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The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

Stephan Schulz Re:The real problem is... (552 comments)

What "geologic indications" are these, exactly? The last time I checked, the global warming proponents were just checking ice cores for CO2 content in the atmosphere. The melting point of most rocks is well above the hottest temperatures encountered in the atmosphere...

You haven't checked very carefully, then. There are several geological proxies for past temperatures. One example is the Oxygen isotope ratio in calcium carbonate.

about a month ago
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The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

Stephan Schulz Re:Heartland Institute (552 comments)

The Heartland Institute's NIPCC reports use the same research papers cited by the IPCC and shows how the IPCC conveniently skews data and ignores all the data in between.

There is a difference in semantics between "shows" and "claims" that you seem to not be aware of. The so-called NIPCC is a front for Heartland, and consists of a changing but minuscule group of well-known deniers. Their report is a transparent piece of propaganda for everyone who has at least a basic scientific understanding.

about a month ago
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The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

Stephan Schulz Re: 1800s (552 comments)

I thought the MWP was a full three degrees warmer then the 1990's. Which were warmer then now.

What you think, is, of course, your own problem (although the "a full three degrees warmer" must come from some very creative interpretation of the record). But how do you get the ideas that the 1990's were warmer than it is now? The 1990s were about 0.2 degree C colder than 2013, and this year will most likely be warmer still. There was one exceptional year (1998) that was marginally warmer than 2013. Of course, these short-term trends are heavily influenced by noise, so the significance of these results is low. But that's no reason to make wrong claims.

about a month ago
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Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

Stephan Schulz Re: How about (385 comments)

Standard Oil. Microsoft. AT&T.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Books for a Comp Sci Graduate Student?

Stephan Schulz Re:Some non-Knuth suggestions (247 comments)

Sipser's book is not bad, but I find it much shallower than any of the editions of Hopcroft[,Motwani], Ullman. Many of his proofs seemed to be more hand-waving. On the other hand, he is somewhat good at building intuition, which is valuable for students not yet used to the domain.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Books for a Comp Sci Graduate Student?

Stephan Schulz Some non-Knuth suggestions (247 comments)

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?

Stephan Schulz Re:Org mode (170 comments)

Seconded!

about 4 months ago
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

Stephan Schulz Re:Buy a Prius as your next car... (869 comments)

Bird deaths are no myth:

http://www.cfact.org/2013/03/1...

CFACT is not a remotely reliable source, nor to they cite any such source. Google Scholar is usually good at finding real research papers on the topic. This is the top hit for 2013, and while it finds some bird mortality due to wind turbines, it estimates the effect to be much lower than that of other anthropogenic risks for birds, even assuming a 10-fold increase in wind turbines.

There is no silver bullet, nor will we ever manage to return the planet to Garden of Eden conditions. But "there is no single perfect solution, therefore let's not do anything" is not a viable approach to life. Perfect solutions to any problem are exceedingly rare, but that does not stop us from improving situations.

about 4 months ago
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Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

Stephan Schulz Re:piotr (330 comments)

On ISS, they get about 0.1 mw from an acre, that is 24.7 mw from km2.

Pedantic remark: There is a slight difference between a mW (milliwatt) and a MW (megawatt), a factor of about a short billion, or 9 (decimal) orders of magnitude.

Even more pedantic: W is upper case (as it's named after James Watt). I'm not aware of any unit using a lower case "w" as the abbreviation. But in general, capitalisation is significant for units.

about 6 months ago
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Darker Arctic Boosting Global Warming

Stephan Schulz Re:Small problem (378 comments)

Small problem with that is this summer had 50% less ice melt in the arctic

Says who? 50% less than what? 2012 was a record minimum year. 2013 has bounced back from that record low (in ice extend, not ice volume), but is still one of the years with the least sea ice extend science measurements began. And all the other similarly low extend years have been after 2005.

about 6 months ago
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Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

Stephan Schulz Re:Ha ha ha ha ha (410 comments)

The real issue is that China has FORCED all of the manufacturing there. And they continue to build new coal plants weekly. It is for this reason why I continue to say that we need to tax ALL GOODS CONSUMED based on where they and their parts come from. If we do that, then it forces all nations to look long-term, rather than to do what China is doing.

China has forced manufacturing? E.g. by being cheaper and then letting the invisible hand do its thing? I'm not aware of China threatening war, or Chinese gangs going around smashing British-made teapots.

Yes, Chinese industrialisation causes massive ecological problems. But then, so did western industrialisation. You are proposing a tax based on where parts come from. Why that? And using what measures? For me, the reasonable approach is a Carbon tax (or import duty), not based on place of origin, but rather on amount of CO2 released in the production. Of course, that would also apply to fuels (or parts) locally consumed.

about 6 months ago
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Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

Stephan Schulz Re:Ha ha ha ha ha (410 comments)

The developed world emits less than 40%, with just China emitting more than EUROPE AND AMERICA COMBINED.

For small values of "Europe and America" (i.e. the EU and the US, excluding e.g. Russia, Canada, Mexico and Brasil), barely, and with a much larger population.

The reason why China is increasing emissions and the developed world has slightly decreasing emissions is that they make all our stuff now. We're still driving those emissions by unlimited consumerism, it's just that we outsourced the dirty bits of actually making stuff. That's not good, of course. And it's still our problem - in fact, it would still be our problem if the Chinese were producing that CO2 for their own benefit only. It would just be harder to do anything about it.

about 6 months ago
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GOP Bill To Outlaw EPA 'Secret Science' That Is Not Transparent, Reproducible

Stephan Schulz Re: "Not Reproduclibe" (618 comments)

The proposed law does not say WHO reproduces it, merely that someone MUST be able to reproduce the results. If the EPA can point to another, independent, study which reproduces the results of the first study, it meets those qualifications.

Scientific studies often cost significant amounts of money to produce - at least, they cost significant amounts of researcher time. Unless a study is extremely controversial or you expect to get very different results, few scientists will spend the time. There is minimal new knowledge to be gained, most journals rarely publish papers on successful reproductions, and a CV that says "I did the same as Williams, the same as Jones, and the same as Mayer, and got the same results in each case" is not a career starter for a scientist, either.

Indeed, most studies that can be reproduced can be reproduced from the published papers. It's just hard work and expensive, which is why it's rarely done. Demanding reproducibility is fine, but demanding actual reproduction (as proof of reproducibility) would kill most science-based initiatives cold. Note, in particular, another law proposed by Lamar Smith that would allow NSF funding only for research that is "not duplicative of other research projects being funded by the Foundation or other Federal science agencies". Take the two together, and you have a requirement for reproduction, but deny funding to do the reproduction. Ooops - how convenient.

about 6 months ago
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Polar Vortex Sends Life-Threatening Freeze To US

Stephan Schulz Re:Threatning the midwest! (684 comments)

Don't you worry. Our vast arsenals of weapons of mass destruction work in subzero weather. Why don't you lean out your window and give us the finger so we can see who to thank for your sincere sentiments?

So much for freedom of speech...

about 8 months ago
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Reducing Climate Change Uncertainty By Figuring Out Clouds

Stephan Schulz Re:But I heard (249 comments)

D is quite far from certain....

"D" is the the claim that the increase in CO2 is anthropogenic. That is indeed known beyond even vaguely reasonable doubt - first, from simple accounting (we know fairly well how much CO2 we release) and secondly by isotope fingerprinting (the C we burn is from fossil fuels, which is depleted in 13C, and we can detect the resulting change in the atmosphere).

... For instance, take the end of the end of the Younger Dryas period. Rather than our current warming of 1C in 100 years, the end of the Younger Dryas period was marked by a warming of ~7C in 5 - 50 years.

The Younger Dryas was primarily an event in the Northern Atlantic region, and much less well-defined on a global scale. And we have good candidates for what caused it - primarily a slow-down of the thermohaline circulation as the result of the abrupt emptying of the large glacial lakes in North America.

about 8 months ago
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Reducing Climate Change Uncertainty By Figuring Out Clouds

Stephan Schulz Re:Models vs models (249 comments)

The changes in air temperature measurements have diverged from the changes in atmospheric CO2 measurements. I was promised that was not possible - a violation of basic physics. I was lied to.

To bad if you listen to people talking nonsense. You certainly were not reading mainstream science. CO2 is not the only climate forcing, and there is plenty of natural and unnatural fluctuation gong on. However, the fact that some guys win at roulette does not change the fact that the house is winning on average. Indeed, even if someone busts the house, the gambling industry still makes a good buck.

about 8 months ago
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US Executions Threaten Supply of Anaesthetic Used For Surgical Procedures

Stephan Schulz Re:We're All Guily (1160 comments)

You don't, as a rule, steal a car if you expect to get five years in prison. However any semi-rational or career thief will do at least a basic intuitive probability analysis: say the probability of getting caught is 5%, then the "expected " jail time is only 3 months, which may be a much more reasonable price to pay for the available profit, especially for a risk-prone personality.

...which again confirms what studies show: deterrence is not primarily based on draconian punishment, but on a high rate of solved crimes.

I like your signature ;-).

about 10 months ago
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US Executions Threaten Supply of Anaesthetic Used For Surgical Procedures

Stephan Schulz Re:We're All Guily (1160 comments)

It doesn't. The justice system has nothing to do with us being "better" than anyone else, it exists to (1) interrupt the cycle of reprisals that "code of honor" systems create("An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind"), by delegating judgement and punishment to a third party held blameless for actions committed in the line of duty. (2) discourage future crime through a combination of making an example of criminals caught to dissuade others [...]

(1) requires that the punishments inflicted be sufficient to prevent the wronged individuals from taking justice into their own hands. Obviously if the crime is particularly heinous or the wronged often inclined to violence that may set the bar rather high. (2) requires that punishments be sufficiently unpleasant that people who believe they probably won't get caught still don't think it's worth the risk.

Of course, nearly all even semi-civilised countries manage (1) to a very high degree without the death penalty. And (2) has been shown to be spurious over and over again. Criminals don't, as a rule, expect to be caught. If you assume that you are caught, even a moderate prison sentence would be enough to dissuade most crimes. Who would steal a car if he expects 5 years in prison in return?

about 10 months ago
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US Executions Threaten Supply of Anaesthetic Used For Surgical Procedures

Stephan Schulz Re:Numbers don't add up (1160 comments)

Well sense we know the fucking formula, why in hell don't we simply invalidate the EU patent in the US and make it ourselves. Then it's not imported and there is no shortage. Hell that's what Taiwan did in regards to the Tamiflu (avian flu epidemic) when the Patent Holder refused to license it. They invalidated the patent for the public health and made it themselves. Got sued in world court and the court agreed with Taiwan. Public health trumped the damn patent law.

Because killing people, even likely criminals, is not a public health issue, and hence does not trigger the exemption clauses in national patent law and international intellectual property treaties.

about 10 months ago
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Why Small-Scale Biomass Energy Projects Aren't a Solution To Climate Change

Stephan Schulz Re:Madagascar (178 comments)

I have seen studies that suggest that soot from poor people's cooking stoves are just as much to blame.

Soot in general has non-negligible impact, yes. Food from poor people's cooking stoves, on the other hand, has not. First, it's a small amount, compared to industrial and other sources. And secondly, since it comes from small fires without much updraft and without high chimneys, it mostly settles locally. Not too many poor people live close to large glaciers.

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Politician forces German Wikipedia off the Net

Stephan Schulz Stephan Schulz writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Stephan Schulz writes "German Member of parliament for the left-wing party "Die Linken" Lutz Heilmann has obtained a preliminary injunction against the local chapter of the Wikimedia foundation, Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., forbidding the forwarding of the popular http://wikipedia.de to the proper http://de.wikipedia.org. Apparently Heilman is not happy with the fact that his Wikipedia article (English version) contains information on his work for the former GDR Stasi, the much-hated internal secret service. Wikimedia Germany displays a page explaining the situation, and has announced that it will file an objection to get the injunction lifted.

The German Wikipedia has more than 800000 pages, and is hosted, like all Wikimedia projects, by the Florida Wikimedia Foundation, and hence beyond the effective reach of at least German politicians and judges."

Link to Original Source
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Mechanical Reasoners battle it out in Sydney today

Stephan Schulz Stephan Schulz writes  |  about 6 years ago

Stephan Schulz writes "While the Beijing Olympic Games may be the most visible ongoing contest, it is not the geekiest by far. Today, the CADE ATP System Competition will pit about 20 of the worlds most powerful mechanical mathematicians against each other — and for the first time they can win not only honour, but real a monetary prize. The systems will reason against the clock on tasks ranging from undergraduate math problems and Cluedo-like puzzles to figuring out the possible responsibility for terrorist attacks from giant knowledge bases. If you think that is not impressive enough, they are doing it at a rate of 12 problems per hour, all day long. The competition starts at 10 a.m. in Sydney, Australia, which is midnight UTC. Live results will be available at the competition page. For added geek appeal, most of the contenders are available under open source licenses, so if you are weak in logic you can hack up your own brain extension and run it on an iPhone..."
Link to Original Source

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