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Comment Re:Easy (Score 1) 611

I use DropBox for backup and synching. It's ~$10 a month for 50GB of space. I back up generic files (a couple GB) and our photos (many GB). I self-encrypt anything really sensitive (eg copies of tax returns with SSN), in case someone were to hack DropBox or my account.

For those of us for whom no longer find designing, implementing, and maintaining a home backup system captivating, DropBox (or similar) is the way to go- set it and forget it. I also like how it keeps our various family computers nicely in sync.

Comment Re:The biggest tax in US history (Score 1) 874

Same "debate", different forum.

- Don't confuse the scientists and the advocates (yes, the Venn diagram does overlap). Some advocates make insane claims. I stick with the science. Starting with the 1896 paper "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground", by Svante Arrhenius.

- The 1934 issue was for the US, not global data. The U.S. makes up what pct. of global land area (hint: it's much less than 100%). Sloppy on your part.

- No one argues that mankind is solely responsible for climate variability. That's the lamest strawman around, and represents either dishonest or incompetent thinking. The argument that is made is that human impact is now as large, and will become larger than, modern sources of climatic variability. Re: recent trends, see the flippin' original link- we're in a solar minimum, for starters. You keep talking about cooling. Where's your data?

- You play the "I'm a victim" card exquisitely. Honest debates on science and policy are welcome. Ad naseum repetition of debunked data points, without even the pretense of providing supporting data, is annoying.

Comment Re:The biggest tax in US history (Score 1) 874

I am shocked, shocked that the WSJ opinion page would not have kind words for cap and trade.

Nice linkage to Che. You might want to catch up on the climatology research a bit.

Yeah, 2008 was really cool, being hotter than any year before 2000 save (super-hot) 1998

Check out the solar irradiance graph in that article. Wanna bet what'll happen when that sucker turns the corner and heads back up?

Comment Re:Cap & Trade = Energy Rationing (Score 1) 874

Cap & Trade = End to profligate waste.

The US economy generates less than $2000 per metric ton of CO2 emissions

Germany is at $3400. Denmark is at $4500.

There are plenty of yeah-buts about these numbers, but you can't yeah-but a 70% performance gap. And I've got (proprietary) data that documents just how inefficient our buildings are compared to e.g. Germany. The gaps are insane, and are a textbook case of market failure (information gaps between developers, owners and tenants, etc.)

There's a lot in ACES aside from the swiss cheese cap & trade that will help. A lot.

Comment Re:This is not a lot of power.... (Score 1) 541

Dude- you use 2500 kWh a MONTH? In MAY? Yes, you are correct, you could be more energy conscious!

According to the EIA residential consumption survey,, the region with the highest electricity consumption is the South (due to A/C); a typical house there uses about 15,000 kWh / year.

15k is an average of 1250 kWh per month, but of course there's a strong seasonal component. If you're using 3500 kWh a month, though, consider an energy audit (often free or cheap through your utility) or turning off the 24/7 toaster, or something- you're throwing money out the window, even at $0.05/kWh or whatever you're paying.


Comment Re:Time value of money (Score 1) 541

Problem solved.

And your calculation doesn't take into account increases in energy prices. How much will electricity prices increase over the next 20 years? Who knows? There are lots of reasons to expect higher prices, though. But solar avoids that- if one finances solar with fixed interest on your loan, congratulations, it's a great hedge on energy price variability.

Comment Re:More hair-brained ideas for "Global Warming" (Score 5, Interesting) 418

Finally, my M.S. on the deep-ocean sequestration of carbon dioxide becomes relevant!

CO2 is a supercritical liquid at depth, denser than water. Here's the stuff at 3300 meters (courtesy of MBARI)

Here's your phase diagram.

Here's some pictures that show CO2 at depth.

Once at depth, the CO2 will slowly dissolve into the seawater, lowering the pH. Of course, we're doing this at the ocean surface as-is, so one can make the argument that it's less bad to acidify the deep ocean slowly vs. surface waters quickly.

If you drop dry ice overboard, a goodly amount of it will dissolve before reaching bottom. There's research on this; I leave finding the reference as an exercise.

Comment U.S. Public Education (Score 2, Interesting) 677

Discussing "US Public Education" is about as specific as discussing global weather. Is it cloudy or raining today? The education system is the US is quite federalized- most of the decisions about pretty much anything are made at the state and local levels.

I, personally, am quite happy with my 1st graders' (twins) math education. They've learned concepts like how to estimate, pattern detection, etc., as well as the rote mechanics of arithmetic. And they get more of it at home ("Here's a cookie. Tomorrow I'll give you twice as many as I did today. How many will you have in a week?"). But I live in a pretty rich suburb outside Boston, where the MIT professors live in the less-affluent neighborhoods.

We can bitch about the schools all we want, but it's a deeper cultural issues. School teachers get OK pay and benefits, good (though rigidly defined) vacations, and no respect. What kind of profile of person does that attract? In my experience, a real mix of people who are passionate about teaching (often with well-paid spouses) and those that mail it in 'til vacation starts. The balance of those (and other) groups varies widely by district. More than pay, this is really an issue of respect. I can't tell you how many teachers I know who report 'lack of respect for their profession' as the #1 gripe about their job. I wouldn't put up with that (not that I'd make a good teacher).

Comment Re:if i remember well from high school chemistry (Score 1) 248

Oh, the ocean is very well buffered. There's no shortage of carbonate.

But the timescale of the buffering is way, way, way slower than the timescale with which the extra CO2 is going into the ocean.

So, over a couple million years, no big deal.

But over 100-500 years? Kind of a big deal.

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