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Comment Re:That was pretty stupid. (Score 2) 252

I don't know about the others, but I can see at least with Bastardi's Wager, they went with satellite data. That proved to be wise in retrospect. As regardless of which you use, lower troposphere satellite data has shown much less warning than the land/sea models used by the NOAA and the like. For them, 2015 was the third warmest year, and 2010 and champion 1998.

Except the land and ocean temperatures used by NOAA aren't modeled. Satellite data is modeled.

Satellites don't measure temperature. The measure microwaves. Temperatures for broad swaths of the atmosphere are derived by running the microwave radiances through a model to derive temperature. That's one reason why using satellite data as your primary temperature data source a bad choice. Not only does it not measure surface temperature, it also isn't very accurate and must be constantly adjusted.

Also, since they do measure broad swaths of atmosphere you're not going to get nearly as much of a warming signal as surface measurements. As GHG's increase, more heat is trapped closer to the surface, cooling the atmosphere above it. If you measure a swath, most of the warming gets averaged out. Without proper calibration against surface measurements, the difference between satellite and surface measurements becomes quite large. In fact, there was paper not too long ago that ripped apart Spencer's methodology as inherently flawed, showing how his method wasn't even close to actual observations.

To actually make wagers expecting cooling seems extreme. Why not simply bet that warming would come in far short of the predictions mainstream scientists were putting out at the time? Maybe they couldn't get anyone to bite on those terms, maybe they were just that cocky, or most likely, they just wanted the media from putting money up predicting cooling.

Whatever the reason, if they'd wagered on more sane "you're models show too much warming" terms, they could have made some good money.

Scientists aren't stupid. They wouldn't take that bet unless the period was climatologically relevant (30 years or so).

The problem is deniers often have little to know understanding of basic physics. If they had, they would have never made these bets. It was a free giveaway to the very scientists they so despised. It would be like someone coming up to you and betting you $10K that the moon is made out of cheese.

And no, the models don't show "too much warming". The models have under-predicted the amount of thermal energy being stored by the system. Or are you just referring to air temperatures (which is poor indicator of warming).

Comment Re:Too much recalibration (Score 2) 507

The data in the past gets adjusted down... and the data set gets tweaked... again and again and again.

Part of the problem is that all the data is ultimately controlled by the NOAA... I mean all of it. People make much of there being multiple datasets but all of them ultimately refer back to the NOAA. Which means there is only one data set. One. It has never been audited by a third party.

Wow. What a crock of shit.

There are multiple data sets, with almost all of them publicly available. Also publicly available are the papers that utilize said data, the methods used to adjust the data, why the data needs to be adjusted, error margins, so on and so forth. There's even a big section of the IPCC delegated to such topics, but since you're clearly ignorant on the subject of climate science I don't suppose you follow the research.

Comment Re: Lots of unwarranted concerns (Score 4, Informative) 319

The views on nuclear power are based on how polluting it is and how difficult it is to do it safely, especially when corners are cut as at Fukushima. The opposition to GMOs is based on a completely warranted distrust of large multinationals who are well known for delivering defective products while lying about doing so. Better behaviour and transparency is what's required, not just dismissing justified suspicion as stupidity.

Nuclear power is far less polluting than any other traditional power source by many orders of magnitude. In fact, if people weren't so damn stupid it would be one of the least polluting power sources on the planet for the power density.

Comment Re:Sweden worries about theirs too... (Score 4, Insightful) 319

The reason is that after the referendum back around 1980 there was effectively a ban on all nuclear power research in Sweden.

That has effectively caused the situation we have where the upgrades of the reactors have been limited.

That said - the nuclear reactor technology is mostly a dead end because nuclear energy is very dirty - mines contaminating areas with radioactivity for millenia, mining and refining costing a lot of energy - producing CO2 in the process and post usage waste from the fuel and from the reactors when they are torn down.

As opposed to coal, which is very clean to mine, have absolutely no radiological or toxicological contamination rendering sites into toxic waste dumps for millenia, produce no wastes whatsoever, and don't require any CO2 output because magical fairies and unicorns support it with their wings and horns.

It's just the power plants themselves that are reasonably clean unless there's an accident (Fukushima, Chernobyl, Kyshtym, Harrisburg, Sellafield)

Nuclear power is useful in special applications, but due to the long term effects of it if there's a problem it's not a good solution.

Yeah, just like all those clean happy underground coal fires, fly ash dumps, etc. that of course have no negative impacts whatsover. And coal doesn't produce massive amounts of CO2 either, that's just a red herring.

Oh you weren't talking about coal? You were talking about solar? Oh my bad. Rare earth mines are even cleaner. Those pictures of toxic wastelands in China as a result of open pit strip mines are just made up. And since rare earths are so plentiful and easy to get, ramping up production levels by several orders of magnitude to meet the global demand to make everything run on solar is completely feasible and has absolutely no negative repercussions, because reasons. And since solar power is fueled by hopes and dreams you can just put it everywhere and solve all the world's problems.

Nuclear is "dead end" because a lot of people have worked very hard over many decades to make it dead end.

Comment Re:That's exactly right (Score 4, Insightful) 645

mdsolar's point isn't that we should build no new nuclear, at least not in this thread. His point is that nuclear can't, in and of itself, decarbonize the electric sector.

Yes, it can. Nuclear power has a ridiculous energy density.

We simply don't have the capacity to build that many nuclear power plants simultaneously,

We most certainly could. The biggest hurdle is policy, which adds enormous cost and time to nuclear power projects and makes it so that only handful of companies even want to try.

nor do we have the fuel,

Again, this is not really issue. Compared to the massive increase in mining that would be required for, say, building billions of solar panels the increase needed to support increased nuclear is a mere pittance.

nor do we have the money.

Yes we do, if we had any sort of a sane process. Most of the cost of a solar plant is spent just dealing with that. The actual cost of the plant is just little more than an equivalent coal plant, and takes about a year or two longer to build.

I'm all for renewables, but the ramp up and resulting ecological disaster zones that would be created by creating massive pit mines to get all the materials for building out on the scale necessary to "decarbonize" never seems to be discussed. We would have to increase production by orders of magnitude, and we simply cannot do that in any reasonable time frame. We can't even do that with all nuclear.

In the meantime, a mixture of both will get us towards that goal but we need to set aside for "adaptation" strategies.

The real problem, of course, is this should have been started several decades ago.

Comment Re:distribution of wealth and (Score 4, Insightful) 729

And of course the objection is -- "But don't people who work 20-hour weeks get paid less?" And the point of TFA is that NO -- they still get paid a living wage. The difference in the Keynes future prediction and what we actually got is that that extra money has been siphoned off to the richest folks, rather than rewarding average workers, who might then have to work less hours to still live comfortably.

(Of course, whether that could actually happen given human nature is a separate issue...)

This is key. Keynes thought that as things improved, everyone would get a share. Not in some socialist/communist way, but as in a "rising tide lifts all boats" kind of way. The problem is, this didn't happen.

Instead, corporate execs siphoned all those gains into their own wallets while shafting the average worker in as many ways as they can get away with. Average wages have remained mostly flat (or dropped) when accounting for inflation while Mr./Mrs. CEO's bank account keeps getting fatter. It's not really sustainable, and people are going to find that out the hard way when the GCEE (Great Consumer Economic Engine) suddenly runs out of fuel.

But Mr./Mrs. CEO doesn't really care. They don't have to. They're million and billionaires EVEN IF THEY FAIL. Once there's nothing left to siphon off, they'll just move on.

Comment Re:So...a year with fewer hurricanes = no warming? (Score 1) 256

>> the most intense hurricane ever observed in the Western Hemisphere...and record central pacific hurricane activity.

I believe the biggest knock on Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" movie was the prediction of lots of new super-hurricanes that hasn't come true, especially not in recent years. I'd be careful trying to link the two again...

That was a prediction for the end of the century, not the next decade. And even then, there are fairly large error bars still around any such claims since relatively small scale phenomena like Hurricanes are far more subject to local weather conditions than climate conditions.

Comment Re: People actually *like* Python whitespace? (Score 4, Informative) 339

You're right, designing a language the fucks up based on different text editor default preferences makes the users that are complaining about that design decision wrong ...

Please explain the advantage of white space sensitivity without sounding like a moron, go:

The advantage of white space sensitivity is that it reduces the visual noise when producing and reading source code, and it helps build in a consistent look and feel for the language.

Replace all punctuation in written English by varying white space demarcations. You know, like replace a comma by two spaces, a period by three, and exclamation point by four, etc. Would that improve the language, or make it painful to read, format, etc.

Or how about something a little more relevant. Math has all kinds of logical demarcations. How about just replacing the parentheses with white space? Does that make it concise and easier to read?

The number one source of errors I (and many others I have worked with) have come across in my years of dealing with Python have come from white space errors. Using white space as a significant demarcation instead of just a visual cue in a language (or just to make it pretty/readable) is beyond stupid, as literally every person and every editor have different preferences and ways of handling white space. Even changing fonts can screw it up.

I can cut and paste C, C++, Java, etc. code from anywhere to anywhere and have it be interpreted in exactly same way as it was intended. You CAN'T do this with Python because you have no idea what white space characters you're actually grabbing, nor do you know how your particular editor/OS/etc. will attempt to format it.

This should be obvious. Don't use an invisible and variable set of characters as logical delimiters.

Comment Re:Remember that it's a disk RECOVERY key (Score 1) 314

Obligatory XKCD:

Your encryption is only as strong as your resistance to being drugged and tortured. They don't even need to do that much. They could plant false evidence for whatever crime they wanted to get you for and throw you in a hole for the rest of your life.

Encryption just means they have to do a little more work. If they're coming for you no matter what, they're going to get you. Period.

Comment Re:Again and again (Score 1) 225

How many times is this going to be rehashed? Wasn't Java going to accomplish this 15 years ago?

More like 20. It did accomplish it's primary goal, but then people wanted it to do more. But instead of re-architecting/re-implementing to sanely add those new pieces, it got stapled on. And then it grew, and grew, and grew.

Javascript is even worse. It was never intended to be an application language. It was meant to add little snippets of functionality into web pages. HTML was supposed to be document mark-up. People wanted something that did more. But instead of examining, architecting, etc. a new sane system to encompass those needs, they hacked and built on top of the existing technology. And it grew, and grew, and grew, until it has become thebarely functioning disaster it is today.

The web browser has turned into a VM - a very convoluted, inconsistent, difficult to develop for, hodgepodge mess of a VM. We've got WebGL and Web Audio API and all the HTML5 stuff (local storage, canvas rendering, etc, etc), and still it's a pathetic step-child of a "platform" to develop for compared to pretty much any proper platform. If "write once, run everywhere" is what you want, then sure, go for the lowest common denominator (HTML5 "apps") and you will end up with the end result of the lowest common denominator of performance and platform integration.

You won't even end up with that much, as browser differences can take even the most straightforward web application and turn it into a mess of special checks and exceptions.

Everyone wants web. No one wants to take the time and effort to develop a sane platform. I've been writing software for a long time from systems using custom CPUs to super computing applications to web applications. I can honestly say I would rather write applications in assembler than write applications for the web.

Comment Re:Fact vs. Fiction (Score 5, Insightful) 760

It is because they voted.

And yet, what I do on my own land — build a solar plant or dig a lake or raise cows — should not be subject to other people's voting.

The whole idea of "zoning laws" and "permits" for this and that is absolutely contrary to freedom and property rights.

So you'd be perfectly happy with a strip mining pit next to your house? How about a toxic waste dump? Or a landfill? Hey it's my property, I can do whatever I want with it right?

If what you want to with your property won't impact others, great. But if it does, then they very much have a say in the matter.

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