Black Cloud.

wwf.jpg
A message from the World Wildlife Foundation to China. The text on the balloon reads: “Drive one day less and look how much carbon dioxide monoxide you’ll keep out of the air we breathe.” Link -via Dump Trumpet

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A few commments:
1. Red China only started doing these green public relations ploys when they became desirous of hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics. If one was allowed unfettered access to the more remote regions of the countries, you would see the true story.

2. In an modern (1st world) emission-controlled vehicle, the amount of carbon monoxide produced is TINY. The engine-out CO is very low to start with and then catalytic converters take care of about 99% of what remains. Even the toughest CO standards are easily reached with modern technology. What is more challenging are hydrocarbon and (especially for diesels) oxides of nitrogen (NOx) standards. That's where the research & development dollars go.

3. What does make a LOT of carbon monoxide are the little motorscooters and put-puts that are ubiquitous in Red China and most of the rest of the Third World. These things generally have carbureted 2-stroke engines without any emission controls. Although tiny and fuel-stingy, they belch as much CO and hydrocarbons as a fleet of modern US / European / Japanese cars.

4. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It and water vapor are the two *normal* byproducts of even the cleanest combustion of any carbon based fuel. If, for some reason, you want to make less CO2, you need to burn less fuel. Making cars lighter is the best first step. The progression of insanely stringent crash standards have resulted in today's cars being about 50% overweight. The insurance companies and government regulators have pressured us all into driving tanks. Even "small" cars like the MINI are now around 3000 pounds, which is crazy.

5. Diesel engines do not produce more CO2 on account of producing less CO. In fact, because they have higher thermal efficiency, there is less CO2 as well. NOx is the sticky point for diesel engines. Reducing the NOx while not simultaneoulsy throwing away the fuel economy advantages is the tough part.
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I don't know about Chinese cars, but most modern cars in the U.S., Europe, South Korea, and Japan produce very little carbon monoxide, which is the product of incomplete combustion in an oxygen poor atmosphere. The higher ratios of air to fuel found in modern fuel-injected cars cause them to produce more carbon dioxide instead. Many new cars produce so little carbon monoxide that you can't commit suicide by locking yourself in a garage with them running any more (don't try it if you don't know your car). So-called ultra-low-emission gasoline engines are available that produce only carbon dioxide and water as exhaust. As a side note: diesel emission controls that cut down on soot production may increase carbon dioxide production. In any case, growing plants love it. Maybe we just need more plants.
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Sounds like an interesting watch. Also, here's the wikipedia page which presents a lot of the arguments, and some reactions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle
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People now seem to be bringing up global warming, so I can't help but jump in:

Anyone here seen the fascinating documentary, "The Great Global Warming Swindle"? For those of you who don't know what it is, it's not arguing that global warming doesn't exist, only that humans have absolutely nothing to do with it. Right or wrong, it presents a number of remarkable arguments for its theory. I'd really recommend it no matter what you may believe regarding the issue. (And no, I'm pretty sure oil companies and big business had nothing to do with the making of it... and even if they did -- which I doubt -- it doesn't change the apparent strength of the presented arguments.)
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Alex, you're right about dioxide v. monoxide. However, cars put out both, and carbon monoxide is still a greenhouse gas (although a weak one)

And, you are right that some plants respond well to heat. But, as the atmosphere gets warmer it changes weather patterns. This causes climate issues that the plants simply can't deal with: more wind, less wind, less rain, more rain, or the extinction of an important local animal species. Check the IPCC report, it has all of this in there and it's the "lowest common denominator" report that every contributing nation could accept.
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