Republican Party Platform on Climate Change

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Tom Adams

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Sep 2, 2008, 11:51:02 AM9/2/08
to globalchange
The press reports a stronger statement in a draft, but here's what it
got watered down to:

"Addressing Climate Change Responsibly

The same human economic
activity that has
brought freedom and opportunity
to billions has also
increased the amount of carbon
in the atmosphere.
While the scope and longterm
consequences of this
are the subject of ongoing
scientific research, common
sense dictates that the
United States should take
measured and reasonable
steps today to reduce any impact on the environment.
Those steps, if consistent with our global competitiveness
will also be good for our national security,
our energy independence, and our economy. Any
policies should be global in nature, based on sound
science and technology, and should not harm the
economy."

(Some omitted here, see:

http://www.gop.com/pdf/PlatformFINAL_WithCover.pdf)

They want to offer a prize:

"Using Cash Rewards to Encourage Innovation

Because Republicans believe that solutions to
By balancing environmental goals
with economic growth and job
creation, our diverse economy has
made possible the investment needed
to safeguard natural resources,
protect endangered species, and
create healthier living conditions.
the risk of global climate change will be found in the
ingenuity of the American people, we propose a
Climate Prize for scientists who solve the challenges
of climate change. Honoraria of many millions of
dollars would be a small price for technological
developments that eliminate our need for gas-powered
cars or abate atmospheric carbon."

But, beware you command-and-control aficionados:

"Republicans caution against the doomsday climate
change scenarios peddled by the aficionados of
centralized command-and-control government."

No word on the same stuff when peddled by mere scientists.

Don Libby

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Sep 2, 2008, 5:35:23 PM9/2/08
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From: "Tom Adams" <tada...@yahoo.com>
Newsgroups: gmane.science.general.global-change
To: "globalchange" <global...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 10:51 AM
Subject: [Global Change: 2849] Republican Party Platform on Climate Change


>
> The press reports a stronger statement in a draft, but here's what it
> got watered down to:
>
>

> http://www.gop.com/pdf/PlatformFINAL_WithCover.pdf)
>

Hard to find comparable final doc from the Dems, but here's a draft:
http://www.workinglife.org/storage/users/4/4/images/111/2008%20democratic%20platform%20080808.pdf

or http://tinyurl.com/5sephd

They talk about a new round of emission protocol negotiation that includes
China and India (p37), as well as cap & trade, green tech, conservation &
efficiency (p41).

Both parties pretty much the same on climate policy as far as I can tell.
Much better information on energy and environmental policy can be found on
each of the Candidate's web sites, IMO.

Thanks,
-dl

Tom Adams

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Sep 2, 2008, 6:30:49 PM9/2/08
to globalchange


On Sep 2, 5:35 pm, "Don Libby" <dli...@tds.net> wrote:
> From: "Tom Adams" <tadams...@yahoo.com>
> Newsgroups: gmane.science.general.global-change
> To: "globalchange" <global...@googlegroups.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 10:51 AM
> Subject: [Global Change: 2849] Republican Party Platform on Climate Change
>
>
>
> > The press reports a stronger statement in a draft, but here's what it
> > got watered down to:
>
> >http://www.gop.com/pdf/PlatformFINAL_WithCover.pdf)
>
> Hard to find comparable final doc from the Dems, but here's a draft:http://www.workinglife.org/storage/users/4/4/images/111/2008%20democr...
>
> orhttp://tinyurl.com/5sephd
>
> They talk about a new round of emission protocol negotiation that includes
> China and India (p37), as well as cap & trade, green tech, conservation &
> efficiency (p41).
>
> Both parties pretty much the same on climate policy as far as I can tell.
> Much better information on energy and environmental policy can be found on
> each of the Candidate's web sites, IMO.
>
> Thanks,
> -dl

This is the final, I think:

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/papers_pdf/78283.pdf

These platforms are pretty hard to find.

"Lead to Combat Climate Change
We will lead to defeat the epochal, man-made threat to the planet:
climate change. Without
dramatic changes, rising sea levels will flood coastal regions around
the world. Warmer
temperatures and declining rainfall will reduce crop yields,
increasing conflict, famine, disease,
and poverty. By 2050, famine could displace more than 250 million
people worldwide. That
means increased instability in some of the most volatile parts of the
world."

Tom Adams

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Sep 3, 2008, 10:35:40 AM9/3/08
to globalchange
On Sep 2, 5:35 pm, "Don Libby" <dli...@tds.net> wrote:
> From: "Tom Adams" <tadams...@yahoo.com>
> Newsgroups: gmane.science.general.global-change
> To: "globalchange" <global...@googlegroups.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 10:51 AM
> Subject: [Global Change: 2849] Republican Party Platform on Climate Change
>
>
>
> > The press reports a stronger statement in a draft, but here's what it
> > got watered down to:
>
> >http://www.gop.com/pdf/PlatformFINAL_WithCover.pdf)
>
> Hard to find comparable final doc from the Dems, but here's a draft:http://www.workinglife.org/storage/users/4/4/images/111/2008%20democr...
>
> orhttp://tinyurl.com/5sephd
>
> They talk about a new round of emission protocol negotiation that includes
> China and India (p37), as well as cap & trade, green tech, conservation &
> efficiency (p41).
>
> Both parties pretty much the same on climate policy as far as I can tell.
> Much better information on energy and environmental policy can be found on
> each of the Candidate's web sites, IMO.
>
> Thanks,
> -dl

Is hard to point to a clear difference in policy.

Of course, George W. Bush said he supported Kyoto when he was
campaigning for his first term, and reversed that instantly after he
was sworn in.

Now we have a Vice Presidential candidate on record with:

"A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state,
because of our location," she said. "I'm not one though who would
attribute it to being man-made."

The Republicans seem to need a denier on the ticket to energize their
base.




hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 3, 2008, 6:51:18 PM9/3/08
to globalchange
Sarah Palin's official website as governor has this:

http://www.gov.state.ak.us/admin-orders/238.html

http://www.climatechange.alaska.gov/cc-ak.htm

Maybe she's been misquoted.

Tom Adams

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Sep 6, 2008, 10:14:38 AM9/6/08
to globalchange
Here is the original source:

http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/sarah_palin_vp/2008/08/29/126139.html

Newmax is a right-wing news outlet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NewsMax_Media

Perhaps Palin does not have the power to wipe AGW from all state web
pages, or does not want to try it.

On Sep 3, 6:51 pm, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:

Tom Adams

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Sep 6, 2008, 10:22:03 AM9/6/08
to globalchange
On Sep 3, 6:51 pm, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:
> Sarah Palin's official website as governor has this:
>
> http://www.gov.state.ak.us/admin-orders/238.html

No mention on the above site about whether global warming is man-made.

>
> http://www.climatechange.alaska.gov/cc-ak.htm

This is not really her site. It's probably not easy for a governer to
impose her opinions on the whole state government when they are
contrary to scientific consensus.

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 6, 2008, 4:14:06 PM9/6/08
to globalchange
> No mention on the above site about whether global warming is man-made.

It doesn't make much sense to ask for recommendations on greenhouse
gas reductions, carbon sequestration etc... without her at least
seeing some potential benefit in doing these things.

You are right, I don't see an explicit statement that CO2 is
responsible for the warming, but that the warming is bad for Alaska
and that lower carbon emissions are desirable is definitely in there.

> >http://www.climatechange.alaska.gov/cc-ak.htm
>
> This is not really her site. It's probably not easy for a governer to
> impose her opinions on the whole state government when they are
> contrary to scientific consensus.

While it isn't her site, it was brought into existence as a result of
her executive order and said order also contains a list of who's on
the commission. I presume she was perfectly free not to create a sub-
comission on climate change. Though I may be wrong there, maybe the
legislature forced her hand?

I have certainly noticed that the language used by Democrats on
climate change tends to be more doom laden and anti big business,
while Republicans are less keen on damning words and blaming CO2 for
everything. But, when looking at policy actions in terms of the
overall effect on greenhouse gas emissions, I see that there's a wide
range of opinions in both parties (eg on CAFE or gasoline taxes) and
that overall the nuances in emphasis largely cancel each other out.

Talking about concrete action: The main climate related concrete
actions Palin's been involved with so far have been to push through a
nat gas pipeline plan and hit oil companies with taxes. Nancy Pelosi
should be happy with that. After all, Nancy Pelosi managed to make
this statement:

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2008/08/25/fuel-for-debate-pelosi-suggests-natural-gas-isnt-a-fossil-fuel/

“I believe in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil
fuels"

Which just goes to show that it's amazingly easy to appear to be
saying something you don't really believe in. We'll see what kind of
"clarification" Palin comes up with for the one sentence you quoted.

Tom Adams

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Sep 6, 2008, 6:56:55 PM9/6/08
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On Sep 6, 4:14 pm, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:
> http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2008/08/25/fuel-for-debate-...
>
> “I believe in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil
> fuels"
>
> Which just goes to show that it's amazingly easy to appear to be
> saying something you don't really believe in. We'll see what kind of
> "clarification" Palin comes up with for the one sentence you quoted.

Pelosi obviously just misspoke. The obvious clarification is that she
meant that natural gas is an alternative to fossil fuels that produce
more carbon per unit energy. There is no vast left wing conspiracy to
deny that natural gas is a fossil fuel.

Senator Barry Goldwater famously said that the cruise missile was just
another ballistic missile. The Pelosi gaffe is in the same category.

Not sure how to clarify: "I'm not one though who would attribute it to
being man-made." I guess she could say that her personal opinion has
little impact on her efforts as governor.

But, for now, Palin seems to have been banned from giving interviews
by the Mccain campaign people, so hell may freeze over before she has
to clarify this.

The web pages you turned up are interesting. I am not sure that GW
Bush is on record as saying that climate change is not man-made, but
the high levels of his government seems to be at war with the idea
that climate change is man-made. Seems just the opposite with Palin.

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 6, 2008, 9:05:23 PM9/6/08
to globalchange
> These platforms are pretty hard to find.

The presidential campaigns have better documents:

http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/da151a1c-733a-4dc1-9cd3-f9ca5caba1de.htm

http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/factsheet_energy_speech_080308.pdf

A few cooments:

1. On cap and trade John McCain gives much more detail, notably
targets for 2012 and 2020, and info on whether he'll allow banking of
allowances to deal with excessive price volatility. Obama has a bigger
target, 80% by 2050, but that's also the only date for which there is
a target, leaving us somewhat in the dark about the near term. They
both want to aution all the allowances, Obama right from the start,
McCain eventually. Both Obama and McCain want to use some of the money
for clean energy research and demonstration, and want to return some
of it to poorer Americans. Obama gives a Dollar amount figure for
auction income reserved for clean energy of 15 billion. If memory
serves right that puts a floor of two Dollar fifty on a metric tonne
of CO2, as US emissions are of the order of 6 billion metric tonnes of
CO2.

2. I found Obama's Green Vets proposal somewhat weird. Why does he
want to train Iraq war veterans so that they can enter the renewable
energy field? Why especially veterans? Shouldn't the people install
wind turbines who are best at it, are keenest on choosing such a
career?

3. It's interesting that Obama specifically mentions the Alaska gas
pipeline as a key priority, and moans that this project was first
proposed in 1976 and that the Bush administration has made no progress
on it.

4. Obama has much more detail on fuel economy and biofuels (60 billion
gallons by 2030), areas McCain hardly mentions. Bush has a target of
35 billion gallons by 2017.

What neither contains is research and market development money for
better bicycles, which would be high up my wish list.

I am talking about this kind of entirely human powered vehicle that's
significantly faster than ordinary bicycles

http://www.sunrider-cycles.com/foto-video/index.php

which I'd love to buy (certainly if it sold for less than 4900). I'd
say this a classical case of a market failure, where there is no
market because small series production and development costs are too
high, and where the state could create one given enough initial
incentives.

Michael Tobis

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Sep 7, 2008, 1:01:44 AM9/7/08
to global...@googlegroups.com
On point 2, the US has a long history of giving combat veterans
financial aid which would never be offerred to the general population.
This constitutes an important path out of poverty, and consequently,
unfortunately, creates a major constituency for military adventures.
(The odd thing about it in historical terms is that it's the invader's
treasury that is raided in the process...)

<<< http://www.sunrider-cycles.com/foto-video/index.php

Regarding the exotic bicycle, does it come with air conditioning?

<:-)>

mt

James Annan

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Sep 7, 2008, 5:17:14 AM9/7/08
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hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

> What neither contains is research and market development money for
> better bicycles, which would be high up my wish list.
>
> I am talking about this kind of entirely human powered vehicle that's
> significantly faster than ordinary bicycles
>
> http://www.sunrider-cycles.com/foto-video/index.php
>
> which I'd love to buy (certainly if it sold for less than 4900). I'd
> say this a classical case of a market failure, where there is no
> market because small series production and development costs are too
> high, and where the state could create one given enough initial
> incentives.

I've been meaning to write about this for some time, so Heiko's prompt
is a convenient nudge.

Every so often someone comes up with a new "transport revolution" -
there was the Sinclair C5, the Segway, and numerous bicycle designs and
power attachments such as http://revopower.com/ . Generally they are
touted as solving the oil crisis, global warming and urban congestion
all in one.

But in practice these "solutions" actually seem to spend their miserable
short existences looking for a suitable problem to solve. The
inconvenient truth is that the world is not waiting for a better bicycle
to solve its transportation problems, or even a better motor vehicle,
and Michael's post points out one of the reasons why. The other reasons
include the inherent laziness of 95% or more of the world's population,
habit, social pressure and status. I like to think that many of these
factors can potentially be changed, but they will certainly not be
changed by a "better bicycle" that shaves perhaps 20 seconds off your 20
minute commute.

I'm sure they make good projects for engineering students, but I am
amazed that people devote so much time and energy to solving a problem
without actually thinking about what the problem is!

(Perhaps it is overkill, but for the sake of completeness I might as
well point out that the vehicle Heiko is interested in would undoubtedly
be /slower/ on my commute.)

James

Tom Adams

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Sep 7, 2008, 5:48:18 AM9/7/08
to globalchange
Yes, an Biosynergistic Evaporative Cooling System (BECS).

>
> mt

Tom Adams

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Sep 7, 2008, 6:48:18 AM9/7/08
to globalchange
On Sep 3, 6:51 pm, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:
From the Ankorage Daily News:

"Palin isn't so sure it's not a natural warming cycle, according to
her spokesman, Curtis Smith.

"She's not totally convinced one way or the other," Smith said.
"Science will tell us, and she's proud that UAF will have a role in
that. She thinks the jury's still out."

"I will not pretend to have all the answers," Palin said about global
warming at the recent Alaska Federation of Natives convention, where
delegates passed a resolution calling for a mandatory reduction in
pollution affecting the atmosphere.

Answering a question from the Daily News, Palin cautioned against
"overreaction." She has called the Alaska Climate Change Impact
Assessment Commission report due next March a good place to start. The
commission was created by the Legislature last year. Its seven members
were named Wednesday."

http://dwb.adn.com/front/story/8374799p-8270125c.html

Note that the first quote I posted was very recent, last week.

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 7, 2008, 12:13:23 PM9/7/08
to globalchange
> > Maybe she's been misquoted.

Ok, she clearly hasn't.

Tom Adams

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Sep 8, 2008, 9:04:42 AM9/8/08
to globalchange
On Sep 7, 12:13 pm, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:
> > > Maybe she's been misquoted.
>
> Ok, she clearly hasn't.

The news is saying that she be interviewed on ABC later
this week.

Perhaps she will be asked about her disbelief that global warming is
man-made. And also about her desire to outlaw abortions for 13-year-
old girls who have been raped by their fathers or brothers.

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 8, 2008, 4:28:31 PM9/8/08
to globalchange
> Perhaps she will be asked about her disbelief that global warming is
> man-made. And also about her desire to outlaw abortions for 13-year-
> old girls who have been raped by their fathers or brothers.

I certainly hope that all the candidates will pledge to essentially
leave the status quo on guns/abortion/gays alone. Better to focus on
other issues, like climate change say ...

Let me also say something about the scientific consensus on climate
change. In so far as there is one on the economics, it is a carbon tax
starting at a few Dollars per metric tonne slowly ramping up over the
century. Mind you there are people disagreeing with this, who either
believe several hundred Dollars per metric tonne (Stern, Hansen and
Gore come to mind) or respectively 0 would be more appropriate
values.

A few Dollars per tonne means a few cents per gallon of petrol, ie in
comparison to the 3 Dollar subsidy in Venezuela to 7 Dollars tax in
Norway range of other considerations, this isn't much.

Incidentally, I happen to be one of those people who thinks 0 is the
appropriate carbon tax at this point. Doesn't mean I want nothing
done, or that I'd start a big fight to oppose modest carbon taxes.
What I want done is research, development and market development. More
on that in my reply to James.

Hank Roberts

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Sep 7, 2008, 12:54:27 PM9/7/08
to globalchange


On Sep 6, 1:14 pm, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
posted a week-old copypaste talking point from the Republican
collection about Pelosi, without bothering to Google it first to find
the Wall Street Journal, among others, had long ago printed the
correction.

If your goal is to look clever by posting the talking points under
your own name, you should check the updated list.
Otherwise you embarass those you're trying to emulate.

--------
Both party platforms are vending the "sound science" kool-aid, though
it shows up more often in the Republican text.
To check that out, you need one step beyond Google:

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?sourceid=Mozilla-search&q=%22sound+science%22

Remember, folks:

When your goal is to simulate intelligent political discourse, of any
brand, without thinking for yourself,
PASTE IT HERE FIRST before you paste it into a thread under your own
name, to validate it:
http://www.justfuckinggoogleit.com/

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 8, 2008, 5:13:41 PM9/8/08
to globalchange
> But in practice these "solutions" actually seem to spend their miserable
> short existences looking for a suitable problem to solve.

It isn't enough to develop better bikes, I certainly agree with you
there. What I see though is that government must step in to deal with
the "network" side of things. Bicycles are dangerous, when they have
to share road space with cars doing 100 km/h. Build bicycle lanes and
make car drivers drive more slowly, and it's suddenly a lot less
dangerous. And there's safety in numbers. 1000 times as many bicycles
on the road doesn't multiply accidents by a factor 1000, not least
because car drivers learn about cyclists' behaviour.

they will certainly not be
> changed by a "better bicycle" that shaves perhaps 20 seconds off your 20
> minute commute.

A reduction from 1 hour down to 30 minutes is easily feasible. But
this doesn't just require better bikes, it also requires good cycling
infrastructure. I do think that there is a role for government support
to get the market going. I've been skeptical about that in the past,
but well, I suppose I've changed my mind somewhat. I am a much greater
proponent of policy instruments involving subsidies for cars/bikes/
solar panels/CCS coal fired power plants than I used to be. When
economists favour carbon taxes, I wonder, whether they don't miss the
value of technology development, and proving things, even when given
the circumstances it doesn't pay for the individual until quite some
time has passed and lots of other individuals have made similar
choices. Sometimes, a big company can push something like that
through, with a big initial investment to get the market going; but
that only works, if the company can then hugely profit from the
change; if most of the benefits are socialised away, then why should
the company bother?

Coming back to bikes:

I also think the government can hammer motorists in the name of
safety, in particular I want automatic speed limiters put into cars
that make it impossible to driver faster than 30 in a 30 km/h zone.
And I want bicycle paths to separate the bicycles from any traffic,
where speeds above 30 km/h are allowed.

I think there is a niche for small cars / fast bicycles, but a key
plank in getting that niche to work in practise has to be to ensure
that they can be ridden safely and the people at fault (ie
irresponsible car drivers, who drive huge vehicles at huge speeds and
thereby force everybody else into an arms race of heavier and heavier
cars) are made to take their responsibility.

> (Perhaps it is overkill, but for the sake of completeness I might as
> well point out that the vehicle Heiko is interested in would undoubtedly
> be /slower/ on my commute.)

I've got a commute of 35.5 km. Cycling that takes me an hour an forty
five minutes, unless I've got the wind at my back, then I can do it in
an hour and twenty five minutes, but it'll take me two and a half
against the wind.

I live that far away from work, because it's the difference between
paying 20% or 40% of my net salary on rent, and I get a tax free
commuting allowance that entirely pays for the commute.

I car pool, so I cycle the first six kilometers and then hop into a
colleague's car. Most days anwyay. Public transport would take me two
hours, car pooling comes to 55 minutes. If I drove myself it might be
40 minutes.

I want to avoid that, and that's why I am seriously thinking about
spending 5000 Euros on a bike that would cut the one hour and fort
five minutes to 55 and then I am both flexible and avoid the car
altogether.

jdannan

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Sep 8, 2008, 9:32:45 PM9/8/08
to global...@googlegroups.com
hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
>> But in practice these "solutions" actually seem to spend their miserable
>> short existences looking for a suitable problem to solve.
>
> It isn't enough to develop better bikes, I certainly agree with you
> there. What I see though is that government must step in to deal with
> the "network" side of things. Bicycles are dangerous, when they have
> to share road space with cars doing 100 km/h. Build bicycle lanes and
> make car drivers drive more slowly, and it's suddenly a lot less
> dangerous. And there's safety in numbers. 1000 times as many bicycles
> on the road doesn't multiply accidents by a factor 1000, not least
> because car drivers learn about cyclists' behaviour.
>
> they will certainly not be
>> changed by a "better bicycle" that shaves perhaps 20 seconds off your 20
>> minute commute.
>
> A reduction from 1 hour down to 30 minutes is easily feasible.

Why set your sights so low? I'd go for a 10x speed-up, and make the
bicycle sequester carbon as it goes, filling up a tank with liquid CO2
to dumped at collection points. Oh, and all for $100. With a McDonalds
Meal Deal voucher thrown in for free.

Back in the real world, there are reasons why that isn't going to happen
in the next century, let alone within your working life. And there are
reasons why the bicycle design hasn't changed much in over 100 years,
not /all/ of which are due to UCI restrictions on racing :-)

Human-powered vehicles in a range of designs are already easily
available, and do offer decided advantages at high speeds on open flat
roads. They are no better, and often markedly worse, for practical
transport. This is because they do not have the versatility,
portability, adaptability and manoeuvrability. And they will always cost
substantially more, partly because the market where they actually do
have advantages is so small (almost nonexistent outside of HPV race
events, in fact), and partly because they are larger and more complex to
design and build.

> I also think the government can hammer motorists in the name of
> safety, in particular I want automatic speed limiters put into cars
> that make it impossible to driver faster than 30 in a 30 km/h zone.
> And I want bicycle paths to separate the bicycles from any traffic,
> where speeds above 30 km/h are allowed.

Well I agree that more speed restrictions in urban areas would be a good
thing in general, but separate-but-equal (not) routes are generally not.
The assumed danger of /sharing/ roads with motorised vehicles is rather
small, and the danger of /intersecting/ such routes is much greater. So
swapping some of the former for more of the latter is a bad move.

You will note that in practice where separate-but-equal (not) facilities
do exist, it is inevitably the cyclist that has to give way and take
detours when a conflict occurs. That's not going to do much for your
high-speed commute!

> I've got a commute of 35.5 km. Cycling that takes me an hour an forty
> five minutes, unless I've got the wind at my back, then I can do it in
> an hour and twenty five minutes, but it'll take me two and a half
> against the wind.

I'm surprised you are so slow if the route is flat and clear. If it is
hilly and congested then a spiffy design isn't going to make any
significant difference. Regardless, the number of people with >30km
commutes who are just waiting for a better bicycle before they adopt
that mode of commute can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand
worldwide, and maybe even without going past the thumb...

What really could make a difference, and does not require any
technological miracles, is acceptance of they bicycle as a practical
means of transport over modest distances (say up to 5 miles, which
covers 75% of car trips in the UK). That is primarily a social issue,
not a technological one. In my experience, most people who say "I would
love to ride a bicycle, if only problem (insert arbitrary reason) was
solved" actually mean "I don't want to ride a bicycle and am
regurgitating the most socially acceptable/convenient excuse".

James

JeffRubinoff

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Sep 9, 2008, 5:11:50 AM9/9/08
to globalchange


On Sep 9, 3:32 am, jdannan <james.an...@gmail.com> wrote:
> hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

...

> > It isn't enough to develop better bikes, I certainly agree with you
> > there. What I see though is that government must step in to deal with
> > the "network" side of things. Bicycles are dangerous, when they have
> > to share road space with cars doing 100 km/h. Build bicycle lanes and
> > make car drivers drive more slowly, and it's suddenly a lot less
> > dangerous. And there's safety in numbers. 1000 times as many bicycles
> > on the road doesn't multiply accidents by a factor 1000, not least
> > because car drivers learn about cyclists' behaviour.
>

...

> Well I agree that more speed restrictions in urban areas would be a good
> thing in general, but separate-but-equal (not) routes are generally not.
> The assumed danger of /sharing/ roads with motorised vehicles is rather
> small, and the danger of /intersecting/ such routes is much greater. So
> swapping some of the former for more of the latter is a bad move.
>
> You will note that in practice where separate-but-equal (not) facilities
> do exist, it is inevitably the cyclist that has to give way and take
> detours when a conflict occurs. That's not going to do much for your
> high-speed commute!
>

...

> What really could make a difference, and does not require any
> technological miracles, is acceptance of they bicycle as a practical
> means of transport over modest distances (say up to 5 miles, which
> covers 75% of car trips in the UK). That is primarily a social issue,
> not a technological one. In my experience, most people who say "I would
> love to ride a bicycle, if only problem (insert arbitrary reason) was
> solved" actually mean "I don't want to ride a bicycle and am
> regurgitating the most socially acceptable/convenient excuse".
>
> James

Do note that the suncycle site is in Dutch. The language of a flat
country where bicycles are the normal vehicle for short-range
commutes, bicycle lanes are ubiquitous (with their own traffic
signals), and auto drivers tend to be highly law abiding.

William Connolley

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Sep 9, 2008, 5:35:51 AM9/9/08
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2008/9/8 hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk <hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk>:

> A reduction from 1 hour down to 30 minutes is easily feasible. But
> this doesn't just require better bikes, it also requires good cycling
> infrastructure.

I think you're just agreeing with James. The better bikes part of /2
is negligible. Certainly for me, who has to do the two long sides of a
triangle, a new bike path is the answer...

> I also think the government can hammer motorists...

Sounds very like wishful thinking. Experiences here suggests that
hammering motorists in the name of anything at all scares politicians
witless (just witness our inability to get the over-70's (or even
over-80's) to retake driving tests).

-William

--
William M. Connolley | www.wmconnolley.org.uk | 07985 935400

Tom Adams

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Sep 9, 2008, 8:23:21 AM9/9/08
to globalchange


On Sep 7, 5:17 am, James Annan <james.an...@gmail.com> wrote:
> hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
> > What neither contains is research and market development money for
> > better bicycles, which would be high up my wish list.
>
> > I am talking about this kind of entirely human powered vehicle that's
> > significantly faster than ordinary bicycles
>
> >http://www.sunrider-cycles.com/foto-video/index.php
>
> > which I'd love to buy (certainly if it sold for less than 4900). I'd
> > say this a classical case of a market failure, where there is no
> > market because small series production and development costs are too
> > high, and where the state could create one given enough initial
> > incentives.
>
> I've been meaning to write about this for some time, so Heiko's prompt
> is a convenient nudge.
>
> Every so often someone comes up with a new "transport revolution" -
> there was the Sinclair C5, the Segway, and numerous bicycle designs and
> power attachments such ashttp://revopower.com/. Generally they are
> touted as solving the oil crisis, global warming and urban congestion
> all in one.
>
> But in practice these "solutions" actually seem to spend their miserable
> short existences looking for a suitable problem to solve. The
> inconvenient truth is that the world is not waiting for a better bicycle
> to solve its transportation problems, or even a better motor vehicle,
> and Michael's post points out one of the reasons why. The other reasons
> include the inherent laziness of 95% or more of the world's population,
> habit, social pressure and status. I like to think that many of these
> factors can potentially be changed, but they will certainly not be
> changed by a "better bicycle" that shaves perhaps 20 seconds off your 20
> minute commute.
>
> I'm sure they make good projects for engineering students, but I am
> amazed that people devote so much time and energy to solving a problem
> without actually thinking about what the problem is!
>
> (Perhaps it is overkill, but for the sake of completeness I might as
> well point out that the vehicle Heiko is interested in would undoubtedly
> be /slower/ on my commute.)
>

At UNC Chapel-Hill they have made it increasingly difficult to park
near where you work. As a result, most people have to take the bus
from an outlying lot even if they drive a car most of the way to
work. This destroys most of the advantages of driving to work.

I think this is the most effective way to discourage the use of cars
in favor of mass-transit. But I don't think it
would fly politically in many places.

JeffRubinoff

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Sep 10, 2008, 5:32:43 AM9/10/08
to globalchange


On Sep 9, 2:23 pm, Tom Adams <tadams...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Sep 7, 5:17 am, James Annan <james.an...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>

...

>
> At UNC Chapel-Hill they have made it increasingly difficult to park
> near where you work. As a result, most people have to take the bus
> from an outlying lot even if they drive a car most of the way to
> work. This destroys most of the advantages of driving to work.
>
> I think this is the most effective way to discourage the use of cars
> in favor of mass-transit. But I don't think it
> would fly politically in many places.

It's also not very nice.

James Annan

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Sep 10, 2008, 8:24:01 PM9/10/08
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Well, car drivers killing people isn't very nice, and we put up with 10
of them a day in the UK (I understand that the USA is far worse, as is
most of the rest of the world). Societies are obviously free to decide
how they wish to allocate resources, and the provision of free plentiful
parking is of course a huge hidden perk to the subset of people who use it.

In the UK, there have been moves to treat workplace parking explicitly
as a taxable perk. I don't know how far this plan has gone. Of course it
was met with predictable howls from the motoring lobby but I don't
really see how they can object to paying the costs of their choices. Car
parking is an extraordinarily wasteful use of land in expensive urban
areas, and spaces are offered to rent for up to 3000ukp per year in
central London (I could probably find higher prices if I tried). I'd be
very happy to pocket that much extra salary and ride a bicycle instead.
Even where land is cheap, imposing additional travel time and cost on
others is still a factor that needs to be considered.

Ah, google tells me that Nottingham is planning to introduce this levy
shortly, and it will ramp up to 350 UKP per year by 2010. I'm sure that
a pound per day is substantially less than the cost of commercial car
parks in the area, and they won't even be at more than 70% occupancy.

James

William Connolley

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Sep 11, 2008, 3:34:46 AM9/11/08
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2008/9/11 James Annan <james...@gmail.com>:

> In the UK, there have been moves to treat workplace parking explicitly
> as a taxable perk. I don't know how far this plan has gone. Of course it
> was met with predictable howls from the motoring lobby...

Not just the motoring lobby, but everyone, because predicatably enough
firms don't want the overhead of working out who drives, so the easy
fix is to just charge everyone, which really winds people up.

-W-the-incompetent

James Annan

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Sep 11, 2008, 3:42:49 AM9/11/08
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William Connolley wrote:
> 2008/9/11 James Annan <james...@gmail.com>:
>> In the UK, there have been moves to treat workplace parking explicitly
>> as a taxable perk. I don't know how far this plan has gone. Of course it
>> was met with predictable howls from the motoring lobby...
>
> Not just the motoring lobby, but everyone, because predicatably enough
> firms don't want the overhead of working out who drives, so the easy
> fix is to just charge everyone, which really winds people up.

Really? I've certainly heard of cases of firms threatening to pass the
charge on to the motons in their staff. Of course there is potentially
the issue of occasional occupancy, but an increasing number of employers
use pay-parking anyway where the tax could be covered by the daily
charge. If I was charged for a parking space I would permanently park up
one of these in it, and at least get some enjoyment out of it:

http://www.artcars.com/gardencar/index.html

But then again a bit of civil disobedience probably doesn't go down so
well in the corporate (mono)culture...

James

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 11, 2008, 12:12:47 PM9/11/08
to globalchange
> You will note that in practice where separate-but-equal (not) facilities
> do exist, it is inevitably the cyclist that has to give way and take
> detours when a conflict occurs. That's not going to do much for your
> high-speed commute!

In the Netherlands, a separate bike path isn't used as an exuse to
force the cyclist to always give way.

I wonder why William writes about taking the two long ends of a
triangle; if my experience in Birmingham is anything to go by, the
short end is a busy road rather than say a field.

> I'm surprised you are so slow if the route is flat and clear. If it is
> hilly and congested then a spiffy design isn't going to make any
> significant difference.

I suppose I need a better bike ... I live in North Holland and this is
as flat as it gets, the cycle route has 5 km long stretches in it
without a crossing.

The bike I am using cost me 300 Euros, and it's got some accessories
(eg a bag where I keep a rain coat, some connections for a child seat
and a trailer).

I overtake the vast majority of cyclists when I got to work on my
bike. The only people overtaking me on a bike do so on racing bikes in
tight biker's clothing. Maybe they are also in better shape than I am.

> say up to 5 miles, which
> covers 75% of car trips in the UK

10 trips of 1 mile may be ten times as many trips as one trip of 100
miles, but ...

> "I would
> love to ride a bicycle, if only problem (insert arbitrary reason) was
> solved" actually mean "I don't want to ride a bicycle and am
> regurgitating the most socially acceptable/convenient excuse".

There's a big difference between the amount of cycling I do here in
the Netherlands and what I did in the UK. I bet that a great many more
Brits would cycle, if they had Dutch cycle infrastructure at their
disposal.

James Annan

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Sep 11, 2008, 6:06:11 PM9/11/08
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hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
>> You will note that in practice where separate-but-equal (not) facilities
>> do exist, it is inevitably the cyclist that has to give way and take
>> detours when a conflict occurs. That's not going to do much for your
>> high-speed commute!
>
> In the Netherlands, a separate bike path isn't used as an exuse to
> force the cyclist to always give way.

What happens when the main road (with parallel bike path) intersects a
minor side road? That sort of crossing is the main site of danger where
even if priority is theoretically given to the path, cars leaving the
main road will still often cut across without paying attention.

> I wonder why William writes about taking the two long ends of a
> triangle; if my experience in Birmingham is anything to go by, the
> short end is a busy road rather than say a field.

In my experience, the only useful examples of cycling infrastructure are
things like shortcuts through areas closed to motor vehicles, or
contraflows in one-way-systems, which are usually designed on the basis
that a mile detour and a hill are a negligible price to pay for less
complex junctions (on a bicycle, the reverse is obviously true).

In practice, these shortcuts don't always need to be made, merely
tolerated :-) But that depends on the situation on the ground.


> I overtake the vast majority of cyclists when I got to work on my
> bike. The only people overtaking me on a bike do so on racing bikes in
> tight biker's clothing. Maybe they are also in better shape than I am.

You won't go at 30kmh without expending substantial amounts of effort,
whatever the bicycle. That is, it will be an athletic workout, not just
a commute. Of course this brings great health benefits, but still may
not suit everyone. In fact a 35km commute is further than I would be
prepared to cycle on a daily basis, and I'm an evangelist with two
decades of regular cycle commuting under my belt and a sporting background.

>
>> say up to 5 miles, which
>> covers 75% of car trips in the UK
>
> 10 trips of 1 mile may be ten times as many trips as one trip of 100
> miles, but ...

It is also 10 times as many cars in the town centre. Of course the real
distribution of trips is much narrower than that, with a lot of travel
in the 2-10 mile range (where people are not cycling but easily could).


>
>> "I would
>> love to ride a bicycle, if only problem (insert arbitrary reason) was
>> solved" actually mean "I don't want to ride a bicycle and am
>> regurgitating the most socially acceptable/convenient excuse".
>
> There's a big difference between the amount of cycling I do here in
> the Netherlands and what I did in the UK. I bet that a great many more
> Brits would cycle, if they had Dutch cycle infrastructure at their
> disposal.

That's a widely held delusion (IMO), fostered by the politically
acceptable excuse that "I would love to ride a bicycle, if only they
would build more paths". Actually, paths are notably more dangerous and
less convenient, with the exception of occasional short-cuts (better
standards might help, but better standards mean fewer paths, which is
why the standards are so low and rarely even met).

Where cycling is popular, this generally long predates any significant
infrastructure installation - that is, the infrastructure follows the
cycling rather than causing it. Feynmann and cargo cults come to mind here..

Meanwhile, it is considered quite natural and acceptable for moderate
commentators in the mainstream media to write things like

"What’s smug and deserves to be decapitated?"

"A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing
piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists"

and indeed cyclists do face this hazard not infrequently, although of
course the location of choice is separate bicycle paths rather than roads.

While such hate speech (and Parris is hardly a rabid mate-monger of
habit, indeed he left the Tories due to their homophobic tendencies) is
considered normal conversation in polite company, there's a large
constituency who will not consider cycling, and a significant minority
who will consider it acceptable to harass and assault cyclists.

Like I said, the issue is social attitudes, not infrastructure.

James

William Connolley

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Sep 11, 2008, 6:12:49 PM9/11/08
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2008/9/11 James Annan <james...@gmail.com>:

> You won't go at 30kmh without expending substantial amounts of effort,
> whatever the bicycle. That is, it will be an athletic workout, not just
> a commute.

Which brings in the obvious fact that a shower at work makes a huge difference.

I have one, so I can cycle fast and get sweaty on the way in. My wife
doesn't, so she can't.

(I also have co-workers who will tolerate me being sweaty for 30 mins
while I cool down).

-W.

Don Libby

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Sep 11, 2008, 6:36:18 PM9/11/08
to global...@googlegroups.com
From: "James Annan" <james...@gmail.com>
Newsgroups: gmane.science.general.global-change
To: <global...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 5:06 PM
Subject: [Global Change: 2882] Re: Solving the wrong problem

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
>>> You will note that in practice where separate-but-equal (not) facilities
>>> do exist, it is inevitably the cyclist that has to give way and take
>>> detours when a conflict occurs. That's not going to do much for your
>>> high-speed commute!
>>
>> In the Netherlands, a separate bike path isn't used as an exuse to
>> force the cyclist to always give way.
>

>In my experience, the only useful examples of cycling infrastructure are
>things like shortcuts through areas closed to motor vehicles, or

Here is an example of overly complex, overly expensive cycling
infrastructure of dubious utility from my home town: a solar-powered bicycle
path (no joke).
http://www2.fpm.wisc.edu/trans/tdm/TransportationOptions.htm

-dl

Michael Tobis

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Sep 11, 2008, 7:11:09 PM9/11/08
to global...@googlegroups.com
We've had this discussion before, but it seems particularly germane, so...

I will not bicycle the last 100 yards to the gate to my workplace; it
would be suicidal. I have discussed this with others. One woman who
comes from the same direction as I do was seriously considering
parking her car a half mile from the campus, then habitually biking to
her parking place, and driving the last half mile.

Yes, there is pavement. It is risky enough in a car, though.

Two lanes each way, plus a center left-turn "chicken" lane which must
be entered at speed, and sometimes must cope with a competing user
coming the other way, plus driveways off to the right on both sides.
Lots of lane changes at high speeds. No shoulder, no sidewalk. The
grassy areas on both sides could easily contain a bike lane but I am
told they are owned by the Texas Department of Transportation, for
whom the influence of non-motorized traffic is nil.

There are various other spots on my commute that are almost as bad.

The idea that bicycles could calm this sort of traffic is unrealistic.
Texas is large and Texas vehicles are large. As a consequence of large
vehicles traveling long distances on straight roads with narrow safety
margins, there is a lot of momentum involved here. Taking up a traffic
lane on a road like this with a bicycle at bicycle speeds is not safe.

mt

James Annan

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Sep 11, 2008, 9:27:28 PM9/11/08
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William Connolley wrote:
> 2008/9/11 James Annan <james...@gmail.com>:
>> You won't go at 30kmh without expending substantial amounts of effort,
>> whatever the bicycle. That is, it will be an athletic workout, not just
>> a commute.
>
> Which brings in the obvious fact that a shower at work makes a huge difference.
>

It can do.......but....it's often another of those "I would cycle if
only..." excuses. I wonder how many of the schoolchildren who cycle to
school (of which there are still actually quite a large number in the
UK, even if it doesn't seem that way) have a shower after arrival.

I never had a shower in the UK (I mean...I never had one available at my
workplace!) - a lot can be achieved quickly and easily with a damp cloth
in a toilet cubicle, for example. In Japan in the summer, it is a
different matter - but the people who have an hour on a packed train and
10 minutes walking in full sun at each end need a shower as much as any
British cyclist is likely to!

James

James Annan

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Sep 11, 2008, 9:57:39 PM9/11/08
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Well I agree that "car is king" design can certainly lead to a very
hostile environment for cycling, and if attitudes are entrenched that
bicycles are toys to be put on the roof and carried to "leisure
facilities" at the weekend, then little is likely to change.

A quick glance at teh google suggests that your employer could possibly
ameliorate one part of the problem by opening a gate to the campus off
one of the quieter side streets. Or to put in another way, they could
just pull down the huge fence that makes the campus entirely
inaccessible apart from a couple of entrances off major roads :-) More
realistically, assuming the reason for the fence is that they are
paranoid about security and unwilling to man what would be a little-used
gate, a simple solution would be to install a small locked gate for
which regular users could apply for a key. It would only solve the
problem in one spot of course, but these little things can make a large
difference.

In fact there already *is* a gate at the top of Niels Thompson Drive,
with what looks like a disused entrance guard. Of course then there is
the issue of how to get to Niels Thompson Drive :-)

James

Michael Tobis

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Sep 11, 2008, 10:52:19 PM9/11/08
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The sole purpose of the fence is to inconvenience employees. Potential
trespassers have easy workarounds which I won't enumerate here.

mt

Tom Adams

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Sep 12, 2008, 9:06:52 AM9/12/08
to globalchange
Well here's Palin on Global Warming from yesterday's debate:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-roberts/palin-maintains-global-wa_b_125880.html

Sorry to use such a flaming liberal site, but it's the first I turned
up with what appears to be a full transcript of the Q&A on global
warming>

Palin says GW "can be" man-made and man "is potentially causing" GW.

I am sure that admitting the theoretical possibility is going to
confuse almost everyone. It even worked on the interviewer Gibson,
one of the top newmen in the USA who immediately said: "now you're
beginning to say it is man-made".

William Connolley

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Sep 12, 2008, 9:36:48 AM9/12/08
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2008/9/12 Tom Adams <tada...@yahoo.com>:
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-roberts/palin-maintains-global-wa_b_125880.html

> Palin says GW "can be" man-made and man "is potentially causing" GW.
>
> I am sure that admitting the theoretical possibility is going to
> confuse almost everyone. It even worked on the interviewer Gibson,
> one of the top newmen in the USA who immediately said: "now you're
> beginning to say it is man-made".

I'm puzzled. What are you trying to analyse? It seems to me that what
Palin is saying about GW reflects more what she thinks her audience
wants to hear than what she believes. Unless you're saying she is a
truth-from-the-heart politico who says what she means and means what
she says?

Her audience doesn't *want* to hear her saying "GW is real; we're
causing it; we need to do something about it NOW". Her audience is
very happy with obfustication. If they can't understand it, thats
great - then they don't have to do anything. As long as they get the
idea that no great sacrifices are going to be required, they will be
happy with her.

-William

Tom Adams

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Sep 12, 2008, 10:32:43 AM9/12/08
to globalchange


On Sep 12, 9:36 am, "William Connolley" <wmconnol...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 2008/9/12 Tom Adams <tadams...@yahoo.com>:
>
> >http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-roberts/palin-maintains-global-wa...
> > Palin says GW "can be" man-made and man "is potentially causing" GW.
>
> > I am sure that admitting the theoretical possibility is going to
> > confuse almost everyone.  It even worked on the interviewer Gibson,
> > one of the top newmen in the USA who immediately said: "now you're
> > beginning to say it is man-made".
>
> I'm puzzled. What are you trying to analyse? It seems to me that what
> Palin is saying about GW reflects more what she thinks her audience
> wants to hear than what she believes. Unless you're saying she is a
> truth-from-the-heart politico who says what she means and means what
> she says?
>
> Her audience doesn't *want* to hear her saying "GW is real; we're
> causing it; we need to do something about it NOW". Her audience is
> very happy with obfustication. If they can't understand it, thats
> great - then they don't have to do anything. As long as they get the
> idea that no great sacrifices are going to be required, they will be
> happy with her.
>
> -William
>
> --
> William M. Connolley |www.wmconnolley.org.uk| 07985 935400

The Huffington post is just trying to make it clear that she is still
expressing more skepticism than her running mate.

As for your analysis, I am not sure what you mean by "her audience".

If she said global warming is man-made, then she risks losing some of
the denier vote in the Republican base.

If she continued to express disbelief, then she could loses some swing
voters in the middle.

She fooled Gibson (the interviewer, at least in real-time) in thinking
that she said global warming was man-made. But, actually, she did
not really do that, and the deniers will know that. Masterful.

(BTW, I actually feel like an expert relative to William on US
politics. I don't think I have every felt that way when posting here.)

William Connolley

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Sep 12, 2008, 10:59:30 AM9/12/08
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2008/9/12 Tom Adams <tada...@yahoo.com>:

The people she wants to vote for her, possibly mediated by reportage.

> She fooled Gibson (the interviewer, at least in real-time) in thinking
> that she said global warming was man-made. But, actually, she did
> not really do that, and the deniers will know that. Masterful.

Ah. You don't think she confused almost everyone, then?

Tom Adams

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Sep 12, 2008, 11:17:04 AM9/12/08
to globalchange
On Sep 12, 10:59 am, "William Connolley" <wmconnol...@gmail.com>
You nailed me!

The deniers will see that she did not admit that global warming is man-
made.

She will confuse those mildly interested in the issue, who are not
going to look closely at what she is saying. That might be almost
every swing voter.

>
> -William
>
> --
> William M. Connolley |www.wmconnolley.org.uk| 07985 935400- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Tom Adams

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Sep 12, 2008, 2:58:22 PM9/12/08
to globalchange
On Sep 12, 9:06 am, Tom Adams <tadams...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Sep 8, 9:04 am, Tom Adams <tadams...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > On Sep 7, 12:13 pm, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
> > wrote:
>
> > > > > Maybe she's been misquoted.
>
> > > Ok, she clearly hasn't.
>
> > The news is saying that she be interviewed on ABC later
> > this week.
>
> > Perhaps she will be asked about her disbelief that global warming is
> > man-made.  And also about her desire to outlaw abortions for 13-year-
> > old girls who have been raped by their fathers or brothers.
>
> Well here's Palin on Global Warming from yesterday's debate:
>
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-roberts/palin-maintains-global-wa...
>
> Sorry to use such a flaming liberal site, but it's the first I turned
> up with what appears to be a full transcript of the Q&A on global
> warming>
>
> Palin says GW "can be" man-made and man "is potentially causing" GW.
>
> I am sure that admitting the theoretical possibility is going to
> confuse almost everyone.  It even worked on the interviewer Gibson,
> one of the top newmen in the USA who immediately said: "now you're
> beginning to say it is man-made".

Huffington cut the last answer short:

"I think you are a cynic," Palin said, "because show me where I've
said there's absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted
or engaged in has had any effect or no effect on climate change."

Huffington left out:

"I have not said that. I have said that my belief is there is a
cyclical nature of our planet — warming trends, cooling trends — I'm
not going to argue scientists because I believe in science and have
such a great respect for what they are telling us. I'm not going to
disagree with the point that they make that man's activities can be
attributed to changes."

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/palin-flip-flop.html

So she does not disagree "that man's activites can be attributed to
changes." Are there some scientist publishing evidence that the IPCC
activities are caused by global warming?

Is that a garbled recant of her earlier denial?

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 12, 2008, 3:57:09 PM9/12/08
to globalchange
> What happens when the main road (with parallel bike path) intersects a
> minor side road? That sort of crossing is the main site of danger where
> even if priority is theoretically given to the path, cars leaving the
> main road will still often cut across without paying attention.

It depends, I like it best when the crossing is simultaneously a speed
bump for cars, is in red and with big markings indicating priority for
the cycle path.

> That's a widely held delusion (IMO), fostered by the politically
> acceptable excuse that "I would love to ride a bicycle, if only they
> would build more paths".

Maybe bike paths are really death traps, but I can tell you that I
feel much, much safer here than I did in Birmingham. And while I may
suffer from delusions about my safety, I cycle a lot more here.

Let me give you one example of what I hated about cycle riding in
England. Going to uni via the shortest route, I'd cycle along a road
with cars parked, like 100 m no cars parked, then two parked, then 30
m no parked cars and so forth for a few kilometres. Guess what every
time I got to one of those parked cars, I essentially was expected to
stop and wait until the traffic had passed, maybe not everybody
expected that, but the lady who nearly knocked me off my bike told me
so to my face. And getting off the bike every 50 m to walk a few steps
across the pavement, or waiting 5 minutes for a break in the
traffic ... well, I might as well walk.

James Annan

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Sep 12, 2008, 5:43:49 PM9/12/08
to global...@googlegroups.com
hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
>> What happens when the main road (with parallel bike path) intersects a
>> minor side road? That sort of crossing is the main site of danger where
>> even if priority is theoretically given to the path, cars leaving the
>> main road will still often cut across without paying attention.
>
> It depends, I like it best when the crossing is simultaneously a speed
> bump for cars, is in red and with big markings indicating priority for
> the cycle path.

There's one of those on Barton Road in Cambridge. I didn't cycle that
much in Cambridge, but managed to have a crash there when the gaggle of
cyclists coming the other way didn't keep to their side (it is marked
for 2-way use). I was trying to see if it was reasonable to ride as fast
as I would do on the road (roughly 20mph). It reallly isn't.

With regard to "feeling safer", if you aren't feeling a little
apprehensive every time you cross a driveway or side road on one of
these paths, you should be! Certainly in the UK, drivers will not pay
the same attention to these little-used paths with insignifncant users
and poor sightlines as they would do when pulling onto a normal road
where there could be a lorry bearing down on them...

> Let me give you one example of what I hated about cycle riding in
> England. Going to uni via the shortest route, I'd cycle along a road
> with cars parked, like 100 m no cars parked, then two parked, then 30
> m no parked cars and so forth for a few kilometres. Guess what every
> time I got to one of those parked cars, I essentially was expected to
> stop and wait until the traffic had passed, maybe not everybody
> expected that, but the lady who nearly knocked me off my bike told me
> so to my face. And getting off the bike every 50 m to walk a few steps
> across the pavement, or waiting 5 minutes for a break in the
> traffic ... well, I might as well walk.

That's just a matter of correct road positioning and reasonably
assertive riding - the trick is to pull round the parked cars with
plenty of time. It helps if you can travel at a speed reasonably close
to the speed of cars and also are not riding in the gutter between the
obstacles. It is not a problem I can ever remember having had on a
regular basis, although I do occasionally get caught briefly behind
vehicles that stop suddenly (eg busses at bus stops) when I fail to
anticipate sufficiently well.

James

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 12, 2008, 5:29:45 PM9/12/08
to globalchange
> Is that a garbled recant of her earlier denial?

She's clearly not an expert on climate change. Maybe she would have
been better off learning the relevant passage in the IPCC summary for
policy makers by heart:
'Most of the observed increase in global average
temperatures since the mid-20th century is very
likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic
greenhouse gas concentrations.12 This is an
advance since the TAR’s conclusion that “most of
the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely
to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas
concentrations”.'

The IPCC don't use the word certain and they say "most of the observed
increase". And they refer to global average temperatures. The beauty
of that is it's a lot more precise than "Climate change is man made."

Let's look at foot note one of the IPCC AR4 summary for policy makers:

"Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over
time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human
activity. This usage differs from
that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed
directly or indirectly to
human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere
and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over
comparable time periods."

Taking the IPCC usage, I think you'd have to say something like
"Climate change can be man made or natural.", which also says nothing,
really you'd have to say "For some aspects of climate attribution
studies have found a discernible signal from anthropogenic causes over
and above natural climate variability."

And to be honest, I don't particularly like that either. The fact is
scientists believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, because its radiation
properties can be measured in the lab. That much is certain. It's also
certain that the vast majority of the recent increase in CO2
concentration is due to anthropogenic emissions. We've emitted more
than has accumulated in the atmosphere. That is also 100% certain.

It's when it gets to question such as whether hurricane damage would
be higher in 2100 if we emitted enough to have a CO2 concentration of
550 ppm compared to 350 ppm where things begin to get murkier.

Now, I am biased, I like Sarah Palin, I think she'll take a pragmatic
line, I take her statements to mean that she is sceptical of some of
the doom mongering language, but convinced some action should be
taken. Or in other words, I think she'd sign sensible climate change
legislation from Congress. She'll certainly be happier with oil
drilling than Democrats and I suspect she'd sign off nukes more
happily than the average Democrat. If I was an American (which I am
not), and she was the candidate for President (rather than just VP),
I'd vote for her over Obama or Biden or A Generic Democrat, even if
the only topic American Presidents had any say in was climate change.
There's a near 50/50 split in the American electorate and while in the
centre the differences aren't large, I do usually tend towards the
Republican viewpoint on energy and environmental policy. Though not
always, I'd be happy enough with 10 Dollar a gallon gasoline and
automatic speed limiter enforced speed limits of 20 miles per hour in
cities, but then again I haven't heard many elected Democrats push too
hard for those kinds of position either... And if it was Hillary
Clinton rather than A Generic Democrat, I might actually go for her;
at least her husband seemed quite pragmatic to me as a President
(don't forget I am not an expert on American politics and I can't vote
anyway).

Tom Adams

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Sep 12, 2008, 8:17:31 PM9/12/08
to globalchange


On Sep 12, 5:29 pm, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:
I will improve your expertise on American politics by informing you
that less than a month ago Palin sat calmly through a talk at her
church where the speaker said that the recent random killing of Jews
with a bulldozer was a judgement from God.

Anyway, I can't tell if you got my earlier point: She literally
admitted that man's activities can be attributed to climate change,
not that climate change can be attributed to man's activities.

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 13, 2008, 3:28:33 AM9/13/08
to globalchange
> Anyway, I can't tell if you got my earlier point: She literally
> admitted that man's activities can be attributed to climate change,
> not that climate change can be attributed to man's activities.

I can read all right. She mangled up that sentence.

hgerh...@yahoo.co.uk

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Sep 13, 2008, 3:42:26 AM9/13/08
to globalchange


> Certainly in the UK, drivers will not pay
> the same attention to these little-used paths with insignifncant users
> and poor sightlines as they would do when pulling onto a normal road
> where there could be a lorry bearing down on them...

There's a big difference in driver behaviour between the UK and the
Netherlands. It's partially that there are so many more cyclists here
(safety in numbers), and partially that there is a presumption that
the car driver is at fault unless proven otherwise.

The problem I had in the UK was that some car drivers would check
whether there was a lorry or a car, and if it was just a bike, presume
they'd have priority, because I guess they figures that bikes never
get priority.

It might also be that inner city Birmingham is particularly bad, and
drivers elsewhere in the UK are a little better behaved.

About the passing parked cars point, riding assertively only goes so
far, if enough drivers are substantially more assertive than you are...

Tom Adams

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Sep 14, 2008, 8:53:16 AM9/14/08
to globalchange
Here's something on how she interacts with her climate change sub-
cabinet:

http://www.kentucky.com/518/story/522846.html

Hartig said Palin had been completely supportive of her sub-cabinet's
work, even as she has shown a "healthy skepticism" in meetings on the
subject. He said she relies on her department heads for information,
rather than steeping herself in the scientific arguments.

"The kind of questions she asks that show skepticism are the kinds of
questions a person on the street asks," Hartig said.

On Sep 3, 6:51 pm, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:
> Sarah Palin's official website as governor has this:
>
> http://www.gov.state.ak.us/admin-orders/238.html
>
> http://www.climatechange.alaska.gov/cc-ak.htm

Tom Adams

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Oct 1, 2008, 8:16:47 AM10/1/08
to globalchange


On Sep 13, 3:28 am, "hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk" <hgerhau...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:
And now she has done it again!

"I’m not going to solely blame all of man’s activities on changes in
climate."

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/10/sarah-palin-dis.html

Alastair

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Oct 1, 2008, 4:18:48 PM10/1/08
to globalchange
But she is saying what middle America want to hear. What's wrong with
that?

Cheers, Alastair.

Tom Adams

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Oct 3, 2008, 8:31:33 AM10/3/08
to globalchange
If you have to ask that question, I think the proper syntax in this
context is: "What's that wrong with?"

She has an appeal to the social conservative right wing of the
Republican party, mainly because of abortion, guns, and Christianity.
That may be one definition of Middle America, but, unfortunately for
McCain, she is not doing well with the true middle of the electorate,
the swing voters.

She garbled her syntax on climate change again in the debate:

"I'm not one to attribute every man -- activity of man to the changes
in the climate."

This consistent "Palinism" (as they are being called) is interesting.
Not sure what to make of it.

Curiously, she is claiming the cause does not matter to the solution
of climate change. I had never heard anyone express that idea before
Palin.

Alastair

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Oct 3, 2008, 12:53:23 PM10/3/08
to globalchange
She is saying what Joe six pack and the hockey moms want to hear.
What's wrong with that? You live in a democracy. Are you saying that
they should not vote for who they support?

Or do you think that democracy, like the free market, is going to lead
us to disaster?

Cheers, Alastair.

Tom Adams

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Oct 4, 2008, 8:22:51 AM10/4/08
to globalchange
> Cheers, Alastair.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Well, Obama seems well ahead, so my views are not at odds with the
projected electoral college results. And, the fact one supports an
relatively unpopular candidate like Palin does not make you anti-
democracy.

The USA is a republic, far from a direct democracy, BTW. A vote in
Wyoming has about 40 times more impact than one in California.
Similar to the original republic, Rome, where a rich voter had a much
larger impact than a poor one. The big empty states in the US have
outsized impact. It's a result of the deal to pass the Constitution
back in 1787, won't bore you with the details.

The uneven representation in the Senate and Presidential elections
probably has the effect of making it harded to do anything about
global warming in the USA.

Alastair

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Oct 4, 2008, 1:34:48 PM10/4/08
to globalchange


On Oct 4, 12:22 pm, Tom Adams <tadams...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> The USA is a republic, far from a direct democracy, BTW. A vote in
> Wyoming has about 40 times more impact than one in California.
> Similar to the original republic, Rome, where a rich voter had a much
> larger impact than a poor one. The big empty states in the US have
> outsized impact. It's a result of the deal to pass the Constitution
> back in 1787, won't bore you with the details.

Actually, there was a program on the BBC's Radio 4 on Wednesday which
talked about that.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00dnb92
For other programs in America week see:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/america/

> The uneven representation in the Senate and Presidential elections
> probably has the effect of making it harded to do anything about
> global warming in the USA.

My disgust with with democracy is only partly due to the fact that the
future of the world and of me will be decided by the votes of
Americans. They only represent less than 5% of the global population
and are outnumbered by me and my fellow Europeans by a ratio of more
than two to one. So much for one man one vote!

From what you say it seems that who ever is elected president will not
be able to get measures through Congress to prevent CCC (climatic
change catastrophe.)

Waur a' doomed,

Cheers, Alastair.

Don Libby

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Oct 4, 2008, 5:21:50 PM10/4/08
to global...@googlegroups.com
From: "Alastair" <a...@abmcdonald.freeserve.co.uk>
Newsgroups: gmane.science.general.global-change
To: "globalchange" <global...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2008 12:34 PM
Subject: [Global Change: 2917] Re: Republican Party Platform on Climate
Change


> From what you say it seems that who ever is elected president will not
> be able to get measures through Congress to prevent CCC (climatic
> change catastrophe.)

Both candidates support cap & trade plus conservation/efficiency & alt
energy, including nuclear. What the US and EU/UK do has little to do with
the climate future: that depends much more on what China/India do.
Fortunately US will be helping India displace some coal with nuclear due to
successful passage of a trade bill through Congress last week.

-dl

John Fernbach

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Oct 4, 2008, 8:04:09 PM10/4/08
to global...@googlegroups.com
Churchill got it right, I think: democracy is the worst conceivable form of government, except for all the others.  It's also unclear that the US would be more progressive on global climate change if we had some other form of government and the same economic institutions:  eg a big coal industry with considerable reserves in the ground, an historically powerful petroleum industry, ditto auto industry, and a relatively recent experience with conquering other peoples along an expanding frontier.
 
The fact that we're such a big nation, and so sparsely settled in most states west of the Mississippi, also tends to make us unusually dependent on gasoline-guzzling automobile transport and jet airline travel.  That means all too many of us have a seemingly rational short-term interest in perpetuating heavy use of fossil fuels, no matter the impacts on the rest of the world and our own posterity.
 
Would an enlightened autocracy, given a national economy like this, opt for any better climate policies than those preferred by the Bush administration under our so-called democracy?  It seems doubtful; in any cases we're stuck with the economy and the form of government we have, and it's speculative to imagine that some other system might work better for us.
--- On Sat, 10/4/08, Tom Adams <tada...@yahoo.com> wrote:

John Fernbach

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Oct 4, 2008, 8:18:15 PM10/4/08
to global...@googlegroups.com


--- On Wed, 10/1/08, Alastair <a...@abmcdonald.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
From: Alastair <a...@abmcdonald.freeserve.co.uk>
Subject: [Global Change: 2909] Re: Republican Party Platform on Climate Change
To: "globalchange" <global...@googlegroups.com>
How do we know "middle America" wants to hear this?  It
depends on how you define "middle America," I think, and 
even then I don't know just how you would measure their
preferences.
 
Palin is certainly saying what some powerful American 
industries and the power brokers in the Republican Party
want to hear.  
 
As a Yank who hails from "middle America," I imagine
a good many people who belong to the broad American middle 
class, or who think they belong to it, want to continue denying
the evidence for climate change as well. 
 
But it's not at all clear to me just what "middle America"
thinks in  any detail, partly because extremely wealthy
individual and corporate donors to political campaigns
and the rather wealthy owners of the mainstream mass
 
media outlets tend to shape public discourse in the
United States.  
 
Dissenting views on the left and the right tend to get eclipsed; moreover
many Americans don't vote, and thus there is no reliable way of telling
just what their political ideas are.  That can sometimes make
it hard to tell just who is supporting any given politician, 
whether we're talking about Palin or Obama, and hard to tell
just what "middle America" is thinking about a controversial
topic like global climate change.

Tom Adams

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Oct 5, 2008, 7:19:41 AM10/5/08
to globalchange
McCain has been indicating he is against and for mandatory caps:

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/06/17/does_john_mccain_know_what_hes/

Not sure what he would do a President. Many of his key people are
against mandatory caps.

Of course, Democrats have found it impossible to get much climate
change legislation passed in the past, found it hard to get popular
support.

Don Libby

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Oct 5, 2008, 7:50:12 AM10/5/08
to global...@googlegroups.com
From: "Tom Adams" <tada...@yahoo.com>

Newsgroups: gmane.science.general.global-change
To: "globalchange" <global...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 6:19 AM
Subject: [Global Change: 2924] Re: Republican Party Platform on Climate
Change

>


>Of course, Democrats have found it impossible to get much climate
>change legislation passed in the past, found it hard to get popular
>support.

Leadership is about making unpopular choices, not following the herd.
Lieberman's cap and trade bill went down in flames, but if at first you
don't succeed, try, try again.

-dl

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