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Comment Re:US Bill is only 4 Trillion? (Score 1) 528

Well, I don;'t think that the indirect effects are being much included at all. For example, the United Nations' Green Revolution was responsible for keeping perhaps a billion people from dying of starvation. They and their descendants now are causing a fair fraction of that "damage". Are the US and other First World nations wholly responsible for correcting this damage as well as their direct effects, or in this case would it be appropriate to expect those whose lives were saved to contribute a portion of t\heir own upkeep, so to speak?

Comment Re:Bias... (Score 1) 155

Strange that you use this as a rationale for handicapped parking places, which by definition are not equal-opportunity; they totally prohibit use by the non-handicapped. A shopping center near me does not get my business because they made all their few tree-shaded parking spots handicapped spots (though these are not nearer the stores). Why? I asked, and was told it was so their cars wouldn't get hot inside. Well, we can't have handicapped people's cars get hot just like everyone else's cars do, right? Even if it means the spots stay empty.

Comment Re:This guy... (Score 1) 143

Once an event horizon forms, it doesn't matter what mass/energy formed a black hole; an all-energy black hole is called a kugelblitz. No matter how much you accelerate it, though, a particle remains the same mass in its own frame. It just appears to have a higher energy to the initial frame. It's kind of like the question of an object being so fast relativity shortens it to a black hole density.

Comment Re:actually, it was the fleas. (Score 1) 135

Where's the link between Norway rats and the plague at all? Domesticated rat pictures published along with stories about the disease? Circumstantial evidence is also quite weak when totally absent. It might be considered "circumstantial" that Norway rats appeared along with the disappearance of the known disease-transmitting ones, in the same niche, but it is fairly well established.

Comment Re:actually, it was the fleas. (Score 1) 135

Interesting arguments. And not all hollow, though I would have used typhus as an example. Just because an animal can be infected by a disease doesn't always mean it is a credible source for transmission to humans. Or that they serve as a reservoir for other animals to catch it. Perhaps Norway rats "can" carry hantaviruses, but the CDC page is quite specific about the rodents that pose a threat to humans carrying it; deer mice one strain, white footed mice another, a third wild "rice rats" and "cotton rats". Toxoplasmosis pretty much isn't spread by anything except felines, though, or eating an infected animal raw. The emphasis seems to be using the vague association of whole groups of economically or otherwise pestiferous animals with specific diseases as an excuse to campaign against noninvolved species, rather than as an honest evaluation of the amount of risk that might be mitigated by removing the animals involved. Raccoon roundworm poses a threat of causing human brain damage, but the simple fact is it mostly doesn't happen, while rodents that catch it can be debilitated for easy catching by the raccoons, and presumably often are. The threat of rat lungworm infection is also very scary as a rationale for controlling giant African snails in Florida, while the cases seem to amount to one man in Australia who swallowed live slugs on a bet; few people go around licking up African snail slime trails. Even relatively tiny numbers of sparsely scattered wolves are attacked as a threat by people using the scary possibilities of carrying the common dog tapeworm, while it is present in the much more dense dog and sheep populations, clearly an excuse for people who don't like wolves, period. Even the article linked to uses a domesticated version of a Norway rat as an illustration, though it isn't actually blaming the disease on "rats". It implies a shared blame, at least the possibility, with little or nothing to go on.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.