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Comment Re:Climate change deniers (Score 2) 401

When I get time, I'd like to use satellite photos of the arctic into a time lapse video, play it, then ask "Now, what was it you were saying about climate change being a scam?"

And presumably the other side simply pulls out this 2008 Al Gore video where he predicts that the arctic would be ice-free in 5 years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

And if someone actually listens to your video of Gore, he or she will hopefully notice that Gore does not predict anything like that at all - he cites two different researchers, one who says "by 2030", and the other who says "75% chance for the next 5-7 years". The first one is still very much on track. The second one lost his bet - if via the 25% chance or because his modelling was wrong is anyones guess.

Comment Re:Sea ice vs projections (Score 1) 401

Here's a more up-to-date graphic: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plo... Not sure why yours shows less than 4 million square km in 2012, and the up-to-date one shows over 14 million square km currently. Maybe it's multi-year ice? I know the summer extent of ice in the arctic dips down to about 4Mkm^2 during summer...

Arctic sea ice always retreats in summer and regrows in winter. The original graph showed development of the yearly minimum extend (which typically happens in September). September 2012 was the record low for arctic sea ice extend so far, going down to 3.3 million square kilometres (although all the last years have been below two standard deviations). At the moment, we are shortly before yearly arctic sea ice maximum - that's why we have 14 million square km. This is a record low for this time of the year. Indeed, day over day, sea ice extend has been at record low for the last few month, compared to the same day in other years. There is an excellent interactive map at the NSIDC.

Comment Re:It's not office. (Score 5, Interesting) 557

I am starting my phd soon and when I do will have access to a discount office. There is no way in sweet hell I would use libre to write my thesis!

Well, a cheap office is nice for writing a thesis in. But writing a thesis in any technical field with MS Office (or Libre Office, or Apple Pages) is just masochism. That's what LaTeX is is made for.

Comment Re:Paging Dr. Faustus (Score 2) 481

I don't know where you live but it's not winter in Antarctica:

Well, good that you mention that. We were, however, talking about the arctic, where it is the middle of winter right now. In the antarctic, the situation is differently - every southern summer essentially all of the sea ice melts, and the winter maximum is the important indicator to track. This is because we have the arctic ocean, mostly surrounded by land (which limits sea ice growth in winter, as the ice mostly runs out of sea to grow on), and the antarctic continent (which stops sea ice melting in summer, as the sea runs out of ice to melt).

Comment Re:Paging Dr. Faustus (Score 4, Informative) 481

I always find this funny that so many studies say "The Arctic is warming and there should be no more ice cap by 2050". I remember some US scientists said there would be no ice in the Arctic by 2013, and look at this graph. The arctic ice cap is currently a little over 13 million square km.

Yes, it may be shrinking a little, but the sampling period is extremely short, compared to our planet's age. This can or cannot be caused by humans. But hey, anyway humans won't survive Earth, which is scheduled to disappear anyway in the next 5 billion years... Unless we disseminate elsewhere in our universe, we're doomed.

How can you link to a text that says "could be ice-free in summers" and claim it says "there would be no ice (full stop). The ice cap is not "shrinking a little", it's shrinking massively. "Currently" it's the middle of winter, when the sea ice is always expanding to nearly the same level (basically, it covers the arctic until it runs out of ocean). In the arctic ocean, the summer minimum is the most important measurement. That said, the arctic ice has been at or near record low for the entire winter, and for good measure in this year antarctic sea ice also is unusually low. The newly formed first-year ice is so thin that it melts very quickly in the summer, probably giving us another record low, and leading to more heating, as the sunlight is absorbed by the water, not reflected by the ice.

You have a point about the 5 billion years, but most of us have a somewhat shorter perspective - and even those with the long perspective may want to give us enough time to escape this doomed planet before things get really ugly.

Comment Re:But, but, we have alternative facts! (Score 1) 366

No, you aren't an expert, and yes, a handgun does give me a decent chance.

An AK is not body armor, if he is busy shooting someone else, he isn't shooting me, and don't overestimate the accuracy of an AK, they are pretty bad in general.

Under 50 yards, I'm almost as accurate with my .45 as I am with an AK, and he won't see it coming.

Well, in Germany about 95% drivers are better than the median. I suspect the same is true for US gun owners. But in a life-and-death situation I prefer to assume that the opponent is, on average, at least as competent as I am, and 50/50 is not odds I like to play often....

Comment Re:But, but, we have alternative facts! (Score 1) 366

If your solution to the guy with the AK-47 is to ban guns, then you are in fact worse than the problem.

But I'm sure you won't see it...

Assuming I'm for European style gun control, and you knew it, would you seriously object to calling the cops on the shooter? Indeed, would you deny that the shooter is there to avoid giving arguments to gun right opponents?

Comment Re:But, but, we have alternative facts! (Score 5, Insightful) 366

The fact of the matter is, the climate is changing because the climate is never and has never been static..

That argument is true, but completely facetious. Compare People are dying because people have never not been dying. There is no reason to do anything about that guy with the AK-47 taking potshots on the street, or to do anything about the lead in the drinking water, or to ensure that there is no botox in your tomato cans.

Yes, climate has always changed, and species have always died off. But not at the speed it currently does and they currently do. I'd much rather not be part of one of the species dying out. You sound like a guy in a life boat who insists on getting fresh water by drilling a well...

Comment Re: Meh (Score 5, Insightful) 952

The most obvious difference is Trump still favors the individual (and individual liberties) whereas fascism is founded on the premise of a single national identity and almost no individual identity.

Right. I nearly forgot his slogan. "Make American Individuals Great Again", right? And his wall is not separating Mexico from the US, but just Mexican individuals from US individuals. And he is creating not "American jobs", but jobs for individual Americans. Just as he is not applying a blanket ban on entry against people from certain nations, but carefully targets this to individuals.

If he is not a full-blown facist, it's not for lack of inclination, it's because he does not know history well enough to understand the pattern.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 4, Insightful) 798

manning is a traitor. HE will always be viewed as such.

Snowden too.

By stupid rednecks, sure. The type of people who think (ok, that's a legal fiction) that they are right not because of their actions, but by default. The type who "thinks" that there is a finite supply of bad people in the world, and that we can solve all our problems by killing or incarcerating them, never mind the collateral damage. The type who may have heard of human rights, but does not understand that they apply to all humans, even those that disagree with them.

I'm not a big fan of Assange, but he wrote an excellent statement on the Manning case, quoting John Adams: "“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know.” He does not quote the second part, but I find it just as applicable: "...but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers."

If you look at how Manning was treated both pre- and post-trial, its "as incontrovertible as geometry to any enlightened community of minds" that the people responsible for that treatment are guilty of severe crimes under both national and international laws - regardless of what Manning had done. But, as the presidential election has shown, "this community is an insult to the world" (to steal from Henry Drummond/Spencer Tracy), and so the chance for actual justice is remote.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 4, Insightful) 798

IWould prefer a trial where he would be allowed to make his case. Manning wasn't afforded that opportunity either.

Huh? Manning was convicted - hence there was a trial. What use would another trial be?

Well for one it would be a trial against Snowden, not against Manning. And the request was for "a trial where [the defendant] would be allowed to make his case", not a secret trial by a Mickey Mouse court with a pre-determined outcome.

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