## NRC report concludes US LDVs could cut oil consumption and GHGs by 80% by 2050; reliance on plug-ins, biofuels and hydrogen; strong policies mandatory

##### 18 March 2013
 Projected rates of fuel consumption improvement under different scenarios relative to past experience and the 2016 and 2025 CAFE standards. Source: NRC. Click to enlarge.

Light-duty vehicles (LDVs) in the US may be able to reduce petroleum use by 50% by 2030, and by 80% by 2050; and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050, according to the newly published results of a two-year study by a committee convened by the National Research Council.

Achieving those goals will will be difficult—but not impossible to meet—and will necessitate a combination of more efficient vehicles; the use of alternative fuels such as biofuels, electricity, and hydrogen; and strong government policies to overcome high costs and influence consumer choices. Given the importance of policy as a driver, the committee was also asked—somewhat unusually for a study of this kind—to explore policies, noted Douglas M. Chapin, principal of MPR Associates, and chair of the committee that wrote the report.

To reach the 2050 goals for reducing petroleum use and greenhouse gases, vehicles must become dramatically more efficient, regardless of how they are powered. In addition, alternative fuels to petroleum must be readily available, cost-effective and produced with low emissions of greenhouse gases. Such a transition will be costly and require several decades.

The committee’s model calculations, while exploratory and highly uncertain, indicate that the benefits of making the transition, i.e. energy cost savings, improved vehicle technologies, and reductions in petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions, exceed the additional costs of the transition over and above what the market is willing to do voluntarily.

—Douglas M. Chapin

 Summary of the findings of potential reductions of petroleum use (left) and GHG (right) under a series of scenarios. Horizontal bars mark the respective reduction targets. Source: NRC. Click to enlarge.

Background. In response to a Congressional mandate in 2010, the National Research Council (NRC) convened the Committee on Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels to assess the potential for vehicle and fuel technology options to achieve substantial reductions in petroleum use and GHG emissions by 2050 relative to 2005.

The statement of task specifically asks how the on-road LDV fleet could reduce, relative to 2005, petroleum use by 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, and GHG emissions by 80% by 2050.

Broadly, the committee found that four general pathways could contribute to attaining both goals of petroleum and GHG reduction:

• Highly efficient internal combustion vehicles
• Vehicles operating on biofuels
• Vehicles operating on electricity
• Vehicles operating on hydrogen

While natural gas vehicles would reduce petroleum use, they would have limited impact on GHG emissions. An important caveat to the use of biofuels, electricity and hydrogen is that their GHG benefits depend on their being produced without large GHG emissions. This expands the need for controlling emissions beyond the transportation sector, the committee noted, and thus calls for a broader policy implementation.

For vehicle technologies, the committee used two sets of assumptions for cost and performance:

1. Midrange estimates that are ambitious but reasonable goals in the committee’s assessment;

2. Optimistic estimates which are potentially attainable, but will require greater successes in R&D and vehicle design.

Again, both sets are predicated on the assumption that strong and effective policies are implemented to continually increase requirements or incentives (at least through 2050) to ensure that technology gains are focused on reducing petroleum use and GHG emissions (rather than enhancing performance, as has occurred in the past).

The committee also developed alternate assumptions for fuels to aid in assessing uncertainties. For example, several production processes were considered for hydrogen and biofuels, and both conventional generation and low-GHG-emission scenarios were considered for electricity.

The committee also considered crosscutting technologies. For vehicles, these included weight reduction and improvements in rolling and aerodynamic resistance; for fuels, carbon capture and storage (CCS). In addition, the analysis took into account sector-wide effects such as consumer preferences and potential changes in vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

The committee then analyzed the performance and cost impacts of the various options in different scenarios. Vehicle and fuel data were then used to forecast future LDV fleet energy use and GHG emissions using two models, as well comparing different policy-driven scenarios.

By their nature, all models are simplifications and approximations of the real world and will always be constrained by computational limitations, assumptions, and knowledge gaps. All the models’ estimations depend critically on assumptions about technologies, economics, and policies and should best be viewed as tools to help inform decisions rather than as machines to generate truth or make decisions. The LAVE-Trans model in particular uses the committee’s assumptions about technological progress over several decades, how people behave, what things cost and what they are worth. It predicts, in a formal relational structure, how the vehicle fleet composition would then evolve and what the impact would be on petroleum use and GHG emissions. Some of the LAVE-Trans results were surprising, but the committee examined them and the model, fixed mistakes, and revised assumptions, until it was satisfied with the robustness of the outputs that resulted from the inputs. Even so, there is considerable uncertainty about the results presented here.

—“Transitions To Alternative Vehicles And Fuels”

Major Findings. Major findings of the committee as reported include:

• It will be very difficult to meet the goal of a 50% reduction in annual LDV petroleum use by 2030 relative to 2005, but with additional policies, the US might achieve a 40% reduction. An increasing number of efficient ICE vehicles, with an increasing share of HEVs will be responding to the CAFE requirements.

Additional policy support may be required to promote increased sales of natural gas vehicles, battery-electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles. Even then the US is unlikely to reach a 50% reduction in petroleum use by 2030 because very little time remains for achieving the required massive changes in the on-road LDV fleet and/or its fuel supply. Many of the vehicles on the road in 2030 will have been built by 2015, and these will lower the fuel economy of the on-road fleet.

• The goal of an 80% reduction in LDV petroleum use by 2050 potentially could be met by several combinations of technologies that achieve at least the midrange level of estimated success. Continued improvement in vehicle efficiency, beyond that required by the 2025 CAFE standards, is an important part of each successful combination. In addition, biofuels would have to be expanded greatly or the LDV fleet would have to be composed largely of CNGVs, BEVs and/or FCEVs.

• Large reductions are potentially achievable in annual LDV GHG emissions by 2050, on the order of 60 to 70% relative to 2005. An 80% reduction in LDV GHG emissions by 2050 may be technically achievable, but will be very difficult. Vehicles and fuels in the 2050 time frame would have to include at least two of the four pathways: much higher efficiency than current vehicles, and operation on biofuels, electricity, or hydrogen (all produced with low GHG emissions). All four pathways entail great uncertainties over costs and performance. If BEVs or FCEVs are to be a majority of the 2050 LDV fleet, they would have to be a substantial fraction of new car sales by 2035.

• None of the four pathways by itself is projected to be able to achieve sufficiently high reductions in LDV GHG emissions to meet the 2050 goal. Further, the cost, potential rate of implementation of each technology, and response of consumers and manufacturers to policies are uncertain. Therefore, an adaptive framework that modifies policies as technologies develop and as conditions change is needed to efficiently move toward the long-term policy goals.

• Substantial progress toward the goals of reducing LDV petroleum use and GHG emissions is unlikely unless these goals are set and pushed on a nationwide basis through strong and effective policy intervention by the federal government.

• Even if the US falls short of the 2050 goals, there are likely to be environmental, economic and national security benefits resulting from the petroleum use and GHG emissions reductions that are achieved.

• The CAFE standard has been effective in reducing vehicle energy intensity, and further reductions can be realized through even higher standards if combined with policies to ensure that they can be achieved.

The committee suggests that LDV fuel economy and GHG emission standards continue to be strengthened to play a significant role after model year 2025 as part of efforts to improve LDV fuel economy and reduce GHG emissions.

• “Feebates,” rebates to purchasers of high-fuel-economy vehicles balanced by a tax on low-mpg vehicles is a complementary policy that would assist manufacturers in selling the more-efficient vehicles produced to meet fuel economy standards.

The committee suggests that the U.S. government include “feebates” as part of a policy package to reduce LDV fuel use.

• Several types of policies including a price floor for petroleum-based fuels or taxes on petroleum-based fuels could create a price signal against petroleum demand, assure producers and distributors that there is a profitable market for alternative fuels, and encourage consumers to reduce their use of petroleum- based fuels. High fuel prices, whether due to market dynamics or taxes, are effective in reducing fuel use.

• Fuel cells, batteries, biofuels, low-GHG production of hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and vehicle efficiency should all be part of the current R&D strategy. It is unclear which options may emerge as the more promising and cost-effective. At the present time, foreclosing any of the options the committee has analyzed would decrease the chances of achieving the 2050 goals.

The committee supports consistent R&D to advance technology development and to reduce the costs of alternative fuels and vehicles. The best approach is to promote a portfolio of vehicle and fuel R&D, supported by both government and industry, designed to solve the critical technical challenges in each major candidate pathway. Such primary research efforts need continuing evaluation of progress against performance goals to determine which technologies, fuels, designs, and production methods are emerging as the most promising and cost-effective.

• Demonstrations are needed for technologies to reduce GHG emissions at appropriate scale (for example, low-carbon hydrogen and CCS) to validate performance, readiness, and safety. Integrated demonstrations of vehicles and fueling infrastructure for alternative vehicle and fuel systems will be necessary to promote understanding of performance, safety, consumer use of these alternatives, and other important characteristics under real-world driving conditions.

The committee supports government involvement in limited demonstration projects at appropriate scale and at appropriate times to promote understanding of the performance and safety of alternative vehicles and fueling systems. For such projects, substantial private sector investment should complement the government investment, and the government should ensure that the demonstration incorporates well-designed data collection and analysis to inform future policy making and investment. The information collected with government funds should be made available to the public consistent with applicable rules that protect confidential data.

• Commercialization of fuel and vehicle technologies is best left to the private sector in response to performance-based policies, or policies that target reductions in GHG emissions or petroleum use rather than specific technologies. Performance-based policies for deployment (e.g., CAFE standards) or technology mandates (e.g., RFS) do not require direct government expenditure for particular vehicle or fuel technologies. Additional deployment policies such as vehicle or fuel subsidies, or quantity mandates directed at specific technologies are risky but may be necessary to attain large reductions in petroleum use and GHG emissions. For alternative-vehicle and fuel systems, government involvement with industry is likely to be needed to help coordinate commercial deployment of alternative vehicles with the fueling infrastructure for those vehicles.

The committee suggests that an expert review process independent of the agencies implementing the deployment policies and also independent of any political or economic interest groups advocating for the technologies being evaluated be used to assess available data, and predictions of costs and performance. Such assessments could determine the readiness of technologies to benefit from policy support to help bring them into the market at a volume sufficient to promote economies of scale. If such policies are implemented, there should be specific goals and time horizons for deployment. The review process should include assessments of net reductions in petroleum use and GHG emissions, vehicle and fuel costs, potential penetration rates, and consumer responses.

Vehicle-specific findings.

• Large increases in fuel economy are possible with incremental improvements in currently known technology for both load reduction and drivetrain improvements. The average of all conventional LDVs sold in 2050 might achieve CAFE test values of 74 mpg (3.18 l/100 km) for the midrange case. Hybrid LDVs might reach 94 mpg (2.5 l/100 km) by 2050. On-road fuel economy values will be lower.

• The unit cost of batteries will decline with increased production and development; in addition, the energy storage (in kilowatt-hours) required for a given vehicle range will decline with vehicle load reduction and improved electrical component efficiency. Therefore, battery pack costs in 2050 for a 100-mile real-world travel range are expected to drop by a factor of about 5.

However, even these costs are unlikely to create a mass market for BEVs, because a battery large enough for a 300-mile real-world range would still present significant weight and volume penalties and probably could not be recharged in much less than 30 minutes. Therefore, BEVs may be used mainly for local travel rather than as all-purpose vehicles.

• BEVs and PHEVs are likely to use lithium-ion batteries for the foreseeable future. Several advanced battery technologies (e.g., lithium-air) are being developed that would address some of the drawbacks of lithium-ion batteries, but their potential for commercialization by 2050 is highly uncertain, and they may have their own disadvantages.

• PHEVs offer substantial amounts of electric-only driving while avoiding the range and recharge-time limitations of BEVs. However, their larger battery will always entail a significant cost premium over similar HEVs, and their incremental fuel savings will decrease as the efficiency of HEVs improves.

• The technical hurdles that must be surmounted to develop an all-purpose vehicle acceptable to consumers appear lower for FCEVs than for BEVs. However, the infrastructure and policy barriers appear larger. Well before 2050 the cost of FCEVs could actually be lower than the cost of an equivalent ICEV, and operating costs should also be lower. FCEVs are expected to be equivalent in range and refueling time to ICEVs.

• Although fundamental technology breakthroughs are not essential to reach the mpg, performance, and cost estimates, new technology developments would substantially reduce the development cost and lead time. In particular, continued research to reduce the costs of advanced materials and battery concepts will be critical to the success of electric vehicles.

Fuel-specific findings.

• Meeting the GHG and petroleum reduction goals requires a massive restructuring of the fuel mix used for transportation. The use of petroleum must be greatly reduced, implying retirement of crude oil production and distribution infrastructure. Depending on the progress in drop-in biofuels versus non-liquid fuels, refineries, pipelines, and filling stations might also become obsolete. For BEVs to operate with low GHG emissions, coal- and natural gas-fired electricity generation might have to be greatly reduced unless CCS proves cost-effective. Reliance on natural gas or hydrogen for transportation would require additional infrastructure. With currently envisioned technology, sufficient biofuels could be produced by 2050 to meet the goal of 80% reduction in petroleum use if the committee’s vehicle efficiency estimates are attained.

• With increasing economic natural gas reserves and growing domestic natural gas production mostly from shale gas, there is enough domestic natural gas to greatly increase its use for the transportation sector without significantly affecting the traditional natural gas markets. Environmental issues associated with shale gas extraction (fracking) must be resolved, including leakage of natural gas, itself a powerful GHG, and potential contamination of groundwater.

There are several opportunities, direct and indirect, to use natural gas in LDVs, including producing electricity for PEVs and producing hydrogen for FCEVs. The fastest way to reduce petroleum use is probably by direct combustion in CNGVs coupled with efficiency improvements, but that approach is likely to interfere with achieving the GHG goal in 2050.

• Making hydrogen from fossil fuels, especially natural gas, is a low-cost option for meeting future demand from FCEVs, but such methods, by themselves, will not reduce GHG emissions enough to meet the 2050 goal. Making hydrogen with low GHG emissions is more costly (e.g., renewable electricity electrolysis) or requires new production methods (e.g., photoelectrochemical, nuclear cycles, and biological methods) or CCS to manage emissions. Continued R&D is needed on low-GHG hydrogen production methods and CCS to demonstrate that large amounts of low-cost and low-GHG hydrogen can be produced.

• Natural gas and coal conversion to liquid fuel (GTL, CTL) can be used as a direct replacement for petroleum gasoline, but the GHG emissions from these fuels are slightly greater than those from petroleum-based fuels even when CCS is employed at the production plant. Therefore, these fuels will play a small role in reducing petroleum use if GHG emissions are to be reduced simultaneously.

• Carbon capture and sequestration is a key technology for meeting the 2050 goal for GHG emissions reductions. Insofar as fossil fuels are used as a source of electricity or hydrogen to power LDVs, CCS will be essential. The only alternatives are nuclear power and renewable energy sources, including biofuels. Applying CCS to biofuel production could result in slightly negative net emissions.

The study was sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. The Research Council is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Resources

"I wonder why I didn't see any mention of "driving less" in this article; http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/03/nrc-20130318.html"

Wonder why the linkster did not start a discussion here?

This NRC report is good news, however, the title should be changed to "...US LDV's HAVE TO cut oil consumption and GHGs by 80% by 2050..." instead of saying the "US LDV's could cut oil consumption..."

This is due to the fact that by 2050,
1) there won't be much oil left to support more than 20% of a then larger car fleet.
2) The CO2 level has been rising more rapidly, with average from 2003-2012 being at 2.1 ppm, while for 2012, the rising is more rapid at 2.67 ppm. At this accelerating rate of increase, we will likely see a CO2 level of 500 ppm well before 2050, from a level of 390 of today. Atmospheric CO2 level of 500 is when run-away global warming will occur, meaning that there will be no going back even if the CO2 level is to go down, due to positive feedback loops. The following is a quote from Climateandfuel.com:

" CO2 level of 500 ppm could cause run away temperature.

A computer (simulation) prediction is that the earths temperature will rise by between 1.1 deg C and 6.4 deg. C by year 2100 if the emissions of CO2 are not limited and reduced (ref 147). The best estimates are that we need to contain the CO2 level to within 450 ppm in the atmosphere to retain the earths temperature within a further 2 deg C rise. If the level reaches 500 ppm, warming will continue to increase and due to the earths feedback processes it will accelerate or run away (ref 2.)

To limit the CO2 level to within 450 ppm, probably a maximum to prevent catastrophe we should stabilize the emissions now at the current level and then drop to zero after 60 years.

The director of Nasa's Goddard space science labs, Dr Jim Henson, warns that we should be aiming to reduce carbon in the air from 380 ppm to between 300 - 350 ppm, more toward the pre-industrial level in order to avoid a catastrophe...

CO2 level, Earth's temp. rise and consequences. Deserts spread, hunger increase, water shortages, tropical forests shrink, infertile seas (ref156) "

See: http://www.climateandfuel.com/pages/global.htm

We have the technologies to halt CO2 emission altogether, while maintaining current living standards. We only need the understanding of the dire problem and hence the motivation and the will power to do so.

Roger

easy, put a Carbon Tax on fossil energies that grows over time with a clear schedule over the next 50 years. And you will see alternative technologies blooming like mushrooms

As long as naysayers are well financed by the coal, oil and NG industries; the motivation to consume less fossil fuels and to reduce climate change emissions will not be there.

Considering that the average fleet (cars and light trucks) fuel consumption reduction barely decreased by 8% in the last 23 years (from 1987 to 2010) or by 1% every 13 years, not much more can be expected as long as the Oil Barons and the Big 3 continue to gang together the extend the life of gas guzzlers.

There are 1001 ways to change the game, but our Moneycracies politicians, elected by Big Oil and Big Business , will not do it.

A few sure ways to accelerate the essential changes would be:

1. Creating a 'War Time like' or 'Manhatam like' $2,000B to$5,000B project to:

- develop and mass produce affordable high performance ultra quick charge batteries.

- develop, mass produce and install a nation wide ultra quick charger network.

- develop and mass produce affordable ultra light mid-size e-vehicles (under 2000 lbs)

- develop and mass produce affordable FCs for light and heavy vehicles.

- develop and install appropriate hydrogen plants and filling station national network.

- develop, mass produce and install clean e-energy (Wind + Solar + ect) e-power plants to replace all dirty coal fired power plants.

- to develop and install improved electricity transport networks and bury local distribution cables.

This project could be financed with a progressive (10 to 20 years) Fed. pollution tax on liquid fuel used for all vehicles, trains, airplanes etc and an equivalent pollution tax on coal and NG usage.

On second thought, a good 30% to 50% of the project could be financed by:

1. stopping to fight very costly Oil wars.

2. giving up trying to remove the world's dictators (at very high cost) and most often replacing them with extremist religious leaders.

3. stopping all subsidies and tax credits (about \$100B/year) to Oil and Ethanol groups.

4. applying a flat minimum 30% income tax on all revenues and income and by closing all tax loop holes.

Treehugger,

I agree, a graduated carbon tax over time makes sense. It is predictable and on schedule, people may complain but they know what is coming.

If you use the revenue from that to make further advances you can close the gap even quicker. These are the steps we have needed since the 1973 embargo in the U.S.

The advantage of a carbon tax on a legislative schedule is that everyone knows the exact savings from a given step in efficiency and can plan ahead.  The advantage of cap-and-trade is that the traders can make a bunch of money on the people who bet wrong on the direction of the of the permit price, which looks to me like an advantage of shooting the people who make their living from trading instead of building.

If I understand correctly, the mere substitution of natural gas for gasoline yields close to a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions (Hythane would do a bit better).  Electric propulsion driven by wind, solar or nuclear gets very close to zero.

"This is due to the fact that by 2050, "

Wild baseless predictions are not facts.

"If I understand correctly,"

That will be first. The reason engineers take calculus is so we can calculate the area under a curve. If no one buys what you are selling, the area under the curve is very small.

Things are working out as I expected they would.

People want a new car.. not the same old ones.. and bev and fcev give them that new car and will be here in number more then soon enough for our needs.

Industrial needs for oil and coal and nat gas can be met and soon will be met with domestic supplies. What we can convert to other sources less icky.. we SEEM to be well on the way to doing or at least coming up with solid tech needed to do it ... soon.....

And for a low low price of 1 tril or so we managed to keep the idiots at bay long enough for all this to happen.. or so we hope.. still have a few more years after all and there are soo very many idiots these days.

Only sure thing right now is things are gona be VERY VERY MESSY.

I just wonder how "hydrogen" could reduce CO2 emissions? Plug-ins could hardly reduce carbon footprint and hydrogen is four times less CO2 efficient than electricity.
Note: hydrogen is not energy source it is just energy carrier. Hydrogen could be generated by electrolysis, from methane or using high temperature heat.

>>>"Wild baseless predictions are not facts."

Well, of course, predictions in future tense are never to be confused with factual events already happened in the past. However, high-quality computer models such as those used in climate modeling are used in the designs of new buildings, bridges, new planes, new cars, and even in the simulation of nuclear weapon performances, and good enough that real-life testing of nuclear weapons are no longer done. Try to use the likes of weather.com to see how modern computerized weather prediction has come along! Amazingly accurate!

Carbon tax

The idea of carbon tax is so simple, makes so much sense, yet is so elusive!!! No politican dare come within ten feet of it!

The Military-Industrial (and Oil) Complex

Yet, I know one way that might work. The Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) that President Eisenhower has warned about. The MIC has worked brilliantly since Eisenhower days as he predicted. High quality and very effective weapons such as machine guns, rockets, planes, helicopters, radars, stealth planes were produced, reflecting the ingenuity of the American engineers and workers, even well after having tens of thousands of nuclear warheads ready to pulverize any opposing country to dust at the push of a button. With such a military might, no one dared attacked the US, so false-flag operations was created to justify sending US forces to war to support the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and the huge defense budgets to hundreds of billions of USD. The declassified Gulf of Tonkin incidence, the attack on the USS Liberty, the cancelled Northwood operation, and the well-known hunt for WMD in
Iraq are examples. For 911, see "Farenheit 911" or "Loose Change, final cut."

What if, instead of looking for enemies to support this
MIC and the upcoming 550 billion USD budget, the USA delares war on Global Warming? No need to set up false flag operations, as Mother Nature already provided incidences for us. Remember hurricanes Katrina, Irene, Sandy etc? Remember the last several record-setting heat waves? and the mother of all droughts that destroyed a lot of our crops? Use our war propaganda machine to take advantage of these natural disasters to the fullest and convince everyone of our dire situation about run-away global warming!

I'd say that let's use our Military-Industrial-Oil Complex and the hefty 550 bn USD DOD Defense Budget to fight the war on Global Warming (GW). Let's face it, there is no way that Congress can reduce the defense budget, since so many powerful congressmen and districts and contractors and jobs are behind it, so we might as well make the best use of it to fight the REAL enemy, GW. 1/2 to 1/4 of this 550 bnUSD can be devoted to maintain existing planes, ships, tanks, etc, while the rest (200-400 bnUSD) can be devoted to building solar and wind collectors and facilities for synthetic renewable fuels production. Our 10,000+ nukes will take care of the rest of the defense. In two decades, we will have devoted 4-8 trillions USD toward renewable energy. Imagine what would that buy? Lockheed-Martin and Boeing will be building aluminum solar and wind collectors instead of airplanes, while Colt and Haliburton etc. will be busy assemble these on site and hooking all the necessary infrastructures to bring them on lines. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers will be sent to the fields to install and maintain these energy collectors instead of being sent to harm's way like in Iraq and Afghanistan to get blown off by IED's and then get PTSD and later suicidal!
Meanwhile, the oil industry like Exxon-Mobile, Valero, Shell, etc will be busy setting up plants for pyrolysis and addition of renewable-energy H2 to the waste biomass to produce gasoline, diesel fuels, and even methane, propane, chemical feedstocks, batteries for cars and utility storage, and fuel cells, etc...

In this new war against GW, everyone who is makig money in the current fossil-fuel economy will be allowed to take part and make money...those who own oil and gas wells and coal mines but can't participate will be fairly compensated for loss revenues and allowed to invest into the new Green Economy, while fossil fuels will gradually be phased out as fast as we can ramp up renewable energy production capacity.

The consumers will have nothing to lose, and won't pay a dime higher in prices for the renewable energy electricity and synthetic fuels, since the new energy will be subsidized until via mass ramping up and cost reduction will bring the cost of renewable energy to below that of fossil fuels. Those who like gasoline cars can continue to drive gasoline cars running increasingly on synthetic renewable fuel, albeit the CAFE will be ratched up as fast as technologies will allow, while BEV's and FCV's will also find their new niches among consumers.

In this scenario, everyone will win, including our future generations and Mother Earth and our environment and all sea and land animals and plant lives too! More jobs will be created to service the new renewable energy economy and our allies will like follow our example, and there will no longer any need for Kyoto nor Copenhagen agreements that won't amount to anything! No one will need be paid to speak against Global Warming, and no one will bother pay anyone to do such a misinformation, and the truth will prevail once again!

@Roger
“Amazingly accurate ”

Really! Roger must not look out the window to check the actual weather against the predicted weather.

First, there is a big difference climate models and engineering models that are verified against experience. Just recently a model to predict steam generator tube wear was wrong. During the first outage after replacing steam generators at a nuke plant, NDE found indications of increased tube wear. At about the same time, a tube failed in the operating plant.

Second, climate models trying to validate the theory of AGW do not predict catastrophic change. CAGW is a construct of fear mongers.

Third, models that predict ghg emissions (aka LCA) show that BEV and HFCV produce more ghg that ICE. LCA shows that nuke plants (big solution) and anaerobic digestors (AD) on farms with lots manure are very effective solutions.

The CAGW group rejects changing their lifestyle and ineffective engineering solutions.

A tax to promote ineffective engineering solutions, is just an excuse to increase taxes. Obama in the span of a week flew and jet to take golf lessons and made a speech about his plans for legislation for climate change that is DOA. He either is not serious or getting very bad advice. If golf lessons are a priority, the environment is not.

@wintermane2000
“People want a new car.. not the same old ones.. ”

That would appear to be a false statement. The Corolla is a very popular car. Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Ford, and Chevy all market about the reliability of their products. Most of us want their new cars to become an old car without payments for a very long time.

It's about time that they start doing something about big tractor-trailer trucks. They are hard consumer of diesel. Hydrogen injection and nat gas injection can help pollution and diesel consumption. There is a surplus of nat gas currently, and nat gas can be made also with co2 and water and windmills, so let's start it. It's stupid not to use windmills to the maximum. Windmills are better use to store energy then to match the grid as windmills are not constant. Solar panels in the desert can also be use for the same purpose and it need few maintenance and the energy is non-polluting and free.

War on conventionnal petrol is needed. If cheap renewable start to conpetition petrol then petrol price will begin to drop.

@kp,
“Amazingly accurate ”

"Really! Roger must not look out the window to check the actual weather against the predicted weather."

Weather forecasts seem very accurate to most people, esp. with them using those scientist satellite things.

"..Subaru, Ford, and Chevy all market about the reliability of their products." Seasonal oil changes, filter changes, fluid replacements, service dates, etc, etc.

Reliability is the decades of maintenance-free electric motor performance in industry, electric refrigerators, freezers, etc.

Agree with Kit P. I used NWP (weather prediction) models on essentially a daily basis for 15 years before retiring last year. From experience, these NWP atmospheric models get worse with their projections further out in time (e.g., day 7). There are many times that medium-range models all wound up being spectacularly wrong with their projections on the synoptic scale for day 7.

Comparing "climate modeling" to "weather forecasts" is like comparing apples to oranges. It's also a standard tactic of the denialist crowd. And a weak one at that.

Most people I know cant wait till battery or fuel cell cars realy work out. That's what I mean about new cars new tech cars not just plain NEW. Something better then the old fossil fuel banger.

Mind you same bunch wants their flying cars and yet if any of em flew em they would die in a horrid crash;/

@Kit P,
The Iraq war was started with false prediction of WMD, and the Afghanistan war was started even though no one knew where in the world is OBL, yet both wars obtained remarkable success for those who wanted these wars, with all objectives achieved.

The same will be for delaring WAR on Global Warming. Who could care less how accurate the climate models were? Everyone know that GW is real and it is affecting everyone RIGHT NOW.

As the war dividends will be bestowed on all the current defense contractors, all those who are currently making money on fossil fuels, and will employ millions who are otherwise unemployed, then who will object to our upcoming WAR on Global Warming, eh? There will be an economic boom, with increase tax revenues, and the national budget deficit will be eliminated, and most budget problem now will be solved. Yet, there will not be a single life lost, nor a single drop of blood to be spilled in this new WAR.

"Most people I know cant wait till battery or fuel cell cars realy work out. "

That is call living in a fantasy world. There is no reason to think that BEV or HFCV would be a good environmental compared to my ICE.

"Everyone know that GW is real and it is affecting everyone RIGHT NOW. "

GW is a theory about the future. The world's is pretty much the same as it has been for the last 12,000 after the transition from the last period of glaciation. We are in a warmer than normal (considering the last 20 million years) period of the current ice age.

Kit your overthinking it. Most people just want the new stuff to start they don't really worry if its not super fantastic for the environment on day one as long as over the long run it should be better.

In the short run its just not oil. And that's good enough for most.

http://science.time.com/2013/03/08/recent-heat-spike-unlike-anything-in-11000-years/

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWarming/page3.php

"the paleoclimate record also reveals that the current climatic warming is occurring much more rapidly than past warming events.

As the Earth moved out of ice ages over the past million years, the global temperature rose a total of 4 to 7 degrees Celsius over about 5,000 years. In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed 0.7 degrees Celsius, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.

Models predict that Earth will warm between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius in the next century. When global warming has happened at various times in the past two million years, it has taken the planet about 5,000 years to warm 5 degrees. The predicted rate of warming for the next century is at least 20 times faster. This rate of change is extremely unusual."

@Kit P,
The uncertainty within the climate model is actually an advantage in the War effort against GW. This will provide the legal basis for financial compensation for the fossil fuel industry when fossil fuels will be gradually replaced by renewable energy due to the uncertainty within the climate model.

Defense budget will be used to build renewable energy infrastructures which will provide renewable energy to the consumers, who will pay the exact same rates as they paid for fossil fuel energy before. The money collected from the consumers will then be used to re-emburse the fossil-fuel energy providers who was displaced by renewable energy. All workers in the fossil-fuel industry will be retrained and re-assigned jobs in the renewable-energy sector at the same pay rates as before.

Thus, the defense contractors will make money from the defense budget, while the former fossil-fuel providers will be re-embursed for the fair value of their equipments, investments, or remaining fossil fuels left in the wells, etc., or trade for ownership of renewable-energy facilities whereby they will continue to earn money like before. The public will not notice any hardship whatsoever during the war effort against GW.

The above will greatly ensure full public support for the war effort against GW, in order to start the War as soon as possible. Remember the Pre-emptive War Doctrine by the Fmr President G.W. Bush? We cannot wait 20-30 years into the future and doing next to nothing like we are doing today, because the risk is simply too great that, very soon, the GW will get to the point of no return, the so-called run-away global warming. We are running out of time, so let's err on the side of precaution. By going to War against GW today, we will have NOTHING to lose and a lot to gain, no matter what. However, by failing to do so TODAY, at the most critical point in time of human history, one generation of human (and wild life) from now will have a lot to lose and regrets.

@ HarveyD

You better hurry up with your nonsense flat 30% tax on all income. If things continue as in Cyprus where the Banksters in league with the politicians are stealing bank customers' savings there won't be anything left to tax.

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