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Messages - wili

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Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: February 18, 2020, 03:32:38 PM »
"I consider myself environmentally aware and concerned"

Glad to hear it. This is how most Americans describe themselves, too.

And this is a pretty good definition of 'environmentalist.'

Leaving me wondering why you keep disparaging others who are likewise 'environmentally aware and concerned'... ???

The rest / Re: Who should be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020?
« on: February 18, 2020, 03:25:52 PM »
Yeah, Wally seems to be rather clueless on this topic.

Over 80% of Americans are worried about unexpected medical bills. That's just not something that most people in most of the rest of the industrialized world even have to think about.


Sanders opens 12-point lead nationally

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has opened a 12-point lead nationally in the Democratic presidential primary field, according to a new poll.

Sanders has 31 percent support in the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released early Tuesday, pushing him into the top spot, which had been held by former Vice President Joe Biden.

Sanders’s support shot up 9 points since last month’s poll, following his victory in the New Hampshire primary.

Biden’s support, however, decreased by 9 points to 15 percent in the new survey. Biden’s downturn pushed him into third place, behind former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who surged into second place with 19 percent....

A bit ironic for Bernie to be now up against a billionaire. Well, I guess that will give him more practice in bringing down billionaire goliaths so he can wup Trumps behind even harder :)

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: February 18, 2020, 02:15:58 PM »
NT, you often seem dismissive of environmentalists. I was just wondering whether you consider yourself an environmentalist or not. Thanks ahead of time for any clarification on that front.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 18, 2020, 03:35:15 AM »
vox, the embedded graph from that cnbc article you linked to ( ) looks like exponential growth of cases confirmed outside China.

If so, and if that trajectory continues, we should expect about a million cases beyond China by about the end of March, and maybe a billion by June!

Too little, too late, but still glad to hear it

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 17, 2020, 04:07:54 PM »
Again, the numbers may represent other limits--of testing kits and of medical personal to make assessments... These kinds of viruses tend to hit the medical community particularly hard.

Of the nearly 140 patients in the Zhongnan Hospital study, nearly 30 percent were healthcare workers.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 17, 2020, 02:53:20 AM »



Here are CNN's latest numbers:
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 71,000 people globally, mostly in mainland China. The death toll is 1,770, including four people outside mainland China.

(Not sure why the discrepancy from Sam's numbers...different sources, or more recent numbers?)

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 17, 2020, 01:11:01 AM »
File under...Oooops!  :o  :-[ ???  :(

Coronavirus Infection Found After Cruise Ship Passengers Disperse

Amid assurances that the Westerdam was disease free, hundreds of people disembarked in Cambodia and headed for airports. One was later found to be infected

The cruise ship had been shunned at port after port for fear it might carry the coronavirus, but when the Westerdam arrived in Cambodia on Thursday, the prime minister greeted its passengers with flowers.

Amid assurances that the ship was disease free, hundreds of elated passengers disembarked. Some went sightseeing, visiting beaches and restaurants and getting massages. Others traveled on to destinations around the world.

One, however, did not make it much farther than the thermal scanners at the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia. The passenger, an American, was stopped on Saturday, and later tested positive for the coronavirus.

On Sunday, with passengers already headed for destinations on at least three continents, health officials were scrambling to determine how a big a problem they now have — and how to stop it from getting bigger.

“We anticipated glitches, but I have to tell you I didn’t anticipate one of this magnitude,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

With more than a thousand passengers from the Westerdam headed for home, Dr. Schaffner said, it may be harder than ever to keep the coronavirus outbreak contained to China.

This could be a turning point,” he said...

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 16, 2020, 05:19:07 PM »
More on how the common cold (rhinovirus) and coronaviruses avoid being blocked by our immune system:

The small, spiky spheres, the coronaviruses are closely monitored by public health agencies, since they're able to be transmitted between species and some have a high potential mortality rate. Both SARS and MERS are caused by coronaviruses. Their ability to adapt to new environments seems due in part to the spikes on the surface of the virus--more specifically, a small, strategic part of the proteins that form those spikes.

The spikes are made up of S proteins (S for spike). A specific part of the spike seems to allow the virus to attach itself to host cells. The spike's RBD (receptor binding domain), which initiates the interaction between cell and virus, is essential for infection. But RBDs are targeted by antibodies that neutralize the virus and allow the immune system to flush it out of the host's system.

Coronaviruses are thus faced with an evolutionary problem. They can't infect cells without an RBD, which needs to be exposed so that it can latch onto cells. But the RBD needs to be masked to avoid being targeted by antibodies.

In response, the coronavirus has developed a mechanism that helps it survive, and thrive. The RBD is made up of three parts that vary widely between strains. Thanks to this variation, antibodies are unable to detect new strains, whereas RBDs retain--and even improve--their affinity for the target cell. Plus, RBDs alternate between visible and masked states.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 16, 2020, 04:49:14 PM »
“There is some evidence that people can be reinfected with the four coronaviruses and that there is no long-lasting immunity,” Dr. Susan Kline, an infectious disease specialist at of the University of Minnesota.

“Like rhinoviruses [which cause the common cold], you could be infected multiple times over your life. You can mount an antibody response, but it wanes, so on subsequent exposure you don’t have protection.” Subsequent infections often produce milder illness, however.

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: February 15, 2020, 03:33:11 PM »
I'm confused--How could ANaerobic respiration (without access to oxygen) create more CO2 (which is, of course, 2 parts oxygen) than aerobic respiration, which has access to lots of oxygen.

Do they mean that, since the anaerobic process creates methane, the CO2equivalent is much higher in rainy season? If so, the headline (at least) is misleading.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 14, 2020, 01:54:14 AM »
Well put, sadly.  :-\

Policy and solutions / Re: A giant dam around the North Sea?
« on: February 12, 2020, 10:39:14 PM »
ger, good point. But wouldn't that be an issue pretty much wherever along the English Channel you put it.

IIRC, similar plans are being considered for the Mediterranean Sea. I wonder how many other places are considering projects of this scale?

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 12, 2020, 06:35:03 PM »
"Yet the environmentalists don't seem to realise that the first impacts of the liveable biosphere breakdown won't be humans.  It will be animals."

Congratulations for winning "The Stupidest Thing I Have Read On ASIF For A Long Time" award!

The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: February 12, 2020, 04:20:39 PM »
I like the Stoics, but I really like Diogenes the Cynic.

He took: "..."in accordance with nature". Because of this, the Stoics thought the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said, but how a person behaved. To live a good life, one had to understand the rules of the natural order since they thought everything was rooted in nature..."

a few steps further...

...[Diogenes] used his simple lifestyle and behaviour to criticize the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt, confused society. He had a reputation for sleeping and eating wherever he chose in a highly non-traditional fashion, and took to toughening himself against nature. He declared himself a cosmopolitan and a citizen of the world rather than claiming allegiance to just one place. There are many tales about his dogging Antisthenes' footsteps and becoming his "faithful hound".

Diogenes made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and often slept in a large ceramic jar, or pithos, in the marketplace. He became notorious for his philosophical stunts, such as carrying a lamp during the day, claiming to be looking for an honest man.

He criticized Plato, disputed his interpretation of Socrates, and sabotaged his lectures, sometimes distracting listeners by bringing food and eating during the discussions...

...Diogenes maintained that all the artificial growths of society were incompatible with happiness and that morality implies a return to the simplicity of nature. So great was his austerity and simplicity that the Stoics would later claim him to be a wise man or "sophos". In his words, "Humans have complicated every simple gift of the gods."...[/i]

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 12, 2020, 12:26:35 PM »
I heard it's actually pronounced "Covfefe" !  ;D

The rest / Re: Who should be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020?
« on: February 09, 2020, 03:12:05 AM »
Not according to this poll:

The Trump-Bernie voters from 2016 are nearly non-existent now

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 07, 2020, 03:08:48 AM »
"...i'm definitely still alive " Definitely glad to hear it, be cause!

Have you tried engaging the vagus nerve? When I get tachycardia, if I can muster the energy (I find it leaves me quite despondent), if I hold my breath really really hard like I'm trying to take a shit (do it on the toilet, just in case :) ), I can generally kick my system out of it. Splashing cold water on your face is supposed to be good, too, but it never worked for me. There are lots of other techniques out there (some a bit...woo woo), so you might have to experiment a bit to see what works.

(Apologies if this is all very old news for you)

Wishing you the best--wili

On the topic of the thread--yes, a major slow down in the world economy would be a good way to lower emissions (or at least slow their increase). Ideally, this would be carefully planned so as to cause the least harm to ordinary people. But instead, we get a (likely) epidemic and probable eventual market and economic crash.

I do hope that it forever puts a damper on people's enthusiasm for cruises...a very wasteful and stupid way to travel on so many levels...

Science / Re: Water availability
« on: February 06, 2020, 04:41:26 AM »
The assumptions behind the statements at the opening of this thread seem a bit faulty.

It is not raw population numbers that determine water depletion, but population times water use per capita. Water is used for many (and many stupid) things by the wealthy and the relatively wealthy of the world, leaving much less for the rest to use for mere survival.

But yes, water availability was just identified as one of the five top crises threatening to bring about societal collapse:
Overlapping environmental crises could tip the planet into “global systemic collapse,” more than 200 top scientists warned Wednesday.

Climate change, extreme weather events from hurricanes to heatwaves, the decline of life-sustaining ecosystems, food security and dwindling stores of fresh water — each poses a monumental challenge to humanity in the 21st century.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 06, 2020, 04:27:00 AM »
Coronavirus is hitting solar cell production (and much else):

Quote prices are expected to rise with the cost of PV modules increasing, all as a result of the virus outbreak. This is due to a shortage in module glass and wafers needed to create these systems.

Areas that are known for generating these systems – including Jiangsu, Guangdong, Anhui and Zhejiang – have extended the New Year holiday to deal with the impacts.
Shutdowns cause a decrease in production

China’s National Health Commission noted that transport had been significantly impacted across a number of regions, directly affecting manufacturing across the board. Local governments are continuing to extend the holiday period in order to avoid spreading the virus even further.

So what does this all mean for solar?

Essentially, production rates for much-needed materials have come to a halt, or at least, significantly decreased. Those residing in affected areas are now under quarantine orders for 14 days, resulting in factory usage plummeting.

Primary solar manufacturers in China told PV Magazine (remaining anonymous) that coronavirus has caused significant strain on their factories. They noted that they will be operating at ‘very low rates’ and will not return to a ‘normal production [rate] in the immediate future’.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 04, 2020, 02:25:12 AM »
Over 20,000 now.

Is there a bench mark that will cause some kind of special reaction in the world governments or markets?

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 02, 2020, 06:05:33 PM »
We just had the cloudiest January on record here in Minneapolis.

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: February 01, 2020, 11:43:24 PM »
and then there's...

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: February 01, 2020, 11:40:03 PM »
And I'm old enough to enjoy tjones' covers, too

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: February 01, 2020, 11:36:11 PM »

from 1 of my highschool buddies

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 01, 2020, 04:08:31 AM »
SH wrote:
There are 6 confirmed cases in the U.S. We all need to take a deep breath

About two weeks ago, there were only a hand full of cases of this virus in the world. Now there are well over 11,000 confirmed cases (and likely many times that unconfirmed).

Maybe...get a high quality face mask before taking that deep breath?? :)

Meanwhile: ...Wuhan coronavirus can spread even when people have no symptoms

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: January 31, 2020, 01:49:11 PM »
Pretty close to 10,000 world wide by now. 9,809 confirmed cases in China alone.

From NYT:

How Bad Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Get?

Here Are 6 Key Factors

•    How contagious is the virus?
    It seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS.

•    How deadly is the virus?
    It’s hard to know yet. But the mortality rate is probably less than 3 percent, much less than SARS.

•    How long does it take to show symptoms?
    Possibly between 2 to 14 days, allowing the illness to go undetected.

•    How much have infected people traveled?
    The virus spread quickly because it started in a transportation hub.

•    How effective will the response be?
    The W.H.O. has praised China’s efforts, but critics fear lockdown measures may not be enough.

•    How long will it take to develop a vaccine?
    A vaccine is still a year away — at minimum.

It seems to me, they missed another crucial factor here (at least one): How contagious are people before they are symptomatic, and for how long?

So we have a clear answer on this? As I recall, some Chinese authorities are saying it is contagious before symptoms emerge, but non-Chinese experts seem to be dubious.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: January 31, 2020, 11:54:46 AM »
The number of hospital beds in the US is under a million. There were nearly a million hospitalized cases of flu in the 2017-'18 season.

In general, based on such stats and from what I hear from healthcare professionals, we're already stretched to the max, and any significant further pressure will overwhelm the system.

That is no doubt even more true of some other places around the world that are now seeing their first cases arrive on their shores.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: January 29, 2020, 09:52:23 PM »
vox in his last quote addressing my quote mentions N95 respirators.

Yes, those are what are commonly used in medical settings, but my understanding is that they are not the ones readily available to the public that are now flying off shelves.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: January 29, 2020, 05:20:28 PM »
Arch wrote: " Facemasks are certainly effective..."

I just heard an expert on the radio (US National Public Radio) claim that there is actually no study that shows that the kinds of facemasks that are widely available have any effect on stopping the spread of the flu or the common cold.

And note the quote from one of the articles vox just linked:
.... Good hand hygiene, including the regular use of an alcohol-based sanitizer, may be more effective than face masks at preventing transmission of the 2019-nCoV virus, said Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist at Australia’s Canberra Hospital.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 26, 2020, 04:30:27 PM »
You're welcome :)

And thank you, nanning.

I would just add that there are a number of recorded cases of 'civilized' Westerners giving up 'civilized' life and going to live with the 'savage ' Natives.

These went against the dominant cultural narrative, so they generally didn't get a lot of coverage, but if you look carefully at the footnotes of works like Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, you will find plenty of examples.

So, to turn Tom's question on its head, if 'civilized life' is so obviously superior to 'savage living,' why would anyone ever chose toleave the former to join the latter?

In any case, the main point is not which way of living is most pleasant, but which way of living destroys the earth (one, modern industrial consumerism), and which ways of living don't (pretty much every other society ever developed).

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 26, 2020, 04:02:59 PM »
Yes, fossil-death-fuels were and are the ultimate 'forbidden fruit.' We rushed into exploiting them, and have yet to really develop effective taboos, legal or cultural, against their use. Most small scale, traditional societies do develop a rich set of such taboos that help to steer them away from over exploiting critical local resources. For many/most capitalists, the very notion of any such taboos at any level is itself taboo for them!

But, as with most things, the rise of modern industrial culture and population explosion is a bit more complicated than just ffs. Expansionist cultural drives lead to the age of colonialism (aka, the global spread of Western European piratic ventures. This in turn, among other things, lead to the world-wide spread of various (most 'New World') crops like maize, potatoes, yams...which proved to do well in many environments and allowed for global population to start its exponential increase well before the effective use of ffs.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: January 26, 2020, 10:24:27 AM »
CNN just reported a third case in the US in Orange County, CA

The following places outside mainland China have confirmed cases:

    Hong Kong: 5 cases
    Macao: 5 cases
    Thailand: 5 cases
    Australia: 4 cases
    Malaysia: 4 cases
    Singapore: 4 cases
    France: 3 cases
    Japan: 3 cases
    South Korea: 3 cases
    Taiwan: 3 cases
    United States: 2 cases [now 3]
    Vietnam: 2 cases
    Nepal: 1 case

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 26, 2020, 10:00:32 AM »
If being sober were so good, why do so many become alcoholics?
If being clean were so good, why do so many become junkies?
If being free were so good, why are so many in jail?

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 24, 2020, 04:42:24 PM »
Most small-scale, traditional communities around the world had reached some kind of sustainable equilibrium with their immediate environment by the beginning of the modern era (~1500).

There were and are hundreds and probably thousands of ways for humans to live sustainably in their environment. It is really only one society that has proved utterly disastrous and unsustainable on a global level, and that is modern industrial society.

And yes, that now includes nearly all humans to some extent or another, but the top ~20% do ~80% of the consumption and damage.

The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: January 01, 2020, 09:02:41 PM »

4,000-Year-Old Guide to the Ancient Egyptian Underworld May Be Oldest Illustrated ‘Book’

Archaeologists recovered the remnants of an ancient “Book of Two Ways” from a sarcophagus

"...all forests are created equal..."

Did you mean "not all forests are created equal"?

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: December 26, 2019, 06:01:25 AM »
Got it. My bad, and my apologies.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: December 26, 2019, 04:06:22 AM »
I took my earlier comment down, but I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.

Quote from: sidd on December 23, 2019, 08:32:47 AM

    "I never vote. But if i do vote it'll be for Trump, just to piss the democrats off."

And above he is touting Putin as a truth teller, so he claims to value truth yet would be willing to support the objectively lying-est president or politician probably ever. That strikes me as a bit of an inconsistency/contradiction.

Is it now somehow outrageous to point out apparent inconsistencies and contradictions in fellow posters comments? Is that somehow a 'smear.' I am sure my posts show all sorts of inconsistencies, and I personally am more than happy for others to point them out, as they have on occasion.

And Happy Christmas everyone. I spent part of the day, as I do nearly every day, providing (sometimes cooking myself) hundreds of bowls per week of hot, excellent soup and other goodies to homeless (and anyone else who want them) in our urban setting. Glad to hear others are doing some of the same.

Hef, it looks like you can take Norway off that list :/ :

 Norway resists growing environmental pressure over oil

Western Europe’s biggest producer faces questions as climate concerns intensify

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   Norway will continue to pump oil as long as there is demand, the country’s outgoing oil minister has said, resisting growing environmental calls for Europe’s biggest petroleum producer to leave its substantial energy reserves in the ground.

More than 50 per cent of the country’s reserves are yet to be tapped and Oslo would continue to encourage companies to drill for them, said Kjell-Borge Freiberg, who resigned on Wednesday and has been replaced by a politician known for her scepticism about climate change.

“We will be a supplier as long as there is demand for oil and gas . . . There will be demand for oil and not least gas for a long, long, long time ahead,” he said, speaking ahead of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of oil in Norway on December 23, an event he described as Norway’s equivalent of the moon landing.

A little thing called scientific reticence:

"uncertainty is not our friend"


I have a feeling that if his doctors told him "The circulation of blood to your brain may be failing rather quickly" then Hef would jump up and down with joy because the 'may' in the warning expressed some uncertainly ! :)

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: December 08, 2019, 06:19:24 PM »
The Band: Acadian Driftwood

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: December 08, 2019, 04:03:17 PM »
"Where do people emigrate to and where do they emigrate from? "

(When people migrate into a country, they immigrate not emigrate)

And as others have pointed out, there are many other factors involved in these decisions in many/most cases.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: December 07, 2019, 04:58:09 AM »
Yes, SOME life will likely survive pretty much whatever we throw at them...tardigrades come to mind.

But we are indeed in the midst of on of only six Mass Extinction Events since the evolution of complex life, and it's just gotten started...I don't think it is our place to minimize this world-life shattering event caused by us (specifically by modern industrial society).

And the whole matters more than the parts, so the well being of the entire community of life is more important that any one species within that community, even if that species happens to be one you cherish since you are part of it :)

Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: November 29, 2019, 11:29:46 PM »
Well, it only took like...what...ten posts basically repeating (more eloquently) my basic point before Hef finally conceded the point... :)

But in the midst, we got a nicely thought out and worded piece from Sam, which included centrally:

"...The fundamental basis of the current economic paradigm is growth.

The fundamental basis of all or nearly all religions is growth..."

This, I believe, is true.

But it's even more fundamental than that. The whole global culture (industrial, capitalist, consumerist...whatever combination you want to call it) is primarily geared to annihilation of life on the planet and destruction of the processes that have supported said life for millions to hundreds of millions of years.

There is pretty close to a one-to-one correspondence to who gets the most money and who is most centrally and powerfully involved in this destruction (with only a few exceptions that I am aware of).

High finance has always supported the fastest and biggest return for the buck, which nearly always has meant the fastest way to convert the natural integrity of the planet into local and/or global toxic waste. These are the folks that get some of the biggest pay on the planet.

Arms manufacturers are up there, too.

And so on down the line, with some getting good pay for just doing the very 'important' work of distracting us from the astonishing abyss we are throwing ourselves and the planet into so we don't stop consuming or start revolting....

Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: November 28, 2019, 05:37:11 AM »
Am I missing something?

None of the lines in his graph are pointing downward, so they do not indicate a decrease in the rate of growth.

Perhaps the rate of acceleration of increase is not increasing. If you want to squeeze some kind of comfort out of that, be my guest.

But maybe someone who has taken math more recently than 45 some years ago should chime in here before I embarrass myself further?? :)

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: November 05, 2019, 03:05:44 PM »
Ideally, of course, the government is in the hands of the people, and (ideally again) no one person has extraordinary influence over government if monetary power were kept fairly equal.


The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: November 05, 2019, 03:01:54 PM »
Me too. I remember them being animals. The rabbit, as I recall, could also hear things from a very far distance. The moral of the story is now lost to me, though.

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: November 05, 2019, 04:42:33 AM »
"I don’t think we should concede the term “neoliberalism” to the brutish establishment using state power to redistribute wealth from the haves to the have-nots."

Did he get that last part switched around, or am I missing something here?

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