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Comment Weak Tea (Score 1) 249

The site is really weak tea. If one really want to follow the money, one has to trace it right back to which specific Corporate Officers, Corporate Lobbyists, Politicians, and Political Consultants, Law Firms and Foreign Leaders are actually putting the money into their pockets. The site simply doesn't take this essential step, but rather sets up yet another mechanism for the already fat cats to steer political dialog in their already posh direction.

Activists really need to scrape this site to the bone and then go about filling in all the details, particularly highlighting the exact wallets where most federal spending winds up.

Comment Nanoparticles? (Score 1) 159

Any word yet as to how easily it will be for these nanoparticles to rub off and get into people's lungs?

Very small particle pollution is a major source of lung cancer. As is often the case with most of new technology, there is little thought as to the long term health and environmental consequences of production and use. Such issues tend to be ignored in the rush to make money, but can end up costing everyone more than anyone expected, in many cases their very lives.

Comment Re:Non-believers (Score 1) 520

Nothing in your rant will in anyway alter the reality that as the planet warms, thermal expansion of the seas will result. Sure you, can kill all those climatologist and oceanographers bringing the bad news, just as you can kill all those biologists that note that the rate of current warming (about 35 times faster than occurred during the great Permian mass extinctions) will likely lead to mass extinction of entire ecosystems in the very near very near future (order of several hundreds of years), but killing the messengers won't alter the fact that the news is bad.

Unless we can get past our personal ideologies and personal economic circumstances, whether you sit in the board rooms of Wall Street or live in a home extending out over the ocean in Lagos, Nigeria the outcome is going to be the same, very bad indeed for Homo sapiens everywhere, regardless, of creed, color, religion, nationality, political party, personal wealth, or age.

Comment Re:Non-believers (Score 1, Insightful) 520

Electric cars, ships, and planes, and manufacturing plants powered completely by the wind and the sun are probably the most urgently needed commodity.

The tragedy is that given the exponential nature of the global warming problem, if we don't see a major shift to such commodities in the next 25-50 years, there will be nothing that humans can do to stop the increased warming that will occur after that, even if we never burn fossil fuels afterwards, because several large positive feedback mechanisms not included in current climate models will come to dominate the global climate system.

These positive feedbacks include Arctic amplification due to dramatic increase in albedo of the Arctic, release of huge stores of carbon trapped in permafrost, release of huge stores of carbon trapped in methane clathrates, and release of carbon from peat bogs and rainforests as soils dessicate and decomposition dominates carbon fixation from photosynthesis. These sources are so large that they dwarf what humans could do to lower carbon dioxide levels. Of course, the effects on total carbon dioxide will be additive in any event.

Few notice, but the trend in oceanic environments are not good, as the sea warm more and more phytoplankton and zooplankton move northward to physiologically optimal zones leaving behind the equivalent of photosynthetic deserts. Tropical marine ecosystems are now collapsing everywhere on the planet as the Earth shifts toward a new oceanic/atmospheric thermal equilibrium.

Comment Re:Non-believers (Score 1) 520

What you fail to see is that markets don't actually work that way. The reason is that insurance companies can effectively buy politicians and judges and insurance industry regulators to insure that in many cases insurance policies can be manipulated after they are written and signed to so that the payout for what has been indemnified is vastly different from what is actually stated on the policy. Having experienced Hurricane Katrina and how the legal system handles such situations, I can assure you that the system doesn't work like it does on insurance company commercials.

There is no place worse to be caught between your lawyers and insurance company lawyers in a process run by people who are more than happy to see "justice" be carried out on the behalf of the insurers to whom they are beholden for their jobs.

Comment Re:Non-believers (Score 1) 520

Interestingly those that sell insurance for boats will not sell policies that cover certain areas. For example, given the dangerous conditions at the mouth of Knysna Estuary in South Africa no insurance policy in the world will cover damage to your vessel if you attempt to transverse the mouth of the estuary. The risk is all yours.

Comment Re:Non-believers (Score 1) 520

"it is not hard to grow food"

Obviously, you haven't done a lot of farming. Tending an orchard and accepting the fact that some years produce reduced harvests makes farming rather different than just going to the supermarket.

In 100-200 years with soil temperatures rising, glacial meltwater a thing of the past, it is going to be very much harder to grow food. Glacier meltwater that permit rivers to flow year around and consequently provide water available to irrigate crops during the summer months will no longer be available for irrigation. LIkewise, more and more arable land is lost to other activities. This is a major driver of the current riots in India. People who used to rely on agriculture and agricultural production are being displaced by national and multinational corporations building out into the outskirts of New Dehli that used to support a predominantly agricultural economy and population. Soon it will be more than rogue elephants sneaking into gardens and farms to steal the produce, it will be millions of displaced and hungry persons with no other recourse.

Comment Re:Non-believers (Score 2, Insightful) 520

Yes exactly. You're analogy is kind of like the American voter who consistently votes for candidates who don't believe in government and then complain when the government doesn't work. Yes, a lot like putting your head into the cog of a giant machine and having it crushed. Admittedly, one does hear the screams of anguish.

Too bad that as the heads explode, they fail to recognize that the guy they were counting on to turn the crushing machine off, was really busy speeding it up to benefit the guy who owns the crushing machine and is eager to profit by selling more crushing machines.

Ironic that with all that freedom, so many choose to use it to be stupid.

Comment Re:Non-believers (Score 3, Insightful) 520

The interesting aspect of this is that so far buyers don't seem to recognize that what each successive buyer will be both accepting more risk, hence paying more and more for insurance, on a property that will be worth less when it comes time to sell. Coastal property is very much now like milk and other perishable items. It has a sell by date stamped on it. Its just that the dates are of relatively longer duration, on the order of a few generations.

Given human nature, this musical chairs nature of the coastal property business won't make itself evident to most for another 25-50 years or so. By then with higher temperatures and hence more energy and moisture in the air and consequently more violent and more frequent storms this risks will be apparent to most. However, given that the wealthy are the primary buyers of coastal real estate, form them it's more a question of disposable income. Also for them, it is likely that much if not nearly all of these costs will be passed on to taxpayers and consumers generally, as the buy politicians to shift the tax burden from the wealthy onto the poor and the dwindling middle class and they simply pass the costs on in the form of higher prices in the businesses that they own and control.

The biggest impact will be in cities like Miami and parts of New Jersey, and large stretches of the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico, where the elevations are so uniformly low over considerable expanses. There all properties will be effected and both rich and poor will be forced to migrate elsewhere. The rich should be ok as they may already have property elsewhere or resources that they can use to purchase other properties even as their seaside properties become worthless. The poor on the other hand will be forced to face conditions similar to those now faced by indigents in Bangladesh, too poor to stay and too poor to move. This will probably be the big unexpected aspect of sea level rise, the political and economic instability that it creates by making so many to lose it all, with little political or economic recourse. Subsequent generations will suffer disproportionately on the individual level as families that might once have had property that could be passed onto subsequent generations in the form of inheritance will be left with greatly diminished inheritance.

What few recognize is that given free energy considerations and the consequent fact that once a carbon dioxide molecule is generated from fossil fuels, it stays essentially as a permanent fixture in the atmosphere for on average about 100 years. Given the fact that it thus accumulates, the process is exponential, but the consequences time-lagged so that we have yet to experience the effect of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere over the past 50 years, an amount far greater than the previous 50. If one extrapolates from previous geological periods and looks at rates of sea-level rise at various locations, one sees spurts of rising over very short time periods, several meter rises over a hundred year period in some cases (remember that 5+ inches/100 year is a global average). Consequently, there is far more "coastal property" than most people recognize.

Unfortunately for those on in the US living on the Western Atlantic, the effects of Greenland ice melt on sea level rise will be greatest there rather than immediately adjacent to Greenland because of the fact that the oceans are in motion and the differential between isostatic adjustment and water mass position forces the maximum peaks southward, but primarily over the Western rather than Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Consequently, those rising tides will be flooding Wall Street within the next few hundred years with near certainty. That's a lot of expensive real estate that will need to be liquidated (in more ways than one) in a relatively short period of time.

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