Frank Landis

Frank Landis

  • Commented on Radio silence
    Personally, I agree with you about disaster response, and I also agree that most SFF is either right-wing disaster porn or left-wing back-to-the-land porn, with very little in the more realistic center. The problem with disasters isn't how individual or...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    I don't know this history of the Aral at all A very handy short-hand to grasping the scale of the issue is: the Aral is very close to the size of Hawaii, and roughly ~2/3rds the size of Lake Baikal....
  • Commented on Radio silence
    Non-violent conflict is quite effective at beating firearms under particular conditions, and the only effective argument for the use of nukes Hurrying as usual. Sigh. Not that anyone cares, but the only successful justification for the actual use of nukes...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    While we're all waiting for Martin to chime in, I'd add that two things are going on here, both influenced by contact with reality. One is what I referred to in my book as the Four Horsemen metaphor (war, famine,...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    I think you're missing the point of the Salton Sea (and AFAIK, the Aral Sea): they're sumps. The soil of the Imperial Valley is former sea bed, and while it has (had) a lot of nutrients, it also has a...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Since I'm simple-minded, I tend to treat the current administration, especially Pruitt, as either Koch lackeys, slumlords, or a combination of both. In the latter regard, the idea with slumlord governance is that they're trying to milk as much revenue...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    I'm still wondering if the Laundry series will end with a manipulatory appendage held firmly down on the Laundryverse's power switch for five seconds, followed by a long session with antivirus and reloading of a backup version....
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    I'm not parsing your what you're saying, but it's been a long day. The CNPS issue might solve itself. We're holding a conference next February. I've been editing abstracts, and there are a lot of really interesting talks about how...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    So this is carbon sequestration by charring forests in the Southeast and dumping the logs out the Mississippi, preferably weighted down with old pickup trucks or something? Or heck, you could just build lots of suburbs where they'll get flooded...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    I'm still getting a little confused about what all this Roman stuff has to do with anything. So far as I remember, the Legions were only open to Roman citizens, but the Auxiliaries could be just about anybody who wasn't...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    I know, although I thought it was from a pier in New Jersey. At one point in the 90s I had Google map instructions on how to drive from LA to Paris via England (IIRC. It may have involved landfall...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    I'm glad Charlie's back, sad as the situation is, and before saying anything else I want to thank everybody for keeping the discussion going on the previous entry. As for US politics, the three things to keep track of are:...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    With straight-up Google Earth (for some reason, my GE Pro doesn't do elevation), the Aral Sea is at between 30 and 40 meters elevation. The problem with reflooding it from the Caspian is the link between it and Sargamysh Lake...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    You mean the bookkeeping would get...quantum?...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Just thought of another scam: if we need to build the equivalent of 5,000 great pyramids per year of carbon just to get our annual emissions out of the air, perhaps we can figure out a carbon-negative way to turn...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Ugh, you use vegetation community too? How far has that pesky neologism spread?...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Yes, and unlike the Caspian Sea, it won't get reflooded if all the ice sheets melt, alas. I guess all that dust will blow somewhere to fertilize something, although the salt will be a bit of an issue as noted....
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    My take on composting is that *properly done* (huge caveat), it's a reasonable way to get carbon back into soil. Yes, some of the carbon in the plants is lost back into the soil, but what you're left with is...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    It does depend. The carbon offsets I've seen that made the most sense were basically paying for "forests" (I'm guessing mostly tree farms) to not be cut. There was one scam that I'm aware of, but since this is Charlie's...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Yes, you're right. I shouldn't rush on comments. As for false science, I can name multiple papers in major journals that have some level of deliberate error in them. You've been demonstrating the great thing about science, which is its...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    After 20 years of recovery, the AVERAGE BIOMASS in these regenerating forests was calculated to be equivalent to a CARBON UPTAKE RATE 11 times that of Amazonian old-growth forests, and more than twice that of selectively logged Amazonian forests in...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    The ecology can't be any more complicated than the stock markets and the economies they impact, can it? Presumably you're joking, but I can think of five problems right off the bat: --Who owns the AI running everything, and what...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    This one trips everyone up, including foresters and carbon sequestration "experts" (who are often licensed professional foresters, for some reason). The fastest *relative* growth rate is invariably in young saplings. It doesn't take much additional biomass (read carbon sequestered) for...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    No, grasses have only been around since the Middle Cretaceous, or about 100,000,000 years ago. That sounds like a lot, but that clade is basically a normal flowering plant. They are older than oaks though (which didn't show up until...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Cool! I think that even beats the annual Columbia, California Poison Oak Show. You gotta celebrate what you're good at growing....
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    You can get a lot of carbon sequestered underground on grass roots, in places like the (mostly gone) tallgrass prairie. Anyway, things get a bit more complicated, because there are dryland trees (oaks, acacias, mesquites, mulgas, etc.) that do equally...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    but it can take a decade or more for an oak to reach the height that a thistle hits in days. Err, no. A second-year oak seedling can grow a surprising amount in that second year - well past the...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    I wish I could remember where some biologist made a nasty joke about how the scientists who thrive and succeed in the arid, clean highlands of physics occasionally wander into the green swamps of biology, muck around a bit, perhaps...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    What I've gotten of the history of dams in the US is from Cadillac Desert, so if you want to get the overview history of how and why it was done, that's the go-to book. It won't make you much...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    First off, sorry for using the Heteromeles ID previously. In this blog post, I'm supposed to be using my real name. Anyway, this is the basic argument that Diamond used in Collapse, that the Rapa Nuians cut down all the...
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