Posts Tagged change

Some answers on Climate Change

Someone asked some questions on climate change elsewhere, and I took some time to answer them. I’m cross-posting the questions and my responses here for the benefit of any of my visitors who might have similar questions:


Why should I support fighting climate change?

Do you have kids? Are there any kids in your near family, or do friends have kids you care about, or (reaching, but) do you care about kids in general? Because if this isn’t stopped, they’re going to be at least miserable, and possibly much worse.

What action should I take to help reduce climate change?

Change, if it’s coming at all, must come from both the top and the bottom.
Starting with your own actions… drive less, set your home to warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter, keep appliances off that don’t need to be on. Do this even if you’re in an area with hydro or other non-stank power, because power you don’t use can be shared to other areas that may not be hydro or other relatively clean power. Unless you’re 100% power independent, for instance, if you run your own isolated solar installation.

How much money is it going to cost me?

Your own actions will probably save you money, potentially quite a bit, but how much depends on your present circumstances. Next is getting your representatives — senators, congresscritters, the president — to take political action, which can be much more effective, but is comparably much more difficult to achieve. They can fund the science and technology that will be needed to counter the effects, and they can set emissions regulations that can slow the onset of the more serious problems somewhat, thus providing more time for the science and tech folk to create and implement remedial counters.

What will happen if I do nothing?

In the nearer term… food shortages as crops have to be moved to more northern temperate bands into the hands of farmers who are unfamiliar with them, and as ocean acidification increases and blows out the balance of life there, resulting in changes that may in fact turn out to be catastrophic — a lot of the world depends upon the ocean as a food source. If it’s unavailable to them, they’re going to want the other foodstuffs, and that will change the market price and availability — not in a good way. Violence is definitely possible over this issue. Harsher weather, generally speaking warmer and carrying more intense storms. In the longer term, some ocean rise, which will cause people in low-lying coastal areas to relocate, which will (a) reduce the available real estate people can live on, and (b) destroy or very seriously inconvenience all businesses that are presently operating in those locations.

End game… probably this will get solved, IMHO, but it may be well into some of the above problems before it is if our politicians and citizens don’t get after it. If it isn’t solved… might be pretty much apocalyptic within a few hundred years. Worst case… runaway warming… ever look at the climate of Venus?

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New WordPress version, new MySql version, hoop jumping, aggravation

So, my legions of loyal visitors (notice how I don’t assume you read any of my drivel, just that you visit), my hosting provider informed me that things were changing, and I’d have to update what database I was using and what version of the underlying language, and that also meant new blogging software, and so… the site was down for half a day or so while I located the hoops, jumped back and forth through them, and towards the end, contemplated setting them on fire.

But it’s done now. I think. Perhaps.

However, should you encounter weirdness, by all means let me know and I’ll see if I can work out what I did wrong, or whatever. Sorry for being down, wasn’t my intention.

Cheers!

–Ben

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Robotics and Sex – Social Consequences

My prediction: The days of women pushing against gender identity at the plumage and courtesy levels will come to an end with a screeching halt when robotics come into their own. For two primary reasons:

First, because domestic and working robotics will provide people with the free time to court and interact (something notably lacking in today’s multi-job, rushed world.) Since that’s actually kind of fun, or at least, I think it is, I am fairly comfortable speculating that courting between real people will become common behavior. Again.

Second, if a fellow can buy a social companion that is as exactly up for sex, cuddling and whatever other interests he has… that whole “I wear pants and cut my hair short and makeup is too much work” thing will evaporate like it never existed if a lady actually wants a flesh-and-blood companion.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama administration disenfranchises torture victim

In an article in the New York Times today, lawyers representing the Obama administration told judges that a case alleging the US government was responsible for utterly horrific torture “could not be litigated” because it would “reveal state secrets.”

This event, if accurately reported by the NYT, should be taken as the very brightest of red flags.

The fifth amendment of our constitution says that “no man… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” – this is the clearest of prohibitions against using coercion to force a person to speak. The eighth amendment of our constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments”. The sixth amendment says “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial”.

I cannot express how disappointed I am in the Obama administration.

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