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      03-08-2007, 04:03 PM   #1
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BMW NOT GREEN? CEO's controversial remarks at Geneva.

In Europe, Germany May Have to Take the Wheel in Going Green


Toyota has become known for hybrid cars, like the one displayed at the International Motor Show in Geneva this week

GENEVA, March 6 — Europe prides itself on its pioneering approach to climate change — a commitment that Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany aims to deepen in her term as president of the European Union.There is just one problem: her country, home of the autobahn and the Porsche sports cars that tear along it, is among Europe’s worst offenders when it comes to cars that spew carbon dioxide into the air.

To persuade Europe to accept stringent new cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, as Mrs. Merkel plans to do at a European Union summit meeting in Brussels this week, she must also face down the German auto industry, which has, until now, done little to make its cars more climate-friendly.

German auto executives concede that they will have to do more, especially since passenger car emissions account for 12 percent of Europe’s total emissions, and are rising rather than falling, unlike overall greenhouse gases here. But the industry’s reluctance to fully embrace the fears about climate change was palpable at the International Motor Show in Geneva this week.
“We are at the moment in a hype phase, or you can say, a hysterical phase, and we have to wait until the smoke is gone,” Norbert Reithofer, the chief executive of BMW, said in an interview. “When we have all the facts on the table, we can have a realistic view about the future.”

Skepticism aside, Mr. Reithofer said BMW was already equipping its cars with new technology that made their engines burn less fuel and emit fewer gases. The public would be surprised, he said, by the reduction in emissions that BMW will achieve by the end of next year.

Still, BMW and its rivals Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audi, will fall well short of the reductions they and other European manufacturers pledged to reach voluntarily, from 1998 to 2008.





German cars, like the Mercedes-Benz CL216, still emphasize engineering brawn.


Stung by this failure, the European Commission has proposed making those cuts mandatory by 2012. Under its plan, new cars could emit no more than 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (192 grams per mile). In 2004, average emissions were 163 grams per kilometer.

“They had a long time to comply, and they didn’t do it,” said Stephan Singer, the head of the European climate and energy unit at the World Wildlife Fund in Brussels. “It tells us that voluntary agreements don’t work.”

Not all European carmakers are climate offenders. Fiat of Italy, which has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by almost a third since 1997, is not far above the 120-gram target. The French carmakers Renault and Citroën, which emphasize smaller cars, are also within striking distance.

And the Germans do make some climate-friendly cars: DaimlerChrysler showed off its Smart minicar here, which falls under the emissions cap, while BMW’s new diesel 1-series, a subcompact, comes close.

The trouble is, Germany’s auto industry derives most of its profit, not to mention its global renown, from its speedy high-performance cars. Unlike Toyota, which has turned hybrid vehicles like the Prius into a calling card, German carmakers emphasize engineering brawn.

In Geneva, for example, Audi thrilled enthusiasts with its new R8, a two-seater that has more in common with a racecar than with other Audis. Across the hall, visitors mobbed Porsche’s sports cars.

“The top speed of an average new car made by BMW, Mercedes and Audi is 235 kilometers per hour,” or 146 miles per hour, said Werner Reh, head of the transport department at Bund, a German environmental group. “If you build racing cars, you can’t really reduce consumption.”

Environmentalists argue that the simplest way to cut emissions would be to impose a speed limit equivalent to 75 miles an hour on the autobahn. Germany is the only European country that permits drivers to go as fast as their cars, or their nerves, will let them — though on limited stretches.

Yet few German politicians, even Mrs. Merkel, have come out in favor of a speed limit. To Germans, newspapers here say, a no-limit autobahn is like pasta to an Italian or a baguette to a Frenchman.

Some German auto executives predict dire consequences if the new limits become law. A strict emissions cap of 120 grams, some note, would rule out most of the models that BMW, Mercedes and Audi now produce — to say nothing of Porsche, the biggest emitter. That would have untold consequences for an industry that is one of Germany’s largest employers.

They also argue that it is unfair to penalize companies whose high-end cars may emit fewer gases, in the aggregate, than small cars.

The German car industry managed to extract a compromise from Brussels. Automakers will be required to get emissions down to only 130 grams through their own technologies. The commission said they could make up the remaining 10 grams, to reach the 120-gram goal, through other efficiency measures, like greater use of biofuels.

Experts said Mrs. Merkel was unlikely to focus on cars at the Brussels meeting, instead pushing countries to accept a broader target of reducing carbon emissions by 20 percent from their 1990 levels by 2020.


The new Lexus LX600 hybrid car, on display during a preview of the International Motor Show in Geneva Wednesday.

For their part, German auto executives are planning to live with lower emissions, even if some say the debate is overheated.

In Geneva, the companies promoted new technologies that would make their cars more efficient. DaimlerChrysler is pushing a new generation of clean diesel engines, which it calls Bluetec. (European carmakers continue to emphasize diesel over hybrid gasoline-and-electric engines.)

BMW uses the phrase “efficient dynamics” to refer to innovations like auto start/stop, which shuts a car’s engine when it comes to a stop in a traffic jam, for example, or at a light. As soon as the driver pushes on the clutch or the gas pedal, the engine restarts.

“I don’t see BMW as a green company,” Mr. Reithofer said. “I see BMW as a very innovative company.”

Mark Landler/NYT/3/8/007
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      03-08-2007, 04:33 PM   #2
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"I don't see BMW as a Green Company, I see BMW as a very innovative company....
We are in a moment of a hype phase, or you could say, a hysterical phase..."
Norbert Reithofer, BMW CEO.

I've got a problem with this- it's like a denial of reality from the viewpoint of a decade ago- "Green" is not a pejorative term and consciousness of global warming isn't hype.
I know that Reithofer, on behalf of BMW's interests, has to counter Angela Merkel's proposals- but it's a little high-handed.
No one has to tell the Chancellor of Germany that 1 out of every 7 German workers is employed by the German automobile manufacturers.
Reithofer's remarks should have been phrased more diplomatically- even if this is what he really feels in private- he comes off as living in a bubble-culture.

I love my Bimmer's internal combustion engine as much as any other BMW owner - but lowering emissions and increasing fuel efficiency is on my list of priorities.
Sorry if I sound Holy Joe, but it's becoming more and more important to me.
I think that with the creativity and absolute engineering genius of BMW I can look forward to powerful fuel efficient engines and feel like I'm supporting an environmental strategy that, if not perfect, is responsible and open to new challenges.
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      03-09-2007, 12:10 PM   #3
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I can appreciate the distinction he is going for, between "green" and "innovation". Innovation, by definition, refers to novel solutions or improvements. I think what he is trying to communicate is that environmental considerations have already been internalized by BMW and are implicit in their design approach.

That's not to excuse them for not meet targets - they should honor their commitments and endeavor to exceed them.

But I think what he is saying appropriately contrasts the Honda F1 team's "earth car" (http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/news/2007/...h_2007_livery/)

While laudable on the surface, the green approach Honda is taking is at variance with the sport in which they are competing and the whole "green awareness" approach is slightly patronizing. Also worth noting that they have been unable to secure a title sponsor - this radical approach to car livery is, to me, a convenient distraction from the team's inability to rise to the top in F1.

I'd much prefer we do away with the fad that is "green" and just get on with addressing climate change. We need leadership and initiative on the part of government and industry. Less public awareness and politicking and more action. I think that is what Reithofer is getting at, despite their failure to meet targets...

If high performance cars are the problem (certainly not the biggest problem) then government and industry should do something about that. But there are certainly bigger fish to fry...
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      03-09-2007, 04:37 PM   #4
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I dig semantics but NR's are a bit twee. This really hits the German engineers dead center in that it challenges them to modify their whole concept of automobile thinking.
Reithofer's comments reflect that mindset - it's the first level of attitude change...denial.

I think the 1-er's market success in Europe is their green trojan horse-
the 4cyl models help BMW's overall emissions levels when viewed in the aggregate.
Audi's 2.0 turbo/direct injection 4cyl actually beats the proposed European 2012 standards. If they can do it...so can BMW.
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      05-09-2007, 05:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudwest View Post
I'd much prefer we do away with the fad that is "green" and just get on with addressing climate change. We need leadership and initiative on the part of government and industry. Less public awareness and politicking and more action. I think that is what Reithofer is getting at, despite their failure to meet targets...

If high performance cars are the problem (certainly not the biggest problem) then government and industry should do something about that. But there are certainly bigger fish to fry...
while i think youre head is in the right place, i have to wave a couple flags. first off public awareness is the ultimate in the resolution of this problem, please do not undermine it besides the fact that government and industry will have to be the ones to implement their will. but more importantly, climate change is the result of irresponsible and ecologically unbalanced civil and social development, a fad that has forever marked our civilizations evolution. one of "what CAN we create? how can we make life easier?" rather than "what SHOULD we create? What do we need?" and thus resulting in localized agriculture, manufacturing pollution and ultimately our point of unnecessarily fast cars.

at this point i will call myself out as a hypocrite. obvisouly being here i am a car fanatic. i am also somewhat of a hippie i suppose and after finishing my masters in robotics will proceed to be getting my docotrate in mechanical engineering focusing on energy and environmental policy. but there are resolutions.

performance cars can be developed to be efficient and clean. electric motors are about as clean and efficient as a propulsion system can be, and this technology is being adopted slowly in the way of hybrids (maybe on the move towards all electrics, hard to tell). they are also capable of producing clean max-torque at 0 rpm smooth max-torque at 0 rpm pleasing power. theres no need to compromise our desire to go fast. and i think BMW and Reithofer are initially implementing technology that follows this. focusing on weight reduction on chassis and engine, engine stop/start(who cares how fast you can go when youre sitting still), and even implementing the alternator at times when the car is braking/decelerating. however, he definitely should have put it a bit more smoothly, and trying to start the argument of denial of climate change is never a good thing. eventually i htink it will be necessary for all automotive manufacturers to produce machines capable of enabling ecological balance. but this doesnt mean they have to stop making fun cars to drive. and it certainly shouldnt mean they should have to impose a speed limit on the auto bahn
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      05-09-2007, 05:44 AM   #6
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Just wanted to chime in and give ya'll an alternative view on the whole climate matter.

Its quite a controversial issue, but IMO, currently, the theory that the sun's cycles are causing climate change seems to be a better theory than man caused global warming. Theres a few holes in the man caused global warming theory that can't be explained (1940s-1970s, for instance, where there was a post-war economic boom with A LOT of CO2 emissions, yet it was a time period where temperatures actually went down on average) that seem to be exactly correlated with cycles of the sun. Not to mention that CO2 is actually one of the lesser green house gases and the few percent we've increased it by would probably have not raised the temperature by a noticeable amount.

Though, I have to say that I'd still favor every company striving for energy efficiency as our resources are limited and theres an actual benefit from conserving our resources. (Plus, better MPG = cheaper for consumers! :biggrin
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      05-09-2007, 08:07 AM   #7
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I knew some of these early threads would come back to life!
Great to see new members posting - especially about something that's so important.

I've noticed in another thread that aesthetect talks about the quandry many of us find ourselves in...how to balance responsiblity as consumers vs.
our love-affair with cars...and the budding romance with the E82 1-er.
For me, based on what we know and what we think we know about it, the 1-er scores highest on my checklist of the items that are most important to me.
And that definitely includes fuel-efficiency in a relatively small powerful engine.

As for Herr Reithofer's comments, I still think he used his access to the media to basically buy time for BMW to negotiate a modified position
for the company vis-a-vis EU 2012 emission standards. I do hate to see
him very deliberately use terms like "hysteria" to describe moderate efforts to come to terms with a reality that isn't going to go away.
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      05-09-2007, 09:03 AM   #8
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Here is an automotive insiders view (a friend of mine at Hyundai Motor Company USA) of the whole deal with fuel efficiency in the US and Globally, thought you might like the read:

"Bottom line, it's going to depend on the OEM. Toyota is going to own hybrid. The Europeans are going to own diesel in cars/SUVs, while the U.S. OEMs are going to own diesel in pickup trucks/SUVs. There will be some cross over here and there, but as a generalization that's how it will look.

Hybrids have sold well in the last few years, yes, but they're also subsidized heavily by the OEMs (to get reasonable MSRPs) and have federal tax breaks. What happens when the tax breaks and other incentives end? Jury's still out on that one.

Toyota is one of the few OEMs that can afford to subsidize the high cost of hybrid technology which is why the GMs and Fords of the world don't rely on full hybrid systems. They're already losing money and need to focus on bringing technology to the table that is not as expensive. Hence E85...which is an absolute and total farce...but it gives them opportunity to minimize their R&D development on hybrids in the short term, provide a decoy for environmentalists, and focus on righting the ship. Once the Detroit 2 get things in order in a few years, they will look to go directly to some type of hybrid fuel cell vehicle (see Chevy Volt). Good luck, but that seems to be what they're thinking. DCX's future is in flux because of the sale, but it's mainly diesels if things remain somewhat constant.

For diesel technology, diesels actually get much better gas mileage, are much more durable, and much less complex. Though they are about as expensive as hybrid with all the emissions aftertreatment systems to meet Tier 2/Bin 5 requirements. ALL major OEMs have diesel powertrains for the European market (diesels make up over 50% of the EU market) including Toyota, but it is the European brands that have the most vested in the technology. Truth is, it's the better technology though it'll only get limited play here in the U.S. in cars. Though Honda's clean diesel is expected to be the bellwether of the direction buyers will go. V8-powered Diesel pick ups will be huge, for sure.

diesel hybrids: Don't even get me started on how outrageously expensive that would be. Two expensive powertrains with the mandatory diesel emissions aftertreatment added on. Lord. They could work in luxury vehicles with already high margins, but the volumes are too low.
In non-luxury vehicles, the volumes are there to get economies of scale, but the purchase price would either be way higher than any competing vehicle, or so subsidized by the OEM they'd throw in the towel pretty quickly. It may happen (I've seen the concepts), but there are some serious hurdles for volume sales in the U.S.

Also, how about advanced gasoline engines such as HCCI, advanced turbochargers, gasoline direct injection, 6-/7-/8-speed transmissions, cylinder deactivation, advanced valvetrain technologies all of which can be used to get current hybrid-type fuel economy with gasoline engine drivability. Some OEMs will be looking that direction to improve fuel economy without 1) the complexity of hybrid, 2) the emissions concern with diesels, and 3) provide convenience and drivability of today's gasoline powered cars.

There's also global product mix needs by OEM. Keep in mind though the U.S. is the biggest single automotive market, OEMs have bigger volumes elsewhere and don't necessarily tailor their technologies to our needs. Why would Mercedes-Benz or VW spend billions on hybrid technology when they have some of the best diesel technology selling in high volumes in almost all global markets but the U.S.? They're doing it because Toyota is forcing their hand (And all of them including Porsche are doing it). Toyota sells high volumes here in the U.S. and they knew it was going to ripe for a fuel efficient alternative years ago. Hybrid was their answer because they knew Americans would reject diesels and likely accept new technologies. Toyota's global strategy is just sooooooo good. THAT'S the story. ) And it's also why Toyota just surpassed GM in global sales as of 1Q2007.

Anyway, this probably adds more to the confusion than adds any insight, but those are my thoughts.
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      05-09-2007, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zshazz View Post
Just wanted to chime in and give ya'll an alternative view on the whole climate matter.

Its quite a controversial issue, but IMO, currently, the theory that the sun's cycles are causing climate change seems to be a better theory than man caused global warming. Theres a few holes in the man caused global warming theory that can't be explained (1940s-1970s, for instance, where there was a post-war economic boom with A LOT of CO2 emissions, yet it was a time period where temperatures actually went down on average) that seem to be exactly correlated with cycles of the sun. Not to mention that CO2 is actually one of the lesser green house gases and the few percent we've increased it by would probably have not raised the temperature by a noticeable amount.

Though, I have to say that I'd still favor every company striving for energy efficiency as our resources are limited and theres an actual benefit from conserving our resources. (Plus, better MPG = cheaper for consumers! :biggrin
atmospheric temperatures vary, on a large-scale timeline, with "greenhouse gases" (an unfortunatley overly misused term) and cycles of the sun. on that large timeline what you will see is quick cycle (ie, yearly) fluctuation in temperature corresponding to the sun's pattern and long term reaction to greenhouse gas increases.

greenhouse gases aren't bad, i think most of us know this. water vapor is a greenhouse gas, its just any gas maintained within a certain range of the atmosphere that reflects solar energy back to the surface.

CO2 cycles are natural for our atmosphere (plants, humans, breathing) on a small scale. we have, however, managed to develop technologies that are both capable of quickly removing the energy dense material that contains a vast amount of co2 deposits and very quickly burn it up to be released into the atmosphere in a manner that is very much not in balance with the rest of our ecosystem (the petroleum and co2 in the earths crust we are digging takes millions of years to develop)
*i shouldnt be focusing on CO2 as much as i admittedly am, its just a reference gas, ha

that being said, i'm really not concerned with global warming. its a slow moving process, any damage we're going to do has pretty much been done, and the one thing to fear is that we will have years of reparations to pay for the amount we've already put up there.

really what we need to watch out for is the fact that we have developed a civilization (transportation, manufacturing, agriculture etc) ALL heavily reliant on large sources of energy. this energy was cheap and accessible in the form of petroleum. this industry will argue that we have used approx 2/3s of the earths natural oil reserves. WELL FUCK LETS USE IT ALL, HURRY UP!! read back to my last post on advice to civilizations engineers. regardless these resources will continue to become more impractical and difficult (=$$) to source.

the amount of energy we can cleanly remove from the atmosphere (solar, wind, hydroelectric, biofuels) is limited, particularly with respect to the abundance of energy available through coal and petroleum. also, it is all relatively clean based on the amount you abuse each source. these resources are not without their environmental impact. you can't plague a nation with windfarms or youll mess up animal life or even weather patterns and have unforseeable consequences, yes these are very minimal but just to make the point. which is we have to learn to get by on a lot less energy. the amount of this energy is dictated by what we can produce in a sustainable sense, working towards the goal of an infrastructure that could be in place a thousand years from now

yeah hydrogen is a farce, lets not even get started *cough* bush *cough* on that.

with respect to the citation PACIFICONE2003 posted; i like the straightforward explanation of regional technology development tendencies, it is definitely very true. what i would like to see is an increased rate of all of development of all these technologies leading to well founded combinational efforts. given time, effort and subsidies, which willl play a large part and yes it is the governments responsibility to maintain and reform them, these technologies could one day be used to develop phenomenal, efficient personal transportation. car companies are experimenting with lightweight organically grown materials to construct interior plastics, combine this with a variable geometry turbo diesel hybrid.. :thumbup: yes it is a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way away. so? are we not up for the challenge? are we just gonna say fuck it and go out in a lavish bang? and maybe some of those technologies will not pan out. thats fine, thats the process. but the bottom line is figure out which technologies are worthwhile and figure out the means to make it economically viable.

fuck im supposed to be working on my thesis haha
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      05-10-2007, 01:31 AM   #10
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The Great Global Warming Swindle is Not a Good Thing

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Originally Posted by aesthetect View Post
however, he definitely should have put it a bit more smoothly, and trying to start the argument of denial of climate change is never a good thing.
I don't think anyone is denying that the climate is changing. The climate always changes, nothing new. However, what ought to be denied vociferously (and unfortunately isn't) are the two key elements of the current global warming hoax, which, thanks in part to AlGore the propagandist, consists of the following fallacies: (a) global temperature rises caused by CO2 gas, and (b) CO2 gas increases primarily due to human causes.

Before reflexively flaming away, check out the following documentary, which was shown in Britain recently, and does a good job of exposing the hoax:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...hannel+4&hl=en

Essentially, the current global warming hysteria, based on fraudulent claims, is a big distraction.
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      05-11-2007, 12:24 PM   #11
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that being said, i'm really not concerned with global warming. its a slow moving process, any damage we're going to do has pretty much been done, and the one thing to fear is that we will have years of reparations to pay for the amount we've already put up there.
true no one is denying the climate changes, but there are those that put forward the argument that our actions are having no negative environmental impact, and i believe that this is what Reithofer's comments leaned toward if anything; and to me that idea of any form is ignorant and nearly blasphemous, if nothing else than for the simple idea that we do not understand our environment and our actions well enough to even say.

i should have been more careful with my comments regarding my disregard for global warming. both of the points you listed are certainly debatable from either end. if there was a clear answer there would be no debate. i believe point (a) is perhaps the most highly questionable, and i would even tend to agree with you on some days. my main point is that it is our overpopulation of this planet, leading to rapid unrenewable natural resource consumption and imbalance, is having an impact on the planet. its ecosystem, its future, we are having an impact. and it is not good. i cannot quantify this (let me start and finish my dissertation and then we'll chat) but to look at our actions as inhabitants of this planet and not be able to see the irresponsibility is ignorant. let me repeat what i said that i am not concerned with global warming. i beleive it is too highly debateable and right now the impacts are not there to justify a global scare simply on that basis. however, i do believe that the rate at which we are sequester CO2 from a solid state in the earths crust is not healthy. true it makes up a tiny fraction of the earths atmospheric gases but one cannot deny the importance it has to life on earth, what do plants and animals inhale/exhale? And given the tiny amounts in which they do so, how does that compare to the rate at which billions of people burning billions of gallons release each day? and the fact that every day we burn more, and even more as other nations industrialize and try to come up to our "standard of living"?

i apologize for trying to present a scientific argument with no data. what i am trying to present is then instead a moral argument. one based on logic and responsibility. if nothing else an argument that says we dont know where in the realm of possibilities what we are doing lies.. from OK to horrible irreparable damage to the ecosystem that sustains us. but if it IS as bad as it might be, i hope youre around to explain to your grandchildren why it was worth the risk.
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      05-12-2007, 12:15 AM   #12
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aesthetect, I'm not sure I understand what it is you're arguing. You don't seem to believe that CO2 = global warming (you state its debatable and you'd even agree with us on some days) but you mention environmental impacts. What exactly do you mean?

As far as CO2 goes, there shouldn't be too many effects other than plants growing slightly better. Although the rate of CO2 being released into the air seems large, its actually quite insignificant. The CO2 released from the ocean is absurdly large once you compare it to what we do. Honest, you'd be like .

I'm not aware of any negatives other than if we spill oil or the fact that we'll eventually run out one day ... and if we don't have an alternative energy source by then, it could cause global panic.
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      05-22-2007, 07:11 PM   #13
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im saying i doubt we are capable of fully accounting for the environmental impacts of our current habits, but acknowledging that the ones we believe to be happening are debateable. im aware of the relative small scale of our CO2 emissions but still wary of an unnatural imbalance. i have seen many very smart people put together presentations that do a very convincing job of depicting the correlation between atmospheric temperature and CO2 content. (if i can find any material online ill post it) im not saying this is fact, there is a good chance there are a number of variables impacting the relation we can't/aren't accounting for, but it is a possiblity.

what i am saying is, and what i think we can all agree on, that a civil infrasctructure completely dependant on petroleum cannot withstand the test of time. energy alternatives need to be studied and conservationism needs to be emphasized.
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      12-07-2007, 04:50 PM   #14
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Reithofer is right, and i commend him for taking a stand. All this crap floating around that humans are the ONLY cause of global warming is all a load of shit. Read Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years written by the worlds top two climatologists. Oh yeah, and hybrids certainly arent a good answer to the problem since the energy it takes in R&D and to build them is so much greater than a non-hybrid car (due to their complexity) that the energy used over a hybrids life cycle can in many cases be worse than most gas guzzling suv's. (Not to mention hybrid batteries are un-recycleable). Diesels, gasoline engine technology (BMW's efficient dynamics) and alternative fuels (BMW Hydrogen 7) are the answer. And we need to get away from corn based ethanol since the energy used to create it (like the hybrid situation) creates a false sense of energy savings, and like we are doing we should therefore convert to cellulosic ethanol

Just cause its the popular thing to do or say doesnt mean its right; and lets not forget, the same people that are telling us that the human race is indepentantly causing global warming are THE SAME PEOPLE WHO CONVINCED US IN THE 1970'S THAT WE WERE IN A COOLING PERIOD!!

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      12-07-2007, 07:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Schnell330i View Post
Reithofer is right, and i commend him for taking a stand. All this crap floating around that humans are the ONLY cause of global warming is all a load of shit. Read Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years written by the worlds top two climatologists. Oh yeah, and hybrids certainly arent a good answer to the problem since the energy it takes in R&D and to build them is so much greater than a non-hybrid car (due to their complexity) that the energy used over a hybrids life cycle can in many cases be worse than most gas guzzling suv's. (Not to mention hybrid batteries are un-recycleable). Diesels, gasoline engine technology (BMW's efficient dynamics) and alternative fuels (BMW Hydrogen 7) are the answer. And we need to get away from corn based ethanol since the energy used to create it (like the hybrid situation) creates a false sense of energy savings, and like we are doing we should therefore convert to cellulosic ethanol

Just cause its the popular thing to do or say doesnt mean its right; and lets not forget, the same people that are telling us that the human race is indepentantly causing global warming are THE SAME PEOPLE WHO CONVINCED US IN THE 1970'S THAT WE WERE IN A COOLING PERIOD!!


Reithofer's comments reflect those one should expect from somebody in the automotive industry since any sort of social movement in the way of energy saving reform should start with removing the dependency on personal transportation (and here I will have to admit to being a hypocrite, as i obviously am an enthusiast). but facts are facts.

if we have an impact, humans are certainly not the only causes of global warming. earth surface temperatures will always fluctuate on a long term basis with time (the most compelling correlation is between them and sun spots, actually), and right now they happen to be rising. i do believe we are having more of an impact that we can understand. but i really don't care and dont want to discuss that because it is a moot point that nobody is in a state to prove or disprove. there are an infinite number of factors that could and likely do influence the gradual change of earth's temperature. nobody knows which exactly. maybe once we have gotten to the state of 100% accurate weather prediction and we fully understand the weather patterns of our planet down to the interrelation of individual ecosystems, ocean water evaporation & temp fluctuation etc etc etc ..let us move on.

i'm sorry but you very much discredited yourself with the comment that "that the energy used over a hybrids life cycle can in many cases be worse than most gas guzzling suv's." especially in saying over a life cycle. as far as development, energy & money will be spent in the future on R&D. forever. that is a fact of our situation, our existence, as humans. we are going to develop and build shit no matter what. i believe i stated earlier (this year) that we would be a lot better off if we would limit ourselves to selecting beneficial technologies rather than just everything we can think of. all of these technological components exist currently (although batteries certainly need some improvement for the technology to ever truly take off) the main research endeavour is control system tweaking for efficiency vs performance and that really doesn't require that much technological investment. regardless, the amount of investment, energy or money, would certainly not surpass that required to develop any of the other technologies you mentioned. in fact it is certainly capable of being less. bottom line, you dont know the answer. there isnt "an answer". if there is one, it is conservation and population control. but even this would necessarily be exercised with the result of a long term investigation of each and every of the multitude of alternative energy options. any fuel that is created through agriculture has it negatives. yes cellulosic ethanol has its advantages. but it is not without its own negatives. any of these crops chew up land nutrients, invade on food supply. you cannot just choose one and jump on board. we need a careful consideration of each and every one of these technologies, reduce the amount of energy our society relies on, and come up with a sustainable combination of all of our potential energy production methods. an energy infrastructure relying on a certain amount of wind power, solar power, more efficient thermal and electrical building design, move away from wasteful personal transportation, and develop some concoction of diesel hybrids running on very efficiently agriculturally generated fuel (ie. some hypothetical ethanol biodiesel blend)



ps. damn, talk about an old school thread. i like. keep it coming.
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      12-07-2007, 09:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnell330i View Post
Reithofer is right, and i commend him for taking a stand. All this crap floating around that humans are the ONLY cause of global warming is all a load of shit. Read Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years written by the worlds top two climatologists. Oh yeah, and hybrids certainly arent a good answer to the problem since the energy it takes in R&D and to build them is so much greater than a non-hybrid car (due to their complexity) that the energy used over a hybrids life cycle can in many cases be worse than most gas guzzling suv's. (Not to mention hybrid batteries are un-recycleable).
I don't think any serious climate expert is suggesting that "humans are the ONLY cause of global warming." That smells like a strawman to me.

It is universally accepted that global temperatures are subject to natural cycles, such as the 1500 year tendency of the earth to warm and cool of it's own accord.

But that is not what global warming is about. What is at issue is what effect man made forces are having ON TOP of natural temperature changes. Every year the evidence gets stronger for the correlation between man's activities and global warming. The fact that the earth goes through natural cycles of temperature change does not exclude the earth being pushed into unnatural temperature changes due to man-made pollution. The two are not mutually exclusive, so arguing that the earth has natural temperature cycles does not prove that man is not having an unnatural effect on the temperature.

As for recycling hybrid batteries, your claims that "hybrid batteries are un-recycleable" is just outright false. "Toyota has had a recycling program set up for hybrid vehicle nickel-metal hydride batteries since 1998."

http://www.toyota.com/html/hybridsyn...iroreport.html

As for your claim that the book you referenced being "written by the worlds top two climatologists", that also is factually incorrect. Fred Singer is professor in the Environmental Science department at the University of Virginia, but co-author Dennis Avery was a Republican political operative under Ronald Reagan and served in the U.S. Dept of State, the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. I would not describe him as a world's top climatologist. There is more to the story about global warming than what a single ES Prof. located two hours outside of Washington DC, and a Reagan political operative have to say about it.
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      12-07-2007, 10:09 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Nixon View Post
As for your claim that the book you referenced being "written by the worlds top two climatologists", that also is factually incorrect. Fred Singer is professor in the Environmental Science department at the University of Virginia, but co-author Dennis Avery was a Republican political operative under Ronald Reagan and served in the U.S. Dept of State, the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. I would not describe him as a world's top climatologist. There is more to the story about global warming than what a single ES Prof. located two hours outside of Washington DC, and a Reagan political operative have to say about it.
Thanks for posting this Nixon.

Your avergae joe global warming skeptics/deniers never approach this issue on the scientific ground. It's always, always political. They make up their mind on what the answer has to be based on their political prejudice, and only the opinions and evidences that support their claim are accepted as valid. Everything else, which happens to be overwhelming majority opinion of the entire climate science community, is written off as some part of supposed liberal conspiracy.

I think it's very funny that Schnell emphasized "the worlds top two climatologists" when he talked about this book. If he really does care to listen to the opinions of "the worlds top climatologists", then perhaps he also should read the IPCC reports, as it is written by the majority, not one, of worlds' top climatologists.

"Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations".
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      12-08-2007, 01:44 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by spinzero View Post
he also should read the IPCC reports, as it is written by the majority, not one, of worlds' top climatologists.

"Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations".

Yes, reading as much primary source materials as you can, and keeping away from polemics is always the best approach to researching any issue. Of course the problem with primary source material is they are sooooo BOOORING!
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      12-09-2007, 10:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Nixon View Post
Yes, reading as much primary source materials as you can, and keeping away from polemics is always the best approach to researching any issue. Of course the problem with primary source material is they are sooooo BOOORING!
Yeah, but wouldn't it be nice if we weren't so damn sure about issues that we didn't bother to read up on? :biggrin:
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      12-09-2007, 10:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by aesthetect View Post


ps. damn, talk about an old school thread. i like. keep it coming.
Same here.
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      12-15-2007, 07:34 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by aesthetect View Post
i'm really not concerned with global warming. its a slow moving process, any damage we're going to do has pretty much been done, and the one thing to fear is that we will have years of reparations to pay for the amount we've already put up there.

really what we need to watch out for is the fact that we have developed a civilization (transportation, manufacturing, agriculture etc) ALL heavily reliant on large sources of energy. this energy was cheap and accessible in the form of petroleum. this industry will argue that we have used approx 2/3s of the earths natural oil reserves.
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      01-13-2009, 01:13 AM   #22
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[quote=aesthetect;2555]

"performance cars can be developed to be efficient and clean. electric motors are about as clean and efficient as a propulsion system can be, and this technology is being adopted slowly in the way of hybrids (maybe on the move towards all electrics, hard to tell). "

I find this hilarious. Electricity is produced by burning coal (80%, no new Nuclear power plants have come on line in about 25 years). So all you do by changing to electric cars is move the pollution out of town. It still contributes to global warming though. After factoring in the transmission losses, inefficiency of charging a battery, etc. etc. You're not really saving the planet, are you?
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