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Comment Re:So why to we bitch about global warming? (Score 2) 347

Well, according to the article, you can. If we were to find our planet cooling, we could just release more CO2 into the atmosphere. Heating from global warming takes on the order of 20 years to take full effect. Ice ages occur on geological time scales which are much larger. Plus, it is far easier to put carbon into the atmosphere than take it out. So our best bet is to wait until we observe cooling and then react to it. Right now, however, we are seeing a noticeable increase in temperature. This suggests that global warming is occurring and will likely cause serious problems within our lifetime (or if not, in our children's lifetime).

Comment Re:So is that good or bad? (Score 5, Insightful) 347

Unfortunately, the effects from the ice age will not be apparent for another 1,500 years, while, on the other hand, the ice caps are already starting to melt. Though a small amount of global warming might be beneficial in the future for preventing an ice age (who knows what environmental impact THAT would have), it is very likely to be seriously detrimental for the next few centuries until then.

Comment Re:Will it make a difference? (Score 2) 1042

"Interesting that you thing that... because I don't see either side willing to compromise." I strongly disagree. The Democrats have changed their bargaining position significantly since this whole debate came up. Their initial stance was to raise the debt limit without any change in budget, just like we have just about every other time. Now, they are pushing for plans that include around 2 trillion in spending cuts and between 0 and 1 trillion in revenue increases. Considering democrats typically oppose spending cuts, that's a pretty generous position. The Republicans (or at least most of them), on the other hand, have refused to even consider revenue increases, demand we make trillions in spending cuts, and are refusing to raise the debt ceiling until we do.

Comment Re:Wow let me run out and buy some solar panels (Score 4, Insightful) 368

That is the issue though. The summary mentions how Portugal is poor in oil but has a great deal of potential for solar and wind. This implies that by using sun and wind to create electricity somehow oil usage will drop. While I heavily support the switch to alternative fuels, this is just not true. Most oil is used for transportation rather than electricity. So the only way to save oil by switching to solar or wind is to use electric cars, which in general are not popular enough to be a heavy drain on the power grid. People really do need to learn the difference between electricity generation and oil usage, if nothing else just to make an informed decision when creating policy.

Comment Re:Greenwashing (Score 1) 328

While I agree with you that cars are not nearly as green as buses, trains, bikes, etc, they are still sometimes a necessity. Some of us don't have a choice on the matter since there is no public transport for our commute. Ya, I would love it if there was, and we should invest in adding some, but until then, we need all the green solutions we can get. These companies found something that was cheap, easy to implement, and could make a real difference. I for one am quite happy about it.

Comment Too Bad It Won't Happen in US (Score 2, Insightful) 328

Here traffic lights are made to be a source of income. They are designed to stop you and increase your chances of running a yellow light so that the cops can pull you over and give you a ticket. Plus, it has the guise of making the roads safer (since people don't have as many green lights, they cannot speed as much), so much of the public is mostly ok with it. Unfortunately, in reality, we're just wasting fuel and making the roads more dangerous (more rear end crashes and angrier drivers).

Comment Irony (Score 3, Insightful) 307

'Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,' wrote one of the students, who blogged about their reactions. 'When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.' I just thought it was a bit ironic to blog about one's Internet addiction

Comment Re:Good thing (Score 0) 949

The only reason I have purchased any of the CDs I own is because of downloading them before buying to hear the entire album, to find out if it is worth buying. I have hundreds of CDs because the artists made good albums, albums worth paying for because every track was good. I would not have bought a single album if it wasn't for being able to download the tracks in FLAC before buying.

Comment Nobody has welcomed our environmental overlords... (Score 1) 865

All your freedom are belong to us. . . In reality, it is already too late to "fix" this by changing the slope of the curve with governmental restrictions on amount/types of energy use. The only viable solution, and the most likely to happen, is some form of Geoengineering. At some point, some large country, acting in its own self interest (or in the interest of a well-monied lobbyist) will unilaterally enact a Geoengineering "solution". This will mostly likely outrage and inconvenience some other country (or lobbyist or large company with internal resources capable of Geoengineering), setting off a chain reaction of competing attempts at geoengineering. The only viable solution to the coming geoengineering crisis is to put democracy on hold. . .

Comment Re:Well, that's good to hear (Score 4, Informative) 133

There was a recent slashdot story on this. The common person in China probably will not see too much of a difference with Google gone, since they do have Baidu, but scientists and researchers will since they rely heavily on Google Scholar, which China has yet to reproduce their own version of.

Comment Re:Generate a Vacuum (Score 5, Insightful) 223

2 birds, 1 very expensive stone. It would probably cost a great deal of money to build tunnels, evacuate out almost all the air, and maintain that low atmosphere. Sure, it might save some energy of running the train, but the money and resources needed to do this would greatly outweigh any benefit. We are almost certainly much better off investing in other ways of producing or saving energy.

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