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Comment: Re:It's my choice to kill my kid! (Score 1) 602

by hawkfish (#49537229) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

The issue is also whether you allow society to dictate what medical procedures are performed on your body.

Lets not forget the fine history of unethical human medical experimentation in the United States. And people think we should just give the government carte blanche to dictate medical procedures?

Unbelievable. Something about history, and being doomed to repeat it...

Nice false dichotomy there.

Nobody is dictating what medical procedures you can perform on your (childrens') bodies. Rather, the law prevents them from performing medical procedures (i.e. uncontrolled exposure to dangerous diseases) on unsuspecting victims (i.e. those who can't get vaccinated) in public schools. If you want to perform such experiments, you will now have to do it in the privacy of your own home on victims (i.e. children of other anti-vaxxers) who have consented in some form (i.e. by being ignorant.)

Somehow I find your willingness to subject innocents to known dangers via your private medical experimentation far more disturbing than a slippery slope argument about the government possibly doing so in the future.

Comment: Re:Religion and Racism (Score 4, Interesting) 228

by hawkfish (#49432831) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

"Someone else's land?" I have to believe they own the land there. Whether the natives recognize that or not, however...

You know, the natives might have some legitimate disagreements about land ownership. Just because the traditional religion is used to block projects like this doesn't mean that it is the root cause. Religion may just have been legally expedient at first and then grew into a self-perpetuating thing.

Another poster was referring to the "corruption" in Hawaii, but a brief read of the link above would suggest that US financial interests have been corrupting Hawaii for a long time. And its funny how some of the descriptions of Hawaiians on this thread sound just like descriptions of Native Americans, African Americans, and just about any ethnic group that has been traumatised by rich white people over the last few centuries...

Comment: Re:Nutz (Score 1) 442

by hawkfish (#49388427) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

Your comment has nothing to do with the original claim, that rapid changes does not happen. They do - and the cause is completely irrelevant when it comes to how those changes affect vegetation, animal life or humans. Neither is the paper limited to volcanic cooling events, which you claim, which makes me wonder if you've read it. If you didn't read it - then what is the point in writing a reply?

Additionally, if you claim that there's newer research the last 20 years which disproves the paper then please cite that research.

Sorry, I have read all of it now and poked around a bit. A recent RealClimate summary notes that there is a "well-known tipping point" in the North Atlantic overturning, which is consistent with the findings in the summary paper you linked, but published in 2008. So it looks like we still aren't any less screwed...

Comment: Re:Nutz (Score 1) 442

by hawkfish (#49382359) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

Your comment has nothing to do with the original claim, that rapid changes does not happen. They do - and the cause is completely irrelevant when it comes to how those changes affect vegetation, animal life or humans. Neither is the paper limited to volcanic cooling events, which you claim, which makes me wonder if you've read it. If you didn't read it - then what is the point in writing a reply?

Additionally, if you claim that there's newer research the last 20 years which disproves the paper then please cite that research.

It is not completely irrelevant because the events described are cooling events, not heating. And I was looking for more recent research when work called...

Comment: Re:Nutz (Score 1) 442

by hawkfish (#49380369) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

The current temperate change is between 0.01 and 0.02 degrees/year, two orders of magnitude greater than when the ice age ended. The problem isn't so much that temperature is changing but that it's changing so fast. The greater the rate of temperature change the harder adaption will be for both human and natural systems.

I've never been able to figure out the original of those claims - do you know? I can't find any scientific sources for it - on the contrary:

Until a few decades ago it was generally thought that all large-scale global and regional climate changes occurred gradually over a timescale of many centuries or millennia, scarcely perceptible during a human lifetime. The tendency of climate to change relatively suddenly has been one of the most suprising outcomes of the study of earth history, specifically the last 150,000 years (e.g., Taylor et al., 1993). Some and possibly most large climate changes (involving, for example, a regional change in mean annual temperature of several degrees celsius) occurred at most on a timescale of a few centuries, sometimes decades, and perhaps even just a few years. The decadal-timescale transitions would presumably have been quite noticeable to humans living at such times, and may have created difficulties or opportunities (e.g., the possibility of crossing exposed land bridges, before sea level could rise)

http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projec...

This is mildly interesting, but note that the paper has no citations later than 1998, and the paper itself is dated that year if you go up a level, so the research is not at all recent, but nearly 20 years old.

Also, there is a clarification at the top which reads:

This represents an earlier version of our text. Some changes have been made since we stopped modifying this web version: e.g. we have added a discussion of the role of volcanic aerosols in sudden climate changes...evidence suggests the rapid cooling at the end of the Eemian interglacial was due to a big explosive volcanic event. Other 'volcanic' cooling events occurred during the Holocene.

In other words, they are talking about abrupt (and transitory) volcanic events, not Milankovitch cycles. Moreover, volcanoes produce cooling, not heating (think of the various "years without summers")

Comment: Re:Complete article (Score 1) 442

by hawkfish (#49380305) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

I'm sure it's the same down in Washington State as it is up here in coastal British Columbia. Low snow pack means lower river levels, which means potential problems for irrigation in areas under cultivation, harm to fish stocks, and the potential for severe water restrictions in some areas.

Yes it is. I bike to work every day in Seattle and this winter was stunningly different from the last 25 years. From November to February I usually wear closed-toed shoes, but I only did that for about 1 week in December. I was out of town for the other cold week, so it seemed even warmer to me than it maybe should have.

Comment: Re:Complete article (Score 1) 442

by hawkfish (#49380277) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

If your theory is so wonderfully complete, why can't you create a computer model that can start with conditions twenty years ago and work out a correct description of the present? Please note, I'm not denying that it's getting warmer. I simply don't subscribe to the current hubris that makes humanity responsible for all of it.

This is called "hindcasting" and is a standard part of the validation of all climate models. See here for more information.

Comment: Re:A flock of starlings (Score 1) 83

If you can't see the individual starlings, and can only see the flock, the flock behaves in a quantum manner. It jumps around, it can appear in two places at once, apparently traveling faster than light, it has probabilistic properties.

So the tipping point, depends on our detection technologies. If we can't zoom in to see the individual starling then quantum behavior is "flock of bird" sized!

Quantum physics does scale, you just need to realize that the 'flock' is the size that you can detect, and the reason you think it is one thing is because you can't detect half a thing. It's a function of the detector not the thing.

Nope. You are suggesting a hidden variables theory where each starling is a variable. Bell's Theorem says that you can only have this if you give up locality, realism (counterfactual definiteness) or that the universe isn't just making it up as it goes along (conspiracy).

Comment: Re:Of course it is ... (Score 1) 224

by hawkfish (#49329585) Attached to: $1B TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed As "Junk Science"

TSA is a place where money goes to be spent on the premise that spending money on things which do nothing is better than doing nothing, even if the outcomes are the same.

They have a blank check to spend money on stuff with no proof it has any value.

Other than harassing everybody, the TSA has accomplished very little. It's become a money pit which pretends to be keeping us safe.

The TSA can point to very few incidents where they've actually stopped anything related to terrorism. Mostly they just serve to annoy everybody else.

Meanwhile, the baggage handlers are the ones who keep getting caught smuggling stuff.

The TSA is a pathetic joke, beefed up by reactionary politicians, and which utterly has failed to make anybody "safer" by any objective measure. In fact, everything they do seems to be devoid of "objective measure".

I submit to TSA screening because it is the only kind of stimulus money one can get out of Republicans.

Comment: Re:Yet another Ted Cruz bashing article ! (Score 0) 416

by hawkfish (#49277193) Attached to: Politics Is Poisoning NASA's Ability To Do Science

You're missing anti-GMO, anti-economic-reality, anti-free-markets, and other lunacy of the left.

You have provided no data on anti-GMO political persuasions, just hearsay, so this claim has as much credibility as claims that "anti-vaxers are libruls". I personally suspect that the anti-GMO crowd tend conservative because there is a strong "purity" angle here that meshes well with prevalent conservative religious views.

The rest of your "lunacy" list is not supported by data at any scale. Kansas, Europe and the Great Depression all demonstrate that free markets do not magically work without serious amounts of regulation and stimulation, whereas recent results in Minnesota and the US as a whole provide support for Keynesian economics. And please don't reply with a "No True Scotsman" fallacy - I don't accept it from the left for communism and I don't accept them from the right for unregulated markets.

And yes, libertarians are right wing. Get over it.

Comment: Re:"Water has a memory" (Score 1) 447

by hawkfish (#49252241) Attached to: Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions

I think I saw some research somewhere showing that the same people who believed this also bought thousand dollar specialty speaker cables, HDMI cables, and specially crafted wooden volume control knobs for their home stereos, 'because it improves sound quality'.

I recently bought some very nice speakers (protip: that is where 90% of your money should go. Any fool can make linear amplifiers, but coupling to air is hard.) Anyway, I don't have a lot of free time these days, so I decided to get some speaker cables while I was there. I could have bought some gold banana plugs and wired them up to heavy lamp cord myself, but my house is in pieces and my tools are in storage, etc. so it was really just a time saver. The cheapest cables I could find were USD250 each and the main reason I got them was not for the woo factor but simply because they were well manufactured and looked good (got to appease the wife when buying those boy toys!)

What the heck would cause 1m audio cables to cost more than that? How about silver plating on the plugs because silver has slightly better conductivity! And don't worry about tarnishing because they will also sell you a cleaning kit! Then there was the powered grounding/capacitance/alien mind control dampeners you could get.

What was that P.T.Barnum quote? "It is morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money." True dat.

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