couple of things here. The coal polluters have always been there, and they always have been aligned with government. The most polluting coal plants are grandfathered into not needing to follow any envirnomental rules. They are only getting shut down now, because of lawsuit, for violating grandfathering rules. The 90s finally got a cap and trade program to cut down the most unhealthy pollutants. Regulations on new coal is much stronger than it was in the '70s and '80s, which means the pendulum has swung to the environmental side, not the coal side. The environmentalists have been helped by the wind, solar, and natural gas lobbies. Politicians must get paid, and IMHO they are still on the side of big coal.

    China is quite different. The government runs the coal, the utilities, and the environmental regulations. Its not as if there are corporate lobbiests, or that people can vote the government out of office. Until the chinese government decides to reduce pollution it will keep getting worse.
     
  12. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Another example is Diesel... Little less than a decade ago I used to argue with all the biodiesel advocates about fine particulate pollution and how 2/3 of cancer causing fine particulate in major cities is from diesel exhaust. And maybe biodiesel pollutes less than regular diesel, but fact is the teamsters and truck makers fought off regulations of consequence for their engines until 2007... Lots of interesting diesel pollution technologies coming out now bbecausethe laws forced the issue... Some of these ideas are not at all practical but are being sold in new pickup trucks out of necessity... On ecomodder I read about a guy who got much better MPG by removing all the diesel pollution controls on his truck. What a mess this air we share with 7 billion humans can be...
     
  13. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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  14. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Absolutely. At least in the case of diesels though, there was a trade off:) Diesel is much more efficient in those big 18 wheeler trucks. With oil crisis it made made sense to exempt them until the mid '80s:D when using less oil was more important than public health.:confused: Unfortunately sulfur in diesel unlike lead in gasoline is natural. In order to get all pollution control working you need ultra low sulfur diesel. They mandated it in 1995, which really is not bad, 10 years when you consider it, but this required new equipment at the refineries. I have no idea why but the law gave the refiners this long to implement, which means truck makers could not implement the pollution control. The truckers and farmers really would have been hurt if they needed low polluting diesel vehicles before the refiners and truck and tractor makers were ready to make them. That stat about cancer is quite misleading. Diesel may be a large problem in a city like LA, with lots of trucking, and shipping that does not use ULS diesel. In a city like Houston, much of the particulates come from refineries. Certainly a european city with lots more diesel exhaust without the newer pollution control devices will be at a higher risk for respatory disease, but I haven't seen anything that says it will greatly elevate the risk of cancer. That WHO study talked about jobs like toll collectors and miners that get much higher dosages of exhaust fumes.

    biodiesel was always low sulfur. It has a different pollution profile than dino diesel. Biodiesel produces fewer particulates, SO2, and hydrocarbons than regular diesel, but more NOx. Because of the way new particulate filters work, biodiesel greater than B5 will cause damage to engines with new pollution control. They can make pollution control work with B85 or pure filtered WVO, but the regulators seem to not want that.
     
  15. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    The great push in diesels is diesel particulate filters, aimed at reducing black carbon soot, something diesels are notorious for. The current DPF systems are very capable of producing very clean exhausts. It has met with much resistance in the trucking industry because of service issues with DPFs and decrease in mileage.

    Black soot carbon is a very real factor in decreased albedo in arctic is, leading to increased melting. (not to mention local particulate emissions.)

    Icarus
     
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  16. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Can you show me evidence of trucking resistance before 2005, that had good working dpf? AFAIK, they did not work well with the sulfur in the fuel.

    The big push back seems to be the diesel truck rule, that would have made many trucks in California worthless. The truck rule has been delayed, because bad science was used to produce it. When you are talking about taking away a man's likelihood, you better at least have the science straight. I don't see that is anyway the same as some of the other environmental politics.
     
  17. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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  18. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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  19. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    That's a good overview of using urea in SCR (Specific catylitic reduction) of NOx. The technology could not be used until we got to ultra low sulfur diesel, as it would damage the equipment. Its been slow, but at least the technology is here. It doesn't reduce power at all, but makes the vehicle more complicated and expensive and is anouther fluid you have to add.

    The other tech, water injection is even older technology. It uses water and methanol (or ethanol) to inject into the cylinders. Vaporizing the fluid cools the engine even while burning the the methanol. This makes it both more efficient and lower polluting. The reason it hasn't been done on many trucks has been the extra complication of the system. Once you add the urea injected SCR maybe you add the extra tech:)

    The dpf is the next step. It traps the particulate matter, then is cleaned by burning it off. Ash is kept. This does slightly decrease gas mileage, especially if not well maintained.

    The link seems to be one of these after market parts that trucker's don't trust. There is push back from adding these to old trucks. One solution is to do a short grandfather period, where you say something like you can use your truck until 2018, after you need a new truck that limits PM and NOx, or one of these PM and NOx reducing add on equipment.
     
  20. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Muller has a final version of manuscript and ancilliary info at BEST. One would presume that this is the version that will be reviewed or is in review. I don't know which journal.

    In something of a coincidence, Anthony Watts posted his manuscript and ancilliary info at WUWT. Its topic is is qualifying/disqualifying US surface temperature stations based on citing. May be in review, again I don't know which journal.

    Intersted in reading both, but neither can be downloaded from ...here. If anyone might help, let us PM (or start a conversation as it is now called).

    As always the personal traits of the authors is of much less interest to me than what is writ.
     
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