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Comment Re:Flying Law Mower (Score 1) 143

So, to be kind, you made a choice to live in a house 4 miles from public transport and chose to work at a place that is not served by public transport. That's fine, I made a similar choice. If I were to use public transport to get to work then it would take 3-4 hours, the first step would be to catch the school bus, which I am not quite old enough to do. I'd rather drive, it is 54 miles and takes 59 minutes. 8 miles of that are on gravel tracks.

Comment Re:Working from home is career suicide (Score 2) 73

I think that is an excellent point and I'm surprised it got modded down. I work from home, and I am the best of the best (or at least the third highest paid engineer out of 1000), but yes, at some point it is possible that 'they' could find an English speaking engineer who can do my job effectively and has my experience but would be paid less. If I find her first then I'll be her agent.

But, that person doesn't seem to be likely to come from any of the obvious outsourcing countries.So a factor of 8 on salary seems unlikely. Last time I looked a Chinese engineer with a good enough grasp of spoken and written English wa paid almost as much as an Australian one( who admittedly might fail either or both of those requirements depending on your prejudices).

Comment Car Industry (Score 0) 115

The Australian Government's (both Labor and Coalition) over the last 15 years have conspicuously failed to support the automotive industry in the face of the high exchange rate caused by our enormous mineral exports. This is in opposition to the way they supported the banks via all sorts of funny schemes.

As a result Australia is the only country I have ever heard of which has decided that the auto industry is not a good idea.

So first the assembly workers went. Then the factories went. That meant there was no critical volume for precision machining, so then the toolmakers went. That meant the local aircraft maintenance industry couldn't get the stuff they needed, so aircraft maintenance was offshored. Meanwhile all the suppliers of parts had to diversify into less rigorous but less profitable lines. So the engineers went.

I'm lucky, we still design and develop cars for manufacture all over the world (except in Australia), so our product development centre is expanding.But an industry that used to employ around 50-100 000 well paid highish technology or skilled jobs is practically dead, with maybe 2000 people left.

So escaping the GFC probably is not due to the incredible foresight of the gummint, just lucky.

Comment Exactly (Score 1, Troll) 269

I'll pick on India, as I like to. For the most part (ie >50%) people there are desperately poor, have unreliable power, no proper sewage system, fairly corrupt government, and are indian. There is not much we can do about the latter. But for the rest of it even their monumentally stupid government realises they need to get people off the subsistence farming model and for that they need electricity. And, since airy fairy renewables are not cost effective without subsidies, that means coal. And lots of it. Whatever western wankers might think, the impact of the west on CO2 for the next few decades is tiny compared with the third worlders who want, reasonably enough, to join the first world party.

Comment What exactly? (Score 4, Insightful) 382

"It's not Amateur Night on Planet Earth anymore, things have gotten terribly, horribly real,"

Poor people are living longer, earning more, eating more, all over the world. There are fewer large wars.Sure there's a few existential problems around, but you are living in a very successful century so far as homo sapiens is concerned.

Comment Re:Science versus politics (Score 1) 279

" Our current best estimate is that 100% of global warming is caused by human activity. [realclimate.org]"

Gosh, that is quite hilarious. Presumably you have heard of Ice Ages large and small and the Holocene optimum. Why has natural variation in temperatures ceased just because we are on the scene?

I'll assume you are going to claim fossil fuel burning is a large part of changes since 1880 (I would), but if you look at HADCET you'll see that recent (since 1880) spikes in temperature change are not unusual in rapidity or amplitude over the few hundred years of that data. Now I realise I am using HADCET as a proxy for global temperatures, but its a damn sight better than a few trees.

100% wow. 100% he he hee. Thanks, you've cheered me up no end, the chicken littles really are just plain silly

Comment Funny numbers from a mechanical engineer (Score 2, Informative) 805

Last year my taxable income was $190000. You can buy shares in my employer. I wouldn't.

So, 16 years ago I paid a year's pay at the time (85k) in cash for a solid, but unattractive, house in a working class, decent suburb.

Three years ago, after I got a lot of pay rises, because good real engineers are well paid, I paid 300k cash to have it knocked down and a new one built. That is now worth 600k.

So which of you dummies in the IT game can't figure out how to do that?

Meanwhile, I bought a weekender. For cash. But that was mainly to annoy you lot.

Comment Nearly a good argument (Score 2) 198

That's quite a can of worms you've ripped the lid off. Superficially, yes, you are right.

But the reality is that ~half of electric power is generated from coal, not hydrocarbons. (as an aside In my opinion burning hydrocarbons in powerstations is dopey, oil and natural gas should be reserved for uses where their extraordinary energy density is most useful, basically aeroplanes and the like,)

The consequence of burning coal is that for many many many regions worldwide, an EV actually produces more CO2 than a similar sized diesel or petrol car.

Sorry about that.

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