Recently, Len Gillman, Professor of Biogeography at the Auckland University of Technology wrote an article in which he stated that SUV’s should have a speed limit of 90kph. Biogeography is the study of the geographical distribution of plants and animals.
He began his article by changing the name of our major city to Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland and later the name of the country to the fictional name Aotearoa. He seems to have a mandate for doing this from somewhere.
His main point for reducing the speed limit for SUV’s was to limit “Carbon” emissions. Presumably he means Carbon Dioxide emissions as Carbon is either a black solid called soot, a grey solid called graphite, or a hard, usually clear solid, called diamond. Clearly then, Professor Gillman is a climate alarmist, who believes Carbon Dioxide is causing global warming and probably adverse weather events.
All modern vehicles are fitted with catalytic converters by law. Even my old 1994 Landrover Discovery has one. This means only Carbon Dioxide and water are emitted from the exhaust.
Professor Gillman calls the SUV’s polluting vehicles, high polluting vehicles, and climate polluting vehicles. Perhaps he could explain what is meant by “climate polluting vehicles”. So, because apart from water, Carbon Dioxide is the only gas emitted from exhausts, he considers Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant. Carbon Dioxide is NOT a pollutant. It is the second most important gas behind Oxygen. Because Biogeography involves plants, Professor Gillman must know that plants take in Carbon Dioxide and convert it to glucose and Oxygen by the process of photosynthesis. This is done with the aid of sunlight.
6 CO2 + 6 H2O = C6H12O6 + 6O2 (glucose and Oxygen)
Plants use the glucose for growth. Some is converted into insoluble starch for storage in stems, leaves and roots.
We humans breathe in Oxygen along with all the other atmospheric gases and expel some plus highly concentrated Carbon Dioxide at about 35,000 parts per million. This is called respiration. The Carbon Dioxide is quickly diluted by the atmosphere. Remember, the concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere at present is about 410 parts per million. Note that 35,000ppm of Carbon Dioxide in front of our nose doesn’t poison us.
When we breathe in atmospheric gases we use the oxygen to combine with the glucose in our bodies to produce Carbon Dioxide and water, plus energy we need to survive. This as I have stated is respiration. The glucose is provided by the food we eat.
C6O12H6 + 6O2 = 6CO2 + 6H2O
So carbon dioxide plays an important part in our lives in that it is a necessary plant food and from the plants comes the oxygen we require. More Carbon Dioxide means greater plant growth- necessary for the growing world population. Now it is concerning that for the past 140 million years the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has been steadily declining.
The blue line represents the actual CO2 emissions over the past 140 m years. Notice the slight upturn at the right hand end. This is due to humans increasing the Carbon Dioxide content in the atmosphere. The black dotted line is the projected decline without human CO2 emissions. Note that the black dotted line is approaching the red line-the threshold for vegetation to survive. Below about 150 ppm most plants die and so of course do we. Humans, by putting more C02 into the atmosphere are actually saving the planet.
Furthermore, using climate proxies-natural characteristics which give an indication of the earth’s temperature and amount of C02 such as the gas trapped in little pockets in ice cores, scientists are able to reconstruct the earth’s temperature and Carbon Dioxide levels back in geological time.
There are two situations to note. At about 450 m years ago CO2 levels were about 4500 ppm almost 11 times what they are now. But the Earth’s temperature was just 12 deg C, about 3 deg C lower than what it is at present! Then look at the area between about 130m years ago and 50m years ago. The Earth’s temperature stayed steady at 22 deg C, but all that time the amount of CO2 was actually dropping. Clearly this graph shows that there is no correlation between the Earth’s temperature and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Finally look at the graph below:
RED : Warming The dates of the alternate warming and cooling of the Earth are given
BLUE : Cooling along the bottom. Since 1850 the Earth has gone through six periods of warming and cooling probably depending on the number of sunspots. The black line shows the steady increase in Carbon Dioxide over this period. Once again it is clear that there is no correlation between the amount of Carbon Dioxide and the Earth’s temperature. The Earth goes in and out of warm and cool periods in spite of changes in CO2 concentration.
To upset the climate alarmists, NOAA (The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) say that since 2016 the Earth has actually been cooling. From 1998 to 2016 there was a temperature hiatus- no change in the Earth’s temperature. In fact the Northern Hemisphere has been experiencing very low temperatures in recent years. Here is NOAA’s graph.
The black line shows the downward trend of about 0.13 deg per decade, from 2016 to 2022. NOAA have made this statement: While the leadership of NOAA may change, the mission remains the same, to be evidence based for the common good of society as it relates to the environment.
We are still being told by the IPCC that the Earth’s temperature is rising, but based on evidence, not computer modelling, NOAA shows that the temperature is actually falling. This is in keeping with temperatures experienced in the Northern Hemisphere over recent years. As a matter of interest I have just run off the latest IPCC report to policymakers. On Page 4 of the report they say: “Human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases have unequivocally caused global warming with global temperatures reaching 1.1 Deg C above 1850.” So what ended about 1850? The Little Ice Age. Are we still in the LIA. No. So the earth has warmed because we have come out of the Little Ice Age, just like the Earth warmed when it came out of the major Ice age some 11,000 years ago. Did humans influence that warming. No of course they did not.
So while Carbon Dioxide is continuing to rise, the Earth’s temperature is actually falling. So making SUV’s travel at 90kph will not make the slightest difference.
Professor Gillman states that New Zealand currently has a different maximum speed of 90 kph for cars towing trailers and for heavy vehicles. From my experience, this makes absolutely no difference . I seem to be the only one travelling at 90 kph when towing a trailer. Time after time I have been passed by vehicles towing a trailer, and truck and trailer units when I have been doing 100 kph without my trailer. The point is how do you police this speed limit of 90 kph? You would need to have traffic police on every section of highway. If there is a line of vehicles all doing 100 kph, with an SUV somewhere in the middle of the line would he stop the SUV? Probably not. It wouldn’t be a practical exercise, to try and stop an SUV in the middle of a number of other cars. Too dangerous for a start. The policeman would have to pass a number of cars to get to the guilty SUV and this would pose dangers for him with oncoming traffic. In essence the SUV would have to be travelling alone at over the speed limit to be caught.
The same would apply to a speed camera. Presumably, a camera is set up to take a photo if it senses that a vehicle is exceeding the speed limit. This limit may be up to 10 kph over the designated 100 kph. So the question I have is: can a camera distinguish between various types of vehicle? If it cannot then a camera will not be any use in catching trucks, vehicles with trailers, and SUV’s travelling over the speed limit. Well, a bit of research has found that up till recently speed cameras seem to have had difficulty recognising trucks. A new lot of cameras have arrived with software which measures the height, width and length of a vehicle and so a camera can recognise a truck now. Possibly, trailers on cars may be included too. However I cannot find any information that says speed cameras will be able to separate out SUV’s from cars. Here’s a little question for Professor Gillman: How will a camera or Police for that matter, distinguish between a petrol, or diesel SUV and an electric one? Presumably Professor Gillman would not have the reduced speed limit for electric SUV’s. I wonder too about people movers and campervans. Will a camera separate a campervan from a truck? It all seems very impractical.
I suspect then, that changing the speed limit to 90 kph for SUV’s will make hardly any difference. In general, they will not be caught speeding. Reducing the speed limit for SUV’s is another idea lacking any logic.
It’s all a bit of a joke anyway with China using about 3037, yes 3037 coal fired power stations and building two a week. China is making itself rich and powerful while New Zealand continues to sink into a black hole due to the misguided policy of the Labour and Green parties whose science illiterate MPs think Carbon Dioxide is causing global warming and all kinds of weather events.
So to summarise: Carbon Dioxide is the second most important gas. If levels fall too low we cease to exist. It has a variety of uses. Temperature and Carbon Dioxide records show clearly that there is no correlation between the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere and the Earth’s temperature. Carbon Dioxide is not warming the earth. Very reliable records from NOAA say that the temperature of the earth has been falling since 2016. It is unlikely that speeding SUV’s will be caught with speed cameras unless they exceed the limit for an ordinary car.
I’ll leave the last word to William Happer, Emeritus Professor of Physics from the University of Princeton. He says: “ Elimination of CO2 is a suicide pact.”
Carbon Dioxide is of lower concentration now than most times in Geological past. The whole world is greening because of higher concentrations of Carbon Dioxide. The Sahara desert is shrinking. Crop yields are much higher for the same plantings, important for the growing world population. There is another benefit too. Because of the higher concentration of CO2, plants are now producing less stomata on their leaves. Stomata are the holes on the underside of the leaf, and it is through these that Carbon Dioxide is absorbed into the plant. At the same time some water escapes into the atmosphere- water that has been extracted from the ground by the plant. Less stomata means less water escapes, so droughts will become less intense.
So SUV owners keep driving at 100 kph. You are actually doing the planet a lot of good.
Ian Bradford, a science graduate, is a former teacher, lawyer, farmer and keen sportsman, who is writing a book about the fraud of anthropogenic climate change.