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Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« Last post by TerryM on Today at 05:06:37 PM »

Do you feel then that Russia is in danger of either defaulting on foreign debt, or being unable to keep up with the needs/wants of her unwashed?

Arctic sea ice / Re: What the Buoys are telling
« Last post by josh-j on Today at 04:43:36 PM »
I'll continue to hope that all winter, but I'm feeling pessimistic. Oct. 3 is pretty early for a last picture of the season from O-Buoy 14. Last year we had some from November, though the battery situation may have been different at that time. If it wakes up again next spring I think I'm going to have to throw a party to celebrate.

The batteries are not really holding much charge now given that the buoy was turning off regularly in the dark as winter has drawn in, so I'm optimistic that the early loss of images is due to the batteries only.

The question is what happens to the rest of the hardware in the long cold I suppose! Fingers crossed.
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« Last post by logicmanPatrick on Today at 03:56:26 PM »
A  quick reply to many of the questions and comments recently posted.

I am not a lawyer but have an interest in law that used to be purely academic.  I can say no more at this time because of the sub judice rule and my reluctance to find out if prison food is good or bad. :-)

US administrative and constitutional law seems to support web freedom of speech, expression and opinion.

I am not aware of any test case, but case law on the mails seems to apply to the web: there is a 1st amendment right to receive information.  That case law supports the idea that freedom of speech is infringed if freedom to read / listen is infringed.  It goes back to the McCarthy era when the US government wanted to obstruct / monitor the flow of communist propaganda by mail.  The US Supreme Court ruled:

The regime of this Act is at war with the "uninhibited, robust, and wide-open" debate and discussion that are contemplated by the First Amendment. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 376 U. S. 270.

Lamont v. Postmaster General 381 U.S. 301 (1965)

As to Pence: he may well be helping to give Trump enough proverbial rope ...   Nasty man!  Would be a worse POTUS than trump, and that's saying a lot.
Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: Greenland 2017 melt season
« Last post by Daniel B. on Today at 03:47:29 PM »
Last year witnessed unusually high accumulation in October and November, resulting in the extremely high mass gain.  This year, we have had an unusually high September, but October has been rather average.  The result is a similar mass gain as last year, for this date.  This season appears to be tracking on the high side of average, but below that year's .
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« Last post by gerontocrat on Today at 03:45:59 PM »

It's been a year or more but Russia was budgeting using $40 oil.
That plus a bumper wheat crop (no GMO), a surging demand for their military equipment, low debt, and a rapidly growing stash of gold will keep them in the game for the foreseeable future.


An interesting article from:-

"Our non-oil and gas budget deficit will reduce to less than 6% in 2018-2020, and in 2019 we stop spending our reserves, which we continue to use this year and in next year," TASS cited Siluanov as saying.

Note that they have been using up their cash reserves and expect to do so for up to 2 more years.
Note also your comment that surging sales of military equipment are helping. Who to and what for? Good news for Russia, maybe not if this reflects growing tensions elsewhere.

A less sanguine view comes from the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)  :-

Page 9 of the pdf file
"The H1 2017 results for Russian regions are ambiguous: the economy is get-
Ɵ ng out of the crisis, but the dynamics of households’ income and consump-
Ɵ on look far less opƟ misƟ c. Revenues of budgets are growing ahead of the
dynamics of expenditures, but in almost half of regions there are sƟ ll budget
imbalances. Regions’ policy prioriƟ es as regards support of the economy and
promoƟ on of human capital development have become more high-profi le,
but posiƟ ve trends are weak and localized primarily in the most compeƟƟ ve
regions. "
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« Last post by AbruptSLR on Today at 03:42:53 PM »

Here is a link to an article with many examples (of which I attach one example of a Fake Russian Ad on Facebook)

Obviously, First Amendment rights do not extend to non-US citizens.

I can't believe how stupid americans are when it comes to dealing with Russiagate. Do they really think, that if a Russian private company bought some ads on social media,that it was Kremlin's deeds? Do they REALLY think that Russia is the same old Soviet union?
That article you link, ASLR, is so full of totally unsubstantiated claims that it's just laughable. Where is the link from private people buying ads to 'Kremlin', to 'Moscow', to 'Putin', etc.?
What about some source criticism?!
Go look for the perpetrators of these social media activities at home, not abroad.
Any US private person or entity could have engaged that Russian company to buy the ads. Am I correct?

In a reality where Putin has publically declared that whoever controls advanced AI (even if only in a 6 month window) will rule the world; you will soon find out how Machiavellian leaders (like Putin & Trump) will distort the 'truth' (such as by using AI spam-bots etc) so much that the majority of people won't know up from down (think both Orwell's & Huxley's dystopias).

Edits: populists (both right and left) like to think of themselves as 'the pure people' fighting the good fight against
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« Last post by AbruptSLR on Today at 03:35:24 PM »
My current understanding is that even the Kremlin is legally alllowed to post content and advertising in support or in opposition to candidates in federal elections without violation of federal law of the USA.

However, a campaign in a federal election is not allowed to receive direct aid from a foreign entity (ignoring foramoment that there are ways around that, too.)

So in federal law,  Russiagate hinges on whether the Trump campaign can be proved to have colluded directly with foreign entities for campaign aid.

That said, as to impeachment:

Impeachment grounds are notoriously ill defined, the House can choose to impeach for pretty much whatever suits their fancy, and then the Senate decides. The current House and Senate will not impeach and confirm, barring Trump choking McConnell to death on the House floor or the equivalent. Which given Trump's disposition, I cannot entirely rule out ...

So impeachment hopes are based upon democrat takeover of House and Senate in 2018. Let us see.

I personally think that Trump might quit on his own. This can't be any fun for him.


For completeness, don't forget about a Pence orchestrated implementation of the 25th Amendment.
The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« Last post by AbruptSLR on Today at 03:33:17 PM »
As much of the criticism of Trump gets twisted-up in misunderstanding of his particular brand of rightwing populism combined with authoritarianism and nationalism (where he campaigns on populism and then delivers authoritarianism and isolationistic nationalism), I provide the linked article:

Title: "We Are Thinking About Populism Wrong"

Extract: "... populism is best defined as the following:

An ideology that considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups ― “the pure people” and “the corrupt elite” ― and argues that politics should be an expression of the volonté générale or general will of the people.

In short, it is time to put the populism frame back in its correct place. Yes, populism is an important feature of contemporary politics, but not all anti-establishment politics is populism and populist parties are not just about populism. In fact, to accurately understand politicians like Trump and Wilders, and the challenge they pose to liberal democracy, authoritarianism and nativism are at least as important as populism, if not more. Moreover, while established politicians mainly adopt populism in their campaign rhetoric, authoritarianism and nativism are actually implemented in their policies, as we can see in recent responses to the refugee crisis and terrorism, from the EU-Turkey deal to the state of emergency in France."
Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« Last post by Forest Dweller on Today at 03:22:06 PM »
Landfall in Japan here for the 22nd at sustained windspeed 191 kmph per GFS.
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« Last post by AbruptSLR on Today at 03:16:28 PM »

Does RCP 8.5 mean a 5C temperature rise over pre-industrial by 2100?

The Recommended Concentration Pathways, RCPs, are assumed emission scenarios that result in the indicated amount of peak radiative forcing in the 2000 to 2100 timeframe (see the attached plot).  So RCP 8.5 means an assumed pathway of combined anthropogenic and natural feedbacks (assuming ECS around 3C), leading to 8.5 W/sq meter of radiative forcing by 2100.
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