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Comment Re:Why federal law? (Score 0) 171

I am not now and never have been a citizen of the USA, so chalk me up to non-purposely ignorant.
Reading TFA more closely, this proposed law would only apply to federally funded highways: "the dig once bill requires states to evaluate the need for broadband conduit any time they complete a highway construction project that gets federal funding."
And local bodies are in on this too: "Dig once doesn't have to be just for state and federal projects, as cities such as Boston and San Francisco already require it locally."

Comment Re: well, botox is accepted (Score 1) 41

I've considered that - it would take some care not to accidentally die of wrong pH blood or bad electrolite balance or somesuch. I'd also need to find the toxic dose when injected - hopefully way less, because I don't think injecting a kg is doable.
I think of this goal as protection against suicide. If I am ever suicidally depressed, it will look like just too much effort to die by vitamin C overdose, so instead I'll live.

Comment Re:well, botox is accepted (Score 1) 41

The drug is found in venom, but is not itself venomous. (Source: listening to radio interviews.)
In addition, any drug is toxic in sufficient dose. (Some drugs are toxic at their therapeutic dose, such as chemotherapy. Use of such drugs requires a careful cost-benefit analysis.)
I've decided that should I ever decide to commit suicide, I'm going to try to be the first person ever to die of vitamin C toxicity. It will take about a kilogram.

Comment Years off (Score 1) 41

These results are from experiments on rats. In radio interviews, the researchers said that human (phase I) trials were at least 18 months away. I'm no expert on how long clinical trials take, but I'd expect phase I through phase III couldn't be under three years, so expect 5 + years until this is in your ambulance's medicine cabinet.
Try not to have a stroke before then.

Comment "Right to try" (Score 3, Informative) 108

Many US states have "right to try" laws, and this is the sort of thing that those laws are designed to allow.
On the supply side you have charlatans, well meaning doctors who have a dud treatment they truly believe in, and well meaning doctors who have a working-but-unproven treatment they truly believe in. On the demand side, you have patients who want to pay for a miracle and have bought into the (often hard-sell and deceptive) sales story of the supply side. These combine to try to push politicians into allowing unproven medical treatments. The medical establishment objects, but are often drowned out.

You can find lots of criticism of "right to try" here.

Comment Re:GOOD. (Score 1) 281

"Eradication" implies it is being done worldwide. If there is a country which doesn't do the vaccines, you don't have an eradication program (i.e. you have not overcome the political/social will problem).

Some diseases develop new strains which evade vaccination. Measles is not one of them. Influenza is an example of a disease which we cannot (with current or near term foreseeable technology) eradicate, because of fast strain evolution and animal reservoirs.

Comment Re:GOOD. (Score 5, Interesting) 281

Vaccines can be used to eradicate measles, we just haven't tried.

Vaccines have eradicated smallpox and are on the verge of eradicating polio (42 paralysis cases worldwide last year, so far this year we're running at 1/3 of last year at the same time, 3 vs 9 cases.)

In terms of eradication, smallpox had everything going for it: an effective cheap vaccine, no animal reservoir, obvious symptoms, and the political/social will to make it happen (because it was such a terrible disease.) By comparison, polio can circulate without obvious symptoms, making it hard to eradicate.

Measles eradication has everything going for it that smallpox did, except for the will. People who think measles vaccines are dangerous should campaign for measles eradication. Their children will get the vaccine, but their grandchildren and every later generation until human extinction will not.

Comment Re: Rank reputable sources (Score 1) 183

If you read the IPCC summary, it labels every prediction with how confident the IPCC is in it, so it sure isn't climate scientists.

You are, of course, assuming there's nothing political going on with the IPCC recommendations in the first place and all the conclusions are honestly driven by nothing more than altruistic desires for the betterment of the human race. Pardon me if I have slightly more skepticism about the UN's motives given their manifestly anti-Western, anti-capitalist, pro-globalist stance. Add to that the prevailing "I don't need to explain it to you because you're too stupid to understand" mantra and what seems "settled science" to you seems anything but for those of us who are actually have to sacrifice for whatever the UN IPCC decides we have to do to satisfy them.

Comment Re: Rank reputable sources (Score 1) 183

I'm assuming nothing. I'm saying I've not seen any major studies whatsoever addressing the actual impact of the subject beyond "climate change BAD!' Climate has changed since the planet first developed an atmosphere to have climate. It will continue to change at its whim until we develop technology capable of utterly controlling it at our whim. Mankind has always adapted. We will adapt to this. The questions that remain are (a) are we capable of affecting the climate in any meaningful way in the first place and (b) is the cost of attempting to pin the climate to the 20th-century norm higher, lower, or equal to the cost of adapting? If the answer to (a) is "no" then it necessarily negates the second question since our only practical option is adaptation.

Comment Re: Rank reputable sources (Score 0) 183

In science, the facts are not opinions. They are the experimental results.

Except what you're referring to is not even remotely equivalent to "experimental results." We do not have the capability to "experiment" on a global climate under controlled, observable, repeatable conditions. Instead we build computer models based on how we think the climate actually works, all of which are only as accurate as our understanding of climate -- and that understanding is woefully inadequate. Thus the models are gross simplifications of the actual climate, some of which start with the presupposition that climate change is due to man-made CO2 and work backwards from there to make the data and models fit. The results have been models that accurately predict the past but inaccurately represent the present, or if they accurately represent the present they do not match the past. Over time the models get "massaged" to make things fit, always with the assumption it all must be man-made CO2 at the core of it.

I have a built-in distrust for such procedures because there are no effective ways to challenge or prove them experimentally. Additionally, the core climate community has become largely homogeneous by self-selection, where dissenting voices are banished in order to achieve the desired consensus. Grant money is doled out or withheld depending upon whether the findings will support the agenda of the giver. When big business does this it's called astroturfing, being a shill, etc. and is not to be trusted. When government and "big science" does it it's called "consensus" and questioning it is blasphemy of the highest order. Publishing is similarly segregated with any dissenting voice being treated as a pariah.

Do I believe the climate is changing? Absolutely. It was changing before humans arrived, being both significantly warmer and colder than it is today. It is changing while we're here. It will continue to change despite our wishes because we lack the technology to effectively stop it on short timescales. It's the height of anthropocentric arrogance to think the planet's climate is going to sit still for us just because we happened to develop opposable thumbs at this point in Earth's history.

Do I believe human activity is contributing to climate change? At some level it must be as any activity by definition has some kind of impact. The question then becomes how much are we affecting it and, if we reverse course, will the anticipated benefits outweigh the social and economic upheaval such a reversal would cause? Keep in mind sometimes it is better to adapt to change rather than fight it. Some areas currently too cold for agriculture would become more suited to it while other currently-arable areas would become too hot or dry. Certainly it is disruptive -- any change is -- but is the net result positive, negative, or neutral? Nobody has answered that question. To my knowledge the question isn't even being studied on any reasonable scale. Everything's being thrown into the we-have-to-stop-the-climate-from-changing bandwagon, a fool's errand if there ever was one because climate will merely laugh at our puny efforts.

There used to be a time when scientists welcomed questions and opposing ideas and were eager to put their hypotheses to the test. Today...not so much. "There's too much at stake" they say, to entertain skeptics or those that question. Instead they're labeled as "deniers" and treated like knuckle-dragging inbred simpletons at best or traitors to humanity and murderers at worst. The "we have to do something!" crowd is the loudest, saying we can't wait to get firm data and must enact sweeping changes regardless of what it does to anyone. That the worst effects would be felt by prosperous Western nations while third-world and far East polluters would suffer less or not at all. As that fits the current "punish the West for all ills" popular mantra is more than a little suspect so I'm similarly not inclined to believe or support anyone pushing such "climate reform" that doesn't call for all who benefit equally to pay equally as well.

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