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Comment Re:Translating for the rest of the world (Score 1) 128

Hyperloop sounds like snake-oil to me. It will never work with anything remotely like existing technologies. Think about how much heat expansion you'll get on the tubes. That means you'll have to have lots of joints for expansion. Each of these will have to have perfect seals. It will be under 10 tons of pressure per square metre, and any rupture will cause air to rush into the tube at about the speed of sound. Tons of air. Thunderf00t has a takedown video. It is worth watching, just to consider the points he brings up -- although I find he comes across as a bit of an ass.

Comment Re:Immediate issues (Score 1) 257

At some point there won't be anything we can do about it, and we'll have to learn to live in the new environment.

That time has already come. We have 100s of years before existing climate forcing reach equilibrium. The real question is how bad it is going to get. With business as usual, our descents will look back us with utter scorn.

Comment Re:Nuclear war risk (Score 2) 112

If the USA is ever attacked by North Korea, then EXPECT a disproportionate response. The US population will demand it, and the opposition party will ensure that appropriate rage is whipped up. The people of South Korea will face a massive artillery barrage, but North Korea would absolutely be flattened by the USA an its allies.

Comment Re:More accurate statement.... (Score 1) 795

IPCC using too many weasel words

I always find it interesting when scientists are simultaneously accused of making black and white statements (e.g., the language of consensus), while also using "weasel words". The simple truth is that scientists spend most of their time dealing with error bars, and those "weasel" words have been operationalized to talk about those error bars in precise ways.

Nothing, of course, will make you happy, except scientists unequivocally denying the importance AGW. When you don't like what scientists say, then the argument is simply constructed on the spot to reify your sense of "rightness". The sad truth is that it may be decades (if you live that long) before you ever contemplate any information that threatens your world view.

Comment Re:Fun (Score 1) 795

Science is not a once and for all deal *ever*. So odd thing to claim.

Climate scientists aren't claiming they've solved the problem once and for all. They are saying that they almost all agree on the basics, which includes AGW. Any alternative theory has to explain the data, and there just isn't one. If detractors had a theory, then they'd talk about it. But instead we get conspiratorial talk about "bad science" trying to, for example, settle things "once and for all".

Any disinterested person reading your argument should see through it on a moments reflection, but we don't get many disinterested people on the AGW issue, because it cuts across the moral concerns of small-government conservatism. I really think conservative philosophy is great, but it has been used by "thought shapers" (like Frank Luntz) to make the discussion fundamentally dishonest.

Comment Cognitive dissonance doesn't change the facts (Score 1) 88

The Flint water crisis was primarily due to the state and the city of Flint being bankrupt.

If the emergency manager didn't squelch the EPA report, or did just a tiny bit of due diligence, then the water situation would be fine, and a *lot* of money would have been saved.
But if you want to blame the water situation on Flint going bankrupt, then you may as well blame the situation on the big bang. Or the fact the human evolved. Or the derivatives trading that led to the financial crisis. Clutch at straws all day. The emergency manager WASTED money, and seriously poisoned a generation of children. Cognitive dissonance doesn't change the facts on the ground.

Comment Re: What the biased intro forgot to say was that (Score 1) 629

That is actually a good point. I'm not sure whether those two larger-than-life personalities could ever team up, but it would stop the Republican party fracturing even as the Republican establishment continues to be jettisoned.

Personally I think Cruz and Trump are both deeply flawed candidates, and hope they fail miserably, because they would make terrible presidents. Cruz on the supreme court would probably energize democrats and centrists in huge numbers too. If you are a Cruz/Trump fan, then you may not fully realize how reviled they are. There is a big risk there.

Comment Re:What the biased intro forgot to say was that (Score 1) 629

Obama was quite clear when he said the problem with SCOTUS nominees did not start with one party. He has put for a centrist that conservatives have supported in the past. The GOP will almost certainly loose the presidential election, which means that the next SCOTUS nomination will not be so centrist. Mitch McConnell painted himself into a corner on this one. I think the two parties should have a dialogue about what a good nomination process should look like.

Comment Re:Non-offensive (Score 2) 629

I think it is a really smart move. He will say to them: "this is as conservative as you're going to get". Because "do you think Clinton/Sanders will give you some more conservative?" The Cruz or Trump will probably go down with disastrous losses. But it is not guaranteed. So Obama gives them an moderately attractive candidate, and if they refuse, then the next candidate will be less conservative.

Comment Re:American people should have a voice (Score 1) 629

In a parliamentary system, one party simply does "rule", and then they get kicked out of office if they screw it up. It cuts a remarkable amount of bullpucky out of politics. Here, in the USA, politicians take advantage of the information-symmetry to play silly-buggers, and then perpetually point the finger at each other. You cannot play that game in a parliamentary system.

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