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Ken Fabian

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Everything posted by Ken Fabian

  1. CO2 that is dissolved in water allows reactions that involve Carbon to occur that don't occur in air. Life chemistry is all (mostly?) chemistry within liquid water. eg Aqueous carbon dioxide, CO2 (aq), reacts with water forming carbonic acid, H2CO3 (aq). Carbonic acid may lose protons to form bicarbonate, HCO3- , and carbonate, CO32-. Reactions involving those ions are not so difficult to initiate.
  2. Bog standard climate science deniers memes, not worth the rebutting. Goodbye Drumbo.
  3. Climate models have done very well - it is just a matter of faith amongst climate science deniers that they have not. Most people taken in by that rhetoric are not going to check. There are technologies currently existing that will allow high levels of prosperity with low emissions - it is just a matter of faith that they do not exist or using them will result in dark age poverty. It is a much promoted and nasty stereotype of climate concerned extremists that we want people to go without stuff and would welcome de-industrialisation. The reality is we can see a profound risk to long t
  4. "Habitable for humans" rather than habitable in the sense of being able to support it's own biology. Habitable for humans is going to be a very narrow subset of "capable of supporting life that is like life on Earth". Any native life would not only be of exceptional scientific interest it seems like a big assumption that human life would be compatible with the biochemistry. Surely life throws up more complex poisons and allergenic compounds than lifeless processes - besides the more obvious hazards like wrong atmosphere or getting eaten or parasitised. If we have the technology to g
  5. I think claiming CO2 decline is a current existential risk and we need mass burning of fossil fuels to save us is about on par with the "global warming is saving the world from the next ice age (glaciation)" argument; they sound convincing to people who don't want to have to deal with global warming (and don't care if the science is right or wrong) or otherwise have no clue. I am not convinced that Happer himself has done any serious research to reach that conclusion or even necessarily believes it - he doesn't accept climate science (and that is telling) and/or the predicted consequences of r
  6. If you can find one science institution that studies climate and says it is a hoax fabricated by socialists and feminists I will be very, very surprised. You will struggle to find one that thinks the seriousness of global warming in the reports and studies commissioned by governments, including the IPCC reports, is being overstated. That they are in agreement is due to multiple independent studies reaching the same conclusions, not conspiracy. We have had more than 3 decades of governments choosing stepping back and re-examination of the issue rather than face up to it; doesn't matter if they
  7. Leaving aside the commercial opportunities from satellites - Earth based investors, Earth based customers, no (very expensive) astronauts - where are the private enterprise opportunities that subsidising space industry is intending to open up? It is still all (but for a tiny unsustainable part) payed for by taxpayers - and I am not seeing this emergence of private enterprise commercial opportunities from manned spaceflight apart from competing for government contracts. The big contracts they appear to be tooling up to chase are manned Moon and Mars missions, largely justified as steps on
  8. That is a fair point. Although I think not all government contracting is equal; I think fire hose makers and cleaning companies would exist outside of government contracting but launch capabilities for astronauts would not. Whether it is good use of tax money, like Prometheus said, becomes the question. Cleaning offices and supplying fire hoses gives tangible and prosaic benefits.
  9. It can make space programs less wasteful of taxpayer funds but it doesn't produce anything. Upstream eddies in a flow of taxpayer funds that goes downhill is how it looks to me; there is no market for manned launches except taxpayer funded and I am not convinced that doing it more will create commercial opportunities. It comes back to colonising The Moon and Mars as objectives - and those are hype driven populism, not rational or reasonable objectives. Possibly some extreme priced sightseeing might happen but that is servicing purely Earth based opportunities, a very limited market. It do
  10. Resident space enterprise sceptic here - It looks like a private enterprise achievement but American taxpayers paid for it. If a business depends on taxpayer funded programs for it's commercial viability is truly Private Enterprise? It doesn't look like a big step from private contractors developing and supplying the components for NASA. As is standard space enterprise PR, it is presented as a significant step towards The Moon and Mars - which offer no commercial opportunities and that look like money sinks for no real purpose. To me it looks like those programs are the commercial opportu
  11. Post coronavirus investment decisions could involve significant divestment from coal but I think that is more a continuation of pre-pandemic changes. Renewable energy can be a beneficiary of governments providing short term economic stimulus - projects tend to have relatively short planning and build times and that will make them appealing, whilst avoiding the opposition that new coal or gas investments will attract. A big element of gesture politics; I remain doubtful it will be deep political commitment to the transition to low emissions driving such choices. The growth of RE hasn't bee
  12. Spotting the fallacies on the fly - during a heated debate - is not my strong point. Face to face is not my strong point and expect that dealing with any experienced debater with a full bag of rhetorical tricks would go badly for me. I can only suggest that doing your homework - including being familiar with the commonly used but false arguments as well as knowing the subject itself - will be essential. But be aware of the fallacy of the fallacy - ie that just because someone uses a fallacious argument it doesn't mean the conclusion is wrong, eg it may be a logical fallacy to argue that someth
  13. Perhaps - But perhaps the most significant reason to engage in affirmative action is selfish - a society with unresolved conflict and division incurs significant costs, from higher levels of policing and home security all the way to riots causing widespread property destruction. Social division is expensive - potentially a lot more expensive than affirmative action. I don't know that missed out potential, from people living without straightforward pathways to educational and economic opportunities, strictly counts as a cost but it adds to everyday costs.
  14. I may not have worded it well, but I was not condoning police doing non-judicial "punishment"; quite the opposite. It is more evidence of failure of good governance. I expect that because of the primary reason for the protest there is a lot of ill will, more than many protests for other causes, no doubt from both directions - loyalty and sympathy to the police involved, irrespective of circumstances by many of their colleagues amongst police, distrust and anger at the police amongst protesters. That is not a good start, even for those intent on peaceful but determined protest or for polic
  15. I doubt there was intent to murder and likely the cop thought what he was doing would not kill the man - especially with bystanders recording. A bit of time honored unofficial "teach the scum a lesson", perhaps intended for the bystanders more than George Floyd, but gone wrong? Perhaps every attempt George made to struggle and shift to get a breath was taken as defiance - and so he was held down harder and longer? The rioting and destruction of property is counterproductive of course - and it won't matter that the vast majority of protest was/is peaceful. I don't know how Americans will r
  16. @drumbo For the most part mainstream plan or policy for transition to zero emission is NOT based on enforced energy poverty; high emissions infrastructure is not being prematurely closed without alternatives in place. Better policy, that accounts for potential inequality, is the best result emerging from studies that show potential for inequality. Climate policy, for all the lies that are made about it by climate responsibility denying opponents, is not about reducing prosperity, it is about preserving it in the face of accumulating and economically damaging global warming. I no
  17. For climate scientists, finding the inescapable conclusions of their studies that global warming and the changes that will bring will be global, damaging, costly and effectively irreversible, to fail to raise alarms would be unprofessional and unethical. Whether commissioned by Conservative or by Progressive leaning governments the conclusions have not changed - not even the studies called for because they didn't like what the other studies said. This is evidence to my mind that science is not blindly following pre-determined conclusions or the bidding of political masters or involved in globa
  18. @MigL I wasn't suggesting runaway CO2; the releases will be finite, but some carbon feedback tipping points are capable of raising CO2 levels beyond what we presently have, bringing damaging climate changes over decades and centuries, whilst the natural processes that can reverse them are more like centuries to millennia. Beyond the lifetimes of children now living, to whom - I think - we have ethical obligations to minimise forseeable harms from our actions. The "ratchet mechanism" as I describe it is of course, rhetorical - applicable to the shorter term, like the scale of human lifeti
  19. Within the human related timeframes that this round of warming is occurring it is a lot like a ratchet; processes like CO2 uptake by oceans and vegetation can bring some reductions to raised CO2 fairly quickly in the absence of continuing emissions from fossil fuel burning but not nearly enough to bring us back down to pre-industrial; centuries to millennia for that and still highly dependent on what humans are doing. My understanding is that a rapid switch to very low/zero emissions would see enough CO2 (in the process of reaching a new equilibrium) taken up by oceans and vegetation to n
  20. I understand what "alarmist" means and the mainstream expert advice we've been getting and the experts giving it on climate change is not alarmist. Human civilisation arising under such conditions, maybe. This human civilisation survive conditions changing that much? No. I don't believe our global population and civilisation and the infrastructure and global economy that supports us can survive the change into the kind of environment the dinosaurs had. The conclusions that the effects of the change global warming introduces will be bad for people, infrastructure, agriculture an
  21. I don't think there is anything inevitable about interstellar travel and it is living on Earth, not space, that is "in our genes"; we will be remaking the environment around us to mimic the conditions of Earth wherever we go. I suspect the urge to seek new horizons when opportunities appear constrained may be in our genes - a primitive urge that worked well when humans were not yet spread across a world that was overflowing with natural and readily exploitable resources. I don't think it is so well suited to extremely hostile environments; we need well made plans with high levels of confidence
  22. I disagree; the products of combustion of fuels are waste, just as food scraps and sewage solids are - which are also (potential) nutrients for other living things. They are especially problematic waste products when the flows of them exceed the capacity of natural as well as technical cycles to recycle and re-use them.
  23. So the world's number one waste product - about 5 times more than all other waste combined but a gas not a solid, ie CO2 - is not included? It does get it's own studies, lots of them but the enormous scale of that waste stream does leap out when you list it together with the rest.
  24. Used that way, yes, but falsely about people taking decades of consistent top level expert advice - alarm calls - seriously; sounding an alarm when the threat is real is not "alarmist". Climate scientists expressing alarm are not "alarmists". According to dictionaries it is variants of "someone who exaggerates a danger and so causes needless worry or panic." MigL - I think the meaning is clear and has remained unchanged (other than by misuse) over time; the changing of definitions that alarms me is using it to denote a political extremist irrespective of whether there is real cau
  25. It may not be intended that way but "alarmists" usually means people making exaggerated or false claims of impending doom. Being alarmed because multiple (independent) studies all show we face a real problem of unprecedented scale is not the same as being "alarmist". That aside, the impacts of current warming are expected to harm people now living in ways that look ongoing and irreversible; our responsibilities to "the planet" or it's remnant natural ecosystems may be unclear and not universally accepted but our responsibility to people generally is. I am one who think we do have that bro
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