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Ken Fabian

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Everything posted by Ken Fabian

  1. Religious people, by virtue of their numbers and influence, are crucial to achieving the broad community acceptance of Anthropogenic Global Warming necessary to address it's causes and it's mitigation effectively. There appears to be a broad a range of views on the issue amongst religious people, from accepting the mainstream science through to vigorous condemnation of it as a kind of green religion and something inspired by Satan. I'm doubtful that the latter will be open to reason but there must be a lot who currently disbelieve the science that can be reached, perhaps by other means. How?
  2. The Little Ice Age and solar Maunder Minimum are key pieces of "It's the sun not CO2" climate science disagreeing. Otherwise they would be just small components of natural climate variation with no special standout significance. The argument goes that the low solar activity of the Maunder Minimum must have caused the Little Ice Age and if solar activity has that much influence then the increase in solar activity after then, and especially during the 20th century, can explain global warming without involving CO2. With solar activity heading in a period of decline, a bit like the Maunder Minim
  3. An actual feasible means of doing so would be better than mildly interesting and I suppose if somehow it was relatively quick and easy to visit other stars it would get a lot more interesting. I have yet to see any proposals that are feasible and many, like your equatorial slingshot, don't offer anything practical. I remain dubious that, in the absence of a quick and easy (relatively speaking) means, there is any compelling reason to go interstellar. Scientific curiosity is in my opinion worthwhile but I don't accept that interstellar colonisation is - projects of that scale run on expecta
  4. The price of building those bridges, with or without PV or wind turbines to supply power, would add something to the costs too I would imagine1 As a thought experiment it's mildly interesting. As a physics exam question - how much energy to reach x% of c, what centripetal acceleration - it may have some application. I'm not convinced interstellar travel is a reasonable goal, let alone an achievable one for a human civilisation, even if it makes for engaging fiction.
  5. I believe the short term behaviour - that sinking of the more dense gas as it is released into air - is called a "bulk phase effect" and happens because it is not yet well mixed and there is a significant difference in gas density between it and surrounding air. What will happen is that it will mix and be dispersed, even from the bottom of a deep open topped container. Even in the absence of any mixing from large scale air movements (wind, convection), mixing will happen because of "diffusion" and diffusion happens because molecules of gases are always in motion - called Brownian motion -
  6. B. John Jones - I think you have a view of how science reaches consensus/agreement that is based on assumptions that have little or no foundation, that have nothing to do with how science really reaches consensus. Perhaps you have been told that agreement comes via compulsion by threat of expulsion but you have not shown evidence that that is the case or even appear willing to consider that such a view could be incorrect. Perhaps there are issues within science that conflict with your religious beliefs, beliefs that are accepted as self evidently true within "religious communities" with simila
  7. I think science is unified in motivation of science practitioners to achieve a better understanding of our world on the basis of what is supported by evidence and reason. It is unified by long standing practices of institutions, the application of high professional standards and open, accurate and honest record keeping. Depending on the specific subject there can be strong disagreements but the trend is towards consensus as the depth of knowledge grows and inadequacies of data and reasoning are overcome. Whilst counter examples can be found, most scientists are willing to let go of their concl
  8. Agreed. Personal freedoms may include drinking, smoking, gambling, recreational drugs etc that can and usually do result in harms beyond that to the individual. The balance between rules that work to reduce those harms and inhibiting personal choices isn't easy to find. I'm a bit suspicious of simplistic policy slogans - like "harsh penalties for drugs" or "less regulation on business", that don't allow much space for the interconnecting complexities. Governments have a role to look beyond such truisms even whilst politicians and media seek to popularise them. Climate responsibility for e
  9. I think social/cultural mores have to play a big part with humans and expect those played a part through much of our hominid history - and they will work against any one universal criteria for sexual selection. Even notions of what is attractive can vary widely and I'm not sure that 'beautiful' people, advantaged as they clearly are, have been shown to be better breeders than 'ordinary' ones, even if there can be rejected 'ugly' people who do have poorer reproductive success. there are other criteria, like social status (which may equate to wealth) and thus better capability to provide for th
  10. Raider, I think the laws a government might make and the system itself are different subjects and you appear to be more focused on changing specific government policy and laws - and on many of those you mention I and others will hold very different views. I think that crime and punishment is an area where we need to do what can be shown to work rather than what is popular; an independent judiciary does seem to be a necessary part of preventing responses that are more about pleasing the public than providing recompense or preventing recidivism. Crimes like sexual assault of minors evoke ve
  11. Apart from the obvious, that if we really want a perfect government we wouldn't start from here, it does look difficult to get sufficient agreement on what such a government should be. Dodging the politicians with direct representation sounds good - ought to be popular until it leads to populist votes for policies the public won't vote the funds for or directly contradicts the other thing they just voted for, or leads to unfair persecution of unpopular minorities or for wars without regard for the complications and costs or wars that the declared enemy democratically voted not to have. Or perh
  12. Not dark forces, just inconveniently allied to them; as long as that Conservative Right overlapping and incompatible ownership of climate action obstruction and support for nuclear - with avoiding climate responsibility and delaying effective action being every-day-every-way high priority and support for nuclear for climate being low priority - then nuclear will be deprived of real effective political backing from the part of politics where most of the support for it resides. Climate never came with a 'green only' tag - it was a politically expedient choice by the climate responsibility a
  13. I've been particularly interested in what happened to nuclear after climate became an issue. I don't claim nuclear's inability to gain traction has been entirely down to Conservative politics; mainstream politics more broadly failed to step up to the climate problem to it's detriment (or more correctly losing it an opportunity), but direct opposition and undermining of public confidence in climate science largely comes via the Conservative Right and has become so entrenched as to make denying the seriousness of climate change a mark of loyalty. Despite the seriousness of the climate proble
  14. Just not that much. They also support (and always have) long running fossil fuel competitors to nuclear power - and since the climate issue arose, they've done so with far greater commitment and every day, every way determination, up to and including a willingness to lie (to themselves first of all) about the seriousness of the climate problem to defend them from the impacts of science revealing their climate responsibility. Is it possible to have effective policies that would favour nuclear over fossil fuels from political organisations in the grip of self imposed climate science denial?
  15. I dont recall saying anything about the relative merits of different approaches to emissions reductions and don't think that discussion belongs in this thread. What I want to explore is the impacts that rejection of the mainstream science on climate by mainstream politics - mostly but not entirely by the political Right - has had for this particular one. I reject that that choice to oppose and obstruct as the primary response to the climate problem had no consequences for nuclear energy - the difference between mainstream Conservatives actively seeking to address the climate problem (inclu
  16. I think this clearly demonstrates the essential contradiction I'm talking about - with a conservative claiming to want nuclear, but not as a solution for a climate problem presumed to be not actually serious. How does the alleged desire to use nuclear fit with a simultaneous lack of desire to replace fossil fuels? I think this kind of thinking is the nonsense and as long as the lack of motivation to transition away from fossil fuels remains, such conservatives will not fight for an energy transition, be it with nuclear or renewables. What it does is allows people like waitforufo to blame 'gree
  17. Not all advocates for climate action are 'green/left' and not all are anti-nuclear. Not all advocates for nuclear are 'conservative/right' and not all are against strong climate action or oppose renewables. Yet that divide looks strong. Open and direct opposition to nuclear is well known and broadly popular - even if I think distrust of nuclear is not so deeply held that many would abandon it were there compelling need for it. And there is compelling need for low emissions solutions and it seems unreasonable to me that somehow such advocates can have set the energy agenda in the face of it. So
  18. Not true atheists or no true intention to promulgate atheism? I suspect many atrocities, including religious ones have had mixed motivations and amongst the motivations in this case there was an intention to promulgate atheism. Treating belief in God as mental illness, as one of prong of Soviet efforts to eliminate the influence of religion did, is not a big step for people who have concluded that it is indeed a form of mental disorder - which many atheists do; the lack of evidence based rigour and the ethics of involuntary treatment are other questions of course. The curative and deterren
  19. That sounds like a 'no true atheist...' type argument to me. Other kinds of 'beliefs' (or ideologies or loyalties or fears) may well have been involved but by the definitions put up by posters here the perpetrators (with absence of belief in God) appear to have been atheists - and they were persecuting theists. Earlier in the thread people called out the use of absolutes; that looks applicable to this also. I'm not sure it's logically possible to show that no atheist has ever harmed a theist over their beliefs - and there looks like evidence showing otherwise is there if we look for it. I
  20. Soviet persecution of Christians.
  21. The former sounds highly applicable to and desirable for renewable energy systems. The latter sounds useful for electrification of transport; approaching the energy density of hydrocarbons would mean viable electric aircraft. 2000 cycles is still insufficient working life but it's heartening to know that the well of innovation in energy storage is deep and not running dry.
  22. If the news or opinion articles are critical of their businesses they care a lot; the power to NOT advertise there is a potent one. Business friendly editorial policy is something we should expect from big media businesses that make their money from advertising by other big businesses; editorial policy will tend to be complementary to their bigger customers. Big media companies like any businesses, don't like paying taxes so don't expect balanced reporting or opinion that may suggest they pay a greater share in taxes for example. The corporate influence over political parties and politicians
  23. More variants survive whilst the opportunities are there, presumably before every niche gets filled after which things aren't so 'easy'. There is never an absence of competition but being diminished means the increasing variation part of evolution gets a boost. When the niches are filled and competition is more pervasive, the natural selection, decreasing variation part of evolution comes more into play. Humans seem to be have be in a 'finding and exploiting new opportunities' and 'more variants surviving' phase and with global transport there aren't truly geographically/genetically isolat
  24. I'm not sure I have the background to give a capable critique. As an interested layperson I would note that I expect the opportunities for variant forms to survive would be greater in the 'recovery' period, regardless of mutation rates; less competition and less predation initially even if later on those would rise. It's distinguishing the greater variation from unchanged mutation rates in a changed environment with unexploited niches from greater variation from changed mutation rates that would seem to make or break this paper. On a smaller scale this variation of mutation rate ought to
  25. Some people are thinking about colonising other planets - with the numbers likely to be much higher amongst members of a forum like this than within the population at large - but I personally have serious doubts about the feasibility or benefits of such enterprises. An Antarctic colony looks a lot more achievable, with the advantage of not having to build an entire specialised high tech infrastructural foundation to launch it and support it with, yet I doubt it would work either except as an expensive experiment; it's not likely to contribute much to it's own economic viability. As an exercise
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