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* Posts by Dr Stephen Jones

231 posts • joined 11 Jul 2007

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Meet Mr Gamification: He's got a NUDGE or two for you

Dr Stephen Jones

A "Gamification" PhD?

I feel I missed out.

Being able to speak fluent bullshit and agree to authoritarian social policies means you will never go hungry. The stupid, it hurts.

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Economics prof denies digital pirates plundered €20bn from EU coffers

Dr Stephen Jones

Freetardonomics

Steal what you want, nobody is harmed.

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CONSUMERISM IS PAST ITS SELL-BY DATE: Die now, pay later

Dr Stephen Jones

LSD-onomics

"For a government in a fix, tax revenue could be increased by encouraging consumers to borrow,..."

How exactly? Where would it be levied? If overall tax revenue were to increase, it would need to exceed the tax revenue lost from decreasing VAT, fuel duty, stamp duty etc as people buy fewer thigns, and the lower corporation tax as lots of companies (except banks) as businesses collapse. Presumably this would come from taxing savings. Well, this year VAT is £101bn, corporation tax £40bn, fuel duty £26bn. There isn't enough money to save to generate the interest to generate the tax to fill this shortfall.

"...so it should come as no surprise that previous, and sensible, restrictions on borrowing were relaxed."

Non-sequitur.

"The symmetry that requires the debt-ridden government to create consumers goes beyond evolving from the static to the dynamic at both ends of the process..."

More suicide-by-metaphor.

"...It follows that in order to be a better consumer it is necessary to borrow, so the banks also win at both ends of the system."

It doesn't follow at all, credit was relaxed so people spent more. We all know that..

"... necessary to borrow, so the banks also win at both ends of the system."

So the banks should have won. But these are the same banks that "won" by going bust, and are still indebted after central banks printed $1 trillion of money to wipe out their debts.

"Whoever coined the term Homo sapiens was way off the mark."

You said, it Mr Watkinson.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: I for one look forward to this

@TimWorstall

Correct. This is a category error so fundamentally if a 16 year old used it a GSCE paper they would fail the exam.

I suspect LSD has had a large influence on the author's thinking.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Satire?

" Secondly, in the long term, indefinite economic growth is not possible as it violates the Laws of Thermodynamics"

John Watkinson, you are Steve Bong and I claim my £5.

Or maybe this is Bong's weird uncle?

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Oil subsidies...

Oil and gas are enormous net fiscal contributors, they are not in any sense "subsidised". We put duty on the fuel, and tax their profits. If you removed fossil fuels overnight, taxes would have to go up, or drastic cuts would need to be made, or some combination of the two.

The real subsidies and crippling drain on the taxpayer arise from inefficient and uneconomic energy technology. Those wind installation literally would not be there without the subsidies. The oil rigs and gas plants would be.

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Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?

Dr Stephen Jones

The ECHR predates the EU, it is not part of the EU, and so leaving the ECHR does not require leaving the EU.

Are all your observations on current affairs this good?

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Euro chiefs: Hi Google. Here's how to REALLY protect everyone's privacy. Hello? Hello?

Dr Stephen Jones

Unfortunately, the world is full of useful idiots.

Pharmaceutical companies already have data by the boat load. What you will soon get is just-in-time insurance price hikes.

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Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Comcraps and Crime Warmer should BOTH be broken up

"Where is Google when you need them?"

Helping the NSA.

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Bubble 2.0? Moneybags VC Andreessen warns profit-free startups: 'You will be VAPORIZED'

Dr Stephen Jones

"Now, when he talks, people listen."

You mean, people have stopped laughing at this?

http://ianmurdock.com/cloud/windows-as-a-poorly-debugged-set-of-device-drivers/

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Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Pffft

"A film with an August cinema release doesn't appear on Blu-ray/DVD until Christmas. How many people with a desire to buy and cash on the hip will wait that long?"

Pathetic.

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British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

Dr Stephen Jones

"if correct"

What do you expect? The prediction was made by Nick Stern, one of the biggest snouts in the climate change trough.

The same Lord Stern who got his numbers wrong, double counted the costs and didn't count the benefits.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/09/04/beyond_stern_climate_morality/

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Kim Dotcom: You give me proof of govt corruption in my case, I give you MEELLIONS

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: UKIP ranter I expect

@Mad Mad Mad Mike:

I have just explained to you that tax evasion and tax avoidance are different. I'm sorry you still can't acknowledge that you confused the two, but at least now you may be a little wiser.

"The music and film industry have beyond any reasonable doubt broken many laws, including computer misuse (see Sony above), cartel operations etc.etc. I'm not saying Dotcom is any better, but he certainly isn't any worse."

Yep. Mad Mike's jaw is still moving. It must keep moving. It has to keep moving...

Mike, you're drawing a moral equivalence between industries that pay their labour, and pay their taxes, and Kim Dotcom, who doesn't pay the labour and doesn't pay the taxes.

You've just had the ethical emptiness of your argument handed to you on a plate, but you still think repeating the same argument you started with is going to work. Wow. Admit it, you're in new territory here aren't you?

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Both Sides Wrong

"So, who is the crook.....both. Who is the bigger crook....the studios."

You so badly need that to be true, to find moral equivalence between the two, it hurts.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: UKIP ranter I expect

"insulting is generally a sign of having no argument"

This is true, I have been very unfair.

1. Most 13-year-olds are capable of distinguishing between something that they can do, and something that is morally justifoable. Just because something is easy to do, that does not compel somebody to do, nor does it make that act ethically defensible.

For example: "It is easy for me to steal from Granny's purse. Because I can, I will, and it is OK". Most 13-year olds know this is not morally defensible. Similarly they will not justify theft because something they want is "too expensive".

So I apologise unreservedly to any 13-year old for comparing them to copyright activists.

2. Most UKIP supporters appear to have spouses, girlfriends and families, and have achieved some measure of career success. It is very unfair to imply they are socially maladjusted nerds who haven't got a girlfriend.

So I apologise unreservedly to any UKIP supporters for comparing them to copyright activists.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: UKIP ranter I expect

@Mad Mike

I'll explain it simply for you. A "tax dodge" may either be legal, an entirely legitimate attempt to minimise tax within the tax code, which every company tries to do, or it may be illegal. The former is called tax avoidance, the latter is called tax evasion. Dodge is a generic term. Legal tax avoidance is not criminal, and it is certainly not "stealing from the taxpayer". In addition to defrauding artists, Mega defrauded the tax payer.

The point you are trying to defend here is that an industry that operates within the law and remunerates its labour is morally equivalent to an industry that does not pay the labour from which it earns enormous profits.

@Mad Mike: "You don't work for them by any chance do you?"

You have noticed that I disagree with you, so therefore I must be being paid. See - it's a ZanuLieBore CONSPIRACY!

Thanks for illustrating my point - that copyright fighters are the tech world's foaming-at-the-mouth UKIP nutters - so nicely for me. Please post again. And try and work in "EUSSR" this time.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: UKIP ranter I expect

"Avatar? Harry Potter? Star Wars (New, not sure about old)? All lost money, officially."

That's a tax dodge. Everyone involved in making those movies got paid. Now tell me how much of the $175m in revenue Mega returned to camera grips, writers, composers, sound men etc.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: UKIP ranter I expect

Ranty AC: "As a note I don't actually defend Dotcom and I do agree he's probably guilty."

Your is that "two wrongs make a right". Kim Dotcom made millions and got very fat and rich by leeching from the work of artists, who he didn't pay or compensate in any other way. Mega turned over $175m in advertising revenue.

What you have forgotten is that Hollywood studios generally do pay the people who do the work. (Clue: the workers go on strike when they don't). So do publishers and record labels. Most often in the music industry at least, it's the managers who rip off the artist.

So you are trying to invent a second 'wrong' and give it moral equivalence to Kim Dotcom's wrong. Which means that paying people is bad, but not paying them is about the same - equally bad.

If you don't like Hollywood, you should support independent studios, independent publishers, independent labels, independent film-makers and so on - rather than ranting like a socially inadequate (and probably autistic) 13-year old idiot on the internet.

If something is too expensive then don't buy it, you asshole. Borrow one off a mate. Nobody makes you buy stuff. All round your argument is completely morally bankrupt.

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Report: Climate change has already hit USA - and time is RUNNING OUT

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Marvin would love this news

"Through the well meaning advances of medicine the Darwinian concept of the survival of the fittest has been negated."

So you're going to get poor Africans to run a death race? Or are you volunteering to strangle a few yourself?

That suggestion, coming from a smug wealthy white guy, is pretty interesting. Eugenics Guy bought a computer.

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Evidence-based Tweets will SAVE the WORLD - and your waistline

Dr Stephen Jones

"Obvious parody site by denialist nutters is obvious."

Al Gore taught you science.

Yoda taught you English.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: I ususally 'get' iBong!

It's like the real thing, only more so. Google for "sustainability and psychology" or "climate communication" - and if you're feeling really brave, chuck in a "praxis" too.

It's your taxes being well spent.

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ITU says IT industry must become 'resilient' in face of climate change

Dr Stephen Jones
FAIL

Re: No problems here

"You seem to want us all to do nothing"

Meaningless. There is no such thing as "doing nothing". Literally.

The most cost effective response to climate change will be some combination of adaptation and mitigation, whichever produces the highest cost-benefit. Mitigation encompasses both long-term strategies, like low carbon fuel sources (eg, fusion) and short-term panic measures like putting up wind turbines which need gas backup, and which fall down ten years later. The latter option very expensive. As for adaptation, it falls within general operating budgets - ask the Dutch about how they cope living below sea level.

So if by "doing nothing" you mean "doing more adaptation than expensive mitigation" they duh, yes. Because that will probably produce the most effective cost-benefit outcome.

"...on the off-chance that the IPCC's 95% probability is actually only 90%? "

The IPCC's 95 per cent figure is not a forecast of catastrophic future climate change. It is a probability estimate that "the main cause" of warming since 1950 is man. This is not news, and it is certainly not a prediction.

So. This is actually what a rational argument looks like strum.

If you want to play with the big boys, try and learn from it.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: No problems here

You mean like: the sea levels that aren't rising at unprecedented rates, the glaciers that aren't retreating at record speeds, and the 17-year temperature "pause" which you can't explain?

I have yet to meet anyone who thinks CO2 does *not* contribute to global temperature levels - but your proposition that were are in a "crisis" that requires "emergency measures" needs very strong evidence to support it. And you don't appear to have that.

Because you have got used to thinking that anyone who disagrees with you is a certifiable lunatic, you are now in something of a bind. The crisis/emergency strategy hasn't worked. Best of luck finding your way to something like a rational position.

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Fix capitalism with floating cities on Venus says Charles Stross

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Weights and Measurements

"He's also One Of Us"

An angry bald man?

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Dr Stephen Jones

Read your Piketty

All capital becomes income, eventually.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Weights and Measurements

Or Charlie Stross, who isn't quite as bad as Dan Brown to be fair.

Seriously, was this rambling drunken blog post really worthy of a Register article?

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BSkyB broadband growth chopped in HALF

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: no sympathy

Do all Murdoch-hating Guardian readers have a mental age of 9?

I don't care much for any businessman, it's how good the service is that decides whether they get my money or not. I'm not marrying them. Perhaps you need to go for a walk.

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Twitter's got a new UK public policy wonk... 'You are the product' Big Brother Watch bloke!

Dr Stephen Jones

@AC "Oxymoron"

The Classical Liberal tradition - which you seem to know nothing about - advocates personal freedom and laissez faire. The Tories always had more Classical Liberals than the Whigs.

Since the mid-20th Century, the modern Tories have had a hang 'em and flog 'em brigade of party members from the Shires. Boot camps and national service.

Today Tories love regulations, banning things and spunking taxpayers money on vanity projects like HS2. So any onfusion is understandable. Although with Stewart Lee, he's probably just thick.

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Whoever you vote for, Google gets in

Dr Stephen Jones

Three Comments, Three ACs?

Evidently these Google-funded privacy groups are doing a great job protecting our privacy!

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Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: It's coming Tories/Labour/Lib Dems...............................

The Guardian readers here won't like your comment - even though they know you are 100% correct

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Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims

Dr Stephen Jones

Choose your poison

"Here in the US, the last twenty years have seen a radical – and highly vocal – group of Protestants calling for the installation of a theocracy in the US, claiming evolution and Christianity are incompatible, and claiming the ills of the world are down to things like gay marriage or the ACLU."

While another bunch of highly vocal theocrats blow up statutes and attack young girls who want to be educated. (These pop up in under developed countries, far away).

And a third, highly vocal bunch of theocrats argue that mankind is wicked, that we must stop defacing the Earth Goddess Gaia, and we must obey their High Priests, whose medieval prescriptions must be obeyed. (These theocrats are the ones who pass laws, right here).

So *faith* and *faith-based authoritarianism* is clearly on the rise - and whatever the Internet has to offer, like Twitter, doesn't seem to diminish it. Sorry Professor Downey.

Personally, given the choice of three completely crap religions, I'll take a straight scotch please. No ice.

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Improbable: YOU gave model Lily Cole £200k for her Impossible.com whimsy-site

Dr Stephen Jones
Facepalm

Is this a practical joke?

I keep expecting Chris Morris to appear in Impossible.com explaining that "It's all been a joke." The entire Innovation in Giving Fund was created for a new series of Brass Eye.

If any of this is real then the UK is in deeper shit than anyone thought.

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Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Doesn't the GWPF take

"An a priori view that there is an overreaction to human driven climate change"

Reading comprehension #fail.

Which part of "the IPCC has lowered its estimates" don't you understand? The IPCC took into account a range of literature and observational data, including Lewis' own 2012 paper. The GWPF does not run the the IPCC. Lewis 2012 was peer-reviewed and published in the American Metereological Association's Journal of Climate - the abstract is posted in an earlier comment

"what motives"

The reason you are madly scrambling around for motives is because you do not want to look at the science.

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Dr Stephen Jones

How times change

2006:

Peer reviewed science publishes catastrophic climate predictions.

Activists response: "We come armed only with Peer reviewed science. We must do what the science says."

2014:

Peer reviewed science publishes climate predictions much less catastrophic than before.

Activists response: stick fingers in ears, shout: "Tra-la-la - I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

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Dr Stephen Jones
FAIL

To the first AC:

I'll believe you when you can show me your workings. To save you the headache, the 2C is over pre-industrial levels. Lewis is with the IPCC bounds, but at the lower end of the 5-95 probability range. And the IPCC has lowered, not raised its estimates.

You do not seem to have read or understood the literature - and I smell panic.

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Got 4G? Wake up, grandad. We're doing 4.5G LTE-A in London - EE chief

Dr Stephen Jones
Coat

Whattaya gonna say?

"EE's principal network architect has recently said that he expecta EE to switch off 3G before 2G"

You no lika the service? You shaddapaya ya face!

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Chillax, cranky commentards: Anger can KILL YOU

Dr Stephen Jones

From the review:

"There are several limitations to the analyses that the authors acknowledge. The small number of available studies to include in the meta-analysis and their significant heterogeneity speaks to a paucity of overall evidence in this area and substantially complicates the interpretation of their pooled estimates. In addition, given the relatively consistent findings across studies and the difficulty in combining their results using meta-analytic techniques, it is unclear whether combining studies that used such disparate methods provides incrementally more additional information than the individual studies alone."

Of the nine studies, only one has a decent sample size. The studies can't be aggregated or compared. The rest of this meta-analysis is just padding.

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NHS England tells MPs: 'The state isn't doing dastardly things with GP medical records'

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Private interests

Too little too late from Goldacre, who has been a cheerleader for the scheme, and was telling everyone who objected we were Luddites or idiots as recently as a week ago. He supported the extraction six months ago when there was no patient opt-out at all.

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'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Go for it?

"If everyone was taught to code, then maybe people would finally appreciate that the ability to write decent code is a skill well worth paying properly for."

People can appreciate that writing decent code is a skill every time they see a BSOD at their cash machine. Teaching every child to code is therefore completely unnecessary.

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Greenland glacier QUADRUPLES speed, swells seas

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Some things I know, many things I don't

"Using up fossil fuels in wasteful ways, when oil and the like are also needed to manufacture more durable products, is not tenable in the long run"

Two words: shale gas.

Peak oil is dead, we have so much cheap gas we're converting it into oil. Or converting technologies dependent on oil-derivatives to run on gas. So we have 300-700 years longer to find alternatives to digging up hydrocarbons.

If you think we won't have developed better energy technology in 700 years time, then we don't deserve to survive.

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Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Your move

"More anti-science dressed up as someone who thinks of themself as a rational science based person."

Someone who think that human civilisation is under threat from a 2C rise in *average* temperatures ... is being rational?

I don't think so.

Someone who thinks that a glacier melting *during an interglacial period* is an unusual data point ... is being rational?

I don't think so.

Someone who takes the output of models which don't reflect aerosols or clouds, and treats that output as the empirical data of a scientific experiment ... is clearly rational?

Thought not.

Rationality in climate debates would be a welcome development. If you are you in favour of more, I suggest you start with your own side, and clean up your own house.

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Tell us we're all doomed, MPs beg climate scientists

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: Thing is, we *are* all doomed.

"When you're captaining a cruise liner, it's generally a better idea to steer away from the rocks in the first place, than to be the first one in the lifeboats. No matter how impressed your mates might be by you sailing so close to the shore."

You thinking emotionally and not rationally. This is a *very* bad analogy.

A better analogy is do you need to saw your leg off because you've picked up a bruise. Every policy response to climate change has a benefit and a cost. If the costs of a policy outweigh the benefits they are not worth pursuing. It so happens that the cost of adaptation and building up resilience capacity (go look up RCI) is much lower than mitigation. This is now what is happening: even the EU realises renewables are suicidal.

I suggest you start to read up on CO2 fertilization, because your idea that a CO2 enriched atmosphere mass famines is not remotely supportable. CO2 is plant food. Maybe you missed that particular science lesson at school.

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Tales from an expert witness: Prior art and patent trolls

Dr Stephen Jones

Re: "the absurdity that exudes from the patient office, the patient trolls"

More vicious than a suicide bomber? I don't think so.

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'Climate change' event dishes up sous vide supercomputers

Dr Stephen Jones

@DestroyAllMonsters

"denytard"

That's... the best you can do in response? No wonder climate change campaigners can't understand why they've lost.

Thanks for your contribution. Close the door on the way out, .

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Bay Area plots Googlebus tax after local residents riot

Dr Stephen Jones

"Why can't the city pull a Robin Hood and take more from the tech cos?"

Now I can understand why Silicon Valley wants to secede from the rest of California.

What could justify this theft? Hipster brogrammers with goatee beards may be very annoying, but that's not a valid excuse to steal from them. There is no externality to tax. The Google and Facebook buses are reducing an externality - car traffic. So the justification must be spite and envy.

"...Because it is restricted by Proposition 218 – a Kafkaesque bit of regulation that prohibits local governments from making more money off a property-related fee than the cost of providing the item the fee is being charged against – in this case a fraction of the time available at public bus stops."

In other words, San Franciscans already have protection against greedy government officials enacting their spite-driven punitive money grabs. There is nothing Kafka-esque about this, any more than Miranda rights or detention limits are "Kafka-esque".

Yes, the State of California does need to sort out its property taxes. But the city of SF more than makes up for it:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/san-francisco-property-tax-take-to-exceed-2-billion-for-first-time/Content?oid=2576548

"San Francisco property tax take to exceed $2 billion for first time "

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Britain's costliest mistake? Lord Stern defends his climate maths

Dr Stephen Jones

@Proto-Rabble

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "growth" dependent on using the planet's resources faster than they can recover (otherwise it wouldn't be growth) "

You're wrong.

Economic growth is simply the monetary value of goods and services. But to makes these goods and services we use fewer natural resources all the time as our technology advances. We don't need to chop down trees for firewood, kill whales for their blubber, soon we won't need to dig out coal. We need less land to grow food. Much of this can "return to nature". You will know all this is true by looking out of the window.

Basically, your philosophy is a medieval pre-scientific one. Consider yourself corrected.

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Dr Stephen Jones

@Charles Manning

"Now when China, Africa, India et al want to use coal to advance their economies it is all bad, bad bad."

Exactly. Greens don't want Africa to develop, and are trying to do everything they can to stop it developing.

So Africa suffers high mortality rates and malnutrition, and suffers unnecessarily from natural disasters, because white Guardian readers / NPR listeners feel guilty about their iPads.

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Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest EVER recorded, global warming is NOT eroding it'

Dr Stephen Jones

"Who currently is the biggest potential beneficiary from continuing with oil and coal use?"

Q. "Who currently is the biggest potential beneficiary from continuing with oil and coal use?"

A. The poorest people in the world.

There. Fixed it for you.

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