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Comment Re:Equilibrium dynamics (Score 1) 1186

1. In a mature market such as autos, the Jevons paradox doesn't apply. 19th century coal was something of a growth industry.

2. For oil specifically, the OPEC cartel will regulate supply to prevent the price decrease that would trigger a demand increase. So the Jevons paradox won't apply either.

3. Economic theories are 95% BS. Economic theories recycled through columnists are 99% BS. "Light on the math" is an understatement. kdawson links to handwavy third-hand economics from an unqualified caveman columnist writing for a daily newspaper. Thanks for the service, Slashdot editors!

Comment Re:Raise taxes - but who will pay? (Score 2, Insightful) 1505

which companies does Obama think could afford to pay those taxes?

Chevron made $1.84 billion in profit in this year's first quarter.

Exxon Mobil Corp. $4.55 billion.

Royal Dutch Shell $3.49 billion

BP $2.56 billion.

First two are American; last two aren't American but have substantial American operations.

Comment Re:two ways to solve the tax "scam" (Score 1) 1505

Increasing taxes increases revenue. Obviously.

It's sad how many intelligent people have been convinced otherwise.

The graph above also shows that the US has a corporate tax collection problem; relative to our tax rates we're collecting a lot less revenue than we should.

In contrast, Ireland, which has been touted as a model for low corporate tax rates (less frequently now that their economy has collapsed) was actually successful at collecting revenue at those rates.

Obama is completely correct in this case. So I doubt he will succeed.

Comment Re:Bias goes both ways. (Score 1) 420

Please show me one case where a student has been stopped from "silently ask[ing] grace for their school lunches" without being overturned.

GP's question still stands. Roberts vs Madigan is about a second grade teacher, not students. A little context:

Mr. Roberts also displayed a poster in his classroom that read, "You have only to open your eyes to see the hand of God." The trial court found that, in context, Mr. Roberts' Bible reading, the poster, and the presence of two Christian books in Mr. Roberts' classroom library created the appearance that Mr. Roberts was seeking to advance his religious views.

The lower court ruled that the totality of circumstances suggested he was proselytizing, and the principal was correct to rein him in. With a poster like that (seriously, can you possibly argue that belongs in the classroom?) it's hard to disagree.

Comment Re:Temperature (Score 2, Insightful) 633

What is clear to me is that our understanding of atmospheric dynamics is so awful (and rightfully so, it's complicated), that an explanation can be cobbled together using pesudo atmospheric lingo to explain any set of data as a result of man made influence.

No, what is clear is that your understanding of atmospheric dynamics is awful. So is mine, and the average slashdotter's as well.

That's why I don't post blather about the new climate article du jour until I see what real climatologists, e.g. the folks at RealClimate, have to say. (Especially because 75% of the reaction to any new discovery will be spin by the deniers, who are always looking for that magic bullet.)

What you're doing is like reading few YouTube comments and concluding that the process of making a video is poorly understood.

Comment Re:We already have rail (Score 1) 1385

If you want something visionary, how about supporting large scale consumer adoption of small regional airports and new, small advanced planes...

It's like the dream of the flying car but with practicality behind it and yields a lot more flexibility.

OK, you've totally convinced me with that "dream of the flying car."

Actually, not so much. I don't want a "visionary" boondoggle. I want infrastructure that works.

How about instead supporting an off-the-shelf system that already works and has been successful in every country that has adopted it, even countries as developed as the USA who have built it recently?

Comment Re:Nice with the gun control (Score 1) 1188

"Hot burglary"? Is that like a "hot cop"??

You link to some guy on a mailing list claiming that guns in the home decrease burglary rates, without any evidence.

But he's completely refuted by the next poster, blogger Tim Lambert, who brings evidence and an actual citation.

The new empirical results reported here provide no support for a net deterrent effect from widespread gun ownership. Rather, our analysis concludes that residential burglary rates tend to increase with community gun prevalence.

Comment Re:To put this article in a more local perspective (Score 1) 1190

And Dyson would be rightly modded down as troll on Slashdot-- he's long on opinions and short on apparent expertise and data. He shouldn't even be giving interviews on climate much less feature articles.

I don't want to read arrogant physicists blathering about climatology any more than I want to see biologists bloviating on microkernel architecture.

However, interesting questions offered modestly are always welcome and modded as Interesting or Insightful.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman