Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Comment Re:How could the Earth heat it? (Score 3, Interesting) 96

Good, but the rate of increase in distance to the moon isn't constant (it was faster in the past), and it's thought that the moon formed at a distance of only about 20 to 30 thousand kilometers.

By your maths, 4B years ago would've put the moon at 60% its current distance, but at formation it is more likely to have been only 6% of current distance. Assuming similar mass to today, 60% closer implies more like 4.6x the current tidal force - but 6% distance might be 4,600x stronger forces (probably more, given that the distance to the Earth's surface was even closer). How this translates into actual tidal sizes is left as an exercise for someone who knows more than I do.

Of course back then there probably wasn't much water around, given terrestrial temperatures in the thousands of degrees, but there may have been some impressive magma tides instead.

Comment Re:Why should we care about faked data? (Score 1) 735

Dyson himself has said that he doesn't know much about the technical details (he's a physicist, not a climatologist), only that he feels that the climate is very complicated, and that there's too much expert reliance on the models. That's fine as an opinion, but proves nothing.

Of your linked list, just looking through the names shows mostly qualifications in physics, geophysics, paleogeophysics, chemistry, botany, ecology, geology, biogeography - and the ex-Greenpeace guy. Compare that to the hundreds of actual, practicing climatologists who contributed their data to the IPCC reports, and the thousands more who have published studies explicitly or implicitly confirming climate change.

There's no alarmism there, only reams of scientific evidence showing that the earth IS warming, and will in all likelihood continue warming at even faster rates (as it has been doing for 150 years). There are also numerous studies demonstrating that, unchecked, this will be very expensive for us to adapt to (those that can).

What we DO about that is an entirely separate question. "Alarmism" could certainly apply to some proposed responses (mostly to the wilder, straw-man suggestions like "destroy the economy"), but there are also plenty of sane, well-reasoned proposals that will have a long-term net benefit to the economy, even without considering the avoided costs of climate change adaption. I leave it to the political debate as to which to choose - but that is entirely orthogonal to the science.

Comment Re:Yeah, I know, I'm probably a denier... (Score 2) 735

the planet was almost certainly warmer than this during the Medieval Warm Period, and before that during the Roman Climate Optimum

Yeah, try looking the actual study next time, rather than conservative rags or biased blogs. Nowhere does it claim to offer data for the whole planet; rather, it looked only at tree fossil remains in a specific area in Sweden. Claims that this somehow demonstrates anything about the planet as a whole are the worst kind of cherry-picking.

Speaking of, remember your dark implication that picking 1850 as the reference point "just happened" to coincide with the end of the Little Ice Age, and this was chosen deliberately for effect, rather than also being the time when we started pumping out CO2 wholesale? I don't suppose it occurred to you that the reason the Little Ice Age finished then (and didn't re-occur a fourth time) might possibly be due to all that CO2? It is kind of a coincidence, isn't it?

Also, 1850 isn't even the chosen reference point. From FTA:

There is not a reliable indicator of global temperatures back to 1750, which is the era widely assumed to represent pre-industrial conditions. Therefore 1850-1900 is chosen here as the most reliable reference period, which also corresponds to the period chosen by IPCC to represent a suitable earlier reference period.

(emphasis mine)

Comment Re: Who believes this? Only everyone... (Score 1) 249

OK, so you're now claiming that the general agreement among climate scientists is purely political, not an expert conclusion based on the science they've been doing, and therefore these thousands of practicing climatologists have been steadfastly ignoring the evidence that their observations of the last 40 years have been showing, and the tens of thousands of published and peer-reviewed studies showing increasing global land and sea temperatures, melting glaciers, rising sea levels & acidification etc etc etc are therefore deliberately fabricated, risking their reputations and careers in a massive conspiracy - all in the name of their supposed political beliefs?

Well heck, I'm convinced.


You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

You're confusing science with some imagined bizarro political response to the situation science is telling you about. Try and understand the difference before you go off the deep end next time.

Comment Re:Who believes this? Only everyone... (Score 1) 249

I did. I linked to a number of peer-reviewed studies & surveys containing actual data, performed by different people at different times with different approaches - and they all gave similar results. Multiple lines of peer-reviewed evidence is the highest standard of proof we have.

You claim that the consensus on AGW is "nothing more than bullshit cagw extremist nonsense" - but you have no peer-reviewed data to back this accusation. So this is just your personal opinion. Nothing is "proven" just because someone said so on a blog. Any belief that your layman's opinion is somehow more valid than the expert conclusions of practicing climatologists is pure Dunning-Kruger Effect, even more obviously when your opinion is based on no data whatsoever.

Comment Re:Who believes this? Only everyone... (Score 1) 249

OK, so which one of the studies on that list has new survey data that attempts to refute the 97% consensus figure? Are you trying to imply that the dissenting authors in that list of papers represent significantly more than 3% of climatologists (though the list makes no claims that all the papers' authors are dissenting)? Or did you just bring them up to change the subject?

Comment Re:Who believes this? Only everyone... (Score 2) 249

The way you refute a peer-reviewed study is with better peer-reviewed studies. A spam list of unreviewed opinions all written by the same handful of dissenters refutes nothing. Provide better data, or take your unfounded opinions and baseless accusations elsewhere.

The way you confirm a peer-reviewed study is with more peer-reviewed studies, conducted independently and using different lines of evidence, to see if they arrive at similar results. Like this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one, to cite a few.

Comment Wilson Doctrine (Score 1) 80

Despite regular assurances about the Wilson Doctrine for the last 60 years, British MPs were recently dismayed to find out that they are, in fact, being spied upon - just like any other citizen. The Wilson Doctrine was finally admitted (after a legal challenge) to be nothing more than a vague platitude with "no legal force".

Goes to show that politicians lie to each other as regularly as they do to the rest of us. The only notable part is that some of them appeared genuinely surprised by this.

Comment Re: Time to drop the prices? (Score 1) 421

Listen to what I'm saying here

Yeah, I heard you the first time. Repeating yourself doesn't amplify your point. Try actually citing some evidence against the solutions presented, rather than flatly declaring them to be unworkable, because clearly I disagree.

- "inefficient": 80% sounds fine to me. 20% extra capacity is hardly insurmountable, and less so as prices drop further. Consider that coal plants are only 33-40% efficient, yet somehow they're workable.
- "environmentally messy": I doubt anything you could cite here comes slightly close to the disaster that is fossil fuels, from mining through refining and transport to burning them into pollution and CO2.
- "do not scale": Pumped hydro is obviously grid-scale. Flow batteries can be arbitrary capacity. Flywheels, supercaps etc can be added in any quantity desired, needing only space (and can even be underground). Many of these options can also scale down to something a consumer could purchase and use, giving additional decentralisation and redundancy.

1000 pains = 1 Megahertz