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Comment: Re:The problem no one will mention (Score 1) 461

by General Wesc (#39981899) Attached to: NASA's Hansen Calls Out Obama On Climate Change

News flash. Women want to have children

When we gave women access to contraception, and the ability to get an education and a decent job rather than simply being housewives and mothers, family size dropped to the replacement rate or below. In the US. In Canada. In Europe. And the same trend is very clear in developing countries. Women want to have a reasonable number of children. Population growth happens when women are disempowered.

Contrary to the Malthusian view that population will grow to the limit of however many kids can be fed, in fact parents choose to have enough kids to give them a high chance that several will survive to support them as they grow old.

(Bill Gates/Gates Foundation) (Also relevant: Bill Gates' TED Talk)

Evidence shows tackling high death rates leads to smaller families and the stabilisation of national populations, according to its report, ‘The World at 7 Billion’.

...“In the poorest countries, where parents are often petrified that their children will die and leave them to fend for themselves, it’s understandable that they would choose to have larger families," [Brendan Cox] added.

...Save the Children points to the example of Botswana where three decades ago women had an average of six children. The average is now three, following long-term investment in healthcare which has helped to nearly halve child mortality.

( reporting on Save The Children's report)

Healthier and wealthier babies make for smaller families.

(The Solution To Global Population Growth is Saving Children) (Contains two talks by Hans Rosling using stats to show this. Look at the first video starting at 6:30 if you're impatient)

Well-designed programs can bring down growth rates even in the poorest countries. Provided with information and voluntary access to birth-control methods, women have chosen to have fewer children in societies as diverse as Bangladesh, Iran, Mexico, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

...A trial by Harvard researchers in Lusaka, Zambia, found that only when women had greater autonomy to decide whether to use contraceptives did they have significantly fewer children....

(New York Times reporting on a UN report)

Comment: Re:Autism (Score 1) 1007

by General Wesc (#39668179) Attached to: Lack of Vaccination Sends Babies In Oregon To the Hospital

if the vaccination is effective

Your argument rests on the dichotomy of things being either 0% effective or 100% effective. Some people might question that premise.

Yes, there is something inherent in an unacciated child that makes them dangerous to vaccinated children: whooping cough, measles, mumps, etc., because vaccines, while pretty effective at stopping these diseases, do not make every recipient 100% disease-proof.

Comment: Re:The government should ban (Score 1) 676

My point is, you were asking the difference between MLB regulating something and the GOVERNMENT regulating something. Now suddenly you're insisting there's a big difference because one is the government and one isn't.

So I think you've answered your original question, yet you seem to think I'm promoting the position that there isn't a difference. My point was clearly that there IS a difference.

Comment: Re:America is a BIG Country (Score 1) 1205

by General Wesc (#39234159) Attached to: The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon

They can't get on a bus or a train, they have no choice but to drive.

I used to live out in the country and had to drive to get most anywhere.

Then I moved.

That's a choice I made. It might not be the right choice for everyone. There are trade-offs, and maybe they're making the best choice for themselves, but pretending it's not a choice is just wrong.

Comment: Re:E-books more expensive than paper (Score 1) 214

by General Wesc (#34153256) Attached to: Analyzing Amazon's E-Book Loan Agreement

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: Hardcover, Bargain Price from Amazon: $6.56; New Paperback: $2.99; Kindle: $7.99

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Lavithan: Amazon Paperback: $8.99; Kindle: $10.99

I borrowed a Kindle from work a few weeks ago and while I really like it, some hardcopy books are cheaper NEW from AMAZON than the Kindle ebooks. It may not be the norm, but it definitely exists, and sadly it exists with books I'd like to read.

Comment: Re:So, how long before... (Score 1) 577

by General Wesc (#34149682) Attached to: Will Netflix Destroy the Internet?

It seems charging on peak is encouraging people to turn up the AC or turn down the heat a bit

Or not to run their washing machine, dryer, dish washer, etc. when demand is already pushing capacity.

You charge more when demand is higher because to meat demand, you bring in marginal production capacity (e.g. firing up less efficient power plants that produce energy at a higher cost).

In the case of network traffic, we can't just turn on another bunch of fiber when people are using a lot, so the speed each user gets drops. When we're not at capacity, using more doesn't have a significant cost, but when we're at capacity, using more means everyone else gets less. Eventually you have to build more lines or convince people to stop using as much during peak times. Raising prices for peak times does the latter, and is reasonable because the marginal cost of usage is higher.

It all comes down to supply and demand. Understanding just two lines on a graph can make the whole world make so much more sense.

Comment: Re:More DRM Bullshit (Score 1) 280

by General Wesc (#34012284) Attached to: Amazon To Allow Book Lending On the Kindle

Why ONLY if the Publisher agrees? They don't have that ability with physical goods - so screw them again.

Because the publishers is the supplier--EVERY term is dictated by the publishers, because the publisher has to CHOOSE to supply the books. Amazon's supposed to tell publishers the terms and then just pray they still have books to sell? Amazon is no that powerful yet.

Comment: Re:Bull (Score 1) 738

by General Wesc (#33927806) Attached to: Humans Will Need Two Earths By 2030

I completely agree that science and technology always has been and always will be the solution. Waste will be reduced, alternative energy sources will be tapped more efficiently, and rare materials recycled more thoroughly. Hopefully we'll get there without too much pain, though I'm more than a little worried.

Shipping people off to off-Earth colonies, however, are not going to be a solution (and I'm skeptical about using extra-planetary resources). The human population is currently measured in billions and annual growth in the high tens of millions. Somehow I doubt ships of emigrants will be measured in those units in any even slightly-relevant timeframe. We may populate other planets, but not by launching ships carrying a billion people. Emigration from Earth will not put a dent in the world population. I'd count on a transferral of consciousness into computers long before I counted on mass emigration.

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