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  1. martens misses all her friends commented on Chip Bok 38 minutes ago

    What this is about is the trial of the WashPost reporter in Teheran for espionage. General opinion is that the Iranians are using that trial as a bargaining chip in the nuclear negotiations.

  2. martens misses all her friends commented on Clay Bennett about 1 hour ago

    Actually, a feedback loop is directional, but the effects are different depending on whether it is a positive or negative feedback. Negative loops are stabilizing, positive loops are not. The CO2 loop is a positive loop. The feedback is pushing in the rising temperature direction and eventually gets big enough to have the effect seen.

  3. martens misses all her friends commented on Clay Bennett about 1 hour ago

    Yep. We are the modern equivalent of the Siberian Trap vulcanism that tipped the world into the Great Dying of the Permian era. The first gradual stage of CO2 increase is behind us, and the rapid second stage is underway. It doesn’t look good for us.

    Science 10 April 2015: Vol. 348 no. 6231 pp. 229-232
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa0193

    Ocean acidification and the Permo-Triassic mass extinction

    M. O. Clarkson, S. A. Kasemann, R. A. Wood, T. M. Lenton, S. J. Daines, S. Richoz, F. Ohnemueller, A. Meixner, S. W. Poulton, E. T. Tipper

    Abstract
    Ocean acidification triggered by Siberian Trap volcanism was a possible kill mechanism for the Permo-Triassic Boundary mass extinction, but direct evidence for an acidification event is lacking. We present a high-resolution seawater pH record across this interval, using boron isotope data combined with a quantitative modeling approach. In the latest Permian, increased ocean alkalinity primed the Earth system with a low level of atmospheric CO2 and a high ocean buffering capacity. The first phase of extinction was coincident with a slow injection of carbon into the atmosphere, and ocean pH remained stable. During the second extinction pulse, however, a rapid and large injection of carbon caused an abrupt acidification event that drove the preferential loss of heavily calcified marine biota.

  4. martens misses all her friends commented on Jeff Danziger about 1 hour ago

    My father was born and raised in the Boston area. In his mid-30’s he took a call (he was a clergyman) to a church in Kentucky. His first sermon at that church his theme was the golden calf story. At the end of the service, the senior warden came up and said, "I really enjoyed your sermon, Reverend, but what is a “cahlf”?
    My father soon adjusted his Boston accent to a Kentucky accent!

  5. martens misses all her friends commented on Scott Stantis about 1 hour ago

    To be honest, sue, I don’t think we have a real liberal or conservative wing/party in this country. I have fairly full knowledge of a particular country in Europe by virtue of family ties in which there is a range of real parties from Left to Right for comparison. But it is a parliamentary system, so that is a difference. It does seem to be working well there, and people are generally satisfied with their government (although, naturally, everyone is always pointing out that the other side is nuts, but that’s just human nature). Our problem, in my opinion is the fact that we have given big money way too much say in our government. My answer to that problem would be to cut out that say and start with overturning the “Citizen’s United” decision.

  6. martens misses all her friends commented on Joe Heller 1 day ago

    That’ll make it, I think. Better than Henry VIII anyway.

  7. martens misses all her friends commented on Tom Toles 2 days ago

    And just to add a fairly readable reference on the isotope data:
    Using isotopes to understand oceans and climate change

  8. martens misses all her friends commented on Bob Gorrell 3 days ago

    Thank you for your support. I am not sure I am all that positive, but it has always seemed to me to be better to look for the best, not the worst. And, as far as reality goes, as a biologist I haven’t all that a positive long range view, but there isn’t much that I can do, long range, so it is best if I put my efforts into the short range where maybe I can do something, small though it may be.

  9. martens misses all her friends commented on Scott Stantis 3 days ago

    I guess this is the difference of opinion between a standard liberal and a standard conservative. I have a less positive opinion of the value of competition per se to achieve a better result than you do. I have seen the results in places in which the public utility is exactly that, a public utility, and it worked OK for them, but comparisons between different nations are difficult to make reliably since there are so many variables. Here I haven’t been impressed with the benefit of competition in the electrical power marketplace, but again I couldn’t say that it hasn’t worked, since proving a negative is really not feasible. You may be right about competition or I may be right—or both of us could be wrong—but I think it is worthwhile to talk about the subject and exchange ideas of the hows and whys. Thanks for the discussion.

  10. martens misses all her friends commented on Scott Stantis 3 days ago

    But that doesn’t address the question of public utilities, which is the main point to me. Should we have regulated public utilities that provide monopolistic but governmentally regulated services or not? Would the technologies really have been significantly stifled had Ma Bell remained a telephone monopoly? After all, the US was not the only place in which such technologies were in the process of development, even given the very great role we had in that development (and much was due to cold war competition which occurred independent of commercial competition).