Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Global warming could further damage Michigan's economy
This review posted on Good Morning Flint,Michigan USA

Posted ORIGIONALY by By Elizabeth Shaw / Flint Journal

April 22, 2007 09:06AM

[A review and conversation. Comments of Terry Bankert in captions , deleted text...-trb]

[Did you know..-trb]

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan's carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels grew 4 percent between 1990 and 2004. Michigan ranked 10th nationwide for the most carbon dioxide emissions in 2004,...


Jim Koan sees global warming in every damaged bud on his apple trees at Almar Orchards this spring.

More frequent and erratic weather extremes - hallmarks of climate change - are already happening here, Koan said.

"We haven't had any normal years in the last few years, with some of the worst extremes in weather closer together than I can ever remember," said Koan, 58. "It won't take too many catastrophes to wipe us out."

[This may bolster the argument that we are simply in a cycle.-trb]

Much may be at stake for the rest of us, too.

[I agree though it appears hard to get the publics attention.-trb]

Climate change could hit Michigan square in the economic gut - and not in the far-off future, but during the lifetimes of many of us.

From the anglers and shippers who ply the Great Lakes to a snowmobile dealer in Mt. Morris Township, changing weather could impact nearly every aspect of our lives and local environment: farming, hunting, fishing, wildlife, water quality and supply, tourism, recreation, air quality, fish and bird species, forests, wetlands, lakes and human health.

[How will global warming do this?]

"Agriculture, tourism and the automotive industry are the top three in Michigan's economy, and two of those are heavily dependent on water," said Abby Rubley of Environment Michigan.

"We're already feeling the loss in the automotive sector. We can't afford to see it in our other two major industries, too."

[This smacks of scare tactics to compare our loss of auto jobs withthe environment.-trb]

That already declining automotive sector accounted for nearly 10 percent of nonfarm jobs in Genesee County in 2005 - about 15,000 jobs in all, according to the state Department of Labor and Economic Growth. And global warming's impact on the industry could affect those jobs.
Transportation sources make up about a third of greenhouse gases, with cars, sport-utility vehicles and light trucks accounting for almost 22 percent, according to the National Environmental Trust.

That's led to intense political pressure to raise corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards.

["What is CAFÉ? Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) is the sales weighted average fuel economy, expressed in miles per gallon (mpg), of a manufacturer’s fleet of passenger cars or light trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 lbs. or less, manufactured for sale in the United States, for any given model year. Fuel economy is defined as the average mileage traveled by an automobile per gallon of gasoline (or equivalent amount of other fuel) consumed as measured in accordance with the testing and evaluation protocol set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)."
see http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/cafe/overview.htm -trb]

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated it would cost $100 million for the auto industry to meet proposed CAFE increases over the next 10 years. About 80 percent of that would be borne by domestic automakers, said General Motors' Washington spokesman Greg Martin.

[We have saftey legislation to make cars safer on the ground,why not in the air also?-trb]

"Transportation may be one-third of the problem, but the auto industry is being asked to bear 100 percent of the solution," said Martin. [ Is this true, it sounds like an overstatement.-trb]

Changes could cost consumers $3,000-$5,000 per vehicle, depending on the model, he said.

[Will mass production lower these prices?-trb]

"When you look at any CAFE increase that doesn't match up with what's technically achievable, it's going to have a devastating economic effect on the automakers and the communities in which they operate."

Others, however, say a CAFE increase is just what the industry needs to drive innovation toward fuel efficiency, hybrids and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

GM is also working to shrink the so-called carbon footprint of vehicle-making itself, said local GM spokeswoman Sharon Morton. In the Flint area, GM has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 9.6 percent in the past five years by using less energy.

In the orchard business, meanwhile, this spring could be the worst yet, Koan said.

"This year, we had the warmest December and January on record, so the trees didn't harden down and go to sleep like they normally would."

Then another warm spell hit after a brief winter - just in time for budding plants to be ravaged by freak April blizzards.

"We haven't ever seen this much cold with the buds as far along as they were and with hard winds driving that cold," said Koan. "We're still waiting to see how much damage there is."
How much change is ahead, and how soon?

By the time a baby born today gets out of college around 2030, local summers may feel noticeably warmer, more like those in current-day Ohio, according to a recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent scientific research and analysis group.

[The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world.
UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices. http://www.ucsusa.org/..this is a group we should all join.-trb]

[At their web site :"The Nobel peace prize was awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former Vice President Al Gore and underscores the urgent need for action to ensure a safe and healthy world for future generations.

"The Nobel committee's recognition affirms that policymakers need to listen to the best available science and act upon it to avoid dangerous climate change," said Peter Frumhoff, a lead author of the IPCC's fourth assessment report and director of science and policy at UCS. http://www.ucsusa.org/ -trb]

By the time that newborn is a great-grandparent in 2095, a Michigan summer may feel like one in northern Arkansas today, with our winters milder and with little snow, like those now in Ohio.
By then, Michigan's average summer temperatures could be 5-10 degrees warmer in winter and 7-13 degrees hotter in summer, said the UCS report.

The Great Lakes might moderate some of the effects of global warming for Michigan, said Marty Kaufman, University of Michigan-Flint professor of earth and resource science.

The bad news: The Great Lakes themselves are at risk as shrinking winter ice results in more evaporation and lower lake levels.

"Michigan's primary feature is the Great Lakes, and that's where we'll feel our largest economic impact," said Kaufman. "It may affect shipping, recreation and tourism just for starters. And that's huge."

Local winter sports businesses are already feeling the heat.

Snowmobilers are driving farther north each year to find usable trails, said Michael Nord, owner of Nord-Ride Motorsports Inc. in Mt. Morris Township.

[I have wondered why I see fewer snowmobiles. Bad snow or dying sport?-trb]

"The true snowmobiler is always going to find snow no matter what. But it seems every year less and less people are snowmobiling and are switching to other alternatives like quad runners," said Nord. "We've shifted our business dramatically through the last 10 years because of the weather."

Michigan's greenhouse gas emissions are rising, even as industry in the state declines.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan's carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels grew 4 percent between 1990 and 2004. Michigan ranked 10th nationwide for the most carbon dioxide emissions in 2004, the most recent year for which state-by-state data is available. [ If a national policing poicy attaches debts and credits and other costs for emissions can we absour this cost? Why should we now in our decline be punished for the economic wealth we have brought this county speaking of Michigan USA.-trb]

Much of that can be linked to Michigan's natural gas-fired power plants, where carbon dioxide emissions more than doubled in that same time period.

"Given the risks from global warming, it's incredibly irresponsible for Michigan's global warming pollution to increase," said Environment Michigan field director Abby Rubley. "It's like the doctor telling you that you need to go on a serious diet, but instead you go straight for the McDonald's."

[To say we are irresponsible is an easy out. You have to cost benefit it to Michigan. To ignore this economic disaster may be a prudent economic decision for Michigan. Who can fault us?....EVERYONE!-TRB]

Wind power, ethanol and fast-train technology are just some of the strategies that could help turn it all around, said UM-Flint's Kaufman.

"We're not shooting blanks here in Michigan. We've got the means in terms of engineering expertise, research groups, labor force and tangible resources," he said. "We just lack the motivation."

Sizzling impact of Global Warming on Michigan
Terry Bankert 10/17/07

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By Terry Bankert
Posted to Flint Talk at
andFlint Citizen
I haven’t paid much attention to the debate over global warming.
I guess it takes a Vice President to write a book [I have not read the book], win an Oscar [I have not seen the movie] and accept a Nobel Peace prize.Okay Al Gore you have my attention.

How to learn more quickly?
I knew there was this outfit called the Green Party.

SO I Googled it. Beats buying a book.

The following is from the 2004 Green Party Platform As ratified at the 2004 Green National Convention in Milwaukee, WI.
As usual from this point on my comments until –end--if any will be [-trb], no other comments will be added and if deleated will show as ...


Earth's atmosphere is in great danger due to man-made chemicals and hydrocarbon emissions. Chloro-fluorocarbons, hydrochloro-fluorocarbons, and other related ozone-depleting substances should be banned as soon as is possible. [I have a ways to go. I don't know what products these are.-trb]The Green Party urges the U.S. Congress to act immediately to address the critical global warming and climate change issues.

When the U.S. Senate voted 95-to-0 to oppose any global warming treaty that does not also bind developing countries to specific, if smaller, carbon emissions reductions in the future, which many industrializing countries oppose, it put a roadblock in the way of progress by all nations. [This was in 2004-trb]With only 4% of the earth's people, the United States produces more than 20% of carbon emissions. [ I would think that we have a great responsibility.-trb]

From 1990 to 1996, total U.S. emissions grew by an amount equal to what Brazil and Indonesia produce every year. Per capita, the United States emits 85% more than Germany, twice as much as England and Japan, and currently nearly 10-times as much as China. [ I bet the rest of the world thinks we have an environmental debt to pay.-trb]

Climate change presents very real economic and social opportunities for new and sustainable jobs from new energy technologies, including both energy efficiency and renewables. Yet, too often, the focus of debate has been only on the pain of adjustment to carbon reductions, This is because of the influence of multinational business on government policies.

We must implement the following policies if we are to make a start on protecting our global climate:

1. An early target must be set to prevent emissions from rising so far that future reductions become even more difficult.

2. Avoiding loopholes is even more important now than an ambitious target. Unless a very ambitious target is set, which now seems unlikely, allowing sinks and trading within the protocol will create such loopholes that no real reductions will occur. Trading and sinks must be left until there is much more scientific precision in how they are measured.

3. Targets are not enough without credible policies and measures to achieve them. We urge all governments to table a list of the policies and measures they intend to adopt to attain their target, for example eco-taxes and energy performance standards.

4. Nuclear power is not an acceptable alternative to fossil energy. We should not accept country commitments that depend on increasing nuclear capability. We must join the solar age.

5. We endorse the Contraction and Convergence model under discussion at international talks (which as proposed would eventually give every human being an equal right to the atmosphere) as the most practical way to achieve justice and participation for developing countries.

6. As a nation, we must implement public and private initiatives at every level to support the Global Climate Treaty signed at the Earth Summit in 1992, committing industrial nations within a time framework to reducing emissions to 1990 levels.

7. The most authoritative assessment to date concludes that a worldwide carbon dioxide emissions reduction of 50-70 percent is necessary to contain climate change. The Kyoto Climate Protocol in 1998 falls far short, calling for only a five percent reduction. Nonetheless, the agreement is an important first step that all parties - especially the U.S. - should ratify as soon as possible.

8. We must drastically reduce, then eliminate, the use of fossil fuels. We must use energy more efficiently, and from clean, renewable sources. We must preserve the many valuable natural services including climactic stability provided by intact ecosystems....

9. If we fail to summon the political will now to make these investments, the costs of climatic disruptions will almost certainly force us to make them later at a greater expense. Greenhouse gases and the threat of global warming must be addressed by the international community in concert, through international treaties and conventions, with the industrial nations at the forefront of this vital effort.

Now this was two years ago, Al Gore and the Union of Concerned Scientist seem to have a lot to say.

Others say this Global Warming is a falsity being promoted by the left.
How can it not be happening, global warming?

How can we opposed moving to new technologies?

The issue is far to complicated to spout off on.

Any site recommendations are appreciated.

Yes Al Gore I am going to read your book and watch your movie.

Stay tuned.

Terry Bankert http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Flintcitizen/20394

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