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By the mariner (Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 10:12:08 AM EST) environmentalism, things that suck (all tags)
here's the deal: i'm tired of environmentalism. these guys say no nuclear power, just let your electric company control your air conditioning!

they go on for decades about global warming -- and they had me convinced -- but they are against the only thing i've ever heard of that would have a reasonable chance of reversing it: engineered algal blooms.



it kind of pisses me off that i vote for the party that continues to make these idiots politically relevant. environmentalism was a good idea for a while, like in the 60s and 70s. today, no. i don't care about sea worms in anoxic zones in the gulf of mexico and the prospect that another might be created by iron fertilization in already desolate waters in the southern ocean does not worry me as much as a world 4 degrees fahrenheit hotter on average.

i mean look, these guys are blocking further study of iron fertilization. kind of like how the NRA blocks study of the impact of guns on violent crime. you block studies when you know what they'll find and you don't like it.

i'm tired of radically increased energy prices because a bunch of idiots who post on daily kos think i need to learn a lesson. there is no shortage of available energy resources, just crazy people restricting access to them.

most of the crazier people in the republican party will be dying soon. as soon as they can start fielding reasonable presidential candidates, they may well have my vote.

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thinking about becoming a republican | 48 comments (48 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I would probably have voted Republican by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:52:03 AM EST
...up till Bill Clinton.

It was pro-science and reasonably encouraging on equal rights



It's around that time that the frothing loonies switched sides.  . Monica Lewinsky has a lot to answer for. No one cared when John F Kennedy was in similar positions.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
nixon now. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:57:18 AM EST
too many types of weirdos involved in democratic party activism. it's ridiculous they get to win by default just because the other side has even crazier activists.

[ Parent ]
Monica Lewinsky has fuck all to answer for. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:55:33 PM EST
Bill Clinton has quite a lot to answer for, and Kenneth Starr and Linda Tripp are complete shitheads who are bad people and should feel bad.

[ Parent ]
Poor troll, C- by marvin (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:45:01 PM EST
Were you drunk when you wrote this?

Smart grids have amazing potential - anyone who understands utility base loads and peaking would sign up for AC control just for the enhanced system reliability and cost avoidance alone. It costs a lot of money to build mostly-idle power plants that only run for a few hours a day during the summer and winter peak months. That expense gets built into your power bills

Rather than going with the big brother solution (oh, the horror - the utility is gonna turn off your AC, which is unamerican), it would be better to pass on spot pricing to consumers. With accurate pricing info, you could set up your most power-hungry appliances up to shut down when costs rise, and save money.

Lower income people could run their laundry and dishwashers at night, cool their house during low to moderate load periods, and reduce their power bills. The rich could continue to run their AC when the grid is maxed out and power costs $1/kWh or more.

Your planned switch to the Republicans is mystifying and irrational, since the Republicans don't believe in global warming, peak oil, climate change, scientific research (other than that which can directly impact product development), or anything besides enriching the elite. What makes you think that they would support ocean fertilization to mitigate CO2 levels, or do anything to prepare your country for the end of the cheap fossil fuel age?

So what have you done besides whine about wasting your vote? If these things are as important to you as you claim, what change are you actively working to bring about?

Also, despite your stereotyping, environmentalists are not a single cohesive group. Some people will oppose anything. Learn to ignore them.

Your faith in the free market is well placed. by gmd (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:59:23 PM EST
 Spot pricing for energy to the domestic consumer is an excellent idea. And for that reason it will never happen.
the aim of any utility company is to maximise profit. It's part of their fiduciary duty to do so. To the extent that efficiency = more profit, they will pursue efficiency. The moment it eats into profits it's the end.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Don't forget regulatory constraints by marvin (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:24:12 PM EST
Since energy is usually a monopoly service, it is often heavily regulated. In many cases, even if utilities wanted to offer more market-based pricing, the regulatory agencies will forbid it due to inertia, or restrict it to the point of worthlessness in the name of "consumer protection".

There is a political price to pay when you make some (mostly stupid and entitled) people pay the actual costs for their actions. Regulators and their political masters are generally content to continue charging everyone a flat rate because that is how it has always been done, rather than risk an outcry by allowing major changes to billing structures.

[ Parent ]
it doesn't matter if republicans believe by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #25 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:29:23 PM EST
in global warming. in twenty years, no one, including republicans, will be able to deny. then we'll be like, huh, what can we do about this? i know, we can dump iron in the ocean. too bad we didn't study this more thoroughly for the last 20 years. guess we're just going to have to wing it.

[ Parent ]
In twenty years, no one... by marvin (2.00 / 0) #26 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:57:51 PM EST
Past performance is an indicator of future results.

M. King Hubbert first started talking about the length of the fossil fuel age in 1949. In 1956 accurately predicted the US production peak, and in 1974, he estimated the global peak production (and came very close, after you account for consumption changes triggered by OPEC). This was all four to six decades ago. The Republicans are still clinging to fraccing and shale oil as their saviour, in spite of poor EROEI and rapid declines. They recently killed an energy efficiency bill in the Senate.

The Club of Rome published Limits to Growth in 1972. Over forty years later, the myth of perpetual economic growth and ever-increasing resource consumption on a finite planet remains firmly intact.

The IPCC published their First Assessment Report in 1990. 24 years ago, linking CO2 to warming. Twenty-four years.

What makes you think another twenty years will make a difference with those people?


[ Parent ]
i'll put it another way, by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #28 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:02:34 PM EST
if in twenty years, the change in climate is not sufficient for everyone alive now to notice it by then, then global warming isn't a real problem anyway.

[ Parent ]
Seeing vs believing by marvin (2.00 / 0) #30 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:43:39 PM EST
Politics isn't about facts. It is about belief. A lie that feels true is given more weight than actual evidence to the contrary. There are still plenty of birthers out there.

I recall reading an article on this a few weeks ago, either via a Theopile Escargot link or reddit. Voters identified with and agreed with statements that appeared to make sense or felt true to them, such as crime getting worse, even when the evidence said the opposite.

People who buy into a belief system as heavily as today's climate change deniers are going to resist changing their views on the basis of something as flimsy as facts.

Look at the recent cold winter - half of the northeastern US was thumbing their fingers at climate change, as if a few regional cold snaps in one winter somehow outweighed decades of global data. More energy in the atmosphere and an increased frequency of damaging storms is going to be ignored and forgotten.

A decade ago, there was a devastating forest fire where I live. Everyone was talking about mitigation and fuel load reduction for about a year. The inquiry into the fire noted that decision makers needed to make prevention into a permanent priority. The report on the fire stated that all too often memories fade, mitigation stops being a public concern or budget priority, and politicians move on to the next crisis without learning from the previous one.

It is the same with climate change impacts such as flooding. People clean up, move on, and forget. Twenty years from now, it won't be too bad, because enough people will take action to prevent the worst of the impacts over the next 20 years. The Netherlands will raise their dykes, New York will rezone or reinforce waterfront, etc.

The shit really hits the fan in 40-60 years, not 20. My recollection is that the next 20 years is the last window we have to avoid the worst impacts. We're going to lose out on that, because it will take more than 20 years before the birthers and their ilk wake up to reality.

[ Parent ]
right now we're in a period of narrowing options by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #31 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:53:41 PM EST
there are various options available to address global warming. they mostly fall into two categories: reduction of emissions and geoengineering. there are two corresponding sides: one is business and industry leaders (as well as consumers) who say no to reduction of emissions, while the other is environmentalists and political activists who say no to geoengineering.

the business and industry side will win, but that can't happen until all options for reduction of emissions have been exhausted. this is already happening. eventually it will be recognized that the only way out is through engineering. most likely, the answer will have something to do with algae.

another data point: you can buy ferrous sulphate on alibaba for about 100 usd per ton. it's an industrial byproduct of steel production. for the price of a small house, you can buy enough to spawn an algal bloom that covers 10,000 sq miles of ocean. this was done last year off the coast of british columbia. supposedly it quadrupled the salmon catch.

the point is, people with resources can do this kind of thing easily. if done right, it seems to produce excellent results. this means it will be done over and over again, perhaps illegally. after ten years of such incidents, people are going to realize there's no real down side (as there obviously isn't).

[ Parent ]
Ecosystems are not simplistic by marvin (4.00 / 1) #32 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 10:59:09 PM EST
The Haida Gwaii incident in 2012 is still under investigation and charges may yet be laid. The guy who ran it has been fired. There have been no publications based on the work, so any impacts are unknown.

I'd take any news or pro-geoengineering reports on that with a big grain of salt.

Salmon runs vary in size, and have a four year return period. While 2014 is shaping up to be a decent year for BC salmon, so was 2010, so no real surprise there. There are a lot more variables on a salmon return than a hundred tons of iron dumped into a small portion of a massive ocean.

I'd like to see some more real data collected on iron addition, since small scale experiments are not going to create a feedback loop.

people are going to realize there's no real down side (as there obviously isn't

I don't have any interest in dealing with fanbois though, especially on the basis of the limited information available. At this stage, it isn't much different than other ideas floating around such as the solar updraft tower, or cloud seeding. There is some theory, a lot of hope, some big costs, little data, and uncertain outcomes.

Geoengineering at least has more potential than that idiotic solar roadways idea that got crowdsourced recently. However, most geoengineering violates the precautionary principle, since models are not good enough to accurately predict outcomes. In a system as complex as our oceans, you can't really predict whether there is a tipping point, or where it will be. Any iron addition on a scale large enough to make a difference may also be big enough to cause massive unanticipated harm.

You probably won't see feedback in a small scale experiment, but you cannot predict what happens when you scale up. The same thing happens with chemical reactions - a substance that is perfectly safe when you produce a few grams of it  ends up blowing up your plant after being scaled up to make a ton.

If Plan A is reduction in fossil fuels, and geoengineering is Plan B, I cannot see why anyone other than those heavily invested in fossil fuels would want to consider Plan B as a viable option. It's not like humanity can burn a thousand years worth of fossil fuels every day in perpetuity, so we had better start weaning ourselves from them, and the sooner the better. The mere existence of a risky and potentially catastrophic Plan B allows fossil fuel advocates and business interests to defer taking action.

Human nature is to defer costs in the hope that they will be lower in the future, or that another way can be found. I'm not willing to roll the dice and hope for the best by gambling humankind's future on dumping iron into our oceans. We could stop global warming with a nuclear winter too, but that isn't really a sufficient cause to launch the Tridents. At this time, messing about with ecosystems to prevent global warming isn't that much different than planning a nuclear winter, other than the radioactivity. It would be wise to research geoengineering, and foolish to depend upon it.

[ Parent ]
plan A is not actually a plan. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #34 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:04:07 AM EST
it's a pipe dream. there are no realistic prospects for meaningful reduction of CO2 emissions and there never will be. people talk about keeping down the second derivative of emissions and call it a victory. it's a joke.

geoengineering is inevitable. look, large scale industry is geoengineering. so is modern agriculture. these are human activities that have a decisive impact on the atmosphere and the amount of biomass on the planet globally. it's time to wake the fuck up and stop pretending. humanity > nature.

iron fertilization is different from other ideas in that it's known to work, there's geological evidence of algal blooms removing CO2 from the atmosphere in climatically decisive quantities in recent history, and the materials/technologies required to do it (ferrous sulphate, boats, and seawater analysis) are cheap and plentiful.

the drawbacks people talk about are things like "well, what if the algae gets eaten by fish and doesn't sink" -- yes, what will we do with all that fish? and we're just talking wild algae. there's no reason more suitable algae couldn't be bred or engineered for the purpose.

it's telling that the environmental position is represented by comparisons to nuclear winter. yes, anoxic zones on the bottom of uninhabited stretches of ocean are comparable to a nuclear winter.

look, i don't give a damn about crabs and worms that live at the bottom of the southern pacific or the hypothetical fate that could befall them (and let's get real, the more likely scenario is benthic sea life flourishes beneath algal blooms, kind of like north pacific salmon). you can wave your hands all day about unintended consequences and feedback loops. we have a pretty damn good idea what global warming is going to be like and it's a lot worse than the wildest scenarios imagined by geoengineering opponents.

[ Parent ]
Yes, you belong in the Republicans by marvin (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:09:31 AM EST
That post removed all doubt. The sense of entitlement, American exceptionalism, and arrogance confirms it.

Natural processes turned the atmosphere from methane to oxygen. I am not interested in dicking around with them to see what might happen next.

As a chemist, chemicals do not worry me, as they do not multiply exponentially. Microorganisms do.

For realistic prospects, see Heat by George Monbiot. What he wrote is probably 90% feasible. However, it would take some sacrifice, and rapid mobilization of society. It would not even be to the scale of WWII iirc.

Germany is aiming for 100% renewable electricity in the next few decades. China is making massive investments in solar and nuclear. The US and Canada are well on their way to being international pariahs due to their massive resource consumption and reluctance to change.

Twenty years from now, I expect the US to try and force geoengineering on a world full of nations that reduced their own consumption. That should be an interesting fight. If you think Iraq and Afghanistan damaged your country's image, influence, adn prestige...

[ Parent ]
you ever been to china? by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:58:04 AM EST
i'm in china right now. i doubt solar panels work under the conditions here. you need to get real, bud. you think india, brazil, and africa are going to say, "no, we're not going to burn our enormous fuel resources just to lift our children out of grinding poverty. that would be wrong."

no, they're going to say: "look, western/east asian masters of the universe, we're burning it. figure it out." and we're going to be like, "np, bros, we already have."

it must be nice coming from a country that doesn't matter. you never have to worry about being bitched at about a sense of entitlement, arrogance, and whatever because no one gives a fuck.

p.s.: big ups for germany. that's the example of a country whose "carbon footprint" could be wiped out by naive use of iron fertilization that the usual sources give. maybe they'll release a flying volkswagen too.

[ Parent ]
btw, lol @ 'heat' by the mariner (4.00 / 2) #43 Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 12:00:25 AM EST
man, you are living in a fantasy world if you think even 5% of buildings in 2030 will have the efficiency features this guy is talking about. here in china there's so much construction you see almost as many cranes as buildings (not as many as they had four years ago, but only because they're running out of places to build/old shit to demolish). guess how many of these new buildings are planned to meet energy standards anything like what monbiot proposes.

in a few years, you can start bitching about big bad china too. with all the image, influence, and prestige your country has, i'm sure they'll be very interested in the opinions of guys like you.

[ Parent ]
geoengineering means war. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #45 Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:39:21 AM EST
no, seriously.

any geoengineering done will have winners and losers.

the losers will eventually retaliate via military action.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
if that's your 'seriously,' by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #47 Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:25:54 PM EST
i'd hate to see what your "just kidding" looks like.


winners           losers

united states     bengladesh?
china             brazil?
japan             ??????
germany
the uk
etc.


[ Parent ]
xkcd nailed this one. by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #44 Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:38:35 AM EST
Why do you hate America? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #33 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:38:51 PM EST
I want my house cool when I'm in it. To Hell with your load periods.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha by Oberon (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 07:13:15 AM EST
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

You know what? I've lived in a subtropical zone in the USA. I'd have let them control the AC just to help stop the power going out periodically in the summer, never mind the environmental stuff.

Of course, the powers that be could have fixed the power infrastructure instead, but it seems like that's just too much effort.


How now, mad spirit?
[ Parent ]
That's okay. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #39 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:57:15 AM EST
I wouldn't admit to living in Florida either.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Try again! by Oberon (2.00 / 0) #41 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:23:17 PM EST
Clue: I could get a 20-minute train to the President's house.

How now, mad spirit?
[ Parent ]
The president of Guatemala? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #42 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 01:25:32 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I am completely convinced by gmd (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:54:39 PM EST
That environmentalism is a tool of the elite controllers of the world. Whatever is behind it you can bet they are not doing it because of any love of the environment. Remember is is a world in which Tony Blair, and Obama are winners of Nobel peace prizes.

It is a fact that the idea that we in any way "control" rather than "influence" the climate is patently ludicrous. And even if it were not ludicrous and we say for sake of argument that mankind does control the earth's climate, then one unintented/intended? (for the conspiracy minded) consequence of our "green" meddling could be a hastening of the next (overdue) ice age.

And that's before you get into the Lomborgian arguments about the best way to allocate resources IF serious climate change is a problem.

On top of all that, despite the many "proofs by assertion" and bent data analysis techniques, the science clearly isn't settled. The very fact that the environ-mentalists keep hysterically whining that it is, proves to me that it is not.

To surmise, anthropomorphic climate change is a Menkenesque "imaginary hobgoblin" designed to  make government interference in every aspect of our lives acceptable.

well, you can fool some of the people all of the time...


--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
Your faith is touching by marvin (4.00 / 4) #11 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:58:05 PM EST
Trust me, if the elite controllers of the world (a) actually existed and (b) were able to pull off the type of massive conspiracy you described, I would be relieved. Hugely relieved.

I have to make one assumption: that they want their children to take over, followed by their grandchildren and further descendants. That means they will not allow a nuclear war. Ever. They will want plenty of servants and poor people to make them feel smug about their own wealth, which means my future grandchildren have a good chance of being born into a livable world, albeit not necessarily a comfortable one.

The elite will want to continue to eat sushi, and go on fishing trips to catch marlin. That means they will prevent overfishing and ocean acidification, along with protecting the food web to maintain the larger apex species.

They will want to visit Africa to go on a photo safari, or shoot the Big Five game animals and mount them on their walls. That means they will have to deal with the crippling poverty, and fix the economic basis of those countries to bring poaching and habitat loss to an end.

They will want to continue to ski in the Alps, and visit exotic beach destinations. This means that they will prevent further global warming, and mitigate sea level rise.

The elite will want access to the best medicines, which means they will stop deforestation and prevent the loss of more plant, animal, and insect species which have potential for medicinal properties.

Since I see none of that happening, I have to conclude that there is no global conspiracy, and no elite controllers. Instead, we are stuck with a bunch of profit-focused businessmen and politicans who can see no further ahead that the next election, paying off their backers while stuck in perpetual campaign mode.

Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, short-sighted thinking, and selfishness.

[ Parent ]
To make a counter argument... by gmd (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 04:12:59 PM EST
 We've already had one nuclear war...

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
In a one-sided world with a handful of weapons by marvin (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:27:46 PM EST
There is a difference of a few orders of magnitude between the level of destruction available in 1945 and the present, based on weapon yield, quantity of weapons, and the delivery systems.

[ Parent ]
Indeed. But the same mentalities prevail... by gmd (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:02:22 PM EST
 

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Aren't you almost going in a circle now? by marvin (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:13:04 PM EST
Why not attack my assumption instead?

Why would the elite lizard people want a nuclear war? Are they immune to radiation? Do they have no need for food, clean air, or water? Do they intend to leave the planet using their flying saucers after reducing Earth to a smoking cinder? If so, why have they waited over 40 years to do so?

If they have the technology to rebuild the planet for themselves after the damage caused by humanity, why not use it to just get rid of people instead, and save a bunch of time?

[ Parent ]
As I understand it by gmd (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:22:49 PM EST
 And I am by no means an expert (although this is the internet, so will continue pontificating regardless), the lizard people inhabit another dimension, and are energy vampires who feed off human suffering. To the extent they allow us to live, it is so they can manipulate our world to create the fear energy that they feed off.

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Seems horribly inefficient by marvin (4.00 / 1) #21 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:24:55 PM EST
Although that does go a long ways to explain the existence of Justin Bieber.

[ Parent ]
It only seems inefficient by gmd (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:25:14 PM EST
 From a non-lizard perspective...

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
You Americans and your Two-Party System. by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:29:12 PM EST
We have a One-Robot System.

It was sent back from the future, for what purpose I don't know. But we elected it or failed not to elect it or just failed to have an election like half a dozen times now.

Chill out, snowflake.

*checks calendar* by nathan (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:43:05 PM EST
*checks bottle of crazy pills*

*checks calendar again* 

I read a suggestion... by gzt (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:57:56 PM EST
...that iron fertilization is highly inefficient and doesn't work well, which is why trying it is simply not a very good idea given the harms.

what harms? by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:00:42 PM EST
there are no credible harms presented. the proposal is to fertilize uninhabited, iron depleted ocean. the environmental criticisms are a goofy array of conflicting nonsense: you sometimes need other nutrients too (okay, get those), you may end up supporting the food chain instead of sequestering carbon (that would be a real tragedy), you may create deep sea anoxic zones (impossible, but who cares if it weren't?).

this is a process that runs naturally based on dust blown off continents. it doesn't take that much material to stimulate huge amounts of algae growth and the material used is a common industrial byproduct.

[ Parent ]
There is a disturbing... by ana (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:18:39 PM EST
attitude among activists of both wings of "Don't bother me with the details, my mind's made up" when it comes to scientific or engineering  issues. The GMO thing is largely hysterical as anyone who followed R343L's valiant attempts to get the sierra club types to talk sense will know.

I'm reminded of a day in Madison in the learly 1980s when one of the long haired street people (actual hippies, I think, though most hippies faded away 15 years earlier) was holding a newspaper in his hand, addressing (loudly) one of his friends with "Syria, Man..." (I forget exactly; wherever the crisis was that year). Sometimes it's about that level of analysis.

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

Most people are stupid. by gmd (4.00 / 1) #14 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 04:14:22 PM EST
 And the ones that are not stupid are ill informed, and lack basic critical thinking skills.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
No third option? by marvin (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:31:08 PM EST
Wow, that sucks. Pretty damning either/or you've got there.

[ Parent ]
With a touch of the Epimenides paradox in there, t by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #29 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:05:36 PM EST
Assuming making declarations about the state of the whole world's minds is considered intelligence.

[ Parent ]
On GMO: I saw some Organic Bananas for sale. by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:30:20 PM EST
(Not to mention 100% Organic, Chemical Free Salt but that's a different side of the die.)

We're talking about an organism that can't even reproduce on its own. So I guess coarse-grained GMO is "organic" but when we get to the point where we know what we're doing, it's not.

I am still wary of gene patents, though. Maybe that's what organic means, unpatentable. I'm still working on the definition of "chemical".

Chill out, snowflake.

[ Parent ]
Blocking studies by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #15 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 04:57:45 PM EST
I think, based on reading the article, that they wanted to block further studies of iron fertilization at least partially on the basis that the process of doing the study had some risks associated with it.  They are, after all, dumping a lot of iron into the ocean.

I am a pretty firm believer in the Law of Unintended Consequences.  Just from my own life in IT/software QA, if I had a dollar for every time a developer said "why did that change, I wasn't trying to change that?"...well, I'd have more dollars than I have now, anyway.

Maybe that happens more in software than in science because software people generally know that things will pass through QA before being released to production.  Actually, no, it happens because of hubris, plain and simple.  Anyway, there is no test sandbox for Planet Earth, there is only the production environment, so to speak.  It's still an interesting idea, but it makes me nervous.

Another point to make about the article is that their best case estimates for how much carbon could be sequestered by iron fertilization of the ocean is 1/8th of current output.  That's not a magic bullet that can compensate effectively for our current output, let alone that of a fully-developed China and India.

I do agree there are at least SOME environmentalists would would not be happy even if a perfect magic bullet solution for global warming was found that would not require us to give up our current lifestyle and fossil-fuel-based economy.  There's a whole narrative of sin and redemption in the climate change thing that I think a lot of people are attracted to.  It's maybe a bad analogy, but as deeply religious people worked hard their whole lives towards the goal of remaining celibate until marriage and faithful thereafter, and then condoms and birth control pills came along and suddenly there was (reproductive) consequence-free fucking available, that didn't make them too happy, environmentalists who have been pushing hard for years on how to not use fossil fuels would not want to see technology deployed that would make using massive amounts of fossil fuels okay again1, because they could not longer look down their noses at the rednecks driving their big dualie extended cab pickup trucks down to the store to get groceries anymore.  Well, they would still look down their noses at them, but it wouldn't be with scientific sanction.

1Okay, yes, we will run out of fossil fuels eventually, so it's still probably not a good idea to drive a 10mpg truck to get groceries.

as soon as they can start fielding reasonable ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #23 Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:48:16 PM EST
Good one.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
hahaha by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #36 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:03:33 AM EST
So a few environmental extremists and you are suddenly out?

Have you looked at the Republican Party recently?  It's not a few old dudes who will be gone soon that are the issue.  It's Rand Paul.  It's Scott Walker.  It's Rubio.  All guys in their 40s and crazier than shithouse rats.  What is dying for them right now is their base.  Old white people.  Boomers, in specific.  When those folks are gone, the Republicans won't have a party, unless they get a new song and dance, especially on social issues.

At the end of the day, the Republican corporate worship, emphasis on money over people, warmongering/military worship, and regressive social policies are 1000 times worse than the radical environmental fringes of the Democratic party.


not extremists. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #37 Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:19:04 AM EST
these are not examples of extremists. the people who put the stop on studies of iron fertilization worked through the UN -- hardly your campus fringe left. the people who're talking about turning over your air conditioning to the utilities got their bright idea published in the new york times.

republicans will have a new song and dance soon. it'll be about idiot environmentalists, social workers who have presided over 50 years of non-progress in urban america, and how you should be spending your disposable income buying stocks instead of bitching about globalization.

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i don't see that. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #46 Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:45:11 AM EST
the song i see coming from the republicans is: government is bad. we should cut back government spending in every way. we should eliminate environmental, health and safety, and labor regulations because they're bad for business. we should cut off welfare programs because they encourage laziness. we should abolish taxes because they're bad for business, except maybe for sales taxes if we really need to fund things.

from what i can tell, the tea party wing of the republican party wants to abolish the modern regulatory state and go back to nineteenth century political norms.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

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it's okay, not everyone sees the big picture. by the mariner (2.00 / 0) #48 Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:37:46 PM EST
right now, the republicans keep their shit together by courting a dying demographic with promises to screw various minority groups. when the dying demographic is dead, they will develop a different approach. the welfare, labor, and to some extent taxes crap is part of the current approach.

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