Category Archives: carbon

Emissions from Volkswagen

150929-emissions-voldwagenReuters reports that Volkswagen will “repair” up to 11 million cars rigged to give misleading emissions info to inspectors. The “fix” will cost $6.5 billion.


The evil geniuses at VW figured out a way for its diesel emissions systems to recognize when they were being tested. During a test the system stifles emissions according to government standards. The rest of the time the system turns itself down or off, allowing for great mileage and more power but higher emissions.

Who but the greenest among us is going to want to bring his car in for that repair?

Climate Catholic


Mike Grunwald, in Politico, was surprised the pope didn’t directly mention the climate in his speech to Congress. Instead the Holy Father referred to his 184 page encyclical on climate and capitalism.  Gunwald went back and actually read the thing. He found it to be “super weird”:

The pope’s message in Laudato Si is surprisingly gloomy for such an inspiring figure, especially at a time when the world’s largest emitters, the U.S. and China, are cleaning up their own act and leading a push for global reductions in Paris. Pope Francis writes about the dangers of excessive growth, which “leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit,” but economic growth usually produces better environmental protection, which often seems to be a luxury poor countries can’t afford…

“There is also the fact that most people no longer seem to believe in a happy future,” the pope wrote in Laudato Si.

Aw, Your Holiness, is that really a fact? It really feels like things are starting to get a little better, and may be on path to get a lot better. Have faith.

EPA Spill


EPA chief Gina McCarthy says the Animas River is cleaning itself. The EPA spilled 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the river when one of its contractors pulled the plug to the abandoned Gold King mine. The agency took 24 to alert officials of the spill.

Snow Jump


If it doesn’t snow anymore that’s climate change. If it does snow that’s climate change too.

Man caused disasters aren’t what they used to be. In 2001 people jumped out of windows in New York because they made a grim choice. Now they jump out of windows in Boston into snow piles for fun – and to piss off the mayor.

Here’s an interesting Daily Beast article about a Yale study that looks at vaccines, climate, and politics.

Silly Shirt Season


World leaders showed up at the APEC summit in China last week wearing silly shirts. It’s an annual tradition to distract us from the silly stuff they do.

China is filled with with smog. You can taste the PM 2.5 – little particles that go into your lungs to kill you. So what was the signing event of the week? A deal to reduce the carbon dioxide you exhale to cough those little buggers out. And the Chinese don’t even have to do it until 2030. If they’re still alive.

Silly Season

The agreement is for America to set the example by cutting co2 emissions right away. The really silly part is that it’s a deal about nothing. Carbon dioxide emissions in the United States have been falling due to increased use of natural gas and a decreased role for industrial production. We’re expected to reach the goals of  the agreement by doing nothing. China will reach peak population growth by 2030 and it’s co2 emissions are expected to fall naturally by then too.

The other big news of the week was the revelation that our governing elites lack a positive attitude toward us voters. They think we’re stupid. Ok, so maybe they’re right. It’s certainly not a problem shared by China – a situation much admired by Tom Friedman of the NYT.