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Comment Re:Top four comments (Score 1) 149

Man, you're completely wrong. The Earth doesn't have a population limit. 8 billion is no closer than 1 billion. We can all live comfortable, luxurious lives. The problems we're facing have nothing to do with resource exhaustion (aside from petroleum), but inefficiency and pollution. We can absolutely produce goods without air pollution. We have sources of essentially limitless energy. We can absolutely use nuclear reactors to ship goods - no need for bunker oil. It's a question of economics and political engagement.

Cool. Get back to me when you've convinced the world to put a potential nuclear meltdown in every town and every cargo ship and drive EVs so they can use it for charging. Back in the real world, CO2 levels keep going up, up and away as countries like China go modern. After that comes India, Brazil and the rest of the developing world. Even if the population boom has subsided we'll still hit 10 billion people, that's another 33% growth.

The people who talk about reducing emissions are smoking crack, we're likely to double the world's CO2 emissions in the next 40 years if the technology doesn't evolve. Make that quadruple if everybody decides to pollute as much as Americans, because if they can why can't we? Whatever improvements we make will only make the explosive growth slightly less explosive unless we invent a working fusion reactor or something. Say what you want about nuclear but in the public opinion it's beating a dead horse. We're shutting existing reactors down, not building new ones.

Comment Re:Wonder why (Score 1) 153

8: After a while you don't even notice it. There is definitely less yard work noise etc. than suburbs

I have to agree with this one heartily. When I lived in the suburbs of Phoenix, not only did I have to listen to barking dogs day and night, there was also constant leaf-blower noise. It was a maddening, loud din. To me, suburbs are the noisiest places possible to live. In cities with high-rises, you have some sirens now and then, and train noise if you live next to a rail line, but no leaf-blowers and no dogs at all hours. In rural areas, it depends on how close your neighbors are, but here listening to dogs barking all day and night seems to be the norm from everything I've seen and experienced. I've lived in all 3 BTW.

Comment Re:Wonder why (Score 2) 153

It's not worth never getting to be loud, it's not worth never getting to have a real pet.

Sounds good to me, because the other side of the coin is that your neighbors have to put up with your noise and your stupid dog barking its head off at all hours of the day and night. I've lived in suburbs and this is exactly how it was.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 153

Reading on a train that travels at a constant speed on smooth rails is one thing. Reading in a car that drives on bumpy, poorly-maintained roads, navigating between lanes and changing speeds constantly to avoid other erratic drivers, and getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic where it's constantly stopping and going, is quite another matter. Personally, I cannot read in a car; I get motion sickness. I can read just fine on an airplane or a train, but not in a car for very long.

The fact is, cars just do not provide a very smooth ride. They also have no way for you to stand up and move around like you can in a plane or (moreso) a train, or go to the bathroom. Self-driving cars would make it a little better, and having self-driving-only roads would make it significantly better, but it'll still *never* be as good as a train ride, unless perhaps they invent levitating cars.

What *would* cause suburbs to spread farther is personal rapid transit like SkyTran, which would give you much greater speed (100mph, no stopping, straight to your destination), and a very smooth ride (rides on suspended maglev rails).

Comment Re:Probably a minor oversight. Will likely be fixe (Score 2) 115

No, it sounds like the problem is the insane idea of running local code through a web browser. The web itself is probably the most Rube Goldberg-esque way of displaying interactive data and controls to a user (HTML, a backend language like PHP/Java, a client-based language (JavaScript), and then a crappy markup language for style attributes (CSS)). It's understandable how it evolved, but it makes no sense at all to use this for local applications.

Comment Re:Research to extend lifespans should be banned (Score 1) 112

Correlation or causation? After all, education and prosperity are in that mix too.

Mostly correlation I think. The whole "have enough kids that some grow up" is driven by need, not love. It's not like parents consider them replaceable as human beings as if they have a spare. The need to have your kids support you in your old age is primarily economic, if you have a public system you get help and if you have private money you can hire help. So prosperity -> money for care of elderly, healthcare -> lower child deaths -> double effect of lower risk and less need. I think that's also why there's such a delay and population bulge in the transition, people have to see that hey these people had two kids and they're doing okay now as elderly, do we really need five more?

Comment Re:Top four comments (Score 1) 149

Well the two main root drivers of emissions is population growth and increased standard of living. Really poor places don't have much emissions because they don't have cars and AC and 50" TVs. It's mostly sociology and not so much science. Against this near impossible to stop tide we try to act like "green" technology will save the day. Yes, not putting CFCs in refrigerators is probably a good idea. But it's doesn't really change that most of the world's 7.5 billion people will want one and even an A+++ rated one has to be manufactured, shipped and powered.

If they were really serious about solving it, we'd have an session in the UN to introduce China's one-child policy globally until the world population is sustainable is down to a billion. Until then we have to deal with people that think recycling, driving a Tesla and eco-tourism will save the world. It's cute but horribly naive as long as most of the remaining population and the world says thanks for taking one for the team, now we don't have to sacrifice anything or make any effort. Again, making a meaningful collective change is more sociology than science.

Comment Re:Asymmetrical warfare and rules of engagement. (Score 1) 92

Realize the Russians are not trying to win this war. They want to pressure the Ukraine government to stay away from the EU/NATO (...) As soon as the Ukraine gov gives up the war will disappear.

That is to win the war, just not by military means. You make it sound like Kiev could stop, then Russia could stop, then things would be fine. Ukraine is the second poorest country in Europe, only beaten by tiny Moldova. They need good trade relations either with EU to the west or Russia to the east. Traditionally it's been east. They were in talks with the EU to open up to the west. The president was trying to halt those talks and instead make a new deal with Putin, which lead to the revolution and a pro-western government.

The only way they could "stay away from the EU/NATO" would be to basically give up on everything they've stood for and that people have died for and come begging on their knees to Putin for a new trade deal. Quite likely they'd have to formally surrender Crimea and rebel controlled territory in the east to Russia too. That's close to unimaginable and it'd probably start a new war of secession in western Ukraine. So the talks with the EU/NATO must continue while the conflict areas will be used to interrupt and delay the process.

At this point it's only a question of how long they can be kept in limbo. But the EU has shown before with Cyprus that they can accept nations with territory they consider illegally occupied, without taking any action. Whether they'd have the balls to do it with Ukraine is a different story, but it's not an absolute blocker. Already things are opening up with the association agreement, it looks like visa-free tourism is going to happen... they're heading down that track whether Putin wants them to or not.

Comment Re:In before global warming whiners... (Score 3, Insightful) 149

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/how-culture-clash-noaa-led-flap-over-high-profile-warming-pause-study

Rose's story ricocheted around right-wing media outlets, and was publicized by the Republican-led House of Representatives science committee, which has spent months investigating earlier complaints about the Karl study that is says were raised by an NOAA whistleblower. But Science Insider found no evidence of misconduct or violation of agency research policies after extensive interviews with Bates, Karl, and other former NOAA and independent scientists, as well as consideration of documents that Bates also provided to Rose and the Mail.

Instead, the dispute appears to reflect long-standing tensions within NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), based in Asheville, North Carolina, over how new data sets are used for scientific research. The center is one the nation’s major repositories for vetted earth observing data collected by satellites, ships, buoys, aircraft, and land-based instruments.

In the blog post, Bates says that his complaints provide evidence that Karl had his “thumb on the scale” in an effort to discredit claims of a warming pause, and his team rushed to publish the paper so it could influence national and international climate talks. But Bates does not directly challenge the conclusions of Karl's study, and he never formally raised his concerns through internal NOAA mechanisms.

Tuesday, in an interview with E&E News, Bates himself downplayed any suggestion of misconduct. “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was,” he told reporter Scott Waldman. And Bates told ScienceInsider that he is wary of his critique becoming a talking point for those skeptical of human-caused climate change. But it was important for this conversation about data integrity to happen, he says. “That’s where I came down after a lot of soul searching. I knew people would misuse this. But you can't control other people,” he says.

At a House science committee hearing yesterday, Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS (publisher of Science and ScienceInsider) stood by the 2015 paper. "This is not the making of a big scandal—this is an internal dispute between two factions within an agency," Holt said in response to a question from Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the panel’s chairman, and a longtime critic of NOAA’s role in the Karl paper. This past weekend, Smith issued a statement hailing Bates for talking about “NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion.”

Some climate scientists are concerned that the hubbub is obscuring the more important message: that the NOAA research has generally proved accurate. “I’m a little confused as to why this is a big deal,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth, a California nonprofit climate research group that has examined surface temperatures. He’s the lead author of a paper published in January in Science Advances that found Karl’s estimates of sea surface temperature—a key part of the work—matched well with estimates drawn from other methods.

Researchers say the Karl paper’s findings are also in line with findings from the Met Office, the U.K. government’s climate agency, which preceded Karl’s work, and findings in a recent paper by scientists at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, an alliance of 34 states based in Reading, U.K. And although other researchers have reported evidence that the rise in global temperature has slowed recently, they have not challenged the ethics of Karl’s team, or the quality of the data they used.

Read on. It's worth it. The short of it: Bates was demoted by Karl several years back. Bates accepts both AGW, and the conclusions of Karl's paper, but decided to post a nitpicking complaint that he had used the ISTI land data in addition to the base NOAA data (the former of which isn't as high quality), without specifically commenting about the data source quality difference:

The Science paper would have been fine had it simply had a disclaimer at the bottom saying that it was citing research, not operational, data for its land-surface temperatures, Bates says.

But Mike Tanner, director of NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate at NCEI, says there’s no NOAA policy that requires such a disclosure. “There's nothing. That doesn’t exist,” he says

The article also goes into the split within NOAA over how strongly to focus on new data and approaches that capture effects which old data and approaches might have missed, vs. old ones which are less accurate but more validated. The land data people tend to fall into the former category while the satellite people tend to fall in the later category. Karl was a land guy and Bates was a satellite guy.

It's interesting to read Bates' blog post with "Karl" replaced by "The guy who demoted me":

The most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of the Guy Who Demoted Me et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Guy Who Demoted Me study or K15), purporting to show no ‘hiatus’ in global warming in the 2000s (Federal scientists say there never was any global warming “pause”). ... In the following sections, I provide the details of how the guy who demoted me failed to disclose critical information to NOAA, Science Magazine, and Chairman Smith regarding the datasets used in K15. I have extensive documentation that provides independent verification of the story below. I also provide my suggestions for how we might keep such a flagrant manipulation of scientific integrity guidelines and scientific publication standards from happening in the future. Finally, I provide some links to examples of what well documented CDRs look like that readers might contrast and compare with what the guy who demoted me has provided.

Comment Re:the Snowflake Jihad (Score 2) 229

You seem to think there's some assault on free speech here. There isn't. At all. YouTube isn't taking "offensive" videos down -- not any more than they always have, anyway -- they're just not showing ads on videos the advertisers don't want to be associated with. The free speech of the people uploading the videos is fully intact, and in fact YouTube continues giving them a free soapbox from which to reach the world. The free speech of the advertisers is also being honored, by allowing them to avoid appearing to speak in support of things they don't want to support.

The only perspective from which anything "bad" is happening is the one which presumes that the makers of YouTube content have some "right" to be paid. There is no such right, never has been and I sincerely hope there never, ever will be.

(Disclaimer: I work for Google, but that has absolutely nothing to do with my position on this issue.)

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