An Inconvenient Truth

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by otter, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    It doesn't matter a whit that we're not building the same design as Chernobyl or TMI again. The next nuclear reactor accident will happen in a way that neither you nor anybody else today can possibly imagine.

    But if you're absolutely convinced there is zero chance of another accident, then you're not only optimistic, you're dangerous.

    You can send the check to Chris Scoones as a contribution for keeping this site online. I'll have the bridge delivered.

    K
     
  2. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

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    I've mostly heard "half-life" used in respect to radioactive isotopes, although there are many others (like carbon dating and its more sophisticated relatives) which follow a similar pattern. Put way crude, if you take a pound of uranium isotope, in X,000 years HALF of it will have changed/degraded into something else. In 2X,000 years, half of the half will have changed/degraded into something else. And so on. Generally, what happens is less radioactive energy is produced in parallel to the degradation of the isotope. BTW, it is also axiomatic that you can't predict WHICH half. Sort of like if you take 100 people and say 50 of them are gonna die in the next 75 years. 50 WILL die - this is statistical - but you won't be able to predict WHICH 50. So what this is, is a statistical tool used to predict the life expectancy of nuclear waste and the age of old, old bones, among other things - and therefore, incidentally, the probability of the relative amount of toxicity available in a given environment at a given time in the future. How different life forms react to those various levels of toxicity is another piece of science.

    Still curious about closed system nuclear power, or closed system anything, for that matter.

    Entropy rules!

    Otter
     
  3. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Errr, the former president of Greenpeace is now embracing Nuclear power. He wants some items address, among them waste disposal, and safety, but the general consensus among us Hippies, is we have to do something, and Nuke may be a viable way of doing it.

    Other than that, GO NUKE! :)

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     
  4. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Not trying to be a dick, but carbon dating is done precisely because the carbon is radioactive.

    One major thing that we keep forgeting is that doing things the way we are at this point is poisoning our world too. It's just the waste is more spread out over a larger area in the form of mercury, radioactive carbon, CO2, and other stuff. Take all of it and concentrate it closely, and you'll get a slurry that no one would want in their back yard.

    The fact is, we need to shit somewhere. Right now we just drop little turds everywhere, but we are rapidly running out of places to take a dump.

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     
  5. gt

    gt Active Member

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    well, that is certainly an acceptable response in my book: '...i don't give a shit how nuclear reactors work or what safety standards are deployed, i don't like the idea...', works for me as well.

    now, come up with an alternate source of power to replace the boogy men represented by nuclear and you too can be a hero.

    i'll just kick back and wait for your engineering marvel to be revealed right here. fact is, we only have so many technologies available to us. given the finite nature of things at the moment, we should be thinking about how to enable and deploy these options with maximium safety and effectiveness in mind.

    i understand that you don't agree, and thats fine with me, now meet the other challenge mentioned above.
     
  6. Riane

    Riane Mouse doctor

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    Congratulations for insulting just about every successful scientist that has ever lived. As an "unemployed scientist" employed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center I too work in the lab 60 hours a week, writing, performing experiments and doing research for relatively low pay. I am paid by the National Institutes of Health, which means I am accepting "hand-outs" and "living off goverment grants". Yes I too write grants. Personally, I'm trying to do my part to understand a little thing called cancer. The work of earth scientists is equally important. Note that these "unemployed scientists" and "hippies" happen to be employed at many of the world's best research institutions. And these "hand-outs", also called grants are very competitive, funded at an extremely low rate, and reviewed by the world's top scientists.

    Its really not that hard to avoid ignorance if one tries.
     
  7. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    So there is a smaller group of guys who have some control over what get's funded and what doesn't? Is that true? :confused:
     
  8. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    iagree Well-stated Riane.

    K
     
  9. gearhead

    gearhead Active Member

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    I have written a couple grants myself, I spent a tremendous amount of time on them. keeping them accurate, making sure to leave not one thing out. but i didn't lie enough,appareantly so both were not funded. My (public) employer, then found that their are professional firms(liars really), out there that can write up these grants for us. We pay these firms a huge sum ( YOUR MONEY BY THE WAY), and then we review and submit. It always amazes me how dire, inflated and sensationalized the wording is, and it is ALWAYS, not reflective of the truth, our needs, and our circumstances. Are you going to tell me, that there is no "ABUSE" taking place among those who seek grant monies, and those that allow funding for grants in this enviromentally charged society we live in. Do some people that call themselves or are recognized as scientists not depend on grant monies to make a living in this life that they have chosen. And please, kind sir, don't attempt to get a guilt me, by comparing your grant writings with who/what, you know it is i am talking about. lets keep it apples and apples.
     
  10. troutfanatic

    troutfanatic A day not spent wasted is.....wasted.

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    A month or so ago I read an article in the Seattle times about how views of global warming have changed in the last twenty years. Bottom line it stated that there was a universal agreement in the scientific community that global warming is occuring. The only dissenter that they could find was a guy funded by British Petroleum. Go figure.




    Actually, Yes we do know by core samples at the north and south pole and other glaciers that give an instant photo of what was happenig at the time. Ice tends to freeze and hold everything including gases and carbon dixiode, not jsut water and microbes.
     
  11. troutfanatic

    troutfanatic A day not spent wasted is.....wasted.

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    Post deleted.
     
  12. troutfanatic

    troutfanatic A day not spent wasted is.....wasted.

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    Sure every little bit helps. Figure not the immediate gain but the gain or reduction in gas consumption over a four year period.

    Say you save a tank a week at 20 gallons a week. Thats 1040 gallons a year. If one third of our population in the US did that it would equal 104,000,000,000 gallons. Current US consumption is at 11,698,250,000 per year. Thats 8.8% a year. Thats quite a bit.
     
  13. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

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    What about solar power? It's waste-free, non-toxic (well, except for melanoma), and powers the planet already. Has significant research into solar power been suppressed because there's not enough profit associated with it (the conspirist in me), or is it technical limitations for efficient conversion (the scientist in me)?
     
  14. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

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    sorry James -

    you are absolutely right - plenty of naturally occuring isotopes out there. What was is my head was the unbelievable difference between, for example, uranium ore as mined and the off the scale radioactivity of uranium when we have done cooking it up to power plant strength, let alone weapons grade. And on the organic end of the scale, if you take 6 billion human beings at one, one pound dump a day, times 365 days/year, that's - heewhack - TWO TRILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY BILLION POUNDS OF PLAIN OLD ORDINARY HUMAN SH-T PER YEAR, AND I'M NOT GONNA CALCULATE THE VOLUME!

    Otter
     
  15. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

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    Not to hijack the thread, but yeah, that's the way science funding in the US works, and it's far from a perfect system.

    The problem is that science is so friggin complex anymore. Research is so specialized, that there aren't a lot of people that TRULY understand whether your experiments will yield any useful results. So the Govt convenes panels of people, who have previously published in your field/discipline/specialty (the EXPERTS), to review your proposal. Hopefully, this makes sure YOUR money (ie taxpayers) is spent on good projects. But this system doesn't promote pure discovery-based research, it discourages new researchers with truly innovative ideas but rewards mediocre old-timers (once you are connected and "part of the club") and the reviews aren't always unbiased, especially if the proposal is a little too close to a reviewer's own research.

    Not too mention the funding's getting pretty skinny.

    Thinking about grad school and an academic/research career? Don't do it. Go to work for a pharmaceutical company, or weapons/security/aerospace outfit, if you want a steady job and decent income.