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Post by woody » Thu, 31 Jul 2008, 15:18

The prius isn't _that_ complex. There isn't a seperate Continuously Variable Transmission, the two electric motors ("Generator" and "Motor" both generate and motivate) together with the planetary gear form the CVT.
See Wikipedia
Basically instead of a transmission, there's a direct drive AC motor, with the shaft connected to another diff. On one side of that diff is the ICE, on the other is the generator.

Nowhere near as simple as a pure EV, but a nice way of doing a hybrid.
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Post by TasyMoke » Thu, 31 Jul 2008, 15:29

To my mind, such major change to a fundamental infrastructure such as oil and the internal combustion engine, on a global scale makes the turning the Queen Mary a triviality.
The transformation has to occur in an ad hoc way, given that there is no global overiding management, haltingly bacause no one can be clear about appropriate solutions (some trial and error required) and without undue haste if we are to avoid expensive mistakes.

Some companies are going about this responsibly, others are sluggish, still others are asleep at the wheel and may well go under.
Pain comes with change, there are many startups with new appropriate initiatives.
Its a bit idealistic to expect such positive moves to happen overnight, much less rationally!
This site chronicals alternative initiatives around the wourld, there is a hell of a lot of stuff happening out there, I see no real cause for doom and gloom.
http://www.greencarcongress.com/
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Post by markrmarkr » Thu, 31 Jul 2008, 16:01

Woody,

Point taken. You explain it so clearly.   I still don't like it though.

TasyMoke,

It's not so much predicting doom and gloom as unhappiness that we seem to be going down the wrong path for no good reason.   The worlds not going to come to an end just because car makers insist on taking us down the hybrid path instead of the EV path.   But eventually hybrids will prove to be a mistake. And I just think its such a waste when "we" could all go EV now!

Sometime the good and bad solutions are easy to pick, and I think this is one of those times. EVs have some weaknesses but if the amount of effort going into developing hybrids went into fixing the weaknesses of EVs I'm sure they wouldn't be an issue for long.
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Post by markrmarkr » Thu, 31 Jul 2008, 16:19

Here's an example of what Toyota could have done:

Develop an AC Motor based EV with Regen and with a range of battery options (2 or more) - even give customers the option to change which type of battery they use if things don't work out for them.

Also develop a motor-generator which is one person portable and neatly fits in the boot for long trips. It would be up to emission standards, and integrated with the car so that it only activates when needed.   This could be hired or bought outright. If they did it right they could even become the defacto standard, so that other car makers would want to use Toyota's motor-generator.

I'm sure there ar lots of other possibilities.
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Post by TasyMoke » Thu, 31 Jul 2008, 16:53

OK but as I say, there are going to be 'wrong way go back' processes\ whatever we do, there are all sorts of factors at play. I dont expect any company to drop everything, trash all existing investment in tooling and infrastructure just to make a visionary, ideal change.
There is also consumer sentiment, marketplace, politics, trade agreement considerations etc, not to mention that a number of new technologies need time to be tested and proved.
I cannot see for the life of me that things can be changed so much without all sorts of compromise. I think transitional compromise is inevitable, and we cant know half of the factors that influence the process.
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Post by hyper24 » Fri, 08 Aug 2008, 22:42

I work in the auto industry and get to see the direction major car manufacturers are planning on taking. I am talking about 10 year+ time lines hear.
And the electric car is well under way.
People just think, hey I can put together an electric car in 6 months why can holden/toyota/ford?

It doesnt work like that, the latest VE commodore took something like ten years from scratch to finish product. And this was using todays common ICE technology.

How is a car manufacturer suppose to release something like an EV, with mostly UNPROVEN battery and other technologies, in a market that wasnt even ready for it until the last couple of years since petrol prices have risen. come on lets be serious here. 3 years ago no one would of cared about EV because fuel prices were low enough to not effect the average person. Only recently has fuel really put a sting to us.


I just get mad when everyone puts blame on these companies like there not trying, its more the public doesnt understand what has to be done for a project like this to be completed.
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Post by acmotor » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 07:32

This is what we are saying....
Apart from the vested interests of oil companies and car companies, the other problem with car companies is that they are too hung up on what THEY think the public want as a product and have dug themselves into a product corner. Man if the VE took ten years to develop then GM should close it's doors now !
GM in the US HAD AN EV. Still probably the best EV ever made and they crushed it.
Sorry, don't cry hard done by for the car companies.

It will be like microsoft and IBM in the '80s. The big players can't see the wood for the trees and someone new will come along and change the world before their very eyes if they don't stop making excuses about how hard it is to make an EV.
If I can build one in my backyard then Toyota doesn't need to be given $70M to build just a hybrid.

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Post by TasyMoke » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 15:01

What the car industry has a 'vested interest in' among other things is; knowledge of what the public will buy. Those of us with the time to study alternatives and the interest in new solutions to the problems of fossil fuels, do not represent that 'public'. We are a very small minority.
So its easy to understand the marketing difficulties faced by the industry ... and the government policy makers.
In spite of this the juggernaut is gradually being turned, a lot of irons are in the fire etc etc
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Post by Gow864 » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 16:23

I think that you are spot on acmotor. There is a Bill Gates "moment" very close by.

Some one will take the initiative and the traditional car companies will struggle to keep up, not to mention the "Why didn't you do it sooner" calls when they suddenly do catch up.

TasyMoke, you are right the public have the call, and the car companies will do whatever they can to maximise their profits based on what they believe that the public wants. Have we all seen the new Ford ad... a lovely turbo charged V6!

Tell me honestly that their market research returned results saying that Turbo charged V6's are what the public want? If it is then we here are a real minority.

Perhaps their researchers could pose some questions regardind EV's like "would you buy an electric 5 door 5 passenger car with a range of 120kms and a 4 hour recharge". You will only know what the public want if the public are well informed.

So let's not wait and keep building EV's. "We must be the change we wish to see in the world"


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Post by acmotor » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 16:59

If Ev enthusiasts are in the 'minority' it is because the vested interests wish to keep it that way. It is our job to educate the masses or at least show them that there is an alternative to ICE.

GM crushed the EV1 and gave us the Hummer. So if they are so good at 'knowing what the public will buy' why are they falling in the market while Toyota is building millions of (dirty) electrics ?

Point is here. Don't offer me a market survey when you haven't asked the question (as '864 says) or offered a sample (that you won't crush).

Tasymoke: "What the car industry has a 'vested interest in' among other things is; knowledge of what the public will buy."
Sorry, that knowledge is about as outdated as my DOS knowledge. It took a lot of time and money to develop but now is so out of date !

Another thing that I think the car companies are missing the point on is that a production EV does not have to ooze 100 years of R&D.
It can be a simple available technology offering. Limited range and top speed etc. But why don't they offer it ? I know, as they do, it would KILL the ICE market.
Now THAT is knowledge of what the public will buy, and that knowledge the car companies do have and it scares them !

If this comes over as car company bashing then so be it. They know what they HAVE to do. Stop making excuses !
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Post by hyper24 » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 19:44

ACmotor I am now way trying to offend you here, but your comment saying

"If I can build one in my backyard then Toyota doesn't need to be given $70M to build just a hybrid."

Is showing your ignorance when it comes to the costs of a production car.

For start, an engineer coming straight out of uni with an honors degree going into holden, 70K salary. I have friends who have done this, and myself have worked there for work experience and now working with a major parts supplier. Once I finish my degree I will hopefully go back to holden.
I am building an electric car for my final year project to hopefully secure myself a job in holden working on such a vehicle, so don't think for one minute I am not with the EV community.

Now to think how many engineers are working on a project like this, 100 easily, plus all the overheads of running a business like holden, plus all the managers/ceo's wages etc...

There would be more than 100 people, but lets say 100 people, average wage 100,000 thats 10 million dollars a year, now lets pretend that the marketers/accountants/CEOs and all the other people needed to run the business don't get paid... So 10 million is a conservative figure.

Now multiply that by 10 years of development, thats 100 million just in wages. And I can assure you that the cost will be well above this, take a look at the VE commodore.

They lie about it being a billion dollar baby, only 500mil was spent on developing the car, 500mil was spent on developing the Elizabeth plant to be able to produce the new Zeta platform. And its one hell of a production line ill tell you that.
The area the plants are on is so big it has its own commonwealth bank in the center next to the food area, wheres the money come from for all of this? anyways...

On top you have all you suppliers that have to get paid, there would be over 100 companies that would supply parts for the car. Holden don't build the parts of the car them self, everything is brought through suppliers.

Now you think bout the validation that must be done, crash tests, meeting all the ADR rules, all the testing that must happen. The production of one car easily out stretches to thousands of people and most of them having salaries very close to 100k.

You cant just slap together a car in your shed and sell it on the road, im sorry it doesn't happen like that.

People think car manufactures are our friends, there not there a business and there sole purpose is to make money. Its not a charity.

The reason why the EV1 was recalled was because the mandate that FORCED the manufacturers to produce an electric vehicle was recalled. Now why would they keep making this car, that was making them LOSE money?

Theres a difference between giving people want they want, and giving people what will make you money.

Now if the oil companies paid off the board to roll back the legislation who knows, but stop being so naive about the car manufactures please.

Even if they were to build a FULL electric car today, with TODAYS technology, if they started on the drawing board TODAY, it would still take very close to ten years if not more to get to the final product.
For the various reasons I have stated and many many more.

But as I said before, there are heaps of projects out there throughout the various manufacturers working on various levels of plug in hybrids and electric vehicles.

So I wish everyone would please stop complaining like its a conspiracy.

So for the mean time we can all sit back and enjoy OUR home made EVs, with the satisfaction of knowing we are the guys who were on the fore front of this EV wave....

p.s. I just realized how much I wrote but it shows how passionate I am about this whole subject. If you can read all of it and still think we are getting hard done then I don't know.
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Post by Gow864 » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 20:31

So is that why Ford are selling Turbo charged V6's? because ten years ago that's what people wanted.... Ahhh it all makes perfect sense now..

Get a grip!

We do not change by staying the same! Perhaps the car companies need to hire some forward thinkers rather than people that cna see nothing wrong with the way they run their business.

by the way, i don't think that there is any conspriacy. just incompetence, ignorance and .... "but we've always done it this way".
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Post by hyper24 » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 20:41

But these companies are working on hybrids/EVs so whats the problem?

It just takes time.

The ev1 was built because of the law, not because of public demand for one. The yanks pay half of what we do for petrol. So imagine what there cost was for petrol in 2000, 50 cents maybe?
How many people would of brought the EV1 when they would only be spending 35 bucks a week on petrol.
Only the greenies, hence not many, hence the EV1 only meant loss of money for GM.

If the ev1 was released today, im sure it would of been a million times more popular. Because not only the greenies would want it, but now EVERYONE wants one because of the fuel prices.

What was wrong with the EV1, it was ahead of its time. It was released into a market that wasn't ready for it.

And in todays world, all the car manufacturers have been burnt hard because of fuel prices, GM/Ford sales have been down 25%, now everyones in a rush to produce green vehicles.
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Post by acmotor » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 22:19

Hyper, no offence taken, I promise, as long as nobody taken offence to my comments either !! Image

This has always been one of the top threads on this forum. Thanks ngamoko for starting it.

Where do I start ?

Please take my comment "in my backyard" the right way. I am saying it is not as hard as you and some in the car industry like to make us think. There is an obsession with making money and thus my vested interest comment.
Just take the standard vehicle as built now and swap the ICE for electric. The vehicle does not have to be fancy, just on the market so people can make a choice. IT IS NOT AS HARD AS YOU SUGGEST. Perhaps the problem is that the staff at the car companies are uneducated in electricity if is more than 12V ?
There will need to be a change of guard in the engineers.

There are standards etc to comply with but don't make excuses.

You are making a good move to be University trained in EVs and hopefully taking some light to Holden.

Don't forget while lecturing me on the (in)ability of car companies that I have been involved with AEVA and EVs for nearly 30 years now and have heard nearly every car company / oil company and government excuse there is ... and none hold water let alone electrons !

The future belongs to those who say "why not" and not to the people who say "this is my excuse why not"

I have long opposed the ICE Motorsport programs at Universities as they are turning out more oldschool engineers with built in redundancy. I have pushed, through the AEVA, for EV training and research at Oz uni's. Are you one who is benefiting from that effort ?

I have total respect for the potential and skills of car companies. It is just their direction and management that lets them (and society)down.
You call it ignorance on my behalf. I call it brainwashing and lack of vision on your behalf (remember no offence !) I know history will prove me right, how about you ?

The EV1 is an example of what can be done and in a lot shorter time frame than 10 years and with a small team of engineers.
It stands for itself as an example that your long lead time theory is just an excuse.

EV1 was 15 years ago now , you only wanted 10 as lead time ! If EV1 hadn't been crushed, GM would lead the world rather than be in the situation they are now.... and you are trying to tell me that car companies know their market... give me a break !

Personally I don't think (even now) it is about the cost of fuel. It is about the future of fuel and our environment. (as it was when the EV1 was built). In a way nothing much has changed. Including car companies.
I, for one, look to government to force change. The last time they tried, the EV1 was built. Time to try again !


Always happy to give my side of the story. And no, I am not naive, ignorant or uninformed. Image   
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Post by Richo » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 22:45

hyper24 wrote: Now to think how many engineers are working on a project like this, 100 easily...
average wage 100,000 thats 10 million dollars a year...
now multiply that by 10 years of development, thats 100 million just in wages.


100 engineers full time over 10 years to desgin and build a car.
Remind me never to hire any of those engineers Image
Must have been a typo on the agreement form 1.0hrs for lunch -> 10hrs for lunch
Ah sorry can't blame the engineers - it's usually (mis)management.
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Post by hyper24 » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 22:59

I am talking about all the engineers involved, not holden directly but all their suppliers as well.

Lets take the Comaro for example, my company supplies certain parts.
At holden you have certain engineers that look after say interior, so you have say 3 there for comaro interior.
Then you have our part, which is the 4 pack gauge, its just an aux instrument cluster. There is a resident engineer in my company that looks after this.
But the cluster is actually designed and manufactured in our office in America.
Now over there you would have several engineers who are working on it, testing it, validating it and making the required chances that holden see fit.

So for that one little part, thats 4 engineers through my company, plus the 3 at holden looking after interior.

Now lets not forget how many parts are on a car, hence how many engineers are involved.
It may not be 100 engineers directly for 10 years, but taking into the cost of the business and everyone else you can see how the VE took 500 mil to develop

All i am trying to prove is the massive amounts of money it takes to design and build a car.

And yes the VE was ten years start-finish. Believe it or not but thats how it is.

AC motor, that is what I am trying to explain to you.
Holden cant just take the barina model that is currently out now and just pull out the ICE and slap in a basic electric system and set it off. That is what im trying to explain, its not that easy.

For example to just change a calibration for out PODs system in the G8, it would take 4 months. By the time holden put together a report, get it to us, the engineers looking after the program make the chances, write up new documentations, do new test. Send new parts to holden, do part validation between both of us, theres red tape a mile long these days.

And this is just to change software inside an already working in production part, 4 months!!

So by the time they draw up all the CAD models, get the motors, get everything working, then they have all the tuning, taking the cars to the snow to make sure they work after being frozen over night.
Taking the cars on test trips and holding them at max speed for prolonged periods of time, This was easier done when the outback didnt have speed limits.

What 1 man can do in 6 months, will take 100 men many years to get it out into production, this is the sad but true reality.

ACmotor you are talking about the FormulaSAE, I have decided not to undertake this for my final yr project as every one does and have decided to spin off and do my own EV project.

Im not fighting with anyone here as we are all on the same boat and I respect everyone on this forum.
But I am just trying to explain to you how hard it really is to get a car out there and this is coming from first hand insider information.

Ive worked on the level of getting products through from deisgn to production and even though ive only done it as a student engineer ive been lucky enough to see how places like holden really work.

Im just trying to share my knowledge with everyone.
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Post by TasyMoke » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 23:11

hyper24 wrote: I am talking about all the engineers involved, not holden directly but all there suppliers as well.

I for one dont think one needs to work so hard to state what is obvious to most of us. I think you, myself, and others have made the point adequately clear, Idealism versus objectivity seldom works well in debate.
But they can certainly combine to make monotonous if not volatile threads on a forum!
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Post by hyper24 » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 23:17

I was making that comment to Richo as he was taking the piss out of me so to speak about my comment of 100 engineers for 10 years.

It obviously wasn't obvious to him because he made that comment, hence why I replied with that remark.

At the end of the day, everyone here wants the same thing. We are just bickering over personal opinions.

I for one have dedicated myself for the greater good and one day my name will be associated with an EV that is on the road through a major car manufacturer. Mark those words everyone, even though it will take years! Image
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Post by acmotor » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 23:33

Good on you hyper, I know you will !

You will have to go to Detroit though.

BTW, we are not bickering ? Image

Tasy, monotony is hearing the same excuses from the same people for why we don't do what we should do !
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Post by hyper24 » Sat, 09 Aug 2008, 23:37

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Post by TasyMoke » Sun, 10 Aug 2008, 01:27

acmotor wrote: Good on you hyper, I know you will !
Tasy, monotony is hearing the same excuses from the same people for why we don't do what we should do !
Image

Yep, That works Image
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Post by tassie_tiger » Sun, 10 Aug 2008, 01:32

hyper24 wrote: I work in the auto industry and get to see the direction major car manufacturers are planning on taking....

I just get mad when everyone puts blame on these companies like there not trying, its more the public doesnt understand what has to be done for a project like this to be completed.


Have you not seen 'Who Killed the Electric Car'?

'nough said.

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Post by TasyMoke » Sun, 10 Aug 2008, 02:56

tassie_tiger wrote:
Have you not seen 'Who Killed the Electric Car'?
'nough said.

That was one American company, probably ahead of its time, there are now major initiatives underway in other parts of the world that are leading the way. Also the circumstances are entirely different.
I am no apologist for big industry or capitalist interests, but I dont think our interest here in genuine alternative energy solutions, should be hijacked by zealots of any persuasion.
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Post by acmotor » Sun, 10 Aug 2008, 03:11

The leopard hasn't changed its spots, or is that lion in this case ?

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Post by fallingbear » Sun, 10 Aug 2008, 04:36

now,,
if the changes to the climate are happening to us now??? [obvious changes] from carbon emissions from man made causes??
from burning fossil fuels 20>30years ago, up to today,
then from what the scientists say, the ocean conveyor belt will slow or stop, and we will end up in an ice age???
i think we better burn some more carbon, to keep the joint warm???
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