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Comment Re:Better Question (Score 1) 441

| I find dealerships very annoying because they don't want to sell you the car you want, they want to sell you one of the cars they have on the lot that day! Apparently their goal with every customer is to have them buy something the same day, not come back later to pick up the actual vehicle they wanted

The reason is simple. Dealers buy cars from the manufacturer using money they borrow from banks. More cars on the lot means more loans outstanding which they have to pay interest on.

Comment Re: Good (Score 3, Informative) 441

We don't force oil to be sold in anything at all.

It's that the sellers of oil prefer to be paid in dollars, because then they can do something with that money which is relatively safe and secure.

In any case, the bond market is much bigger than the petroleum market, and that is the source of dollar, and euro, dominance.

Comment Re:Prediction versus reality [Re:Climate modeling] (Score 1) 330

Additionally the climate sensitivity computations generally are at equilibrium levels: double CO2 and then see where the climate ends up. We are of course not running at equilibrium---the oceans have a very large heat capacity and can absorb increasing amounts of heat (and release it decades/centuries later, it doesn't go away) and so surface temperatures are likely to lag still, making the observed 0.58C even more plausible as a straight forward success.

And what do you know when you look at ocean heat content:

It's barreling straight up since 1970.

There are of course additional anthropogenic forcings in positive and negative directions which more modern models take into account as well. CO2 is still the most dominant one in long term (200-1000 year plus timescales).

Comment Re:there are plenty (Score 3, Informative) 330

As I said: there are comparisons between predictions and observations here, updated to 2007. The link has a good analysis.

And models and knowledge are stronger now than then.

The other predictions are more qualitative---in 1965 or in 1979 there wasn't any strong global warming signal available in the data. Now there clearly is.

Greenhouse warming was until then masked by natural fluctuation and anthropogenic increase in aerosol pollution which can be cooling..

Comment Re:Climate modeling (Score 0) 330

| CO2 lags temp rises...Historical record.

Except for now in the industrial period. Why is that? Humans are doing something which never previously happened in the climate of the planet. Therefore observing something new is hardly unexpected.

| I am skeptical of the climate scientists because no matter what happens, they claim that
| 1. It's caused by man and CO2

It is. There's physics behind it.

| 2. That they predicted it.

They sure as heck did, decades ago, some of them before there were global measurements showing it was happening.

| 3. They need more money to make more predictions.

True. They were right before, and will be right again.

Comment Re:Climate modeling (Score 1) 330

They've also predicted more specific signals particular to the greenhouse mechanism which have come true: increased infrared emissivity in atmosphere from more greenhouse gases, cooling of stratosphere, particularly increased polar heating, larger effect at night than daytime, larger effect in winter than summer.

In fact, I see few generally accepted and investigated predictions which have been disproven.

The details of regional impacts are less known at the time.

Comment Re:The whole picture. (Score 2) 330

"More people die from cold in winter than die from heat in summer."

He has a very British regional bias.

People not in U.K. will die when their crops fail and agricultural climate changes. People not in U.K. will die when the excess heat in tropical oceans contributes to massive typhoons and hurricanes, and increasingly violent and intense rainstorms and flooding.

and he is probably just wrong:

Comment Re:The Register (Score 1) 330

| In the absence of sufficient empirical data these so-called "scientists" have turned to creating assumption-based models. I put the word "scientists" in quotes because assumption-based modeling is not science in the first place

That "assumption-based modeling" is called physics, and the reliability of the assumptions are rigorously checked.

| The simple fact is that the amount of empirical data necessary to measure the significance of the impact of CO2 on climate will take hundreds of years to sample

This is just plain false. The scientists who do this for a living can figure out when the data are sufficient and not. There are many specific indications and observations pointing to increased greenhouse forcing from increased gases emitted by humans.

Comment Re:Climate modeling (Score 1) 330

There are climatologists who do climatology for a living and are in direct professional contact with the data, literature, and run models and experiments personally for their career.

That's what an expert is.

Yes it is outside his area of expertise, any more than finding one climatologist telling that the CERN simulation codes and analysis of particle results of Standard Model are wrong, when thousands of experimental and theoretical particle physicists find them to be generally correct.

Comment there are plenty (Score 5, Informative) 330

James Hansen:

JASONs and National Academy of Sciences, 1979:
In 1979 the subject was addressed by the JASON Committee, the reclusive group of scientists with high-level security clearances who gather annually to advise the U.S. government; its members have included some of the most brilliant scientists of our era.

The JASON scientists predicted that atmospheric carbon dioxide might double by 2035, resulting in mean global temperature increases of 2 to 3 degrees Celsius and polar warming of as much as 10 to 12 degrees. This report reached the Carter White House, where science adviser Frank Press asked the National Academy of Sciences for a second opinion. An academy committee, headed by MIT meteorologist Jule Charney, affirmed the JASON conclusion: "If carbon dioxide continues to increase, [we] find no reason to doubt that climate changes will result, and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible."

And then there is of course the big one, Roger Revelle writing in a report to Lyndon Johnson on ecological problems. 1965.

In 1979 and 1965 there was not significant and reliable data firmly indicating global warming (we now know that greenhouse forcing was compensated by increased pollution in N hemisphere); the predictions were made entirely from basic physics and thermodynamics, and their underlying principles still stand today. The fundamental predictions: increased infrared emissivity from additional carbon dioxide, warming surface and troposphere, cooling stratosphere, global warming, and relatively higher in polar regions, are all specific markers of increased global warming from increased greenhouse forcing (vs aerosols and increases in solar forcing), and subsequent major observational programs showed them to be true.

Comment Re:Good for the Orchestra, and for music (Score 1) 111

I agree with nearly all of your points except perhaps some color on this one:

| When Stravinsky's Rite of Spring was first premiered, a riot broke out among the audience. This wasn't just because of the nature of the music itself, but because that was the culture of performance at the turn of the 20th century - the audience was looking for something to get riled up over, and the music hit that emotional chord perfectly.

That premiere was of course a ballet, and that riot had quite a bit more to do with the costuming (partially clothed primitives), aggressively non-classical, unrefined dance choreography with near-pornographic (for the time) simulations of orgy, rape and human sacrifice. In addition to the radically polytonal and rhythmically harsh score.

And half of them thought it was genius and the other half, disgusting filth.

The legacy is now clear---it unquestionably started the cultural 20th century in music and dance with a tremendous break---perhaps even greater than that of Beethoven's 3rd symphony.

Comment Bugs mistaken as features? (Score 3, Funny) 163

| Last night Larry Wall unveiled the first development release of Perl 6, joking that now a top priority was fixing bugs that could be mistaken for features.

Sounds good.

| The new language features meta-programming — the ability to define new bits of syntax on your own to extend the language, and even new infix operators.

Hey Larry, I found a huge bug which could be mistaken as a feature!

Comment And in Lisp, you do nothing but that (Score 1) 91

> GPL means you can't extend the language without the extensions being under the GPL.

| This is possible because, like in Lisp, programs are data. ELIoT has no keywords, and program constructs such as loops or if-then-else are defined in the library rather than in the language. This makes the language very flexible and extensible, so that you can adapt it to the needs of your application.

There's little difference here, the code of the 'language and libraries' merges with yours assimilating your code with its GPL cooties/holiness.

When all you have is a lispy piece of (goo), all problems look like they can be solved with (goo (goo))---for some future modification of (goo (goo (goo))) to be implemented by somebody else..

Comment Re:There is clearly more going on here (Score 1) 249

The fact that climate changed 8200 years ago from natural causes does nothing to disprove that humans are causing climate change now. If you're an ER physician and you see a patient with a hole in his heart and a bullet, do you say "my diagnosis is natural causes, the last 10 people with heart problems all had atherosclerosis"? Only on global warming do people buy into such foolishness.

In fact, in both cases, we know what the specific physics is:

a) Milankovitch cycles causing a maximum of effective solar driving & change in North Atlantic heating & circulation {we are now in the decreasing forcing phase of the cycle} We are NOT on an upturn now, we are on the downturn.

b) fossil greenhouse gases added to atmosphere much faster than they are being sequestered resulting in higher infrared forcing.

The specific details of the attribution of the latter mechanism are based on MUCH more than just armchair "oh we're seeing warming" --- it's what climateology has been working on for the last 40-50 years. For instance, poles warming more than equatorial regions, stratosphere cooling, night warming more than day, and not only that but direct observation of change of atmospheric infrared properties correlated exactly with the chemical changes and resulting physical effects as predicted from lab experimentation.

There's tremendous observational evidence connected to specific physical mechanism.

"For the love of phlegm...a stupid wall of death rays. How tacky can ya get?" - Post Brothers comics