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Comment Re:You would think science could help (Score 1) 275

As reasons go, that's not enough reason. It is true that the 'green' approach to climate warming is what you can call the lowmetabolic approach: slow everything down. But that tends to weaken your ability to respond to the changes. If the economies are good, you can build dikes and adapt to climate. If economies are slow you don't adapt well. so to some extent humanity may be better off by increasing their metabolism. Especially the poor countries. Nature doesn't have that option though.
My main point was that the speed of the change matters, there's a difference between warming up slowly or quickly, and the easy fatalism of doing nothing likes to ignore that,

Comment Re:You would think science could help (Score 2) 275

There may be value in the idea that the planet doesn't have to be worse off for being warmer, in a stable long term situation, but if you change things quickly that's going to have dramatic consequences which you're completely disregarding.
To take the simplest example, there's 80m of water stocked in ice. How fast it melts makes a very large difference. Or biotopes. If they change very slowly, species adapt. If they change too fast all you've got is extinction.

Comment Re:I don't think so (Score 1) 174

The authors are utterly naive if they think that the CIA's primary role is intelligence gathering, or that they even care overly much about quelling "societal upheavals".

AFAIK the part the CIA has been blurring the boundaries of is the distinction between foreign and domestic, not so much foreign action/foreign intelligence gathering.

Comment Re:Fear is a good thing for business (Score 1) 332

While many wealthy people worked hard or smart for their wealth. And many poor are there due to slacking off and bad life decisions. It isn't always so cut and dry as the old moral argument for being wealthy. There are degrees of luck especially for the super rich...

There are also circumstances when you wonder to what extent it even applies. The US used to have a 'useful myth' of social mobility, there was still a good chance you could go from poor to rich with the right skills. But you can measure social mobility and you can measure distribution of wealth and people who believe everyone got roughly what they deserved should make up their minds how distorted the measured values have to become before they conclude that the mobility that existed is now mostly gone?
To quote an economist(forgot who)Gordon Gekko was still a selfmade man but now we're a generation later and dealing with his heirs.

Comment Re:Ties to Government? (Score 1) 109

Alright, but speaking strictly is also not very useful, while being able to designate/identify the main players has a value even if it is a huge simplification. It's a skill and if your model is weak you will draw weak conclusions. In that respect I recall an interesting comment from turkish negotiators in the Iran-US conflict. They said with many countries you have a person you can talk to and which you can try to make an agreement with. But Iran and the US are the kind of countries with multiple power players where you have to talk to all of them. Knowing who to talk to is a realworld necessity. Knowing whose concerns you have to take really seriously and whose concerns are merely optional is very important too.

So with Russia, we have big players which prefer to treat Russia as an enemy and the weapons industry and the pentagon are major players in that. To put it in old language, the Military Industrial Complex has won.

Comment Re:Cognitive Load (Score 1) 210

I agree. Maintaining many passwords and changing them regularly is demanding . It's no use to exhort people to try harder(it only shows the person doing the exhorting does not understand the situation). Some people devise clever strategies but in general it's better to ask people to use a password manager so they don't even have to memorize the password.

Comment Re:Ties to Government? (Score 1) 109

And I'm serious. I'm not saying russia is doing nothing wrong but that's how propaganda works. It doesn't necessarily invent things, it can just as well highlight things, select and amplify others, and choose to ignore yet others. The russia hacking claims went from 'they're behind it' to 'they're protecting the hackers'. Fuzzy claim , protection. It can range from forms of cooperation over neglect, to inable to act effectively and plain 'we decide it's a good idea to hold you responsible, whatever the background'.

And I wouldn't put the pentagon and the president on the same line either. The general rule for presidents is 'don't cross the pentagon'. The president and Kerry wanted cooperation with Russia on Syria, and the Pentagon said no. And no it was.

Comment Re:1Million People (Score 1) 497

Apparently it would provide a backup if on earth we all die.
But that's easier said than done. Chances of nuclear war are pretty high(and I mean really), but what does that mean? It means everyone you know ties. But if 1% survives that's 80 million and if 0.01% survive it's still 800.000. That's not the end of humanity. For humans to go extinct is pretty hard.

Comment Re:This isn't really that hard to understand (Score 0) 680

You draw a distinction between skeptics and denialists but I wonder what it means. As I said , it's a polarized situation , then it's hard to convince the other side of anything. There are valid criticisms to make about the other side but these tend to be blown up and generalized in order to dismiss everything. And sure, polarization is a psychological phenomenon, but it's also symmetrical. The skeptical movement is a reaction to an alarmist movement that was not kept in check. I would say the alarmist side still dominates the media. So take Jim Hansen, whose models make the more extreme predictions.
My guess is(it's not really hard data is it) that his models used to be accepted without much critical effort, and that this is now less the case, but that he will still have a much larger impact in the media than in the IPCC. The skeptical camp will be generally dismissive of Hansen. Or Michael Mann. Or Cook, the author above.
On the other hand someone like Bjorn Lomborg is generally reviled while his general approach is to go by the IPCC data (with probably a tendency towards their more conservative estimates) but he considers climate change as not our top priority and a cost we can handle.
So he prefers the 'highmetabolic' over the 'lowmetabolic' approach. That is, if we have good development we will be able to adapt better to the changing climate, while if we do draconian cutbacks in CO2 production we'll suffer a lot economically and be less able to handle climate change. That is enough to place him in the denial camp. I think that doesn't make sense but that's what you get in a polarized situation.

Comment Re:And What Will Come of It? (Score 1) 117

One would think that the military are a bit more coolheaded about it, but there seem to be similar cases with excessive rules of engagement.
Soldiers are willing to take risks to avoid casualties but their superiors tell them to do otherwise.

The reason is obvious. The ability for the US to project power is restrained by intolerance at home for soldiers returning in coffins.
So the rules of engagement are adapted accordingly, preference for killing by remote, and in case of direct contact, when in doubt, kill.
This in the first place leads to a lot of foreign casualties, and secondly to a lot of antagonism and well, more enemies.

Actually it's more complex, because there is also only moderate tolerance for directly killing the other guys. Then again there is little objection to less direct forms of killing because it easily gets muddled and confused. We're used to the lowest estimates of casualties in Iraq before 2007, just like we're used to the highest estimates in Syria now.
There is a high tolerance for drone killings, but mostly because they're viewed as highly successful tools that make few mistakes. Which they're not.
You can't do carpet bombing anymore though. It's not tolerated.

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