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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

careysub Re:It's getting hotter still! (615 comments)

Somehow a quite conservatively formulated claim (subjunctive mode, "some models, 75% chance, 5-7 years, during some month of the summer") magically morphed into the strong claim "Al Gore said in 5 years time the Arctic will be completely ice free".

And two years ago the summer arctic ice cover dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, only 1/3 of the average cover from 1981-2010, which is a divergence of more than three standard deviations, with all of the ice coverages since 2010 being far below that long term average.

It is pitiful how the existence of random variation superimposed over a very strong long term trend seems to succor the fantasies of denialists.

4 days ago
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Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

careysub Re:Precident has been set (213 comments)

The other theories of formation (volcanism, subsidence, etc.) had been discredited by the late 1920s, leaving the meteor impact theory the only one left standing. And there was a lot of good evidence supporting it (finely pulverized rock under the crater floor, the meteoric iron under the crater found by drilling, etc.). There was no controversy about the crater's origin, had been none for decades, when Shoemaker found the polymorphs. I know, because I read the original published literature - from the teens, twenties and thirties, Shoemaker's paper on Meteor Crater, AZ, his subsequent paper where he showed that the Ries Basin was an impact feature due to the polymorph presence (this was the first real case where it was crucial in making the determination), and also Shoemaker's obit in Science, which does not assert that he proved the nature of Meteor Crater.

Your geology department field trip may have been passing along a "good story" rather than a critical examination of the literature.

4 days ago
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Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

careysub Re:Precident has been set (213 comments)

Barringer Crater was a pre-existing landform that wasn't even confirmed to be of extraterrestrial origin until Shoemaker's 1960-ish PhD thesis. Granted, there was suspicion that it was from a meteorite impact, but the theories up until Shoemaker's were all incorrect.

Come again? The theory that it was a meteor impact was actually incorrect until Shoemaker found high-pressure quartz polymorphs? The preponderance of evidence supported it being a meteor impact decades before that, there were no other plausible explanations for the formation that fit the evidence. The discovery of the polymorphs coesite and stishovite provided a unique unambiguous indicator, but in no way was required to demonstrate that the meteor crater explanation was correct. The real significance of the polymorph discovery was to provide reliable indicators for other formations of uncertain origin. The original Shoemaker paper (Science, Vol. 132, p. 220, 1960) makes no claim that it "proved" that Meteor Crater was a meteor crater, the paper assumes that as a known fact.

about a week ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

careysub Re:In other words....Don't look like a drug traffi (462 comments)

Like I said to another poster. This unlawful seizure has only happened in a handful of cases over the last decade, and those where corrected by the courts, property returned and officers involved appropriately disciplined.

...

Can you point us to support for this claim, somewhere? I'm sure you wouldn't just be making this up.

Thanks.

about a week ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

careysub Re:Seems reasonable (462 comments)

The Drug War kleptocracy, like the National Security State, and the Plutocracy we live in has been nurtured by both Republicans and Democrats for decades, nay, generations now. Neither party has opposed these trends. It is wrong to say that they are both alike, but in these essential areas of freedom and democracy, they have both been happy to be on the take, and to wield ill-gotten power.

about a week ago
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Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

careysub Re:It's mostly a USA problem (200 comments)

Can't cite an actual clause in the treaty "flat out saying" this can you?

The NNPT flat out gives unlimited permission for activities supporting peaceful nuclear energy - which includes reprocessing:

Article IV
1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination

about two weeks ago
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Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

careysub Re:It's mostly a USA problem (200 comments)

Well seeing as the US government took a huge amount of money from the nuclear generators over the years to fund a waste storage repository (which they are being sued over because of their utter failure to hold up their end of the deal) perhaps they could use that to pay for reprocessing? The electricity producers (and in turn, therefore, consumers) have already paid for it, taxpayers don't need to be involved.

Perhaps those funds could be used for that purpose. But what about the burner reactors to consume the separated actinides? Simply putting the actinides in a smaller pile forever accomplishes nothing.

about two weeks ago
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Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

careysub Re:It's mostly a USA problem (200 comments)

Yes, do see the AREVA plant. It was built in 1976 by the French government, and its operation was "privatized" by spinning it off into AREVA, which is majority owned by the French government (and alien concept to many Americans), and which provides the funds for the plant's operation. Thus the plant is still owned by the French government.

AREVA is simply a different way for the French government to manage its plant. Consider that the Los Alamos National Laboratory is actually operated by a private limited liability company: Los Alamos National Security, LLC formed by the University of California, Bechtel, Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services, and URS Energy and Construction. Does this make LANL a commercial venture? Hardly. This is no way AREVA is a commercial venture.

Show me a plant built by private funds. You can't.

about two weeks ago
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Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

careysub Re:It's mostly a USA problem (200 comments)

It's mostly a United States problem that waste isn't reprocessed. This is now and has been done on an industrial scale in Europe and the U.K. for several decades. For some reason the United States, under the guise of non-proliferation, will not permit reprocessing of spent commercial nuclear reactor fuel.

Nonsense. Any company that wants to open a fuel reprocessing plant can do so, they just need to apply for a license and be willing to pay the bills.

Perhaps you mean that the U.S. government has decided not to run a fuel reprocessing plant at tax payer expense that produces fuel that no one will take unless paid upfront, and few can use anyway? There are no commercial fuel reprocessing plants anywhere in the world because they cannot make money, only spend it.

Having sufficient reactors under construction that could actually consume the reprocessed fuel stream seems to be an essential ingredient here, otherwise you are simply putting plutonium (and cousins) in a smaller pile. The first pile wasn't all that large to begin with. Little is accomplished by separating the actinides until you are ready to burn them.

about two weeks ago
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Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

careysub Re:Already commented on this elsewhere (200 comments)

The area is periodically inundated by tsunamis.

That's not what "flood plain" means. A flood plain is an area frequently inundated by a river. Else everything under about 1000 meters is technically flood plain (from nearby several km asteroid impacts).

Fukushima Daiichi is actually on a flood plain though. It is on an extended coastal sea-level estuarial marsh plain deposited by a series of rivers coming down from the mountains. BTW - there is no "frequent" required. Flood plain maps mark 100 year and 1000 year flood boundaries, something on the 1000 year boundary is still on the flood plain, even though that part floods rarely.

about two weeks ago
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Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

careysub Re:Already commented on this elsewhere (200 comments)

but it does seem like important stuff in a flood plain

Fukushima wasn't in a flood plain.

Yes it is. Take a look at this US Army topo map (the latitude is (37.427 degrees, its on the coast). It is on an extended flood plain stretching along the coast, created by several rivers (Takase, Maeda, Kuma. Tomioka, etc.) . The whole area is a sea-level marsh consisting of soil deposited by these rivers at flood.

The problem wasn't glaring except in hindsight.

Because, you know, no one had ever seen a tsunami in Japan before. Oh wait, tsunami is a Japanese word. That doesn't seem quite right, does it?

Japan had fifteen of them since 1900, before Tohoku (the slightly dated linked list misses the 2007 Niigata tsunami).

about two weeks ago
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Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

careysub Re:Already commented on this elsewhere (200 comments)

I agree with your first statement, and I agree that Fukushima should have been prepared for that size of tsunami, but seriously.

The last one was 300 years ago. They were due.

THAT'S NOT HOW STORM FREQUENCY WORKS

Seismic zones do however show patterns of periodicity of varying degrees of regularity. There is an underlying physical mechanism accumulating stress, and faulting must be triggered within a finite time limit given the finite strength of the fault zone (but may trigger sooner). Chances of a great earthquake absolutely do increase with time, dropping to minimal only after each major event.

about two weeks ago
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Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

careysub Re:Already commented on this elsewhere (200 comments)

The Hitachi press release contains absolutely no information about what might be new, unusual, or effective about their approach. They mention an undescribed new fuel core in passing, that's it. It would have been helpful if they had included something to give the sense that it is not pure hype.

about two weeks ago
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First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

careysub Re:It's amazing (199 comments)

Or - it could mean that few Republicans contribute at all to this PAC, and that Democrats dominate both the "Democrats Only" and the "Whatever Helps" category. Evidence for this is just as strong as your unsupported theory.

about two weeks ago
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First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

careysub Re:It's amazing (199 comments)

Oh Anonymous Coward, you seem as reading challenged as your are name-challenged. The OP pointed out that the political right never opposed slavery, he said nothing of "the Republican Party" (really, he didn't - have a look).

The fact is original Grand Old Party was the Liberal, leftist party of the day. The fact that it became the party of the right-wing and plutocrats later, as you say, "in no way changes history".

about two weeks ago
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First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

careysub Re:It's amazing (199 comments)

...

P.S.: You need to examine that "ballot box" argument a bit more. in a system with plurality rules voting, then two parties will become so dominant that there is little chance of a third party being successful. If, then, the candidates of both leading parties have their vote purchased by a entity with interests not aligned with the interests of the citizenry at large, then the ballot box will be ineffective as a mechanism of change.

Sadly, you are completely correct. All three branches of government treat individual rights as as after-thought or less, the political parties despite an apparently unbridgeable chasm, are pretty much on the same page here, and the election process has been rendered ineffective at influencing this state of affairs, saturated as it now is with special interest, secret money.

So what we now have is a corporatist plutocracy presiding over a national security state in which foundational legal principles mean nothing if they constrain the power of wealth and government.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Say Neanderthals Created Cave Art

careysub Re:Lesson (91 comments)

... From that, they say it must have been art. I'm not archaeologist, but my first guess would be that someone was bored, and I think that's a MUCH more likely explanation...

You don't think your doodling during lecture is art? I do. Not good art, probably. But definitely art.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Say Neanderthals Created Cave Art

careysub Re:not surprised (91 comments)

...

Our ancestors of maybe 10,000 years ago had a material culture closer to the apes than to us, but we probably hyaven't changed much during that period.

Since humans of 10,000 years ago made woven clothing, observed celestial events and linked them to earthly activities, produced very sophisticated stone tools (which had a long distance distribution system of some kind), and art at a high level, I would say that their culture was much closer to us than to apes.

Genetic studies show that the rate of human evolution has been accelerating, and since the advent of agriculture have become 10-100 times faster than in the paleolithic, so that 10,000 years could make changes similar to what could be accomplished during earlier phases of evolution in 100,000 to 1,000,000 years. We don't know, at this point, what all these changes mean.

about two weeks ago
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Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again

careysub Re:Indeed... (130 comments)

Your post would be considerably more persuasive if you showed the price of uranium at which it became "unsustainable", and if you didn't throw out a random "well over 100x current cost" figure when your linked source only documented a 10-20 times cost using older technologies now being superseded described in the article. (Your provide no analysis to show that the even the 2007 price spike made nuclear power "unsustainable" - proof by unsupported assertion does not work)

At $130/kg the cost of uranium mining comprises a cost of 0.32 cents per kwh. So at $1000/kg this cost rises to 2.5 cents per kwh. The additional 2.2 cents is less than the estimated cost difference between advanced nuclear and more expensive future solar PV power, which I suspect you believe to be viable (I do). So the fearsome $1000/kg price still leaves nuclear power cheaper than solar. If more advanced technologies cut the cost (the normal pattern of things), and the topic of the Technology Review, this differential gets cut as well. A better article on seawater uranium extraction indicates that technologies under development should cost $300/kg, a price that drops the differential to only 0.42 cents per kwh, and making it a very minor component of nuclear power cost

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Climategate Review: Round Two

careysub careysub writes  |  more than 4 years ago

careysub (976506) writes "The report by the second of three panels constituted to investigate the conduct of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, has come in. This panel was a scientific review panel set up in consultation with the Royal Society to examine the integrity of their research methods, and whether there research supports their conclusions.

The key assessment:

We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work
of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely
that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if
slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of
public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures
were rather informal."

Link to Original Source

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