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Comment Exactly (Score 1) 442

Mars is a great big, dry gravity well. We as a species are better off learning how to live in space. There are more resources between the Earth and Jupiter then we have access too currently.

Even with advanced propulsion, humans will have to learn to live in space. We are a long way from colonizing mars, it's such a pipe dream.

Comment Caveat (Score 1) 220

If there is a fire in a crowded theatre, you should yell "Fire!". That is why all of these people speaking out against the 'Draw Mohammed' contests as shouting fire in a crowded theatre are wrong. Radical Islamists, including those that would kill to prevent or avenge cartoons of their prophet, is a real issue, as proven in Garland, Texas.

Comment Wallpaper or papercuts (Score 0, Flamebait) 294

This is a new thing that pseudo-scientists and fellow travelers are using, the meta-meta-study. It's either taking a bunch of studies and using them to paper over the problems with your own pet theory. Or it is death by a thousand paper cuts, with more and more 'me too' studies and rolling them together to support your own pet theory.

This is how we get memes like 97%, which is either some survey of some small group on an email list or a bunch of grad students picking, and more importantly excluding, papers that match a word search for global warming. Whether that is scary run away global warming or just noticing that we are coming out of an ice age doesn't seem to make a distinction for these people. Pointing that out gets a response that implies you are directly responsible for all of the carbon pollution in the world.

The upside is that they will probably block you if you dare mention that the greenhouse effect is logarithmically challenged.

Comment Invalidates the models (Score 1) 639

We've been told that the models matched the non-adjusted records that existed before this new paper was published. These new adjustments mean that all of the models no longer match the past global temps. It might move some model predictions for the present a little closer, but not enough for an exact fit. I think they are hoping for a really strong El Nino to make up the rest of the deficit and then push for a big splash in Paris.

Comment Re:Crookes Radiometer (Score 1) 265

Actually, if this is as described, why not build up a charge and use that to propel another craft. Now if that craft is really a self contained warpgate, then you could build it like a railroad. Ships go through each gate, picking up charge and draining the gate. Kind of like the trip Jodi Foster took in Contact.

If you were trying to get to another star, then you wouldn't want them to orbit the sun, so maintaining alignment might be a problem. Once you are half way to where ever, you could use the gates to decelerate.

I think we will be living in space before something like this could be built. The resources in our immediate area are magnitudes greater than what we have here on Earth. We probably already have all of the tech we need to begin harvesting. If we diverted all of the resources we expend on spying and fighting each other, we could make the leap in a generation.


Comment Yes (Score 1) 3

Science isn't owned by government or big business. They may have the biggest levers, but the truth will out.

Science is owned by anyone and everyone who is interested in the pursuit of Truth. That's what a scientist is, someone who is interested in the pursuit of Truth. There is a lot of bad science right now and it will take years and years for science to recover completely. The scientific method holds the key to that recovery.

- Open data
- Reproducibility
- Responding to critics
- Admitting error

Most bad science doesn't pass the smell test and usually lacks all or some of the above. In times past, peer review was up to the task. Unfortunately, we are also dealing with the return of Mob rule. The loudest and shrillest hold sway and like the Eye of Sauron, no one can survive once they have focused their gaze on you. Racist, sexist, denialist shout the mob and theirs is the voice of anti-science and anti-rationalism. Data and common sense be damned.

Comment Re:The thankless job of solving nonexisting proble (Score 1) 347

Okay, I'll bite. The model that you say matches reality only matches the low forecast for temperature and you may be right it does match that (minus the pause, which they admit they don't match). However, the low forecast is what was supposed to happen if CO2 emissions and concentrations were capped. They weren't. Therefore, I'm happy to say, the models do not match reality. You need both to match or you are just talking out your ass. Saying one of our 99 models matched part of reality is a really lame claim.

The effects of CO2 are logarithmic and most of the heating we should expect to see has already happened. Reality and science agree, yay!

Comment Siphon water to the Salton Sea (Score 1, Troll) 173

Drop a pipe in the Pacific, run it over the mountains, maybe parallel to the road that descends into Palm Springs and refill that nasty smelling swamp. On the way down the hill you can generate electricity, desalinate, extract minerals and make sushi. Win, win, win and wasabi.

Death Valley is next. I'm pretty sure turtles float.

Comment Re:"Exploding heads" (Score 1, Insightful) 297

I would change my mind, if the world was warming at an accelerated rate, if the arctic was ice free, if the models matched reality, if the people in charge of the temperature records would stop cooling the past, etc, etc, etc...

I'm against hyperbole and trollish behavior on either side.

The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.