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IBM Tries To Forecast and Control Beijing's Air Pollution

samzenpus posted about three weeks ago | from the sisyphus-industries dept.

IBM 63

itwbennett writes Using supercomputers to predict and study pollution patterns is nothing new. And already, China's government agencies, and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, publicly report real-time pollution levels to residents. But IBM is hoping to design a better system tailored for Beijing that can predict air quality levels three days in advance, and even pinpoint the exact sources of the pollution down to the street level, said Jin Dong, an IBM Research director involved in the project.

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Down to the street level (5, Funny)

kruach aum (1934852) | about three weeks ago | (#47401247)

There, that moped is doing it. That one. That little moped is why 20 million people literally cannot live off the air they breathe.

Re:Down to the street level (1)

zlives (2009072) | about three weeks ago | (#47401369)

just think if we could take out that moped and save the world...
you sir, are clearly not an ibmer

Re:Down to the street level (1)

davester666 (731373) | about three weeks ago | (#47401389)

Yeah, let's all get him.

Re:Down to the street level (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401469)

It's the people's whale blubber and coal fired moped.

Let me be the first to say it (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about three weeks ago | (#47401253)

Air pollution stinks.

Re:Let me be the first to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401273)

About the same as your mom's cooter.

Re:Let me be the first to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401427)

hey, that's all natural and carbon neutral, at least until she plants it on her Harley, bottoming out the suspension, and fires the engine up

no supercomputer needed (5, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about three weeks ago | (#47401287)

already known that coal makes the number one pollutant of the air in in China, of the PM2.5 that makes up most the rest, 22 percent from transportation, 16 percent from industry, 17 percent from coal.....the sources are known, the percents are known. How and if they are going to clean up these known sources is the question, no need for modeling

Re:no supercomputer needed (3, Insightful)

zlives (2009072) | about three weeks ago | (#47401379)

yes but if we spend the next 5-20 years modeling we don't actually have to do anything real about it.

Re:no supercomputer needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401545)

But we all know that the only result the model will come up with is...... "It's Bush's fault"

Re:no supercomputer needed (3, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about three weeks ago | (#47401601)

Actually it was another president long before Bush who snubbed a U.S. ally to make relationship with China so jobs and wealth production could be "outsourced". That was the start of the present day pollution problem in China

Re:no supercomputer needed (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about three weeks ago | (#47401711)

Yes, it's all America's fault that China didn't ever implement air scrubbing devices.

Re:no supercomputer needed (1)

GNious (953874) | about three weeks ago | (#47401897)

uhm, aren't China being pretty diligent with installing filters and what-nut on coal-plants?

Re:no supercomputer needed (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about three weeks ago | (#47402085)

Yeah, that explains the worst air pollution on earth.

Re:no supercomputer needed (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about three weeks ago | (#47404679)

it's funny really, they did put in filters that cut emissions from coal plants in half, but also doubled the number of plants.

Re:no supercomputer needed (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about three weeks ago | (#47403641)

yes but if we spend the next 5-20 years modeling we don't actually have to do anything real about it.

China isn't like the USA.
They tend to move purposefully and quickly when goals are set.

In the run up to the Olympics, China unilaterally closed coal power plants, various heavy industries, and took cars off the road, all in a bid to reduce pollution in Beijing.
It took the USA 40 years to tell grandfathered coal plants to either shape up or shut down.
  Compare to China: [businessinsider.com]

Beijing plans to limit the total number of cars on the road to 5.6 million this year, with the number allowed to rise to 6 million by 2017, the local government has said.

It will also aim to meet its 2011-2015 targets to cut outdated capacity in sectors like steel, glassmaking and cement by the end of this year, one year ahead of schedule. On top of the original targets, it will also close an additional 15 million tonnes of steel smelting capacity and 100 million tonnes of cement making capacity next year.

The key idea here is that all this is happening unilaterally.
Their actions probably wouldn't even be constitutional in the USA.

Re:no supercomputer needed (1)

plopez (54068) | about three weeks ago | (#47404463)

And they don't seem to care how many people they kill in order to do it. See the 'Great Leap Forward' or break neck economic development in the present as examples.

Re:no supercomputer needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47406083)

ahem [wikipedia.org]

OK, owners cared for their lives, but only because they lost property.

Re:no supercomputer needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47402029)

Sort of like that commercial for an overblown Telcom device where the Gal asks if it will rain as she peers thru a window with a torrent outside!
DUH,.,, Its the pollution, not timing so that the weather sweeps it away. Enough fog might precipitate the garbage out of the air, closer to where its produced. Shame on us all for not noticing that aIr pollution is not a single nation issue. Its a shared resource. A shared global resource that everyone needs to consider if they want to have a chance at health.. and ... NO ... space exploration is not a justifiable solution to pollution.

Re:no supercomputer needed (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about three weeks ago | (#47402261)

Ah, but if you are trying to sell supercomputers, that sort of solution is no good at all...

I can only assume that this is another project under the aegis of IBM's 'smarter planet' [wikipedia.org] bullshit, the essence of which appears to be that you can pretend to solve any problem, no matter the type, by throwing enough IBM consultants and systems at it, ideally while invoking 'big data', 'analytics', and 'cloud'.

Exactly how this is supposed to solve anything is a question caused by lack of faith, one which can be answered by installing more sensors and casting the big-data runes once again.

IBM.... (2)

funwithBSD (245349) | about three weeks ago | (#47401327)

is protecting it's future employees, customers, and H1B visa holders.

Re:IBM.... (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about three weeks ago | (#47401411)

well they have to have communist customers now that they lost their Nazi one

Re:IBM.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47402153)

is protecting it's future employees, customers, and H1B visa holders.

IBM has been historically pretty good at doing this stuff--developing a system tailored for the sake of the technology itself. A past example of their success was helping governments with concentration camps [wikipedia.org] and working with Germany to find Jews [ibmandtheholocaust.com] .

I have no reason to believe less of them this time succeeding in designing a system tailored to Beijing desire to experiment with pollution at the expense of their people's health.

Re:IBM.... (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about three weeks ago | (#47402691)

They used a machine for census taking and made under license by a German company.

That is like blaming IBM for all the things that people did with IBM PCs.

 

Re: IBM.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47403597)

Look, if there had been no census, Hitler would never have known there were Jews in Germany.

How evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401347)

Controlling the air pollution and intentionally deciding to increase it as an experiement is ridiculous. That's Bush-style evil. The man poisoned hundreds of thousands of square miles of the US just to see what would happen. Now with his oil pipeline scam, he wants to create an oil spill that goes all of the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Re:How evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401743)

I think you misspelled Dick Cheney.

only way to fix it is nuke Beijing (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about three weeks ago | (#47401351)

only way to fix it is nuke Beijing and then the Watson starts to log into the missile silos systems that had hand the people with the keys taken out of the loop.

Similarly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401387)

I'm heating my house by burning coal in a metal drum. It's fine because I bought a supercomputer to predict in which room the smoke is going.

Re:Similarly... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about three weeks ago | (#47402277)

Can I interest you in a second supercomputer to predict where the smoke from the coal plant powering the first supercomputer will end up?

Obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401413)

I can predict the air quality of Beijing at any time for at least the next 5 years and I can do it for free. The quality is BAD. July 10, 2018? BAD. Simple.

Like forecasting Phoenix weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401425)

"sunny and hot" is the summer forecast.

One can also predict traffic jams at any scale. In one day, week, month, year there will be a traffic jam from 3-7 PM on the Southbound 101.

Always clear skies over the US embassy (4, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about three weeks ago | (#47401497)

The Chinese government HATES it when people measure and publish "unofficial" pollution level readings...you can bet that pollution controls upwind of the US embassy are especially strict.

Re:Always clear skies over the US embassy (4, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about three weeks ago | (#47402021)

The Chinese government HATES it when people measure and publish "unofficial" pollution level readings...you can bet that pollution controls upwind of the US embassy are especially strict.

Which is pretty amusing since it's pretty easy to design an algorith that will predict pollution levels for most major Chinese cities with pretty much 100% accuracy every day of the year:


#include <stdio.h>
#include <unistd.h>

int main()
{
    while(1)
    {
        printf("Predicted polution level for today: Very High\n");
        printf("Health hazard: Extreme\n");
        sleep(86400);
    }

    return 1;
}

Re:Always clear skies over the US embassy (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about three weeks ago | (#47402293)

Your program's sleep is unaffected by cardiovascular problems or a deep, phlegmatic, hacking cough. You call that accurate?

Re:Always clear skies over the US embassy (1)

jandersen (462034) | about three weeks ago | (#47405629)

Very amusing. However, as someone who's actually been in Beijing several times (I held a work permit in China for 3 years among other things), I can tell that things are a bit more nuanced. It can be grim, sometimes, but most of what is claimed to be smog in the stereotypical press-photo, is actually dust from the arid north-west of China (Inner Mongolia); when the weather is dry and the wind is from that corner, everything gets coated in very fine powder. I don't remember pollution being a huge problem - it isn't good, mind, but it isn't anywhere near what London and other industrial cities used to be like.

The biggest problem in Beijing is the continental climate - summer like a blast-furnace and the winter is bitterly cold. But go there around April, and it is the loveliest city in the world, green and flowers everywhere.

Big computer generated map of coalstacks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47401641)

And some weather-related forecasting. Big whoop. Good luck DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT instead of just knowing when to shut down cities.

Got To Be A Ritual (3, Insightful)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about three weeks ago | (#47401721)

Anything that society can't deal with becomes surrounded by rituals. For example we can make one heck of a ritual over applying the death penalty. It is like prisons that seal off all roads within miles of the prison near the hour of execution supposedly to ward off the stampede of would be friends that supposedly will try to rescue the subject. Now pollution is getting the same nonsense. Most pollution is obvious. If it pollutes just shut it down. No need to decide which source is least or greatest at all. If it pollutes simply end it. One business may be spewing carbon monoxide or even carbon dioxide while the next spews sulpher. We need no study or debate over which is worse. If it pollutes kill it. If that happens to shut down almost every business in town then great. You have just solved the traffic problem. There is more than one way to clean up the neighborhood.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about three weeks ago | (#47401997)

If that happens to shut down almost every business in town then great.

But won't you think of the economy? We must enable mankind to engage in economic activity, no matter the cost!

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about three weeks ago | (#47402157)

If it pollutes just shut it down.

You pollute. Where's your "off" switch?

Once you've realized that there's no way to completely eliminate pollution, and that markets work most efficiently when negative externalities are internalized into prices, the solution becomes obvious: charge the polluters for the damage they cause, and give the revenue to those injured by pollution. This will give polluters the proper incentive to curb their emissions and it will pay the medical costs and lost sick days of those injured by pollution, all without harming the economy.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about three weeks ago | (#47403611)

charge the polluters for the damage they cause, and give the revenue to those injured by pollution. This will give polluters the proper incentive to curb their emissions and it will pay the medical costs and lost sick days of those injured by pollution, all without harming the economy.

More like it will allow the misfortune (probably poor) to be able to afford the products and services you just made super expensive. I mean seriously, a scheme like this will never result in anything other then the costs being passed on to the consumer until there is a viable replacement for technology that pollutes. And no, wind and solar are not there- neither is storage capabilities. All the pollution you will reduce by those schemes is the pollution caused by the poor and lower middle class being priced out of markets. If that is your big idea on cleaning the planet up, I'll be the first in line to take a dump on your porch.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about three weeks ago | (#47403927)

More like it will allow the misfortune (probably poor) to be able to afford the products and services you just made super expensive.

Who is more likely to be injured by pollution, the poor or the rich? (The poor, because they tend to live in dirtier areas.) And therefore who stands to gain the most, relative to their discretionary income, from recouping the medical costs and lost sick days from that pollution? (Also the poor, because they have little to no discretionary income.)

So you are correct that it will raise prices, but it will also provide the poor with two benefits. Two for the price of one is a good deal, don't you think?

Of course the rich will complain about paying the full societal cost of their lifestyle because they won't see as much benefit in it as the poor, but I wouldn't worry too much about them being able to afford it. By the way, are you rich?

And no, wind and solar are not there- neither is storage capabilities.

Not much energy storage is needed to prevent blackouts, even with intermittent sources such as wind and solar, as long as electricity is always priced at market equilibrium to prevent blackouts. And since pricing something below market equilibrium is never a good long-term strategy, there's no technical reason why wind and solar cannot provide most of the nation's needs.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about three weeks ago | (#47404049)

Who is more likely to be injured by pollution, the poor or the rich? (The poor, because they tend to live in dirtier areas.) And therefore who stands to gain the most, relative to their discretionary income, from recouping the medical costs and lost sick days from that pollution? (Also the poor, because they have little to no discretionary income.)

Not really. The poor tend to be the source of their own pollution moreso than suffering other people's pollution. They mix chemicals like Bleach and Lime away in cleaning, have open fires they sit right beside and in some cases in the path of the smoke. They do a lot of things like eat poor diets, do drugs and alcohol and others that for the most part, place themselves in more danger than pollution.

Also, in the US at least, the poor do not pay their medical bills. They have nothing to take and nothing to lose so if they are not on some government program (which they should be due to Obamacare) they simply do not pay. Most poor also do not take sick days. They go to work sick if they go to work at all. I'm just not able to take your scenario into reality.. At least the reality I know anyways.

So you are correct that it will raise prices, but it will also provide the poor with two benefits. Two for the price of one is a good deal, don't you think?

Yes, it will mean their electricity is turned off and their ability to own a car- the one sense of freedom they might have a connection with, will be taken by the expenses incurred. Of course they can walk anywhere they want to go because they are less then us Rich People, but maybe that is not a good idea because food will skyrocket too and they will have a caloric problem. But hey, what a great utopia you are building there, are you planning on inviting people or just forcing them to join you?

Of course the rich will complain about paying the full societal cost of their lifestyle because they won't see as much benefit in it as the poor, but I wouldn't worry too much about them being able to afford it. By the way, are you rich?

That's right, in the land of the have and the have nots, the Rich will still be watching their big screen TVs while sitting in their heated hot tubs running the AC because it is hot out there. The soccer mom will make two and three trips instead of one round to get the gang to their sports, music, and such because that SUV is no longer within their price range to operate. Well, that or Junior and his siblings get to participate in back yard sports and banging pots and pans together only.

But hey, none of this matters because you get your way right? I'm remembering something Margette Thatcher said. It's something like you don't care if the poor are poorer as long as you can make the rich less rich.. Do I have it summed up right? Oh yeah, I forgot. You are altruistically doing this for their health.

Not much energy storage is needed to prevent blackouts, even with intermittent sources such as wind and solar, as long as electricity is always priced at market equilibrium to prevent blackouts. And since pricing something below market equilibrium is never a good long-term strategy, there's no technical reason why wind and solar cannot provide most of the nation's needs.

We have had solar or at least known about it since the 1800's. We had it availible to the masses since the 70s. We have had wind power for longer but more directly, it used to power most of the mid west until after the hoover dam was built and grid power became reliable in the 1930s. If what you say is true, I'm shocked that we ever left wind and solar go. The fact of the matter is that we do not have the capabilities to use wind and solar for our electrical demands and there isn't sufficient storage to compete with other methods. If we could, it would be online right now without governments mandating it.

Now I know you are going to say "it is perfectly fine in this little universe". The problem is that wherever that little universe is, it different from the little universes a lot of other people live in. I know you will have a bunch of excuses and a bunch of ifs and so on, I also know that you care more about a concept than the people it will hurt and you will look for ways to actively make yourself feel better about those concepts even though they are pure theoretical and not to grounded in reality.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about three weeks ago | (#47404827)

The poor tend to be the source of their own pollution moreso than suffering other people's pollution.

Why is that relevant in any discussion about whether the rich should pay their fair share for the pollution they cause?

Also, in the US at least, the poor do not pay their medical bills.

Again, not relevant, unless you are arguing that welfare should pay the poor's medical bills and not those who injure the poor.

Yes, it will mean their electricity is turned off...

Or they spend the day at the mall or the library on hot days. Back in the first half of the 20th century before residential air conditioners, air conditioning was a big selling point for movie theaters.

...and their ability to own a car- the one sense of freedom they might have a connection with...

In your neighborhood, can you buy a gallon of milk without driving to the store in a car? Have you ever done so? If not, you are a slave to your car, not the other way around.

The soccer mom will make two and three trips instead of one round to get the gang to their sports, music, and such because that SUV is no longer within their price range to operate.

Why drive at all when you can bike everywhere? Oh that's right, because we've made the streets faster for cars and more dangerous for bicyclists, and pushed destinations farther apart and harder to get there by bicycle in order to make room for parking. We've taken away our freedom in order to give ourselves the perception of freedom. Isn't that ironic?

you don't care if the poor are poorer as long as you can make the rich less rich.. Do I have it summed up right?

I don't think paying the poor's medical bills and lost work days will make them poorer. Nor will keeping schoolchildren healthy and able to attend classes keep them from achieving their full potential.

The fact of the matter is that we do not have the capabilities to use wind and solar for our electrical demands and there isn't sufficient storage to compete with other methods. If we could, it would be online right now without governments mandating it.

Or it would be online right now if externalities and other market failures were corrected.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about three weeks ago | (#47411327)

Why is that relevant in any discussion about whether the rich should pay their fair share for the pollution they cause?

Because you specifically brought up helping the poor as if it somehow secured your position. I can see you are abandoning that now I guess.

Again, not relevant, unless you are arguing that welfare should pay the poor's medical bills and not those who injure the poor.

Again, you brought this up as a benefit to the poor. welfare already pays the poor's medical bills so should is not an operative term.

Or they spend the day at the mall or the library on hot days. Back in the first half of the 20th century before residential air conditioners, air conditioning was a big selling point for movie theaters.

Yes, in their diminished capacity, the poor are free to do as you say all day long and to hell with whatever they might actually want to do.

In your neighborhood, can you buy a gallon of milk without driving to the store in a car? Have you ever done so? If not, you are a slave to your car, not the other way around.

I can walk and/or ride a bike to get a gallon of milk. It's not practical or efficient to make a trip to the store for single items but I guess you have more free time then I do.

Why drive at all when you can bike everywhere? Oh that's right, because we've made the streets faster for cars and more dangerous for bicyclists, and pushed destinations farther apart and harder to get there by bicycle in order to make room for parking. We've taken away our freedom in order to give ourselves the perception of freedom. Isn't that ironic?

There is no loss of freedom for a perception of freedom. It's called efficiency and availability. But why are you talking about freedom as if only people who think like you have it?

I don't think paying the poor's medical bills and lost work days will make them poorer. Nor will keeping schoolchildren healthy and able to attend classes keep them from achieving their full potential.

I sure you don't think. You see, if you make everything more expensive, you are also making food more expensive, clothing more expensive, toiletries more expensive, electricity more expensive, just about everything will be more expensive including taxes for government services. Or do you somehow magically expect schools, fire and police departments, town halls and so on to not be hit by the carbon taxes in their electric bills and transportation costs for materials and so forth?

Or it would be online right now if externalities and other market failures were corrected.

No it would not. It doesn't exist, the capabilities do not exist. Nowhere does it exist. Not even in Germany where they are singing their own praises does it exist. It simply does not exist.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about three weeks ago | (#47405969)

Not there only if you don't price externalities in to energy prices.

Think of it this way, if I produce something and dump super toxic byproducts into a river, it's great for me. I don't pay to handle the toxic byproducts. However, while I save money, the families down stream who all get cancer are much worse off.

So, as a society, we don't allow chemical plants to save money by poisoning others.

Coal plants also have poisonous byproducts, but they are not required to care. They kill people, but they are not charged the true cost.

Solution is to charge everyone the true cost of what they're doing.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about three weeks ago | (#47407151)

Lol... and everyone who has ever seen a coal power plant has died. Coal is not some super goxic material and neither is the byproducts.

I could think of it your way, i could also think the moon is made of green cheese and be just as wrong. Your solution, despite being largely fictional will disproportionately harm the poor and make middle class poor.

Some of you people just seem to not care about the poor and don't mind tge poor getting poorer as long as yoh can make the rich less rich.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about three weeks ago | (#47409291)

It's a fact that coal plants pollute and those pollutants result in increases of disease and a decrease of the health of a population downwind.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ja... [forbes.com]

There's my citation. Maybe you'd care to share yours?

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about three weeks ago | (#47410283)

Those death rates for coal contain illnesses from mining and transporting coal which is a bit unconnected to burning it for energy. In most situations, those outside related deaths or illnesses can be attributed to improperly following MSHA regulations.

Needless to say, neither your article or you have provided any evidence that coal is super toxic. It simply isn't. More people die and need health care related to car accidents per year than from coal. But lets look at the real numbers for a minute. According to Wikipedia, [wikipedia.org] in 2006, we generated 1.991 trillionkwh a year in the US from coal. According to your article, we experience 15,000 deaths per trillionkwh a year from coal generation (mind you, it includes mining, transportation, and everything else involved). So 1.991*15000 comes out to 29,865 deaths a year attributed to our coal usage for electricity. According to the CDC, [cdc.gov] there were over 10k more suicides in 2011 (38,364) than deaths attributed to using coal as electricity. There were 4 times the amount of accidental deaths than coal (120,859 accidental deaths). More than double the number of deaths from Diabetes that from using coal to generate electricity (69,071). But lets assume every single coal death in the US is from heart disease which is the number one killer listed by the CDC (597,689). Deaths from coal would be only 4% of the total (29865/597,689) .

Again, coal is not some super toxic material and neither is the byproducts. You can check the math, and please feel free to do so.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about three weeks ago | (#47413401)

Specious argument. If you're burning coal the process required to burn the coal (whether you're telling me it's the actual flame, or the upstream mining) is killing people.

The number of people being greater than or less than the number of deaths for heart disease or diabetes is also irrelevant to the discussion. Deaths are not something economical you can just decide are acceptable[1]. Can I say that, if I shoot someone, say it's OK because I only take one life, and suicide and heart disease both take so many more each year?

From what I see, you are basically defining your own axioms so that everything is OK, with no reference to standard morality. Your argument is basically: let's assume anything already in the atmosphere can't be bad since it pre exists, and let's not worry about deaths as I'm not the one dying.

[1] For the case of industry. Yes, there are military situations where perhaps this sort of cold hearted calculus is necessary.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about three weeks ago | (#47420191)

Actually, it shows how specious you argument was.

From what I see, you are basically defining your own axioms so that everything is OK, with no reference to standard morality. Your argument is basically: let's assume anything already in the atmosphere can't be bad since it pre exists, and let's not worry about deaths as I'm not the one dying.

You would do well to pay attention to what I actually say and not suppose things in my stead. I have said it twice now so pay attention. Coal is not some super toxic material. It is damaging and kills people but it is not super toxic. The vast majority of people who die from coal exposure is a fraction of other things they die from.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (2)

Arker (91948) | about three weeks ago | (#47402641)

Carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant.

It's a natural component of the atmosphere, produced every time an animal breaths or respirates in any manner (fish do it too.)

Now, focus on the real pollution for a moment and realize that there are still very real and enormous costs to your proposed policy of 'If it pollutes simply end it.'

So what are you going to use for power, Solar? Do you have any idea how much pollution you have to create BEFORE you get a PV cell ready to START producing a miniscule trickle of electricity? Hydro-electric damages the riverine ecology and there is still plenty of pollution attributable to its construction and maintenance on top of it. The latter goes for wind as well. *You cannot even construct* your "clean" power plant without polluting to do it, so electricity is out the window, welcome to the new dark ages.

Unless that is really what you want, you will have to adjust your expectations. Some level of pollution being unavoidable, the question becomes how to keep it within safe bounds.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

gtall (79522) | about three weeks ago | (#47403155)

Oxygen isn't a pollutant either, unless you breath too much of it. Similarly for nitrogen.

Here's a clue, have a sense of proportion. Pump enough CO2 into the atmosphere, big surprise, the atmosphere heats up. Don't want to believe it is problem? Please, don't. However, you cannot ignore the CO2 acidifying the oceans and taking out coral reefs and shell fish. Don't think that's a problem? The ocean is the base of the food chain. Surely, you care about that, eh? Nah? Okay, please go back to sleep.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

Arker (91948) | about three weeks ago | (#47403463)

"Oxygen isn't a pollutant either, unless you breath too much of it. Similarly for nitrogen."

How much you breath has absolutely nothing to do with it. Oxygen, Nitrogen, and CO2 are the natural components of the atmosphere, not pollutants.

"Here's a clue, have a sense of proportion. Pump enough CO2 into the atmosphere, big surprise, the atmosphere heats up. Don't want to believe it is problem? Please, don't. However, you cannot ignore the CO2 acidifying the oceans and taking out coral reefs and shell fish. Don't think that's a problem? The ocean is the base of the food chain. Surely, you care about that, eh? Nah? Okay, please go back to sleep."

This does not appear to be relevant to anything I posted, indeed, you appear to behaving quite the conversation with an imaginary friend there.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about three weeks ago | (#47405989)

You're a bit too literal. "Noise pollution," "heat pollution," and "light pollution" also involve an excess of something that naturally occurs in the environment.

That does not mean that, for instance, the effects to the environment are not detrimental. Which is why, despite the fact that in a natural ecosystem animals make noises, NYC fines drivers who honk their horn excessively. And why there are rules about when you can land your airplane because it's not nice to wake up residents within a hundred miles of the airport.

So it's a bit naïve to claim that just because something naturally occurs in the environment, an excess won't be bad for society (and shouldn't be controlled).

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (1)

Arker (91948) | about three weeks ago | (#47406753)

"You're a bit too literal."

And you are a bit too soft-headed, at least on this issue.

"Noise pollution," "heat pollution," and "light pollution" also involve an excess of something that naturally occurs in the environment.

And all three are BS terms. Marketing terms, where they verbally associate item X with item Y even though it does not belong, simply because they believe it will provoke the emotional response they want. THIS is real pollution - of the language. This fits in the same bucket with the 'wars' on 'drugs' and 'terror'- it's language being used to prevent, not to facilitate, accurate thinking and accurate communication.

This is where effective manipulation of the population starts, and this is where it needs to be rejected.

Excessive noise, excessive heat, and excessive light are perfectly accurate terms. The 'pollution' variants are inaccurate, marketing terms, chosen to provoke an emotional response in a desired direction. Lies, to speak plainly.

"So it's a bit na&#195;&#175;ve to claim that just because something naturally occurs in the environment, an excess won't be bad for society (and shouldn't be controlled)."

It would be, except I made no such claim. Go back, re-read my post, as many times as you want. It simply does not say that.

This is how bad you (and it's not to pick on you personally, this is a general pattern today) have had your own head loused up at this point with marketing-inspired BS that you automatically read that claim into what I said, and responded to it, even though I did NOT say it and did not even imply it in any way.

I simply pointed out that CO2 is not a pollutant. And then moved on to my main point. And both the replies I get ignore the main point entirely and respond, not to what I actually wrote, but to some sort of pre-programmed straw-man image of what I *must* believe, no matter that it is completely inaccurate.

Re:Got To Be A Ritual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47403053)

Logic:
  If it pollutes kill it
  carbon dioxide is pollution
  sulpher is pollution

Input:
  humans exhale carbon dioxide

Result:
  humans must be killed

Conclusion:
    Please do not work in the field of robotics.

and this...
If that happens to shut down almost every business in town then great. You have just solved the traffic problem. There is more than one way to clean up the neighborhood.
Well at least they will not choke on pollution but will starve to death as they can not buy or grow food or go anywhwere as they may increase co2 levels.

You think I am being obtuse and taking things to the extreme? You have not dealt with a bureaucratic dingle-berry on a power trip before have you?

And the answer is... (2)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about three weeks ago | (#47401765)

...please insert another $1M to continue this contract.

heritage report (1)

meeotch (524339) | about three weeks ago | (#47401873)

In response to concerns both about possible export of American technologies to China as a result of IBM's involvement, and claims by climate scientists that emissions in China contribute significantly to global warming, think tank The Heritage Foundation released the following report:

"Heh, heh - His name is 'Dong'. Heh."

Re:heritage report (1)

gtall (79522) | about three weeks ago | (#47403169)

C'mon, the Heritage Foundation is not THAT sophisticated. Actually, the Heritage Foundation has been taken over by Libertards. They rather take offense at big business. I'm not sure they are all wrong to take offense, but I'm fairly sure it is for the wrong reasons.

A couple of coworkers just got back from Beijing.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47402719)

They had to return early because one ended-up in the hospital and another was coughing so much he started to coughing-up blood. IBM is doing a terrible job there. Is there anything that company has done right in thirty years? Also, I saw pictures of the polution. You couldn't see the office building across the street on one of the bad days. IBM now has the anti-Midas touch. Everything they touch turns to shit.

Re:A couple of coworkers just got back from Beijin (1)

swv3752 (187722) | about three weeks ago | (#47403335)

How the hell is China having awful pollution the fault of IBM? By golly I know IBM is not perfect, but all the cases I have personally seen, customers dump a pile of crap into IBM's hands, then hamstring them while demanding they polish the turd.

Easiest forecast in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47403203)

Of the scale every single day

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