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Comment Re:I wish Slashdot had tech/science/computing stor (Score 2) 132

Don't like big corporations? Why do you think big government is better? Maybe small both is best. Bernie Sanders? Give me a break. Do you know how other countries provide college for free? .

You can't have small both, I would have thought this was obvious - governments have to be a certain size to be able to effectively keep corporations of a particular size in check. It's pretty clear that in the United States (from an outside perspective) that several of the larger business interests are pretty hell bent on getting rid on the government agencies that keep them in check, especially environmental and safety regulations.

Governments at least in democratic nations have at least some accountability to citizens of that nation and periodic elections allow the removal of really unpopular politicians without bloodshed. I agree that there are dangers associated with big government but I don't see a workable solution short term that doesn't include them.

Free university or at least free tuition is more common than you think it would be, particularly in Europe and at least, Bernie Sanders has a tax plan that sort of adds up, the candidates on the republican side are so far from doing that, you could completely defund the military (which isn't going to happen) and still not make up the difference.

Comment Re:Allow me to point out (Score 1) 703

Because the purpose of the IPCC is summarise all the scientific research done on the subject and evaluate the relative importance of each study. Think of it as a meta analysis.

This information is to be given to policy makers so they have as clear a picture of what the risks and likelihoods as we can currently provide.

You could insert a conspiracy in there but it would look exactly as it does if there was no conspiracy.

Comment Re:Ice Ages (Score 1) 703

Scientists don't and are taking that into account. We have a pretty good idea of what caused previous ice-ages - Positions of the continents, variations in the earths orbit and it is predicted that we will have to deal with that in some 10,000 or so years. There is also the consideration that we are trying to feed some 7 billion and rabidly growing people and while the planet might still be inhabitable it might only be able to sustain a small fraction of that population.

The important question is pay some now or risk it and probably pay a lot more in future.

Comment Re:0.3 - 4.8C (Score 1) 703

there are two fans of probability that need to be accounted for. The first is the sensitivity of climate to change in CO2 - I think the direct physics calculations come to somewhere around 1 degree to double the level of CO2 from preindustrial rates. Then you have to take positive and negative feedbacks into account. The second fan of probability is predicting what we globally as a species do, whether we increase production or reduce it. How willing we are to modify our behaviour.

Essentially you are seeing those two factors multiplied.

Comment Re:We've gone beyond bad science (Score 1) 703

A) This is settled, the degree to which it is isn't. I think the current estimates are around 20% slightly positive to slightly negative but easily dealable, 10% likely to be catastrophic, end of civilisation as we know it. The most likely outcome is something between those two extremes. More in importantly there is very high probability that will cost us more to do nothing in the long term.

B) What is settled is that reducing the amount of CO2 we burn will effect the distribution of probabilities of the outcome. Ideally we should phase out coal power as soon as it is practical to do so and we should invest resources into trying to make it practical earlier.

C) What is settled is that the ice is retreating. The preponderance of evidence points towards global warming being the culprit. Nobody knows enough to give you a year. When you hear these statements they typically are prefixed with "If the ice melts at the present rate".

D) This is settled. How much by we don't have a good handle on. What we can say is that all other things being equal warmer oceans will produce more extreme versions of some types of weather event.

E) What is settled is that there are multiple tipping points. What we don't know is how much warming will trigger them. The tipping points that we know about involve the melting of large sheets of ice and the destruction of certain ecosystems and extinction of plants and animals in those ecosystems. Sensitivity is still being debated so we don't know overall how much the effect will be - refer back to A) for a distribution of probabilities.

F) refer back to A)

G) not settled - but refer back to A)

H) This is pretty much settled, it's also the wrong question. Global Warming not only predicts that the planet will warm but predicts it will do so with a very distinct pattern. Different sources of heat will have different patterns of warming. These "fingerprints" include, troposphere warming but stratosphere cooling, significantly more warming towards the poles, more warming at night than in the day, centres of continents warming more than the edges. It is possible but extremely unlikely that a different heat source would produce the same fingerprints.

We have a pretty good handle on the changes that cause the shifts in climate on a geological time scale and we are measuring most of the other possible candidates directly (output from sun, the earths orbit, position of continents).

Comment Re:Linux still needs decent game dev tools (Score 1) 281

Most major middle ware engines now support Linux as a target platform. I think the only exception I can think of is maybe the latest iteration of the Unreal engine.

there are some smaller players that support authoring on linux - of particular note are
Unigine and in a couple of weeks Leadwerks.

Comment Re:But I heard (Score 1) 249

The science on whether a) The planet is warming b) the cause is greenhouse gasses c) of which the primary culprit is CO2 d) which is caused by Human Activity is pretty much settled.

The parts that aren't settled are exactly how sensitive temperatures are to increases in CO2, exactly what increases in temperature will do to weather patterns how much this will play into the worsening of extreme weather events etc.

For instance we know that when the world was between 1 and 2 degrees hotter (125,000 years ago) that the sea level was 4-6 meters higher than it is today. What we aren't sure about is how long it will take for the ice to melt.

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If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol