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Ken Fabian

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Everything posted by Ken Fabian

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Not all shells are calcium carbonate. Radiolaria and Diatoms as counter examples, make their shells/skeletons out of Silica - SiO2.
  5. We can have a lot of confidence in the things we know about the things we can observe and examine, directly and indirectly. The things we cannot observe and examine are less significant. Purely hypothetical things, having no known existence, can be completely insignificant; rather than being reason to doubt everything we know that lack of observable existence of things we cannot observe is reason to doubt the existence of things that are purely hypothetical and cannot be observed.
  6. At the end of all the energy production the mass of the fission waste products will be less than the mass of the nuclear fuel. That missing mass will equal all the energy produced, waste heat included, ie m= E/C2, aka E=mC2. There is no energy from nothing and fission is not over unity.
  7. These kinds of schemes have been proposed again and again - some in great detail; they are not failing for lack of imagination. But I would not call assessing such plans on their merits and finding them wanting defeatism; that very ability to use foresight and understand what will and won't work before committing valuable resources is important progress. And besides the many schemes that are found wanting there will be projects that do pass, potentially more as engineering capability advances. Flood mitigation dams do work in many events that would cause flooding even if they can still be over
  8. This is hardly a new idea that no-one has thought of before. There are archives full of proposals for diverting flood water long distances to more arid but potentially agriculturally productive areas. They almost always fail on grounds of engineering difficulty and the high costs of overcoming them. Simply, the volumes of water during floods is enormous, far exceeding what any pipes or canals could manage. Leaving aside the transporting of that water to other regions and just looking at pumping water away as flood control we face the issue of just how much volume of water that will b
  9. I think we can expect a lot of normal activities to get suspended but I have no doubt that ideological agendas will get pushed through under the guise and cover of this emergency. With governments often inclined towards authoritarianism - getting stuff done so much easier without those annoying checks and balances - the potential for those tendencies to come to the fore looks obvious; it can be an opportunity for dissent and opposition and alternative views, legitimate or not, to be eliminated. As someone deeply concerned about global warming I fear that people who don't understand or acc
  10. @AviiPk You are suggesting we wreck the biosphere, atmosphere and climate of planet Earth and increase exposure to radiation so you will be better adapted to live in places much less livable than Earth? Please, NO! If your suggestions were being undertaken they would be serious crimes against humanity. Not to mention crimes against the environment - and I like trees and the life that lives in them as well as liking wood as a material to make things with. The ability of biological organisms to adapt to extreme conditions is greatly exaggerated - no ordinary evolutionary adaptatio
  11. GM just committed 20 billion USD to new battery electric vehicles, including a joint battery plant with LG Chem. They hope to bring down battery costs with reduced Cobalt/reduced cost chemistry in pouch cells. They intend to build battery electric vehicles with plug in (level 2 240V?) charging as well as Fast Charging. They are talking "could be" 400+ mile range. Whoever invents seriously better batteries will become rich beyond all imagination and there is a lot of active R&D.
  12. @Moreno With EV's nudging 5% of new passenger vehicle sales - and the strongest growing section of the market - they are well ahead of MHD powered vehicles at 0%. This would not be the case if battery powered vehicles did not work satisfactorily now - and they will almost certainly work even better and be cheaper in 10 years time, let alone 50. Battery technology is still improving and does not need to approach the energy densities of hydrocarbon fuels to work more than well enough. EV's also complement growing levels of Renewable Energy very well and are likely to become fully integrated
  13. What do the proposed MHD devices use as fuel/energy? The Wikipedia description fails to say where the energy required is coming from; they must be powered with something. I admit I don't really understand how these are expected to work as automobile "engines". In any case I think it is not ICE vehicles that it must prove significantly better than; MHD will struggle to compete with battery electric - which, for all the well known limitations, appears well capable of delivering enough range for most practical purposes, with fast charge stations becoming common enough and fast enough that lo
  14. Punishment is more popular than rehabilitation because lots of humans get a sense of satisfaction and pleasure from knowing people they believe are bad being made to suffer. And conversely, the idea that someone who commits crimes should be treated humanely and helped to become a more capable and productive citizen is unpopular. Rehabilitation can be perceived as about the best for the offender, despite preventing further crime, and that offends sensibilities of those who have been victims. I think popular opinion - often deliberately encouraged, through dramatic entertainment and political de
  15. Promoting less taxes through not having "socialist" welfare makes a voter winning slogan but is not a good way to run a nation. Some nations do have political parties and governments that manage to look further than simplistic ideas about presence of welfare/health/education programs being an unnecessary burden on the productive people, meaning them not paying makes them - and the economy as a whole - better off. I don't think that is true. My own view is the presence of an underclass of unemployed poor that gets none of those kinds of support comes with costs that may be difficult to pre
  16. I am not aware of any actual program to teach climate science denial in Australian schools. If that is not the case I would like to see a link. Perhaps within the non-government private schools sector? The disgraced Cardinal George Pell certainly encouraged climate science denial within the Catholic school system, despite the current Pope's position - he consistently portrayed concern about climate change as a kind of paganistic false belief and pricing on emissions as false offerings to false heathen Gods. The idea that toxic stuff from the bowels of the Earth, that burn fiercely with a
  17. It is becoming common in Australia for homes to divert "grey" water (pretty much all waste water barring that with faeces and urine) to storage for garden use and sometimes toilet/bathroom flushing, with separate pipework. It does come with potential health risks. I don't expect community infrastructure for that to be widely deployed but I am sure there are people proposing it. Reducing demand for water, especially during periods of drought, makes it worth doing; municipal water supply usage can be tightly capped during dry periods. Although such restrictions can be lifted during times of wate
  18. Thylacyne skulls are quite distinct from Canine - competent experts won't have any trouble telling them apart. Especially the teeth, which for a Thylacine, are distinctly marsupial. Thylacine teeth are not well evolved for crunching bones. It is worth keeping in mind that marsupials and mammals do share much in common; evolution will make variations around what already exists and works.
  19. Bluntly, I think these are the conclusions you start with and the facile sciency sounding but substanceless arguments are chosen to fit the narrative. You need to try them on an audience that has poor comprehension of climate science and are more inclined to take those arguments as true without checking. Alarmist economic fear of the costs of acting appropriately in response to decades of consistent top level science advice has been one the most potent Doubt, Deny, Delay arguments of all. Which works best if doubt is thrown on that science based advice - allowing the economic co
  20. What incoming IR that can reach the surface directly will be mostly short or "near" IR, which is less absorbed by greenhouse gases than long IR. A lot of the re-radiation from sun warmed earth back upwards is long IR. Any short IR that is absorbed along with long IR (which is more strongly effected and doesn't penetrate all the way through, going up or coming down) is absorbed in the atmosphere and will be retained within the climate system, not lost. Bulk air movement will carry it around and mix it. So, no it isn't going to offset the warming from raised CO2.
  21. Not sure my attempted explanation will be better than all the other explanations out there but I think that many of the attempts to keep it simple result in passing over important aspects... IR coming in can be reflected back to space or absorbed by the atmosphere, with about half of that absorbed to be re-radiated up and half down and none of that is changed much by changing greenhouse gas concentrations. Swansont's linked schematic is quite good. If it showed before and after changed CO2 it would be that "Radiated to space from clouds and atmosphere" figure that changes the most. I
  22. I would begin with a ramping carbon price, that starts low but at a rate that rises consistently and predictably - slow enough to avoid immediate disruption but inexorably enough that no planning ahead can get away with ignoring it. It is not about imposing a cost on end consumers to change their choices but making a clear price signal for energy providers, that induces change in their forward investment decisions. Where that results in higher consumer costs, those costs will, I believe, still be smaller than the costs of allowing externalised climate costs to accumulate by allowing emissions
  23. There should be abundant carbonaceous chondrite materials in asteroids that could be a raw material for making polymers. Given carbonaceous meteorites can have significant amounts of nickel-iron - mixed in as grains or chondrules - as well as oxides and sulphides, they have hypothetical potential for asteroid mining
  24. Body temperature can be different according to diet. A lower calorie diet can cause a drop in body temperature. https://source.wustl.edu/2011/05/restricting-calories-lowers-body-temperature-may-predict-longer-lifespan/
  25. Australia's National Parks and Forestry and community Fire authorities use controlled burning and have never been prevented by "green regulation" from using it. Leading fire experts and former and current heads of fire authorities reject the claims that green regulation preventing burning off is to blame. Blaming environmentalists is a nasty political claim that has no actual substance. The forestry industry has long been antagonistic to those calling for forest protection and regulation that limits their access to State owned forest resources - hating greenies comes with the job. But I t
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