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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 06-13-05, 04:07 PM   #1
JohnBrooking
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The debate's over: Globe is warming

According to this article in USA Today. Even General Electric is now convinced!

Not exactly directly about being car-free, but I figured it was related enough that people here would be interested. (I should also disclose that I am not car-free, so I hope that's not a criteria for posting! However, as a family we are preparing to go from being a two-car to a one-car family, so we're moving in the right direction!)
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Old 06-13-05, 05:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
....as a family we are preparing to go from being a two-car to a one-car family, so we're moving in the right direction!)
Wife and I have just begun analyzing the pros and cons of going to one car.
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Old 06-13-05, 05:55 PM   #3
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We went from a two car family to a one car family a couple of years ago. After totalling a minvan we never replaced it, and the only car we have now is a Honda Civic Hybrid. My wife drives the car, I use a bike. During the summer my wife and kids takes off for two months, leaving me here alone, and during that time I am totally car-free.

I'd like to go completely car-free, but I know my wife would never allow it. It wouldn't be possible where we live right now, where there is no public transportation, traffic is too heavy and distances too great for my wife and kids to get around (kids are 4 and almost 6).

I find car-free living to be easy when single. During my single years in Oslo, Norway, I was completely car-free, relying on public transportation (subway) to get around. Even with a family it would be easy in a place like that. However, here (middle of Suburbia), it would be very, very difficult with a family.
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Old 06-14-05, 07:32 AM   #4
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Not car-free, but have been one-car, two-job family for many years.

Bicycling, walking, using mass-transit and hitching a ride with my wife in the one car has worked well. The one thing I love about riding my bike for transportation is that the more I do it, the more independent I feel. I might not be totally car-free, but I am not car-bound either. If I had to go without a car, I'd already be prepared.

My wife took the car on a two-week trip without me this month. I adjusted--no car.

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Old 06-14-05, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
According to this article in USA Today. Even General Electric is now convinced!

Not exactly directly about being car-free, but I figured it was related enough that people here would be interested. (I should also disclose that I am not car-free, so I hope that's not a criteria for posting! However, as a family we are preparing to go from being a two-car to a one-car family, so we're moving in the right direction!)
I will follow anything that USA Today has to say as strictly, unadulterated fact, and if my hero, large corporate America concurs, it is final - the globe is truly warming. As an aside, GE is probably about to release mini globe coolers!
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Old 06-15-05, 08:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by skydive69
I will follow anything that USA Today has to say as strictly, unadulterated fact, and if my hero, large corporate America concurs, it is final - the globe is truly warming. As an aside, GE is probably about to release mini globe coolers!
I don't doubt GE has products in line. In fact, I'm sure ExxonMobil does, too. The oil industry might be denying the evidence publicly, but like cigarette companies who denied the cancer/smoking link and the addictive nature of nicotine for decades, they are probably privately preparing for the impacts on their industry. They are simply holding out for profit as long as they can.
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Old 06-15-05, 01:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by skydive69
I will follow anything that USA Today has to say as strictly, unadulterated fact, and if my hero, large corporate America concurs, it is final - the globe is truly warming. As an aside, GE is probably about to release mini globe coolers!
I share your opinion. My point is simply that climate change belief seems to be getting more mainstream all the time - it's not just for environmentalist wackos anymore! And I think that's very good news.

That said, it is kind of an over-the-top headline, but hey, I didn't write it!
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Old 06-15-05, 03:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I don't doubt GE has products in line. In fact, I'm sure ExxonMobil does, too.
I read a bit on a blog called "Treehugger" about some comments made by Exxon President Lee Raymond in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. My WSJ subscription has expired, so I cannot verify, but according to Treehugger, Raymond not only denied that global warming exists, but also criticized other oil companies for wasting money on alternative energy source research.

The link to the blog entry is http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005..._on_global.php
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Old 06-15-05, 04:02 PM   #9
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Doing a google news search on Exxon President Lee Raymond yields a wealth of info.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:15 PM   #10
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The new tack for the conservatives is that "the globe is warming, but it's not humans' fault".

That's why they call it "climate change." Climate change doesn't have the decades of "this is a bad thing caused by humans and we need to stop causing it" connotations that global warming does.
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Old 09-13-05, 11:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TeleJohn
Doing a google news search on Exxon President Lee Raymond yields a wealth of info.
Lee Raymond has announced his intention to retire as Exxon CEO at the end of this year. Rex W. Tillerson is expected to replace him. Although Tillerson seems to be less gruff and abrasive than Raymond, Tillerson appears to me to be just another "business as usual" executive.

On March 4, 2005 Tillerson remarked in a speech:
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Originally Posted by Rex W. Tillerson
All in all, we believe global economic growth will continue at just under 3 percent per year, or roughly the same pace as the past 20 years. We expect global demand for all forms of energy to grow at about 1.7 per year on average, rising more than 50 percent from about 220 million oil-equivalent barrels per day currently to 335 million oil-equivalent barrels daily by 2030. That is a huge amount of energy beyond what we use today. To put that in perspective, such an increase in oil-equivalent demand would be about ten times the current output of Saudi Arabia.
So we need to find nine new Saudi Arabias in the next 25 years? How many new Saudi Arabias have we found in the past 25 years? Will Exxon find a new Saudi Arabia every three years, or will nine of them be found all at once?

Yeah, we'll burn all the oil we can pump, but some people suspect we might be finding and burning quite a bit less oil than Exxon is counting on.

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Old 09-14-05, 06:11 PM   #12
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Yeah, Lee Raymond is a bad guy, imho. From the old school of use it as fast as you can and disregard the natural environment as much as legally possible. Uh, kind of like a certain administration in Washington. No thinking or concern for future generations. I refuse to buy Exxon fuel or mutual funds with significant holdings of their stock. Although, there are those who now advocate stock purchases of some of these big multi-nationals in order to force board changes and greener decision-making.

Contrast him with Lord John Browne, CEO of BP Amoco, who has written an open letter to industry on the dangers of global warming, invested in solar and wind technologies, and committed BP to significant reductions in CO2 emissions of their own operations.

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Old 09-14-05, 06:17 PM   #13
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Yeah, we'll burn all the oil we can pump, but some people suspect we might be finding and burning quite a bit less oil than Exxon is counting on.
Um, yes, considering that even the Saudi fields are running into trouble (declining production) and they won't acknowledge the problem. But there is a good book on the subject - Twilight in the Desert - Simmons, which details a lot of the issues.
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Old 09-20-05, 10:06 AM   #14
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I've run into this alot, particularly since hurricane katrina, and I'm still searching for reasonable subjective info from either party.

In know its been in vogue since the early 80's to promote the whole global warming theory, but can someone send me some definitave data showing the world has become steadily, signifigantly warmer over a reasonable period of time?

and what ever happened to the "global cooling" theories in the 60's and 70's? according to the same groups that are preaching global warming, we were headed for another ice age....

no flames please, just subjective data.
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Old 09-20-05, 10:59 AM   #15
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I did a google search under "global temperature change data". (quotation marks were not in the search.) I read through most of the first page that came up and it seems pretty well-done.

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/
Note that you can click on the graph at the upper right of that page to enlarge it.

See also:
http://www.met-office.gov.uk/researc...mperature.html
(graph from that page: http://www.met-office.gov.uk/researc...ly/HadCRUG.gif )

and for a USA perspective:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/...anomalies.html
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Old 09-20-05, 11:47 AM   #16
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Keep in mind, although Global warming is evident, the source of Global warming still has not been proven. Many educated people do believe that human activity has increased global warming, but many educated people believe that we are simply in the midst of another naturally-occuring upward temperature cycle, and that human activity has a negligeble effect on global tempurature. There is not enough scientific evidence right now to support one side or the other. Either way, we're certainly running out of gas!

Regardless, I applaud whoever is living car-free. I wish I could, but there's just no way.
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Old 09-20-05, 12:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerewa
I did a google search under "global temperature change data". (quotation marks were not in the search.) I read through most of the first page that came up and it seems pretty well-done.
not bad, but like most of the data I've seen, its just a tiny slice of time. 100 years is an eyeblink, geologicly speaking. I think its representative of a warming cycle, but not a trend. Its like measuring just the last climb on your weekly ride: sure, its up but that does not mean you didn't just experience a long downhill.

I also take exception to studies of the last 100 years due to the changes in our monitoring methods. Long term geologic studies of climactic change employ the same methods over the course of the study. Collecting existing data by various methods over a 100 year span and trying to put them all together is a fallible process. The first link you gave me illustrates this with a disclaimer:
Annual values are approximately accurate to +/- 0.05C (two standard errors) for the period since 1951. They are about four times as uncertain during the 1850s, with the accuracy improving gradually between 1860 and 1950 except for temporary deteriorations during data-sparse, wartime intervals. Estimating accuracy is a far from a trivial task as the individual grid-boxes are not independent of each other and the accuracy of each grid-box time series varies through time (although the variance adjustment has reduced this influence to a large extent).
Note the two periods of time that have the biggest difference in temperature are also the ones with the largest variance in collection means and methods.

I'm not saying that proves it wrong (like I said, not bad) but you have to look at the earths timeline as a whole.

Keep the data coming, I'd like to keep reading both sides of this as long as the sources are scientific and substantial in nature. No political stuff supporting either side please
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Old 09-20-05, 12:22 PM   #18
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I know I'm often too lefty for my own good but like so many things I think it's important to look at this from a different perspective. We know - as fact - that all of these pollutants cause health problems for people. We seem to know that these pollutants (I'm sure I'm spelling that wrong) are also causing global warming. The global warming, whether from pollution or from natural processes, is causing a shift in severe weather. This makes living in areas which we have "re-engineered" nature in order to inhabit them become much more risky (ie NOLA). Common sense then would suggest that we stop pretending that we control the environment. I can't see how striving to lower pollution is a bad thing? Even in terms of the economy, more jobs are created by employing people to either physically clean up pollutants or for people to design processes which remove pollutants.

Ok, that was pretty rambly. Basically, if pollution is causing public health issues then why isn't that enough reason to reduce pollution.

BTW- I believe that we are negatively impacting the environment and at the very least speeding up global warming.

Andrew
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Old 09-20-05, 01:52 PM   #19
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stumpjumper says:
Quote:
not bad, but like most of the data I've seen, its just a tiny slice of time. 100 years is an eyeblink, geologicly speaking.
I posted the info with full awareness that it's impossible to tell from those data whether global warming is human-caused or how long it's likely to continue.

I didn't realize that you were mainly interested in times before humans were taking down useful records of the temperature.

Conclusions based solely on the data I referenced in post 15 are, by necessity, quite uncertain. I think the same will be true of conclusions based on the geological record.

For a paper that's very technical:
ftp://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/pub/mann/mbh98.pdf

A graph on page 3 in this paper shows the trend of the last 1000 years' temperature, as best these scientists can figure it out
ftp://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/pub/mann/MBH1999.pdf
essentially, what you will see there is:
1)world temperatures 1000 years ago were about 0.75 celsius degrees cooler than at present, and cooling
2)world average temperatures followed a cooling trend that brought them to about 1.0 degrees cooler than at present by the 1910s or so
3)from the 1910s on, temperatures rose rapidly, relatively speaking.
4)in order to see longer-term trends in world average temperatures, one needs to think in terms of the world average over a period of 20-30 years. A 1-year or 8-year average is rarely a good indicator of what the 30-year average is. But if this graph is any indication, an average taken over 30 years is usually an indicator of what the average is over the 100 or 200 years surrounding that time.
5)ignoring the first 400 years of time graphed there (which the authors say is too uncertain to permit 'decisive conclusions') there's still a very obvious trend of: fairly consistent "cold" for 500 years, then a sudden upswing in temperature in the past century.

To turn my 5 above conclusions into anything useful is not easy. If I didn't believe we humans were responsible for that upswing (I do) I'd argue:
1) we have no record showing us whether temperature changes like that are a normal, natural thing.
2) a 1-degree change is not enough to indicate that anything significant is happening, even if it occurred over only 100 years.

the following link is from a geology prof who believes that we are not responsible for climate change.
http://www.techcentralstation.com/010405M.html
at the bottom of this page, he gives us a graph which puts the variation of earth's average temperatures at 8 celsius degrees below present temp to 4 degrees above present temp, graphed out over the past 400,000 years.
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Old 09-20-05, 01:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chivespa1
I know I'm often too lefty for my own good but like so many things I think it's important to look at this from a different perspective. We know - as fact - that all of these pollutants cause health problems for people. We seem to know that these pollutants (I'm sure I'm spelling that wrong) are also causing global warming. The global warming, whether from pollution or from natural processes, is causing a shift in severe weather. This makes living in areas which we have "re-engineered" nature in order to inhabit them become much more risky (ie NOLA). Common sense then would suggest that we stop pretending that we control the environment. I can't see how striving to lower pollution is a bad thing? Even in terms of the economy, more jobs are created by employing people to either physically clean up pollutants or for people to design processes which remove pollutants.

Ok, that was pretty rambly. Basically, if pollution is causing public health issues then why isn't that enough reason to reduce pollution.

BTW- I believe that we are negatively impacting the environment and at the very least speeding up global warming.

Andrew
I'm more of a right wing/libertarian, but I'd agree that apart from speculative conclusions regarding anthropogenic causes of global warming and all the political and social claptrap that goes along with it, just reducing pollution and dependence on oil for health and economic reasons is justification in and of itself-- no need to mix it up with global warming (which has become stupidly politicized such that anything that science actually has to say about it is ignored in favor of ideology).
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Old 09-21-05, 01:54 PM   #21
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Heck, I don't see how there can still be a debate about whether the planet is warming or not. Does melting ice-pack and glaciers mean anything? I have been to Alaska and the Banff-Jasper area 4 times in the past 25 years. The glaciers are obviously shrinking, as in - last visit the glacier was HERE, now it is OVER THERE. Sometimes, WAY over there, like a mile away.... as in the case of the Columbia Icefields near Jasper. Same thing in Alaska. Visual evidence such as photographs of 50-100 years ago vs. now suggest that there is rapid change all over the planet.

Combine this startling visual confirmation with the scientific data on ocean temperatures, declining coral reefs, desertification, and it seems obvious the planet is warming pretty quick. The only possible debate might be about which actions are to be taken, and I don't think we should debate that for very long either. We know that some behaviors make it worse and we ought to start limiting them (de-forestation, burning fossil fuels, etc). The longer we wait the more drastic the remedies will have to be.

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Old 09-21-05, 02:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerewa
That's why they call it "climate change." Climate change doesn't have the decades of "this is a bad thing caused by humans and we need to stop causing it" connotations that global warming does.
I haven't gotten that it's the conservatives who started this term; I've been using it more myself too. The reason I've changed is that it confirms that something is happening without necessarily predicting what the outcome will be, which I think is more scientifically honest. After all, as my conservative co-worker is so fond of pointing out, in the 1970's they thought it was going the other way, towards another ice age! That doesn't mean, as he seems to think it does, that we don't know enough to make it worthwhile changing anything at all, but it does make me feel that we have to be careful about thinking we can predict exactly what's going to happen.

On the other hand, ice is melting around the world, and many weather reports on hurricanes are making a point these days about the increased temperature of the Gulf of Mexico and its effect of strengthening tropical storms, so maybe "global warming" is still an accurate term, so far.
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Old 09-21-05, 04:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
I haven't gotten that it's the conservatives who started this term; I've been using it more myself too. The reason I've changed is that it confirms that something is happening without necessarily predicting what the outcome will be, which I think is more scientifically honest. After all, as my conservative co-worker is so fond of pointing out, in the 1970's they thought it was going the other way, towards another ice age! That doesn't mean, as he seems to think it does, that we don't know enough to make it worthwhile changing anything at all, but it does make me feel that we have to be careful about thinking we can predict exactly what's going to happen.
Well, that's exactly what they want you to think. Where do you think "Clear Skies Initiative" and other misleading program names come from? Republicans were advised in a memo by Republican pollster Frank Luntz in 2002 that "Climate Change" was a less controversial term to use. The following info is from Outside Magazine, May 2005, but readily available from multiple sources with a Google search:

A longtime public-opinion specialist who helped frame the GOP's "Contract with America" in 1994, Luntz doesn't make policy, but he's a master at packaging it. The 43-year-old founder of the Virginia-based Luntz Research Companies was the author of "Straight Talk," a confidential memo—leaked to the media in 2003—that coached Bush administration officials and GOP supporters on marketing a wide range of policies. "The environment is probably the single issue on which Republicans in general—and President Bush in particular—are most vulnerable," Luntz warned. "Any discussion . . . has to be grounded in an effort to reassure a skeptical public that you care about the environment for its own sake—that your intentions are strictly honorable."

To that end, Luntz suggested new White House phrasing on subjects like global warming (though "the scientific debate is closing against us," he wrote, minds could be eased by making "the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue"). He also laid out specific language designed to soothe voters. Some of it, such as the phrase "Safer, cleaner, and healthier," soon showed up verbatim in speeches by GOP policymakers.

"Climate change is less frightening than 'global warming,'" Luntz wrote in "Straight Talk." "Global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge."

And more recently, in February, Luntz released a 160-page strategy memo, titled "The New American Lexicon," to help the GOP open up ANWR for oil drilling, emerge victorious in the 2006 midterm elections, and pursue other key goals. "Never say: 'drilling for oil,'" the document advises. "Instead say: 'exploring for energy.' . . . When you talk about energy," it adds, "use words like 'responsible' and 'balanced,' and always address your concern for the environment."
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Old 09-22-05, 12:02 AM   #24
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It's like 90 degrees in an attic rental in Palo Alto today. I tell you my globes are warming for sure.
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Old 09-22-05, 12:11 AM   #25
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Sooooo ... if the globe is warming .... explain the fact that we've had two cold, wet, miserable summers in a row up here in Canada. Last year Manitoba set records in January, May, June, July, and August for coldest months on record. And then also a seasonal record for coldest May, June, July, and August combined.

It has already snowed twice here in Alberta in the last 3 weeks, and one snowfall dropped 1.5 feet of snow ... not just a light skiff. Now they are predicting snow for some parts of Alberta overnight.

Where is this warmth you speak of?
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