Free Ride

Planes. Trains. Automobiles. Spacecrafts:

Discuss.

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About Willard

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82 Responses to Free Ride

  1. I think he already is.

  2. RickA says:

    Right now humanity has all its eggs in one basket. It is probably a good idea to spread humanity around the solar system, so one asteroid doesn’t wipe us out.

  3. If we can’t find a way to live sustainably within the carrying capacity of a planet as benign and plentiful as Earth, what chance do we have of surviving elsewhere?

  4. JCH says:

    What a great solution… Mars libertarians, unhook.

  5. verytallguy says:

    Right now humanity has all its eggs in one basket. It is probably a good idea to spread humanity around the solar system, so one asteroid doesn’t wipe us out.

    Alternatively and more generally:

    Right now, humanity has a problem with sustainability on planet earth. It is probably a good idea to engage in impossible fantasies about [colonising other worlds]*, so as to avoid addressing this problem

    * this is a generic avoidance phrase. Climate change deniers can insert their preferred fantasy into the square brackets eg [fraudulent data] it also works for those denying resource depletion: [abiogenic oil] and interestingly, green activists too! [storage technologies]

  6. afeman says:

    For anybody who hasn’t seen it, here is Charlie Stross’s takedown of this notion:

    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2007/06/the_high_frontier_redux.html

  7. Not quite the tangent that the body of the original post took, but the title invites sharing this datapoint from MIT’s Technology Review, 2 days ago:

    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Have Become Top Carbon Polluters

    Takeaway graph:

  8. Mitch says:

    I am always interested to see that people prefer a ‘climate’ solution that costs at least 4 orders of magnitude more than fixing the problems on earth. This is not to say that Mars exploration is not interesting or important, but that a Mars colony will not be self sustaining under any reasonable scenario.

  9. That’s the spirit, Rust. It’s an Open Thread on planes, trains, automobiles… and spacecrafts. John Candy would be OK too.

    Here’s where the idea for the post comes from:

    Too bad Judy did not respond. Twould have been fun discussin’ how we could use Al Gore’s body to block the sun.

  10. Willard says:

    Indeed, Mitch:

    To fight for our Fiscal Freedom, four orders of magnitude is almost free.

  11. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    I, for one, welcome our new libertarian overlords.

  12. snarkrates says:

    Gary Johnson is a classic Glibertarian: When confronted with a problem you don’t understand, answer with a solution you don’t understand in the hopes your audience is as stupid as you are. [Chill. -W]

  13. I think it is always a good idea to solve an immediate problem by solving a more difficult but much less pressing problem with no backup plan. ;o)

  14. Willard says:

    Mustangs. Zombies. If you make them, they will come:

    Money quote:

    I had a vision, and a passion, and sometimes that just doesn’t make sense.

    You are not alone.

  15. Greg Robie says:

    Given that nuclear matters, not abrup climate change, were perceived by both selectees for the upcoming Presidential [s]election as the greatest threat this nation faces … and that there is no ‘we’ regarding space colinization, the lyric from “For What It’s Worth” comes to mind: “…nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong…”.

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee can be blinded by their iterations of motivated reasoning and locked into a ’50s and ’60s mindset, respectively, but what is so different about such delusional conditions, and what has been argued here concerning what integrity demands of a scientist beyond that which relates to their research?

    At COP22, and whether it’s also CMA1 or not (& its looking more and more like at least some of this COP will be deemed CMA1), a Paris Agreement “rulebook” is being assembled. See concurrent SBSTA 45 agenda item 12. Science’s role in vetting offsets for Wall Street regarding the Paris Agreement will be established this November. After that, it is a thank-you-very-much-don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-your-way-back-to-your-ivory-towers for science … but for vetting geo-engineering.

    Or, physics and physicists have been played. Wake up. Science is being buried alive. Or …and then there’s physics for establishing the odds for bets and counter bets regarding the insurance that will become much of the promised $100 billion/yr.

    I so wish I was as wrong about this as I am unintelligible.

    Word: #AllLifeMatters
    With #CapitalismFail
    #NoLivesMatter … #Truth

  16. Is this what psychologists call a distraction disorder. Doing one thing to that is unimportant (for now, at least) to avoid addressing the problem in front of you?

    Anyway, given “our” human capacity for screwing up planet 1, why not planet the next one, and so on, ad infinitum?

  17. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    Regulations don’t seem to be keeping the planet habitable. Like string theory, you’ve got to recognize when you’ve failed and start looking for other methods of solving a technological problem. Certainly if we are capable of trashing the Earth, we are capable of trashing a dead nearby planet or moon. It’s the challenges that solves the problems. What could possibly go wrong on a dead planet or moon? Are you gonna bork the atmosphere or the oceans? Are you going to contaminate or exhaust the groundwater? Modify the weather? Overheat the biosphere? Or are you going to cause a sixth major extinction? Or perhaps you are going to learn something.

  18. Willard says:

    Please stick to one nom de plume, Konstantin.

    My vote would go to holodecks.

  19. verytallguy says:

    Willard, by lucky hap I dipped into the Guardian Environmental section today, so here’s my proposed guest post on the subtopic “Planes”. Though I say so myself, I think I’ve put in a bit more effort than you, though I suspect the conclusion is the same.

    “Fragrantly Greenwashed Virgin Seeks Dupes”

    EGriff commenting on aviation emissions at the Guardian website points to a Bloomberg article on Virgin’s biofuels breakthrough and adds Really don’t know how this might work out – article bills it as ‘game changer’

    Virgin have somewhat of a reputation for greenwash . There is no link from the article for technical details but a brief investigation of the Bloomberg article reveals:

    1. The process is a biological conversion of carbon monoxide to ethanol. The source of the carbon monoxide fuel stream used for the Virgin demonstration is unclear (there are many such gases produced from different parts of the steel process)
    http://www.ieabioenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/P06-Advanced-fuels-and-chemicals-from-waste-van-der-Werf1.pdf

    2. This is actually a fossil fuel; the carbon monoxide originally comes from coal

    3. There are other ways, almost certainly more efficient, to utilise the energy in the gas stream than to put through a complex biological process to convert to jet fuel.
    See http://ietd.iipnetwork.org/content/bof-heat-and-gas-recovery

    4. They claim to have had the fuel certified as a biofuel by the RSB if it uses waste gas from the basic oxygen furnace (BOF) The article doesn’t tell us where the gas was from, but in my view it is unlikely, though not inconceivable that it was from this source. BOF gases are high temperature, intermittent and therefore difficult to exploit, compared to other sources of CO in steelmaking. For these reasons, they are normally flared.

    5. I’d never hear of the RSB but from a quick glance it appears reputable, listing the Sierra Club and WWF amongst its members. However, given the provenance of the fuel, it seems more than surprising that it was certified as a biofuel.

    Why it would be environmentally sounder to use the energy in BOF waste gas for jet fuel rather than electricity generation is not explained anywhere – essentially they ascribe zero utility to the fuel in order to come up with the claims for carbon reduction of the process. Even though the same steps to cool, store and compress the fuel would be needed for other uses, and these would be the most challenging parts of the process.

    At the very best this is optimistic, at worst, deliberately misleading. It appears to be nothing more than an expensive way to launder fossil fuels into biofuels and is partly public funded, of course.

    I’d give them 1/10 for sustainability. I don’t see why this is fundamentally better than using BOF fuel for electricity or other uses, and oil for jet fuel. I suspect the overall change in carbon emissions would be about zero between those options, the difference being cash diverted to the “biofuel” manufacturer and PR to Virgin. It is perhaps a harbinger of more similar to follow as “entrepreneurs” seek to exploit markets for biofuels and other low carbon ventures. Bearing in mind that this seems to have been certified as a biofuel, caveat emptor.

    Further reading:
    Virgin press release
    http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en/footer/media-centre/press-releases/lanzatech-and-virginatlantic-low-carbo-fuel-breakthrough.html
    Virgin also have a somewhat gushingly vomit inducing blog on the subject
    https://blog.virgin-atlantic.com/quest-biofuel-sustainable-aviation/

    Since writing the above, I discovered unsurprisingly, that others have noticed the reality may not meet the extravagant claims made of the technology
    http://www.greenexplored.com/2014/10/lonzatech-khoslas-latest-gangrene.html
    http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2014/10/15/junk-or-treasure-looking-at-carbon-monoxide-and-lanzatech/

  20. Willard says:

    > I think I’ve put in a bit more effort than you […]

    Of course you did, Very Tall. Why would I be the only one to have fun with our transportation system?

    Speaking of which, I missed the boats. Dams!

  21. Andrew Dodds says:

    Hmmm.

    Just to keep up with population growth, we’d need to send 200,000 people to Mars every single day. If we stick to smaller people, that’s 10,000 tonnes of human per day. Which works out at about 100 Saturn 5 launches a day, assuming the entire payload is packed with people and they can all hold their breath for the journey. And don’t need the toilet.

    I am a fan, generally, of the idea of establishing bases on the Moon, Mars and in the asteroid belt – there are decent economic reasons for the last one – but we can’t pretend that we could get more than a vanishingly small number of people off-planet. Establishing self-sustaining bases might even spur the development of technologies needed on Earth; closed cycle food and energy systems, for starters.

    And if we can find a way to deliver chunks of 16 Psyche to earth safely, that’s the end of the Earth bound iron smelting industry and all associated pollution.

  22. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    And if we can find a way to deliver chunks of 16 Psyche to earth safely, that’s the end of the Earth bound iron smelting industry and all associated pollution.

    And when we become capable of moving large chunks of asteroids towards Earth, nuclear weapons will become obsolete.

  23. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    And when we become capable of moving large chunks of asteroids towards Earth, nuclear weapons will become obsolete.

    Large chunks of asteroids already move towards Earth. Those nuclear weapons and missiles will come in handy. Asteroids are just high speed global warming.

  24. Asteroids are just high speed global warming.

    Probably more like global cooling than global warming.

  25. Andrew Dodds says:

    Indeed, I always thought that is would be preferable to a Trident replacement for the UK. As a strict deterrent. ‘You nuke us, a few months later you get a shower of 200m rocks..’. Not really an aggressive weapon, either, given the lead time.

  26. Willard says:

    > Asteroids are just high speed global warming.

    They could provide lots of condensed CO2 for the planes, trains, automobiles, and spacecrafts of our reboot.

    Here’s one fighting for Freedom in general:

  27. Good idea to colonize other planets in a self-sustaining way. One day something will go terribly wrong. Whatever that is.

    A test run on the Moon will take at least decades. Terra-forming Mars will take centuries or millennia. A good reason not to burn Earth behind us, but solve solvable problems such as climate change.

  28. Vinny Burgoo says:

    (Russia in Syria?)

  29. Eli Rabett says:

    And once more Eli is proven to be right. Astrobiology is the last refuge of denial.

  30. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    Thanks for that Willard, very nice.

    But I’m voting for nobody. Nobody cares.

    So carry on. My astrobiology career is over. I won.

  31. Szilard says:

    Freeman Dyson in the current issue of the NYR: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/10/13/green-universe-a-vision/

    Almost all the current discussion of life in the universe assumes that life can exist only on worlds like our Earth, with air and water and strong gravity. This means that life is confined to planets and their moons. The sun and the planets and moons contain most of the mass of our solar system. But for life, surface area is more important than mass. The room available for life is measured by surface area and not by mass. In our solar system and in the universe, the available area is mostly on small objects, on comets and asteroids and dust grains, not on planets and moons.

    When life has reached the small objects, it will have achieved mobility. It is easy then for life to hop from one small world to another and spread all over the universe. Life can survive anywhere in the universe where there is starlight as a source of energy and a solid surface with ice and minerals as a source of food. Planets and moons are the worst places for life from the point of view of mobility. Because Earth’s gravity is strong, it is almost impossible for life to escape from Earth without our help. Life has been stuck here, waiting for our arrival, for three billion years, immobile in its planetary cage.

    When humans begin populating the universe with Noah’s Ark seeds, our destiny changes. We are no longer an ordinary group of short-lived individuals struggling to preserve life on a single planet. We are then the midwives who bring life to birth on millions of worlds. We are stewards of life on a grander scale, and our destiny is to be creators of a living universe. We may or may not be sharing this destiny with other midwife species in other parts of the universe. The universe is big enough to find room for all of us.

  32. Szilard,
    You may find this paper interesting (The size distribution of inhabited planets).

  33. Willard says:

    This paper underappreciates the sociality of many outer places:

  34. Szilard says:

    ATTP: Thanks, that’s great.

  35. Eli Rabett says:

    Freeman Dyson has neither heard of birds or fish.

  36. Magma says:

    I didn’t note the site so apologies to whoever came up with it, but I spotted a picture of Gary Johnson looking particularly dim and captioned ‘Nothing says small government like interstellar colonization’

  37. Eli, but FD’s obviously a believer in Manifest Destiny writ large.

  38. -1=e^iπ says:

    Maybe I’m missing something.

    What did Gary Johnson say that was incorrect?

    The sun will devour the earth? True
    That we should eventually colonize other planets? True

    Maybe he didn’t say what other people wanted him to say. But he didn’t say anything that was false.

  39. Willard says:

    > Maybe I’m missing something.

    Indeed you do:

    We have to inhabit other planets.

    That’s not a statement of fact. Therefore your “incorrect” is incorrect.

  40. Ken Fabian says:

    I like a good SF yarn but I think the difficulties ie full and true costs of space colonisation are consistently understated and, rather than being a demonstration of extraordinary human maturity and foresight, the urge is probably the same one as convinced the hard pressed of our earliest homo sapiens ancestors that it was easier to seek more fertile horizons than deal with the problems where they were – but back then there really were readily exploitable opportunities to be had in the unpeopled wilderness, on a world that even now really should count as a paradise and that frankly makes Mars look like a barren and inhospitable moonscape.

    The earliest ‘colonists’ could survive and thrive in this rich world on foot with just the tools they carried and the knowledge in a few heads. Colonies of the more recent past survived by the trade they could engage in with their parent economies, using technologies that were already widely used and proven to be economically viable. If they failed in trade they almost always failed. They often relied on ruthlessly exploiting existing human populations and the resources already known to them.

    Frankly I think the historic parallels that seem to exist are largely illusiory; the pre-investments space colonisation require the development of unproven, hypothetical technologies at scales that will challenge the resources of the largest and most advanced industrial economies whilst offfering no realistic trade opportunities to be economically viable, nor the full range of technological capabilities to be truly self supporting; until or unless we see some extraordinary technological advances self supporting space colonisation is not a viable option.

  41. Magma says:

    The size distribution of inhabited planets
    6. Conclusions (excerpt)
    As a result, we should expect humans to be physically smaller than most other advanced species. By marginalizing over a feasible range of standard deviations, we conclude that most species are expected to exceed 300 kg in body mass. The median body mass is similar to that of a polar bear.

    Well, so much for Kirkian diplomacy.

  42. Szilard says:

    KF: Don’t understand the imperative to space-colonize some people seem to feel.

    I’ve been sketching an SF story which uses some of these things as background, so some long thoughts below, apologies.

    For the interstellar case, agree with you that extrapolating from earth history seems simply wrong. The circumstances are fundamentally different.

    – Trade/exploitation. Time seems to be a fundamental barrier. Just using back-of-envelope standard economics and assuming you need to get a return on investment: So you buy something at one point and sell it at a price at the destination sufficient to cover the risk-adjusted time-valued buy-price plus trip cost plus amortised capex.

    Say trip time is 50 years (maybe 10 ly at 0.2c).

    What kind of discount rate do you use, when you’re facing the uncertainties of trying to forecast a sell-price 50 years out? Assume that things are stable enough & cost of capital is low enough to make a 5% return on a single voyage attractive. That gives you a total required return on the trip of 11X+. Depending on the price of fuel etc, that implies a sell-price probably much higher than 11X buy price.

    I don’t see it – what could support that kind of price differential? If it’s a manufactured item, wouldn’t this differential spur investment for local manufacture? If it’s IP, then similar comments re local innovation & anyway, IP doesn’t need physical transport. If it’s some material, then similar comments re replacements (and anyway, if you can manufacture 0.2c fuel economically then hard to imagine what you can’t manufacture more economically than paying these kinds of prices??)

    I guess somebody could point to the old spice trade & then I could make various counter-arguments, but anyway …

    – “Strategic”. Obviously there are plenty of earth-history examples of otherwise-uneconomic trade leveraging off “strategic” empire-management investment: eg Rome. So what “strategic” rationales could there be for colonization?

    I don’t think anything like imperial expansion for its own sake holds up in the absence of a trade/exploitation rationale.

    One historical colonizationdriver has obviously been overpopulation but I just can’t see an interstellar parallel for this.

    The last one I can think of is “fear”: denying strategic locations to a potential enemy. Leaving aside the difficulties of this kind of scenario in the absence of a supporting trade/exploitation rationale, it strikes me that setting up colonies is likely to be a bigger strategic risk than anything you’re likely to face from aliens. How do you control colonies with a 50 yr or whatever travel distance? Wouldn’t they be bigger threat than aliens, who probably wouldn’t have any use for yr planets etc without substantial modification?

    This also addresses with a hand-wave the limited-resource scenario: in yr stellar system you are running out of some essential resource so you go colonize some other system to extract the resource and send it home. But how are you going to manage the colony to ensure that it keeps being exploited in this way – why doesn’t it revolt & keep all of the resource for itself?

    – Risk diversification; not having all eggs in one basket. AFAIK, that doesn’t correspond to any previous driver in human history.

    My preferred SF story goes that if you can do large scale space travel (requiring very advanced technologies and huge energy and resource availability) you will be able to do large scale space engineering. You can build yr own planet-things, tailored to suit, not subject to planetary vagaries & maybe send a few out to other stellar neighborhoods, if needed.

    – Fermi Paradox: My favourite SF-story way around this is to posit that interstellar colonization on any scale is just *stupid*. A civilization can do an infinite number of stupid things, and the chances of it doing any particular stupid thing on a large scale & over time may be vanishingly small. So the mother planet is stupid enough to invest in a space colony or two. Why are the daughters going to be similarly stupid?

  43. -1=e^iπ says:

    @ Willard –
    “That’s not a statement of fact. Therefore your “incorrect” is incorrect.”

    Fine, it’s not a statement of fact. It’s an opinion. Which I, and probably most if not all commenters here, agree with. Is there 1 poster here that is against eventually colonizing other planets?

    But even so, you haven’t demonstrated that his opinion is incorrect.

    So I affirm my claim that I do not see Gary Johnson making any incorrect claims.

  44. angech says:

    Andrew Dodds says: September 27, 2016 at 7:53 pm
    “Just to keep up with population growth, we’d need to send 200,000 people to Mars every single day. If we stick to smaller people, that’s 10,000 tonnes of human per day. Which works out at about 100 Saturn 5 launches a day,”
    They could be launched from Soylent Green Rocket facility and have the incoming vessels deliver 10,000 tonnes of “protein”” per day for the remaining starving masses on Earth.

  45. angech says:

    Lucky I’m a bigger people.

  46. afeman says:

    Dyson makes hand-waving into high art. If he hadn’t been so successful in his first job I’d say he missed his calling as a Silicon Valley billionaire.

  47. Willard says:

    > I affirm my claim that I do not see Gary Johnson making any incorrect claims.

    Affirm all you want, -1.

    The “claims” you affirm as correct remain to be seen.

    ***

    > It’s an opinion.

    It’s more than that – it’s a response to a query. The query was about how he minimized AGW in a previous incarnation by taking a very “long term” view. It starts at 5:35:

    So, which set of claims do you see as correct, -1.

    Unless you just see them as non-incorrect?

  48. anoilman says:

    I’m still trying to imagine Libertarians going to Mars. I mean these are the guys running around saying, “Something might be wrong… it can’t be right!” Its logical to conclude that they can’t solve problems.
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2014/aug/29/libertarian-ideology-natural-enemy-science

    I’d love to hang out with the libertarians when they try to design the space ship. You just need to interject the correlations to Climate Science.

    Libertarian: “As the ship flies up, temperature will change causing the pressure to change in the tanks.”
    Me: “Yes its the same calculation we use for sea level rise.”
    Libertarian: “Our radio will need to either over power off angle communication noise, or we’ll need more ground stations to receive the signal.”
    Me: “Yes we know that from error introduced in satellite temperature readings.”
    Libertarian: “We’ll need to use the correct Keplerian Elements for the guidance systems to work.”
    Me: “We know that from peer reviewed science.”

    I’m pretty certain with enough effort they will be forced to use a giant sling shot. (No one uses Hooks Law in Climate Science do they?) Hopefully they’ll bring polar bears so they can count the population grow.

    Can you imagine how they’d react to the regulations in space?

    Libertarian lights up cigarette… “Finally no global warming idiots!”
    Colony Security, after brutally putting out the cigarette.. “Do you have any idea how much oxygen you just burned? Our carbon scrubbers are going to have to work overtime to clean that up! You are being fined $678,000!”
    Libertarian: “You can’t take away my rights! Freedom! I have the right to arm bears!”

    Yup… Space Libertarians will bring a true age of reason to the planet. 🙂 And rainbows… lots of rainbows.

    Vinny… I love that poster.

  49. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    Humans won’t exist in a billion years time.

  50. “Fine, it’s not a statement of fact. It’s an opinion. Which I, and probably most if not all commenters here, agree with. Is there 1 poster here that is against eventually colonizing other planets?
    ############################

    gosh you guys are fussing over nothing.

    At some point people will realize that you really cannot get a sense of what people believe, why they believe, how deeply they believe it, through merely looking at quotes and quips and answers to questions. ESPECIALLY questions asked by journos..

    CNN question was about Johnson’s short term view in contrast to the long term quip they had cued up…

    first, he responds by essentially characterizing he previous remarks as humor.

    Then asserts that we DO have to inhabit other planets… (inhabit)
    why
    because he thinks our destiny is space exploration

    I dont see him saying anything about colonization

    And Finally, he ends with a bland endorsement of keeping things clean on earth.

    Its pretty much a muddle created by the Journalist trying to play gotcha

    ###############################################

    Am I against colonizing other planets?

    That is a stupid question. I am for everyone having their own indivual universe, there is lots of space.. we can all have our own planet idaho. woohoo!!!

    Personally, I think spending money on sending folks to Mars is immoral

  51. Wow..

    Ok

    “Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson suggested on Sunday that climate change could not be stopped and that the solution was for the human race to “inhabit other planets.”

    Not sure how you get THAT from the interview I watched.

    As far as exigesis goes, whoever wrote that needs to go back to school. Operative word of course is SUGGESTED,

    I’ll try to read Johnson charitably rather than as a journalist.

    The Comments about colonizing are in reference to his prior comment about the Sun expanding.

    The question about what we need to do short term was answered by motherhood and apple pie about clean air etc.

    NOWHERE does he suggest that colonization is the answer to global warming.. its the ANSWER to his prior comment about the sun expanding in billions of years.

    Bad readers. bad questions.

    I am now reminded why I stopped watching american media, and amercian entertainment, for the past few years.

    next up american blogs.

    Wake me up when Trump makes america great again.

  52. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    Personally, I think spending money on sending folks to Mars is immoral.

    If you are a US taxpayer you need to talk to your representatives and NASA about that.

    Don’t be shy, enforce your values on them, and by default, everyone else.

    And give Mr. Musk a call, I’m sure he’ll listen to your reasoning.

    Unless, of course, you aren’t a US taxpayer.

    Or a stockholder.

  53. anoilman says:

    Steven Mosher: I do realize that Libertarian flaming is over the top. But you have to admit its funny.

    Cherry picking… Elon Musk rockets success or failure? Who needs data… just pick the story you like!
    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/24306/20160627/elon-musk-secret-spacex-million-dollar-success.htm
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-space-x-explosion-20160901-snap-story.html

    Personally I don’t thing going to another planet is a serious endeavor. If we can’t build a sealed colony here (which would be infinitely easier), why bother going somewhere else?

    In other news… Run Mars RUN!

  54. JCH says:

    Tang… it was worth it. I mean, you drink Tang all the time, right?

  55. Willard says:

    > The Comments about colonizing are in reference to his prior comment about the Sun expanding.

    Indeed, at 28:50:

    I happen to believe in global warming, and that it is man-caused. But that said, what should we do about global warming? I don’t think we should implement cap and trade […] I don’t think it’s gonna make a difference at all long term and that those resources […]

    Then in the Q&A, at around 53:20:

    Well, climate change — I think the world is getting warmer. I think that it’s man-caused. That said, should we be engaged in cap and trade taxation? No. I don’t think that we should. We should lend certainty to the energy field. We should be building new coal-fired plants. When you look at the amount of money that we’re looking to spend on global warming, in the trillions, and look at the result, I just argue that the result is completely inconsequential to the money that we would end up spending, and that we could direct those monies in other ways that would be much more beneficial to mankind.

    We have a long-term view. Should we take the long-term view when it comes to global warming? I think that we should. And the long-term view is that in billions of years, the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right. So global warming is in our future.

    It’s hard to argue that it was jocular.

    It’s even harder to argue that Johnson is not connecting space colonization with how he views the issue of climate change, since it’s the question Johnson tried to answer at the time, an answer he tried to clarify with space colonization.

  56. “Steven Mosher: I do realize that Libertarian flaming is over the top. But you have to admit its funny.”

    No its standard climateball type stuff. Funny to watch folks engage in it. basically it signals that no one wants to entertain a serious discussion. Again standard for blog stuff

  57. “It’s hard to argue that it was jocular.

    It’s even harder to argue that Johnson is not connecting space colonization with how he views the issue of climate change, since it’s the question Johnson tried to answer at the time, an answer he tried to clarify with space colonization.”

    ###############

    huh. its hard to argue that it was NOT jocular when he said it was humour. And the link supports what I am saying

    Its pretty simple Willard. Anyone who has spent time with texts, knows that you can take a series of texts from people and make them mean X or not X.

    When asked about global warming earlier he cleverly tried to shift the meaning of global warming
    ( which means mans made GW) to any kind any global warming… Like the warming we will have when the sun blows up. That was pretty funny.

    he has basically PLAYED on the ambiguity in the term. pretty effin funny if you ask me.

    What about GW? Oh hell, of course we will face that isssue when the sun blows up

    Then Stephanopolous confronts him

    hey, you talked about GW as a long term problem ( FAILING journalism 101, by encouraging
    the ambiguous use of the term)

    ……. Plays the tape about the sun….

    BUT what about Now? ( referering to AGW now.. failing to MARK the difference)

    And so Johnson asks…. hey cant we have a little humor.. refering to WHAT?
    What Humor?
    Simple.. the humorous game he played on the term GW

    Then he says.. well we will have to go to other planets… because the sun will blow up and its our destiny…and techtonics etc..

    BUT.. as for here and now: Clean air, clean water.. etc

    So he basically AVOIDED the discussion of AGW AGAIN..

    ########################################

    If you were GENUINELY and sincerly interested in understanding what he thinks

    Then you would ask like this.

    Gary, In the past you responded to questions about GW by refering to the sun blowing up and turning it into a discussion about colonization. Thats good for a laugh
    BUT, what we want to talk about is this. NOT the GW that is natural, NOT the GW that would happen if we were hit by an asteroid, or if the sun suddenly got warmer, We dont want to know about your responses to that. What we do want to know, and lets be CRYSTAL Fucking clear..

    We want to know this.
    1. What is your opinion of the Best science which says Man’s Emissions of C02 has caused
    warming within our lifetimes and will continue to cause warming? Yes or no, do you accept the science?
    2. Given that man’s emissions, that China’s emissions for example, may cause damage to
    the rest of the world, Do you think government has a role to play in limiting, controlling,
    influencing, shaping, modifying what people now freely do?
    3. And as a follow up how do you square that with your libertarian philosophy

  58. Willard says:

    > its standard climateball type stuff.

    Just as is your incorrect “muddle created by the Journalist trying to play gotcha.”

    ***

    > And the link supports what I am saying

    This won’t end well, Moshpit.

    You’re just making up stuff.

  59. “Don’t be shy, enforce your values on them, and by default, everyone else.”

    Huh?

    Why would I enforce my values on you or anyone else?

    I think spending money on going to mars is immoral.

    If you ask me for money to do it, I will say no.
    If you ask me why? I will say, my moral intuition is that it would be a waste of money and that’s not good in my mind,

    If I hear that you are spending your money to go to mars, I will conclude that
    A) you must think its worthwhile… GO FOR IT
    B) maybe you think it will be a failure BUT loads of fun, you are doing it as entertainment
    and it makes you happy,,,, GO FOR IT
    C) maybe you are stupid, but what you do is cool with me,,, GO FOR IT

    Now if you are my government and you are spending money on it.

    A). I’m probably not going to consider a government action to be moral or not. It just
    is what it is.
    B) I’m living here paying my taxes. I trust folks to balance all the wants and desires and
    conflicting moralitiies. I wish you would not use the money I sent you to go to mars
    but, on the scale of things.. it just makes me shake my head, not take to the streets
    or leave the country.. or run for office,, Just more of the same bullshit. Meh..

    Its pretty damn simple. Look, Consider future life, whether its an unborn fetus or a kid who will be born in 2030. I think its immoral to do harm to that life, whether by abortion now, or by warming the planet for that kid yet to be born.

    But, I’m also practical. practically speaking, I’m not going to go around and try to change abortion law, practically speaking… All I can do is not perform one myself. Since I like being effective, i tend to focus on doing what I can do, and concerning myself with my behavior not yours.

    As for Climate change, there are some practical things I can do in support of my moral view.
    i dont fly. I changed my car from a truck to an ecomony model. I ride pool.
    I stopped all excess consumption ( heck I havent bought any new clothes in 7 years and only two pairs of shoes. hmm what else. I stopped with the red meat..( mostly ).
    Do I want to impose that on you? Nope. do I want my government to impose that on you? nope.
    In the end governments will do something. it will be stupid, but better than nothing

  60. “This won’t end well, Moshpit.

    You’re just making up stuff.”

    Its easy, Im bored

  61. “> its standard climateball type stuff.

    Just as is your incorrect “muddle created by the Journalist trying to play gotcha.”

    hehe.. so are you calling me a hypocrit?

    now you are playing the man willard

    easy peasy..

  62. anoilman says:

    Steven Mosher… I think that saying you’re going to another planet in response to global warming is the same stuff as, “Do nothing now science will look after us in the future.” So I’m saying its not a serious discussion. We may as well have fun and laugh.

    In 7.6 billion years, we may have issues with our sun that drive us from the planet. That is a very different time frame than global warming.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-sun-will-eventually-engulf-earth-maybe/

    Here’s Peter Schilling singing about the “Noah Plan”;

    the time has come
    to leave again
    activate
    the Noah plan
    returning to the universe
    give out the word
    abandon Earth


  63. > are you calling me a hypocrit

    Which part of “is incorrect” you do not get?

  64. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    You said you thought it immoral to spend money on space colonization, yet you failed to specify who. I assume you meant yourself. I know of only two individuals so far spending money on space colonization, and only three government entities doing it on their own, the US, Russia and China.

    Therefore by default, your problem must be with NASA and your elected representatives. If you think your nearly insane arguments are going to gain any persuasive traction with any of these individuals and governments, go right ahead. It worked for me. Therefore, anyone can do it.

    All you have to do is try. But you’ll have to try harder than that.

  65. Lets see if I can make my reading more clear.

    When asked about Global warming ( meaning AGW)
    he basically answers nothing
    Then he
    CHANGES THE TOPIC to “global warming”
    the destiny our earth faces
    and talk about colonization.

    So, what does he want to do about AGW,
    he wants to change the topic

    “Well, climate change — I think the world is getting warmer. I think that it’s man-caused. That said, should we be engaged in cap and trade taxation? No. I don’t think that we should. We should lend certainty to the energy field. We should be building new coal-fired plants. When you look at the amount of money that we’re looking to spend on global warming, in the trillions, and look at the result, I just argue that the result is completely inconsequential to the money that we would end up spending, and that we could direct those monies in other ways that would be much more beneficial to mankind.

    ########## here ends the talk about AGW, about “climate change” AS WE USE THE WORD

    Then comes the shift

    We have a long-term view. Should we take the long-term view when it comes to global warming?

    HAHA.. now he is changing the topic by using the ambiguity in the term global warming, and climate change and shifts to talking about colonization.

    So.

    Colonization is NOT his anser to AGW.. for AGW he has NOTHING,
    instead he would rather SHIFT the discussion ( or broaden the meaning of the term )
    and discuss GW… billions of years from now.

    In short, his answer to AGW is to
    A) accept that it is real.
    B) refuse to do anything concrete about it, because other things matter more,
    C) SHIFT THE DISCUSSION to the long term
    In the long term the issue is GW.. not AGW.

    and finally

    1. the press is stupid to let him get away with this.
    2. Asute readers like Willard should never miss the real flaw ( changing topics) in the hopes
    of pinning a crazy belief on him. That is, that he sees colonization as an ANSWER to AGW.

    he doesnt.
    For AGW his answer is.. do nothing, there are worse things, and oh, lets talk about GW.
    colonization is his answer for GW.. not AGW.

    is the squirrel related to the real question? of course.. its the ambiguity in the terms
    climate change and global warming.. that lets him play this game.

    its the same game skeptics play when they say they beliieve in climate change.. the climate always changes.

    Now you can play with the ambiguity your own way and say his answer to AGW is colonization..
    but in fact he ended his discussion of AGW before shift to GW

  66. Which part of “is incorrect” you do not get?

    Sucks to be busted eh Willard.

    But to answer your question, I get every part of is incorrect. What part Tu quoque do you not get?

  67. “Steven Mosher… I think that saying you’re going to another planet in response to global warming is the same stuff as, “Do nothing now science will look after us in the future.” So I’m saying its not a serious discussion. We may as well have fun and laugh.”

    #############

    No I am arguing that you all have MISDIAGNOSED the tactics that Johnson was using.
    You are doing that because you want to say that the Libertarian answer to AGW is colonization.

    But in fact if you read the text carefully you will see something different.

    Watch what he DOES, as well as what he says.

    When asked about AGW he basically says… dont tax, dont this, do burn more coal, and focus
    on other issues. THATS his answer to AGW. he buys the science, he doesnt buy the policy.

    THEN.. he uses the slipperyness of the terms “climate change and global warming” to SHIFT AWAY from the uncomfortable topic of AGW ( which challenges Libertarian principles )
    to the “issue” of global warming… but look a squirrel the sun will blow up… and then he can blather on about colonization. Frankly I dont like either discussion, but I’m a good enough reader to see the Sneaky changing of topics.. he’s uncomfortable wth AGW talk, so he sneaks away.
    You can pretend he didnt change the topic subtly. I can’t stop bad readers

    Bottom line. His answer on AGW is bad enough that I wont vote for him, so I dont have to
    mischaracterize his discussion about colonization as a discussion about AGW. And I am smart enough to see the switch in topic which makes you all look pretty dense for missing it

  68. “Therefore by default, your problem must be with NASA and your elected representatives. If you think your nearly insane arguments are going to gain any persuasive traction with any of these individuals and governments, go right ahead. It worked for me. Therefore, anyone can do it.”

    I have no problem with NASA. your problem is logic
    I’m hearten to hear that you find my argument only nearly insane. I will write that down in my diary and treasure it. thank you for your compliment

    I think spending money to go to mars in immoral.
    I would therefore not spend my own money to do that. I know this is insane

    I have no problem with NASA spending money, even my tax dollars, to do something that
    I consider immoral.Why would I have a problem with this? Do I think NASA should reflect my wishes 100%.. Nope that would be worse than spending money on mars.

    Suppose, I paid you to paint my house. And you took your wages and did some crack cocaine.
    I have no issue with that.

    I paid my taxes. The government decided to do things with the money
    I gave them. duh? they will ALWAYS do things that may conflict with what I consider to be right. I suppose if it were something really important ( like going to war ) that I might get upset,
    But in the grand scheme of things.. the money they waste on mars isnt important enough to
    get me to do anything other than make a blog comment. i think its immoral. Given the choice, I’d spend the money difefrently. is it central to my identity this anti mars feeling? nope. is it important enough to even explain to you why? Nope, i dont give a rats ass what you think.. why would I or should I try to convince you of anything? a random voice on the web? say what?

    I dont feel the need to persuade ANYONE, you, my congressman, NASA, that they should not
    spend money on something I consider immoral. Should I try to persuade them? I dont think so.
    Its none of my business to persuade them.

    This isnt that hard to understand.

  69. Willard says:

    > What part Tu quoque do you not get?

    Not all tu quoques are appeals to hypocrisy, and my argument ain’t a tu quoque anyway.

    Look. Let,s see
    if I can write this
    as crappily as you
    can.

    My point is
    simple.

    JOHNSON has been asked what he
    thinks about
    climate change He said

    1
    NO CAP & TRADe

    TwO: we need to take the LOOOONG view.

    According to the LOOOONG view, we will have Global
    warming and the stupid Sun will engulf the Earth.

    Now of course he
    was
    just kidding about the Sun engulfing the Earth what he meant was that we need to
    think about going elsewhere. So Johnson was clarifying what he’s not
    kidding about – the LOOONG view, and the

    Final Frontier.

    Not hard to understand at alL

    III

    JohnSON’s position on Coal, Fracking, and all that jazz is quite clear.

    &&&&&&&&&&

    JOHNsoN’s position on AGW is quite clear – we’re asking the wrong question we are having the wrong deb
    ate.

    Is the climate changing Probably
    so.
    Is man contributing to that
    change Proba
    bly so.

    But the critical question is
    whether the politicians’ efforts to
    REGULATE, TAX and MANIPULATE
    the private sector are cost-
    effective –

    or effective at all.

    The debate should
    be about how we can protect our resources and
    environ
    ment for future generations.

    Jobs

    Agendas.

    You know the dr
    ill. BABY dril
    l

    If JOHNsoN’s position appears ridiculous, it’s because it just is. No journalist needs to twist any word from JoHnSoN to make it sound ridiculous

    THE LOOOONG view for the
    win.

    Thank YoU

  70. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    Your argument is … verbose. The problem with your argument and most of the ridicule and mocking here of space development is the nearly absolute reliance of humanity on space technology and the immoral and unethical refusal to acknowledge the multiplicity and severity of existential natural and man made threats to civilization that are in play, and the refusal to acknowledge the scientific and technical problems to the solution to the clearly stated problems.

    Carbon taxes and regulations aren’t going to fix this, but you are all welcome to cling to your delusions and crackpot ideas on how to go about solving these clearly stated problems. Nutty libertarians and Republicans aren’t going to come up with the required solutions, but clearly nutty Democrats are complicit in the problems, and their solutions are well, just plain nutty. So good luck. It just takes a couple of replicating cells to start life anew. Space colonies work on the same principle as life. You’ll find it extremely difficult to stop this from happening now. But you can try.

    Lamar Smith is trying his best. But so was Gabrielle Giffords. Donna Edwards is out of the picture.

    Stay the Course! Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson recommend it, and they’re the real experts.

  71. Willard says:

    > The problem with your argument and most of the ridicule and mocking here of space development is the nearly absolute reliance of humanity on space technology and the immoral and unethical refusal to acknowledge the multiplicity and severity of existential natural and man made threats to civilization that are in play, and the refusal to acknowledge the scientific and technical problems to the solution to the clearly stated problems.

    I don’t always deplore verbosity, but when I do, it’s to deplore that nobody but me acknowledge the scientific and technical problems to the solution to the clearly stated problems.

    What problems are scientific, technical, and clearly stated doesn’t matter when we take the LOOOOONG view.

    In the long run, we’re elsewhere.

  72. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    In the long view, somebody else will be elsewhere. You will be dead. But for now, it’s the mere act of somebody trying to go elsewhere that will enable you (or them, not you) to develop the technology necessary for somebody else to stay here, without a bunch of ‘libertarians’ breathing down their necks demanding that they conform to their version of morality or behavior, while simultaneously denying the veracity of science of the effectiveness of science to solve problems.

    Solving problems for libertarians is easy. Just deny they exist! Then embrace non-existent or trivial problems. Or better yet, a non-existent deity.

  73. Tyler Cowen on cars:

    What do you think will be the next major technological breakthrough?

    TC: If you mean a single thing that you could put in a single headline, I would say self-driving vehicles. But I think a deeper and more important thing will be a subtle integration of software and hardware in way that will change everything and won’t have a single name.

    http://www.vox.com/conversations/2016/9/28/12988040/tyler-cowen-technology-economics-artificial-intelligence-obama-game-of-thrones-kanye-west

    His views on Kanye may or may not undermine everything else he said.

  74. angech says:

    Willard says: September 28, 2016 at 11:03 pm
    “Look. Let,s see
    if I can write this
    as crappily as you
    can.”
    Not fair, Willard. Lowball attack. We all write under pressure at times and make exceptions to our writing style. I like Mosher’s freedom of style and occasionally find I don’t have the time to correct things. Sometimes it looks better uncorrected.
    As an observation, on both sides, I find people who pick on nitpicks in spelling do it because they are being beaten in the argument.
    Not the case with you, I know, but it is something to beware of.
    Besides his interpretation above was pretty damn good.

  75. Joshua says:

    Libertarian ticket talks climate change: http://on.msnbc.com/2dlNnhp

  76. Willard says:

    Besides the needles in the eyes, Moshpit’s interpretation was crap, Doc.

    Johnson was asked about climate change. His response was clear enough: non-interventionism and a LOOOONG view. That this answer fails to be relevant does not change the fact that it was the response he made at the time, a response he recently reinforced.

    Furthermore, Johnson’s spacious armwaving diminishes the extent of his joculary mode. He may have joked about the fact that in the long run we’re dead, that humans must seek other planets doesn’t look like a joke anymore. His first stance may have been hyperbolic, but it wasn’t a joke. Watch the footage.

    Finally, that journalists (or anyone) may twist words so that they could mean anything does not imply that they always do. This time again, Johnson’s response deserves all the ridicule it gets.

    ***

    If you want to extrapolate Johnson’s position on climate change from the evidence we have, you could argue that Johnson’s position has evolved on coal and that if we accept that dumping CO2 like there’s no tomorrow is polluting, then his libertarian platform could have everything it needs to address climate change. No taxation, but regulation nevertheless. Go figure that out.

    This charitable interpration would not be incompatible with anything I’ve said so far.

  77. Mosher writes about a “shift” – but that’s incorrect, or at best misleading. What Mosher neglects is that Johnson’s remarks back in 2011 never included “AGW”. He was asked: “And could you talk a little bit more about how you view the issue of climate change? And what should the government’s role be in mitigating that?

    Johnson then goes on to give the quote previously cited on his “long-term view” of global warming and expanding sun. Johnson is being entirely earnest. There is no hint of a sense of humor. To claim he [Johnson] was joking or playing the media is nonsense.

    All of this was originally said on August 19, 2011 at a National Press Club luncheon. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8K3XvxeL8U"It's available on youtube.. The question and response begin at 53:15.

    The only other mention of global warming is 25 minutes earlier during his opening remarks when he says “I happen to believe– and this is– you know, these are social issues, to a degree. I happen to believe in evolution. I happen to believe that global warming is happening, and that it is man-caused. “ [28:46]

    Full transcript of the NPC event here.

  78. Andy Skuce says:

    Following the success of his Aleppo gag, Gary Johnson cracks another joke by claiming not to know the name of any foreign leader he respects.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/09/28/gary-johnson-another-aleppo-moment/91249582/
    At least Trump could have replied “Putin”

  79. Greg Robie says:

    Szilard noted: “I guess somebody could point to the old spice trade & then I could make various counter-arguments, but anyway …”

    I’ve read that the Dutch got into colonial trade because they had the boats and skills and sort of a WTF sense of adventure. The driver for the initial growth in this trade turned out to be socially valued religious piety. Being poor was deemed good/pious, so once the adventurism turned out to be profitable, maintaining piety required reinvesting in more ships and more adventurism. Eventually religious morays shifted … until now GREED-is-go[o]d.

    What the privileged do with there excess ‘wealth’ has never been terribly sapient. What the sheeple do to emulate them is just plain dumb. Or as I like to explain it: motivated reasoning.

  80. entropicman says:

    Several themes here.

    Overpopulation.
    Franklin’s Law states that emigration increases the birthrate in the country of origin. Colonising the solar system will not solve Earth’s population problem, but this is not a reason why we should all stay home.

    Cost.
    In 1700 the Darien scheme to colonise Panama bankrupted Scotland. Colonisation has always required a large proportion of a country’s resources. Getting a permanent foothold in space will be no different.

    Resources.
    Many colonies started to provide a resource. Gold and silver from South America to Spain.Tobacco from Virginia to England. Oil from Alaska. Why not rare earth’s from asteroids?

    Further on resources. We have a deadline. If we wait too long we will have depleted/ dispersed too much of the available resources and will be incapable of any sustained space activity. 200 years?
    Once we pass that point we are stuck on Earth until something renders us extinct.

    The outward urge.
    We have spent 100,000 years going over the horizon in search of wealth, living space or adventure. It is an urge built into some individuals in every population. Some of you old folks may prefer to stay home, but you should not stop those who wish to go.

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