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+ - We stopped at two nuclear bombs. We can stop at two degrees.->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Dawn Stover writes in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that climate change is irreversible but not unstoppable. She describes the changes that are happening already and also those likely to happen, and compares what is coming to the climate of the Pliocene: 'Even if countries reduce emissions enough to keep temperatures from rising much above the internationally agreed-upon “danger” threshold of 2 degrees Celsius (which seems increasingly unlikely), we can still look forward to conditions similar to those of the mid-Pliocene epoch of 3 million years ago. At that time, the continents were in much the same positions that they are today, carbon dioxide levels ranged between 350 and 400 ppm, the global average temperature was 2 to 3 degrees Celsius higher than it is today (but up to 20 degrees higher than today at the northernmost latitudes), the global sea level was about 25 meters higher, and most of today’s North American forests were grasslands and savanna.' Stover agrees with two scientists published in Nature Geoscience that 'Future warming is therefore driven by socio-economic inertia," and points the way toward changing a Pliocene future."
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+ - Will Machine Intelligence Be So Human That It Will Get Religion?-> 1

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Earlier this month Reverend Dr. Christopher J. Benek raised eyebrows on the Internet by stating his belief that Christians should seek to convert Artificial Intelligences to Christianity if and when they become autonomous. Of course that's assuming that robots are born atheists, not to mention that there's still a vast difference between what it means to be autonomous and what it means to be human."
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+ - Fish Farmer Says Data Center Will Kill His Fish ->

Submitted by judgecorp
judgecorp (778838) writes "A Bavarian fish farmer has filed a law suit complaining that a planned data center will kill his trout. Service provider e-shelter plans to build a data center cooled by groundwater, but Anton Kurz says it will warm his water by two degrees Celsius — which is enough to reduce the yield of his fish eggs by increasing the risk of disease. Kurz's lawsuit will be heard on 3 March."
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+ - If an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles are believed to carry a total of approximately 1,000 strategic nuclear warheads that can hit the US less than 30 minutes after being launched. Of this total, about 700 warheads are rated at 800 kilotons; that is, each has the explosive power of 800,000 tons of TNT. This article is a description of the consequences of the detonation of a single such warhead over midtown Manhattan, in the heart of New York City."
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+ - What would happen if an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manh->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles are believed to carry a total of approximately 1,000 strategic nuclear warheads that can hit the US less than 30 minutes after being launched. Of this total, about 700 warheads are rated at 800 kilotons; that is, each has the explosive power of 800,000 tons of TNT. This article is a description of the consequences of the detonation of a single such warhead over midtown Manhattan, in the heart of New York City."
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+ - The weight of a butterfly: A beautiful essay about work on the Bomb->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Emily Strasser with a lovely essay as she grapples with trying to better understand her long deceased grandfather, a chemist who help build the first atomic bomb. Strasser illuminates the lives of the 75k people who came to live in Oak Ridge to work at the Y-12 enrichment facility, most of whom didn't know what they were working on as they went about their lives in a government-built city that wasn't to be plotted on any map. Her description of what they were doing there is both scientific and beautiful: 'The uranium in the Hiroshima bomb was about 80 percent uranium 235. One metric ton of natural uranium typically contains only 7 kilograms of uranium 235. Of the 64 kilograms of uranium in the bomb, less than one kilogram underwent fission, and the entire energy of the explosion came from just over half a gram of matter that was converted to energy. That is about the weight of a butterfly.'"
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+ - Only twice have nations banned a weapon before it was used; they may do it again-> 2

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Seth Baum writes about international efforts to ban "killer robots" before they are used. China, Israel, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States are apparently developing precursor technology. 'Fully autonomous weapons are not unambiguously bad. They can reduce burdens on soldiers. Already, military robots are saving many service members’ lives, for example by neutralizing improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq. The more capabilities military robots have, the more they can keep soldiers from harm. They may also be able to complete missions that soldiers and non-autonomous weapons cannot.' But Baum, who founded the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, goes on to outline the potential downsides, and there are quite a few."
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+ - Harvard climate skeptic scientist has made a fortune from corporate interests->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Elected officials who want to block the EPA and legislation on climate change frequently refer to a handful of scientists who dispute anthropogenic climate change. One of scientists they quote most often is Wei-Hock Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. Newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon has made a fortune from corporate interests. 'He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.' The Koch Brothers are cited as a source of Dr. Soon's funding."
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+ - Jellyfish are attacking nuclear power plants->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "The power plant shutdowns (both nuclear and non-nuclear) that jellyfish cause are increasing, possibly due to warming oceans. And it's not just jellyfish: algae and kelp are responsible for wreaking havoc on filtering systems that are proving no match for aquatic life. 'Jellyfish and algae have assaulted nuclear power plants in the United States, Canada, Scotland, Sweden, Japan, and France. In Scotland alone, two reactors at the country’s Torness power station had to shut down in a single week when the seawater they used as a coolant was inundated with jellyfish. (Because of their tremendous need for cool water, nuclear power plants are often located next to oceans and other naturally occurring large bodies of water.)' The IAEA warns that current monitoring and removal systems in place for 'biological fouling' are inadequate and that warming waters are going to cause more and more of these incidents, the costs of which are astronomical."
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+ - The burden of intellectual property rights on clean-energy technologies->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "If climate change is to be addressed effectively in the long run, nations of all descriptions must pursue mitigation and adaptation strategies. But poor countries face a potential hurdle when it comes to clean-energy technologies—most of the relevant intellectual property is held in the rich world. Many observers argue that it's unfair and unrealistic to expect massive energy transformations in the developing world unless special allowances are made. Yet intellectual property rights are intended in part to spur the very innovation on which climate mitigation depends. This article is the first post in a roundtable that debates this question: In developing countries, how great an impediment to the growth of low-carbon energy systems does the global intellectual property rights regime represent, and how could the burdens for poor countries be reduced?"
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+ - NoFlyZone.org Keeps the Airspace Above Your Home Drone-Free->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "About the only thing growing quicker than the number of privately owned drones is the level of concern surrounding them. Questions of privacy and how these things can be regulated are pretty well-founded, but are so far yet to be met with any convincing answers. NoFlyZone.org may go some way to providing a solution, allowing users to enter their address to create drone-free zones in the airspace over their homes."
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+ - The blind spots in the nuclear test monitoring system->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "The International Monitoring System managed by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization relies on detecting one or more of four distinct signatures from a nuclear explosion. Seismic detectors continuously listen for the shock waves passing through the earth from underground nuclear tests. Hydro-acoustic monitors listen for sound waves in the oceans from underwater tests. Infrasound detectors scan for pressure waves in the atmosphere. The fourth kind of signal involves radioactive gases generated by a nuclear explosion and released into the atmosphere. Ulrich Kuhn and Michael Schoeppner describe the system in detail, and point out that there are blind spots, particularly in the area of noble gas detection: 'Our research has found that the noble gas detection part of the International Monitoring System is unlikely to work as it should because of the limited distribution of noble gas stations, neglect of important meteorological patterns in some areas, and the radionuclide background from emissions from the commercial production of medical isotopes.' Kuhn and Schoeppner go on to describe possible fixes, and call on the 183 states that have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the CTBTO to provide the resources to build extra monitoring stations where they are required and to curb activities that might limit the global capability to monitor possible nuclear tests."
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Comment: Re:We have hardly even tried nuclear, don't give u (Score 1) 309

by Lasrick (#49032081) Attached to: The IPCC's Shifting Position On Nuclear Energy
Well, the article points out that the IPCC came around on nuclear in the 2014 report: 'Nuclear is once again grouped with renewable energy as the key elements of a low-carbon energy system, along with carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS).' You may be right, but I think part of the opposition to nuclear also has to do with cost, not with the science/safety issue.

+ - Doctors Warn Against 'Measle Parties'

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The San Francisco Chronicle reports that it's hard to know if the “measles party,” a relic of pre-vaccination times, is really making a comeback. But after a report out of Marin showed that some parents might indeed be thinking about hosting one to infect their children in a more “natural” way, the health department decided not to take chances. Marin County Public Health Officer Matt Willis says that although his office has received no reports of such parties, officials have fielded several calls from parents asking about the benefits of "natural immunity," or the idea that immunity gained from contracting a disease is superior to immunity conferred through vaccination. Measles is a serious illness that can cause brain swelling, long-term neurological effects and even death, Willis says. Plus, he added, there is no evidence that immunity gained through becoming sick with measles is any better than vaccine-imparted immunity. "Any parents who are considering this, they should have a look at a child who’s really sick with measles, and I think they’d change their minds."

Willis and other health officials suspect the concept of a measles party may have grown out of "pox parties," which were popular in the 1980s, before the chickenpox vaccine was widely available. Some parents, reports said, even arranged to pay strangers for licked lollipops, saliva or other items from infected children. Willis says he still hears reports of “pox parties” occurring in Marin today, even though a chickenpox vaccine has been available for more than two decades. "It was not a good idea then, and it's still not a good idea," says Wilbert Mason."

+ - The IPCC's shifting position on nuclear energy-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Suzanne Waldman writes about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its stand on nuclear power over the course of its five well-known climate change assessment reports. The IPCC was formed in 1988 as an expert panel to guide the drafting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, ratified in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The treaty’s objective is to stabilize greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a safe level. Waldman writes: 'Over time, the organization has subtly adjusted its position on the role of nuclear power as a contributor to de-carbonization goals.," and she provides a timeline of those adjustments."
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