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Comment Re:Which century? (Score 0) 620

And yet we can (and do) plan a century or two ahead when it comes to something like the leaning tower of pizza, a hydro dam, a leve bank,... But you don't have to wait that long, levels will reach 550 ppm in 30-40 years. The geological record indicates 550 ppm is the trigger point for the "clathrate gun". In 30yrs my first born will be 70, how old will you be? Have you met your grandkids yet?

Comment Re:Disjunction between headline and text (Score 1) 115

Labour spent the money on "economic stimulus" in the wake of the GFC, in much the same way as Obama did in the US. The mining boom has ended and none of "leaders" saw it coming. Unlike Norway that experienced a similar boom from North Sea oil and invested it in infrastructure, education. and health, John Howard pissed ours away on tax cuts for the people in the top tax bracket who didn't need them (people like me). We haven't learnt our lessons, it's now more profitable for natural gas companies to ship gas half way around the word than it is to sell it locally. How fucked up is when local industry are complaining about gas shortages, in a nation that prides itself in being the world's #1 gas exporter? Keating was right, the conservatives ate the golden goose and led us down the path to a "banana republic".

Comment Re:Geometry is hard, as is geography (Score 1) 321

Yes, I was taught in 1970's HS that all maps are a compromise in geometry and that Mercator's projection (and cylindrical projections in general) are popular because they have the useful navigational property that a straight line represents a true bearing. If you don't want to compromise, you want a globe, not a map.
The most common map in western schools is a variation on Mercantor (the axis of the cylinder is different), it has the added feature that the "Land Hemisphere" (where most of the land and people are) is "magnified", so you can fit in more detail. Sure there is less detail in the "Water Hemisphere" but it is 90+% water. Water doesn't really have any details of interest to someone reading a map.

The notion that it was drawn/chosen for political/propaganda purposes is "historical revisionism" from people with an axe to grind. They, not Mercantor are the ones engaging in (not so subtle) political propaganda.

Comment Re:Makes sense. (Score 1) 109

If you go out into the Rockies or Appalachians you can drink most surface water untreated

Sure, there are many places here in Australia where you can still drink from a mountain stream. However the vast majority of our ancestors over the last 5-10,000yrs did not live in next to a pristine mountain stream. They lived in towns and villages with open sewers running thru the streets and into the waterways. The local water was not fit for human consumption, people did not drink it because even though they knew nothing of germs they knew that dirty water could/would give them cholera and/or dysentery, they also knew that turning it into beer/wine prevented that agonising fate from happening to them. .

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