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Comment Re:Does it really matter? (Score 1) 371

There are always people/cultures around that are more successful at delaying gratification or are more capable at avoiding far away consequences. Maybe the outcome of our latest experiment with nature will be that those will be favoured.

But overall I would agree we are screwed to the degree it doesn't matter anymore. It is kind of amusing to watch how many of the models like LtG or some plans to curb CO2 output follow the BAU scenario they offer. In other words mankind is totally incapable to act on knowledge of the consequences and long term prediction. I can hardly see how any better idea or better genes supporting long term thinking can be carried through some evolutionary bottleneck where less than a million people might get through.

Comment Re:Not a given (Score 1) 68

In Germany this can be found in https://www.gesetze-im-interne... under 89. Basically it says that you can only listen to open material that is meant for the public. If you accidentally listen to other things you are not allowed to publish them in any way. So a broadband receiver on the web would publish everything.

This is pathetic, maybe people should use encryption. Maybe if they only have a law to protect them, the information wasn't worth anything in the first place.

Comment WebSDR (Score 2) 68

Like that?

Actually this KiwiSDR project covers the entire range up to 30MHz, the WebSDR receivers usually only cover bands except for the one in Enschede. If you have limited dynamic range the narrowband approach might be a good idea, lets see how the KiwiSDR is going about all this. Ultimately I hope the projects can merge somehow.

Aw shucks:

"Unfortunately, it looks like I may not be able to obtain a license to use the WebSDR code, which is currently closed-source. So for now this part of the project is just a demonstration. I am however working on an open-source alternative."

from the Kiwi website:

Well KiwiSDR is the way to go then.

Comment Re:Great news! (Score 1) 128

It is a matter of concentration and processing cost, not the fact that it sits in the same gravity well with us.

Generally I think minitiaturization is great since we can do more with less say rare earth metals or even such metals as copper or gold. The downside is that we are able achive a much finer distribution with it.

Comment Only 1C (Score 1) 442

From what I've heard scientist in the 80s came up with 1 C before serious changes would kick in. Then some economists decided that the damages could be managed until we reach 2C. So the 2C is an economic goal. Interestingly at ~0.9C we already see permafrost melting and decaying which could leed to some feedback effect that could ultimatley dwarf our contribution. So that article may be overly inconservative with its 1.5C goal.

Comment Re:Steam to extract oil that shouldn't be... (Score 1) 82

Well I didn't want to write that much, obviously I can't just throw out some ill connected thoughts though.

Ultimately I agree with you that the project in question will mainly aid extraction. It will be used to protect the investment in existing infrastructure way before we could hope for transitioning towards a world where oil is only used for production of plastics and transportation is achieved through technologies with a lower impact.

While I see your point of not burning fossil fuels you should offer some credible way out of the problem, our existence is based on that probably just as much as on a stable climate. Also note that if you stop the flow of oil today you will feel the effects within half a year maybe at most in society, whereas the climate gives you a 40 year lag. There is no way you get this past people. I could write more but I'm incredibly tired of it.

Comment Re:not sure that we want it controlled (Score 1) 119

I suspect this is a psychological problem, people probably can accept death through an act of god easier than through human action. The number of people suffering is probably not important to anyone else than politicians. Assuming that you can know around 150 people the number of dead in either case exceeds what you can grasp.

The difference between the two cases is that diseases affect poor nations that don't compete for resources as much. I would guess that Ebola spreading won't prevent resource wars because it doesn't affect the interested parties.

Comment Re:Steam to extract oil that shouldn't be... (Score 1, Insightful) 82

"With present technology, the extraction and refining of heavy oils and oil sands generates as much as three times the total CO2 emissions compared to conventional oil."

This isn't present technology, this is future technology. In other words you are using old data to tarnish the image of an improved technology, let me call you a green liar maybe even a green troll.

Also it is a practical way of converting sunlight into chemical energy and a simple storage solution for solar energy. If we can get rid of the 70% use of fossil fuels in transportation and only use it for producing plastic the only problems we have to worry about is the pacific garbage patch and associated problems. Once we can keep population growth in check we can solve mankind's problems - very nice. These stop gap measures are exactly what we need to align peak population (2080?) with peak industrial society (2020?).

Just for shits and grins, how do you plan to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere to get back to 280ppm? Also how many billion dead people are you willing to accept?

Comment Re:+-2000 deaths? (Score 1) 119

I have doubts, but if you look at which country has the higher probability of dying it is poor countries in Africa whereas the first world can fend it off easily. This leads me to think that as we get under pressure from net energy decline we will be far more susceptible to diseases like Ebola. Of course pandemics can have knock on effects, i.e. the global flow of things will get reduced due to countries barricading themselves in, but initially it were the conditions of people living in West Africa who were unable to defend themselves because they didn't have the means to do so.

If you assume the club of Rome was correct in discovering that exponential population growth cannot be supported by improving technology, our inability to fend off the killers of the past should serve as an indicator of how far we have gone towards the bottleneck. The spread of diseases is especially useful as an indicator since they spread faster with higher population density and higher transportation volume. Whenever we must let our guard down because we cannot afford it you should see something like Ebola getting out of hand.

So far this is happening at the fringes, if we have reached a number of 500000 cumulatively infected by March next year I'm willing to believe you though. But I'm certain that we have enough time to study our decline in great detail, even though it should get sketchy toward the end.

Comment Re:It's geopolitics, not just simple spy flap (Score 1) 219

Given that we may be nearing some energy crisis you could think about what it might cause. Looking for it here:
you can find talk about decentralization which means a break up of a system into smaller units. I think this is what might be happening, Europe is basically used up having an aging populace and diminishing resources, whereas Asia has lots of young people and some ambition to get their hands on resources. Since there have been signs in the past that energy demand has been outstripping energy availability, I would guess that for the US to keep its position in the world it has to find new resources and keep competition and resource use low. With the current system the finding of new stuff has long been passed, so its hampering other peoples development and reducing energy expenditure now.

Europe is a competitor but not as much as Asia, I would expect Europe to become some kind of backwater and less useful to the US in the future, which would mean the fracturing of NATO. This spy scandal and Ukraine appears to be the start of this process.

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