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Comment Re:100% Consensus among scientific organizations (Score 2) 370

The win-win scenario is vastly increased investment into nuclear electric generation. Nuclear is already the safest form of baseline power generation, and is 100% carbon free. Next-gen technologies offer the possibility of less than 5 per KWH electricity, and no possibility of meltdowns. The world needs plentiful, non-stop power going forward. The ONLY carbon-free way of achieving that is nuclear power, and this can be done with no sacrifice, and no penalty to the poor via increased energy prices.

You could be right. My preferred option would be to let the markets pick the winners and losers. The key is to apply a revenue neutral carbon tax that ensures that any fees collected are spent in reducing income tax and sales tax. That way we are taxing behaviours that we want to discourage, and lowering taxes on things we ought to be encouraging.

The problem is that such a scheme is still regressive, at least here in the US. The poor pay no income tax, and there is usually no sales tax on food and other necessities. A carbon tax would raise the cost of energy, and if applied to gasoline and diesel, would increase the cost of goods pretty much across the board. Also, plenty of poor people would be hurt by higher gasoline prices.

If there were fewer artificial barriers to nuclear (including somehow educating the public regarding the actual instead of perceived risks) it would quickly become one of the least expensive options - cheaper than coal or gas.

One of the more practical approaches to next-gen, molten salt nuclear is being developed at ThorCon.

Comment Re:100% Consensus among scientific organizations (Score 0) 370

over 50 organizations including the Royal Society, American Chemical Society, American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, Australian Institute of Physics, European Physical Society, etc, etc, etc.



It's worth pointing out that there is significant dissent within the American Physical Society, with several prominent scientists leaving the organization over its unreserved endorsement of CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, as opposed to the meaningless catch-all "climate change").

The real issue, which is obscured by all the noise around full-fledged denial (which isn't rational) is whether or not AGW represents a substantial threat to our future, among the wide array of issues facing humans. There is a good deal of evidence showing that the AGW models are overestimating warming. The world will wean itself off fossil fuels as solar, nuclear and other technologies fall in price, regardless of AGW concerns. The real question is whether we need to spend massive quantities of money and cripple first-world economies in the short term, or not.

The win-win scenario is vastly increased investment into nuclear electric generation. Nuclear is already the safest form of baseline power generation, and is 100% carbon free. Next-gen technologies offer the possibility of less than 5 per KWH electricity, and no possibility of meltdowns. The world needs plentiful, non-stop power going forward. The ONLY carbon-free way of achieving that is nuclear power, and this can be done with no sacrifice, and no penalty to the poor via increased energy prices.

Comment Re:Lets cut through to the chase (Score 4, Insightful) 241

The difference is that Linux and Mac GUIs get choppy under the slightest load, while Windows says smooth like butter in every situation. Some people have even installed Windows on their Macs and they are getting more graphics performance from the same hardware.

You're conflating a couple of different things. Windows general-purpose multitasking is terrible compared to Linux/MacOS (at least based on Win7 experiences).

On the other hand, Microsoft has had a laser focus on Windows gaming, with the obvious tie-in to Xbox gaming. This has resulted in very fast graphics drivers for Windows.

Linux seems to be doing well lately, with some Steam games getting higher frame rates on Linux than on Windows. Linux may end up being the best of all possible worlds (well out of three worlds anyhow) given its lean design, performance and stability. Perhaps eventually it'll see more proprietary software ports like Solidworks and ProEngineer.

Comment Re:Great. Let's sit here and wait for the next wav (Score 1) 422

You appear to be getting some things confused.

The surface of the planet is warming up. We have models based on currently understood science that seem to give reasonable projections, at least so far. We can make some predictions as to what's likely to happen. That's the science.

The surface of the planet has been warming up for centuries, since the Little Ice Age. For the vast majority of that time, it had nothing to do with CO2. One of the major criticism of climate alarmism is that natural variability is massively downplayed.

The models don't appear to be giving "reasonable projections" at the moment. Remember the hiatus, which has been acknowledged by the IPCC. Those "predictions" won't be worth much until the models better correspond to reality, and have been validated in some meaningful way. They are far from first principles models.

What we should do is a political matter that should be informed by science. Whether or not we build more nuclear power plants (which I'm strongly in favor of) is a political matter that should be informed by science. Unfortunately, there's a lot of politicians and environmentalists that have their own strong (and often subsidized) opinions that take no account of the science, or positively deny it.

I don't have much of a quibble with that, except that what we should do should also be informed by desirable outcomes in general. For instance, LED light bulbs are clearly a win, as they save money while presenting no discernible downside except higher initial investment.

I'm glad to see you support nuclear power, keep it up!

There's other things we can do to cut the amount of carbon dioxide entering the air that aren't going to hit poor people disproportionately. I understand the argument that we're not sure enough of what's happening to do anything drastic, and the argument that we want to keep up economic and technological growth so we can do something when we're more certain of what to do, but I would like to see the science at least accepted.

The basic science is accepted by virtually everyone - CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas. The science that attempts to inform policy includes other controversial facets such as water vapor amplification. If the expected peak concentration of CO2 (550-600 PPM) will not cause problematic heating, there is no need for expensive, drastic action. Whether CO2 related warming will be problematic is still absolutely in dispute. Recent estimates for climate sensitivity to CO2 have been trending downwards.

Comment Re:Great. Let's sit here and wait for the next wav (Score 1, Insightful) 422

Look at tetraethyl lead, the lead industry, and the scientists who discovered in the 1940s the horrible things TEL does to children, then read on why it wasn't banned until 1973.

Look at smoking, the scientists who started figuring out all the awful shit it does to the body, and the tobacco industry that spent 25 years fighting a systematic FUD campaign (and personal character attacks against them).

Now scientists have spent decades fleshing out the basic idea that Arrhenius articulated about 120 years ago and it's becoming increasingly a sign of lunacy to claim he wasn't right...

What was Arrhenius' estimated value for transient climate sensitivity to CO2 again?

There are many informed skeptics who understand the science, but don't believe we have enough information yet for drastic measures.

Yet just as smoking-causes-cancer denialism was the unbelievably stupid meme that Just Wouldn't Fucking Die because the tobacco industry kept funding it, and the leaded-gasoline-is-harmless denialism that was funded directly by the lead industry before that, now certain interests that want to burn and/or strip mine the word in the name of the Holy Lord's Next Quarterly Profit Report are funding a massive, systematic attack against any coherent action on climate change. And you people are falling for it. AGAIN.

What "coherent action on climate change" do you recommend, exactly? Not a single suggested mitigation will make a significant difference in the estimated (guesstimated) temperature by 2100. The one thing that would make a significant difference, if in fact there's a problem worth the effort, is a mass transition from coal to nuclear power worldwide (ESPECIALLY in China and India). However, apparently nuclear is anathema to the vast majority of climate alarmists and environmentalists, despite it being the safest power generation method in use by far.

Are we seriously expected to believe that 97% of the world's scientists are involved in some sort of massive scheme to... uh... steal grant money?

I think the majority of scientists involved are honest, if not doing a great job with the science. You should read Judith Curry's site for some rational discussion of the issue from a highly qualified climate scientist. As far as the way the science is being used to advocate social change, remember that the most effective lies contain a grain of truth...

Or that maybe damn near everyone who looks into what's going on realizes we really gotta do something about this crap?

Actually, that's not obvious at all. It is clear that more research is needed before taking drastic measures that will harm the poor around the world more than any other group. In the meantime, we should embark on win/win efforts such as a mass conversion from coal to nuclear energy. Coal power is bad from many perspectives, such as killing tens of thousands of people every year, increasing ocean acidification, and providing a rich source of organic mercury. Solar and wind are fine as long as they're cost-effective, but they aren't a good fit for base load power.

Comment Re:That's not the only way it's inferior (Score 1) 279

AFAIK, the F16 and F15 never had Naval variants. Or STOL.

The F-18 obviously did have a naval variant. We've had exactly one VTOL/STOL aircraft, the Harrier, so that's largely an unknown. Regardless, adding those capabilities to a basic airframe is far easier than designing and procuring an entirely different plane.

The F-22 would have been a great carrier plane, it would have provided both interceptor and strike roles nicely. Sadly, sanity has not prevailed.

All that said, the most basic definition of "multirole" is fighter versus bomber, and in that context what I said is entirely pertinent.

Comment Re:That's not the only way it's inferior (Score 2) 279

The last major attempts for a "one size fits all" muti-role fighter was the f4 which resulted in the services abandoning the approach in favor of the F18, F-15, and A-10. Like a bad penny the multi-role fighter concept just keeps coming back. We are ending up with a plane that does everything and will not be able to do any of it particularly well.

I see you've conveniently forgotten the F-16, which is the plane the F-35 is succeeding. The F-16 has been a resounding success. Whether that translates to the F-35 remains to be seen, but the precedent is there.

The F-15 and F-18 are also highly successful examples of multirole aircraft, FYI.

I do wish the F-22 production line hadn't been shutdown, it could have been a very successful export to Japan and the US could have bought a few hundred more.

Comment Re:Mod parent up. (Score 0) 552

While I believe that you intended that as a joke, it actually reflects the reality that he missed.

Becoming a programmer requires that a certain amount of infrastructure exist to provide the education necessary. So , no, we aren't talking about 95% vs 5%.

Secondly, the companies pushing for more visas are NOT doing it because they're looking for the best and the brightest from around the world. They're doing it to drive the price of programming down.

It's fucking PROGRAMMING. It can be done ANYWHERE in the world. If company X wants to hire the top 20 programmers in India then they can do that. And those programmers can work from home (in India). They are the best, right?

I have no problem with the idea that bringing the "best and brightest" here to the US is good - meaning the top 10% (or even 5%) of talent. Those folks will innovate and start companies, boosting the overall economy and status of the USA globally. The problem with the current immigration push is it's bringing in millions of basically unskilled people, at great cost to the USA. That's essentially treasonous.

I also agree with you on the point of bringing in "regular" developers to drive the cost down. That's a bunch of crap, and has been for decades.

We need to kick out the current group of political clowns sending us down the drain, and get back to policies that actually help most people here in the USA.

Comment Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 839

You need to read about the "prebate" aspect of the Fair Tax. It eliminates the regression that concerns you.

In fact, most of what you wrote is so far off base, you should just go read about the Fair Tax at the source, so you can discuss it intelligently.

The current tax code consists of 73,000 pages of regulations, requiring a giant, intrusive bureaucracy, an armada of tax preparers, and a fleet of tax lawyers. It is unfair, and it is broken. Just imagine if all that effort, and all those people were put to productive use instead of accounting.

Comment Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 839

That's very simply a bunch of crap.

With a consumption tax, it's up to you how much you are taxed. It rewards saving and investing much more than our current tax system. It would also get rid of the inequity between income tax and capital gains tax, which benefits the wealthy a great deal.

It would boost the economy immensely, and eliminate several forms of double taxation we "enjoy" now. It would also eliminate the IRS, and government snooping into every aspect of our economic life - that is a huge win as well. (Not to mention the billions saved on tax preparation and related activities...)

Comment Re:Headlines for the next week: Global Warming a l (Score 1) 635

Sorry, but El Nino isn't cooperating.

Actually, given the likely solar activity we're going to see for the next twenty years, I fully expect a cooling trend of some type.

The right policy prescription is pretty simple - ton of research should go into cheap, clean energy sources like LFTR. Displacing coal power with clean energy is a win regardless of climate issues.

Comment Re:How much money are we talking about? (Score 2) 387

Actually I think you're more representative of someone who's making a lot of money working with an unpopular language.

C++ has fallen way down the charts, and I'd be willing to bet fewer than 10% of those writing software today are writing C++, especially using recent/advanced features. You're making good money because you're using one of the more difficult and painful languages out there. :-)

Sooner or later a superior language that fills the C++ niche will come along, then it will go to a truly legacy status...finally.

You will lose an important tape file.