venomlash
Wichita Falls, TX
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I'm a straight guy who supports LGBTQ rights, especially considering as I have family and… more »

4:00 PM venomlash commented on Science News: Coral Reefs Desperate for More Fish Piss, Jill Stein Exaggerates Sea Level Rise.
@31: So in other words, some guy doesn't like Salazar, and Sanders delegates (not to be confused with Sanders supporters) don't like Kaine.
Say, if Kaine is really such a union-buster, how come the AFL-CIO rated him between 92% and 100%? Meanwhile, William K. Black seeks to tar Salazar by imaginary association to a shadowy group of alleged ultraconservative puppet-masters within the Democratic Party, and by real association to the lobbying firm WilmerHale (conveniently leaving out WilmerHale's more or less respectable track record). No actual evidence to support the wild claims you're making, but I can't exactly bring myself to be surprised at that.
But hey, let's hear it again: if Salazar is actually planning to do the nefarious bidding of the petroleum industry in his every move, why didn't he do so as Secretary of the Interior?

@32: I've been over this already with anon1256. The teal deer is that you're both cherry-picking high estimates of methane emissions over low estimates with no objective rationale as to why, trying to extrapolate from particularly leaky plays while ignoring better-managed ones with far lower emissions per unit of production (cough cough PERMIAN), focusing on the 20-year analysis while ignoring the 100-year one, and completely ignoring the loss-reduction technology that has (where implemented) resulted in HUGE FUKKEN DRASTIC DECREASES in upstream methane losses. (See the linked thread for sources on that.)

@33: Careful with those quotation marks, anon1256. They have meaning, you know.
Now, do I actually have to explain to you the difference between 2050 and 2055? It's kinda stupendous, honestly, that you're still defending Stein's claims on this matter. She takes a projection that's ALREADY outside the climatological mainstream (not that that's inherently bad), takes that projection's WORST CASE SCENARIOS, and then what does she do? She EXAGGERATES THEM FURTHER. The denialists love to claim that we're just a bunch of alarmists making dire predictions that won't come true, and you want us to vote for the person who's doing her best to prove those assholes right in that respect?
Now, to simplify things for you: I am not claiming exclusive rights to scientific accuracy. I'm just calling out a few of those who don't qualify for their distortions, fabrications, and general subjugation of fact to ideology. Case in point:
"the error bars involved in the exercise are obviously quite large"
Or put differently, YOU'RE JUST GOING TO MAKE AN ENTIRELY BASELESS ASSUMPTION TO HIDE THE FACT THAT STEIN'S CLAIM LIES ABOUT THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY. What on Earth makes you think the error bars are that large? Hell, what makes you think that graph even HAS error bars? Are you aware of what Figure 5 even represents? GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY, you are dense.
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3:26 PM venomlash commented on Science News: Coral Reefs Desperate for More Fish Piss, Jill Stein Exaggerates Sea Level Rise.
@29: "the only offense you can possibly attribute to Stein is that she tweeted a worst case scenario that was off by 15-30 years from the projections of several authorities"
Once more, please read my post #18. FRACKING, NUCLEAR POWER, GENETIC MODIFICATION, ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE, VACCINES. Her policy positions range from crank-pandering (in the case of the last) to outright rejection of the evidence (the first three). You're not doing yourself any favors by repeatedly denying that I've given examples of Stein's anti-science positions.

"This transparent smear job to tarnish Dr. Stein -- a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard and former teacher at Harvard Medical School -- as 'anti-science' is blatant character assassination."
Nice appeal to authority, jackass. Dr. Ben Carson is a graduate of Yale and of the University of Michigan, and is legitimately one of the finest neurosurgeons of his era. And yet he's a climate denier and a Creationist, and has repeated the ludicrous claim that the Pyramids were built to store grain. So how dare I accuse such an accredited individual (a medical doctor, for crying out loud!) of being anti-science! Why, it's the education that counts, not the delusional and factually challenged public statements, right?

"There is nothing remotely 'anti-science' about taking a cautionary approach to potentially hazardous technology."
This is the attitude that leads people to want to shut down CERN because they think it'll create a black hole. This is the attitude that causes people to oppose the irradiation of foods because they think it'll turn the foods radioactive. This is the attitude that gives us South Korean fans that shut off automatically because people think they'll use up all the oxygen otherwise.
There is nothing wrong with a cautious approach IF that caution is based in the facts. And unfortunately, Stein's claims here do not qualify as such. It's based in fear-mongering, playing to underinformed (and outright misinformed) paranoiacs and NIMBYs.

"Fracking has been documented to contaminate groundwater and cause earthquakes."
One, you (and your source) have conflated hydraulic fracturing with wastewater injection. (It's a common mistake, but you're still wrong.) Two, fracking HAS caused damage, but these risks can be minimized through regulation. Both groundwater contamination and fault lubrication are contingent (as briefly mentioned above) on communication between the fracked reservoir and local aquifers or fault zones. If the reservoir is relatively isolated, being bounded by impermeable units, fluids injected into it will remain there. And happily, we have ways of mapping out the lithology of an area in order to determine if this is the case. (I speak of well core analysis, well logs, reflection seismology, and a few others.) I've been telling anon1256 about this for a while now, but he's apparently determined not to understand how fracking can be done safely.

"Nuclear energy always carries the possibility of disaster as the Fukushima catastrophe illustrates all too well. The hornet's nest of nuclear waste disposal is just the icing on that shitcake."
You, like most of the anti-nuclear crusaders, are stuck thinking in the paradigms of the past. You know when Fukushima Daiichi was built? 1967! We're still using designs from forty-plus years ago for most of our nuclear power generation, from before we had modern CAD software and the sophisticated simulation tools that allow engineers today to test their work before building it. Why are such old reactors still in service? It's complicated, but a big part of why is that anti-nuclear advocates prevent them from being replaced with newer, safer, and more efficient designs through their unceasing opposition to new nuclear projects.
And of course, it's important to note that the relevant concern is not how much radiation nuclear power plants emit, but rather how much they emit compared to alternative sources of power generation. Under normal operating conditions, a single kWh generated by a coal plant comes with several times more released radiation than that same kWh generated by a uranium fission plant. And that's not even considering the heavy metals, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides released from coal-burning! And if you're worried about catastrophic failure of nuclear power plants (say, when an 48-year-old plant is struck by the fourth-most-powerful earthquake ever recorded at a bare 100 miles from the epicenter and then hit by the associated tsunami), may I recommend to you the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR)? It's got its own technical challenges to work out, but it's been done successfully, and the nature of its structure and operation is such that it doesn't suffer from the same meltdown risks as conventional uranium reactors.
Educate yourself on the issues before forming your opinions.

"When recent research shows that we can shift to 100% renewables to fulfill all of our energy needs within decades"
One, that's not research. It's a proposal. Two, Prof. Jacobson attacks nuclear power for its physical footprint while claiming that wind turbines are "merely poles in the ground"; I should hope he is aware of turbines' effects on aerial biota in their vicinity. Wind farms, while certainly useful in the fight against climate change, do have deleterious effects on birds, bats, and (let us not forget) insects that pass by them, not only due to the spinning blades but also as a result of the pressure disruptions they cause. Three, he's suggesting that we resort to hydrogen fuel cells as a way of moving away from gasoline. As I have told John Bailo many a time, fuel cells are absolutely fucking stupid, and I really hope I don't have to explain why to you.

"Stein assuredly does not promote homeopathy"
I never said she did. Reading comprehension is important! What I said, and which is true, is that the official platform of her party contained, up until a few weeks ago, explicit support for the practice. Given that she's been a major player in the party for quite some time, and given that she was actually their nominee four years ago, why did it take them that long to can their support of it? (Or more likely, make said support implicit rather than explicit.) Could it be that they pander to anti-science cranks?

"Whether you know it or not you are carrying water for the power elites in this increasingly unequal system."
Excuse me, but I'm not going to hold the truth hostage to political expediency. As I said above, I'm for the evidence, wherever it may lead. If the glorious revolution can't work within the confines of objective fact, it doesn't deserve to win out, and it will not have my support.
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2:10 PM venomlash commented on Sexist Trolls Tried to Derail the 2016 Hugo Awards. They Failed..
@10: Catwings was a big part of my childhood. I was an imaginative larva living in a house that contained (among other beings) two cats; what can I say?
11:55 AM yesterday venomlash commented on Science News: Coral Reefs Desperate for More Fish Piss, Jill Stein Exaggerates Sea Level Rise.
(in first paragraph of #27, "she" being Hillary Clinton. realized I left that super ambiguous)
11:50 AM yesterday venomlash commented on Science News: Coral Reefs Desperate for More Fish Piss, Jill Stein Exaggerates Sea Level Rise.
@25: So, your distraction from Stein's unscientific policy proposals is to point out that she tapped Ken Salazar to lead her transition team? And you think that Salazar, who admittedly is friendlier to the petroleum industry than many Democrats, is going to use this authority to enact an agenda cutting efficiency standards, eliminating emissions controls, and pushing fossil fuels at the expense of renewables?

If Salazar really were so dead-set on giving fossil fuel companies everything they want, please explain why he didn't do so during the four years he was Secretary of the Interior. (After all, environmental causes have advanced under the Obama Administration, including during his first term when Salazar was in charge.)

And Salazar is absolutely correct that fracking CAN be done safely and responsibly (see above in my critique of Stein's knee-jerk opposition to it) and that it should be done when plausible in order to increase production of shale gas and reduce our dependency on coal.
You, like such others as anon1256 and TheMisanthrope, are simply projecting your worst nightmares onto a candidate you dislike (regardless of her actual record on the issues) and engaging in the most vapid sort of conspiracy theorizing (she's secretly in favor of everything we hate! the head of the CoC said so!) to support your delusions.
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6:51 AM yesterday venomlash commented on Science News: Coral Reefs Desperate for More Fish Piss, Jill Stein Exaggerates Sea Level Rise.
@25: So let me get your reasoning straight:
-It's not Jill Stein's fault that her campaign made an outrageous claim unsupported by the evidence because a journalist inaccurately reported the modeled results of a study (that anyone can pull up and skim through), and because another journalist misinterpreted the remarks of an NOAA official regarding unpublished data.
-Exaggerating the worst-case conclusions of a study whose middle-of-the-road projections are already far outside the mainstream predicted trajectories isn't misleading, because what difference does ten years make?
-There's no difference between a study explicitly cited by a campaign as their source for a claim, and a projection with numbers that are vaguely similar but which the campaign hasn't said anything about, as far as conclusiveness of origin goes.

Really?
And once more, I'd love to hear your response to Jill Stein's anti-science policy proposals. This reckless exaggeration (because we should TOTALLY engage in counterfactual alarmism like the deniers already think we're doing) is just another drop in the bucket.

I'll get to the Clinton distraction later (gotta go to work now) but teal deer is that you're wrong and you should feel bad.
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Aug 21 venomlash commented on Science News: Coral Reefs Desperate for More Fish Piss, Jill Stein Exaggerates Sea Level Rise.
@22: Reading comprehension IS important, and I advise you to try it sometime.
Sure, Ms. Vaidyanathan says "several meters as soon as 2050". But it's not what the Stein campaign spokeswoman said ("several meters of sea level rise as soon as the next 50 years"), and it's certainly not what the Hansen et al. paper claims. What's the actual worst case scenario we're talking about here? Well, if you will direct your attention to Figure 5(b) of the paper itself, you'll see that even with a 5 year doubling time, the resulting sea level rise is projected to be just a hair over 1m by 2050.
So apparently, your argument in defense of Jill Stein is that it's not her fault, because a writer from ClimateWire did a little inaccurate reporting. Yeah, that dog don't hunt, buddy.

And do you need someone to explain to you the difference between 9 feet and 10 feet? (It may not seem like much, but let me tell you as a scientist that these things matter.) You're recklessly casting about for some number vaguely related to the Stein campaign's claims and making whatever assumptions you need to make everything fit into your narrative. (Again: the Stein campaign confirmed that they got the 9 feet claim from Hansen et al. but haven't given a source on the 12.3M figure. You can't just assume things because they seem reasonable; plenty of reasonable-seeming connections turn out to be baloney.)

@23: So...nothing about Jill Stein's anti-science record? To paraphrase:
"Never mind all that stuff Stein said about how we can't trust research and how we need to ban things for being scary! Look over here! Hillary Clinton hired A GUY WITH TIES TO THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY!"
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Aug 21 venomlash commented on What Do You Know: Millennial Voters Flocking to Clinton.
@70: I understand the physical and life sciences more or less well, enough to make intelligent conversation and ask meaningful questions if speaking to an expert in a given topic. (In paleontology, sedimentary geology, and evolutionary biology, I'm well on my way to becoming an expert myself.)
But the average Joe? He doesn't understand the issues. (We live in a nation where 40-something percent of Americans believe that humans were divinely created in their present form less than 10,000 years ago, where one in four believe that the modern temperature record isn't to be trusted, and where half are unsure whether or not vaccines cause autism.) And neither do you, apparently; you've expressed strong opinions on the GMO controversy without showing any sign of comprehending the science involved. Still waiting on your list of sensible reasons to oppose genetic modification, by the way.

And yes, I am an elitist insofar as I believe technical decisions should be made by those educated on the issues at hand. If you were under the knife, would you rather have Joe Blow operating? Or would you demand someone who went to medical school and devoted years to understanding and working with human physiology?
What's that? You think the surgeon is somehow better than the layman? Filthy elitist!
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
--Isaac Asimov, "A Cult of Ignorance", Newsweek, 1/21/1980
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Aug 20 venomlash commented on What Do You Know: Millennial Voters Flocking to Clinton.
@65: people freaking out about technology they don't understand based on dangers that aren't real = INSTITUTIONAL CRISIS
Aug 20 venomlash commented on Science News: Coral Reefs Desperate for More Fish Piss, Jill Stein Exaggerates Sea Level Rise.
@15: As for Jill Stein's anti-science positions?

First off, she wants to ban hydraulic fracturing. Not regulate, but a flat BAN. Fracking is perfectly safe IF done under certain circumstances (mostly making sure that the reservoir doesn't communicate with groundwater or any significant fault zones) and is an excellent short-term way of reducing our dependence on coal (which is probably THE WORST fossil fuel). But Stein doesn't want to regulate fracking; she wants to ban it, because it's scary and can be dangerous if done improperly.

Similarly, she wants a total ban on nuclear power. Why? Because it's scary and can be dangerous if done improperly. Never mind that fission plants emit far less radiation than coal plants do, that modern plant designs are far safer and more efficient than the ones currently in service, and that nuclear power represents the single biggest alternative to fossil fuels currently available to us...

And of course the GMO issue. If she's worried about undue corporate influence in agriculture, she could go after the way we farm these days, maybe even pick a fight with King Corn. If she thinks there are specific risks of particular GM crops, she could open an investigation into them or call for a moratorium pending research to prove their safety. Or if she thinks we need to be less reliant on pesticides, she could call for revision of the laws regarding how pesticides may be applied. But no, instead she's decided to ban ALL genetically modified crops, because (sing along with me, we all know the words by now) they're scary and could be bad if misused! Banning GMOs in an attempt to fight corporate influence over agriculture is like banning the jet engine in an attempt to fight transportation oligopolies. It won't do shit for the stated goal, and it'll just mean we're stuck using older technology.

And then there's her party's support for unreliable and frequently dangerous types of alternative medicine. (Sure, accupressure can help, but there are also kooks out there pitching Vitamin B13.) They just took explicit support for fucking HOMEOPATHY out of their platform a few weeks back. If conferring official legitimacy on alternative medicine (not just legitimate stuff but also absolute woo) in a bold rejection of empiricism isn't anti-science, I don't know what is.

And that brings us, at long last, to the vaccine issue. No, Jill Stein is not an anti-vaxxer, in the same way that Donald Trump is not a neo-Nazi. But they both pander hard to those who are! When asked about vaccines, Stein could have declared them safe and commended them as an example of putting healthcare before profits (in contrast to other practices found within the pharmaceutical industry). She could have dismissed the conspiracy theories and moved on to the actual crimes of Big Pharma. But instead she claimed that we just can't trust vaccines to be safe at all and that the fault lies not with anti-vaxxers and their delusions but rather with the pharmaceutical industry's questionable ethics.
Despite the breathtaking safety record of modern vaccines and the low profit margins produced by them (though they've become more lucrative of late thanks to widespread vaccination in developing countries), she painted a picture of scary dangerous vaccines peddled by a cartoonishly evil Big Pharma that's less concerned with making a buck and more concerned with oppressing people. Note that by dismissing the research supporting the safety of vaccines, allegedly because it's somehow scare-quotes-"tainted" by Big Pharma, she's doing that thing all anti-science types love to do: throwing away conflicting evidence. She may not have said herself that vaccines are dangerous. But she repeated and legitimized the words of those who do.

"Gosh, it must take so much courage to stand up for the big guy."
I don't have a side. I'll pick a fight with hippies, yippies, yuppies, suits, drones, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, capitalists, socialists, communists, rich folk, poor folk, kleptocrats, hepcats, and anyone else who starts spouting bullshit. If you've got your facts straight, I've got your back; if you're lying or misrepresenting the evidence, I'll be on your ass like a dog on a meat-wagon. Sometimes I'll call a guy out for lying and then back him up on a different issue where he's telling the truth (as seen here). Big guy? Little guy? How about who's got the facts on their side, huh? As it is written:
"Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor favour the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour." (Leviticus 19:15)

And finally, since you asked, I'm 24. Why do I have two accounts? For my own inscrutable amusement and purposes.
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