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Nice ride

U.S. government funds an Al Gore-backed company developing a $89,000 eco car


 

Fisker Automotive, a “tiny” California car company specializing in hybrid luxury vehicles backed by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, has received a US$529 million loan from the government, the Wall Street Journal reports. The California company is developing the US$89,000 Karma, a four-door, plug-in, electric hybrid with a lithium-ion battery slated to achieve 100 MPG fuel efficiency. Its audience, says car designer Henrik Fisker, is people like Gore (who has placed a down payment for one): wealthy, environmentally enlightened drivers looking for an eco-P.C. ride. Production is scheduled to start in December, with about 15,000 vehicles a year expected to hit the U.S. market starting next June. Already, the critics have weighed in. “This is not for average Americans,” said Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, an anti-tax group in Washington. “This is for people to put something in their driveway that is a conversation piece. It’s status symbol thing.” Fisker counters that the Karma will provide a prototype that will trickle to the masses, comparing the Karma to flat screen TVs that once cost $25,000.

The Wall Street Journal


 
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Nice ride

  1. Maybe Gore will park his new carbon-lite car next to his 100-foot, 2 gallon-per-hour houseboat so the two can carbon-offset each other.

    • Would you believe what Al Gore says about climate change if he got rid of his houseboat and so on and actually started living a low carbon footprint life?

      • i believe his message but then he lives a lifestyle different than his message …not suprising, he is only human …. if you are making a six or seven or eight figure income you will surely use more resources than regular people…whether you are al gore in a 10 000 foot house or David Suzuki and his two residences …and here i type this in my 500square foot apartment that only has a hydro bill of $20/month

      • No. The behaviour of the messenger has no bearing on the truth of the message.

        • Alright, you believe that Gore is a hypocrite, but you are willing and able to separate that hypocrisy from his message. Have I got that part right?

          As far as the message, you believe it entirely, partially or not at all?

        • Alright, you believe that Gore is a hypocrite, but you are willing and able to separate that hypocrisy from his message. Have I got that part right?

          As far as the message itself, you believe it entirely, partially or not at all?

          • That's right.

            As for the message itself, I've seen data showing that
            (a) the earth has been cooling for the last ten years (one NASA corrected for their initial error of duplicating September data for several Russian sectors rather than using October data),
            (b) CO2 levels historically lag global warming rather than precede them (i.e. Gore likely has the cause/effect reversed) and
            (c) we are currently coming out of a cool period in the earth's history, so some cyclical warming is likely in the next few centuries.

            Added to this, I think there is a politicized aspect to the inquiry. It was a popular fad and also part of the same agenda that led to the Global Cooling hysteria in the 70's, namely the Malthusian population control agenda of Ehrlich, Holder, et al. Consequently the entire ideology is suspect because it is not being pursued as an objective scientific inquiry.

            All that said, like you I believe that we should act responsibly by not polluting or destroying the environment regardless of whether there are consequences. But I don't think the Goresque CO2 paranoia is either true or helpful in any way.

          • That's right.

            As for the message itself, I've seen data showing that
            (a) the earth has cooled for the last ten years (once NASA corrected their original data-duplication error),
            (b) CO2 levels historically lag global warming (i.e. Gore likely has the cause/effect reversed) and
            (c) we're coming out of a cool period in earth's history so cyclical warming is likely in the next few centuries.

            Added to this, I think there is a politicized aspect to the inquiry. It is a popular fad and also part of the same agenda that led to the Global Cooling hysteria in the 70's, namely the Malthusian population control agenda of Ehrlich, Holder, et al. Consequently the entire ideology is suspect because it is not being pursued as an objective scientific inquiry. Whenever scientists have a vested interest in a result, or when politicians get involved, you can't trust the result they report without verifying it.

            All that said, like you I believe that we should act responsibly by not polluting or destroying the environment regardless of whether there are consequences. But I don't think the Goresque CO2 paranoia is either true or helpful in any way.

          • That's right.

            As for the message itself, I've seen data showing that
            (a) the earth has cooled for the last ten years (once NASA corrected their original data-duplication error),
            (b) CO2 levels historically lag global warming (i.e. Gore likely has the cause/effect reversed) and
            (c) we're coming out of a cool period in earth's history so cyclical warming is likely in the next few centuries.

            Added to this, I think there is a politicized aspect to the inquiry. It is a popular fad and also part of the same agenda that led to the Global Cooling hysteria in the 70's, namely the Malthusian population control agenda of Ehrlich, Holder, et al. Consequently the entire ideology is suspect because it is not being pursued as an objective scientific inquiry. Whenever scientists have a vested interest in a result, or when politicians get involved, you can't trust the reported result without verifying it.

            All that said, like you I believe that we should act responsibly by not polluting or destroying the environment any more than necessary. But I don't think the grotesque Goresque CO2 paranoia is either true or helpful in any way.

          • Well put!

          • I'll start by acknowledging the basic sentiment of your last paragraph.

            But I'm curious about some of the specifics. When you say that historically CO2 lags temperature changes I assume that you mean when you look at data from thousands / millions of years ago (ie primarily pre-industrial times). While recognizing that historical data is of great value, does that historically lagging relationship guarantee that a leading relationship is not possible under some circumstances?

            And regardless of whether past, present or future changes in CO2 and temperature happen to be lagging or leading, you do agree that – putting aside all of the positive and negative feedbacks – an increasing CO2 concentration does lead to an increase in trapped heat, no?

            BTW, what was the technical basis for the Global Cooling Hysteria?

          • I'll start by acknowledging the basic sentiment of your last paragraph.

            But I'm curious about some of the specifics. When you say that historically CO2 lags temperature changes I assume that you mean when you look at data from thousands / millions of years ago (ie primarily pre-industrial times). While recognizing that historical data is of great value, does that historically lagging relationship guarantee that a leading relationship is not possible under some circumstances?

            And regardless of whether past, present or future changes in CO2 and temperature happen to be lagging or leading, you do agree that – putting aside all of the positive and negative feedbacks and holding all other variables constant – an increasing CO2 concentration does lead to an increase in trapped heat, no?

            BTW, what was the technical basis for the Global Cooling Hysteria?

  2. You know, I don't think Sarah Palin is all that great, but AT LEAST she practices what she preaches. I'd be much more inclined to believe what she says as opposed to Mr. Enviro-fraud, Al Gore. What a crock!

    • she is a more old fashioned redneck …when not shooting her own food she probably dreams of drilling in alaskan wilderness instead of pushing people to use less which she probably sees as unamerican

    • Oh, I believe she believes what she's saying. That doesn't mean what she's saying is true.

      • a lie isn't a lie if you believe it (george costanza, seinfeld)

  3. hello, earth calling ! ,,,of course when you buy a car it's often about image.. when you watch tv you are bombarded with car ads and its always image based …rarely do they ever tell you the features of the car or the price … usually it's cars speeding or some women admiring the owner

  4. Just the same ole', same ole' from Big Al, live like a pig and expect everyone else to live in a cave to offset his mammoth, gullenous lifestyle. Same as other "noted scientists" like Sting, Bono and Dumbo Ears(Prince Charles). I see now where Bono's partner in crime(The Edge), wants to build five, count 'em, five mansions on some undeveloped land on the Hollywood Hills(who know there was any left…not for long I guess). Meanwhile as a previous poster said, we are into our second decade of global cooling(.16C so far) but the eco-hucksters refuse to admit it. That darn mother nature just refuses get with the doomsday program. Cheers.

  5. Thanks for the reply. Lots to discuss, but just a couple of followups for now.

    It's not correct to say that CO2 may cause warming. CO2, on its own, does interfere with / reduce / block infrared radiation, and, on its own, reducing the amount of radiation that escapes from the earth will increase temperatures.

    Man-made CO2 emissions don't need to outweigh natural emissions to have a noticeable effect, they only need to be significant enough to shift the balance of all the other effects over time. Of course, there are all those other effects that need to be considered, some self-limiting and some self-reinforcing. That's what makes it so challenging.

    Historical information has its uses in the study of climate. However, there is quite a difference between saying "At time X in the past the earth was Y degrees hotter or Z degrees colder" and saying that "Some reasonably similar version of today's civilization could survive or thrive with the earth once again at those historical temperatures".

    I can agree with your sentiment that We're a pretty clever species; we can adapt to having cities below sea-level, species going extinct, and changing food cycles. I'm definitely not underestimating our collective will and ability to survive, but I do question why we would willingly take on that potentially extremely expensive and disruptive excercise if we knew that there were actions that could be taken 'today' that were cheaper and/or less disruptive.

    WRT global cooling, are you saying that the aerosols effect did not actually exist?

  6. Thanks for the reply. Lots to discuss, but just a couple of followups for now.

    It's not correct to say that CO2 may cause warming. CO2, on its own, does interfere with / reduce / block infrared radiation, and, on its own, reducing the amount of radiation that escapes from the earth will increase temperatures.

    Man-made CO2 emissions don't need to outweigh natural emissions to have a noticeable effect, they only need to be significant enough to shift the balance of all the other effects over time. Of course, there are all those other effects that need to be considered, some self-limiting and some self-reinforcing. That's what makes it so challenging.

    Historical information has its uses in the study of climate. However, there is quite a difference between saying "At time X in the past the earth was Y degrees hotter or Z degrees colder" and saying that "Some reasonably similar version of today's civilization could survive or thrive with the earth once again at those historical temperatures".

    I can agree with your sentiment that We're a pretty clever species; we can adapt to having cities below sea-level, species going extinct, and changing food cycles, although I'm having a tougher time in agreeing that that wouldn't be such a bad thing. I'm definitely not underestimating our collective will and ability to survive, but I do question why we would willingly take on that potentially extremely expensive and disruptive excercise if we knew that there were actions that could be taken 'today' that were cheaper and/or less disruptive.

    WRT global cooling, are you saying that the aerosols effect did not actually exist?

  7. I'm not sure that we completely agree about the basics of what CO2 does. We both understand that CO2 does 'capture' a portion of the infrared radiation that is emitted from the earth's surface. After that radiation has been blocked / captured I believe that there is no debate about where that radiation energy goes: the CO2 reradiates it, still as infrared energy, but now equally in all directions. Therefore, the percentage of captured radiation that continues traveling away from earth compared to the percentage that heads back to earth is fairly well defined, and as far as I know does not depend on any other variables. And that trapped energy translates into higher temperatures. Other variables may affect the overall heat balance, but they don't affect those CO2 / energy / temperature basics

    Then, jumping ahead to the 4 IFs that you listed, I have no difficulty in discussing the details around any or all of those (although I would argue that the second IF doesn't really matter), and then arriving at the conclusion that we aren't going to do anything, or we aren't going to do much or whatever. What disappoints me most is that we (the human race) can't even get to the point of discussing any of those ideas / theories in a meaningful way; to simply say "It was hotter X years ago" and then leave it at that isn't a rational basis for not doing anything and not trying to learn more.

    I'm not sure that you have the aerosols issue quite right, but another day for that discussion.

    • Well, this is the limitation of this medium for discussion. It's difficult to get a full meeting of the minds without posting huge tracts, even when one encounters a well-informed and reasonable fellow.

      I'll just say that we do agree on the basic mechanism of what CO2 does, but there is ambiguity on how that affects the earth. For example, if the CO2 density and absorption cross-section are such that the infrared absorbed/reradiated is minimal, or if without the CO2 there are pressure/composition gradients that would reflect infrared back to earth, then the CO2 may not actually cause significant additional warming.

      So again, thanks for a good discussion, and if circumstances ever work out that we can thrash it out over beers I'd look forward to it.

      • My pleasure.

        I'll keep my eyes open for a stony (not stoned) looking individual with a greenish tinge at the local watering holes.