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Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 420

by mrchaotica (#48026289) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Take away the government subsidies on solar purchase & installation and this problem doesn't even exist. Our government has backed an expensive and inefficient renewable energy tech - that's the only reason we're even having this conversation.

Sure, we can do that... as long as we also stop letting expensive and inefficient fossil fuel energy externalize their costs!

Comment: Re:No he didn't (Score 1) 190

Machines, on the other hand, could be employed to do the same job more effectively and reliably. It doesn't even need to be particularly high-tech: a simple one-way turnstile (perhaps augmented with a video camera to sound an alarm if the turnstile is tampered with or somehow bypassed) would do a more reliable job, and as a side benefit would not need to be paid a salary.

No kidding. I've seen neighborhood swimming pools* with better security than this airport!

(* I'm not even exaggerating: the pool in question had a 6-foot-high turnstile with multiple bars to thwart jumping.)

Comment: Re:Best outcome (Score 1) 198

I know all about biodiesel, Ive made my own in the past. its not viable no matter how much I wanted it to be and I wasted a ton of money trying to make it so. I still love the concept, but it still isnt a replacement

To use dino-diesel, I go to a filling station, pull up to the pump, authorize payment with my credit card, pump, and drive off again.

To use biodiesel, I go to a [different] filling station, pull up to the pump, authorize payment with my credit card, pump, and drive off again.

It seems pretty damn viable to me!

Comment: Re:Best outcome (Score 1) 198

Its going to be decades before all the gas cars are off the roads, poor people cant afford new cars so they buy used, there isnt much of a used electric market out there right now.

Poor people are always screwed regardless. Helping poor people is therefore not a valid excuse for fucking up the planet more by delaying the spread of alternative fuels.

(Oh, by the way: my alternative fuel vehicle is 16 years old and would cost about $3,000 to buy today. It runs on something called BIODIESEL. Alleged unaffordability of alternative fuel vehicles isn't even a real thing anyway!)

Comment: Re:Time for a new date (Score 1) 198

Of course where it gets really interesting is if one of the projects pursuing various forms of hydrocarbon synthesis pays off.

Well shit, when you consider hydrocarbon synthesis (from CO2 or something, I assume) then sure, that solves the problem! If course, it's also irrelevant to the "peak oil" issue since you're not talking about non-renewable fossil fuels anymore. Saying that the "peak oil" is pushed into the future because of synthetic hydrocarbons is like saying it's pushed into the future because of nuclear -- it's evidence that somebody is smart enough to use a superior alternative, not evidence that continued drilling is somehow less harmful.

Maybe we should take your suggestion to its logical conclusion and simply stop drilling for oil entirely. Then "peak oil" will never even happen! Surely you'd agree that that's the best plan of all, since it's your idea.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 198

Makes me wonder... not which side is right, but how they have together gained such a strangle hold on American politics without ever accomplishing much (or not much anymore, anyway).

It's an inherent flaw of our first-past-the-post election system, but gerrymandering, restrictive ballot access laws, and lax campaign finance rules helped.

Comment: Scientists don't *NEED* to be trusted! (Score 5, Insightful) 431

by mrchaotica (#48018991) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

The entire goddamn point of science is that you prove the theory using experiment, publish a paper explaining what you did and how you did it, and then anybody else [who is competent] can go read the paper and reproduce similar results for themselves.

The real issue here is the part I put in square brackets as an aside: "anybody [who is competent]." It's true that if you're not competent then you need to trust something. But what you need to trust is not the individual scientists themselves, but rather that competent people will, as a group, follow the process and weed out the disproven theories.

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.