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Comment Re:Hockey Stick is NOT the full story (Score 1) 336

What's important is not the source of the measurement (despite what the anti AGW crowd like to claim) but rather the accuracy and repeatability.

So the source of the measurement isn't a strong factor in the accuracy, repeatability, and precision of the measurement? Perhaps we should think about this before making such statements?

Comment Re:Sea level rise isn't the main problem (Score 1) 336

Most people don't think these sorts of things happen regularly, but glacial floods [wikipedia.org] have been seen in the earth's history (as long as you believe the earth older than 6000 years).

Those have a completely different mechanism. A glacier blocks off the course of a river and creates a large lake upstream. When overflow melts through or the glacier retreats then you have these glacial floods. They don't come from the glacier itself melting.

Comment Re:horse has left the barn (Score 3, Insightful) 336

So you see the biggest problem is that people live in flood areas, not that the petroleum industry effectively is the most subsidized industry on the planet, and is insulated against the significant costs the use of fossil fuels is producing?

I agree with the grandparent. Most oil subsidies come from countries that produce oil. You're not going to guilt them into changing their ways. The second problem is that a good portion of the oil subsidies subsidize consumption. That means that it's not a subsidy for the industry, which usually takes a loss on the practice.

But people who live in flood zones? We can simply just not pay when their stuff gets wet.

Comment Re: Pretty sure I read this story last decade. (Score 1) 345

And that is why despite how America is really no different that other societies in having conflicts of interests, Americans end up having to pay more for health care (and many other things).

I must admit to being a bit mystified about why you think there is a connection here between US competitiveness and socialist programs which explicitly short circuit that competitiveness. Is the US also unique for people blaming the system when they intentionally break it?

Comment Re:Indeed (Score 1) 132

Is that why Europe was always about a decade ahead of the USA in terms of cell phone tech?

I think it's due to two factors, the usual one of higher population density of Europe and the poorer quality of land lines in large parts of that region encourage adoption of cell phones.

Also, if European cell phone providers are so much better, then they should be able to make inroads in the US market. But the top five are all US providers though two are majority owned by Japanese or German interests.

Comment Re:Indeed (Score 1) 132

USA phone bills started increasing drastically some timer after the breakup, when PUCs started allowing local monopolies and mergers in exchange for promises to roll out sorely needed infrastructure upgrades.

Still doesn't fit the narrative of rates quadrupling overnight and it's not a consequence of the AT&T breakup.

If you want to know why your phone service is so bad, don't look at AT&T, look at the corrupt public servants and politicians in your state chambers who took bribes to allow AT&T to regain its monopoly. The USA political system is corrupt from top to bottom and the the problem is FAR worse at state and local levels than federal. Overall you're generally only a couple of steps better than the funnay asian countries you like to poke fun at and only a step further from being like the Philippines (Which is your former colony and its politicians are applying lessons learned under American colonial rule)

So somehow this corruption would be better under an AT&T monopoly? I don't buy it.

Comment Re: Pretty sure I read this story last decade. (Score 1) 345

You've taken a position on science for entirely political reasons. Childish as fuck.

Pure projection. One of the many anti-scientific games played here is equating carbon dioxide emissions with pollution of the historical sort (more usually done to spin the yarn that the US is the most polluting country on Earth, er, per capita). But you would have to continue to crank out CO2 at current rates for something like a millennium to get similar air quality health consequences to the non-CO2 pollution of current China.

But somehow it's "entirely political" and "childish as fuck" to point out the error in that.

Comment Re: Pretty sure I read this story last decade. (Score 1) 345

The costs are too high because of greed, which many believe are still good.

Like the people who put $1 into Medicare and expect to get $3 of services out? Or is it only the ebil corporations who can be greedy?

But personally, I don't think it's relevant whether three of your four examples actually did cost too much because of "greed" or some other cause. Someone said that they would cost too much and lo, they did. Maybe when someone says "the costs are too high", they'll be right again because of "greed".

It says a lot about America when the example you agree with - scrubbers- is one that industry fought so hard against and delayed implementing for so very long.

Not at all. Different interests are a fact of every society and culture, and aren't magically unique to the US.

Comment Re: Pretty sure I read this story last decade. (Score 1) 345

Same excuse was used against smokestack scrubbers, pollution cleanup, healthcare, social security, you name it.

Being right about one (smokestack scrubbers) out of four ain't bad. The obvious rebuttals to your other three (US-centric of course) is that Superfund is a disaster both in terms of cost and abuse of the law which demonstrates that the cost of pollution clean up can indeed be too high. You might have heard that US health care is like 50% higher cost than the runner up. Too high? Youbetcha.

And of course, social security pays more out than it gets. That's a Cost Too High.

I have to wonder when three of your examples really are costs that are too high.

Comment Re:No Von Neuman Machines yet (Score 1) 217

You have lots of rust, contaminated with other stuff. Even primitive smelters were really resource intensive and used LOTS of coal and free oxygen. Hint, what atmosphere mars has doesn't have lots of oxygen and as far as we know, there's no coal. So turning that rust into steel is in itself a non-trivial exercise.

It was a nontrivial exercise in the first place so I'm just not seeing the big deal here. My view is that getting 1000 people to Mars alive is going to be far harder than figuring out how to make stuff and grow food once you get there. It's also worth noting that Mars probably is littered with a vast number of iron-bearing meteorites which aren't oxidized.

Comment Re:Plant plants (Score 1) 217

We don't know what we'd have to "wash out" of the regolith.

But we do know that washing will work.

it really is nearly delusional to think that what we've learned on Earth (and orbital experiments) will be *all* we need to know

Sorry, the laws of physics haven't changed. It's the same chemistry on Mars as it is on Earth.

Comment Re: The big gap in the plans (Score 1) 217

Mars doesn't have dirt- it has regolith, an abiotic rock dust that can't support most plant life, even if it weren't full of volatile poisons

Those "volatile poisons" happen to be a valuable oxygen source among other things. So a considerable quantity of viable Martian soil would come out of any oxygen extraction process.

And abiotic is so easy to change, it's not funny. Just handling it with human hands would add a fair portion of the necessary bacteria. Bringing a little soil from Earth and some earthworms from Earth as a starter. Compost food, human waste, and any biodegradable plastics, for example, with that Earth-based soil, mix it in with your de-poisoned Martian soil and there you go.

Comment Re:The big gap in the plans (Score 2) 217

I assume we would feed them food which magically makes its way to my mom's fridge and then to my basement lair. Just make sure they have fridges and the rest will follow.

More seriously, Mars has all the nutrients plants need, sunlight, and dirt. Whatever you can already grow in a greenhouse on Earth, you can grow in a Martian greenhouse as well.

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