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Comment Re:Proof that you don't want govt spending your mo (Score 1) 102

Imagine Soros and the Koch brothers and all the wealthy of either party building and equipping their own aircraft carriers at their own expense as a public benefit. Imagine the same people sponsoring ad-free television channels to keep people entertained as a public benefit.

And they do. You wouldn't hear about Soros and the Koch brothers otherwise. They just didn't consult you first on what they should be spending their money on any more than those ancient Greeks did.

Comment Re: Ban ALL NUKES NOW (Score 1) 82

but are *you* willing to talk face-to-face to the families of the victims of these incidents when they occur and explain why Nuclear energy was the right choice while their relatives skin is melting off their bodies?

I'll just note here that no one has had to do that yet due to the (no doubt peculiar) lack of victims with melting skin, So I doubt I'd have to leave my fortress of solitude the next time a TMI or Fukushima happens due to the continued absence of skin melting.

Comment Re:Was there any doubt? (Score 1) 82

Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not.

Cool quote bro, but in reality lots of mammal species don't live in equilibrium with their environment. They just die off a lot when the food goes away. Which is what humans do too when that happens. BUT humans are unusual in being able to radically alter their environments through agriculture and urbanization to allow many more humans to survive.

Comment Re:Because the drone is smart small light (Score 1) 183

I'd prefer to leave drone as a strictly autonomous thing as the name implies (to my mind, at least).

You can do that, if you like. But it's worth noting that "drone" as used elsewhere implies a significant lack of autonomy, such as a male social insect whose sole purpose is to breed with prospective queens or someone with a slavish devotion to a bureaucracy or ideology.

Comment Re:How patriotic! Criminalizing decent (Score 1) 737

No, it is relevant. You aren't a court of law either, nor are you an organization with stated intent to meet a standard of impartiality and supporting evidence for claims made. So any assertions or semantic observation from another entity that does more than you is a sufficient response to yours. Wikipedia fits the bill.

Doesn't mean anything to just assert shit. I read the Wikipedia article and it just doesn't back you up. The "allegedly" section is just Wikipedia's natural caution against making claims that can't be backed up with citable evidence - as I already noted. It has nothing to do with the actual legal environment of the lawsuits mentioned by Wikipedia.

So? My point is there are measures in place to combat abuse.

And one of the most important of these measures is that these procedures only get used when there's a sufficiently level of evidence to support the allegations.

You suppose wrong. As above, my point is just that there are measures in place to combat abuse. I'm not here to argue what is better for progress or not. That might be the other guy.

I don't buy it. If RICO gets used as in this case to silence political opposition, then the measures have failed. The US's First Amendment provides a huge amount of protection to political speech, including outright lies. RICO was intended for fighting 1970s-era organized crime not settling political debates in the courtroom.

Finally, as I had warned earlier, when someone proposes a nuclear option like RICO, then there is blowback. The summary of that post is that the first signer and primary backer of the RICO letter, a Jagdish Shukla from George Mason University, happens to have a sweet deal via their own personal non-profit with the National Science Foundation and other US government agencies to the tune of many millions of dollars a year. And they've been raking hundreds of thousands off the top for a very oversized salary.

Four other people who signed the letter also share in this largess to some degree. And there's likely some contrivance on the NSF side (and perhaps other government agencies as well) which helped create the current funding situation. If we're using RICO to punish our enemies, then this will be a huge and inviting target that could taint, not only most of the signees of the RICO letter, but various government agencies. Thus, once again, there are consequences to advocating stupid bullshit that can be used against you.

Comment Re:How patriotic! Criminalizing decent (Score 1) 737

Alternatively, climate scientists are getting real tired of being publicly maligned, and want some investigation to see if there's a massive conspiracy behind that.

I keep thinking about the cluelessness behind your statement. It's been four weeks and the letter in question has been pulled. Why? Maybe because the guy who was hosting the letter and who is the first signature on that latter, a Jagdish Shukla, realized he was going to be investigated as a result.

Roger Pielke Jr recently made the remarkable discovery that, in addition to his university salary from George Mason University (reported by Pielke as $250,000), Jagadish Shukla, the leader of the #RICO20, together with his wife, had received a further $500,000 more in 2014 alone from federal climate grants funnelled through a Shukla-controlled âoenon-profitâ (Institute for Global Environment and Security, Inc.), yielding total income in 2014 of approximately $750,000.

Actually, the numbers are even worse than Pielke thought.

  • Pielke had quoted Shuklaâ(TM)s 2013 university salary, but his university salary had increased more than 25% between 2013 and 2014: from $250,816 in 2013 to $314,000 in 2014.
  • In addition, the âoenon-profitâ organization had also employed one of Shuklaâ(TM)s children (not reported, but say $90,000); and,
  • IGES transferred $100,000 from its climate grants to a second corporation controlled by the Shukla family (the Institute for Global Education Equality of Opportunity and Prosperity, Inc.), which in turn transferred $100,000 to an educational charity in Shuklaâ(TM)s home town in India, doubtless a worthy charity, but one that Shukla could have supported from his own already generous stipend.

If the Pandora's box of RICO gets opened, it'll be interesting to see how many of the people who signed this particular letter will become RICO targets. (perhaps under the charge of conspiracy to defraud the public of tens of millions of dollars in research funding over a twenty year period?)

Five other George Mason employees were RICO20 signatories, four of whom are long-time Shukla associates: Dirmeyer, Straus, Paul Schopf and Barry Klinger. (Itâ(TM)s interesting that James Kinter didnâ(TM)t sign it.) The other George Mason RICO 20 signatory, Edward Maibach, is in some sort of climate communications and, together with Heidi Cullen, holds a $2,998,178 grant from NSF. Many of the other RICO20 signatories had previous associations with IGES. Kevin Trenberth and Mike Wallace had both been on its âoeScience Advisory Committeeâ in the past. Nearly all of the RICO20 signatories, including Trenbeth andWallace, attended a large symposium in April 2015 to honor Shukla â" see picture at link.

I recall when it was big news that a notorious Harvard professor, Willie Soon had received over a million dollars since 2001 to fund his research. Here, we have someone who has received tens of millions of dollars over a similar time period to fund his research and whose family has siphoned off somewhere around $600k in just 2014 from that funding. How come it's just fine when your side does it (despite being at least an order of magnitude larger in scale)?

There're reasons I think the current concern over AGW is in large part a scam. This easy money, which no one seems too concerned about, is a big reason why.

Comment Re:That may or may not be true... (Score 1) 403

On that note, I'll summarize my points of disagreement. First, it remains foolish to only consider negative externalities, much less, consider only some of the milder externalities (like a small number of railcar accidents over a vast amount of traffic). There are considerable positive externalities that come from fossil fuels making energy generation and transportation cheaper. Ignoring the benefit while only considering the costs you choose to recognize is a recipe for disaster.

Second, merely asserting that fossil fuels have unusually expensive externalities without even a vague cost argument is pointless. It's benefits are big too. So big versus big? *shrug*

Third, the argument that I "refuse to see" externalities is silly since I acknowledged most of the externalities you mention,

Fourth, the argument that we have to clean up the environment (presumably lowering greenhouse gases concentrations to around the 1850s level) or suffer tremendous harm is a typical false dilemma fallacy. As I noted and you ignored, there's always adaptable to changing conditions which is cheaper than a hardcore cleaning of the environment or refusing to move until you're breathing water. Here, it's worth noting that climate change happens on the time scale of decades and centuries. Humans can readily adapt to that without the extraordinary costs mentioned elsewhere.

Finally, it's silly to use arguments that only you can agree with. I simply can't find it relevant that you think something is really bad and good, until it is packaged in a context that is relevant to me. It's just not that hard to package things so that they are relevant to a lot of people at the same time.

Comment Re: there is no (Score 1) 403

I enlarged the quote before and after and guess what? It doesn't look good for the home team. Four paragraphs and the only region mentioned is Britain with the money quote sandwiched between the two paragraphs that actually mention Britain. Maybe Dr. Viner was referring to a "specific region", but it doesn't come through in the way the story is written.

Beck_Neard asked for a reference to the end of snow and received one. It doesn't mean that the prediction contained therein will never come true since there is some degree of global warming and it's not likely to stop any time soon, but one should wonder about the aggressiveness of the prediction.

Comment Re: there is no (Score 1) 403

Did you think each paragraph was completely independent and unrelated?

Let me enlarge that quote again:

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6ÃÂC higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

The effects of snow-free winter in Britain are already becoming apparent. This year, for the first time ever, Hamleys, Britain's biggest toyshop, had no sledges on display in its Regent Street store. "It was a bit of a first," a spokesperson said.

Notice that the two paragraphs immediately before and immediately after that quote talk about Britain exclusively, not southern England, lowland England, etc that is discussed elsewhere in the story. Before you lecture me pointlessly about reading comprehension, perhaps you could do a little of it yourself?

Now, perhaps Dr. Viner was speaking of southern England or whatever, but that doesn't show from either the sparse, broad quoting or the context of the surrounding paragraphs.

Incidentally, since the Independent story has disappeared for the time being (I was unable to surf to it yesterday or today and the Independent's search engine doesn't turn up the story for some reason), one can find a copy of it on Wayback.

Comment Re: there is no (Score 1) 403

It's odd because you made these claims before and were similarly corrected by people who actually read the citation.

Do you suffer from memory problems?

You have to show it happened first. I notice that several times in this thread people have merely asserted stuff without even providing a little support for their argument. For example, the person I replied to, has yet to mention the name of the alleged "specific location".

And everyone who has posted for any length of time has been corrected before. What's relevant about that observation to me in particular?

Neutrinos are into physicists.