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Comment Re: What scientists do (Score 1) 547

Yes, the trend was down. That's what I said. The explanation for "the Pause" was that Solar output fell, and that matched the amount the CO2-based warming rose. That's my point above: that Solar changes can be bigger than CO2-driven changes, to judge by the historical data of the past 800,000 years.

Comment Re:Self-Selection? (Score 1) 263

I take your point for the few people working professionally with GitHub instead of the normal case for software devs.

In my case, my professional name isn't my legal name - the latter isn't anywhere on the internet. But to your point, my professional name does indicate my sex, and if I were trying to make a living with open source it would show up in GitHub.

Comment Re:Instance or class? (Score 1) 205

Someone runs a light, hits a self-driving car. Because they tend to be small, they will spin around due to momentum in an intersection. It does so, and hits another car. When I witnessed a small car about the size of a Honda Fit or Mini get rammed due to a red light runner, then spin into another vehicle, the small car, even though it was not at fault with wreck #1 got sued by the driver of the car it hit.

Anyone can sue anyone for anything. That wont change.

Usually in multi-car accident, only the instigator (or his insurance) will end up paying.

Why would you think self-driving cars tend to be small? The Tesla's pretty heavy as modern cars go. Self-driving will probably come first to luxury cars, and those all tend to be heavy.

Comment Re:Self-Selection? (Score 4, Insightful) 263

possible that those developers who don't feel it necessary to point out their favorite college sports team in situations where their favorite college sports team doesn't matter tend to also be those more likely to contribute worthwhile changes?

The double-negative makes it hard to parse, but I think I agree: "people who point out unimportant distractions about themselves have lower-quality submissions". Seems perfectly reasonable to me.
 

Comment Re:User error (Score 1) 527

Yes, and they aren't great. Friend of mine is an engineer at a car company - these are experiments to see if the reliability problems can be solved (and the Civic had a CVT ages ago, BTW, a friend drove one). At low enough power they work OK, but a belt is just no substitute for gears for durability and ability to scale up power-wise. Mercedes would love to offer a CVT for the S Class - even smoother power delivery - but it just can't be made to work, at least not yet.

Comment Re: What scientists do (Score 1) 547

Yes. Not just me, actual climate scientists have put forward the idea that the fact that all the models have been running hot for the past 19 year is due to solar variance (claiming it will soon return to normal and validate their models, of course, but they don't model the Sun).

We are as certain as we are of anything climate-wise that solar variation drives the 100k year glaciation cycle of the current ice age. And these changes happen fast, relative to the 100k year cycle. The relative stability of the climate for the past 10k years is an unexplained anomaly in the temperature record (check out the ice core data, if you like looking at real data).

The point is, no one knows why the glaciers have retreated for so long. Where I sit has been under kilometers of ice for most of the past 2.5 million years, with fairly brief ground exposure every 100k years. But the past 10k years were unique in the ice core data - temperatures didn't drop after spiking.

Are we overdue for a massive, rapid drop back to normal? Are we leaving the ice age? In either direction, solar activity is a bigger driver than the CO2 levels we're talking about, and changes seem to happen quite fast: just a few centuries. (It doesn't take much: a 6% drop in solar activity is hypothesized to have caused the "snowball Earth", where the entire Earth, excepting a few geothermal spots, was under ice - the biggest extinction event since the oxygen catastrophe).

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 547

Is "warmer" better or worse? By how much? Are we returning to glaciation in the current ice age, and CO2 emission is our only method to prevent glaciers covering Europe? Are we exiting the ice age we've been in for millions of years, and our CO2 emissions are a trivial part of the huge coming problem? The answers are about the Sun, not the atmosphere.

Bigger questions aside, you simply can't asses the cost/benefit of any proposed policy without solid modeling of this complex system (ocean mixing is a big part of it - most of the CO2 not in rocks is in the ocean, and feedback loops there could go wild in either direction with CO2 levels when some threshold is crossed).

Also, you add nothing to the quality of discussion by being an asshole, though you do come across exactly like the religious whackos of my youth did - same tone, same certainty, same unwillingness to actually discuss anything with heretics.

Comment Re:User error (Score 1) 527

: they can shift much faster than you can.

Some do, some don't. The big problem with autos is when you need to shift by more than one gear: my transmission will spend about 2 seconds dropping through the gears before it gives me power.

pretty soon, we can expect CVTs to mostly replace traditional automatics.

Nope - they have fundamental problems with reliability. A transmission that needs a belt is fundamentally a bad plan. Electric cars will come first.

Comment Re:Data [Re:What scientists do] (Score 1) 547

Notice from your graph that temperatures are about the same as they were 19 years ago? That's what people call "the Pause". All of the climate models run hot - the Pause wasn't predicted by any of them (but it's within the error bars, just as it's within the error bars of the null hypothesis). Data from before the models were created means nothing when it comes to verifying the models.

Comment Re:What scientists do (Score 3, Insightful) 547

Horseshit. CO2 is rising. By simple laws of radiative physics this must result in warming. What alternate possibility do you imagine exists?

No one is debating how CO2 works. What's the cost-benefit analysis on human action going forward? What are the feedback loops, in both directions, and how much does this matter? What's the dominant factor in determining future temperatures on Earth? (Hint: it's yellow)

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 547

Those 150 years of direct climate measurements didn't show much warming until they were "adjusted", but that's really beside the point.

The point of the debate is: what human action will make the life of humans better. Do we know enough to do a cost-benefit analysis on various plans? No. Do we know enough to know whether the climate will become warmer or cooler (not the bias introduced by humans, which is clear, but the total system behavior)? No, we don't.

Yes, yes, everyone understands what CO2 does, that's really not the issue. The complex system of feedback loops, many positive and many negative, that is our climate isn't well understood, and isn't yet successfully modeled. The atmosphere itself is a chaotic system, but no one would model just the atmosphere - the oceans are a far more powerful driver for climate, even for CO2 levels.

But, really, the single largest factor in determining "warmer or cooler" isn't human activity, or the atmosphere, or the oceans. It has driven quite dramatic climate shifts throughout the Earth's history, likely including extinction events, and including a 100k year cycle that we're at the peak of, and it's not well modeled and only modestly understood.

So, no, no one's debating how CO2 works. But that's a small part of the story, and not enough to inform policy.

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 547

Yes, or that. There's more than one party of politicians you see, and more than one strategy of getting money. It's fairly rare for research results to get caught up in this whole mess, but do you really think there's something a politician wouldn't do for money?

No conspiracy here, just politicians latching on to research that can be turned into an excuse for taxation - and there's always a party willing to latch onto anything that can be used as an excuse for new taxes. Doesn't mean the researchers aren't sincere, but you can't for a moment believe the politicians are sincere. Can you?

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 547

No, just pointing out that researchers work at the pleasure of the politicians. Usually, the politicians don't care one way or another about the results, but look at economics to see the fun when they do care. Once research results become a political football, funding gets hitched to one crowd* of politicians or another being in power.

*Is there a group noun for politicians? I propose "a taxation of politicians".

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