3/6/13 questions and discussion
1-when are anecdotes better than aggregates, and visa versa?2
2-why are we allowing the war on drugs to take over?4
3-how are robotics affecting us?2
4-on the conservative to liberal spectrum where is the US, and what is the vision that implies for the country?3
5-is the debate on global warming over?5
is the debate on global warming over?
Jerry: we have to define what we mean by global warming, If one believes in it. Sure the planet has warmed. The next question: is it primarily caused by our carbon dioxide production? The last one is whether or not we'll have catastrophes if we do nothing. I think we're partly the causes with nature causing the rest of the warming. The key factor is being able to predict what happens in our future. The various methods used so far have not been able to predict correctly. Fudge factors can be used to replicate any curve predicting either bad or good futures. The major objection I have to any changes we make is the negative effects it may have one developing countries. I like nuclear power. Algae is interesting too, as are wind and solar.
Art: I agree we should develop nuclear power. It's cheaper. We could desalinate water for droughts. I've read there's a tipping point when methane inversion can occur. All the economic questions seem to be about putting people to work, creating value. Economic forecasts seem crazy; being frugal doesn't make any money. Spend money to make money -- no austerity!
Tor: I've been praying for global warming ever since I came to Minnesota! Global warming disaster for MN would be to get Arkansas' weather. I don't know why no one is talking about the global warming on Mars. Nobody is claiming Martian SUV owners caused its global warming (melted its polar ice cap)! Al Gore's Mt. Kilimanjaro's ice melt isn't caused by warming -- the temps on the mountain haven't gone up. So, like Mars the reason for snow/ice melt is the sun. There are three variables: Earth's 23 degree wobble, Earth's closeness to the Sun (not orbital), and the sun itself. Sun cycle data is very good. Why is Mars behaving like Earth? Sublimation (when ice becomes vapor) can be caused by solar radiation. There's a lot of money to be made scaring people about global warming. One solution is to release some kind of crystal into the air that reflects sunlight back to the sun. There are many others. Since we aren't sure, we are operating on false premises. I was on the Science Museum board and talked to them about it. They said we are 400 years into an ice age yet the ice isn't growing. An ice age is a big danger. We must ask; if we're just reacting instead of trying to change it what is good in that? It's unresolved. Eventually money will shift. There are some things worth preventing, like meteors. We should do that. The space program should take us to other planets. Can't we build an "escape route"? The car was for my significant other who used to spend $200/mo. on gas.
Jon: Consumer Reports magazine estimates the energy cost for that car (Chevy Volt) is 101 mpg electric and 32 mpg gas.
Mike: I first heard the term global warming in about 1967. It's my understanding that in 1957 some scientist noticed the rise in temps. Everybody has a piece of truth here. In a relatively short time even kids now know global warming so I don't think it's in doubt. I don't think I'll be here anymore if it gets bad. This issue has brought out a lot of information but I don't think it can be dealt with without a global government. That's the backgrounder music here (and I don't like it). I like things the way they are. (airport security) The best thing that can happen is for me to be "escorted to the exit"!
Jon: my father worked for United Airlines so when I was a kid I spent a fair amount of time in airports. It was fantastic! No security! Nowadays airports are made quite boring by the security measures. Then there's the "theatre of safety." Most of the efforts at security, like most law enforcement, is theatre: perception of consequences. Theatre can be bad. Much of airport security is bad theatre. Responding to Mike about world government; as someone left of center I gather from conservative thinkers that world government should be high on my wish list. In truth it had never occurred to me until my conservative friend expressed surprise at my having no interest in it. Conservatives and liberals need to get to know one another better.
Art: there's no global culture. No global consensus. World government will never happen.
Rachel: little has been said about eco-systems, our impact on them. This may not be a solution but might it be better to take better care of our environment than we are? Whether or not we cause global warming, surely we'll be grateful for things like better air, water, soil, etc.
Jerry: the problem is to isolate what's a real cause from what's not.