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Comment: Re:"A hangar in Mojave" (Score 3, Informative) 33

by Bruce Perens (#48908157) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

That's actually what it's like at "Mojave Spaceport". Hangers of small aviation practicioners and their junk. Gary Hudson, Burt Rutan, etc. Old aircraft and parts strewn about. Left-over facilities from Rotary Rocket used by flight schools. A medium-sized facility for Orbital. Some big facilities for BAE, etc. An aircraft graveyard next door.

+ - Is a Climate Disaster Inevitable?

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Astrophysicist Adam Frank has an interesting article in the NYT postulating one answer to the Fermi paradox — that the human evolution into a globe-spanning industrial culture is forcing us through the narrow bottleneck of a sustainability crisis and that civilization inevitably leads to catastrophic planetary changes. According to Frank, our current sustainability crisis may be neither politically contingent nor unique, but a natural consequence of laws governing how planets and life of any kind, anywhere, must interact. Some excerpts:

The defining feature of a technological civilization is the capacity to intensively “harvest” energy. But the basic physics of energy, heat and work known as thermodynamics tell us that waste, or what we physicists call entropy, must be generated and dumped back into the environment in the process. Human civilization currently harvests around 100 billion megawatt hours of energy each year and dumps 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the planetary system, which is why the atmosphere is holding more heat and the oceans are acidifying.

All forms of intensive energy-harvesting will have feedbacks, even if some are more powerful than others. A study by scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, found that extracting energy from wind power on a huge scale can cause its own global climate consequences. When it comes to building world-girdling civilizations, there are no planetary free lunches.

By studying these nearby planets, we’ve discovered general rules for both climate and climate change (PDF). These rules, based in physics and chemistry, must apply to any species, anywhere, taking up energy-harvesting and civilization-building in a big way. For example, any species climbing up the technological ladder by harvesting energy through combustion must alter the chemical makeup of its atmosphere to some degree. Combustion always produces chemical byproducts, and those byproducts can’t just disappear

"

+ - Plan C: The Cold War plan which would have brought the US under martial law->

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "Starting on April 19, 1956, the federal government practiced and planned for a near-doomsday scenario known as Plan C. When activated, Plan C would have brought the United States under marshal law, rounded up over ten thousand individuals connected to "subversive" organizations, implemented a censorship board, and prepared the country for life after nuclear attack.

There was no Plan A or B."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48897151) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

There is no reason that we have to pick one and abandon work on the others. I don't see that the same resources go into solving more than one, except that the meteor and volcano problem have one solution in common - be on another planet when it happens.

The clathrate problem and nuclear war have the potential to end the human race while it is still on one planet, so we need to solve both of them ASAP.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48887305) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Sure, there are going to be mediating forces in the environment. Melting is an obvious one. The positive feedbacks have been getting the most attention because they are really scary. It appears that there are gas clathrates in the ground and under water that can come out at a certain temperature. The worst case is that we get an event similar to Lake Nyos, but with a somewhat different mechanism and potentially many more dead. The best case is a significant atmospheric input of CO2 and methane that we can't control.

I don't think I have to discount Trenberth. He's trying to correct his model, he isn't saying there is no warming.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48884865) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Thanks.

McKitrick is an economist out of his field. Trenberth and Fasullo cite many of their other papers and the publications to which they were submitted, but it seems mostly not accepted. But their conclusion seems to be that there were other times in recent years that the rate of warming decreased for a time only for it to return to its previous rate. I only see the abstract for Kosaka and Xie, but they state "the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase."

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48882193) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

I imagine that the major financial companies make this part of their economic modeling. Most of them do publish weather-related and climate-related advisories regarding commodity and company price trends, etc. How detailed do they get? The wouldn't tell and I am the wrong kind of scientist to ask. Can we make a government or public one? Yes, the level of detail is the big question.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48882135) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Oh, do I have to qualify that for you, like the hottest outside of a period of Milankovitch Forcing? Gee, maybe the Earth's orbit changed, like back then, and we just didn't notice.

Let's take a look at one of the references you cited:

A section of a draft IPCC report, looking at short-term trends, says temperatures are likely to be 0.4 to 1.0 degree Celsius (0.7-1.8F) warmer from 2016-35 than in the two decades to 2005. Rain and snow may increase in areas that already have high precipitation and decline in areas with scarcity, it says.

It sounds like we have reason to be alarmed.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48882097) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Well, I am trying to get through to you. You wrote that the hiatus was widely acknowledged by scientists! It's like talking with someone who believes in god - they have no facts, and no facts will convince them, and they create their own "science" which is nothing of the sort to bolster their viewpoint. So, I tried another another argument. But let's go back to the first. Nobody credible believes in a hiatus.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48882067) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Calling names isn't going to advance your argument.

Orbital models only have two variables when there are two bodies. In reality we are always dealing with an n-body problem. Regarding atmospheric models, we have weather, which is too chaotic to forecast, and climate, which should not be.

We could sit back 100 years and see what is happening then, so that we have lots of good data points, but potentially at the cost of widespread famine, death, etc.

We have excellent reasons to stop releasing sequestered carbon even if we ignore global warming.

Comment: Re:Yeah! (Score 1) 508

by Bruce Perens (#48881555) Attached to: Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

If they can pull more people out of poverty, what the U.S. does won't matter to China and India because their domestic markets will be larger than the United States. Currently they have even worse social inequity than we do, and the poor performance of their own markets forces their own people to look elsewhere for work.

Comment: Re:Yeah! (Score 1) 508

by Bruce Perens (#48881503) Attached to: Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration

Yes, I'm also a solid Democrat. But this has been a long time coming and IMO it's even in line with Obama's recent agenda on the Middle Class! The problem with the guest worker programs is that they devalue the local workers by diluting the market for them. The effect is to create a sort of "disposable worker" from our own citizens.

Now, of course jobs can be sent overseas too, but if the alternatives are to have foreign workers work at home, or in the U.S., neither choice is a win for our own citizens.

It continues to seem silly to have such a thrust on STEM education in the U.S. when the job market for STEM workers consistently goes to overseas hires, whether they are here or in their home nations. We need to work on the job-export issue as well.

Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.

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