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Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 640

It's actually worse than that. The topic of study is on the impact of climate change on Nebraska, but the bill says they're only supposed to look at "cyclical" changes.

I think it's more like asking biologists to study the effects of antibiotic resistance, but they're not allowed to use evolution and must assume that the DNA of the bacteria doesn't significantly change over time.

I'd agree with that analogy. Except I see this as commissioning a study to focus on other possible causes of antibiotic resistance outside of DNA changes. Or are you assuming that evolution of DNA is the only possible means of acquiring resistance to antibiotics? That perhaps the host environment plays no role?

The politics here should not be discounted. The group that's refusing is a politically appointed commission, and they taking a political position before they've even read the study proposal. They've gone to the media claiming that the study proposal is rigged because it contains the single word "cyclical". I would think this is not exactly the unbiased group that should be doing this research.

I thought I explained it clearly but I believe you still misunderstand the purpose of the study. It isn't analogous to "commissioning a study to focus on other possible causes of antibiotic resistance outside of DNA changes" because that's a question of basic science and the Nebraska legislature has neither the expertise nor the motive to ask basic science questions.

The original study isn't about finding evidence to re-affirm AGW any more than the modified study is about finding evidence to deny it. The studies are because the Nebraska legislature wants to know what's going to happen to Nebraska.

The modified study wants to know what will climate change do to Nebraska if there is no climate change. The motive of this pointless study is so the legislator can wave the study around and say "See! We commissioned a study to ask what global warming would do to Nebraska and even the scientists said it wouldn't do anything!"

By refusing to do the study the scientists are protecting the integrity of government funded science and are absolutely doing the right thing.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 5, Insightful) 640

It is the scientists who are refusing to study it who are being political, to the detriment of science. They should be taken out and shot. Or at least kicked out of any professional organizations they belong to.

The problem is, the study they where asked to take had as part of its *premise* that it was caused by non human means.

This is a bit like asking physicists to come up with a reason that newtons apple falls that DOESNT involve gravity. It just stops being science.

It's actually worse than that. The topic of study is on the impact of climate change on Nebraska, but the bill says they're only supposed to look at "cyclical" changes.

I think it's more like asking biologists to study the effects of antibiotic resistance, but they're not allowed to use evolution and must assume that the DNA of the bacteria doesn't significantly change over time.

Not only is it a nonsense question studying a fictitious universe. It's a completely useless question since there isn't any such thing as antibiotic resistance without evolution.

What's the effect of climate change on Nebraska if you assume all the climate changes are cyclical? Well nothing, because if the changes are cyclical there is no climate change.

Comment Re:Good choice for the job (Score 1) 250

But he's not analyzing something, he's trying to fix a broken incomplete project. He might be brilliant in his field but that doesn't mean he's an expert project manager or knows enough about software for his "end of November" prediction to have any credibility.

Of course that's not really a bad thing, if your priority is simply to get it up and running the current team who bungled it is still the best bet. Zients might just be shuffling deckchairs in an effort to satisfy critics while they try to fix the code.

Comment Re:You're an idiot... (Score 1) 444

but Governments still have strong incentives to reduce spending

And they have strong incentives to increase spending as well. Why are you even trying to argue this particular point, when you can just look at actual government spending and see a large number of the governments are very out of control when it comes to spending, contrary to your assertion?

There are several reasons why governments overspend

1) Other people's money

2) Powerful interest groups who benefit from the spending

3) Bureaucracy lobbies for it.

4) Voters really value the service

5) Voters dislike taxes more than they dislike deficits. This doesn't cause specific spending so much as it causes spending to be overspending.

1 still holds for AGW spending, but for 2 contrary to your claims about green groups the balance of the interest groups is against AGW.

As for 3 the AGW bureaucracy is new, so causality wise it can't really be the cause of the spending.

For 4 the only service is mitigating the future damage of AGW, and if there's any direct effect on the voter it's a small cost.

And 5 isn't really relevant other than encouraging carbon caps instead of taxes.

The thing is almost all the factors that cause governments to overspend are absent from AGW, so you're left with the fact they feel that spending is unusually necessary.

Comment Re:You're an idiot... (Score 1) 444

You're still left making the ridiculous assertion that governments want to spend more money and run bigger deficits.

If you had actually kept up with the thread, you would have noticed that I don't make that assertion.

Poorly phrased on my part. Any bureaucracy certainly tries to capture funding but Governments still have strong incentives to reduce spending. The idea that the bureaucracy is so powerful they're able to spend 20% of the budget on nothing is essentially a conspiracy theory.

Governments actually don't want to spend money, and they don't want high taxes. But they want certain services more so are willing to spend a lot of money and run big deficits.

"Services" that happen to require a lot of flunkies, shiny buildings, pretty hardware, and a nice view. And as I note, some of those "services" seem rather imaginary in nature.

I'm entirely unconvinced that governments would spend that kind of money if they weren't convinced AGW was true.

That's ok. You can change your mind later when you get an attack of common sense. When you actually see governments act in this way as I have, you realize that they'd do a lot worse than spend vast sums of money on imaginary problems.

The only time I've seen governments spend anything comparable on possibly imaginary problems is when it comes to visceral threats like security. AGW is an incredibly abstract threat and I can't see the incentives pushing them to unnecessary spending.

And do you have any precedence for modern science making the kind of mistake you allege they're making with AGW?

(you also have the inconvenient fact of all those private insurance companies who are convinced AGW is real and placing their bets accordingly)

I see talk without action. It's only a fact, if it's actually happening. I'll just point out the often missed fact that most such alleged AGW damage is actually very specific, US flood damage which is caused by subsidizing the insuring of property in flood-prone areas rather than some climatic issue.

We just had a story about the insurance companies believing AGW. Even if their current action is just related to insurance related to flooding they still think something is changing the probabilities involving flooding.

To flip it around there's only two entities who have both the expertise to investigate and an incentive to understand the long term effects of AGW. Governments and insurance, and both are betting on AGW. Is there any entity with skin in the game betting the other way?

That would have been a true statement twenty years ago, it isn't any more. And fossil fuels won't be at existential risk until the developing world and OPEC comply. That probably won't happen until fossil fuels aren't particularly competitive with the other choices out there IMHO.

Green industries are still tiny compared to fossil fuels. As for fossil fuels, if the AGW **** really starts to hit the fan the developing world and OPEC might not be given much of an option to not comply, unfortunately by that time it might be too late to do anything about it.

Comment Re:You're an idiot... (Score 1) 444

Governments spending taxpayer money weakens the incentive effect but doesn't make it vanish.

And if you kill a lot of passenger pigeons, you just greatly weaken their numbers, you don't actually drive them to extinction. The problem with these sorts of assertions is that you can do enough of the activity in question to make something vanish even when it was very numerous at one time.

The EU politicians have every reason to spend as little on AGW as possible.

I already explained why that wasn't true. There's a lot of room for empire building once you have an eternal crisis like catastrophic AGW or the US's War on Drugs.

You're still left making the ridiculous assertion that governments want to spend more money and run bigger deficits.

Governments actually don't want to spend money, and they don't want high taxes. But they want certain services more so are willing to spend a lot of money and run big deficits.

I'm entirely unconvinced that governments would spend that kind of money if they weren't convinced AGW was true.

(you also have the inconvenient fact of all those private insurance companies who are convinced AGW is real and placing their bets accordingly)

If that capital didn't go to renewable energy and public transportation it would go to other investment opportunities. There might be a claim that finance could get slightly bigger by regulating the carbon credit markets but that's not a particularly strong incentive, particularly when compared to the massive incentives of the automotive and fossil fuel industries.

I see words, but I don't see a relevant argument. The incentives I mention are just as big as they are for those fossil fuel-dependent industries, even if you choose not to recognize them as such.

They're not remotely the same size. Green industry is TINY. Finance will get money from wherever. News has a big incentive to downplay the scientific consensus to generate controversy. And fossil fuels are an industry worth trillions of dollars that's at existential risk if AGW predictions are accepted.

Comment Re:You're an idiot... (Score 1) 444

At least you're asking the question. For the scientists, the conflict comes between the obligation to try to do accurate and unbiased scientific work versus the funding incentive to report research in a way that elevates the significance of climate change.

So I could see a slight institutional bias but there's still a strong individual bias to prove others wrong. Plus even if you want to show X and the answer is Y you still need to hide Y in your paper, sneak it past the reviewers, and hope no other researcher find your error and scores an easy publication at the expense of your reputation. Again it's economics, the individual scientist's strongest incentive is to publish the most credible piece of research.

For the funding sources, there's a similar conflict between the public obligation to fund accurate and unbiased research versus the bureaucratic benefits to be had from portraying an existential threat, real or imaginary, to modern society. The latter means larger budgets and more power to the bureaucracy that can justify them to society at large.

There's a much stronger bias from politicians who simply want bad news to go away so it's not their fault and they don't have to fix it.

It also reeks to me of a con job. There's always a glib answer to every complaint, language is abused to score propaganda points (such as the widespread use of "climate change" when AGW is meant), everything needs to be done right now, when you scratch the surface on a lot of this research, questionable or sloppy assumptions quickly show up, and these mistakes always favor a more aggressive interpretation of AGW. For example, criticism of a lack of obvious harm from near future AGW were met with the magical discovery of "extreme weather" (something the IPCC is apparently quietly dropping from its latest report BTW).

Well "climate change" is used because while the globe as a whole is getting warmer individual climates (like Europe) could get a lot colder.

As for "extreme weather" they've got a brochure on it but I'm not really sure what you're talking about.

As for the mistakes, when someone makes a mistake that favours a too aggressive scenario the denialists go "Ahah! They're trying to scare people!" and when the mistake underestimates the danger the denialists go "Ahah! We told you they were exaggerating!"

When one of the first real reports, the Stern review to attempt to quantify future harm of AGW was created, it made a major sloppy assumption by assuming discount rates about half as large as world chained GDP growth (completely ignoring that chained GDP growth is a better measure of ability to pay for future harm) and justified this on a major bogus basis, that a more reasonable discount rate was "immoral". That change alone ended up doubling for every 50 year period out future estimated costs of AGW. And of course, there's the recent weakening of recent climate predictions by the IPCC to reflect that current climate trends don't agree with the old models the IPCC used in previous reports.

I don't know a lot about the Stern review but it sounds like it may have had some issues, but a bad report doesn't mean that AGW isn't an issue.

This reminds me of a saying I've heard credited, apocryphally perhaps, to Will Rogers. "You expect cashiers to make mistakes on occasion. But when the mistakes are always in the cashier's favor, you have to wonder."

But if you only look at the mistakes that are in cashier's favour you're going to think every cashier to be dirty.

Comment Re:You're an idiot... (Score 1) 444

I assume you believe in free markets, which means you believe that capital keeps things honest.

What "free market"? I was, for example, speaking of governments using public funds. That's not a free market activity.

Governments spending taxpayer money weakens the incentive effect but doesn't make it vanish. Voters don't like massive amounts of spending (and taxation) unless they think there's a very good reason. The EU politicians have every reason to spend as little on AGW as possible. The fact they're investing such a massive amount, and the voters are either OK with it or they're willing to risk a significant backlash, suggests a very strong belief.

No one profits from AGW, not seriously anyways.

The finance industry does. For example, the carbon credit markets in Europe or the loan guarantees and financing for renewable energy and public transportation projects throughout the developed world.

If that capital didn't go to renewable energy and public transportation it would go to other investment opportunities. There might be a claim that finance could get slightly bigger by regulating the carbon credit markets but that's not a particularly strong incentive, particularly when compared to the massive incentives of the automotive and fossil fuel industries.

Comment Re:You're an idiot... (Score 1) 444

Again, my argument here is that there is a huge conflict of interest and piles of money involved to confirm and exaggerate the effects of AGW. That doesn't meant that AGW doesn't exist or even isn't as bad as it is claimed to be.

I assume you believe in free markets, which means you believe that capital keeps things honest. Where is this conflict of interest coming from? No one profits from AGW, not seriously anyways. Political parties lose because they have to sell things like carbon caps and taxes to constituents, and they have to fight cheap coal power, SUVs, and carbon heavy industries. Journalists will right about whatever and they actually give denialists extra volume because they feel they have to show both sides of every story. There's a handful of green industries but they don't have the money and they were a result of AGW worries, not the instigator. And researchers are generally interested in the truth and getting publications. And if you can write a solid paper that debunks AGW you can get that published, and more so you get your name out for proving others wrong. A handful might exaggerate to get their names in the paper but most have a tendency to understate because scary proclamations (even when justified) hurt their credibility which is their livelihood.

As I see it, while there is a case for a light case of AGW, the catastrophic version is still unjustified. So I'm willing to wait to see if the more extreme theory gets supporting evidence in the next few decades.

My view is that these climate models will not be vindicated and that in addition to the effects of AGW being greatly exaggerated, the ability of humans to deal with climate changes will be greatly understated.

You've done nothing to convince me that the thousands of scientists who have more knowledge, more credibility, and more time to devote to the study of the issue than you are wrong.

Comment Re:This misses the point (Score 1) 307

So most of that doesn't really interfere with the core of ObamaCare. Some of it would be a different approach but I could see it being incorporated and not really changing the core.

The only places where you seem to offer a fundamentally different solution is the uninsured.

Target the uninsured with a program that is based upon the fact that people are uninsured for different reasons and except that one size won't fit all for these people

Realize that for some hard cases, those with pre-existing conditions for example, a system equivalent to the National Flood Insurance program or the the Assigned Risk car insurance required by bad drivers might be the only answer. That means somebody has to pick up the high cost. That should be the insured if they can afford it and the rest of us if they can't, but that should be a small percentage of the 15%, most probably fall into the young and I'd rather buy a new car than pay for insurance group.

So instead of banning pre-existing conditions you just pay for them through the government, doesn't really change things. Instead of everybody paying through higher premiums they pay through higher taxes.

As for the healthy uninsured what happens when they get sick or get seriously injured? Who pays then?

Comment Re:You're an idiot... (Score 1) 444

It's the people trying to evaluate evidence who are the amateurs playing scientist.

What's the point of evidence, if you don't evaluate it? At this point, I can't tell if you have a genuine concern or a mental illness.

The reason I want citations and credible sources is because I don't want to play scientist, I want to know what the people who actually ARE scientists actually think.

And the reason I want evidence, is because I want to know what is going on, not merely what scientists are being paid to think.

I look at the evidence to understand what is going on in more detail, but I know I don't have the expertise to evaluate the evidence myself. I remember reading A Brief History of Time because I wanted to understand more about the Universe, not so I could say Stephen Hawkings was wrong about black holes.

Your claim that "scientists are being paid to think" is laughable. There's no field that has more freedom to think than scientists, or complains more loudly when their intellectual freedom is curtailed. Here's another explanation for why all the smart people with far more expertise than you all disagree with you, and all the people who do agree with you either lack expertise or have other outrageous beliefs. You're wrong.

No, I think it's an example of the large conflicts of interest on the AGW advocacy side which people insist on ignoring. That $30 billion a year (plus whatever the national governments spend on the same) only gets spent because a few hundred million people have been convinced that climate change is such a pressing danger.

And it's Other Peoples' Money not the EU's money.

So lemme get this straight.

Not spending money on AGW is clear evidence that AGW is false.

Spending money on AGW is clear evidence that AGW is false.

I'm beginning to understand all this evidence you see that indicated AGW is false.

So what? That's how debate works. The "liberals" can then present their own arguments and sway people to their side and make their arguments more popular. It's not the job of the "conservatives" to make the arguments of their opponents more popular.

What is different about the "liberal" versus "conservative" debate here is that the "conservatives" aren't using public funds for advocacy. I've remarked on this before but the IPCC and a number of NGOs receive considerable public funding - more than has ever been claimed for the allegedly huge fossil fuel propaganda effort. For example, the IPCC and the World Wildlife Fund both received individually more in public funds over the past fiften years than AGW opposition groups did over the same period.

Science receives public funding. The science supports AGW so AGW gets public funding.

That's your cognitive dissonance acting up. The developing world knows no such thing. Sure, they're willing to pay lip service to AGW mitigation for money or political advantage. But when push comes to shove, their economic growth is a far higher priority than the mild harm that AGW would cause.

No cognitive dissonance. The developing world is generally pretty worried about AGW, I don't know how much the populations understand but the political elites generally understand and are worried. But they also feel they deserve a lot of economic growth carbon or not, and the west are the ones who have to fix the problem.

And if you accept that AGW is reality it's pretty hard to argue with that assessment.

Comment Re:You're an idiot... (Score 1) 444

To the contrary, Slashdot looks like the kind of place where rank amateurs go to play scientist, demanding things like "citations", "credible publications/institutions", and other gobble-gook. Reality trumps that shit easily. Show the evidence or get lost.

You've got it ironically backwards.

It's the people trying to evaluate evidence who are the amateurs playing scientist. People looking at temperature graphs, reading about feedbacks, talking about cloud cover, solar variation, and cosmic rays, they're the ones pretending. There's a reason researchers do ~9 years of school before they're trusted to go out on their own, science is hard. It takes a lot of expertise to know what data means, to know if that temperature trend is statistically significant or just chance. To understand what evidence matters and what it means, that's not something you can understand from a blog post.

The reason I want citations and credible sources is because I don't want to play scientist, I want to know what the people who actually ARE scientists actually think.

I think you'd notice a hard core $10 billion a year campaign if it were going on. In its place, we have this pretty hard core climate change visibility. Journalists fall all over themselves to report science news which has a climate change connection no matter how contrived. Various NGOs gets lots of money and burn it on activities which promote the climate change propaganda (for example, the World Wildlife Fund or Greenpeace).

And you've got Fox News and the entire US Republican party dead set against global warming. The only place where denialists aren't represented is in climate research.

And of course, there are national governments and supergovernments just aching to spend vast sums on climate-related causes (such as the EU spending 20% of its budget on climate-related stuff over the 2014-2020 period).

So you think that the EU willing to spend 20% of its budget is evidence that climate change is false??

It's called putting your money where your mouth is. Something about climate change has them VERY worried and VERY convinced.

The real resistance isn't powerful fossil fuel businesses or billionaires. It's people who don't want to cut back the quality of their lives just because someone got the climate change religion.

Frankly speaking the resistance is a political tactic in the west.

Liberals generally respect science and feel they have to respond to and mitigate AGW, Conservatives know this will be expensive. Therefore the Conservatives strategy is to downplay AGW as much as possible. This makes the actions the Liberals feel are necessary more unpopular, and translates into electoral gains for Conservatives.

The reluctance of individuals to spend money to avoid global warming is being manipulated by right wing political forces for political gain.

There's also the developing world countries who see climate change as a reasonable price for obtaining developed world economies.

That doesn't really make sense, AGW hurts developing countries disproportionately and they know that. It also means they CAN'T obtain developed world economies in the way we have since the planet can't take it. The developing world is basically pissed off that we got rich using up the planet's climate budget, and the result is that not only will they be unable to do the same but they have to pay the brunt of the cost for our continued prosperity.

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