A committee of British MPs has accused the government of completely failing to prepare for its expressed aim of including aviation in the second phase of the EU greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme from 2008.
But were it to succeed, then international aviation emissions would be counted towards national greenhouse gas emission goals and the UK would then stand no chance of meeting its goal of cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) by 60% by 2050, the committee added.
The UK parliament's environmental audit committee (EAC) says it is "astonished" that the transport ministry has not started on the research that would be needed to resolve key trading issues and make a proposal to the European Commission. This throws into serious doubt whether the government could even be ready by 2008 for aviation to be incorporated into the scheme.
The MPs also argue that it is in "inconceivable that any emissions trading system could generate sufficient credits to allow aviation to expand as forecast" by the government last December, "while at the same time delivering carbon reductions of the order needed".
Under questioning from the EAC, transport minister Alistair Darling admitted that, all other things being equal, the government would have to look at the 2050 CO2 target again if the UK were to be allocated its share of international aviation emissions.
A USA commercial flight track database for upper tropospheric emission studies
Donald P. Garber, Patrick Minnis, and Kay P. Costulis Atmospheric Sciences, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, USA
European Conference on Aviation, Atmosphere, and Climate Friedrichschafen at Lake Constance, Germany June 30 - July 3, 2003
Air traffic is expected to increase globally by a factor of 5 or 6 between 1990 and 2050 with a commensurate rise in emissions and contrails that may significantly affect air quality and climate (IPCC, 1999).
Some of the aircraft exhaust effects, especially those impacting contrail and cirrus clouds, are still highly uncertain requiring exhaustive research to more accurately prognosticate the climatic impact of enhanced commercial fleets.
Contrail formation, growth, and dissipation and their optical properties are highly dependent on aircraft engine type, and the temperature, humidity, and wind speed and direction at flight altitude. The contrail-cirrus radiative effects, which ultimately affect the average state of the atmosphere, depend on the underlying conditions (surface temperature and albedo), the contrail optical properties, air traffic density and altitude, and the time of day when the contrails are formed.
Thus, to accurately assess current air traffic effects and future flight scenarios, it is necessary to simultaneously know the meteorological state and the distribution of flights at a given location. This report addresses the latter need for the contiguous United States (CONUS) with a focus on the upper tropospheric portions of commercial flights..... [cont.] www-pm.larc.nasa.gov/sass/ pub/conference/duda.AAC.03.pdf
Continued economic growth is being credited as the main cause for Americans getting back into the skies as the number of airline flights continues pushing to record levels of 1999 and 2000.
Those flight levels have reached the point where federal officials are taking action to avoid the well-publicized chronic flight delays prevalent in the summer of 2001 and earlier.
"Aviation is on the cusp of a paradigm shift," U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta told the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) 29th Annual Aviation Forecast Conference. "Because a strong economy depends on a vibrant aviation system, the future of our system depends on new solutions that keep America as the worldwide leader in aviation."
The triggered plans include the airlines voluntarily delaying the takeoff of some flights to avoid congestion elsewhere along with reporting delays more quickly while the FAA said it will be quicker to trigger flight delays, the USA Today newspaper reported.
According to the FAA's annual aerospace forecast released Thursday, the number of people flying in the United States will reach pre-Sept. 11, 2001 levels by 2005, with an average growth rate of 6.8 percent over the next two years.
Mineta said that the new passengers are not the business travelers on whom many airlines have depended for revenue, but rather more cost-conscious passengers who shop for fares on the Internet and fueled the expansion of low-fare carrier.
WASHINGTON -- More than three dozen U.S. commercial airports will be unable to handle their air traffic by 2020 unless they are expanded, the Federal Aviation Administration says.
The FAA studied population growth, travel and income trends to determine airports' future needs. At least 43 airports will need to add capacity -- some more than once -- in the next 15 years.
Some will need it even sooner, the agency found. San Antonio; Palm Beach, Fla.; and Tucson, Ariz., are among the cities that will reach maximum capacity by 2013, when the number of air travelers is projected to have grown by about 50 percent, to 982 million.
Expanding airports isn't easy, especially in cities where they are located near dense neighborhoods.
Boston's Logan International Airport spent more than 30 years trying to overcome community opposition to a new runway. The airport authority has surmounted most legal obstacles, but it hasn't started pouring concrete yet.
Similarly, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport proposed a new runway in 1987. Opposition led to delay in the project's scheduled completion to 2008 from 2001.
The study by FAA and its research center, run by The MITRE Corp., reviewed 300 airports in 300 metropolitan areas. Projections of air traffic growth were based on where people are likely to live, work and vacation.
The report took into account such factors as the increasing popularity of leisure travel and the growth of low-cost carriers.
It found five airports already are too crowded: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York.
"If you think we have problems with delay today, wait till you get to 2013," said Catherine Lang, the FAA's deputy associate administrator for airports. "Wait till 2020 and you've got 42 choices for headaches."
Lang, who worked on the study, said officials concluded that 23 airports in 2020 won't have enough capacity if they don't carry out their current plans to expand. If every airport with expansion plans follows through, 18 airports still won't have enough capacity.
Similarly, 11 airports could have too little capacity in 2013 if they don't complete planned expansions. Even if they do, another 16 airports will need more capacity.
The FAA helps pay to expand airports. The agency also is responsible for modernizing and maintaining the air traffic control system. The report is expected to help the agency set priorities, Lang said.
"San Antonio was not on our radar screen as having a tsunami coming their way," Lang said. "This tells us we need to work with San Antonio."
Airports have to move both passengers and planes, so capacity can be increased by building a new terminal or a new runway. Redesigning airspace or changing air traffic control procedures also can help an airport accommodate more planes.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said on Thursday, though, that constructing new runways is the best way to increase the system's capacity.
"Staying the course in new runway construction was never a question," Blakey said.
Last year, four new runways were opened in Houston, Orlando, Miami and Denver, helping to increase the overall system capacity by 4 percent, Blakey said.
Including aviation in emissions trading would hit low cost flights hardest (Direct link no longer viable - sorry. This was originally posted on "EDIE Interactive".)
A report by environmental accountancy firm Trucost has shown that including aviation in the European emissions trading scheme (ETS) would hit low cost flights, and companies that do not operate outside of the EU, the hardest.
It would, however, reduce emissions more efficiently than taxes, the report finds.
As the scheme would, by definition, be restricted to flights within the EU, airlines with more globally diversified routes will be less affected than those whose flights are entirely within the EU. The small profit margins of low cost airlines, as well as the greater elasticity of demand of leisure seats, means that these will also be hit hard by inclusion in the ETS, the study found.
The study looked at the likely effect that a carbon dioxide emissions trading scheme would have on the European aviation sector. It found that there is an "inherent and growing conflict between the unconstrained growth of the aviation sector (see related story) and wider policy objectives to reduce the overall level of emissions in the EU".
This view has already been expressed by the UK's Environmental Audit Committee (see related story) in a report last year.
Trucost's study found that, the cap and trade schemes, such as ETS, reduce emissions more efficiently than taxes and encourage the development of reduced emission technologies and constrain demand for air transportation.
Despite Trucost's predictions for the low cost flights sector, EasyJet is in favour of including aviation in the ETS. A spokesperson for the company told edie they had called on the UK Chancellor to create a cross-industry working group to address these long term issues and possible solutions.
"We believe that going forward the government should look into facilitating an emissions trading scheme for the industry," the spokesperson said. She added that there were a number of estimates of what the impact of ETS for the aviation industry would entail, each showing marked variation.
"As pointed out in the Trucost report, until an emissions trading scheme is fleshed out, we will not be in a position to assess how individual airlines will really be affected."
The Trucost report also found that there were various technical obstacles to the introduction of ETS, such as allocation methods, the non-equivalence of emissions at altitude with those at ground level, competitive issues, and the implication of unilateral EU action.
As the volume of air traffic soars, scientists have grown concerned about the pollution spewing out the back ends of jets. One long-term study of conditions over Wyoming suggests that airplane exhaust has added substantially to the number of microscopic particles found at high altitudes, possibly helping to cloud the skies.
David J. Hofmann of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo., began investigating this problem in 1976, when one of his meteorological balloons passed through an unusual layer of tiny particles and droplets called condensation nuclei, 75,000 feet above Earth's surface. Because sonic booms occasionally echoed near his research site in Laramie, Wyo., Hofmann suspected that a military jet might have left the trail of particles. He eventually determined that a high-flying reconnaissance aircraft had flown upwind of the region 18 hours earlier.
In the years since, Hofmann and his colleagues have detected hundreds of similar layers between 29,000 and 41,000 feet in altitude, where most jets fly. It is difficult to attribute these bands of condensation nuclei to particular planes because the Federal Aviation Administration doesn't keep records long enough to be useful to the researchers, says Hofmann. On March 31, 1997, however, a balloon passed through a distinct nuclei layer, which they were able to trace to a Delta Airlines flight from Seattle to Dallas-Ft. Worth. The flight had passed upwind of the balloon about 3 hours earlier, report Hofmann and his coworkers in the July 1 GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS.
>From studies of aircraft engine exhaust, atmospheric chemists know that sulfurous gases emitted by planes quickly convert to microscopic droplets of sulfuric acid (SN: 7/6/96, p. 12). Natural sources, such as volcanoes, can also produce sulfuric acid droplets and other minute particles in the atmosphere, but these do not form the thin, concentrated layers that aircraft create, says Hofmann.
Looking back over balloon measurements since 1973, Hofmann and his colleagues found 432 discrete instances of condensation nuclei layers. Unlike the natural condensation nuclei, whose numbers rise in summer, these concentrated bands appear with the same frequency in each season, as do aircraft flights. The steadily rising number of nuclei layers has kept pace with the increasing number of jet flights over the years.
The researchers estimate that aircraft have increased the concentration of natural condensation nuclei over Laramie by about 10 percent. This would have little effect if the tiny droplets from aircraft join up with larger natural ones. On the other hand, plane exhaust could stimulate the growth of cirrus clouds, says Hofmann.
Some researchers have observed an increase in cirrus clouds associated with aircraft contrails, although they have had difficulty estimating the effect of jets on general cloudiness, says Patrick Minnis of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Cirrus clouds can warm Earth's surface, he notes, and preliminary calculations suggest that the increase in cirrus clouds caused by jets since the 1960s could account for a warming of 0.1 [degrees] C to 0.3 [degrees] C in the United States.
Chinese air transportation is to grow nearly five times than its current volume by 2022, Adam Brown, Airbus's Vice President of Customer Affairs Division, made the prediction during his China visit.
According to Brown, airline traffic volume on the Chinese mainland will see a robust long-term growth. He predicted that passengers carried by airlines of the Chinese mainland will grow at an annual rate of more than 20 per cent in both 2004 and 2005, respectively. After then, the passenger traffic would score a normal growth averaging 8.1 per cent per year to reach about 500 billion passenger/kilometer by 2022, Brown said.
Brown attributed the rapid growth of China's air transportation to a robust growth in GDP and personal income, deregulation of ticket prices, privatization of airlines, less restrictive bilateral air services agreements with other countries, and the increasing number of visas being issued to outbound tourists.
Further stimulus to the increase in aviation market will be provided by such major events as the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Shanghai Expo in 2010 and Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010, as well as the setup of a free-trade zone between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said.
Between 1980 and 1998, demand for air transportation on China's domestic air routes increased 20 times, growing at an average of 18 percent per year.
During the same period, the airlines of the Chinese mainland achieved even more stunning growth of more than 20 percent per year on international routes.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - Air freight has been the fastest growing segment of the American cargo industry according to a new report released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The report, titled Freight Shipments in America, shows that the total value of air freight moved in the United States doubled from 1993 to 2002 and now totals $2.7 billion a day, growth that was faster than any other segment of the cargo industry.
“Cargo is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. economy,” said Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. “Now we know exactly how much transportation is literally moving the American economy every day.”
The overall cargo industry has seen tremendous growth over the past decade. Between 1993 and 2002, the total amount of freight transported in America grew 18 percent to 16 billion tons while the total value of that freight grew 45 percent to $10.5 trillion. The news was even better for movers of smaller parcels. There was a 56 percent increase in the value of under 500 pound shipments from 1993 to 2002.
“Reliable transportation data shapes policy and drives good investments in transportation systems,” said Secretary Mineta. “Understanding the role freight plays in our economy is crucial if we are going to sustain today’s fast-growing economy in the years ahead.”
The report presents the latest information on freight movements in the United States. Based on a comprehensive survey, it describes the freight American businesses transported in 2002 and relates these shipments to trends in the U.S. economy. The report also freight trends by form of transportation, type of commodity, distance shipped and shipment size.
The Freight Shipments in America report was released today during a news conference at the Louisville International Airport. The airport today received a $6.2 million grant to expand its cargo runway and improve the roads used to move cargo into and out of the airport.
To view a copy of Freight Shipments in America, or for more information about the new study, see the Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics website, www.bts.gov. The numbers released today in “Freight Shipments in America” are preliminary. Final numbers will be released later in 2004.
Thursday, July 15, 2004 - The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today reported, in a release of preliminary data, that U.S. airlines carried 53.6 million domestic passengers in April, 13.1 percent more than in April 2003 (Table 1).
These passengers were carried on 814,033 flights, up 5.3 percent from the flights operated in April 2003.
In other domestic comparisons from April 2003 to April 2004:
Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 16.2 percent.
Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 10.1 percent.
Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 4.1 percentage points.
Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 5.0 percent.
Passenger trip length, the average distance passengers travel, was up 2.7 percent.
The number of domestic airline passengers fell 1.7 percent in April from March (Table 2). Month-to-month comparisons may be affected by seasonal factors.
Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 7.1 million domestic passengers in April, the most of any airline (Table 3).
Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta continued in April to be the busiest domestic airport, with 3.2 million passenger boardings (Table 4).
*** Let's see - 814,033 flights - that's commercial passenger airline flights ONLY being referenced here - divided by 30 days in April - making an average of 27,130 commercial airline passenger flights per day over the continental United States.
Air services between China and the United States will largely expand thanks to a landmark aviation agreement, sources from General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) said on Friday.
Over the next six years, the agreement -- which is to be officially signed on Saturday -- will more than double the number of airlines that may operate between China and the United States, a CAAC official who declined to be named said.
It will also increase by nearly five-fold the number of weekly flights between the two countries -- from the current limit of 54 weekly round-trip flights to 249 weekly round-trip flights at the end of a six-year phase-in period.
The agreement also allows services between additional cities, eliminating restrictions on destinations and permitting unlimited code-sharing between US and Chinese airlines on any US-China route.
It provides unlimited rights to any US carrier that wishes to operate to certain western and northeastern Chinese provinces in greater need of international service.
"This agreement is a result of the fruitful bilateral co-operation between China and the United States in the past 20 years and will benefit airline companies and make the interaction between two peoples more convenient," the official said.
The introduction of additional foreign airlines will help step up the construction of aviation infrastructure facilities and push for the development of the nation's aviation industry at large, he said.
Visiting US Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta highlighted the significance of the landmark aviation agreement, saying it will fundamentally reshape the commercial aviation relationship between the two countries.
"The air service agreement represents a major breakthrough in both economic liberalization and transportation liberalization," Mineta said in a speech at the American Chamber of Commerce Luncheon in Beijing on Friday.
The agreement was reached in Washington after four rounds of talks starting last February.
The last agreement to expand US-China air services was concluded in April 1999, when each country's carriers were allowed to increase their weekly flights in the market from 27 to 54, and each side was allowed to designate one additional airline, for a total of four, to serve the market.
The new agreement will allow five additional airlines from each country to serve the US-China market.
According to the agreement, the United States may name one additional all-cargo airline, while China may name either a passenger or cargo airline, to start service later this year.
The other four new airlines may be either passenger or cargo carriers, with one new carrier entering the market in each of the years 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Mineta said the agreement also contains innovative new provisions that may serve as a model for aviation liberalization elsewhere.
"For example, the agreement will substantially increase the 'doing business' freedoms of US airlines in China, including broad rights for US cargo airlines who are willing to invest in 'hub' operations in China," he said.
Mineta appreciated China's liberalization in the important bilateral market, saying China deserves much credit for its foresight and willingness to open its international aviation market so extensively.
"Additionally, China deserves credit for the substantial reforms that it has been willing to take in its domestic aviation system," Mineta said.
These reforms will help to build a more viable, stronger and more competitive civil aviation network, he said.
The swarms of brightly painted budget aircraft flying over Europe are busier, cheaper and more plentiful than ever. But they are creating a painful headache for air traffic controllers, who face a challenge in coping with skies packed with a record number of flights.
At the present rate of growth Europe's skies will become "full" in little more than a decade, with current procedures unable to cope, according to Europe's top air traffic controller.
The warning is set to reopen fierce controversy over the safety of the continent's congested skies. It comes days ahead of the publication of an official report which is likely to blame failures in air traffic control for one of the most devastating air disasters in European history - a mid-air collision over Lake Constance two years ago which claimed 71 lives.
National control centres across the continent are coordinated by a network run by a Brussels-based agency, Eurocontrol, which matches take-off and landing slots in 33 countries stretching from Ireland to Ukraine. In a typical 24-hour period, Eurocontrol looks after 29,000 flights. Despite a slowdown in air travel following the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, it predicts that annual traffic across Europe will double to 16m aircraft by 2020.
Victor Aguado, director general of Eurocontrol, said last week: "In the middle of the next decade, we will reach capacity using the present systems. Beyond that, we'll need something else, which today's technology can't provide."
To cope with booming numbers of flights, the minimum height separation between aircraft has already been cut from 2,000ft to 1,000ft.
Safety experts are now working towards "self-separation" technology that will limit the role of controllers by improving electronic equipment allowing aircraft to set safe paths away from each other automatically.
At any daytime moment, there are 3,500 aircraft in the skies over Europe, carrying some 400,000 people. One in 10 of them is operated by low-cost airlines, which have come from nowhere to create a booming industry over the last decade.
To the consternation of experts, much of the growth is forecast to come from east European states, where budget airlines are looking for new destinations. Safety chiefs have warned that the quality of air traffic control in Europe's new member states is variable.
Erik Merckx, Eurocontrol's head of safety enhancement, said: "If we don't get these new states up to speed, with the increasing traffic levels we're predicting, we will have a problem."
Ireland and Britain led the way in the no-frills revolution through Ryanair and EasyJet, which are well established as the top two low-cost carriers in Europe. Scores of also-rans have entered the market, including nine budget airlines based in Germany alone.
Next month a Hungarian carrier, Wizz, will enter the battle, offering flights from Luton airport to Budapest and Katowice, in Poland.
While annual growth in traffic is set to be a modest 3% in Britain and 2.9% in France, a proliferation of services is forecast to increase flights over Ukraine by 7%, over Belarus by 5.5%, over Turkey by 5.9% and over Bulgaria by 5%.
Eurocontrol reckons six states have safety management below "acceptable" levels, although it declines to name them. While Britain's air traffic control scores more than 95% for safety and maturity, three countries languish below 20%.
Unions warn that progress could be tough as free movement of labour within the enlarged European Union allows experienced controllers to move west in search of better paid vacancies.
Shane Enright, aviation secretary of the International Transport Workers' Federation, said: "There's a Europe-wide shortage of controllers. There needs to be harmonisation of pay and conditions, otherwise these new member states are going to lose out."
Cost pressures are tight: no-frills carriers are reluctant to pay anything they can avoid for air traffic control. Ryanair's outspoken boss, Michael O'Leary, last year accused safety authorities of building "marble palaces" for their staff rather than providing the basic service needed.
Swiss air traffic control said last week that four near misses occurred in its airspace in April alone. A close shave between an Iberia passenger plane and a business jet over Zurich could have had "disastrous consequences", according to Switzerland's NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.
The Swiss, who handle a key corridor for aircraft passing over the heart of the continent, will come under further pressure on Wednesday. German investigators are due to publish the results of a two-year examination of the Uberlingen disaster, in which a DHL freight aircraft crashed into a charter flight packed with Russian schoolchildren.
The accident is expected to be blamed on mistakes by Peter Nielsen, a controller working the night shift at an inadequately staffed Swiss control centre. Mr Nielsen was stabbed to death in February by a grieving Russian father who lost his wife and two children in the crash.
The Uberlingen crash was Europe's third fatal accident in three years caused by errors in air traffic control. It followed collisions on the ground at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport in 2000 and Milan's Linate airfield in 2001. The sequence ended a 16-year run without any deaths.
Eurocontrol admits it is concerned about the trend. Mr Aguado said: "It worries us a lot when we see two accidents on runways in successive years and a mid-air collision - which is something which Europe has not experienced for many years."
It is working on a new system which will give controllers an 18-minute warning of any potential collision, rather than the present two to three minutes.
At present, one in 10m flights ends with an accident caused by air traffic control. But in the constant congestion at 30,000ft predicted by 2020, that rate could mean two disasters in Europe's skies a year.
*** Chicago Chapter of the American Meteorological Society held a joint meeting with the Northern Illinois University American Meteorological Society Student Chapter on Tuesday, November 2, 2004.
Two presentations were provided by Northern Illinois University. Jefferey S. Johnson, a graduate student of the Department of Geography/Meteorology from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois gave the first presentation. Mr. Johnson's presentation was titled "Geographical Variations in Jet Contrail Coverage Across the United States During the 2000-2002 Period." Data for this study was compared to a previous study that utilized contrail data for 1977 through 1979.
Exhaust pollutants from high altitude jets can damage the ozone layer and reduce visibility. The exhaust can also damage or destroy natural clouds. The contrails produced by jet aircraft are artificial clouds which can have an influence on surface temperatures. The contrail clouds produce a higher albedo which reduces daytime temperature maximums. The contrails also produce an increase in night time minimum temperatures. The increase in night time temperature is more prevalent than the decrease in day time temperature. The lower maximum temperatures combined with higher minimum temperatures reduce the daily temperature range.
Warm, moist air is injected into the cold ambient environment at jet flight levels. The exhaust from the jet engines provide abundant condensation nuclei and enhance the contrail formation process. The contrails occur at cirrus levels, in upper atmospheric conditions between 11 and 13 kilometers.
Infrared satellite imagery has allowed for the study of contrails at night. The study utilized data from the mid-season months of January, April, July and October. Six satellite images per day were used for the study (a combination of visible and infrared). In addition to studying the three year period of 2000 through 2002, specific periods such as the "super contrail outbreak" of April 5, 2000 and the September 11 through September 13, 2001 period were highlighted. During the "super outbreak" of April 5, 2000, some of the contrails were found to be up to 500 miles long. During the September 11 through September 13, 2001 period, the lack of contrails due to the grounding of all commercial and private aircraft was quite evident. It is estimated that a 1 degree Fahrenheit increase in surface temperature in North America was realized due to the reduction of jet contrails during the three day period.
A comparison of contrail data from 1977-79 and 2000-02 revealed that a 220% increase in contrails has occurred since the original study. This 220% increase in contrails coincides with a 214% increase in air miles flown since 1979. There are now many more high altitude flights than there were in the 1970's. Atmospheric changes are also occurring at flight altitudes near the tropopause. The increased contrail cloud cover is contributing to the overall increase in cloud cover over North America. www.ametsoc.org/amschaps/nov04news.html
NEW YORK - For two tumultuous years, former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman led the Environmental Protection Agency under President Bush.
But in May 2003, Whitman decided to quit when she concluded that the administration would push for relaxed rules on power-plant pollution that she could not agree with.
"I didn't want to be in a position where I would have to sign those regulations," she said in an interview yesterday. "I couldn't in good conscience."
During the interview at a Manhattan hotel, Whitman laid out, as she does in her new book, how much she disagreed with the Bush White House, not only on environmental issues but on its foreign policy and the direction of the Republican Party.
In It's My Party, Too, Whitman is critical of what she calls the Bush administration's go-it-alone foreign policy. She says its announcement in early 2001 rejecting controls on carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants and refineries reinforced the sense among allies that the United States acts only in self-interest and does not take them seriously.
Whitman, who starts her book tour today, argues that approach hampered U.S. efforts to build a coalition for the Iraq war, thus intensifying the nation's military difficulties there. That view is hotly disputed by the White House, which insists it reached out to allies on terror, trade and the war.
"Our failure to even acknowledge (let alone accommodate) the interests and concerns of other nations when charting our own course has carried a significant cost - a cost that is being measured in American lives, resources and prestige," she writes in her book.
In the book, Whitman relates one incident that brought home to her the flagging image of America abroad. During a meeting with environmental ministers from other nations in Trieste, Italy, shortly after she took office, she was strolling through a square with a large security detail provided by the Italian government. She came upon David Anderson, Canada's environmental minister, who had no security.
"When we met up I asked him right away, 'David, where's your security?' " Whitman writes. "He replied with a smile, 'I don't need any. No one hates Canada.' "
Whitman's tone during the interview - as in the book - was respectful and polite, but her frustration with Vice President Cheney and some Capitol Hill Republicans who she said had little use for environmental regulation came through clearly.
She said Cheney needlessly painted Republicans as anti-environment by remarking shortly after Bush took office that conservation may be a sign of personal virtue but is not the basis of a credible national energy policy.
Of her time on Cheney's Energy Task Force, Whitman writes: "The experience was an eye-opening encounter with just how obsessed so many of those in the energy industry and in the Republican Party have become with doing away with environmental" regulation..... (continued)
Lobby groups funded by the US oil industry are targeting Britain in a bid to play down the threat of climate change and derail action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, leading scientists have warned.
Bob May, president of the Royal Society, says that "a lobby of professional sceptics who opposed action to tackle climate change" is turning its attention to Britain because of its high profile in the debate.
Writing in the Life section of today's Guardian, Professor May says the government's decision to make global warming a focus of its G8 presidency has made it a target. So has the high profile of its chief scientific adviser, David King, who described climate change as a bigger threat than terrorism.
Prof May's warning coincides with a meeting of climate change sceptics today at the Royal Institution in London organised by a British group, the Scientific Alliance, which has links to US oil company ExxonMobil through a collaboration with a US institute.
Last month the Scientific Alliance published a joint report with the George C Marshall Institute in Washington that claimed to "undermine" climate change claims. The Marshall institute received £51,000 from ExxonMobil for its "global climate change programme" in 2003 and an undisclosed sum this month.
Prof May's warning comes as British scientists, in the journal Nature, show that emissions of carbon dioxide could have a more dramatic effect on climate than thought. They say the average temperature could rise 11C, even if atmospheric carbon dioxide were limited to the levels expected in 2050.
David Frame, who coordinated the climate prediction experiment, said: "If the real world response were anywhere near the upper end of our range, even today's levels of greenhouse gases could already be dangerously high."
Emission limits such as those in the Kyoto protocol would hit oil firms because the bulk of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuel products.
Prof May writes that during the 1990s, parts of the US oil industry funded sceptics who opposed action to tackle climate change. A Scientific Alliance spokesman said today's meeting was sponsored but funders did not influence policies. ExxonMobil said it was not involved.
One adviser is Sallie Baliunas, an astrophysicist at the Harvard Smithsonian Centre, who is linked to the Marshall Institute. In 1998 Dr Baliunas co-wrote an article that argued for the release of more carbon dioxide. It was mass-mailed to US scientists with a petition asking them to reject Kyoto.
Tony Blair yesterday attempted to urge George Bush to sign a climate change accord. At the World Economic Forum he said climate change was "not universally accepted", but evidence of its danger had been "clearly and persuasively advocated" by a very large number of "independent voices".
PARIS - If the new Airbus A380 is the commercial success its European makers hope, the big loser — apart from Boeing Co. — will be the environment, a French specialist said.
Airbus says its new craft will be far more fuel-efficient than Boeing's 747 — a jumbo jetliner whose basic design goes back 35 years — and thus, by carrying more passengers farther per gallon of kerosene burned, it is doing the planet a favor.
But Frenchman Jean-Marc Jancovici says such calculations "fail to give the full picture" when it comes to carbon pollution.
Mr. Jancovici, an author of numerous books on climate change who runs a well-regarded Web site (manicore.com) on the global-warming phenomenon, said that if Airbus' business plan is right, "the number of air passengers will triple in the next 20 years."
Even if planes get bigger, there still be a lot more of them in the skies to meet such demand, and this will cancel out the benefits in improved fuel efficiency, he said.
Mr. Jancovici drew a parallel with pollution from automobiles: In the past two decades, pollution standards for cars have become progressively tougher. But so many more cars have flooded the roads in the meantime that the annual volume of pollution remains unchanged.
Airbus says the A380 offers a gain in fuel use of about 15 percent, compared with Boeing's top-of-the-range 747-400.
At a cruising speed of 550 mph, the A380 consumes 1.1 gallons of fuel per passenger per 100 miles traveled, according to Airbus. It cites a figure of 1.25 gallons for the 747-400.
Mr. Jancovici says the gain may be an improvement, "but it is obviously not a solution" if the new generation of aircraft continues to burn a dirty fuel and more and more of the planes take to the skies.
"Instead of increasing pollution, scientists say that the world will have to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases by three-quarters just to stabilize the climate system," Mr. Jancovici said.
Specialists from the United Nations estimated in a series of reports published in 2001 that the world's average temperature will rise by 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century as heat from the sun is trapped by carbon gases emitted by the combustion of coal, gas and oil.
Aircraft account for 2.5 percent of emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas.
The figure may look small, but it is deceptive, Mr. Jancovici said. Air transport accounts for a very small part of the global economy in proportion to its environmental cost. In addition, because aircraft emit pollution at altitude rather than at ground level, the effect as an amplifier of global warming can be five times as much.
Compounding the problem is that the aviation business is immune from global-warming regulations demanding higher fuel efficiency or lower pollution, and kerosene — a highly polluting fuel — is untaxed.
According to a report published in December by the French Institute for the Environment, a passenger traveling by jetliner emits 40 percent more carbon dioxide per mile than when traveling by car, a figure calculated on the basis of 1.8 persons per vehicle.
The problem is bound to worsen as low-cost airlines make air travel more widely accessible, said Michel Hubert, the study's author. He estimates that if airline passenger traffic rises 5 percent annually, carbon dioxide emissions by the aviation business will surge by 240 percent in the next 30 years.
"The improvements in energy efficiency achieved are seemingly not sufficient to prevent a significant increase in the impact of air transport and climate change," Mr. Hubert concluded.