Posts Tagged ‘global warming’


John Olver says:
Why did we get an electric vehicle (EV)?

Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Why did we get an electric vehicle (EV)?

The most compelling reason for the purchase is that we strongly believe fossil fuel use must be reduced for many reasons and EV’s are one of the biggest changes we can make at the individual level to meet that need. The UK’s Department of energy and climate change says that to hold global warming to less than 2C, among other things “There would need be hundreds of millions of electric cars on the road by 2050, and the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of electricity would need to fall by at least 90%.” (BBC News 28Jan2015) So the need for EV’s and the need to power them with solar is obvious

By coupling our EV to a few solar panels we have decoupled ourselves from the corner gasoline station and from the gas fired power plant that provides electricity to the Monterey Bay area. Since we were going to buy a new car the decision to go EV translates to a much smaller carbon footprint for our household.

We also wanted to press for change at the societal level and supporting the budding EV industry seemed like a good way to achieve that goal. Nissan’s Leaf is an excellent EV and hybrid’s are certainly a step in the right direction. But neither of them caught the public’s attention the way Tesla has with the Model S. It’s been just three years since the Model S came on the market and major auto builders around the world have been forced to respond with EV’s of their own. Porsche, Kia, Volkswagen, Fiat, Mitsubishi, Diamler, Honda, BMW, Ford, Toyota, GM, Nissan as well as new auto companies either have entered the EV market or are just about to do so. The first company to offer a 200 mile per charge car for under $40K US will sell a lot of cars.

Not many years ago Toyota came out with the Prius. Nay sayers scoffed but now every manufacturer has a line of hybrid vehicles. The Nay sayers are at it again but the industry seems to be saying that EV’s are here to stay. Battery technology will advance and so will solar power technology. As these technologies advance the prices will fall and sales will rise.

The future of driving is as bright as the sun

Mini E recharging in the UK

Mini E recharging in the UK

4Comments | Post your own comment

  • Jack Olver comments:
    "I second all of Roger’s reasons. Next month it will have been a year since I visited a gas station – don’t miss it a bit. Yes, the regenerative braking is great. It’s amazing how little I use the brake pedal. I’m due to bring Mr. T in for a yearly check up in late March. The service folks will probably refill the windshield washer fluid for me. And by the way, having Mr. T’s abilities upgraded from time to time while I sleep is very nice. "
    February 13, 2015 a 8:43 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "Roger what colour is yours and where do you charge it ? "
    February 7, 2015 a 11:19 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "as a leaf owner I can only echo the story that ev is here to stay and will grow hugely as all the technologies improve.
    By the way in the UK we have gone in 18 months from 500 to over 5000 charging points to make the ELECTRIC HIGHWAY a reality. "

    February 7, 2015 a 11:16 am

  • Roger Manley comments:
    "Hi John, beyond the reasons you mentioned I also bought the Tesla Model S for a few others. My 5 KWH photovoltaic system provides lots of power etc. But it is an awesome car. It looks great, drives well, and just puts a smile on your face as you pass by the gas stations. I have just under 8,000 miles and had no scheduled services since there isn’t anything specifically to service on an EV on a regular basis. I doubt I will ever have to replace the brakes because of the regenerative braking system, but I may have to add windshield wiper fluid and have to change the tires a few years down the road. So besides doing it for all the “right” reasons you can still have a very safe automobile that is very fun to drive. "
    February 6, 2015 a 4:20 pm


Erik Blakeley says:
What Pause in Global Warming?

Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,

What Pause in Global Warming?

I have recently been engaged in frankly a rather pointless online debate with a Climate Change Denier that took too much of my time and showed no signs of being read by anyone else but the pair of us and he seemed entirely brainwashed by Denial propaganda, incapable of engaging with the basic science behind the issue and much preferred to just regurgitate the classic Denial nonsense. However it did prompt me to look again at one of the most important Climate Change Denial claims – the claim that there has been a pause in global warming since 1998. Now I thought this was just a case of one of those statistical blips and deviations from the trend line that you would expect in a set of scientific data covering over a century but on digging deeper I found that it is in fact such a mendacious misrepresentation of scientific data that it amounts to a huge lie by the Denial propagandists. Let me explain why.

The measurements cited by the Deniers are those that show that the mean surface temperature of the planet in 1998 is very much the same as it was in 2011-2013 based on findings by Prof Matt England of the University of New South Wales. Now, at first glance this seems very reasonable as a bit of data suggesting a pause in global warming but this is not the case.

Firstly is the surface temperature in isolation a reliable measure of “global warming”? No it is not. The planet can also warm as the deep oceans absorb heat, as the upper atmosphere absorbs heat and as heat is absorbed as the latent heats of fusion and vapourisation when ice decreases and the atmosphere carries more water vapour. These combined effects vary in their relative contribution to the overall global warming and therefore to claim that a pause or even a reversal in the data for any one of them in isolation means that global warming has stopped is false.

Secondly, it has always seemed to me odd that the Deniers are often so specific about there not having been any global warming since 1998. Not since the late 90s, not since 1997 and not since 1999. Why is 1998 special? It turns out it is. Not only can the deep oceans absorb heat, it appears that under certain conditions relating to winds and currents they can push heat back to the surface. This means that over and above the sort of natural spread of data discussed earlier some years can be warmer in terms of surface temperature than others regardless of the presence or absence of global warming. 1998 was a warm year. Therefore, if you specifically take 1998 as your base-line then the 15 years after it give data that either shows lower or broadly similar surface temperatures. If however you don’t cheat in this way the trend line, even in surface temperature in isolation, is in keeping with the predictions of climate change science.

Finally if you google “prof Matt England University of New South Wales” you will find some Climate Change Denial websites slagging him off because, much to their annoyance, he has spent quite a bit of time since publishing his data (perfectly good data in itself it turns out) telling people that Global Warming has not stopped and his data is being misrepresented.

So next time some Denier or wind NIMBY tells you that there has been no Global Warming in the last 15 years tell them they are talking rubbish!

I will leave the last word to Prof England in a quote I found on-line:
“Global warming has not stopped. People should understand that the planet is a closed system. As we increase our emissions of greenhouse gases, the fundamental thermal dynamics tells us we have added heat into the system. Once it’s trapped, it can go to a myriad of places – land surface, oceans, ice shelves, ice sheets, glaciers for example.”

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "As a post script I have just heard confirmation that 2014 was the warmest on record. Of course it is tempting to say “See global warming is back – 2014 is the proof” but of course the 2014 figures on their own are not proof. They do however act to confirm the upwards trend line and, combined with all the other factors that need considering make it very clear that global warming never stopped. We must nail this question of whether it is right to read too much into individual peaks and troughs. If we don’t the Climate Change Deniers will simply abuse the 2014 figures in the same way they abused the 1998 figures. It is very likely that 2015, 2016 etc will not be higher than 2014. This does not mean that global warming has stopped again. We need to keep looking at all of the factors and at the long term trend lines in those factors. "
    January 19, 2015 a 9:14 am

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