JC on the Alfa Romeo Brera Coup? V6

Geophysics

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BIG RANT

You know, I am so tired of this "debate" over mans impact on the environment. Disinformation is not good for anyone, and I don't like the idea that Clarkson is willing to support it.

Alright don't get me wrong, I love cars, I love top gear and Clarkson?s presenting skills. One of the most entertaining shows I've seen, but I don't like his crusade against the idea that man is having an impact on the environment.

I work at an earth observatory, everyday I listen to lectures about global warming and mans impact on the environment, which are backed up by models, math, physics and chemistry. It is very hard to argue with natural science. Let me clue everyone in on something about science; at this point no one can say "yes man is having a huge impact on the environment", it goes against the rules. We need to prove completely, or as best as allowed, that this is the case before a statement like that can be made... the same however is true for the opposite. Mans impact on global climate change is being investigated, and all of the evidence that we are seeing, all of the models out there are suggesting man is having a significant impact on the environment.

I've seen downright scary predictions of the sea level rising about 2-3 meters in the next 50 years, possibly 4m. That may sound like nothing but think about all of the costal cities and farmland that will be under. There are also ugly predictions about a global increase in temperature, changes in ocean currents, global dimming, and more. It is important to understand that most of these predictions are based off of the conditions and change occurring now, not what might happen if we contribute more or less CO2 based on economics or new technology. Basically this is stuff that will still occur if we stopped using all CO2 and aerosol production at this moment. And these claims are backed up not only by models created with today?s climate information, but evidence of past events which have triggered global climate change. This stuff is hard to argue against, because it is most likely true.

I hate reading about scientists that are against the idea that man is having an impact on global climate change... because chances are they are corrupt. This may sound like some crazy conspiracy theory, but really I hear about it everyday at work. People are being paid off by oil companies, coal companies... basically industries that survive on these CO2 emissions, to throw the idea out that maybe man isn't having an impact. Sure that statement is safe... it?s possible.... but the thing is it is HIGHLY unlikely that this idea holds any water. There are also those that say we aren't sure if people have an impact on the environment... and this is a true statement, because we can't be completely sure. It is like saying the sun will rise tomorrow... chance is it will, but it is also possible that it won't... however unlikely. This puts the focus down on probability.

People are so deceitful it is amazing; science seems to have politics and money attached to its hips. You need to weigh in motivation when observing new information. Why? Why is someone supporting an idea?

I really wish everyone was able to see these seminars, that the general public was exposed to real information about global warming, because there is a real problem with the way this information is being presented today. I hate the fact that deadbeat hippies and fickle college zombies are the loudest supporters of cutting down on CO2 emissions. These people are for the most part... idiots. They support these ideas because someone told them to, or for other vain reasons, not because they are aware of the real truth. Just because you watched Al Gore predict the end of the world does not make you an expert. And wow! Al Gore, please do something else with your life you aren't helping anyone. I hate the idea that he is labeling himself as a leader on the environ side. How could politics being attached to science be good for anyone?! He is better off keeping his mouth shut, he is not an expert, and he has a bias against him. I am sure there are a large number of people that disagree with whatever facts he spouts, not because they have an argument against it... but because he is Al Gore...

So I'm an idiot ranting about this on a car forum, I've got some good news though. Something I would rather hear Clarkson say. And that is, Cars aren't the biggest problem out there. We could go along happily for a number of years driving with petrol in the tank and the world probably wouldn't get any worse than it is going to get anyway. I say this not because I believe cars have no effect, but because I believe the effect of the auto on the environment is FAR less then other contributors. The big contributions to global climate change come from energy companies, factories, etc. With some coal plant down the road burning through tons of the stuff every minute? the stuff coming out of the back of your tailpipe seems harmless.
So let me be brave and throw down what I think, what we need to do is switch over to nuclear in the short term and then cleaner energies like wind, solar, hydro when we have the infrastructure backing. The government? at least in the USA, needs to stop throwing tons of money at the oil industry and needs to pour that money into cleaner sources.

As for the car, hydrogen cars are a good idea, we do need to move away from CO2 producing energy sources altogether eventually, if only for the reason that the idea of throwing away money away purchasing oil is a wasteful and stupid. So eventually the petrol engine will probably be retired, but I am sure by the time that happens the tech behind whatever new power plant sits in your vehicle will be just as exciting.

The point to all of this without the details is; there are much bigger fish to fry. Please instead of fervently going against the idea that man is having an impact on the planet? just point out that we need to weigh where the problems are coming from a little more wisely.

I love that Brera, can?t wait for 2010 for Alfa to return to the US.
 

TC

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Good rant. And I agree for the most part, but until we know anything for sure, I'm not going to take sides. What I wanted to reply to is this:
I hate reading about scientists that are against the idea that man is having an impact on global climate change... because chances are they are corrupt. This may sound like some crazy conspiracy theory, but really I hear about it everyday at work. People are being paid off by oil companies, coal companies... basically industries that survive on these CO2 emissions, to throw the idea out that maybe man isn't having an impact.
Likewise, as Clarkson himself pointed out, the scientists getting paid to research global warming are only getting paid because most people believe global warming exists and threatens our very existance. If these scientists came out and stated global warming is hugely exaggerated and man's impact is insignificant, they would be out of a job. So in a sense, they're getting "paid off" in the same way the other side could be getting "paid off".
 

Geophysics

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Good observation, but;

Most of this research is conducted with grant money; the largest donations come from the NSF or DOE, national organizations.

And more importantly it is incorrect to say that these climate researchers would be out of a job if global warming was disproved tomorrow. Their jobs are not reliant on mans impact on global climate change. They are independent, meaning if it exists then they have a job, if it isn't a factor, then they still have a job. They would just focus on other areas.

Someone who studies climate change may make the transition to events which occurred in the history, or possible natural effects other than man. They wouldn't lose their job if someone were to prove tomorrow beyond any doubt that man has no impact on global climate change. There is still an obvious change occurring and they would strive to figure it out anyway. Yes there would be less money thrown at it out of the public light, but there are more interesting topics to study then Oxygen 18 vs. Oxygen 16 counts in ancient ice.

Look this is true for real research institutions where the majority of this stuff comes from. These places aren't some corporate agency, making money off of duping the public. The whole purpose of these places is to discover truth using science, they are not a platform for deception. Their reputation is completely based off of this, if they were to support disinformation and were discovered they would be ruined. And look, these scientists aren't making a fortune. Some may get famous, and have more grant money thrown their way for shouting about the topic. Maybe some will cash in on a book deal or TV show. I am sure there are people like that out there. But really, if you think about it, for the true researchers, which donate the majority of knowledge it doesn't matter if it exists or not as far as their job security is concerned.

What you may be right about is an industry that supports the idea that man is having an impact on global climate change, but supports it because they are benefiting in terms of creating an industry that focuses on minimizing it for profit. Maybe someone out there with new hydrogen fuel cell tech wants it pushed because he will gain from it, not because he believes it to be necessary to prevent climate change. You are right, this is a possibility, and I certainly wouldn't put it past people. And many tech industries are born from this type of stuff, people are making money off of these ideas, just as people are making money for being against them.

So really there are corrupt individuals on both sides of the line, but please trust this. There are independent researchers out there who have devoted themselves to their science. Most are not trying to scam the general public to horde up more grant money; they want what they contribute to be true. Years down the line when we see who was right, these will be the people that knew it ahead of time and tried to warn us. These are the people who contributed unbiased information; these are the people you respect.

If you look close enough at anyone you can find some reason to defeat their credibility. It all again boils down to probability. Who should you trust? The industry that makes billions off of putting this stuff out there, or the guy in a lab coat who is unaffected by its existence. But again it is true, there also may be an industry emerging that will jump on these ideas of eco friendly behavior to make billions themselves. It?s tough, but go with the unbiased.

But if you don't want to believe the researchers, check their work? the science itself.

ldeo.columbia.edu is a good resource to get you started.
 
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marcos_eirik

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So I'm an idiot ranting about this on a car forum, I've got some good news though. Something I would rather hear Clarkson say. And that is, Cars aren't the biggest problem out there. We could go along happily for a number of years driving with petrol in the tank and the world probably wouldn't get any worse than it is going to get anyway. I say this not because I believe cars have no effect, but because I believe the effect of the auto on the environment is FAR less then other contributors. The big contributions to global climate change come from energy companies, factories, etc. With some coal plant down the road burning through tons of the stuff every minute? the stuff coming out of the back of your tailpipe seems harmless.
I totally agree with you on that one, CO2 emissions from cars is definately not the biggest problem. In a very big city like Los Angeles it might be, but not on a global scale.

Also I don't like the diesel-mob that rants about how a dieselpowered car is so much better to the environment. Yes it emits less CO2 than a petro engine, but it farts out enormios abounts of NOXs, SOXs, CO, soot and micro particles, doesen't it? The latter one being a real hell if you like me is allergic. If I walk up uphill and a diesel engined car drives past me, I really notice it like a very bad smell and then it's almost like I get a headache after that... :blink: And add to the fact that refining diesel is more energy demnading, and you'll get far less diesel per litre of crude oil than petrol...
So let me be brave and throw down what I think, what we need to do is switch over to nuclear in the short term and then cleaner energies like wind, solar, hydro when we have the infrastructure backing. The government? at least in the USA, needs to stop throwing tons of money at the oil industry and needs to pour that money into cleaner sources.
Finally someone doesn't go all OMG!!! NOOO! Nuclear power!!! Chernobyl!! We're all gonna die...!!! whenever nuclear power is mentioned. Especially as they see every single nuclear reactor as a potential Chernobyl. Allthough I must say the latest research around nuclear power, but with thorium seems interesting. Allthough in Norway where I live we are almost 100% water powered.
 

Blind_Io

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So yeah, about the car: (sorry I'm not having this debate, start a thread in the Political Section)

I would really like to see a super-light tuned Brera. Lots of aluminum and carbon fiber to get the weight down. Boost the power, bigger brakes, better tires, tune up the suspension a bit. Mostly the Brera need to go on a diet. The bonnet, door skins, roof and front fenders can all be switched the aluminum, and we could ad an aluminum or carbon fiber stiffening bar if it doesn't have one.

This car really should be able to go as good as it looks. If Clarkson is right the chassis is already great for handling so it just needs a better power to weight ratio. Do what needs to be done under the hood, intakes, exhaust, turbo, the lot. With all that speed we will need more stopping power so some better brakes are in order as are wider tires to hold the corner at speed.

Yeah, I'll have one.
 

nomix

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Allthough in Norway where I live we are almost 100% water powered.
Well, a very large part of it comes from coal or gas powerplants on the continent.

That's the sollution to the CO2 crizes. Build more waterfalls and mountains.
 

3Colin

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Eastern Canada is dedicated to hydroelectric and nuclear power, shutting down coal-fired plants with a zeal that borders on religious. Unlike cars, we're fairly certain that coal is bad for people.

Anyway, a beautiful car, and a good (if muted) review from JC. The Q4 system works well in the dry; I wonder how well it works in the snow? Not that anyone would drive it in the snow, but theoretically...
 

nomix

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Why would no one drive it in the snow? It's a car.
 

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so from 2 pages 2 paragraphs on the alfa, weak JC. this man is getting old, you know the type of elderlys that they complain and hate everything they see, and they have to tell you and tell strangers what they think. JC is becoming the same trying to squeeze what he thinks in every article and then connecting whatever he says very weakly with a car review. in two years time he'll probably be an old bitter man with so much hate and reviewing cars in a very repetitive way that top gear might just become like fifth gear :eek: god I hope not, ban me for saying that am sorry :(

oh and you can can also tell from his prejudice in his last DVD, thats what old men do, every bitter old man i've met was prejudice.

Why would no one drive it in the snow? It's a car.
because Canadians store their cars in winter and drive even shittier cars then, I know people that store their honda civics, just because its "moded", although i can still beat them on feet, and drive a second honda for winter :/ so their exotics wouldn't rust :p or because they can't drive in snow which is probably the biggest factor, scared of totalling their beloved cars. I once told a guy am driving my rwd car in snow and he totally freaks out, what?? dude if you really have to, put bags of sand or something in your trunk to increase stability put loads of them, right above the rear suspension. thats what he told me, ofcourse that makes sense but you don't have to go through all this if you can drive. their driving licensing system takes about 3 years to ge the full license, yet they never really teach you how to control a car in wet conditions or something similar, just wasting your time for 3 years.
 

Blind_Io

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I thought they used dog sleds 10 months of the year.
 

nomix

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because Canadians store their cars in winter and drive even shittier cars then, I know people that store their honda civics, just because its "moded", although i can still beat them on feet, and drive a second honda for winter :/ so their exotics wouldn't rust :p or because they can't drive in snow which is probably the biggest factor, scared of totalling their beloved cars. I once told a guy am driving my rwd car in snow and he totally freaks out, what?? dude if you really have to, put bags of sand or something in your trunk to increase stability put loads of them, right above the rear suspension. thats what he told me, ofcourse that makes sense but you don't have to go through all this if you can drive. their driving licensing system takes about 3 years to ge the full license, yet they never really teach you how to control a car in wet conditions or something similar, just wasting your time for 3 years.
You can't be serious? One reason to drive any car in the winther, maybe not day to day, but sometimes, is that it's FUN! And when you've got AWD, even better, then it's a day-to-day-runaraound.

But we norse aren't that scared from driving in the snow, my friend drives a 2.9l Ford Scorpio in the snow, pretty poor ability to get up sloaps, but you have to say, it's epic fun.

Personally I perfer AWD in winther. You can have fun, but you don't have to worry about not getting up a slight slope.

But you get the point, you need to keep the speed down in winther. Can't brake as good, can't steer as good and you're more likely to hit a tree or a kid.

You never get training for winther driving? You live in CANADA for crying out loud? Do you even have the Gulf stream?

I thought they used dog sleds 10 months of the year.
I thought Americans flew to work on a Big Mac with Extra Cheese during the winther months.
 

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You can't be serious? One reason to drive any car in the winther, maybe not day to day, but sometimes, is that it's FUN! And when you've got AWD, even better, then it's a day-to-day-runaraound.

But we norse aren't that scared from driving in the snow, my friend drives a 2.9l Ford Scorpio in the snow, pretty poor ability to get up sloaps, but you have to say, it's epic fun.

Personally I perfer AWD in winther. You can have fun, but you don't have to worry about not getting up a slight slope.

But you get the point, you need to keep the speed down in winther. Can't brake as good, can't steer as good and you're more likely to hit a tree or a kid.

You never get training for winther driving? You live in CANADA for crying out loud? Do you even have the Gulf stream?


I thought Americans flew to work on a Big Mac with Extra Cheese during the winther months.

Tell me about it. you should see how many accidents occur each minute when it starts snowing, hell raining. The average driver truly sucks, oh yeah and get this studded tires are illegal, so poor skills and not so great winer tires = cool drifting action with not so cool endings :p God if I can only afford living in vancouver :/ no snows fer teh winz, and cooler roads unlike the flat land we get here but not so flat asphalt ;(
 

kaBOOMn

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You can't really comment on the Brera untill you see one in real life, untill you sit in it.....pictures just don't do it justice.....Sorry you have a Alfisti here :)

Personally I'd love to belive global warming exists, but I have some really big doubts over claims of the current global temperature vs the global temperature over the last 1000 years or so.

The medieval warm period for some reason has "disapeared" from all of the past climate graphs, yet we know from history that temperatures where warmer than today back then.....so why this "hockey stick" graph to scare everybody saying temperatures are higher than they have been ever? Why are the old viking farms on Greenland (think of the name!) now under permafrost? I used to belive 100% in Global warming but that swung me back the other way.....

nwarm05.gif


**phew tracked down a example**

I mean I can understand technology getting better, your going to get more accurate readings......so why when they changed the graph didn't they say why?!?! What says one method is more accurate than the other? eg Tree rings vs Ice cores?

The other thing is there is only one constant in nature.....change.....

I'm not into climate science, my area of training is a mechanic (currently at uni...I got bored) so excuse me if I take a practical view of things......no offense! And yes the internal combustion engine is a pig of a thing, a terrible power band and all that weight and the like and I'm not sure if hydrogen is the way forward :) Oh and if I was corrupt and being paid off, I'd have a Brera by now! :D

BTW please don't discredit my argument by seeing that I've made a spelling/grammer error in my post.....sorry! Sorry that is the most immature comback know to man.....I do have a open mind so I will accept a rational argument....
 
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Adunaphel

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I have one addition to kaboomn post, being that back when most weather stations were founded, they were situated at the edge of the settlements/ cities in the 18th and 19th century. If you look at where most stations are right now, it's smack dab right in the middle of current cities. And we all know what large quantities of asphalt and buildings do to the temperature. If you look at readings taken from rural stations, that have been in a rural setting since they were founded, they also show a slight increase in temperature, but nothing as dramatic as the larger ones in the cities.

And on topic:
I like how the Brera looks, i just think the turn indicators suck ass, it just looks wrong when you have 3 headlights and the outer ones are used for normal headlights, the middle ones (middle in the cluster) are used for turn indicators and i believe the center ones are used for foglamps. I just think they could've thought of a better solution for that, like small turn indicators in the grilles in the bumper for instance. So as long as the Bera stays in the same direction, it looks gorgeous, as soon as it changes direction, it looks weird.
 
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Geophysics

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This is a frustrating topic, I've included some real sources below.

I mean no offense to the last two posters, but a graph out of a newspaper isn't really the place to get your facts. If you want to learn about global climate change, check out some credible sources.

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/ocp_pub.htm

http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/

http://kage.ldeo.columbia.edu:81/

http://eetd.lbl.gov/whatsnew/

There are many articles and projects that you can browse through. I've worked at both of these labs, though I am not focused in climate research. And I am still a graduate student.

It is important to note that global climate change is not as simple as the temp just simply rising. Things aren't that clear in the natural sciences, data is often messy and hard to understand. There are also other factors in global climate change that effect what is visible when you walk outside and attempt to "feel" the changes. For example global dimming is an effect caused my particles in the atmosphere which hinders the visible effects of global warming. These particles in our atmosphere caused by pollution essentially block the sun, some estimates are at 12-20% over the last 30 years. So what I am saying is that we have a precentage less sun making it past our atmosphere, which means there is less radiation making it to us, which means the the temp goes down. Now we also have this CO2 greenhouse effect, which i am sure everyone has heard of on the news by now, which is raising the temp by keeping the heat we have in. So we have both of these effects playing on our planet at this time, one is making things colder, the other warmer, they are hindering each other, they are almost balanced. Would you argue that hundreds of years ago we had the same particles in the atmosphere? Look things aren't as simple as one little graph, there are a HUGE amount of variables to work with when trying to model, and solve this puzzle.
 

Blind_Io

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Pirates are cool, here is a graph to prove it.

http://img244.imageshack.**/img244/7611/373412561315fbe236dw4.jpg
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Here's a quick question - who here is actually, terribly worried about Global Warming? The average temperture goes up by 10 degrees, shit - I'm a happy man. Like cold weather? Lots of room for people up in the Arctic.


:lmao: @ Blind_Io's graph!
 
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kaBOOMn

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This is a frustrating topic, I've included some real sources below.

I mean no offense to the last two posters, but a graph out of a newspaper isn't really the place to get your facts. If you want to learn about global climate change, check out some credible sources.

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/ocp_pub.htm

http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/

http://kage.ldeo.columbia.edu:81/

http://eetd.lbl.gov/whatsnew/

There are many articles and projects that you can browse through. I've worked at both of these labs, though I am not focused in climate research. And I am still a graduate student.

It is important to note that global climate change is not as simple as the temp just simply rising. Things aren't that clear in the natural sciences, data is often messy and hard to understand. There are also other factors in global climate change that effect what is visible when you walk outside and attempt to "feel" the changes. For example global dimming is an effect caused my particles in the atmosphere which hinders the visible effects of global warming. These particles in our atmosphere caused by pollution essentially block the sun, some estimates are at 12-20% over the last 30 years. So what I am saying is that we have a precentage less sun making it past our atmosphere, which means there is less radiation making it to us, which means the the temp goes down. Now we also have this CO2 greenhouse effect, which i am sure everyone has heard of on the news by now, which is raising the temp by keeping the heat we have in. So we have both of these effects playing on our planet at this time, one is making things colder, the other warmer, they are hindering each other, they are almost balanced. Would you argue that hundreds of years ago we had the same particles in the atmosphere? Look things aren't as simple as one little graph, there are a HUGE amount of variables to work with when trying to model, and solve this puzzle.

The thing that scares me tho, its the so called "simplified" argument is responsible for all the policy changes in government. Like it or not the simplified argument carries a aweful lot of weight :(

The other probem is the amount of variables involved, I think people will probably argue for ever on what variables we should be takeing into account and where those date sets come from (and how accurate they are).....Don't worry I have the same wars when it comes to fuel injection systems for cars --> Do we have a inlet manifold temperature sensor to ajust the EFI system in relation to air temperature because of higher air temperatures mean the air isn't as dense?

I feel for you, I can see where your comeing from, sadly the real message will get lost in the "theres no good news like bad news" media.

To put it into automotive terms it like jugdeing all motors on capacity, not takeing into account forced induction and the like.....for example a 200kw 2L Turbocharged 4 is not so much better than a 4L 200kw V8......please take into account air displacement and the like....
 
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