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Comment: Re:Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (Score 1) 376

by BCGlorfindel (#48158253) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

In Afghanistan the Taliban are very hard on women but on the other hand in Iraq under Saddam Hussein the women were some of the most liberated in the Middle East, but much less so now under the current government.

That's some mighty narrow vision. Women's rights were marginally better under Saddam than the rest of the middle east... Saddam also committed two genocides against his own people with estimates of 2-300 thousand killed in each of them. He also initiated the Iran-Iraq war which killed over a million and extensively used chemical weapons in it, as well as in his genocide of the Kurds.

So, aside from the concentration camps, collective punishment, genocides and love for chemical weapons, Saddam was also a liberator of women...

Comment: Re:No WMD's...Really? (Score 2) 376

by BCGlorfindel (#48154235) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

The nuclear weapons were also never found as Iraq never had the capability.

Correction, it wasn't found because the program was destroyed during and after the first gulf war and by a unilateral bombing run from Israel earlier.

The claim by the Bush administration was that they were manufacturing more and newer chemical ones. This was never substantiated.

But that presumes the burden of proof was on Bush. Saddam was proven to have chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in the first gulf war. One of the most important conditions for allowing Saddam to remain in power and for the end of first gulf war short of his removal was the admittance and allowing of international inspectors to verify the termination of those programs. More than a decade later Saddam was still blocking inspectors. The fact was inspections had failed to confirm Saddam's compliance with ending his WMD programs. So much so that many of the inspectors, Like Scott Ritter objected to the war on the grounds that chemical weapons would be likely be deployed against allied forces. That of course didn't stop Ritter from being a cheer leader in chorus afterwards pointing out the failure to find WMDs...

Comment: Re:yes, let's "zoom out" (Score 1) 213

by BCGlorfindel (#48114371) Attached to: NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest

I can't but shake my head at all the environmentally concerned people opposing fracking. More specifically, the ones vehemently insisting we be more considerate of the living conditions we are creating for people down the road. It strikes me as a very bad form of tunnel vision.

Fracking the oil from the American midwest makes America energy independent. Let me repeat that another way. Fracking the midwest oil means America doesn't need Middle Eastern oil.

IMHO, that ends the discussion and debate. I'm not dismissing concerns over how 'dirty' recovery of midwest oil is, I'm just of the opinion that the alternative Middle Eastern oil is even dirtier on account of all the blood spilled over it.

Comment: Re:The Conservative Option (Score 1) 487

by BCGlorfindel (#48104011) Attached to: Texas Ebola Patient Dies

US doctrine on the intentional use of biological weapons of mass distruction is to respond with the only WMDs in our arsenal - that is Thermonuclear Devices. Anyone deploying such a biological would presumably kill a similarly large number of Russian, Chinese, Indian and Western European citizens, and all those governments have roughly similar doctrines, (except for the story I can't confirm that a Soviet era ambassador once claimed to his Chinese counterpart that official doctrine of the USSR was to make any language group or religion that released such a bio-weapon literally extinct, down to bayonetting individual 1 year olds). The US cold war era Project Pluto was only seriously considered as a response to some projected Bio-weapons and not just nukes, Israel was rumored to have developed cobalt jackets for a few of its warheads in response to rumors of Iranian bio-labs (although that rumor may just be something started by a Tom Clancy novel). Presumably anyone funding ISIL (or whatever they are calling themselves this week), does not want to risk every nuclear armed state in the entire world going literally ballistic.

        One point in all this that few get. The researchers and theoreticians discussing a weaponized version of Ebola or Smallpox were postulating an airborne hardened virus with such lethality that they could stop saying Megadeaths and start using the Giga- prefix. Current research shows pretty clearly that such a weapon is very unlikely. Ebola isn't the type of virus that's close enough to airborne to make the jump, and getting a smallpox variant that overcomes the existing vaccinated population's resistances seems equally a very hard problem. I doubt such an attack as you're suggesting would kill more than, say 300 million, world wide, tops. Maybe the various nuclear armed nations wouldn't go to a nuclear response, or even conventional full scale war (yeah, right!) It's not like the US got all stirred up about the "mere" 2,996 casualties of 9/11, right? The only real risk of ISIL (or whatever) doing anything this totally insane is if they somehow believe the great powers would all limit themselves to careful, deliberate, reasoned responses in the face of an indescriminately inflicted act of total barbarity that killed the elderly and young disproportionately and destroyed the world's economies and afflicted every nation of that world regardless of whether they were on ISIL's enemies list or not. My own bet is the UN resolution would pass unanimously among all members not implicated, and start with "Purge the sub-human scum with cleansing nuclear fire, unto their last generation", and go to STRONG language from there. The NATO powers would jump the gun before the resolution was finalized, only to find out that Israel had already launched against everybody else in the Middle East, India had already moved against Pakistan, and the Russians had already gone to war against every adjacent "stan" they suspected of harboring ISIL sympathizers. (And the Republican party would blame all of this on Obama).

You assume that ISIL is a rational entity that doesn't believe that Allah would protect them and grant them victory in their jihad... Religious fanatics are exactly the crowd that would try and pull something like that off, because they either do not care if they would be exterminated as a result, or because their irrational beliefs honestly believe they will be protected from or win some manner of armageddon war. In fact, Armageddon is exactly the goal of all manner of religious fanatics. It's the very reason their extermination and marginalization is important to those of us who prefer life to death.

Comment: Re:please no (Score 1) 423

by BCGlorfindel (#48084251) Attached to: Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

I'm pretty sure it was you that diverged from reality... The earth is getting warmer dude... The data is easy to see. It's really easy to see. You can look up satellite pics of ice coverage. A simple Wolfram Alpha search will tell you global mean temperatures, and show you the data sources so you can investigate them better.

How do you people keep insisting nothing is going on? The excuses keep changing. "It's not warming. Ok, it is, but it's solar! Ok, it's not solar, but it's not man made.... It's natural cycles! Ok, it's it's moving too fast for natural cycles, but it paused for the last few years! It's warmer, but it stopped, so it's not warming! Ok, so yeah, Arctic sea ice is dwindling, but antarctic is growing! Ok, sure, arctic is sea ice and antarctic is land ice, but.... It's scientists, just making a grab for lucrative grab for government money! Ok, so that money is shit and it's pretty obvious all the real money is in private industry, but..."

On and on you people go, changing your story. Diverging from reality, if you will.....

furthermore, it's quite obvious that several industries just don't want a drop in profits that would come with regulation. It's quite obvious they've spent a TON of money to muddy the conversation. My question is, in 30 years when we can look back on this, will you !@#$holes fess up that you were wrong the whole time? Will you admit that you all were duped and spent decades ignoring your betters? Will you finally shut up?

Don't worry, I know the answer....

I'd like the alarmists to step first and admit their error. If you look at the First Assessment Report from the IPCC in the early 90's their projections grossly overestimated temperature and sea level rise over the ~25 years through to today. Far from any admission of overstating the danger, here are guys like you doubling down on how foolish everyone else will look in another 30 years. I don't need to guess if you'll finally shut up then, the experiment was run already and the answer is nope.

Fact: Things are getting warmer.
Fact: CO2 emissions contribute to warming.
Fact: Humans are emitting CO2.
Uncertain: What degree of impact will those human CO2 emissions have on global temperatures over the next 30 or 100 years.

Don't go advocating catastrophic changes when not all the facts for that particular position are settled, you look foolish.

Comment: Re:please no (Score 1) 423

by BCGlorfindel (#48077207) Attached to: Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Your facts are not what you claim.

Here's the projections from the IPCC First Assessment Report in 1991. You''ll find projections of future warming based on CO2 emissions remaining at 1990 levels by the best models suggested today would be warmer globally by 0.5C. More over, the scenarios with increased CO2 emissions that more closer match whats actually happened that predicted warming of over 0.5C by today. Actual measured warming though is sitting at about 0.2C warmer than 1990.

Verifying against historical and past temperatures is good, but it leaves room for bias in your corrections if you have a lot of variables and just end up matching them to the mere 100 years of instrumental record we have. Predicting future temperature trends though, hasn't been as conclusive and solid as you suggest.

Oh, the IPCC report also projected nearly a 10cm rise in sea level from 1990 to today, in reality the measured amount is less than half that.

Comment: Re:Should we vote out the incumbents? (Score 1) 126

Don't blame me, I voted for for Kodos.

IMO, neither party cares about public opinion on net neutrality and if you want your voting day activity to matter show up and vote for none of the above by spoiling your ballet. If you can get even 20-30% of the vote to show up as spoiled ballets then politicians selfish interests require them to take notice and try harder again to care what the public thinks in order to gain those extra votes to increase their power base.

Comment: Re:It's getting hotter still! (Score 1) 635

by BCGlorfindel (#47912179) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

What if it's on topic? Say, I dunno, when discussing climate change and citing a celebrity that won a noble prize for their related work?

I'll whole heartedly agree if you want to lay the failing at the feet of ever giving Gore the time of day in scientific circles, let alone a Noble prize. You'll have to forgive people for continually bringing Gore's statements on the matter forward though. His videos are showing up in schools to 'teach' kids about the important scientific research on climate change. My kids came home having watched before they were in grade 5. When the indoctrination is pushed that far out, people are NOT remiss to start pushing back.

IMO it's not much different than the situation with Islamic Jihadists and moderate Muslims. The fact some might claim common cause with a larger group doesn't make it so, but some denouncement from the greater community starts to become of importance. Regrettably, there has been little to no efforts made from the scientific community to distance itself from Gore's extreme proclamations and warnings. Yes, I know scientists don't appreciate having to come out of their research labs where they are doing actual real work to do stuff like that, but it's important. It's all the more important the more impact you believe your research has to society as a whole.

Comment: Re:Talking Point (Score 1) 427

by BCGlorfindel (#47871357) Attached to: UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

There is no hiatus, but a slowing down of warming. The warming is still happening, but at a slightly slower rate than predicted. So yeah, it's deniers who point out the hiatus, as it doesn't exist.

So deniers like the authors and editors of peer reviewed journals like The National Academy of Sciences and Geophysical Research Letters and Nature. Nature in particular publishing an article with the 'denier' skewed title of "Strengthening of ocean heat uptake efficiency associated with the recent climate hiatus".

Nothing burns me more than somebody faking as though they are all for the scientific process and defending it's 'findings' while at the same time totally ignoring the actual science. The reality as pointed out in the 3 linked articles, and many, many, many more is that since 1998 the rate of warming has dropped off heavily enough it no longer matches most predictions or modelling very well. Something in the predictions and modelling was missed that is happening in the real world, and has caused an apparent 'hiatus' in the rate of warming that was expected. Tracking, identifying and understanding that is important science, and thankfully they haven't stopped to listen to people like you who would prefer to deny that reality.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile in the real world... (Score 1) 427

by BCGlorfindel (#47865493) Attached to: UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

In the case of AGW those scales are a) global, and b) range from a couple centuries, to several My depending on which line of evidence you're looking at.
It was unusually cold in New England this winter. That's weather. But overall, this winter was still one of the 5 warmest on record. That's climate.

Which is the source of a huge part of my skepticism regarding the severity of the 'problem'.

1. Our climate is warming, period. We have almost 125 years of instrumental data to prove it. The but is that, 125 years is not enough data points for phenomena that as you pointed out span centuries and even millenia.
2. CO2 is a GHG and contributes to warming, and we are dumping significant quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. What severity of impact is that causing though? We have just barely been dumping that CO2 for a century, and our best data points don't give us much reference of the 'before' trend.

What pushes me past skepticism though and into outright rejection is graphs like the IPCC published Mann et el graph showing temperature over the last 2k or more years. The work and principle of looking at older proxy records to get a longer reference of climate is vitally important, and a way to extend what we know and can use to improve prediction. The principal is good. The published articles are pure hack jobs though. Data points projected by proxy prior to 1900 are posted and attached to current instrumental records and show an alarming and sudden upward trend in temperature starting at 1900. Now, any sane, skeptical mind would point out the change in data sources as the first and most important cause. Instead, Mann et al claimed a eureka moment, as human CO2 emissions also roughly coincide with that time, so clearly human activity is the cause.

That isn't just bad science, IMO it is deliberately and intentionally bad science. The fact is further proven and demonstrated if you take Mann's oldest and original graphs and just map out what 2014 and 2020 aught to look like if his observed 'trend' is real.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile in the real world... (Score 1) 427

by BCGlorfindel (#47863415) Attached to: UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

I like to class myself in the rational crowd, and I think a major blind spot between sides is regarding the degree of warming. The following are further facts I think we can agree must be recognized if someone wants to be taken seriously:
1. The instrumental record over the last 125 years clearly shows things are warming.
2. CO2 in the atmosphere acts as a GHG and causes warming.
3. Human activity is dumping sizable quantities of CO2 into the environment and measurable amounts are accumulating in the atmosphere.

These are all well documented, measured and verifiable facts, not part of any honest debate.

That said, I STILL count myself a skeptic of the 'degree' or 'rate' of warming that we should be anticipating over the next decades. Having all the hottest years on record occurring in the last decade or two doesn't alarm me over much. We only have 100 some years of data, and the trend in it is a relatively linear warming from start to finish.

The point of contention is the question of whether or not we are facing 'catastrophic' change or not. Plenty of reconstructions and climate models argue for exponential warming. Such predictions go back to the very first IPCC report, which current global average temps are nearly cooler than the coolest error bars of predictions from back then. More recent estimates start the 'curve' later and later which has served to keep predictions consistent with measured reality. Despite this though, the best models all still DO recognize the absence of accelerated warming in recent years as a problem. They didn't predict it.

If anyone is still reading and thinks I'm missing important reasons to still anticipate catastrophic results, please let me know, but in all my searching of journals and actual, honest research I am just NOT finding any strong evidence or suggestion that it's time to 'panic'.

Comment: Re:Talking Point (Score 1) 427

by BCGlorfindel (#47863167) Attached to: UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

It's not 'deniers' pointing out the hiatus, but actual peer reviewed scientists. They point out that the hiatus DOES matter because it's getting close to falling outside the error bars that were meant to take into account the 'statistical noise' you want to claim as excuse for inaccuracy. Surely you realize the stupidity in claiming, essentially, conflicting data doesn't contradict method X, after all, the data the method was based on is far too noisy to expect good results. Seems like your admitting to knowing too little, which is presumably what you mean to be arguing against,

Comment: Re:Global Warming? (Score 1) 273

by BCGlorfindel (#47758313) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

Current estimates are that we are dumping 40 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year, for a total of about 550 billion tons since 1870.

If we are just going to through out facts devoid of context, the IPCC fourth assessment pegs annual NATURAL CO2 emissions at 430 billion tonnes. Or worked backwards to 1870, about 62 trillion tonnes.

Comment: Re:Global Warming? (Score 1) 273

by BCGlorfindel (#47755951) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

a) What hiatus? The hiatus only appears when you use incomplete data. citation [slate.com]

It's cute using something like Slate as a citation to demonstrate the state of scientific research. Regrettably for your argument, actual scientific journal articles like these ones in Nature, IOPScience and Science all contradict your statement. These articles all note "Despite the continued increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the annual-mean global temperature has not risen in the twenty-first century" with multiple citations to yet other scientific journal articles that demonstrated this.

... and that's assuming any positive feedback loops don't override it (look at the "clathrate gun hypothesis" for an example of what could happen).

And that's assuming any negative feedback loops don't override it (look at the Iris hypothesis for an example of what could happen).

The global mean temperature trend for the last decade has fallen outside the error bars of the climate model projections gathered by the first IPCC assessment. Go ahead and deny that all you like, but the actual scientists are looking at the why and trying to sort out what they got wrong, in articles like those I've linked above.

Comment: Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 1) 465

by BCGlorfindel (#47730325) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

No model, in any branch of science or engineering, is complete and perfect; that doesn't mean they're useless [arstechnica.com].

Agreed, but how good are the climate models is a very important question. Plenty of people are pushing very, very hard for sweeping large scale economic and political level reforms based on the results of these models. Global CO2 emissions are tightly locked to economic development, particularly in developing nations like China, and significantly cutting those means significant economic fallout.

Look at the IPCC assessments and you can see what their current assessment of climate model reliability is. They rank it to be quite high. At the exact same time, they also note that climate models are NOT well agreed on what SIGN to place on the impact of cloud feedback. Apologies if it makes me sound like I'm cherry picking my data. Clouds contribute significantly more to the greenhouse effect than CO2, and models are uncertain what SIGN to place on clouds? I DO NOT believe the certainty the models can give on CO2 impact is all that powerful while there remains disagreement on the sign to attribute to clouds. Most importantly to all of us stuck on this rock, it certainly seems insufficient to advocate massive global political and economic reforms.

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