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Comment Re:zealots ^2 (Score 1) 224

...complete fabrication by denialists
You obviously weren't there in my grad school. The Ice Age question was a potential concern for an indefinite future of unknown timing. Again this uncertainty was a driver for initial funding on major climate science.

...was 50 years ago.
You miss the point. There is an element of changing perspectives, and repeating fashions here.

"I have a much harder science background"... in climate science? I studied physics and computer science. And I know enough to know what I'm not an expert in.
Climate science is still early stage with lots of contradictions, politics and predictive failures. The models simply do not work from fundamentals. Your assertion of "denialists" as if it were a more mature, proven field with easily observed, successful predictions totally discredits itself with lack of recognition. The internal politics of climate grantees view of their own flaws have been shown to be so fetid and corrupt that adversarial, exploitative cult would be a better discription.

And you slightly demonstrate my thesis of angry dissonant crowds :->

Comment Re:Historical data (Score 1) 23

In Oregon, the reason voters set yearly minimum wage increases into law was precisely to increase the buying power of the poor and increase the local food movement economy, thus revitalizing an agricultural sector that was dying due to Chilean imports.

The down side- it makes our workforce less elastic. We continually trail unemployment nationally by two points, and we're the first to suffer from a recession and the last to recover from it.

Comment Re:zealots ^2 (Score 1, Insightful) 224

Stephan, simple denigration of oppositional views and their holders is not going to be effective. The original justification of large scale climate studies ca 1970s-80s, had to do with the concern of Ice Age timing, indicators, mechanisms and prediction. In this vein, the climate researchers continue to fail badly.

I have a much harder science background than you do. I am old enough, that in graduate school, that the principal criticism of CO2 was its likely lack of adequate effect to prevent an Ice Age in any near term if needed. There are numerous scientific violations CAGW promotors create and blow past to manufacture their scenarios and narratives. I see a lot of egregiously bad science and social-political engineering in the CAGW works. These non technical attacks run off like water.

Simply put, I have my own hard earned opinion.

Comment zealots ^2 (Score 2, Insightful) 224

The French govt probably doesn't want events that provoke large crowds with angry people that might have zealots with conflicting views. Imagine: Angry CAGW zealots meet climate realists/"deniers" with normal angry puke and threats. Islamic terrorists decide the cover and distraction is perfect for a bigger score, sending more infidels to burn before police even realize the attack.

Comment A system like this might be super-habitable for us (Score 2) 102

I think it's amazing that there could be a system with enough comets to block out such a big portion of starlight. It gets my imagination going because when I picture the future of human expansion, I don't see us living on the natural surfaces of planets, putting up with all the ways in which they are ill-suited to our comfort (wrong gravity, wrong color starlight, wrong day/night cycle for our circadian rhythm, wrong atmosphere, wrong temperature range, too much radiation, etc.). I know that people want to address some of these problems with some sort of transforming, and that will make sense on some planets, but most stars will not have eligible ones.

However, most stars will have enough ordinary junk in their orbit that we will be able to manufacture (with self-replicating AI machines) a perfectly awesome and huge spinning habitat that could have a habitable surface area comparable to that of the Earth. The easiest source for the materials for such a habitat are smallish rocks, because it takes so little energy to eject habitat material from a quarry on a rock with such a small gravity well. A colony would simply dispatch an AI-controlled factory that would convert asteroid material into duplicate AI factories, plus fuel and thrusters that get these to other asteroids. Then the factories retool to convert the asteroids into parts for a giant spinning space station, in which the interior light, atmosphere, gravity and temperature are optimized for terrestrial life, while the star-facing exterior is covered with solar panels, and the shady side is a spiky forest of heatsinks. If the orbit is close enough to the star, the panels alone should generate enough energy to power all the systems and more.

It's very 1960's thinking to picture ourselves living on the surfaces of other planets, and yet, even many scientists have not gotten past that obsolete picture. AI technology plus robotics will allow us to thrive even in extrasolar systems that have nothing but perfectly ordinary crap floating in orbit, because perfectly ordinary crap is exactly what we and every important feature of our biosphere are made of.

What's exciting about a system like this is that if there are lots of comets, it means that there's a lot of great crap within arm's reach from which to build a gigantic new home.

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie