Why we see so many coal trains

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by FiatFan, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. IAIS 604

    IAIS 604 Member

    Some points:

    1. Human-produiced CO2 amounts in a given year are more than 100X that of all volcanoes and other natural sources combined.

    2. Over 500 scientists worked on the report - you say 6 or 7 disagreed. That means about 98% AGREEDED with the report !!!

    3. I thought "Talk about anything here" ???

    4. Fox news - the worse reporting on the planet! Those folk would be happy working for the old USSR's Pravda or Radio Moscow, IMHO !!! I suggest you try the EPA's Global Change site for a CONSERATIVE viewpoint on this issue that has a lot of scientific FACTS:


    BTW, I am a professor of chemistry who teaches envrionmenal chemistry and done research in the environmental field.
  2. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    Global cooling is linked to global warming. It was caused by high levels of particulate polution. While particulate pollution has been reduced substantially, at least in the US with tight controls on emissions, CO2 emissions have grown. As a result, global warming is occurring. Global dimming is also caused by particulate pollution, and could also be linked to global warming, it could be either hiding the severity of global warming, or it could be making it slightly worse. The Kuwait fires probably put massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, which is still up there.

    One thing that you have to understand with global warming is that it different from particulate pollution. If you shut down the particulate pollution, as the US did with the clean air act, then the pollution problems go away within a few months, as the junk settles out of the atmostphere. CO2, on the other hand, stays in the atmosphere for 100 years, and with deforestation, we are limiting the planet's ability to take in CO2 while we are putting more out. Thus, the CO2 we are putting out now will stay in the atmosphere for more than 100 years. Thus, we a race need to stop putting more CO2 there, so that the changes in global temperature can flatten out, and hopefull to avoid catastrauphic disaster.

    I actually live on the right coast, not the left. The northeast has ratified Kyoto, the federal government should as well, and then work to create a much tougher treaty that includes all countries in the world.

    Yup, global warming will effect future generations worse than even my generation. Hmm, trying to fix the driveway that is being washed out by global warming?? You don't beleive a phenomenon that is washing out your driveway?

    IAIS 604: Excellent points and great link! Your commentary about Fox News is right on! It is great to have you come into this thread, as a true expert in environmental science and put down some good, hard facts.

    EDIT: Spacing.
  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

  4. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    wow. That Mikado looks like NYS&W 142. probably made by the same company. I think they stopped making steam locos in 1990, right around the time the three were imported to the US. Those things can't exactly be helping China's bad air pollution problems... Which is why NYC banned them like 100+ years ago.
  5. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Ok now we are giving resumes.

    Ph.D. in physics from Princeton with some experience with instruments for measuring stratospheric ozone. :)

    The thing to keep clear is natural fluctuations of climate are much larger than any human activity. A few hundred years ago the Middle Ages climate was very much warmer than it is today. The climate is in constant change and you MUST understand the scientific reason for this change. Those with a much more clear understanding realize sun spots is the real answer though we are not clear about the mechanism.

    It is important to know that we humans do have a very slight effect on the climate but this is less far less than what is being reported. The major effects are again not what people talk about, irrigation and deforest programs are the leading factors.

    Theory is that human green house effects is the problem. However in truth this is completely unsupported by actual observations. On the other hand computer models indicate this as a problem. Now add in the real data that we get from data taken of atmospheric temperature by two different methods. The first is from instruments in satellites and the others are from instruments carried in balloons. These show that the atmospheric warming is extremely slight or a great deal less than computer models predict. So like I said the observation conflicts greatly with the computer models.

    You should know that the Arctic temperatures have been measured for a long time. The warmest years in the Artic were around 1940, then is cooled and is warming again. However we are not close to the levels of 1940.

    It will continue to oscillate. That’s the best prediction.

    If you have done your homework you would understand that the sea level has raised 400feet in the last 18,000 years. However it is not accelerating but is rising at a uniform rate over these 18,000 years. It has not change that rate even with periods of warming or cooling and should continue to rise at a slow rate of 8 inches per century.

    In conclusion there are far more many problems to think about or even worry about. The more important problems for the future of man are such things as diseases, nuclear war and terrorism.
    Global warming produced by humans is insignificant compared to the natural fluctuations of climate.

    [FONT=&quot]I know that is the short version but what do I know I only study it and review all the facts just not the hot reports of the day.[/FONT]
  6. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    Renovo PRR:

    My resume is an informed Citizen who has done research from many different sources and actually knows real facts, not oil company lies about global warming.

    If you have done your homework, you would find that IPCC predictions for sea level rise are about 3 feet in the next century, and that is not natural.

    If you had done your homework, you would find that atmostpheric CO2 levels have gone up substantially since 1850ish (when the industrial revolution started and humans started to burn coal and then started burning oil as well).

    You would also find that the atmostpheric levels of CO2 are higher than they have been in 650,000 years, and that the natural temperature ranges that occurred in a repeating, natural pattern, but are now just going plain up from the top of that natural cycle, and are going up at about 1C per 30 years, as opposed to previous coolings and warmings that happened through a few degrees C over a 10,000 cylcle, with 1000 years for anything meaningful to actually happen.

    The actual observations show the temperature going up in line with the increase in atmospheric CO2, which is occuring excatly in line with the use of fossil fuels by humans.

    Small cyles will happen with the ice and such, but it is now just plain old melting, not acting in a part of a cycle.

    Cycles can and do happen in terms of local or regional climates, but as a whole, the earth is getting hotter, and it is not part of a cycle.

    The single biggest threat to humanity is global warming and dwindling natural resources as the world population rises, and is expected to rise to 9 billion people, which is about 8 billion more than the earth can handle in a sustainable manner.

    It is true that deforestation does account for a lot of CO2, but it is about 20% of the total, with well over half coming fossil fuels and the balance coming from agriculture and other sources. The whole chart is on Wikipedia, take a look at it. The article there is also a great article that actually has some real science in it, unlike the blatant lies in your posts. Are you just uneducated about Global Warming, or are you getting paid by Exxon-Mobil?

    Speaking of that, even the front groups paid by Exxon Mobil and friends admit global warming is real and caused by humans, they just say it will have little effect on people, which is of course a lie funded by the big polluters.

    Those wars and terrorism will be caused by countries that are under stress from storms or droughts or shifting climate and agriculture problems caused by global warming, and are competing for resources with other countries.

    It is pretty clear that IAIS 604 is a real expert who uses real facts about a real problem, unlike you.

    EDIT: Additions.
  7. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    I'm with Larry, let the others cry wolf yet again!

  8. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    I really wanted to pass on this subject and I tried my best to do that. However when you can only look at everything with tunnel vision it makes it harder to see the whole picture. Also using only selected information is not a wise decision when basing any opinion. That is ok but it is only one source.
    Your side is only one of many views based more or less on computer models that cannot predict anything more than the selected information that is entered. The data you speak about doesn’t consider other options or outcomes.
    The growing evidence not accounted for in the research you study is the sun’s radiance may well have an impact on climate change that was never considered in these reports. Having unshakeable faith in what has become one of the central beliefs in global warming: humans burn fossil fuels which increase levels of carbon dioxide causing the atmosphere to heat up.
    But lets get back to models. Models only get more realistic as we understand the physical system. If you don’t understand the physics of what is going on or understand the causes then the model can’t be realistic. Trying to define the global warming theory on even the most powerful computer is in effect getting more and more accurate answers to the wrong equations.
    I will give you an example: As carbon dioxide increases you would expect global warming. However at the same time you get the warming you will get evaporation from the ocean. Both sides agree with this. But what is the effect of this additional water vapor in the atmosphere? Current technology models predict it will enhance warming. However the models can’t predict what will happen if it creates clouds, which will reflect solar radiation and reduce the warming. The current climate models do not capture cloud information.
    Models are not good enough to either depict clouds or to even discuss the creation of clouds in a proper way. So it's not possible at this time to be sure how much warming one will get from an increase in carbon dioxide.
    The concept of Global Warming has turned political, and from the Mobile Exxon remark I think you will see my point. When you have a particular point of view you tend to suppress facts of data that disagree with your point of view. This does work both ways. It is common for people to support only the data that supports their point of view.

    A good example is the UN Science Advisory group, the IPCC. They completed a very good 600-page report. It has been well read by politicians, media and those that look for data to support their global warming positions. However when reviewing the entire report and not just the 5 page summary you will find there is no mention to the fact that weather satellite observations of the past 20 years show no global warming. In fact there is a slight cooling. The stranger part is that the report doesn’t even consider or mention the satellites.

    Now NYNH&H I’m not sure why you want to turn this mean spirited. If I sounded that way I will be the first to say I’m sorry if I came over that way. You have voiced an opinion based on reading and I have voiced an opinion on actual involvement. I even thought the best thing to do was not to cross this bridge.

    I offer additional thoughts and theories based on several sources that include actual observation, measurement, history, computer model, cloud formations, ocean studies, sediment studies and my conclusion differ than those using and relying solely on computer models.

    [FONT=&quot]For me to say the other person is entirely incorrect or uneducated would be catastrophic in my field. To say everyone with a different opinion is a paid PR person for an energy company would be worse. The smart person would appreciate the others information and strive to make sure their own information was not subject to a different outcome. To become bitter at opposing views is to stop investigating for the truth. I don’t have that answer at this time however my experience in this field doesn’t permit me to say that human activity is the leading cause of global warming. But the one thing I will not do is make any member feel you are less of a person because your view differs from mine.[/FONT] .
  9. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    [FONT=&quot]I forgot to add for peace on this subject at least from me I will stick to coal trains for the rest of my comments on this thread. I'm sorry if some of you were bored or upset over the drifting from the original content on this thread.

    I hope you accept my apology.[/FONT]
  10. IAIS 604

    IAIS 604 Member

    Renovo -

    If you look at the EPA site (and other scientific information available in journals like Nature and Science), you would find out that:

    1. The solar radiation HAS been taken into account - it is not a factor with in the current time frame, and

    2. Corrected satellite data DOES show global warming - there was an error in the original data.

    Both of those arguments are based on old or incorrect information. Not your fault, as a lot of information does not get out to the general public (especially when corrected - not "flashy" enough for the media, I suppose).

    It helps to have access to current information (like the journals I listed above among others). You would find, as I have, that there is a LOT of misinformation out there on the web, radio/TV talk shows, and newspapers which clouds this issue for the layman.

    Yes, the issue is VERY complex, but the truth of the matter is only going to be found by careful evaluation of the latest scientific facts (a scientific "fact" is a verified experiment), not the falsehoods circulating in the media or those experiments proved to have an error. And while computer models have their limitations, there is a LOT of hard facts that support this theory (as, indeed, any true theory has - after all, a scientific theory is just a model to explain the experimental facts. No facts, no theory. Related facts that don't support the theory, incorrect theory).

    So far, the facts support the theory. If we find some that don't, we will change the theory to fit the facts - that is science.

    I try to correct incorrect info when I can, but it sometimes feels like trying to swim upstream in the Mississippi !

    OK, back to trains !!!
  11. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Hello everyone. Your friendly moderator here again. Well, this thread certainly has gone in an unexpected direction but obviously one that interests a number of folks. It is in the General Talk forum so it seems OK to me to banter about topics like global warming (especially since it is somewhat related to the original thread intent) as long as we remain respectful of each other and keep the flames down. I'm seeing what appear to be some summary statements, olive branches, and offers to return to the original thread topic so perhaps the great debate is winding down. If so, fine. If not, then just keep in min the guidelines I mentioned. I'm convinced that it will be model railroaders who eventually solve all the problems of the world. We're a creative group! :)
  12. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    OK just to to add this, I had the misfortune to talk to an employee of the EPA, and yes I checked his ID (20+ years Active Army (retired) I just don't trust anyone) who said to my face "we may have to sacrifice human life to protect the environment".

    Sorry after 20 + year of government service if they say it I don't believe it! So if the EPA says my car should get 20 MPG I figure add 5.....

    The same EPA that claims against everyone else to include the Insurance institute who's claim to fame is reduced payouts that small cars are safe.....nope not gonna happen not now, not EVER!!!!

    The same EPA that ridiculed a NHSC report that SUV's were safe...the claim from the EPA was that in a roll over event, when not wearing a seat belt that the LARGER WINDOWS in an SUV would enhance the chance that you would be ejected in a roll over. The same windows that give better vision and reduce the risk of an accident in the first place.

    Read everything... present a balanced arguement....not just what fits your agenda.....then talk to me....other than that you are just one more ....your words...."nut case" twisting data to fit your agenda!

  13. IAIS 604

    IAIS 604 Member

    Rick -

    There are EPA scientists and then there are EPA politicians (then there are some that are both) ... sounds like you encountered a politician.

    I have 12 years of government service myself (former USAF officer), so I know the type of politics you can run into.

    I DO read the scientific journals ... being a Ph.D. chemist and professor ... AND do my own research. Be assured that my viewpoint is based on science. You don't "argue" science - that would put us back to the ancient Greek philosophers - you preform experiments to prove or disprove your hypothesis. And yes, experiments can be done in this area.

    True scientists don't have an "agenda" - theories change to meet the facts, not the other way around. Again, the GHG GW theory so far meets the known facts, and certain other possible causes (solar flux, volcanoes, political speeches, etc.) have been shown not to be a factor - by verified experiments in the scientific literature.

    Quite frankly, unless someone has the proper scientific background in the area, it is very hard to talk to them, as they don't have the foundation for understanding. A lot of people think they can read material on the web or other media and become an "expert" - but I would hate to have a "physician" who learned that way!

    The issue will be settled by science, not by popular vote.
    As Larry said, a while back.

    Why don't we get back to trains ????
  14. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Just something else to think about... From one of the Admins... :)

    My friend has the "Ultimate" comment about global warming....

    "Globbal warming??? --------- Heck - they can't even predict the weather 20 days from now.. How are they deciding on what the atmosphere will be like in 20 years ???? :D :D

    ........ We have both worked for the government at different times.. :) So we know the insides... :) As has been said - more tests (sincere unbiased tests) must be made.. and the media must be accurately informed on what "may or may not" happen..... But ultimately.. only time will tell - and most of us will be "gone" by that time........
  15. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

  16. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member


    Global warming is not crying wolf. IT is a very real and serious threat to humanity. In fact, we have already seen effects of it, like Katrina's intensity, dying Coral Reefs, and storms and rising sea levels (at the moment they have risen 4" from pre-industrial times, which is insignificant for most places, although the rising is going to speed up rapidly if athmospheric CO2 levels are not stabilized) that have caused some islands in Alaska and the South Pacific to become unlivable. These are only tiny things compared to what will probably happen if warming continues to accelerate.

    Check out the fact that conservative oil-man George W. Bush said that Global Climate Change is a "serious challenge". Thats saying quite a bit for Bush. Thats not saying hes actually doing much about it, but at least he admits it is a "serious challenge".

    Renovo PRR:

    You are being extremely hypocritical in your assesment of having "tunnel vision". You must have tunnel vision, as it has already been mentioned in this thread that 98% of climate scientists agree with the fact that global warming is occuring, and it is happening because of humans burning fossil fuels. That means you are tunnel visioning in on the 2% of scientists and a tiny percentage of the data that casts a little bit of doubt on future predictions of warming.

    The other problem with your arguments is that the earth is already 1C wamer than it was in pre-industrial times, and charts of temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels have a very direct and very real connection. They also have a very direct and very real connection with humans' use of fossil fuels, starting out with coal for the industrial revolution in the 1850s, and continuing to the increased use of automobiles and electicity, usually generated with coal or natural gas, in the last half century or so.

    In terms of computer models of what is happening, all it takes is a sheet of paper, and a pencil to make a very rudimentary sketch of the climate for the next century, assuming that fossil fuel use stays at current levels or expands slightly. All you have to do is extend the curve of temperature, and the curve of CO2, both of which have gone up drastically in the last 30 years, and the curves go up even more steeply. While it may not be an exact match of what is happening now, it may slow due to various factors, or negative feedback loops as you have described with cloud cover, or it may speed up due to positive feedback loops like parts of the Amazon dying and catching fire, or the arctic melting and absorbing more solar radiation, it will be going up, and that is pretty clear.

    Yes, it is common for people to support the data that supports my point of view, but I formed my point of view from the data in the first place. I have no current financial interest in global warming at this time. I don't own a wind farm, and I don't own a coal power plant. Or anything else that is tied to CO2 and energy use for that matter. I looked at the data, got data from many different sources, and figure out that global warming really is happening. Exxon-Mobil and others have an interest to sell fuels that cause global warming, so they want to make it seem like it is not happening, or that the effects are so minor that nothing will really change. The issue is also directly political in that Exxon-Mobil (there are others, I just use them as an example, as they are responsible for largest percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere of any company in the world, somewhere around 3% of man made CO2), lobbies Congress to do nothing about Global Warming, and to do nothing about cleaner, newer, more efficient, non-foreign-oil energy.

    I just get somewhat angry when people start putting out junk data, especially about the earth that we all have to live on. It serves no one well to put out junk data that hides the biggest problem facing humankind right now. If we don't take measure to reduce fossil fuel usage, the earth will not be as pretty a place to live on for future generations as it is now.

    As for saying that PR people, or entire front groups are responsible for this misinformation, I say that because every time I see an article about how Global warming isn't happening, I can either trace it to an ulta-conservative think tank with undisclosed funding, or somehow to Exxon-Mobil and friends (US mining associations, US car companies, other oil companies etc.), usually through an ultra-conservative, big-business loving think tank that acts as a big PR front group for these companies. There are, however, a few responsible companies out there. Xcel energy was an example I used earlier in the thread to describe a company who is a huge CO2 polluter but admits there is a serious problem, and that the government needs to cap emissions from the power industry.

    IAIS 604:

    Great points on science and theories. I also find it frustrating to "swim up the Mississippi" when people ignore the very real facts that Global Warming is occuring.

    The issue is very complex, but it is pretty clear that we have enough scientific data to show that Global Warming is happening, that we as a race, and as a leading country in the world, need to take serious steps to first stop CO2 emissions growth, and then reduce CO2 emissions drastically. That would also have the side effects of many more jobs, keeping money that is now escaping to OPEC countries and Russia in the US, with home grown biofuels, decreasing energy bills by mandating high efficiency, and making a more reliable grid, as the less power is used, and the more diversified the sources are, like distributed renewable generation, the less chance there is of a brown-out or black-out. Using efficient technologies and renewables would also decrease asthma and other respitory problems in cities by cleaning up the air that is currently being polluted by fossil fuels.


    SUVs actually do rollover. A lot. Many people get killed by those things. Not to mention they suck up way too many gallons of fossil fuels.

    IAIS 604:

    I agree about the true scientists and agendas. Unfortunately, many of the scientists out there have agendas, and make the data fit whatever their goal is- like trying to disprove Global Warming. We will always have these fake, as some companies make $9B/ quarter, and like to do bad things with it.

    While you do have to be a scientist who has done research or study in order to be a true expert on the topic, people can be informed citizens by looking at the sources of the data, reading between the lines, reading information from official sources, like the IPCC, EPA, etc, and using some common sense. This is what I have done with Global Warming, and by doing my reasearch, I have gained substantially more knowledge about the topic than 90% of the American population. Its a little different than a physician, I know I can help the environment by using less power and driving less. Its not that hard. In terms of future models, I can only comment on the various ones that I have read, and what they say. I am cerainly not going to try and make my own, but I can use the data provided with predictions to get the bottom of the issue.

    N Gauger:

    What about your kids and their kids? And, you are not gone right now, and right now Global warming is effecting the planet. Since CO2 stays in the atmosphere, we as a race need to do something NOW about reducing output, as otherwise it will be too late. There is still a ton of reaserch to be done about how the climate works, and how Global Warming will progress, but it is obvious that it is happening, it is bad, and the human race needs to reduce CO2 emissions DRASTICALLY. The science to prove that is all in. We now need to act on it.
  17. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Mikey..Its 38 as I type this.This morning we have sleet and snow.Yesterday it was 68 day before it was 72..Yet the 10 forecast called for the 40/50s..I guess their guessing isn't to good after all.
    As far as coal trains I have a friend that is slowly building a 50 car DEEX(Detroit Edison Electric) unit train he plans on using with his 2 Atlas NS Dash 8-40Cs
  18. FiatFan

    FiatFan Member

    Isn't that what it's there for?

  19. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    :) I got your point, that is why I stopped talking about the subject. :) I'm not poitical. it warps the facts and makes it hard to debate. :) But your still cool and I said what I wanted too on the subject so be it I'm not fanatical on the subject.

    But I did sleep at a Holiday Inn. ;)

    Interesting event taking place it appears they want to lay some new track or at least open up an old abandon track section for some local coal mines. This would bring some loaded coal coals within a few miles of the farm.

    I think it would be cool seeing some additional rail traffic.
  20. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Here is an interesting train coal fact.
    One of the last major railroads to convert from coal to diesel power was N&W. You can still see their famous J class #611 and A class #1218 at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke.

    J class # 611

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