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Comment Re:Assertion without evidence (Score 1) 270

What is interesting is that the Berkeley Earth project, organised by then-sceptic Richard Muller did a different, completely independent analysis of the temperature record. BEST automatically detected discontinuities in individual temperature records, split the record at each discontinuity, and then spliced all the continuous subrecords together again, merging them into a global temperature record. The result is basically indistinguishable from the other major reconstructions (which are also mostly independent, but use more similar methodologies). Muller has adapted his opinion to the data and now acknowledges that the manual adjustments were indeed justified and done with skill and care.

Comment Re:Activism (Score 1) 323

Most wood is, however, not in a museum.

Indeed, most of it actually lives to be alive for hundreds of years. Even thousands.

If we are picking nits, most of the wood in living trees is not alive.

A decade is not a very long period of time in the context of the climate system.

You are being deliberately obtuse.

If a decade (and I didn't say a decade) is not a very long time in the context of the climate system, then how come there are measurable and visible changes in the climate during last decades? How come there are visible and measurable changes in the ozone layer - for the better?

We typically define climate via the long-term average, about 30 years, to filter out short-tern random fluctuations, but also cycles like the 11/22 year sunspot cycle. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed 1987, nearly exactly 30 years ago. 1996, 20 years ago, emission of controlled substances was not to exceed zero. And we can now tentatively detect the fist signs of a slow recovery of the ozone layer. And that is for a very simple, direct process that only involves the atmosphere, with few feedbacks.

Besides - I was talking of wood being explicitly left to the elements and the ecosystem to reclaim it. I.e. Left to "rot".

On the other hand, while "decades and decades" which may take a piece of wood to rot naturally and decompose back to carbon (which basically never happens as it gets used up by the ecosystem centuries before that can happen) - a bullshit time period or physical state like "permanently" doesn't even exist.

No, wood does of course not decay to "carbon". It mostly gets consumed by other organisms, which use it to produce energy, resulting in, surprise, CO2, either directly or via the route of methane, also a greenhouse gas, and one that relatively quickly decays into CO2 in the atmosphere, thus completing one particular path through the Carbon cycle.

Much of the carbon in the coal we now dig up has been sequestered during the Carboniferous, over a period of 60 million years, ending 290 million years ago. It has thus been sequestered for a around 300 million years. Carbon in most crude oil reservoirs has been sequestered for 100 million years or more. On human and civilisation time scales, that is essentially forever. A few decades is not forever.

If it did - we wouldn't be able to use fossil fuels in the first place. Carbon would have been "permanently sequestered".

Also, you should really go to a museum. Primarily to look up how long have we actually had museums AND ways to preserve stuff in them. Then look up all the wooden artifacts found. All they needed to stay preserved for millennia was a thin layer of dirt or water to keep all those aerobic bacteria out. Hell, we got processed wood from over 4000 years ago.

And yet, the number of wooden artefacts from the past is so low that we actually do put them in a museum to preserve them. Nearly all of them have decomposed, one way or the other, over time. One poster above cited an estimate of 3 trillion living trees, or 375 trees per human. Older estimates are around 400 billion, or 50 trees per human in the ecosphere. How much wooden artefacts does the average human have? I'd be surprised if my furniture makes up one decent-sized tree. The amount of wood in artefacts that are preserved (usually for a small while) is miniscule. We have no ancient triere, although Herodotus tells us there were hundreds built under Themistocles alone. We do have HMS Victory, but none of the hundreds of her contemporary ships of the line.

Sequestering carbon is a piece of cake. Literally. We make cakes out of sequestered carbon.

It's only sequestered if you neither eat the cake, nor allow it to be eaten or to decay otherwise. Otherwise its still part of one of the short-term carbon cycles (plants use photosynthesis to fix carbon from CO2 into complex sugars, animals and bacteria consume these sugars, using the stored energy, and turn them back into CO2).

If we wanted to, we could sequester it all into the ground. We don't want to. Nor do we need to. We're keeping it sequestered in mobile form. As humans and food for humans. And you need to grab a lot of carbon from the air to feed 7.4 billion humans (and growing) and all our pets and food.

Unless total biomass is increasing, that is not removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Once Waldo dies, it decomposes and releases the carbon from its complex structure back into CO2.

And when we're done with using our carbon we put it under ground. Or we reclaim it and use it to trap more carbon. Or we put it in a large pile and cover it with more stuff until no air can get to it. Just like we always did.

We know, beyond any reasonable doubt, that neither we nor the environment are sequestering carbon at a rate remotely sufficient to compensate for the fossil carbon we release into the atmosphere. We know that from the simple fact that we can measure atmospheric CO2 (and its isotopic composition), and it goes up by about 2ppm per year at the moment, from sources that matches the isotopic composition of our fossil fuels. We also know that a lot of the CO2 that is removed from the atmosphere goes not into permanent sequestration, much less into human artefacts (if intentional of not), but is absorbed by the oceans, forming carbonic acid and causing a measurable decrease in ph level.

Comment Re:Activism (Score 1) 323

And even that CO2 is only permanently sequestered if the tree is neither burned nor allowed to rot - otherwise it just turns back into CO2.

Ever been to a museum? Ever saw an old piece of wood in there?

CO2 sequestered by trees takes CENTURIES to return to CO2 again - unless you burn it.

Yes, under carefully controlled conditions, as in a museum, wood is stable for a long time. Most wood is, however, not in a museum.

Even left to rot it will take decades. Ever seen an old tree stump, sticking out of the ground, all covered in moss and mushrooms? Decades and decades.

A decade is not a very long period of time in the context of the climate system. And, of course, in a mature forrest, rotting and growth are in balance. Otherwise, where would all that extra wood go? There are very limited conditions under which plant mass is permanently sequestered.

Comment Re:Activism (Score 1) 323

Yes, the trees, grass, plants, and plankton breath in CO2 and release O2, converting CO2 to O2 and bonding the Carbon into carbohydrates.

There are more trees on the planet earth than there are stars in the milkyway galaxy.

So the real question is, how much co2 does a tree sequester? (48lbs a year)

48 pounds is the highest estimate for the biggest tree under the best circumstances. And even that CO2 is only permanently sequestered if the tree is neither burned nor allowed to rot - otherwise it just turns back into CO2.

How many trees are there? 3,000,000,000,000

Also the highest available estimate.

I guess you can do the math on that one. ;)

I could, but why should I? We can directly measure CO2 in the atmosphere, and we do. We know that CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing at slightly more than 2ppm/year at the moment, and has increased from about 280 ppm to about 400ppm over the last 150 years. We also know that this is about half of the CO2 that we emit into the atmosphere, while the other half is currently still being taken up by natural sinks (mostly the ocean), which have serious limits.

Comment Re: FB should did it (Score 1, Informative) 447

If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Wikipedia's category People shot dead by law enforcement officers in the United Kingdom has 12 entries, plus a subcategory with 33 entries for the Northern Ireland conflict. That covers at least the 20th and 21st century, not just last week. Of course, very few UK policemen do carry firearms on duty (or off), and the few that do are called in if needed and are adequately trained for critical situations. After any shooting, the question is not "can we justify it somehow?", but rather "was it strictly necessary, and what can we do to avoid this necessity in similar future situations?"

Viewing violence as a means of last resort instead of as a routine tool in the toolbox seems to work for them.

Comment Re:what? (Score 3, Informative) 135

"He was paid well to provide software that functioned to the defined spec, and he failed to do that."

Not correct at all. The software (apparently) worked well according to the original specification. Then they extended their business to open new branches, but did not adequately update the software. Not a problem of the programmer, but a problem of change management. You could just as well complain that your toy tricycle is not safe on the highway - possibly quite correct, but it's your fault if you are operating it outside its specification ("use only by children up to 30 kg on the sidewalk"), not the tricycle engineers problem.

Comment Re:Winter? (Score 1) 249

You might want to check up on Sweden. HA is run by immigrants. The liberals want to have sex with the corpses of their relatives and pets. Everyone is a rapist and/or terrorist and the police is scared to leave the police stations. Sweden is like a country the anti Christ would build.

Have you ever been to Sweden? Or do you get all your information from neo-nazi blogs? If an Antichrist built Sweden, it's the one from Heinlein's "New Book of Job".

Comment Re: We should never expect or accept tracking (Score 1) 206

Using the Internet is optional. Just ask most of the world.

So is survival. Just ask most of the world.

In practice, there are services without which life in a modern society is, while not impossible, at least highly impractical. Things like water toilets and, indeed, the internet. By using them you do not automatically consent to all avoidable negative side effects.

Comment Re: We should never expect or accept tracking (Score 2) 206

Also, if you want to keep your interests private, DON'T USE THE INTERNET. Every http request you send to a server has to know where to send the response to. From the beginning that has shown up in the server logs. That's the way the web works. Everything else is a natural evolution of that simple fact. You already should assume that the NSA is hoovering up everything, including not just your net history but your phone calls. Since you're on the net, you've already accepted that you don't have privacy; you're just not willing to say it.

If you don't want to be murdered, don't ever get born. Your body is fragile, and every day you are interacting with a potentially deadly environment. You should always assume that the FBI or the KGB or the Mafia or your looney neighbour could kill you at will. It's just a natural evolution of the fragile nature of life.

Or, in other words, we create a regulatory framework of laws and social conventions to supplement nature. We don't need a parliament to decide which way gravity pulls us, or if water is wet. That we get for free.

Comment Re:dont know (Score 4, Informative) 254

I believe the submission is asking, not from a legal perspective (which won't be decided here in any case), but from an ethical one. It does seem to me that the photographer is trying to take advantage of the situation. If he accepted payment of X for 2 years of use, accepting the same or less (no more work involved) for an addition 2 years seems appropriate. OTOH, if the photo is so good that it the customer wants to continue using it, perhaps they should pay more. But my suspicion is that, if he wanted more, they'd be perfectly happy to have someone else take a new photo, and probably a "work for hire" so they could use in perpetuity. Long story short, they owe him something which is closer to the original payment than to the extortionist amount he seeks. Individual against corporation shouldn't matter, sentiment around /. seems to be against extortion when it's corporation against individual. This isn't any different, other than the parties being reversed. So, is the answer based on ethics/principles, or on "screw the big guy?"

Did anybody actually read the original article (link to non-mobile version with images) in Der Standard? First, the photographer does not want 2 million from the hotel chain. The total estimated value of the copyright violation, including third parties, is 2 million. The current offer to settle is 1 million (plus legal fees, which are relatively reasonable in Austria) from Hovarth, and the hotel has already upped its offer to 400000. At stake is not simply that the hotel has used the photos for the intended purpose for longer than licensed, but rather that they have given out the high-resolution originals (claiming they own the copyright) to third parties for promotion - leading to one or the other of the photos to end up on 170 magazine covers and in newspapers like the New York Times, El Pais, and the The Telegraph.

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