The authors, Alexander E. Farrell, University of California Berkeley and Daniel Sperling, University of California Davis deserve a hearty round of applause. Their product is a 5 star quality report that does a good job of getting hard data compiled, explained and summarized.

http://www.energy.ca.gov/low_carbon_fuel_standard/

As I started reading I was reminded of Captain Kirk telling Khan “you keep missing the target.” Which Khan later retorts with something like “I don’t have to destroy you I need only to torment you.” The Californians are doing just that to themselves. The whole premise is about a goal set to reduce greenhouse gases. But the authors admirably state quite clearly that no consideration is made for any of the other repercussions that the policy suggested will impose on people not just in California, but also across the entire planet.

The report is actually the second step the legislators in California have saddled up for the citizens. This time its “reduction of emissions from fuels” that’s being taken to task. It follows the first step, a mandated 30% reduction in emissions from light duty vehicles by 2016, which is being contested in court, of course. The third stage “relates to (fuel) usage, which addresses how much travel and goods movement are demanded, and how they are provided.” The micro-management of personal lives is coming to California.

With the directive for the analysis focused on global warming gases with CO2 as the designated culprit, the Part 1 Executive Summary and Section 1 are replete with the influence of the directive, that when read makes it quite a task to get the mental editing done while reading and still get the useful information. Yet, even with the burden of the directive the authors have done a great job of making a very large information pool more easily understood and rather complete for lay people.

The gold mine entrance is at Section 2.3 and flows through to the end of Section 5. This is the best quick education piece written to date. It is lucid, faultlessly organized and thorough enough that it can usually be used for fact checking by other writers, authors, editors and students. The depth of education starts at the first instance of contact with a fuel’s source and continues to the wheels on the road. Individual fuels are explored, the sources are examined, and combinations of fuel mixes and the engines or motors and drive systems in the transportation fleet are presented in “scenarios.” Well done.

Part 2 is a policy analysis. While written for likely readers of the “policy wonk” mindset the authors have given us a presentation that while mental editing is required, offer a great deal of insight about the what and how, where and when as pointing to the why and who will need to get concerned. By the time the politicians get to making policy one has to wonder if the good sense and academic effort and skill the authors gave us will be lost.

I don’t have a criticism as such, more of an observation. The analysis, as good as it is, and limited in scope by the governor’s directive, instructs us that there is much more possible than the authors could include. The authors couldn’t know the current state of research and innovation in developing fuel and energy sources, as the innovations and new data comes every day. That is a risk – overlooked not by intent of the authors, but by design from a system that’s driven by government influence which choose a nebulous political precept to begin with, thus “missing the target” that can only be followed by tormenting the energy and fuel economy.

It’s a pity the global warming crowd can’t see that their goal, to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, parallels the need for the citizens to get work done from energy and fuels at lower costs.


Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. Adelle Duggin on May 26, 2011 9:09 AM

    I’ve just started off a blog, the knowledge you give on this site has aided me extremely. Thank you for all your time & work.

  2. Kati Edd on September 14, 2011 9:33 PM

    Thanks for posting. Good to see that not everyone is using RSS feeds to build their blogs 😉

  3. James on March 29, 2017 7:04 AM

    It’s a pity the global warming crowd can’t see that their goal, to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, parallels the need for the citizens to get work done from energy and fuels at lower costs.

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