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Santa Rosa’s drive-thru dilemma

Sean McLean, right, hands Mike Rivara his order at the In-N-Out drive-thru in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. (CHRISTOPHER CHUNG/ PD)

A city conflicted over need to serve community, protect the air

By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Drive-thru windows may be a popular convenience for those on the move, but Santa Rosa’s rejection of a Chick-fil-A on Mendocino Avenue shows they remain a hot topic for those worried about global warming.

The city has struggled for years with how to handle requests for businesses with drive-thrus given the county’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 75 percent of 1990 levels by 2015.

Critics contend that lines of idling cars waiting for cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets or prescription drugs waste gas, harm air quality and increase greenhouse gas emissions.

But supporters note that they serve a need in the community and some studies show restricting or banning them would not result in any significant reduction in emissions.

The Planning Commission decision last week, on a 3-3 vote, not to grant Chick-fil-A a use permit for its restaurant and drive-thru reflects just how conflicted the community remains on the issue.

Commissioner Curtis Byrd said he couldn’t understand how the city’s consultant could say that the emissions from the Chick-fil-A’s drive-thru would have an insignificant impact on the environment.

“It doesn’t make sense to me that a queue of five minutes with 17, 18 cars does not contribute to our air quality. It can’t be right!” Byrd declared as he explained why he voted against the project.

The issue first gained momentum in Santa Rosa in 2007 with the approval of a Long’s pharmacy, now CVS, with a drive-thru on Stony Point Road. Then in 2009, popular chain In-N-Out Burger proposed a restaurant at the busy intersection of Steele Lane and County Center Drive.

During the In-N-Out debate, the Planning Commission examined the greenhouse gas emissions issue, at one point discussing a moratorium on new applications until a drive-thru policy could be crafted. The commission eventually approved the restaurant with several conditions, including signs requesting drivers turn off their engines as they wait in line.

Following that contentious process, the Planning Commission sent a letter to the council urging it to adopt a citywide policy on the issue. It has yet to do so.

Councilwoman Susan Gorin, who came out strongly in favor of a cap on new drive-thrus in 2009 when she was mayor, said she feels the same way today.

She said that for some people, such as the elderly and mothers with young children, they serve legitimate purposes. But she said there are enough such establishments and more should not be encouraged.

But the current council majority has other priorities, said Councilman Scott Bartley. Given the city’s limited budget and planning staff, the council has chosen to focus on issues such as rewriting zoning codes to be more business-friendly, Bartley said. He noted that the issue seems to come up about every two years, a rate of new drive-thrus that does not concern him.

And, he said, the amount of additional greenhouse gas emissions from a drive-thru is “zilch,” he said.

That’s the controversial conclusion reached by the consultant working on the city’s Climate Action Plan, a document that evaluates the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and proposes policy changes to help the city reach climate protection goals.

The draft of the plan initially included an outright ban on all new drive-thrus on the theory that they would reduce emissions. But the Planning Commission last month voted to remove the ban from the draft plan, noting that for certain people drive-thrus are more than a mere convenience. An analysis done by the city’s consultant also showed that a ban wouldn’t measurably reduce carbon dioxide levels in the city, according to city planner Gillian Hayes.

The consultant who handled the Chick-fil-A environmental analysis similarly concluded that emissions wouldn’t have a significant impact on air quality or greenhouse gases.

The report by Michael Brandman Associates concluded that construction and operation of a 4,400-square-foot restaurant on the site of a vacant former Burger King building would produce about 979 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, below the 1,100 threshold to require environmental mitigation under local Bay Area Air Quality Management District guidelines.

The rejection of the permit request means the issue will head to the City Council for what likely will be a more favorable hearing.

Chick-fil-A officials on Monday filed an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision. The College Park, Ga.-based company noted that its project meets all the rules set forth for drive-thrus in the city. It also pointed out the restaurant will be oriented to the street, is pedestrian friendly and includes abundant landscaping and more than three times the bicycle parking required by city code (20 versus 6).

A traffic consultant estimated the restaurant would generate 2,158 vehicle trips per day. The company has said it expects to serve about 50 percent of its customers at the drive-thru.

Planning Commissioner Peter Stanley said in his remarks last week that having walkable communities is a laudable goal, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

“We just can’t tell people to get out of their cars. I don’t think we can legislate that,” Stanley said.

The appeal is expected to be heard by the council May 22.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com.





47 Responses to “Santa Rosa’s drive-thru dilemma”

  1. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Jim Bennett-maybe you should go to Dr Andrew Weil’s website and see what he thinks about flouride. Again it’s the quantity.

    I’d be more worried about the chemicals we use in our homes everyday and those that we encounter when we go out as the real harmful ones to our health. There are other things in water that worry me more, like organic chemicals.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  2. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Jim Bennett-Where I work I’m too low on any totem pole to have business cards. I don’t even have roses in my garden, my place is so dinky. Don’t confuse me with someone else.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Jim Bennett says:

    MOCKINGBIRD:
    One Question.
    Does your business card have a rose on it?

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  4. Jim Bennett says:

    MOCKINGBIRD:
    from what I’ve read (there’s a large body of scientific studies against it) chronic fluoride poisoning is accumlative.
    Even at 1 ppm.

    Why not join Europe and other parts of the world and ban it?

    Especially since it’s proven to not prevent cavities, but IS associated with ailments that could fill pages?

    Add it to your water if you like.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  5. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Jim Bennett-flouride is poisonous, but so is iron, copper, Vitamin A & D, zinc, and many other nutrients we need in our bodies to survive.

    Flouride is a natural componant in the tea we drink. Tea might stain our teeth but it kills the bacteria in our mouths and the flouride helps to strengthen our teeth. Add a little zylitol sweetener to your tea and really help your gums and teeth.

    It’s the QUANTITY of the poison that is harmful.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  6. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    I have to laugh at all this ICLEI/Agenda 21 stuff. When it comes to NIMBY it’s usually the conservatives who don’t want that group home moving in next door, not we progressives who advocate for those in need. I also believe that Lucas should have been able to proceed with expanding the business in Marin County and would welcome him here, maybe in Petaluma where they badly want high paying tech jobs with benefits instead of low paying Target jobs.

    This progressive is 100% behind the CHIC FILA moving onto Santa Rosa Ave because it will blend in with all the other businesses there. It’s an appropriate placement.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  7. Cedric Pigg says:

    Prediction: The Council will overturn the Planning Commission on a 4-3 vote.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  8. Jim Bennett says:

    How Canthisbe?
    That desireable California went from the bomb to a soggy little firecracker?

    Because we’re the epicenter of all this Agenda 21/Sustainable/ICLEI crap.

    It was a good link.

    California.

    Second highest unemployment in the Country.

    Sabotage and crash.

    I was offered a couple Chinese/American little electric car franchises.
    I was gonna buy that blighted ‘Grey’s Auto Upholstery’ building on S.R. Ave.
    Cheap, they’d carry paper.
    It was to be for service/warranty work.

    I lost my nerve, which as you know I’m not short of.

    After what the City put me through with my community center.

    I’m not funded well enough to endure another round of our ‘Planning Dept.’.

    Electric cars, employing folks at a community center.

    What was I thinking?

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

  9. GAJ says:

    Canthisbe; great link.

    Here’s on paragraph from your link that resonated with me as it’s a direct reflection of our County’s wrongheadedness:

    “Oh, and don’t forget the $100 billion bullet train. Mr. Kotkin calls the runaway-cost train “classic California.” “Where [Brown] with the state going bankrupt is even thinking about an expenditure like this is beyond comprehension. When the schools are falling apart, when the roads are falling apart, the bridges are unsafe, the state economy is in free fall. We’re still doing much worse than the rest of the country, we’ve got this growing permanent welfare class, and high-speed rail is going to solve this?”

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  10. Steveguy says:

    Here is a thought, those gas taxes while idling in the line can pay for the county roads ! Let’s have every business have a drive-thru, and we can fix the potholes !!

    Oh wait, We idle on 101 because of the stupid carpool lane that has been PROVEN to make traffic worse. So our idling gas taxes are OK on 101, and not picken’ up some chicken ?

    Oh my

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  11. Canthisbe says:

    “Jim Bennett April 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm Some great posts.
    This little drive-thru rejection is symbolic of everything that’s wrong”.

    So true – see

    Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus
    A leading U.S. demographer and ‘Truman Democrat’ talks about what is driving the middle class out of the Golden State.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304444604577340531861056966.html

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  12. Jim Bennett says:

    To Skippy: OK.
    Talking about that crap is outside my comfort zone.
    I’m doing lots of things outside my comfort zone lately.

    Not into black helicopters.

    I know fluoride is poison.

    Skippy, when you were a kid and watched a jet, saw the contrail.
    How long did it take for it to disappear?
    A minute or three?
    They didn’t create weather patterns for hours did they?
    Go outside your comfort zone and get on line, read about it.
    There’s a lot to read.

    I’m not trying to see how popular I can be.
    I’m trying to see how truthful I can be.

    A few of these days last week should have been periwinkle blue and clear.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  13. Skippy says:

    @Jim
    No rational adult thinks Big Govt is a friend to a free man, but that post is waaaaayyy out there.
    Aerosol conspiracy?
    Please.
    You well know that any conspiracy involving more than 2 people has an effective life of about 2 weeks before somebody talks.
    There is threat aplenty from the things Big Govt has shown us it wants to do.
    Ginning up fear over black helicopter/flouride/jet contrails and voices in your head kinda makes you look like a serious whackjob.
    If you buy it, great, but include me out.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 13

  14. Just Me says:

    If In-N-Out Burger had applied for that location it would have been approved hands down, no debates. Instead they opted for the worst intersection in town and got approval. Has anyone paid attention to the traffic and garbage there now?

    Stop being Hypocrites City Council. Approve Chick Fil A. Their food is better than In N Out ANY DAY!

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  15. Jim Bennett says:

    John Lennon:
    thought the long post on ‘Global Warming’ was xlnt..
    This may not be too popular, but here goes. This touches on the ‘GW’ subject.

    Hope this one doesn’t cause me a year of humiliation like the ICLEI thing did.

    This is how dark the globalists at the top of the UN/ICLEI/Agenda 21 are.

    They spray the crap out of us from jets.

    Call it what you want:
    ‘weather modification’.
    ‘aereal spraying’
    ‘chem-trails’.

    There’s 3 reasons they do it.
    1) to make us sick.
    2) inoculation
    3) weather modification.

    What’s in it?

    Nano particles of aluminum.
    A toxic cocktail including, but far from limited to: barium, mold, fungi, and an amazing array of crap that could only be described as a carefully concocted biological assault.
    The refractive quality of the aluminum can mimic/manifest the ill contrived ‘green house gas’ scenario.
    The refractive property of the aluminum as an atmospheric plasma can also reduce the sky to a microwave of EMF resonation and toxicity (another weapon).
    Projected from the Navy(tax)funded HAARP Program 45 miles outside Fairbanks Alaska.
    They can largely control weather as well,
    thousands of miles away.
    They hord life changing technology and information from us.
    They must think they’re God.

    Part of this globalist Agenda is to reduce the population by approximately 90%.

    I know it sounds like a bad ‘B’ movie.
    It is not a conspiracy theory.
    It is conspiracy fact.

    How ironic.
    How hypocritical.
    How dark.

    That these twisted elitists would site the preservation of the environment as the excuse, instrument of our oppression.

    What do you suppose this does to the water supply?
    The Ph of the soil?

    Metals migrate to the brain, that’s why we have such an epidemic of autism and alzheimer’s.
    They’ve really increased the spraying as of late.
    Notice how many of us are experiencing broncial problems, persistant flew like symptoms?

    Instead of the polarity being the oppressors and the oppressees.
    We’re distracted with all this imposed Left/Right crap.
    As our own leaders go along to get along.

    How’s that for extra spicy?

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

  16. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    faldasar-the city and county buses are green buses. So it evens out if IMPATIENT DRIVERS are irritated at having to wait for them and produce more pollution from their “fuming”. At least if you’re stuck behind them you won’t have to worry about breathing in their exhaust unlike combustion engines. But maybe if people rode the bus they would be a lot happier and won’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic. The drivers have 30 minutes on most of the routes and those buses can move so they aren’t slow in traffic anyway.

    The buses go every half hour. On most routes there is usually only 1 bus. The exception is Mendocino and Santa Rosa Ave.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  17. Jim Bennett says:

    Some great posts.
    This little drive-thru rejection is symbolic of everything that’s wrong.

    ICLEI.

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

  18. Steveguy says:

    @ Mockingbird– Me wrong ? You didn’t state FACTS, you just said that there are other county buildings. I have 1st person experience, and have NEVER seen a County Employee taking the bus to the County Center, the largest conglomeration of County offices here.

    I asked for facts, that was all. You responded with some vague statement of there being other offices. Maybe we have way too many offices.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  19. Reality Check says:

    @Canthisbe,

    “I believe that a clean, well maintained and lighted area is a safer area than an area that looks dilapidated, dark and rundown.”

    Well said, and obviously true. But other priorities outrank this common sense view. In this case the mandate to reduce CO2 trumps all. Whether it accomplishes the goal is largely irrelevant.

    Local govts must report to higher authorities the actions they’ve taking to meet their goals. Axing drive-thru windows may be the least objectionable step they can take and still appear to be doing something.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  20. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Sorry Steveguy but you are wrong. Yes, lots of people ride the bus to the county center for business, jail visitation, probation appointments, welfare and so on. But the county offices are spread out all over Santa Rosa. There are county offices out at the airport area. There are county offices downtown with several hundred people working in them. Maybe you should ride a different bus. And remember, most county workers work from 8to5.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  21. Name with held to protect the untaxed says:

    My family has made a personal commitment to reducing traffic and greenhouse gas. We buy everything online from Amazon. Just got a new lawnmower (CARB Compliant)with free delivery. I shop with the confidence of knowing that one delivery truck is taking hundreds of shoppers off the streets every day.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  22. fadalsr says:

    Bunch of hypocrits. Do you really want to stop idling cars get rid of public busses. Do you see how many cars idle behind these busses every day. Count them way more than 17 cars!

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  23. Canthisbe says:

    While I have not found any empirical studies to support my view, I believe that a clean, well maintained and lighted area is a safer area than an area that looks dilapidated, dark and rundown. Certainly an area that has decent, ordinary people traffic is safer than an abandoned area. One more reasons to approve the Chic- Fil-A restaurant.

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  24. Steveguy says:

    @ Mockingbird— County employees take the bus ? I have taken the bus that stops at the County Center many, many times. The only ones using it were for court appointments and social service appointments, NEVER County employees. EVER

    I was shocked, and still am, but they make enough bank to not take public transit. Prove your stats.

    So much for ‘green’ county employees.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6

  25. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Money Grubber-just so you know, I share your view about Chic Fil-A. Their restaurant SHOULD be approved and will be an improvement over what’s there now.

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  26. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Money Grubber-and you get to work HOW?

    Many public employees ride bikes, take the buses, walk, ride share. You’re making an ASSUMPTION.

    I take the bus to work EVERYDAY and often on the weekends shopping and for pleasure. I haven’t driven in months. When was the last time you went anywhere on a bus?

    So, you don’t know what you are talking about. You just want another reason to attack public employees.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 14

  27. Jason Brown says:

    If you really want to cut down of human green house bad air emissions, stop electing progressive socialists to the city council. The foul air the Santa Rosa City Council stirs up is much more hazardous to our health than a burger drive through.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 4

  28. Money Grubber says:

    “….given the county’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 75 percent of 1990 levels by 2015.”

    While you ponder the government sticking its nose into our daily lives, consider their ignorance and hypocrisy.

    They block businesses from installing drive through counters YET THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES GLEEFULLY DRIVE TO AND FROM THEIR GOVERNMENT OFFICES IN THEIR PRIVATE CARS.

    JUST LOOK AT ALL THE GOVERNMENT PARKING LOTS AROUND SONOMA COUNTY.

    GOVERNMENT PARASITES ARE FAST TO IMPOSE LAWS, RULES, AND REGS UPON EVERYONE BUT THEMSELVES.

    HYPOCRITES. Always the government hypocrites.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 7

  29. Jean Anderson says:

    Talk about Byrd-brains!

    These clowns are real pieces of work. How is it that these kinds of nuts get appointed to commissions.

    What a load of chicken poop.

    Thumb up 33 Thumb down 3

  30. Billy C says:

    Lets for arguments sake say the reducing emissions ans saving fuel are really an important issue. I think they are global
    warming or not. We have made great strides in both areas with more improvements to come with the EV.
    Here are my questions If emission reduction is so important why don’t we shut down the modified Harley’s the blast up and down the street? Why do we have scores of people driving the kids across town to go to school? Why do we dive businesses out of town so people have to commute? Why do we allow Casinos with 5,000 parking spots but can NOT allow a neighborhood chicken shack to have a D/T?

    If we really wanted to save the world we would forbid Beef , BBQing with charcoal
    and letting the PD throw news paper adds in our driveways every week !

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  31. Jim Bennett says:

    To GAJ:
    your first post would make perfect sense.
    Except.
    ICLEI towns have an ordinance that forfeits a commercial property’s continuity of use (not ‘grand fathered’ in) if it’s empty for a year.
    Except for Santa Rosa, we’re special,
    here it’s 6 months.

    Yeah, it’s all in the UN sponsored American Planning Association’s bible.
    Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook:
    Model Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change.

    There’s that ‘change’ word again.

    Thumb up 29 Thumb down 6

  32. Jim Bennett says:

    Piece should read:
    ‘Santa Rosa’s Government Dilemma’

    THIS IS THE THING,
    even bigger than fast food.

    The notion of man induced
    ‘Global Warming’ was contrived by the same cabal of globalists that ARE ICLEI.
    The same cabal that conceived Agenda 21 Sustainable Development.
    The same cabal that your public officials have taken the liberty (literally) of aligning us with.

    Now, their ideology, their ‘Plan’, which is all about impoverishing us, taking away our Freedoms and Rights, controlling and containing us, is being imposed on us by our by our own public officials!

    GW was contrived as an instrument of our oppression, it has served them well.

    People are waking up, but there’s so much already in place.
    A whole sustainability movement.
    So many with a vested interest in riding this ‘green’ wave of Kool-Aid.
    Afterall, they have to keep their deal ‘Sustainable’.

    So the real question of our time is;
    are you ‘gonna watch while everything you hold dear is taken from you based on a lie?

    Automobiles and Private Property are antithesis of this crap because they represent freedom and independence.

    Or maybe THE QUESTION is…
    will they have extra spicy?

    Thumb up 27 Thumb down 4

  33. Jason Valez says:

    Our government (NSA) is building a giant data mining operation in Utah. Domestic surveilance of every e-mail, phone call, google search, you name it, will be gathered, stored and gone through to blacklist American citizens who will not be told. This was on today’s Washington Journal (C-Span). It’s illegal but no one will do anything to stop this. It’s the total information system that Bush tried to push.

    They needed the fake global warming scare along with the fake terrorism scare to justify collecting massive amounts of data on everything including how much energy each of us consumes and for what. Today’s guest suggested that we are a hair’s breath away from a totalitarian state. It’s a done deal unless our elected officials put a stop to it.

    Why worry about a stupid drive-thru when our basic rights of privacy are being completely stripped away. I’m not one bit scared of global warming or terrorism for that matter. All this BS about carbon dioxide was just a ruse so they could take total control of people and the planet.

    Business as usual, the demon of sustainable development, sounds pretty good to me right now. It’s the “change you can believe in” that has me scared. They’re dithering while Rome burns. Approve the darn thing and move on.

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4

  34. John says:

    What if we just close all the JC area neighborhood streets to ALL motorized traffic. That should cut some gasses.

    They want to walk, let them walk.

    (Less road maintenance for the city.)

    Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  35. Steveguy says:

    Kirsten has it right, do we want blight or businesses paying taxes ?

    This decision by the ‘Planning Commission’ should be overturned unanimously, post-haste.

    Someone else mentioned that the smell of chicken is more better than urine, pollen, spray paint, smoke, both weed and cigs, and don’t forget the feces ! Remember the feces.

    Like I have said before, this ‘neighborhood ‘ group does not represent the thoughts of my many friends in the area. I lived on Humboldt, and these dolts made it a ‘Bicycle Boulevard’ when NOBODY rode Humboldt, and they still don’t. ( I had bike riding kids there too– They never rode Humboldt ever ).

    These people are insane and should be replaced immediately, if not sooner.

    Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

  36. Grapevines says:

    Tell the bicycle-huggers on the city council that they can use the drive through lane on their bikes as well as the cars and they may take their heads out of where they stuck them and allow this to happen.

    But I doubt it unless Chick-Fil-A makes a sizable donation to their reelection funds.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 4

  37. John Lennon says:

    These are also the same people that condensed Hoen Ave to one lane to make room for a bike lane, in turn, making the biggest parking lot in Sonoma county.

    The amount of extra emissions put out by that move in a given day is about the same as every drive through in the county over the whole year.

    So which is it? If they were worried about greenhouses gases they would not be condensing lanes, causing traffic jams and increasing greenhouse gases, its that simple

    For these people, its not about being green, its the appearance of being green and using it to control. The will flip-flop the “facts” as the see fit.

    Thumb up 47 Thumb down 7

  38. Kirstin says:

    I don’t see the city government refusing to put up street signals because THEY could create global warming. Come on. Some lights have a really big back-up of autos just idling away.

    To try to put the kibosh on Chick-Fil-A on the basis of this argument is just weak.

    Santa Rosa city officials need to reverse this decision and allow Chick-Fil-A to make use of that now sad-looking piece of prime Mendocino Ave. property. They (the officials) keep talking about how they want to encourage business here in our city. Time to prove those words aren’t empty.

    Thumb up 47 Thumb down 5

  39. Canthisbe says:

    Scientific American reports

    Pound for pound, beef production generates greenhouse gases that contribute more than 13 times as much to global warming as do the gases emitted from producing chicken.
    So if you’re really concerned about anthropological global war, approve Chick-fil-a’s drive through immediately so that people eat more chicken and less hamburgers.
    Also, if you can’t save your own neighborhood from a miserable eyesore by approving new, taxpaying business that will provide a few jobs and and serve customers who want it’s products, don’t worry about saving the planet.

    Thumb up 35 Thumb down 3

  40. John Lennon says:

    New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism

    NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

    Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

    “The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

    In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.

    The new findings are extremely important and should dramatically alter the global warming debate.

    Scientists on all sides of the global warming debate are in general agreement about how much heat is being directly trapped by human emissions of carbon dioxide (the answer is “not much”). However, the single most important issue in the global warming debate is whether carbon dioxide emissions will indirectly trap far more heat by causing large increases in atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds. Alarmist computer models assume human carbon dioxide emissions indirectly cause substantial increases in atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds (each of which are very effective at trapping heat), but real-world data have long shown that carbon dioxide emissions are not causing as much atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds as the alarmist computer models have predicted.

    The new NASA Terra satellite data are consistent with long-term NOAA and NASA data indicating atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds are not increasing in the manner predicted by alarmist computer models. The Terra satellite data also support data collected by NASA’s ERBS satellite showing far more longwave radiation (and thus, heat) escaped into space between 1985 and 1999 than alarmist computer models had predicted. Together, the NASA ERBS and Terra satellite data show that for 25 years and counting, carbon dioxide emissions have directly and indirectly trapped far less heat than alarmist computer models have predicted.

    In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth’s atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space. Real-world measurements, however, show far less heat is being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict.

    When objective NASA satellite data, reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, show a “huge discrepancy” between alarmist climate models and real-world facts, climate scientists, the media and our elected officials would be wise to take notice. Whether or not they do so will tell us a great deal about how honest the purveyors of global warming alarmism truly are.

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 6

  41. Skippy says:

    “New cars will be required to achieve 54.5mpg starting in 2025 with a commensurate drop in emissions.”

    And since that is a violation of several laws of thermodynamics, our masters in Big Govt will have a choice come 2025.

    1. Require all persons to use approved tax-sucking public transit.
    2. Revoke the majority of drivers licences.
    3. Impound privately owned automobiles.
    4. Sober up and face reality.

    The AGW hoax is coming apart at the seams, fossil fuels are plentiful for centuries and no viable personal transportation alternative is even close to being available or affordable.

    The gulf between Big Govt and the real world grows wider daily.

    Thumb up 30 Thumb down 6

  42. Jim Bennett says:

    Pssst…
    I have a secret.

    Global warming is the biggest lie of the 21st Century.

    There’s a memo.

    12,000 plus prominent scientists and climatologists signed the memo.

    Before we go along with the largest oppression of the 21st century based on a lie, think we should have a little debate, you know, a conversation.

    Afterall, it is OUR LIFE, OUR MONEY,
    OUR PUBLIC SERVANTS.

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  43. Canthisbe says:

    If we are really concerned about global warming how about requiring a second drive through window limited to cars with 2 or more people and motorcycles?

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  44. GAJ says:

    SteveGuy, you do have somewhat of a point.

    The number of cars that shut themselves off automatically when stopped is increasing dramatically, and not just on hybrids.

    New cars will be required to achieve 54.5mpg starting in 2025 with a commensurate drop in emissions.

    Current standards are 27.5mpg for an automakers fleet.

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  45. Reality Check says:

    The voters of California mandated reductions in CO2 emissions that will require implementing measures far more stringent than this peddling action. What’s coming will make the unintended consequences of the Indian casino law look simply trivial. Get ready, we asked for it.

    Steveguy’s suggestion is positively brilliant!

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  46. Steveguy says:

    Call it a future electric car drive-thru. Problem solved..

    Next

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  47. GAJ says:

    In a case where an existing business with a D/T closes, (as is the case with Chick Fil A), and no history of problems can be documented, (the BK had no history of D/T related problems), then the D/T approval should be a mere formality.

    If it’s a new project where a D/T has never existed then a more rigorous process should be applied.

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