And the Big News in Science This Weekend Was...

Anything goes. But keep it civil, please.

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Re: And the Big News in Science This Weekend Was...

Postby brad » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:35 pm

I wouldn't say "beyond hope" -- climate change isn't going to bring anything we haven't seen before, it'll be like today's weather only more so, and the averages will change. Longer and more severe droughts, stronger storms, more coastal destruction from storms superimposed on higher sea levels. We often think of the United States as relatively "climate proof" and immune from this stuff, but this summer's drought shows just how vulnerable we and our economy could be. I wouldn't hold out much hope for the long-term habitability of much of California and the Southwest; the prospects are grim for future water supply. Large parts of Southern Florida, much of which is only a foot or so above sea level, could be underwater well before the end of this century. But many other parts of the country might not be as badly affected, and of course there will be lots of year-to-year variation with cold snaps and snowstorms just like we have today. More tornadoes in spring, maybe. We (or our grandchildren) will see how it all plays out.

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Re: And the Big News in Science This Weekend Was...

Postby kombat » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:01 am

VinTek wrote:And what did we get for that? Oh, just stuff like the Interstate Highway System, the Internet, the end of polio, the space program (which paved the way for other stuff like satellite communications), small stuff like that. The list goes on and on.

I never denied they built that stuff. I just said they built it with money they borrowed from their children (i.e., debt).

Yes, you have highways. And $14 trillion in debt. We're supposed to say "Thanks" for the highways, and ignore the debt that comes with them?

VinTek wrote:As for the stock market, there have always been booms and busts

It's my understanding that the current decade of flat returns is unprecedented. As was the 2-3 decades of steady average 12% returns that the Boomers enjoyed from the 70's - 2000.

VinTek wrote:So build your own infrastructure and let the old stuff crumble. OR DO WITHOUT IT. Again, you use stuff another generation built, and now you resent having to pay for it's maintenance. Okaaay....

I never said I resented paying for the maintenance. I said I resented having to pay for the original system, AND the maintenance.

Sure, the Boomers built it. But if their kids have to pay for it, AND the maintenance (and any necessary replacements), then what exactly did the Boomers do, other than pay themselves with their own kids' money?

VinTek wrote:The point is, things are what they are today. What do we do about it, besides whine?

How about, "nothing?" Why can't we just do the same thing every generation before us did, and do nothing? Just keep doing what we're doing? Why, after 1,000's of years, is it suddenly incumbant on Generation X to be the first generation to make meaningful sacrifice, in the name of preventing some nebulous, far-off catastrophe that a) might never actually happen, or b) might have happened anyway, as a natural part of Earth's climate cycle?

VinTek wrote:As I said above, try living without what the Boomers created. Join the Amish if you resent what they've done.

I'm glad they built what they built. I just wish they'd paid for it instead of building it with money borrowed/stolen from their children.

VinTek wrote:My point is that you've profited handsomely in many ways from the Boomers' achievements.

And MY point is that the Boomers profited handsomely from borrowing money from their children, which stimulated the economy and produced that decades-long run of 12% market returns that we'll never see again in our lifetimes. So they gave themselves jobs building all this stuff, which created a frothy economy which boosted their investments and made them rich. Sure, we're inheriting the highways, but they also stuck us with the tab.

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Re: And the Big News in Science This Weekend Was...

Postby VinTek » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:03 am

This thread, which was originally about science working the way it's suppose to, is at risk of being derailed by Kombat's and my side conversation about debt so I'm starting a new thread on it. Unlike some posters, my ego isn't dependent on how many posts and views occur on any thread I start. I like focus.

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