So what is it that makes a fanboi (or fangerl)? Many slavishly adhere to one company's product over another, vowing blood should anyone say anything bad about 'their' particular product. I'm sure there's loads of well funded psychological research into the matter.. (where's the irony html tag …
This topic was created by Sir Runcible Spoon.
MJI: Yes it is changing - it always has. But I get the feeling that trying to control it we will use our enrgy supplies up quicker.
>Possibly true. “Controlling” it is likely a waste of time. Mitigation by switching to vast quantities of Nukes for energy however is probably a worthwhile investment.
MJI: Personally I am of the opinion we should be using less resources and tackling pollution first.
>Very true! But the question remains “how to we encourage efficient use of resources?” Tragedy of the commons still applies if we allow individuals, corporations and entire nations to continue to externalise costs. (Pollution, CO2, Methane, etc.)
MJI: As to CO2 best thing to do as far as I am concerned is plant lots of trees.
>Problem is, that doesn’t put the carbon back in the ground. You’d have to grow the tree, then chuck it down a hole. If you grow the tree then burn it, you’ve delayed the CO2 a little, but not removed it from the system.
MJI: There seems to be unsure about warming or cooling, what effects there will be.
>Actually, we know it’s warming. The science is pretty conclusive here. “What effects there will be” is indeed an open area of inquiry.
MJI: The idea that we break up fossil fuels to remove the carbon before burning seems ludicrous, wasted energy.
>Who what now? I haven’t heard this one. Link?
MJI: CO2 is plant food, we need to capture it in wood.
>Yes…but what do we do with it once it is wood? Where do we store it so it doesn’t get back into the atmosphere?
MJI: We do not need massive beef ranches do we?
>Well…no. But I want the massive beef ranches. I’m Albertan. I love beef. OM NOM NOM. This is why I really, really want someone to come along and prove all this climate change stuff to be hokum. Because one of the biggest things we could do to alter our climate footprint as a species is get rid of the massive beef ranches. And damn it…I don’t like that idea one bit.
We won't actively get rid of them...like everything else, once you start increase price (remove the EU subsidies is the easiest way), you reduce demand (or rather - reduce the ability to pay), and a fair ol' percentage of the ranchers are looking for new careers.
Witness the price of meat in Switzerland, if you wanna see where it's going. A small chicken costs £12. A small sirloin = £15. A meat course at a diner = £40+. Needless to say, you eat a lot less of it. Probably also explains why the Swiss are so slim?
The price of meat in Switzerland
Increase the price of meat, and all you are going to do is make me sleep less. Because I'll be writing more articles. To get more money. So I can nom beef.
It's beef. Logic and market forces don't apply. Must. Have. Beef.
Taxing alcohol and cigarettes don't lower consumption. They just make people work harder to find the money to support the addiction. I am positive that being raised on BBQed steaks is no different. I am weak; I admit it.
Now pass the HP sauce!
"As to CO2 best thing to do as far as I am concerned is plant lots of trees."
I would put that 2nd. 1st would be "Stop the bastards cutting them down!"
A couple of things I've come across are scores being cut down to grow crops to make Ethanol to add to petrol to meet the EU requirements; all to help the environment! In Malaysia they are cutting them down at an ungodly rate.
The other one is people cutting them down for the wood. Thankfully some of the new sats up there are letting us see the changes in forestation day by day or week by week, so people can go to the areas and stop them. Otherwise areas the size of 1000s of microWales are being cut-down all the time.
Breaking up of hydrocarbons (natural gas) has been muted as a way of making hydrogen for cars, whereas I think it would be more sensible to use the methane.
Beef, I like it too, but not to the detriment of rain forest, therefore I always buy British beef.
Trees can be used for building materials, also buried trees became coal (eventually).
I am definately pro nuke.
Cutting down to plant ethanol crops is just stupid.
Also I am pleased to say my petrol use is minimal, just for starting as I have a large propane tank in the boot.
That is what you are talking about. Natural gas --> Hydrogen.
Just stupid if you ask me. You want hydrogen? Build a great big bloody nuke plant. Split it with electricity. Clean and efficient. Then you have created something (hydrogen) that is essentially storing the energy that nuke plant created and can be used as a fuel elsewhere.
Have you noticed this is much nicer wothout the trolls?
I am totally a troll. I mean, I'm not trolling in this thread...but I suspect "here there be trolls." Don't make me put on my Ars hat!
I'm curious. When did el Reg start auto accepting comments? (or does it?). It used to take ages to see a comment get posted, but now they are posted by the time the page re-loads (or is it just that I see the comment that I just posted, but others do not?) Has it changed to an auto accepted until flagged for review?
Only very special people get "auto-accepted." If you have had your account upgraded that way, it seems someone has decided you have posted here enough to know the rules (and probably live by them.)
We have been trialling a hybrid modding system, combining auto acceptance and manual labour. You are on the side of the angels.
For legal reasons, for workload reasons, as well as sanity, our public user forums will be entirely auto-acceptance - with post-publication review by staff and reader moderators.
I noticed the auto acceptance
I decided it must be because I play nice and don't cause too much trouble.
Very droll..........did you mean it? If so, it's a shame the text flow let you down there. I suggest use of the "Preview" button.....
"Where we seem to part ways is that I don’t believe the “we don’t know everything, therefore God” style arguments. We don’t have to know “everything” to take action. We need to know things with enough statistical relevance that the possibility of being wrong is insignificant. And here, I believe that most climate science has indeed done the job."
This is, indeed, where you and I do disagree. And I'll explain why: Climatologists rely very heavily on computer models of the Earth's climate. Computer models are _not_ "evidence". They are merely interactive demonstrations—illustrations, if you will—of a particular theory or hypothesis.
Unfortunately, my background is in computer games. I worked in that industry (and still do, occasionally) on and off since the 1980s. All games are interactive models; computer games merely enhance that interaction and allow us to create and interact with much more complex models in real time than more traditional forms of games do.
Now: when was the last time you heard of a major MMORPG going live without a single major "Oops! We never considered the possibility of _that_ emergent gameplay!" patch release? Here's a hint: there aren't any. Every major MMORPG has released "gameplay patches".
If games developers can't manage it with fantasy models that don't even have to be realistic, how in blazes are we supposed to believe that all these scientists—many of whom have next to no formal training in designing, developing and debugging computer models—can pull it off any more accurately?
Where's the source code for these models? Where's the original database they rely on? Where's the peer review of that source code? (Never mind the actual formulae: the programmer who can create a 100% bug free, non-trivial, program has yet to be born. Who's been over the source code for these models, and what were their qualifications for doing so?)
Those two questions were among the most important asked during the UEA fiasco not so long ago, and they have yet to be satisfactorily answered.
In fact, this leads me to a major issue with the sciences today: there are too many specialists, and not enough generalists. Far too often I read about research built on the flimsiest of foundations: computer models. And not a single damned one of the researchers named on the paper presents any evidence as to their qualifications to work with such models in a genuinely scientifically rigorous way.
The UEA farce proved that even the mighty peer-review process can be nobbled. Right now, the reason so many people have a hard time "believing" scientists is because, thanks to the fucktards at the University of East Anglia, the scientific community's reputation has been badly damaged. It'll be a long, long time before merely wearing a lab coat and having a pocket protector is considered a symbol of accuracy and objectivity.
Which leaves us with faith, and brings us full circle back to that tribalism.
Despite the above, I do agree that Man should tread as lightly as is practical on the universe. I live in Italy, where that "treading lightly" thing has been part of everyday life for generations. Italians make do with just 6kW (urban) or 3kW (rural) of power at the door. It's why they never invented the electric kettle, and why the Industrial Revolution didn't start there.
Italy has no sizeable reserves of coal, gas, or any other convenient fossil fuels. Most of their electricity is imported from France, Austria and Switzerland. Even so, this didn't stop them electrifying well over 95% of their rail infrastructure during the '30s and '40s. Electricity has the benefit of decoupling the power supply from the power generation process: you can replace the coal or gas-fired power station with a nuclear or geothermal one and the people at the other end of the wires will never even notice.
I mention the above because it explains why, in Italy, photovoltaics and solar heating panels _are_ proving a very useful solution. Fitting 2-3 kW of PV panels effectively reduces your burden on the national grid to as close to zero as makes no odds. The solar heating panels—Italy does have the climate for both types, unlike the UK—reduces the costs of gas, which many use for heating as it's (slightly) cheaper than using electricity.
Sure, there's still that big up-front capital investment, but unlike the UK, where 11kW at the door is considered standard for new housing, that investment will pay off _much_ more quickly, because energy in Italy costs a bloody fortune.
Italy is also investing heavily(-ish; it's all relative) in geothermal energy research, but the UK doesn't have that option. The UK would be best served by copying the French model of nukes, nukes and more nukes. Fission may not be ideal, although modern designs are much better than the 40-year-old ones they'll be replacing, but it's a much better option as a stopgap measure than simply praying for someone to hurry up and make fusion work before all the lights go out.
I'm a pragmatist. Ultimately, the "Climate Change" debate is an utter irrelevance: the climate is going to change _anyway_, whether we influence it or not. The ONLY question that matters is "What do we do about it?" Given that Homo Sapiens has survived far wilder climate shifts in the past, I certainly see no reason for the incessant fearmongering we're getting from the mainstream media, and I honestly don't give a toss whose "fault" it is. Humans aren't going to stop the world's climate from changing completely, so some change, whether large or small, is inevitable.
For the UK, the solutions are painfully obvious to anyone with half a brain cell:
1. Build more nukes.
2. Build yet more nukes to replace most (but not all) of the fossil-fuelled power stations.
3. Electrify everything, so we can decouple as much as possible from the power generation process. This is basic efficiency.
4. Mandate that all private homes should be limited to just 6 kW at the door. There is an entire country's worth of evidence that proves nobody "needs" any more than that. This will do a lot more to reduce consumption than any number of "smart" meters.
5. Subsidise insulation for all homes that predate modern construction laws. It's a lot cheaper to pay people to fit loft insulation and double glazing than it is to go through all the folderol of building even more power stations.
6. Build more metros and light rail. Electric trains and trams don't need massive batteries.
7. Build infrastructure for trolleybuses and design it such that it can also be used by other vehicles, such as LGVs, council works vehicles and the like.
The above suggestions are in order of priority; realistically, I don't expect 6 and 7 to happen given the UK's chronic construction industry problems and the order of magnitude it adds to the costs of building any infrastructure in that country.
Well, yep…I think we’ll have to agree to disagree here. Your argument seems to be “computer models, therefore fallacy.”
Maybe I am not enough of a pessimist. Some of the computer models in use are really widely used. They are peer reviewed, the who/what/when/where/how/why of the thing well known. The creation of the models themselves often the result of extensive research and numerous papers.
Some are proprietary. Single use or with some or all of the rights owned by corporate backers who paid for their creation.
But the strengths and weaknesses of these models are (usually) well known to the researchers who use them. (Indeed, they are well know to the community of “Climate Scientists” in general.)
There is also plenty of good solid math, experiments and other bits of science or analysis that goes along side these models. Climate science is not “reliant” on computer models, they are simply a tool. And one that is fairly well understood.
The really critical bit is reproducibility. If you take this concept and modify multiple different climate models, how do they react? Run this information through not just one, but as many as you can. This is how you take something as enormously complex as “climate” and start narrowing down the number of possible outcomes.
I’ve taken the time to study this all. In depth. I have a few squiggles about some of the models in use, but they are mostly alleviated by the fact that other models coded by completely different teams produce results that are statistically quite close.
The arguments against climate science I have seen so far – here and elsewhere – all boil down to philosophical ones. “I don’t like how this person behaved” or “I don’t like the fact that this team can’t release their climate models” or “I don’t like the fact that only the data that corrected for things like a known-busted weather station was retained by this team over the past 30 years.”
It’s interesting to me. From a high-enough level view, I completely understand where you are coming from. You can spin a lot of this to look really bad. Indeed; some of it has been! (Nobody is perfect, not even scientists.) But when you actually start addressing the concerns one at a time; when you start to look at each complaint individually, the vast majority makes sense.
“Why did they do it this way? That seems bad/nonsensical/against my personal philosophy/not the way I would do it/etc.” When you take the time to ask the folks involved, (or read the answers posted if this question has already been asked,) then in nearly every situation the decisions made make sense.
But there’s the rub. I have taken the time to investigate every single claim made by every denier I’ve run across who can give me a reference to look up.
“We don’t like how this was done! It’s not kosher, and means that all of climate science is fraudulent/inaccurate because it uses voodoo “computer models”/a giant conspiracy/etc.” Okay, which incidents in particular? List them. Let’s step through them one at a time. Let’s look at the hard science and not the propaganda. Science. Why was it done that way? Does it make sense? So on and so forth.
I’ve been at it for years now. So far, the depth of my research has only reinforced my belief that Climate Scientists are not only perfectly aware of the flaws in their computer models/temperature stations/heat island effect/etc. but they take this stuff into account when designing experiments or performing analyses.
Climate science makes predictions. Predictions are some times tested against historic data, sometimes against historic proxies, sometimes we have to wait for a few years to see if the predictions of the future are within bounds. But they don't rely on models exclusively. Models are simply useful to test your hypotheses before going to all the trouble of engaging in large-scale efforts to test predictions about the future.
Mostly, they are used to weed out ideas that “fail the sniff test.” The computer models essentially are the “sniff test” for climate science. If the idea makes sense in the models, then they start testing for it in the real world.
You know, building expensive shit like satellites. Or upgrading a few thousand bouys/weatherstations/etc.
In other words, I find the scientific ethics of Climate Scientists – on the aggregate – to be acceptable. (Though I have a handful I think give the whole thing a bad name.)
I also think it is important to separate “what the science claims” from “what the NIMBYs try to twist the science into claiming.” Separating the actual science from the propaganda (on either side) take a lot of hard work and dedication.
But as I said, we shall have to agree to disagree. We have obviously looked at the same evidence and come to different conclusions.
Such is life.
As regards you gripe about “too many specialists, not enough generalists…” I maintain that the modern polymath is functionally impossible. Noone can know enough about modern science to be useful as a generalist. Some folks may hold degrees in several fields – or like me, they have studied extensively and widely without holding any degrees whatsoever – but that comes at a price.
The really specialised elements of various experiments can – and do – go over our heads in most cases. For example, I gave up on Optics as soon as we started using surface plasmons in lithography as focusing mechanisms to achieve smaller-scale items, or having to build multiple-waveguided lasers because the frequencies and scale they were operating on were actually affected by the presence of virtual photons.
The sum total of my personal scientific knowledge likely crosses significantly more disciplines than that of most individuals with PhDs. The flip side is that I can also say with absolute certainty that the vast majority of individuals with PhDs know way more about their specific area of science than I ever will.
The bredth of my knowledge may – one day – make me useful as a science journalist. But I will never be able to contribute to society by doing actual cutting edge hard science. I just don’t have the depth of knowledge in any given field.
So just what value does attempting to be a modern polymath have?
Ok, I think that computer models are great. I have a model of the entire power system of a spacecraft that does a good job of knowing exactly what will happen under any condition or failure case. However, I know the system pretty well, so can put in all the dependances.
My issue with the models of the climate system is that we don't understand all of it, and IMHO we don't know how important the missing bits are. I have also read things in the past where someone eventually proved that half of the heat on the planet does come from the sun, and does vary as the sun's output changes, and that the sun's output does change.
I think that we don't really understand how the El niño, La niña effects work, and they cause massive redistributions of climate / heat around the planet. Effects such as these are the things that could turn whole areas into graveyards.
We have lots of theories about feedback mechanisms, both positive and negative, but it seems that a lot of them are just theories. Recently someone finished an experiment using a cold-frame with plants in a simulated high CO2 / temperature envirnoment, where they expected a positive feedback to increase the CO2, but actually found the effect wasn't positive, but negative.
That is where my problem with the models is. They are models built from assumptions that we don't know. It does seem that the models are being refined all the time, and that's good, but really they are an educated guess at best, IMHO.
Someone else has said it already though. The climate is changing, and will do so no matter what we do or did. We need to adapt to that.
As far as CO2 goes, there is also the problem that we are using energy at an alarming rate compared to our capability to produce it, and as the same time people have become mollycodled to the point where tens of thousands would probably die if we lost power for a few months. Our love of energy has to stop. We have to become less reliant on it, and also use less of it. I'm working in Madrid right now, and here all new homes have to have solar water heating and better insulation. That type of legislation reduces energy requirements, but increasing the number also reduces the costs of the systems, making it easier/less painful to have them.
Beef? HERETIC! Burn him! (Okay, grill him!)
Clearly, some people here are under the impression that beef is a good form of meat. Not so!
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, despite the evidence put forward by my learned colleague, Mr. H. Lecter, for the defence, I put it to you that the humble pig, not Man, is the pinnacle of culinary evolution! I intend to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that, clearly, bacon > beef, and that the defendant in this case, Mr. T. Pott, is clearly deluded and requires immediate psychological evaluation.
To begin with: the pig can be made into sausages, bacon, pork chops, and more! In Italy, the traditional New Year dish of Cotechino e Lenticchie is ambrosia! (Albeit in small doses, otherwise you'll want to keep a window open...) Even the pig's head can be used to give the illusion that you're in the Middle Ages by the mere addition of a simple apple, so it even has entertainment value!
The defendant would have us believe that the cow: a sad, laughable creature that exists primarily to inject methane into our already saturated atmosphere; provides milk—okay, yes, that's a neat trick, but milk is not meat and meat is our topic of debate here—and beef. And beef alone. But beef can be tough, fatty, gristly and, unless minced and used in a ragù, is just expensive and pointless.
Furthermore, beef is the only meat the cow provides. It's a low-level meat. It is the Z80 assembly language of meats. Fine if you want to eat the 1970s 8-bit processor of foods, but you can't wrap a bit of beef around another beef-based product to make it better.
Contrast with bacon, verily the Meat of Meats! The mighty bacon can be added to anything and always makes it taste better! Wrap it around chicken! Serve with fried Cheddar cheese! With eggs! (Who eats "Beef and eggs" for breakfast? Nobody except the criminally insane, that's who!)
Bacon can even be wrapped around a pork sausage and, despite that sausage also coming from a pig, it still tastes better!
Finally, we all know that the pig has contributed far more to the world of literature, comedy, and innuendo. It has, for example, given us for the verb "to pork". It has also given us a slang term for law enforcement personnel and another term for overacting!
What has the cow given us? Clichés! Nothing more.
Bacon is truly the meat of the gods themselves! By comparison, beef is just congealed Bovril with bits in.
Clearly Mr. Pott is insane and should be committed. Don't let his smooth talking on Climate Change™ fool you: this man merely offers us a passable illusion of intelligence and wit, but is clearly not fit to walk the streets!
The case for the prosecution rests!
I hate processed meat
Pigs are not wonderfull.
They produce some things I hate
People think I am odd but I do not like bacon, yet I like pork.
Beef is best, chicken is good as well.
I love bacon and one of its best uses is in bacon cheeseburgers. Which require beef....
Also a nice, rare beefsteak that bleeds profusely when cut is a source of utter joy, whereas a pig-sourced version of same is merely a source of Montezuma's revenge.
Also, there's veal...........
 Hand-wringing, animal loving types may wish to look away now, this is about to get nasty.
Ostrich is perhaps the best, but I can't be doing with camel.
Well, if we are veering into non-traditional meats...
...nothing beats Caribou. OM NOM NOM.
Looks like British rose veal is animal friendly according to John Craven
Re: Well, if we are veering into non-traditional meats...
I ate Moose in Maine once.
Gamey. Took a Moose a few years back. (Only time I get a licence in the lotto for something that big!) Split it with my friends; moose split 3 ways still provided a year’s worth of meat. Really games steaks, but truly excellent low fat burger.
When I can, I’ll get moose from the butcher, but there aren’t man farms and it is a high demand meat. (And there aren’t many licences in the lotto.)
Bison has come to nearly completely replace cow for me. Meat is less fatty, but not too much tougher, and it is available at the general market. In the past few years we’ve seen access to an increasing supply of Ostrich, Llama, Caribou and Elk as the local area farms kick up the breeding programs to meet demand.
There might be an opportunity to get in on some bear here next year; some of my relatives are getting together to mass submit for a bear licence. I am on the fence. Last time I had bear, it wasn’t actually that good. I might try for another Moose.
Either way; nom nom nom meat.
I am curious about your experience with Ostrich; I didn't know there were many farms for non-standard game near london. It's not that abnormal here; but we're fat rednecks that worship all different kinds of game. You can buy Bison and Elk in most general supermarkets here.
So where did you encounter ostrich?
When I lived in the UK, you could get ostrich in the butchers and the local supermarkets. It's a pleasure to eat as long as you don't look at it while you do. Eating something that tastes like that should not look like that!
Also in the middle of nowhere land (Wiltshire - Arrrr) there was a field full of llamas that they farmed and were also available locally.
Now I'm in Madrid, and you won't believe what you can eat. There is stuff in the shops here that they wouldn't even put in dog-food in the UK. No part of the animal is wasted, they eat it all. I do wonder sometimes what they make glue from here though...
Fewer ostriches farmed in the UK than in the 1980s and 1990s. Big ponzi scheme revolved around ostriches - and lots of people jumped in. More here.
There used to be an ostrich farm not far from where I live here in Italy. I was wondering why it disappeared a year or so back. That link would explain it.
It's quite common to find horse meat here in Italy. I've never tried it myself—it's not sold at my local supermarket and I prefer chicken and pork over the 'red' meats anyway—but I'm told it tastes a lot like beef, only leaner.
I do draw the line at seafood,. Not just because it barely touches my insides as it accelerates rapidly towards my arse, but because it's basically either giant underwater insects; squishy things with eyes, beaks and more tentacles than are strictly necessary; or snot in a shell. I'd rather eat baby seals.
(Now there's an idea for a new Jamie Oliver series: "Jamie goes Clubbing!" Whack the seal lightly over the head. Peel, and fry gently in olive oil, with a few cloves of garlic, then serve on a bed of something green with a badly translated name*. Pretend you did all this in just 10 minutes. Pukka!)
* Any Italian noun with an "i" on the end is the plural form. Thus "biscotti" and "panini" are plurals. If you're having just one, it's a "biscotto", or "panino". Note the "o" at the end. That's the correct, singular, form for just one of either item.
While I'm at it, "biscotto" literally just means "biscuit" (literally "cooked twice"), while "panino" just means "sandwich" (literally "little bread"). The only reason for using the Italian words for a biscuit or sandwich is if you're being deliberately pretentious. Especially "biscotto": "biscuit" is already a French loan word! It's just as Latin as the Italian one.
It's bad enough having to correct grocers' apostrophes without pointing out that the correct English word for "two slices of bread with some stuff in the middle" is "sandwich", not the Italian plural form of "little bread".
Grrarrrgh! Grammar Hulk ANGRY! Grammar Hulk CORRECT SPELLING WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE!
Most weirdy meat I ever ate was otter.
that is naughty... if true. And naughty, if not.
A local pest controller - local to me - claims to have eaten badger. Easy enough to get around these parts - plenty of roadkill.
Hmm. Sounds like it probably wouldn't be very lean. (IMHO, the leaner the meat, the better.) Be willing to give it a try though. I imagine it would go well on the BBQ.
of course I was joking :)
it was really koala
Like Tikka Masala, but a little otter.
Get thee to the "Jonathan Livingston Mavur" on the harbour in Reykjavik! If it walks, flies or swims anywhere within about 100 miles of the place, it's on the menu.
Last time I was there I had Reindeer (nice), Ptarmigan (a bit stringy, but otherwise pleasant), Puffin (a bit too tough), Whale (actually not very nice at all, a bit like salt beef and I think it was a bit off) and Dolphin (salty, very dense red meat). That was the day's selection platter.
Highlight was a colleague calling a waiter over, pointing at the menu and asking if the Dolphin was Tuna-friendly. Apparently if you are an Icelandic waiter this is not funny.
 Yes, that is Icelandic for "seagull". This thread is now officially unsuitable for small children.
 I'm told it's horrible. I didn't have any.
Haven't had the opportunity. I've had something someone claimed was ptarmigan, but it tasted like turkey. I'd have my issues with Whale/Dolphin as I consider them to be sentient and sapient. (Just as I would not kill or eat any of the Great Apes, any Corvids or any Elephants. All of which have significant scientific evidence pointing to homo-sapiens-class cognition.)
One possibility that I find enticing from the “om nom nom meat” side of life is that there is a group in eastern Europe trying to bring back the aurochs. There is a definitive difference between bison and cow (to the point that I almost never buy cow anymore,) so I am highly curious as to the yummy nature of an aurochs.
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