Indian Food, Fermi's Paradox, Carbon Tax, 2012 Solar Storm

This time we'll be going to Tamba Indian Grill and Bar, a fine Indian place in Murray Hill.  They have both vegetarian and meat dishes.  A menu is here.

A $5 deposit is required to RSVP, which will be refunded in cash at the event, 10 minutes after it starts.  No-shows and latecomers forfeit their deposit.  If you change your RSVP to "no" more than 24 hours before the event, you will receive a refund electronically.

Note that if you are on the wait list and a spot opens up, you will not be automatically promoted to a "Yes" RSVP.  You will have to pay your $5 deposit to become a "Yes" when a spot opens up, so be vigilant.

Why don't we detect alien civilizations from other stars?  We have recently found that most stars have planets, and many of these stars have had planets capable of sustaining life for billions of years longer than ours has.  If you do the math, there must be millions of civilizations in our galaxy.  Given how advanced we are now compared to a thousand years ago, a civilization which has been around for billions of years longer than ours must be mind-blowingly more advanced than we are.  Why haven't civilizations formed which have colonized the whole galaxy?  There are a lot of answers (and a lot more questions), the whole area is usually categorized as Fermi's Paradox.

Economists agree that if we are to reduce carbon emissions, the best way for the government to achieve it, rather than micromanaging the economy, would be to impose a carbon tax that would both discourage emissions and encourage energy conservation.  Achieving this is difficult, but here's an approach we might take.  But to make a tough problem tougher, there's the fact that ideological conservatives, who are the most difficult people to sell on a carbon tax, just happen to make high-emitting lifestyle choices.

2 years ago a solar blast came out of the sun which, had the earth been in its path, would have caused trillions of dollars of damage to electronics and power grids, and which would have taken us years to recover from.  It was almost as strong as the "Carrington Event" of 1859, which did relatively little harm because we didn't yet have much technology that was advanced enough to be affected.

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    Edit to item 3:
    If Carrington type events are very rare and have to be kind of aimed in our direction to cause damage we don't have worry about them. (We do have lots of other things to worry about.)

    June 28, 2014

    • Joy

      Good article Bill, thanks. The government is doing something re: prospective Carrington's but program is wildly underfunded to about 9.1 million with 40 staffers.

      July 17

    • Joy

      A good solution to lack of fudning to build better warning systems is perhaps approach Virgin Galactic-Google joint venture and offer tax incentives to allow government observation satellites to ride shot gun with their advanced suborbital sattelites (rather than resurrect antiquated mothballed NASA satellites. Article link­

      July 17


    1. There are probably millions of planets in the Milky Way where life exists, but anyone who thinks that we’ll ever contact life on another planet does not understand how evolution works, does not realize how the size of the galaxy and the speed of light limit communication and does not recognize the principal concomitant to great intelligence.
    2. Carbon tax is the option favored by Dr. James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and preeminent authority on climate change. However, it doesn’t matter.
    3. If Carrington type events are very rare and have to be kind of aimed in our direction to cause damage we’ve nothing to worry about.

    1 · June 28, 2014

    • Joy

      These are awesome topics Bill, thank you. Giddian, there are many climate scientist that are in favor of Carbon Tax -- the issue is legislation. Canada has gotten around federal carbon tax but provinces (British Columbia) have enacted them and have been successful -- much like the marriage act in the US - state adaptation first, then federal.

      July 2

    • Joy

      Barack Obama has made recent overtures about an executive order that allows states to impose their form of cap and trade. See NY Times link below.­

      July 2

7 went

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Refunds offered if:

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Additional notes: The $5 fee is a DEPOSIT which will be REFUNDED IN CASH at the event, 10 minutes after it starts. No-shows and latecomers forfeit their deposit. If you change your RSVP to "No" more than 24 hours before the meetup, there will be an electronic refund.

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