Spin Cycle: EPA Deflates Climate Impacts, Inflates Significance




Well, well, well. The EPA has finally gone and done it. They have actually calculated the climate change impacts projected to result of one of their climate change regulations—in this case, the proposed rules for the efficiency standards for medium and heavy duty vehicles.

What they found was hardly surprising—the climate impacts from the proposed regulations will be vanishingly small.

The EPA calculates that the amount of global temperature rise averted by the end of the 21stcentury from the proposed regulations to be… wait, this is too good to paraphrase. From the EPA:

The results of the analysis demonstrate that relative to the reference case, by 2100 projected atmospheric CO2 concentrations are estimated to be reduced by 1.1 to 1.2 part per million by volume (ppmv), global mean temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.0026 to 0.0065 °C, and sea-level rise is projected to be reduced by approximately 0.023 to 0.057 cm.

Did you catch that? According to the EPA’s own calculations, their regulation mandating the fuel economy of medium and light duty trucks avoids somewhere between twenty-six ten-thousandths and sixty-five ten-thousandths of a degree of future global warming. In other words, it is a useless measure when it comes to influencing the future course of global temperature. If the EPA wants to regulate the fuel efficiency of trucks, it needs to justify it for reasons that don’t relate to climate change.

Of course, if you’ve followed anything that we’ve ever had to say on EPA efforts seeking to mitigate future climate change by limiting carbon dioxide emissions, you know that we have been stressing this for years (basically, since EPA started issuing such regulations). Over and over again, and for each newly-proposed action, we show that the resulting temperature savings will be measured in hundredths to thousandths of a degree.  It is nice to finally see that the EPA completely agrees with us (we’ve known they have all along, but they are just very reluctant to admit it).

When describing the impact of these minuscule changes, we use terms like  “trifling,” “impressively tiny,” “meaningless,” “scientifically undetectable,” and “environmentally inconsequential.”

Here’s how the EPA describes them:

“EPA determines that the projected reductions in atmospheric CO2, global mean temperature, sea level rise, and ocean pH are meaningful in the context of this action.”

“Although these effects are small, they occur on a global scale and are long lasting; therefore, they can make an important contribution to reducing the risks associated with climate change.”

Not only do they talk in glowing terms about the climate significance of the regulations (“an important contribution to reducing risks associated with climate change”), but they simply love the economic ones as well.

Through the magic of the social cost of carbon, the EPA transforms 0.003°C of avoided global warming into $100 billion of economic benefit, and raves:

“[We] estimate net economic benefits exceeding $100billion making this a highly beneficial rule.”

We’ve got to hand it to government bureaucrats, they can be extremely imaginative when it comes to justifying their existence.

But sadly, imagination doesn’t trump reality.

So, while we commend the EPA for actually calculating the climate impacts of their regulation (or should we say, making the results of their calculations publically available), for their overly optimistic view of the import of the (virtually non-existent) impacts, we rate the EPA’s level of spin as “Heavy Duty” and award them four Spin Cycles.


Heavy Duty. Government regulations or treaties claiming to save the planet from certain destruction, but which actually accomplish nothing. Can also apply to important UN climate confabs, such as Copenhagen 2009 (or, quite likely, the upcoming 2015 Paris Summit), that are predicted to result in a massive, sweeping, and world-saving new treaty, followed by self-congratulatory back-patting. Four spin cycles.


The Spin Cycle is a reoccurring feature based upon just how much the latest weather or climate story, policy pronouncement, or simply poo-bah blather spins the truth. Statements are given a rating between 1-5 spin cycles, with less cycles meaning less spin. For a more in-depth description, visit the inaugural edition.


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August 20, 2015 11:58 am

“[We] estimate net economic benefits exceeding $100billion making this a highly beneficial rule.”
Meaningless without knowing both the discount rate used for this calculation the projected cost of compliance. Show your work.’

Rob Morrow
Reply to  rovingbroker
August 20, 2015 12:14 pm

The assumptions in the social cost of carbon calculation are too whacko to be worth discounting realistically. The social cost of carbon is most certainly negative, as cheap energy is what brought so many out of poverty.

Reply to  Rob Morrow
August 20, 2015 12:32 pm

The $100B will be from government spending our money.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Salong, Lombok
Reply to  Rob Morrow
August 20, 2015 5:09 pm

The EPA is going to use this SCC number as a foundation for making other estimations. It will not have to be explained if everyone is doing it, right? The people behind it estimate that it is a path to regulation by the projection of ‘economic benefit’.
The value is this: If they can show such a ‘huge economic benefit’ from such a small number, then dividing up ‘3.2 degrees’ gives it a $ value.
Do not guess that this is not fully thought through. It is rooted in a desire to make certain actions ‘viable’ economically. If we take the 65 thousandths of a degree and invert it we get 15.38 x 100 bn per degree of avoided warming. This makes it obvious that 3.2 degrees of avoided warming is worth:
1/0.065 x $100bn x 3.2 deg = $5 Trillion give or take $80 bn.
Now isn’t that a nice round number? Control CO2 and avoid $5 trillion work of social harm. I suspect this has a lot more to do with the announcement than the details of how the $100bn was calculated. No calculation will be shown, only the benefit of spending a few trillion to avoid damage of 5 trillion. Agricultural productivity benefits will be ignored.
If you get deeper into the calculation I am sure there will emerge a SCC number that is ‘per ton of CO2 emitted’ conveniently above the Gold Standard value of $20 (the voluntary alternative to the UNFCCC/GEF/CDM carbon trading market).
Everyone: please let us know when the EPA-justified SCC per ton number emerges.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Lombok Timur
Reply to  Rob Morrow
August 21, 2015 3:43 am

PJ and others note below that it is 0.0065 not 0.065. That makes it $50 trillion not $5 trillion needed to fully count the SCC. Can someone put an SCC number on a ton of CO2, if this is the case?
[Order of magnitude fixed. Thanks. ~mod.]

Reply to  rovingbroker
August 20, 2015 1:22 pm

$100 billion between now and 2100? And is that in 2015 dollars or 2100 dollars? If the “benefits” are considered to be worldwide in impact, shouldn’t this financial benefit be stretched over the rest of the century AND the rest of the globe?
($100 billion / 85 years) / 11 billion people in 2100 = 10 cents of benefit per person per year. HIGHLY beneficial…

Reply to  KTM
August 20, 2015 2:56 pm

Bank of Zimbabwe dollars. Enough to buy a book of matches (which would warm the planet more that these so-called reduction efforts would cool it).

Reply to  rovingbroker
August 20, 2015 2:34 pm

The EPA estimate of economic benefits is as meaningful as Trump’s self-assigned value of the “Trump brand”…

Reply to  rovingbroker
August 20, 2015 3:30 pm

“[We] estimate net economic benefits exceeding $100billion making this a highly beneficial rule.”

There, fixed that for you. Let’s see, we take the 30 trillion dollars estimated cost of the full climate “catastrophe” of 3 C warming by 2100. We take 3 thousandths of a degree C, as one thousandth of this. Uh Oh, that only gives us 30 billion dollars. Rats.
OK, let’s up the cost of the full climate catastrophe — since nobody has a friggin’ clue as to what it is going to be, we might as well call it one hundred trillion dollars to the nearest power of ten, for some meaning of the word nearest that a bit more aggressive than logarithmic. Now a thousandth is — wait for it — $100 billion!
Seriously. Just stop with Meaningless. Discount rate doesn’t matter. Projected cost of compliance doesn’t matter. We do not know either how much warming will result from any amount of CO2 as of 2100. We do not know how much CO2 will be added to the present concentration by 2100. We do not know the net benefits of that CO2 — which are absolutely not going to be zero, as simple plant growth of food crops and timber will be increased by as much as 50 to 100%, depending on just what the unknown CO2 is and what the unknown and unpredictable changes in things like the patterns and net amount of rainfall are. We do not know by how much sea level will rise, which is the only credible source of widespread cost from the increased CO2. We do not know if new costs will emerge — mass extinction of some species, human sudden death from CO2 over 400 ppm syndrome, death from being bashed on the head or burned at the stake by catastrophists who think that you are destroying the Earth Itself if you toast marshmellows over a campfire. Finally we have no possible way of measuring global average temperature (or the temperature “anomaly”) within 0.01C, let alone within 0.003 degrees C or fewer. Frankly, we can’t even estimate the current temperature anomaly within 0.1 C or the current global average temperature within a whole degree C. The variance in the temperature day to day, year to year, anywhere is some three orders of magnitude greater than the expected change in the mean.
If they are correct about the “temperature anomaly savings” of the proposed measure — which I seriously doubt — the more accurate way to state things is that nobody on Earth would ever be able to tell under any circumstances that a measure had been taken to “reduce global warming” back in 2015. Not even with a fairly accurate thermometer. Not even at a single point on the surface of the globe.
We do not even have good ways of making estimates for these things, as the estimates we have for “costs” or “benefits” are highly politicized and are predicated on the believability of models that are actively failing (at least — many of us would say that they have already failed and are proven to be nearly useless for predicting any sort of climate future at all).
And the sad thing is, the EPA should know better. Not only meaningless but silly. Absolute, political public incompetence.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Lombok Timur
Reply to  rgbatduke
August 20, 2015 5:21 pm

Don’t take the bait. This is about introducing a social cost of carbon (SCC). See my note above. They have arbitrarily assigned a social harm of $5 trillion to 3.2 degrees of projected warming. The details of avoided CO2 are not important. The SCC is. Forget about fighting fossil fuel burning, that is assumed to be a given. It will be used, for example, to assign a ‘benefit’ to the avoidance of ‘unsustainable’ burning of biomass even though it is carbon neutral. ‘Unsustainable’ can be arbitrarily defined for the convenience of any program.
After realising something was afoot at the ISO I asked one of the seniors about this suggesting, “They plan to introduce a social cost of carbon, don’t they!” He replied, “There are many agendas.”
This is quite an announcement and it is only tangentially related to vehicle emissions. I am sure it was chosen as the most publicly saleable justification ‘vehicle’ to drive the SCC forward. I wondered how they were going to do it. The silly little numbers will be inverted to show the massive benefit of regulating CO2 emissions. We are going to hear about that, not miniscule numbers. They are expecting you to be diverted with discussing the little numbers while they talk about the big ones.

Reply to  rovingbroker
August 20, 2015 7:20 pm

“Show your work.” Fat chance. 🙂

Reply to  rovingbroker
August 20, 2015 10:58 pm

The SCC calculations use three different discount rates: 2.5%, 3% and 5%. 3% is most often used as the central estimate and 1 metric ton of CO2 emitted per annum is estimated to generate net costs of about US$40 (in 2014 dollars). This will be about US$42 in 2015. Note that this figure is the estimated GLOBAL net cost. If only net costs to the US are estimated (ie. the local SCC) they are approximately US$8.50 per ton. The practical implication of using a global SCC figure is that the EPA is saying that US citizens should wear the cost of benefits that accrue to non-US citizens (ie. China, India, Australia, Germany, the rest of the world). This is contrary to normal cost benefit analysis practice which requires the US costs of a regulation should be outweighed by US benefits before being allowed to proceed. The application of a global SCC figure in country-specific CBAs is a grey area and whose ramifications have not been fully explored as yet.

V. eng
Reply to  rovingbroker
August 21, 2015 8:57 pm

It is a benefit to the bureaucrats at the EPA, that’s all they really care about.

Greg Woods
August 20, 2015 12:02 pm

But what about the ‘feel-good-about-yourself’ factor?

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Greg Woods
August 20, 2015 12:33 pm

I’m going to keep my wood-fired Tacoma on the road – turns heads here in progressive, green Vermont – but I really doubt I’ll still be rolling in 2100 with p<.001

Reply to  Bubba Cow
August 20, 2015 1:27 pm

“I’m going to keep my wood-fired Tacoma on the road”
Hmm, so instead of Rolling Coal on a VT Subaru, you’ll be Rolling um…Cord wood?

Bruce Cobb
August 20, 2015 12:06 pm

They’ve got a full load anyway.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 20, 2015 2:57 pm

I think of it more as a pant-load.

Jan G
August 20, 2015 12:10 pm

You overstate the projected temperature increase in your commentary. The published increases are 2.6 to 6.5 thousandths of a degree, not 26 and 65.

August 20, 2015 12:13 pm

You are overstating EPA’s limited temperature effect by a factor of 10. The amount of .0026 to .0065 is 26 to 65 ten thousandths of a degree; not 26 to 65 thousandths of a degree. I didn’t have time to check if the .0026 to .0035 is correctly copied from their report.

Reply to  PJ
August 20, 2015 12:47 pm

Who in the real world would even talk about 2.6 thousands to 6.5 thousands as a calculated range for temperatures which cannot be measured any where near that accuracy and then assign $ benefits to the impact. This demonstrates how sick the minds are at the EPA grasping at straws.

Reply to  Catcracking
August 20, 2015 1:35 pm

” The amount of .0026 to .0065..”
If that was in inches, it would be about the thickness of newsprint.
I bet that resolution isn’t even possible for temperatures, so silly.

Captain Dave
August 20, 2015 12:13 pm

0.0026 C is 2.6 thousandths, not 26 thousandths. 0.0065 is 6.5, not 65.

ferd berple
Reply to  Captain Dave
August 20, 2015 12:18 pm

you can measure thousandths (.001) of an inch with a “feeler gauge”. you cannot measure 10 thousandths (.0001) of an inch.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  ferd berple
August 20, 2015 12:29 pm

but they will be eye-balling a mercury thermometer, so surely … /s

Reply to  ferd berple
August 20, 2015 12:36 pm

Really? Because I used to have 0.0005″ shim stock that I used as a feeler.

Reply to  ferd berple
August 20, 2015 1:37 pm

When I was a boy, my father had a really neat feeler gauge with a dozen or so blades that could be combined to give a wide range of thicknesses. His spark-plugs and glow-plugs were always finely tuned. I am pretty sure there was one of 0.0005″, as LeeHarvey (August 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm) mentioned. Mind you, when we started playing with it, those small thicknesses were a bit too wild to appreciate, and Dad always made sure we didn’t do anything to kink those blades.

Steve from Rockwood
Reply to  ferd berple
August 20, 2015 3:23 pm

Depends how small your “feeler gauge” is.

Reply to  ferd berple
August 21, 2015 6:11 am

0.0005″ shim stock that I used as a feeler
sure, but you couldn’t really tell if what you were measuring was 0.0003 or 0.0007. Any grease or imperfections in the surface would overwhelm the drag. The difference is why engine rebuilds can be done fairly reliably but transmissions are a challenge without special equipment.

August 20, 2015 12:19 pm

For insignificance, take a look at “Table VII-37—Impact of GHG Emissions Reductions on Projected Changes in Global Climate Associated With Proposed Phase 2 Standards for MY 2018-2024”

August 20, 2015 12:19 pm

What a sick joke .

Gregg C.
August 20, 2015 12:22 pm

The press release: “to be reduced by 0.0026 to 0.0065 °C,” And you stated in words “this is between twenty-six thousandths and sixty-five thousandths of a degree of future global warming.”
It is worse than that. .0026 is 26 TEN-Thousandths, .0065 is 65 TEN-Thousandths of a degree.

August 20, 2015 12:26 pm

Pat and Chip – A very informative post.
EPA regulating CO2 as a pollutant also means, based on the “right to know” on air pollutants, that federal groups, such as GISS, presumably must provide answers to queries on their models and data.
We discuss this issue with respect to traditional air pollutants in
Cochran, L.S., R.A. Pielke, and E. Kovacs, 1992: Selected international receptor based air quality standards. J. Air Waste Mgt. Assoc., 42, 1567-1572.
The relevant text reads
“In compiling this information, we found it easier to access the regulations from some countries as opposed to others. There is a major political difference between public rights to air quality information. In the United States, for example, the federal law mandates a “right to know,” while the Seveso Directive (#67/548) of the European community permits access based on a “need to know.” This fundamental difference provides further impetus for an ambient based standard, in addition to emission based standards, since the public and other interested parties could monitor air quality at the property boundaries of an industrial facility.”
Best Regards
Roger Sr.

August 20, 2015 12:34 pm

” vanishingly small.”
Try incalculably or more correctly, non-existent.
The more I see output from the various US bodies, White House, NASA, NOAA, EPA etc. , the more i am reminded of Monty Pythons “Ministry of Silly Walks”

DD More
August 20, 2015 12:38 pm

CO2 concentrations are estimated to be reduced by 1.1 to 1.2 part per million by volume (ppmv), global mean temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.0026 to 0.0065 °C, and sea-level rise is projected to be reduced by approximately 0.023 to 0.057 cm.
When did they prove the CO2 connection to Temperature and sea level. I know this was hypothesized but, other than a few worthless models where is the signal.

Reply to  DD More
August 23, 2015 5:36 am

CO2 concentrations are estimated to be reduced by 1.1 to 1.2 part per million by volume (ppmv), global mean temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.0026 to 0.0065 °C, and sea-level rise is projected to be reduced by approximately 0.023 to 0.057 cm.

Do the math, small changes in CO2 at this level are meaningless.
Maximizing the CO2 impact using no clouds, 400ppm and 70 km altitude, outgoing radiation is 289.288 W/M^2 changing it to 401.2 ppv resulted in 289.288 W/M^2. The change is so insignificant it doesn’t get by the rounding of the calculator. This is no joke, check the numbers yourself.

August 20, 2015 12:39 pm

All, please understand that this rule is different than some of the others. Phase I of this rule has already improved fuel efficiency of heavy trucks by about 10%. Phase II will more than double that. EPA did an excellent job of working with…with…industry to develop this rule, and it is supported by all of the major truck manufacturers and trade associations. When fuel efficiency gets better, everybody wins.
As part of the industry, I worked directly with the team at EPA, and the folks who developed the Truck rules were not zealots. They listened carefully and worked with us to make the rule workable and effective.
This is how rule-making should work, and how it did work when EPA was still about a science agenda in the public good. Lately it has become an instrument of policy, with many bad decisions.
But this rule is not one of them.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 12:52 pm

Wow, are you a sucker.
The notion that the manufacturers of heavy trucks would not have achieved those fuel economy improvements on their own is pure fantasy. If your trucks get 10% less fuel economy than the trucks someone else sells, and fuel is the biggest operating expense by far in the trucking industry, do you suppose that you will be able to sell many trucks? Your competition will eat your lunch!
You’ve bought into the notion that the EPA regulations drove the increases in fuel efficiency when in fact those inefficiencies would have happened anyway simply due to normal competition between manufacturers. All that happened was the EPA took credit for something someone else did. Shocking, I know.

Reply to  dmh
August 20, 2015 1:04 pm

Wow, you really don’t know any thing at all about this subject. Leave policy to the grow ups, sonny.

Reply to  dmh
August 20, 2015 1:10 pm

If you want to counter my argument with reason and logic, or bolster yours with additional facts and information, by all means do so.
If the best you can muster in rebuttal is to imply that I am a child, then the weakness of your position is exposed for what it is. Simply an appeal to authority defended by ad hominem attack.

Reply to  dmh
August 20, 2015 1:22 pm

You started from a position of ignorance, and compounded it with zero facts and weak logic…plus you started the name calling, junior!

Reply to  dmh
August 20, 2015 1:31 pm

Aw… he did it first.
I’m sorry I called you a sucker.
If you choose to believe that fuel economy of heavy trucks would have stood still without EPA intervention, you are free to believe it and any term you wish to choose to describe your belief system is just fine with me. You’ve stated down thread that “spin” is OK with you, so spin away.

Peter Sable
Reply to  dmh
August 20, 2015 4:06 pm

those inefficiencies would have happened anyway simply due to normal competition between manufacturers.

Rules like this entrench companies (makes their competitive moat bigger), as it makes it very hard for new competitors to comply, because they don’t yet have economies of scale. That’s why companies like these trucking companies support rules that are achievable – but only at the scale of those large companies (who can afford the bribists lobbyists, lawyers, accountants and extra engineers, etc.)
I take Elon Musk as the exception that proves the rule.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 3:08 pm

What I would like to know, is how the EPA is certain that trucks will still be using internal combustion engines in 2100 to achieve this wonderful $100 billion total savings over that time period. Seems a lot like the folks in the early 20th century worrying about the accumulation of horse poop in city streets that was sure to occur over the next century. We should have flying cars and trucks by then… they’re seriously overdue as it is.

Paul Courtney
Reply to  DataTurk
August 21, 2015 10:13 am

DT-How much of the cost-benefit found by the EPA was due to fuel savings? Wasn’t it entirely due to reduced CO2=reduced GW? “When fuel efficiency gets better, everybody wins” is true if the EPA didn’t exist. The rule itself may be good, that’s not the issue. The issue is, and I can’t say it any better than rgb@duke, they made up these numbers. Glad you had a good experience with an EPA team, but don’t you wonder why their cb didn’t say “10% less fuel times total cost of fuel=benefit of $$$”? As others surmise, it seems the EPA is applying this calculation here to quietly establish it for future use.

Reply to  Paul Courtney
August 21, 2015 11:33 am

Paul C…I like a good puzzle, but I would not try to reverse engineer the EPA calculations on the social benefits of carbon reduction! The very idea of doing that gives me hives.
What I can assert is that the societal benefit of fuel reduction is real, and generally achievable with known technology. The biggest challenge will be getting it into the market in economic volumes and delivering commercial payback for the industry. As I said elsewhere on this thread, we shall see.

Reply to  Paul Courtney
August 21, 2015 10:22 pm

We shall see?
We won’t see. It is not measurable. It can’t be calculated. All we will see is increased production/maintenance costs as associated with increased the greater fuel efficiency; the tradeoff is not established. If you can show a societal benefit then show it, don’t just assert it.
Now if we think we can calculate the temp as being 0.003C less because the 1 ppm co2 reduction, it seems reasonable that we can extrapolate/calculate the increase in crash mortality because of a 0.0065 lb weight reduction in the 6,500 lb trucks…. And some yutz would try to make a case that, based on the data it would be negative (benefit) to society and others would say it is not measurable.

August 20, 2015 12:40 pm

if the temperature of the planets falls by .0026 of a degree, the USA profits by 100 billion dollars a year. Have I got that right ?
So these volcanoes that can affect the temperature by as much as a couple of degrees should stand out to economic historians.
the Pinatubo eruption benefitted the USA by ( half a degree/ 0.0026 * 100 billion) = 19,200 billion per year.
yes EPA. and my @ss is a cream donut

Reply to  EternalOptimist
August 20, 2015 3:10 pm

I love cream donuts! $100 billion should buy us lots of them!

Reply to  EternalOptimist
August 21, 2015 3:46 am

Nicely reduced to absurdity. We’d better start adding sulphur in atmosphere, since it produces huge profits.
Except that noone expects it, not even these suckers who think that increasing temperature causes huge losses. Their logic is that the temperatures have been stable for several millennia, so any change (upwards or downwards) causes dramatic losses. They are not sure, but they try to play safe by exaggarating the losses and try to make a change in public opinion.
This is laughable, because exaggaration makes one loose one’s credibility, and thus undermines their own goal.
What we need is honest science trying to establish natural variation and its consequences.

David gabriel
August 20, 2015 12:41 pm

If you could drive a truck that got 8 mpg or the same vehicle at 25 mpg, which would you choose?

Reply to  David gabriel
August 20, 2015 12:53 pm

Are they talking about 3x the mileage? I think not.

Reply to  David gabriel
August 20, 2015 1:05 pm

False choice. It wouldn’t be the same vehicle.

Reply to  David gabriel
August 20, 2015 1:18 pm

Won’t be 3x, but it might be 40% better by 2025 or so. Average heavy line haul truck burns about 20000 gallons of fuel per year, times about 2.8 million trucks on the road, growing to about 3.3 M by 2025. Call it 60 billion gallons per year, round numbers. Take away 40%…that’s a lot of fuel from an energy policy perspective.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 2:11 pm

So the savings will be 60 billion x .4 = 24 billion gallions. But we’re told by the EPA this will save 100 billion dollars or $4 per gallon? Or is the 100 billion not per year but the total from now to 2100 or so? If so, the net benefit per year is trivial. And the cost in terms of redesigning and producing the more efficient trucks is going to be more than that. Either way I think something is wrong with the figures.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 2:28 pm

I have no idea how the agency calculates the societal benefit. The figures I quote were per year, at today’s fuel prices about $50B/year savings.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 2:32 pm

daved46…erratum…the unspoken assumption in my figures is that the fleet achieves the target economy as a whole…almost never the case, but represents a good upper bound on the dollar benefit.

Albert Paquette
August 20, 2015 12:44 pm

The sea level will be reduced by .023 to.057 cm by 2100. That equates to about 0.4 mm on average. Dividing that number by 85 years gives a net reduction of .005 mm per year between now and the end of the century. The average human hair has a diameter of .025 mm, so the net reduction per year is the equivalent of the thickness of 2 human hairs. Wow!! That’s really cool! Can I watch the confirmatory annual measurement while it’s being done? I presume the sea will be fairly calm on that day.

Reply to  Albert Paquette
August 20, 2015 2:23 pm

Sea level has been rising naturally since the end of the last glaciation over 10,000 years ago. The current rate of rise (last few thousand years) is/has been about 9 inches per century. Thus the natural rise by 2100 should be 0.85 (85 years to go) x 9 inches x 2.54 cm/inch = about 19.43 cm. And they are crowing about reducing that number all the way down to 19.43 – 0.04 (avg. of the given range) = 19.37 cm. Hey, I’d pay $100 billion for that. If they can show me that reducing CO2 affects temperature at all.
At that pace, in 10,000 years, the natural rise would be 19.43 meters (63.7 feet) which this policy would reduce by 4 cm, or about 1.6 inches. Beyond that, don’t worry, we will entering the 80,000 year period of dropping temperatures from which the next glaciation will arise, and sea levels will probably drop by 300 feet or so.
Give me a break.

August 20, 2015 12:48 pm

0.0026 degrees eh? I din’t know about you but that sounds dooable. I mean, 385 similar legislative implementations and you have a whole degree of cooling………..

Reply to  Dave_G
August 20, 2015 4:56 pm

Please, Dave! Don’t give them ideas! 🙂

August 20, 2015 12:49 pm

“don’t”….. wish we had editing facilities.

Physics Major
August 20, 2015 12:52 pm

It’s really very simple: Every human activity causes CO2 to be emitted; the EPA can regulate CO2 emissions; therefore the EPA can regulate every human activity.
Get used to it.

Reply to  Physics Major
August 20, 2015 1:01 pm

You may choose to get used to it, but I an not and the next election may change things or our courts may weigh in who have frequently slapped down the administration.

August 20, 2015 12:56 pm

When we owe 18-20 trillion…
..does everyone realize how small 100 billion really is?

August 20, 2015 12:57 pm

I’ll go along with that. But it is not the increase in fuel efficiency and so on which is really at issue in this post. Rather, it is the vacuous spin which surrounds it and the assumptions upon which it is based.
Thus, there is the underlying assumption that a certain amount of CO2 ‘saved’ from the atmosphere will result in a particular reduction in temperature. This assumes a particular CO2 sensitivity and, as everyone knows, that is not part of the ‘settled’ science. At this point of time it is unknown with ‘guestimates’ over a wide range of possible values (which might indeed all be wrong).
Secondly there is the fact that the degree of heating purported to be saved cannot be measured. That is not to say that it does not exist, just that it cannot be seen.
If I had the energy I might go on to ridicule these puffed up purveyors of pulp fiction, but…. well, they are just too pathetic for me to be bothered!

Reply to  Kohl
August 20, 2015 1:07 pm

Nonetheless, if the effect of the rule is beneficial in some respects, what does the spin matter?

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 1:18 pm

If you could buy a burger in one place that was cheaper than a burger in the other place, why have a rule setting the price of burgers.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 1:24 pm

what does the spin matter?
So… you’re not only saying it is OK to give them credit for something they didn’t actually do, you are also saying since that something is beneficial, it is OK for them to lie about other stuff? Wow. Just wow.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 1:42 pm

The spin matters because the government spent their subsidies to improve the environment in which case the money was not properly spent; so they have to lie about the benefits, and many of us are tired of wasting tax dollars. I am not an expert on truck engines but I did read somewhere that the feds were giving subsidies to certain engine manufacturers, I don’t remember the amount.or who. Do you know how much the government spent in subsidies?
One question: is Phase 2 economically viable or just a false hope like the renewable energy programs and subsidies for electric cars. As I recall the administration edict ed that cars get 56 mpg in the near future which is difficult except in very small vehicles.
As an engineer, I am always interested in greater efficiency engines and large diesels may be a good target, but one also has to keep in mind the cost of purchase and maintenance. I know for a fact that the modern engines do not last as long as the older engines especially in boats where the engines work hard most of the time. this has to do with getting more and more HP out of less cubic inches. The economics needs to consider everything and hopefully that is the case especially if new technology is mandated before it is proven.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 2:43 pm

Catcracking…the answer to your question is pretty much TBD. The EPA tried in this case to provide a 2 year payback for line haul trucks, which burn the most fuel. I think the estimates of technology cost can be a little optimistic, but they are trying to guess how the costs will come down as new tech is deployed in volume. 2 year break even is generally ok with truck fleets here in the U.S., since they generally turn over their fleets at 5 years of age, give or take.
We shall see. New wide single tires, trailer aero treatments and powertrain improvements are already having an impact, and in general, the cost for these things is pretty low. It will be tougher to make each incremental target as the rules get more restrictive. We shall see.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 3:01 pm

Catcracking…your first question: you may be thinking of the Supertruck program, which was part of the economic stimulus package in roughly 2008-2012. Teams of truck makers and engine-makers were challenged to develop trucks that were 50% more fuel efficient. These were cost shared programs where the mfr and the government each paid roughly half. If I recall there were 3 or 4 teams, and each produced a tech demonstrator truck that was tested for efficiency. I know that several of the trucks tested into the 10-12 mpg range, vs 6-8 mpg for current designs. Lots of hard technology there, but the data says it’s worth going for, in my view.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 21, 2015 3:56 am
Reply to  DataTurk
August 21, 2015 10:31 pm

Why spin? Why exaggerate?
If someone feels a need to exaggerate then they must feel that there is something wrong with their point of view.

Reply to  Kohl
August 20, 2015 1:30 pm

Why do you think EPA did nothing? In fact, trucks have mostly been stuck at 6 mpg for 20 years, in spite of the competition you cite above, mainly because truck drivers like to drive big, chromed-out non-aero monsters, rather than more modern designs. The whole industry needed a nudge, and actually helped EPA deliver it.
You may think you understand this business, but it clear you don’t want to. There endeth the lesson.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 1:37 pm

Having worked directly with multiple trucking companies operating over 1,000 heavy trucks each to improve their bottom line profitability, I call BS on your lesson. I’ve also worked with R&D organizations busting a gut to improve the efficiency of their engines and over all drive trains. Why do these trucking companies and manufacturers spend so much time on efficiency?
Because it directly impacts their bottom lines and their market share with or without EPA intervention!
That’s why.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 1:41 pm

lol. Truck drivers are prepared to pay x for y. and that just aint on, according to agency A. So we have a rule..B
And the rules for setting the rule don’t matter. They are clearly not economic rules, otherwise the truck drivers would act differently

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 1:44 pm

Gosh, you win…I yield to your obvious grasp. You have the big picture for sure. Never mind me pointing out that the frame is too small.

Tom J
Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 4:41 pm

‘…trucks have mostly been stuck at 6 mpg for 20 years, in spite of the competition you cite above, mainly because truck drivers like to drive big, chromed-out non-aero monsters, rather than more modern designs. The whole industry needed a nudge, and actually helped EPA deliver it.’
It seems to me I’m detecting a bit of a bias, if not outright prejudice, in the statement above: ‘truck drivers like to drive big, chromed-out non-aero monsters, rather than…’ Am I detecting it, DataTurk? You do realize that many of the independents virtually live in their trucks. How austere a home would you wish for? And, maybe your concern is more about fuel consumption than their concern is. But, could it be that they have lots of other concerns as well? Let’s see how well those fuel saving single tires handle snow and water compared to the doubles?
I particularly enjoyed your statement about how the ‘industry needed a nudge.’ How soft and gentle sounding. But you and I know what that really means, don’t we?

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 6:25 pm

TomJ…that’s rich…you lecturing me. I was pointing out one of the reasons that trucks don’t change fast in the U.S. For another thing, some truckers do spend a lot of time in their trucks. To further educate you on the architecture of a truck, “in” means inside. Outside is where the aero happens. The two are not really related.
New, aerodynamic trucks are bigger and far more comfortable than the old square nosed behemoths with external air cleaners, visors, and 8in chrome straight stacks.
Glad we cleared that up.
For the record, I know professionally and professionally respect many, many truck drivers….but some of them of them are attracted to shiny objects, and they don’t always make the best business decisions.
That’s not bias, it’s just reality. If you don’t know that, you don’t really know them at all.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 9:56 pm

Just what laws of physics are you planning to repeal to get more than incremental improvements in fuel economy? Reducing aero drag only goes so far, you’re still left with rolling and grade resistance. Improving the efficiency of the engines is a real long shot with the ever tightening emissions limits. “dmh” called it exactly right.
These regs also make me wonder even more as to whether anyone at the EPA has any grounding in engineering.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 21, 2015 3:51 am

Actually, I’m a big fan of the Laws of Physics, which you seem to feel are exhausted in this case. I do not agree. There are huge opportunities in just doing better engineering and selectively adding technologies that make sense.
I don’t really expect this to help, but here is some light reading that may enlighten you on the true state of play. If you already have all the answers, I would strongly suggest you not read it:

Reply to  DataTurk
August 21, 2015 3:58 am
Erik Magnuson
Reply to  DataTurk
August 21, 2015 9:46 am

Not much in the report that I didn’t know already.
FWIW, the easiest way to get a dramatic reduction in long distance trucking is to use domestic containers and do the long distance hauling by rail. Shipping by rail vs truck results in both dramatic reductions in rolling resistance (typical rolling resistance is 0.2% of applied load) and aero drag. It’s also much easier to run a train on non-fossil fuel resources by putting a wire over the tracks, but that involves major capital expenditures (a large fraction of the costs are raising road and highway bridges over the tracks to provide clearance for the catenary).

Reply to  Erik Magnuson
August 21, 2015 11:21 am

Erik M…I agree with you about the general efficiency of rail or intermodal transport, and I really like catenary railways as an alternative to big diesels.
One of the reasons trucks carry 70+% of the dollar value that is shipped anywhere in the U.S., is that trucks are better at getting high-value or perishable freight from A to B in the shortest possible time. That’s their value proposition vs rail, and the cost is far lower than air freight. That’s why the vegetables picked in Texas or CA can be on your plate in Chicago in less than 48 hours. At the moment, rail can’t do that, and you would not like the price of air freighted cabbage!
If we were able to rethink the entire system, we could probably come up with a better way, for sure.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 21, 2015 10:47 pm

I skimmed the document and noticed the first line in chapter 6 (or there-abouts).
“The costs and benefits of particular measures to reduce fuel consumption can be estimated with some degree of precision”.
Who gives a shit how precise they are in their estimates. They either don’t know the difference between accuracy and precision, and as such shouldn’t be tasked with such a project. Or they do know the difference and are honestly saying “we don’t care about the accuracy, we got the same answer in a few different projection scenarios, so we are precise, to some degree; we are not going to talk about the accuracy”.
I stopped reading after the first line of chapter 6 (or there-abouts).

Chris Hanley
August 20, 2015 1:37 pm

‘Through the magic of the social cost of carbon, the EPA transforms 0.003°C of avoided global warming into $100 billion of economic benefit …’.
When was the perfect climate, what is the ideal global average temperature?
If every increase in GAT no matter how minute gives rise to a net cost then there must be some theoretical GAT which is perfect where any increase causes a cost and any decrease also.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
August 20, 2015 3:20 pm

Good question. Don’t expect an answer any time soon. Nobody knows. But that doesn’t stop them. The greatest harm in this world is not caused by lack of knowledge but by people who pretend to know when they don’t. (Somebody smarter than me said that)

August 20, 2015 1:53 pm

For DataTurk
Doing the right thing for the wrong reason simply entrenches ignorance and superstition. Essentially, it is an irrational approach to decision making.
Inevitably it leads to unjustified decision making or, in other words – doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Kohl
August 20, 2015 2:08 pm

The EPA is a Government Bureaucracy.
What else would you expect?
It was given authority (for a “good cause”) with no accountability. It was only a matter of time before the “good cause” became political rather than science-based environmental.

Bruce Cobb
August 20, 2015 2:02 pm

Since when did Big Brother government become interested in saving business and industry, or for that matter, individuals, money?
Oh wait, they aren’t.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 20, 2015 3:22 pm

My big brother used to beat me up on a regular basis. Sheez. Some things never change.

Reply to  godzi11a
August 21, 2015 10:49 pm

he he, thanks.
(Either that’s funny, or I am just getting tired)

August 20, 2015 2:05 pm

Just for the record, you should also be slamming the USDOT, who were co-developers of the Phase I and Phase II rules, along with Kenworth, Peterbilt, Volvo, Freightliner, Navistar, Cummins, Eaton, the American Trucking Association, and on and on.
For Kohl…I think they did the right thing for the right reason at the “get it done” level: reducing fuel consumption. It’s possible the front office got a little carried away with the GHG spin, I will grant you! Not for the first time…or, sadly, the last. 🙂

August 20, 2015 2:09 pm

Here in Europe, the idiots set about regulating the vacuum cleaner market, with the intention of banning the least efficient vacuum cleaners.
Unfortunately, since they are idiots – what they actually have now done is ban some of the MOST efficient vacuum cleaners.
Somehow or other in their pursuit of efficiency they seem to have muddled up efficiency with total power rating. At least that is what they appear to have done since they have banned only vacuum cleaner over 1600watt rather than banning vacuum cleaners which are inefficient. (Soon to be a limit at 700watts!!!)
I’m not even sure if the people who created these regulations know what the words energy, power or efficiency mean in the strictly defined technical sense.
When asked to justify this nonsense the EU spokesperson Marlene Holzner, apparently explained:
“I believe there is a misconception and that is that if you have a high-voltage vac that also means that it has a lot of power to suck the dust,”
HIGH VOLTAGE!!! It simply beggars belief that such people have been granted the freedom to place extraordinarily costly and destructive sanctions upon entire industries and the peoples of many lands.
So, we can immediately see that she is a clueless imbecile with regard to this topic.
Is anyone involved NOT a clueless imbecile? That is the question.
I don’t actually approve of any such micro-managed market controls. But these are particularly dumb and seem to be the result of the scientific illiteracy of arts, humanities and language educated bureaucrats.
Anyway, I bought three vacuum cleaners when the ban came in. They were cheap, and were according to published figures and my calculations they were the most efficient models on the market.
I established this by comparing the output power (suction in “air-watts”) as a proportion of the input electrical energy in watts. Plus they have slider power controllers which allow me to use them at low power for less demanding jobs. Obviously I must also perpetuate this high efficiency by replacing the bag/filters often – and this is something which I do.
But, such machines are now banned and the plants produced them will have been dismantled (or maybe sold to the Chinese!!)
So now, only less efficient vacuum cleaners are available. And such low efficiency, low power machines will clearly result in both time-wasting and less effective removal of particulate contaminants from homes/vehicles.
Apparently, the regulators in the EU are happy to expose people to particulate contaminants.
Which is ironic.
One of the great advances of the modern age was based on the understanding of the simple principle that all other things being equal – if you scale up a machine then it is generally more efficient.
It is the reason why wind turbines are as big as conceivably possible.
(This may not apply for a motor vehicle, since it must accelerate its own mass, and I am tempted to conclude that the preoccupation with pushing people to use smaller cars has lead our masters to believe that there is merit in scaling everything down.
But vacuum cleaner are not self-propelling. So the additional mass does not render them less efficient!!)
I did also encounter an EU spokesperson suggesting that they were looking into limiting the maximum power rating of kettles – and this convinces me that they really are simply muddle-headed when it comes to technical topics.
Obviously, (all else equal) boiling water slowly is more “lossy” i.e. inefficient than boiling it quickly. Since the body of water is spending more time losing heat as it slowly approaches the point at which it will be made into tea or coffee.
Hopefully, you guys here will understand these simple points.
Anyway, another tiny step towards the dark ages, courtesy of our witless rulers.
“The efficiency of an entity (a device, component, or system) in electronics and electrical engineering is defined as useful power output divided by the total electrical power consumed (a fractional expression)” source wikipedia.

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
August 20, 2015 2:49 pm

I feel your pain. Here in the States we have toilets that won’t flush…for similarly incomprehensible reasons….

Reply to  DataTurk
August 20, 2015 9:16 pm

The tank holds more water than the bowl. Just keep the handle down. No water saved. Problem solved.

August 20, 2015 2:41 pm

I would tend to agree with DataTurk that regulations are binding on emitters and CAFE rules have led to higher fleet average fuel efficiency. If you plot average fuel efficiency and CAFE standards, the two track closely together together. During the 80s and early 90s when CAFE rules were being tightened average efficiency improved on pace, then during the long period where they were flat they stopped increasing. This is not because engines stopped becoming more efficient, but because consumers preferred other features that added to vehicle weight and ate up those efficiency gains.
What is causing those big net benefits, isn’t the carbon externality, but the fuel savings for consumers. This is basic on the idea that when it comes to saving money on energy efficiency, consumers use hyperbolic discounting, and don’t accurately account for the money they’d save from more fuel efficiency. IE there is an information problem. If consumers had perfect information about the various vehicle technologies and their costs they would demand more of it, but because they don’t manufacturers don’t add them. Basically the EPA thinks we’re too stupid to save money with more efficient vehicles, so they make the decision for us. This is a basic statist impulse. People are stupid, so we have to tell them what to do.

August 20, 2015 3:38 pm

Looking for the source document, I ran across this …
Cost effective for businesses and consumers: Payback periods for truck owners would be favorable: the typical buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the extra cost of the technology in under two years through fuel savings. After that point, it’s money in the owner’s pocket. When these fuel savings bring down the costs of transporting goods, consumers can save money as well.
So, if the increased cost of trucks that meet the standards can be recouped in just two years of use, why does the EPA need a regulation? Do they suppose that UPS and FedEx are so stupid that the won’t invest in a product with a two year payback? Or maybe the cost of developing the technology is likely to be so great that the payback for truck manufacturers will be never.

Tom J
August 20, 2015 3:45 pm

I think the best way to approach this is to consider the EPA as a man, and the Earth’s climate as a woman, and both are discussing the previous night.
EC: That’s the dinkiest thing I’ve yet come across.
EPA: Nonsense, honey, I moved your mountains with it last night.
EC: Hah; either you understand nothing about me, or you’re just way too much into yourself.
EPA: You liked it.
EC: Hah; can’t like something I don’t even know is there. That was the tiniest, dinkiest, teeniest, puny, short, wet noodle I’ve ever seen. And you’re claiming I noticed it? I was sleeping. Did you think my snoring was something else?
EPA: Please don’t tell anybody. I have an image to maintain.
EC: Not after you urinated in my back yard in Colorado last week.

wayne Job
August 20, 2015 5:54 pm

EPA I think they should be ridiculed, maybe using their own name against them. A contest to come up with an appropriate name that becomes feral and widely used, a new part of the American idiom.
Such as Extreme Propaganda Association or something shorter and more catchy that the press would start using. The stupidity of that mob seems to have no bounds.

August 20, 2015 7:58 pm

Today was 2.6 thousandsths of a degree above the long term average for the date. Climate change is real and it is upon us! Clutch your children to your bosoms and despair!

Steve Garcia
August 20, 2015 7:58 pm

Although these effects are small, they occur on a global scale and are long lasting; therefore, they can make an important contribution to reducing the risks associated with climate change.
Yes, like pushing a medium-sized pickup with a feather.
That is one of the most ridiculous features of the warmists (and greens in general) – that they have no sense of proportion, of how much it actually TAKES to change something. They continually assign causation to forces and energies that are simply too insubstantial to do what they assert is possible.
They believe that the Butterfly Effect is a real thing, that a butterfly flapping its wings in one place can cause a hurricane on the other side of the ocean or planet. The Butterfly Effect is GARBAGE. The force generated by the flapping of the wings will be attenuated/absorbed in the first inch or so, and beyond that distance it cannot possibly have any effect. It’s all New Age delusion, passed on by the likes of Deepak Chopra.
As a design engineer, I had to take into consideration not just the forces I was APPLYING, but what the REACTION FORCES that the design had to contend with (gravity, inertia, viscosity, etc.). These reaction forces/conditions are REAL, and without taking them into consideration, the scenarios cannot be realistic. The atmosphere and the ocean water push BACK. The inertia of every molecule in the air and ocean is not inelastic. Each of them absorbs the down thrust of the butterfly wings or a pebble tossed into the sea.
To pretend that such systems are not inelastic is completely unscientific. (Similarly, the increase in the CO2 that man puts into the atmosphere is so small – 1 part per million in the past 100 years – is as butterfly wings flapping. It gets absorbed and USED chemically, energetically, and mechanically. That doiesn’t give us any cause to increase the output, but what we have done is smly too feeble to have done ANYTHING.)
0.023 or .057 cm rise in sea level – that is 0.009 inches – about the thickness of three sheets of paper. This is not only stupendously small, it is less than the tolerance of measuring sea level. By that I mean that if 100 people went out to measure the sea level RIGHT NOW, sa accurately as possible, the range of their measurements would be far greater than 0.023cm. IOW, this amount is not only insignificant, but not measurable.
Similarly, the “0.0026 to 0.0065 °C” (0.0047°F to 0.0117°F) is AT LEAST 10 times smaller than met stations can distinguish consistently and accurately. It is smaller than plants can distinguish in terms of climate damage. It is far smaller than ANYONE can sense. Again, it is smaller than the tolerance (+/-) of any measuring that is done.
These are not silly comparisons, nor a wrong analogy . Their proposed means of achieving their “gains” are causes, and therefore forcings – and forcings ARE forces/impetuses. If changing a forcing delivers so feeble a return, then the method of changing the forcing is USELESS.
All of this is absolutely the same as monks 800 years ago arguing over the number of angels that can fit on the head of a pin. It is wasting EVERYBODY’S time and energy – and threatens to bankrupt people over a delta of 1 angel, plus or minus 0.000001, in a population of a million angels.
WHO THE F*** CARES? It’s not going to kill the planet for our grandkids, dammit. When are these warmists going to just STFU and go sing Kumbaya around their campfires? The world has REAL problems, and they want to de-develop the world because of their butterfly and its flapping wings. An imagined butterfly, no less.

August 20, 2015 11:05 pm

Should it be a good idea to do anything to reduce CO2, that will have to be done in a multifaceted way that involves a large number of separate efforts, most of which individually will each have a small contribution.
Meanwhile, I like the idea of consuming less gasoline, so that oil supplies last longer, emissions of nitrogen oxides (a smog and acid rain contributor) are reduced, people pay less for motor fuel, and that the national balance of trade improves.

August 21, 2015 12:03 am

typo :
aren’t 0.0026 and 0.0065 °C “two point six thousandths and sixty point five thousandths ”
instead of “twenty-six thousandths and sixty-five thousandths” ?

August 21, 2015 12:11 am

By at least .0023 of a degree the temperature falls
When I walk out of a room,
With my body heat gone and following that drop
Will I see my bank balance zoom?

August 21, 2015 8:11 am

Thanks to everyone for catching the thousandths/ten-thousandths mistake on my part! I’ll be sure and fix it over on the Cato blog, I’ll leave it to the moderators here to decide how to handle it a WUWT.
Interesting discussion about fuel efficiency regs. I side with those who prefer the govt to stay out it and let consumers/consumer preferences drive the market. That said, what I primarily wanted to demonstrate was that climate change mitigation was an incorrect justification, so the EPA et al. need to come up with something better. Or, best of all, butt out.
[Order of magnitude fixed. ~mod.]

Reply to  Chip Knappenberger
August 21, 2015 9:59 am

Chip…I agree that the justification put forward by EPA is exceptionally weak. That said, achieving fuel efficiency of this magnitude is a reasonable, and in my view, laudable policy objective for a national government.
I don’t expect much support for this view here, but I think this rule is already moving the trucking industry in a direction that free market forces alone could not impel. Support for this rule enjoys a majority of support from the regulated industry, which I would judge to be the exception in govt rule-makings.

August 21, 2015 11:05 am

Thanks for the information you provided, it was helpful. As an Engineer I always support increased efficiency in trucks and autos. From what you indicate there are substantial opportunities for fuel savings in the trucking business which sounds good. The problem I am concerned about is that the government is issuing rules every day not based on scientific or economic justification and they don’t know when enough is enough as they arbitrarily cut emissions with false claims of health savings. This becomes a huge problem when a government goes beyond the Constitution.
For example the recent proclamation that the USA will reduce CO 2 emissions by 32% with a theoretical benefit of 0.01 degree C. The cost and pain associated with that will be enormous especially there currently is not a reliable and economic replacement for fossil fuels. Even former believers have changed their minds after getting the facts.
Unfortunately in the truck case they made ridiculous claims on the environmental front rather than just stick to the fact that there are fuel savings. Also unfortunately this exaggeration along with alarmist claims is currently consistent with the mind set in our government.

Reply to  Catcracking
August 21, 2015 1:46 pm
August 21, 2015 11:41 pm

NHTSA studies show that as light truck curb weight decreased, fatality rates increase (for light trucks more than about 4,000 lbs) by as much as 2.5% for a 100 lb weight reduction.
Now if we think we can calculate the temp as being 0.003C less because a 1 ppm atmospheric CO2 reduction, it should also be reasonable to assume that we can extrapolate/calculate the increase in crash mortality because of a 1 ppm weight reduction in light trucks.
So if, for mileage benefits, we reduce the weight of a light truck by 0.004 lbs we will have an increase in mortality (and injury) of … not much. But if we carry this out over the next 85 years the cost to society is significant. Are the mileage benefits worth all the human suffering caused by saving 0.004 pounds of steel?
What if instead, we work for the common good and mandate an addition of 0.008 lbs to each pick-up. We will be saving numerous lives and reduce significant injuries, and produce a great societal benefit throughout the next 85 years and into the next century.
What do you think DATATURK can you get on board with this logic (even though the increased weight will reduce the mileage)?

August 22, 2015 4:22 am

No. Read the thread. If 24 billion gallons of fuel savings (per year, best case) does not register with you as a societal benefit, we will continue this conversation only when your capsule returns to earth.

Reply to  DataTurk
August 22, 2015 3:51 pm

That’s a lot of gallons. So, if we don’t meet your projected billions of fuel savings, if the projected full benefit is not there then what? It was still worth it because it didn’t cost you anything.
Based on past experience it is reasonable to say that projected costs will be greater than assumed … can you guarantee that the projected benefits will be there. And if they are not, will you do everything that you can (from your personal resources) to make up for it?

Reply to  DonM
August 22, 2015 4:29 pm

Really, DonM? You are asking for my personal guarantee? Sure! You bet…if you pay me a nickel for every gallon saved…
My advice, fire the retros, and hope like hell that the chutes still work…

Reply to  DonM
August 22, 2015 5:15 pm

The difference is that I am not asking for the program or touting the program (although the costs will be spread out so that I will have to pay my admittedly small/miniscule share).
If I were to push a program, based on my understanding of it (and you seem to have a great understanding of the subject) I would definitely stand behind it.
Maybe a desire for “big and shiny” is not the only reason that the trucking industry hasn’t made the changes on their own, to date.
It will be a only be a good deal if the associated costs for the “nickel saved” are less than 5 cents. Environmental programs that don’t have a net benefit have been the passion of the ignorant (and the smart/greedy) for a long time now. If this is not another example of such, then good for you; if it is then the rest of us pay for it.

August 22, 2015 8:03 pm

DonM, thank you. That was a clearer response, and well-reasoned.
The trucking industry moves slowly for a lot of reasons, and I was being too flip with my big and shiny comment, although that has been a factor. The industry is very cost conscious, and very, very conservative. They have also had a steady stream of snake oil salesmen through their offices promising fuel efficiency and quick payback. Justifiably gun shy, as a result.
That said, the technologies to achieve much better fuel efficiency are not that far out, And some are already being deployed, like advanced tires (~5%). You’ve probably seen a lot more trucks with trailer aero treatments, and the only square-nosed conventional trucks on the road are mostly older models. Hybrid trucks get 5-50% better fuel, albeit with a payback period that is still unattractive. There are other things as well. I think these technologies work, not because the EPA says so, but because myself and others in the industry have seen them work. It is our challenge to make the products in the marketplace a good deal for the customers who buy them. Some things will fall out, but we will also discover other things that we haven’t thought of yet. That’s one of the cool things about being an engineer in this business…its up to us to make things that work!
I’m a child of the 50’s. I didn’t think much about clean air and water as a kid, but I saw plenty of smog and polluted rivers, and I think those things are largely of the past (yes, I have heard of the Animas River, but in a larger sense, I think what I said is true). I like clean air and clean water, and I am glad that our government was able to do those things for me. The EPA grew out of the Clean Air Act, and had at one time a science-driven policy agenda…they were difficult to deal with, but fairly straightforward on the science.
Starting in the Clinton administration, EPA began to take on a different role as an instrument of policy for the administration in power. That process has continued to this day, with the results that frustrate so many of us. They have clearly lost their way, and it will take some determined political effort to get things back on track.
This new rule grew out of a collaboration between EPA, DOT, and a number of major players in the industry. It’s challenging and technology-forcing, but generally I think it is doable. I support the rule for the same reason I support clean air and water…it just makes sense to save a big bunch of fuel if it can be done within the realistic commercial constraints of a “justifiably gun shy” industry. I am fully aware that the CO2 claims are specious, but the fuel economy benefit makes it worth doing, in my view.

August 23, 2015 5:14 am

I think these 2 charts can largely explain the warming since the 1970’s. I don’t think data exists for these variables before the 1950, at least not for Ozone. Absolute H2O has gone from 7.65 g/kg to 8.08 g/kg, More H20, more warming.
Per the website of the image source:

As the ozone layer thins, more UV-B radiation reaches the Earth.

Note how UV-B can warm O2. Funny how the climate “scientists” seem to have missed that one. They ban CFC’s and Ozone DECREASED, and now we are warming.

August 23, 2015 5:26 am

UV-B also penetrates the oceans, unlike IR.comment image
Clearly the climate “scientists” in their rush to convict CO2 have overlooked the far more likely causes, H2O and Ozone.
The numbers simply don’t add up for CO2. The change in W/^2 is simply too small and inconsistent with the ice core data temperature to be the cause.

August 23, 2015 7:19 am

EPA determines that the projected reductions in atmospheric CO 2, global mean temperature, sea level rise, and ocean pH are meaningful in the context of this action. The results of the analysis, summarized in Table VII-37, demonstrate that relative to thereference case, by 2100 projected atmospheric CO 2 concentrations are estimated to be reduced by 1.1 to 1.2 part per million by volume (ppmv), global mean temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.0026 to 0.0065 °C, and sea-level rise is projected to be reduced by approximately 0.023 to 0.057 cm, based on a range of climate sensitivities (described below). Details about this modeling analysis can be found in the draft RIA Chapter 6.3.

Is that “benefit” worth 12% of our GDP each year? Is this a joke? What a waste on a biblical scale. America is going to destroy herself for an immeasurable benefit? These climate “scientists” are absolutely insane.
Check on MODTRAN, those changes have absolutely no impact on outgoing W/M^2.
The above quote comes from this part of the report.

Table VII-37—Impact of GHG Emissions Reductions on Projected Changes in Global Climate Associated With Proposed Phase 2 Standards for MY 2018-2024 Variable Units Year Projected change
Atmospheric CO 2 CONCENTRATION ppmv 2100 −1.1 to −1.2
Global Mean Surface Temperature °C 2100 −0.0026 to −0.0065
Sea Level Rise cm 2100 −0.023 to −0.057
Ocean pH pH units 2100 +0.0006 a

People in Congress need to know about the irresponsible behavior of the EPA and the abuse of the American tax payer and energy consumer. This is a bad joke at worse. The EPA needs to be reduced to a advisory role, not a regulatory role. The environmentalists simply can’t be trusted to act in the best interest of America or the environment. Free and prosperous nations are the cleanest.

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