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Comment: Re:NYTimes wouldn't write this about... (Score 1) 437

by Cochonou (#49104825) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
Oh by the way, I an atmospheric scientist and I work with computer models every day. I have serious doubts about how well we can simulate the future climate of earth in 10 years, let alone 100 years into the future. We just recently began incorporating micro-biology into the climate models. They are very crude and in my opinion, it's these very organisms that over the long term, will play an ultimate role in the carbon/oxygen balance. Until we have these features much better modeled, we cannot say with any sort of certainty what the earth's temperature will look like in the long term. At this point, there is still a lot of variability in the outcome, by make very minute changes to the model initial assumptions.

Yes, of course. The current models point to a strong global warming. They might very well be wrong.
The matter at hand is actually quite simple. Knowing that the current models predict a salient danger, would you rather:
- Act now to reduce carbon emissions, given corrective actions are very expensive and might turn out to be useless at the end ?
- Wait for more information before acting, knowing that delaying the corrective actions might have very nefarious results in the end ?
The choice is not straightforward. If it was, there wouldn't be such a debate.

Comment: Re:Accuracy of traditional lie-detector polygraphs (Score 2) 106

by Cochonou (#48743911) Attached to: European Researchers Develop More Accurate Full-Body Polygraph
I would also like to know if there is really a "widespread use" of polygraphs. I understood they were almost exclusively used in the US, and that most other countries actually forbade its use as evidence in courts - which would make the use of polygraph a local idiosyncracy rather than a widespread practice.

Comment: Re:I am wondering (Score 1) 295

by Cochonou (#48599025) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber
This is not really about Uber drivers "stealing" customers from taxi cabs. This is about regulation.
The taxi drivers we are talking about are independant workers who paid in the 100k€ - 300k€ range to get a state-regulated taxi licence plate. These plates are resellable, and their number increase very slowly: this means that their price is driven by supply and demand. If new players such as Uber can enter the market, operating under legal loopholes (considered as car sharing and not transportation), the price of the taxi plates will drop because of less demand. This may be good for the customers (increase of the number of cabs, increased competition...) However, you cannot say this is fair for the taxi drivers who took out a lengthly loan to pay for their licence plate - and will not be able to resell them to recover their investment.
So, the way forward for the governement should be pretty clear: either ban Uber, or go for a deregulation of the market. In the latter case, buy back at a fair price the taxi plates from their owners. However at that time, the government has not made a clear choice, which explains the unrest.

Comment: Re:Why are taxi drivers all so horrible? (Score 3, Informative) 295

by Cochonou (#48598929) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber
As we are talking about a strike in France, you may be interested to know that it really does not work like this in France. Actually, there are basically three different kinds of taxi drivers:
- Drivers on a payroll (3%) - working for a company who bought the taxi plates. They are paid at a percentage of income.
- Renters (11%) - they rent the car with a taxi plate. They keep all the income, but have to pay the rent of the car each month.
- Independant workers (86%) - who bought a taxi plate (from 100 000 to 200 000 €). They keep all the income.
So in France, most of the taxi drivers are independant workers who took out a loan to buy their plate - and intend to sell their plate at a high price when they retire.