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Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 1) 306

I'm actually pretty impossible to please in this department. I would like to see yet still more indication that the problem is well understood. Predictions that are precise to 15 digits, and that unlike all other scientific endeavors don't need to be "corrected" post hoc would do most of it for me.

But that's the thing: it is very well understood, and scientists have made many predictions that are panning out. No one's ever going to say "the earth will get x.xxxxxxx% warmer on this date". Predictions are in the form of "we believe the atmosphere will get between x and y% warmer, with a confidence of z". And they've been accurate as stated. Any claims to the contrary are radical restatements of history.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 1) 306

Question: what would it take to get you to admit that measurably rising sea levels due to climate change is causing problems? We're losing goddamn Louisiana to it. Literally everyone who studies this stuff for a living agrees with this. No one seriously doubts it. But you'd rather blame some river hacking for literally submerging Louisiana.

What are you going to blame when we lose Florida? Is there a convenient river there to point the finger at? What ungodly amount of river water is flowing through the Solomon Islands that's causing them to disappear7?

Comment Re:Sponsors? (Score 2) 220

How can an artificial sweetener that is not absorbed by the body, like sucralose, have any physical effect, unless the brain hates being tricked and is getting even.

Nailed it. From Wash U med school:

The elevated insulin response could be a good thing, she pointed out, because it shows the person is able to make enough insulin to deal with spiking glucose levels. But it also might be bad because when people routinely secrete more insulin, they can become resistant to its effects, a path that leads to type 2 diabetes.

Basically, the part of your digestive tract that identifies incoming sugar and triggers an insulin release can't tell the difference between sugar and sweeteners. That's not a shocker: if our taste buds can be tricked, it's not crazy to imagine that our sugar-detecting circuits are also fallible. When your body is continually flooded with elevated insulin, it becomes resistant to it. Another term for insulin resistance is type 2 (adult onset) diabetes.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 306

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 333

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Interesting) 333

Donald Trump, unfortunately, satisfies a common desire among the populance to right things by means that won't actually right them. It's a desire to rid Washington of inaction by cleaning it out of the current folks who don't seem to get anything done: and then you find that the things they were working on are harder than you understood. It's the feeling that you can get things going right by having a manager who lights a fire under the responsible people: just the way that bank managers pressured employees to increase revenue or be fired until those employees started opening accounts fraudulently for customers who hadn't asked for them.

What I am having a hard time with is how our country gets back out of this. I fear Humpty has had such a great fall that there is no peaceful recovery.

Comment Re: The biggest lie americans believe (Score 1) 122

America tried an almost completely unregulated free market. It gave us the "robber barons" who monopolized incredible wealth for themselves, and used it to either buy-up or destroy all competitors by cutting them off from their markets. Industrialists who would hire private armies to MURDER union organizers rather than risk increasing labor costs. A state of affairs which eventually caused a little thing called the "great depression" which nearly caused a peasant revolt that would have destroyed this country.

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