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PeterSibley
02-02-2009, 03:15 AM
From the ABC Science Show .

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/current/audioonly/ssw_20090131_1205.mp3

or as a link from this page .

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/default.htm

pipefitter
02-02-2009, 03:34 AM
Nothing like starting out a scientific statement with a juvenile analogy. The o'l car heading for the cliff scenario. That sure drove the point home. I wonder if he addresses Obama like that? :D

And then it goes further to say how the military is funneling off young talent from more serious careers. I know quite a few young men who couldn't afford college and didn't even know they had any talent until they went into the military, with the majority able to further their schooling after being discharged.

Not impressed.

PeterSibley
02-02-2009, 03:50 AM
Not my country , but I thought the military points well made .There are better things to make than weapons .Wouldn't it be good to see other organisations with the flush of cash to be able to educate young people to do other things ?

PeterSibley
02-02-2009, 04:01 AM
I just found a transcript of a 2007 discussion on GW , from the above site .
.................................................. ................
Transcript

Robyn Williams: Hello, Robyn Williams with yet another Science Show, and this is Barack Obama's designated energy secretary, a scientific superstar.
Your main ambitions, what will you achieve do you think in your wildest dreams?
Steven Chu: Oh we want to save the world (laughs)! I think the energy problem is one of the most important problems that science and technology has to solve. Recently, in the last five years, there's essentially no news that is good news. It's become very compelling that the climate is not only warming up on average but that humans caused it. The projections going forward are getting more and more dire. They're so scary that you have to sit up and take notice. So this is really risk management. Let me give you one example; recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it's a very distinguished journal in the United States, they took two climate models that bracket most of the climate models we have and they applied them to California. And they found in the least alarmist climate model the amount of Sierra snowpack in this century will decrease from 30% to 70% and the alpine forests will decrease by a factor or two or three. In the most alarmist model it goes from 70% to 93%.
Well, California can't even sustain a 20% decrease in snowpack. When we have a 20% decrease in snowpack two years in a row our lawns died because it's water rationing. That's 20%. So let's take the middle bracket, 30% to 70%; say 50% decrease of average snowpack in California in the least alarmist model, that's a disaster. Okay. That is an unmitigated disaster. At 50% to 80% this is going to be migration out of California. Forget about drinking water. Forget about agriculture. Forget about the ski season. Okay, so wouldn't it be prudent risk management to do something about this? Not only that, it's not just California's problem, the Himalayas are melting more than a metre per year on average. The Himalayas supply rivers; the Ganges, the Yellow River, so about 10 major river basins, they are partial supplied to about half the people of the world. Already China is facing, in Northern China droughts over the last 10 years and the projections are as the Himalayas melt that this slow steady source of water will go away. So what you get, just like in California, your rainy seasons and dry seasons. So you get floods in the rainy seasons and then drought. Okay. The glaciers and snowpack and the forests are wonderful natural storage systems. Climate change will disrupt that massively. This is what the world is facing, so this is a problem.
Robyn Williams: Dr Steven Chu won the Nobel Prize in 1997 and he's the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. As the President elect's energy secretary he can be expected to take this kind of approach to policy.
Steven Chu: If you had an electric plug-in hybrid how much would it cost to plug that car in, run around for 100 miles? It's something at the level of one-quarter of the cost of filling up with gasoline, and electricity is pretty expensive compared to natural gas. If you heat your home with electricity versus natural gas ... well you shouldn't be heating your home with electricity because there's about a factor of two or three difference. And so you go down this pecking order and you realise that putting energy into a gas tank is very costly. And in fact the United States in 2005 spent roughly $250 billion importing fossil fuel into the United States. Let me put that into perspective, we had a deficit of $750 billion, it's a huge deficit. If you compare that to the deficit it's one-third. So the need to get an alternate supply of transportation fuel is very pressing and it could help stabilise, if you will, a lot of the geopolitical situations that are going on. If you only had one source of transportation fuel, namely oil, you have a situation that we have today. If one can do that, one can project in the United States alone, including the bio-waste, somewhere between one-third of all gasoline to all of all gasoline can be replaced by biomass grown in the United States on excess land. This does not mean mowing down forests and pristine forests. This is excess agricultural capacity and so that's what gets everybody excited.
Robyn Williams: I just wondered on a personal level why did you turn from physics to this whole area of biofuels and energy?
Steven Chu: Fundamentally over the last four or five years I became very concerned about the prospects of adverse climate change. If we don't figure out what to do soon in the next couple of decades we will be in deep trouble.
Robyn Williams: One of the ways to make an improvement is to stop people driving cars rather than finding them a substitute fuel.
Steven Chu: I'm all in favour of raising the mileage standards of cars. I'm all in favour of making the public transportation suitable so that middle class people in the United States will take it. But in public transportation in certain areas where the public transportation actually works you get actually middle class and even upper class people taking it. You know the transportation in the United States is about 27% of the energy consumption. Forty per cent is in buildings, residential and commercial buildings. So in answer to your question in transportation the odds can easy get better by a factor of two and still go zero to 60 in eight seconds.
Robyn Williams: How do you know that the plans that you've got won't use up land that otherwise is used for growing food, in other words for agriculture in the United States?
Steven Chu: We're talking about excess agricultural capacity of land that's been taken out of cultivation in the last couple of decades. So the USDA lists about 58 million acres of land we pay farmers not to plant. So if you just begin with 50 million acres, and plus biowaste, you are really a third to two-thirds of all of the gasoline, I may be more precise, use in the United States. So this is a problem. So at this point I'm saying to myself you know if I can do something to help get people to acknowledge the problem and to inspire scientists to think about the problem maybe I should be doing that.
Robyn Williams: President elect Barack Obama's chosen energy secretary, Dr Steven Chu, speaking to me last year. He won the Nobel Prize for physics and has a distinct sense of urgency about climate and green innovation. His selection was announced on Wednesday.


Guests

Steven Chu
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
http://www.lbl.gov/

pipefitter
02-02-2009, 04:39 AM
Not my country , but I thought the military points well made .There are better things to make than weapons .Wouldn't it be good to see other organisations with the flush of cash to be able to educate young people to do other things ?

The guys I have known who did join the military, were also seeking motivational direction as well over ending up in some dead end job. It works for a lot of people. I don't know any who joined to learn how to mass produce or design military weapons. My close friend being a case in point, joined the AF and ended up being one of the best air traffic controllers and has been able to afford to put his 4 children through college. Another ended up using his skills and good service record to start a marine tow and rescue service and now owns a fleet of specially equipped(tech he learned in the navy) boats that saves peoples lives. Not everybody is right for standard education as outlined via university standards. Many go there to learn how to party and waste years of their lives with no more a sense of who they want to be when they get out.

Good talent is needed out here in the trenches too. Many of the best machinists and other talented tradesmen I know got their training in the military. The people that address these types of concerns, with such statements that are made in that clip, seem out of touch with the majority of the functioning backbone of this country.

PeterSibley
02-02-2009, 05:16 AM
I don't doubt you comments about the trades but the article /discussion was about university places and secrecy ,another interesting point .

I have no experience of university but have sent 2 children there ,it seems ours are a little different ,without the military influence .

LeeG
02-02-2009, 08:33 AM
pipefitter, he isn't talking about the benefit to individuals associated with DOD funded research, he's talking about the cost to society.

His comments about SDI are right on.

StevenBauer
02-02-2009, 08:51 AM
he's talking about the cost to society.



Not to mention the 48,000 dead and wounded in Iraq, all based on a lie. :(



Steven

LeeG
02-02-2009, 09:03 AM
them ol' paradigm shifts are continuing to shift. We didn't lack for technical expertise in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. Check this out,,nearly $50Billion has been spent on reconstruction in Iraq but since it was done adhoc on top of instability because the maniacs in the Whitehouse didn't plan for what happened after shock and awe it was pretty much wasted. That's what happens when rational thinking processes like the kind used in science are replaced by belief. Pipefitter, that analogy isn't juvenile, it describes what happened under GWs faithbased bs.

pipefitter
02-02-2009, 12:44 PM
There has been decades of non war times where the military has educated a lot of people. The Iraq and Vietnam war are small percentages, regardless if that's what the popular focus is on now. How many people do you think went on to higher education via the military that most likely wouldn't have done so otherwise? Didn't Obama make a statement that he feels that everybody should have to do civil service? Seems the military is a good alternative. Holdren seems like someone who believes we should just throw more money at an antiquated education system. I don't feel that the military robs talent from more important and beneficial fields of study, I think our education system doesn't offer enough alternatives for a lot of people. A case in point, how much of money for education is spent on athletic programs and artificial turf and coaches?

Steven Chu, to me sounds more like Obamas token adviser on GW.

LeeG
02-02-2009, 02:00 PM
hmm, sounds like we're still talking cross purposes. My dads best memories of the Navy was helping guys finish their GED in a Navy program. I've been trying to plant the seed of an idea for my gfs nephew to enter the Marines, I envision him being a professor in 30yrs after he beats the crap out of the world.

Here's a different angle, you know how folks were talking about a Manhattan sized project to address the problems with wealth transference to oil countries and the pending problems of tighter oil markets? I know, hard to think it matters anymore now that oil is back down but it was the characterization "Manhatten sized project" ...back then it was a threat that required a mobilization of assets for military purposes.

We're at that stage but the threat isn't military, we can bomb the crap out of anyone six ways till Sunday, the threats are also our internal dysfunctions, debt, sustainability, knowledge of the regions we are involved in.."oops bad intel"

Basically we need smarter civilians who expect smart actions from leaders to better use this military power,,our bombs are smart enough, our country and leadership isn't. We tried stupid,now when the money isn't there we get to try smart.

Mad Scientist
02-03-2009, 05:59 PM
There seems to be a 'love/hate' feeling about all thing military in most democracies, IMHO. Kipling's 'Tommy' expresses this dichotomy far better than I could ever hope to.

(Rant follows.) Canada keeps trying to de-militarize itself, so we can redirect all that 'wasted' money to to 'social justice' spending. Yeah, right...so, we save money by eliminating a standing military, my former shipmates can go on welfare, and a lot of the remainder of this 'peace dividend' will go to a bunch of unemployable ideologues whose 'contribution' to society consists of instigating violence at anti-globalization protests. (End of rant!)

Canada might provide an example of de-militarization in the next few years - we're scheduled to leave Afghanistan in a year or so, and our Navy and Air Force are going to need massive injections of cash to replace aging equipment. There's a huge range of possible outcomes...

Tom

oznabrag
02-03-2009, 06:06 PM
them ol' paradigm shifts are continuing to shift. We didn't lack for technical expertise in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. Check this out,,nearly $50Billion has been spent on reconstruction in Iraq but since it was done adhoc on top of instability because the maniacs in the Whitehouse didn't plan for what happened after shock and awe it was pretty much wasted. That's what happens when rational thinking processes like the kind used in science are replaced by belief. Pipefitter, that analogy isn't juvenile, it describes what happened under GWs faithbased bs.

I don't think it was wasted at all. I think that Cheney funneled the bulk of it into the pockets of his buddies and that was the whole point. Wasn't it?

Captain Blight
02-03-2009, 06:16 PM
There has been decades of non war times where the military has educated a lot of people. The Iraq and Vietnam war are small percentages, regardless if that's what the popular focus is on now. How many people do you think went on to higher education via the military that most likely wouldn't have done so otherwise? Didn't Obama make a statement that he feels that everybody should have to do civil service? Seems the military is a good alternative. Holdren seems like someone who believes we should just throw more money at an antiquated education system. I don't feel that the military robs talent from more important and beneficial fields of study, I think our education system doesn't offer enough alternatives for a lot of people. A case in point, how much of money for education is spent on athletic programs and artificial turf and coaches?

Steven Chu, to me sounds more like Obamas token adviser on GW.
I see what you're saying, PF, and mostly agree. I think that maybe the territory Dr Chu is talking about is that most rarified of environments, the tube-fed prodigies who haven't looked at an actual numeral in several years. And I think that at that level, the competition is actually very stiff for the people who can do the maths involved, who can write the equations behind the algorithms that could crack a 256-bit code key (for example). I know that in the somewhat thicker air where my brother-in-law-with-the-12-pound-brain operates, in nuclear medicine, he can within reason name his own price. To put this in perspective, they are about to move from Middleton, WI to Silver Springs, MD (in this cesspool of an economy) for his new job doing brain research at Walter Reed. They aren't sweating the move or the impending half-million dollar mortgage, because of some very generous incentives offered by the government. Most universities and the smaller companies in the private sector certainly can't compete with that kind of incentive plan.

Look at our situation here on the forum, as regards our communal interest in boats and to a lesser extent airplanes: All the really interesting equipment is owned by governments.