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Author Topic: Skepticism about Climate Change  (Read 34133 times)

Robert Roaldi

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1020 on: September 13, 2017, 09:52:29 AM »

The "Prevention" horse has already left the barn. I'm talking about existing Super Fund sites, and there's a lot of them that need to have more money to clean them up completely because apparently the current amount ain't getting it done.

It's ironic that it took a global climate change induced cat 5 hurricane in Houston, TX to reveal this fact to the media.

We can always seek to prevent future disasters.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1021 on: September 13, 2017, 10:01:13 AM »

But you're simplifying it too much.  Carbs for example use to be good when the "science" claimed that fats especially animal fats were no good for you.  As an aside, this was pushed by the sugar industry at the time who stood to gain by people eating more carbs and sugar.  The federal government supported this idea until recently.  It now understands that carbs are the large reason so many Americans are so fat and have diabetes problems.  It wasn't the fat that was dangerous but the carbs.  So the so-called science is reversing itself.  The media did not make this up,  It was supported by "science" and the government.  The idea that people just read headlines is not true. 

A few decades ago, the science and the headlines were that the earth was cooling.  That the population was increasing so much that we would have mass starvation.  Well,  the science on those things were wrong too.  And people weren't just reading headlines although like global warming today, the media has pushed it because it sells.  People like disasters.  That's why so many movies are about disasters.  Did you ever slow down passing a car accident so you can get a better view?  Well, global warming is the new disaster.

In the cases where researchers mis-analysed data, the errors were discovered by researchers who revisited the data and reported on the errors. That's how everything has always worked. What you'll find is that you ignore the flashes in the pan, the best advice has remained pretty consistent, eat a balanced diet, stay away from processed foods. In the cases where dietary "panics" were made public and followed, there was usually some monied interests lurking in the shadows trying to sell you something. Historically, the USA has been especially vulnerable to this kind of sham, trading good food for pseudo convenience. Your grandmother probably knew better.

As far as the earth cooling thing goes, this has been discussed before, that idea was debunked long ago and was not relevant or important for long, and dredging it up as being significant is pointless since it never was. In any case, it has been 60 years since then, that's 2 generations of researchers later. The fact that you happen to remember that and think that it was important, does not mean that it was. You are mixing up your perception with what is going on in research.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1022 on: September 13, 2017, 10:05:47 AM »

I'll give you a recent example of science being used to push an agenda to redirect global priorities and the funds to support it.

I'm for the environment and thus against all pollution of land, air and water.

The recent Harvey floods in the Houston area brought to mind an old agenda and priority I had long forgot about because I thought it was fixed which is "The Super Fund". The media was mentioning this to tell folks to avoid wading in the flood waters that are now polluted by the toxins from these old Super Fund sites.

So we still don't have enough money to clean up these Super Fund disasters but we do have money to spend on climate science research so we can reduce the frequency of these cat 5 storms that create floods that stir up these toxic dumps that should've been cleaned up years ago.

I say redirect all global climate change moneys to cleaning up all polluted sites across the US.


Tim, I agree with you.  You're making some of the same arguments I make.  There's only so much money to go around.  Even in our own lives, we make these decisions all the time.  Do we really need to buy back up cameras on our cars?  Or should we rely on our eyeballs and car mirrors when parking and save some money?  The same with climate change.  Even if it's correct that we could change the climate, do we spend money on let's say more cancer research or malaria destruction to help people now or spend the money on climate change hoping to save on sea level damage in 60-70 years or eliminate the rest of the Super Fund area problems left over?  What effect do these policies have on jobs and the economy.  After all, people have to feed their families today.  Or do we worry that our great grand children may be stupid enough to buy a house on the seashore where storm surges will flood their homes?  No one is discussing these alternatives.   Frankly, we're broke here in America.  We just passed $20 trillion in debt and going up another $650 billion this year alone.  We have to prioritize. 
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1023 on: September 13, 2017, 10:13:26 AM »

I am not sure how to respond to this. The number of science publications and web sites are too numerous to list. And I don't mean the hard-core scientific literature, I mean the more popular blogs and media out there.

If what you're saying is that there is too much of it, and that the debates and disagreements are overwhelmingly difficult for a layman (in the science sense) to follow (especially since it's part-time), then yes that's true. That's what it is, it's big and it's complex. No escape from this.

Not sure how to interpret what you just said, but it smacks of back peddling excuses.

You still don't have an answer to explaining it simply so others understand it which indicates the scientists them self don't understand it well enough. If I can't understand it, then it isn't practical for me and thus not a priority for directing more money until at least I see results that justify mitigating such a huge target. I haven't seen what happens in the way of improvements when we reduce CO2 in the air. There's no evidence of any improvement.

I want to focus on problems we can fix immediately like protecting land, air and water. I find cleaning up Super Fund sites a doable priority. Concern about climate or weather events is like throwing money down a black hole since no one has proven we can reduce C02 to a level that makes the weather less dangerous.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1024 on: September 13, 2017, 10:15:11 AM »

In the cases where researchers mis-analysed data, the errors were discovered by researchers who revisited the data and reported on the errors. That's how everything has always worked. What you'll find is that you ignore the flashes in the pan, the best advice has remained pretty consistent, eat a balanced diet, stay away from processed foods. In the cases where dietary "panics" were made public and followed, there was usually some monied interests lurking in the shadows trying to sell you something. Historically, the USA has been especially vulnerable to this kind of sham, trading good food for pseudo convenience. Your grandmother probably knew better.

As far as the earth cooling thing goes, this has been discussed before, that idea was debunked long ago and was not relevant or important for long, and dredging it up as being significant is pointless since it never was. In any case, it has been 60 years since then, that's 2 generations of researchers later. The fact that you happen to remember that and think that it was important, does not mean that it was. You are mixing up your perception with what is going on in research.

The fact that global cooling was debunked just makes my case.  Who cares if it was 60 years ago? Same with the population explosion.  Maybe you're too young to remember, but these were very big political discussions at the time.  Sure, now it's part of past history.   But it was big back then just like global warming is now.  An they were de-bunked.  The science changed.  One needs hubris to realize that global warming theories could not change as well. 
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1025 on: September 13, 2017, 10:24:49 AM »

Not sure how to interpret what you just said, but it smacks of back peddling excuses.

You still don't have an answer to explaining it simply so others understand it which indicates the scientists them self don't understand it well enough. If I can't understand it, then it isn't practical for me and thus not a priority for directing more money until at least I see results that justify mitigating such a huge target. I haven't seen what happens in the way of improvements when we reduce CO2 in the air. There's no evidence of any improvement.

I want to focus on problems we can fix immediately like protecting land, air and water. I find cleaning up Super Fund sites a doable priority. Concern about climate or weather events is like throwing money down a black hole since no one has proven we can reduce C02 to a level that makes the weather less dangerous.

I have no idea what you mean when you write "back peddling" excuses. I have no axe to grind here, I'm not trying to explain anything, I have no special expertise in the field. And I don't know why you'd expect me to explain climate change easily. I was just pointing out that others have and it's out there.

Also, I can only repeat that I don't understand why you have an aversion to spending in many different areas. Lots of people the world over think that there is something to the global warming. Don't you think it's important to find out as much as we can? If what you're saying is that because we don't already know exactly how important it is that we should not continue to study it, well, I have no answer to that.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1026 on: September 13, 2017, 10:26:24 AM »

The fact that global cooling was debunked just makes my case.  Who cares if it was 60 years ago? Same with the population explosion.  Maybe you're too young to remember, but these were very big political discussions at the time.  Sure, now it's part of past history.   But it was big back then just like global warming is now.  An they were de-bunked.  The science changed.  One needs hubris to realize that global warming theories could not change as well.

You missed my point. I was suggesting that your focus on some past cooling idea is of no relevance. It made the news for a while and you (and I) remember it, but that does mean that it was important or that many people took it seriously. You are attaching importance to something that may not have any.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1027 on: September 13, 2017, 10:38:21 AM »

No, they were cherry-picked for sensational content, misreported for effect, and not presented in the larger context of that field.

All I am saying is that if you want to understand complex subject matter, the headline and first paragraphs of newspapers/popular web sites is not the place to look.

So if you read a headline tomorrow morning that coffee is bad for you, and then another next week that it's good for you, and your conclusion is that science is untrustworthy, you have deluded yourself several ways, the most egregious of which is that you think you have been exposed to science when you haven't.

+1

Cheers,
Bart
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1028 on: September 13, 2017, 11:27:28 AM »

Ray, you might want to read this article.  It turns out that CO2 may not be all that good for plants after all.  Because, like, science.

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511?lo=ap_a1

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Alan Klein

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1029 on: September 13, 2017, 11:34:35 AM »

I'm sorry, you've lost me. What one-sided bias? Do mean the Corporate lobby that is succeeding in rolling back even health and safety regulations? Is that what you mean? Or do you mean the rollbacks in wider consumer protection in the financial domain? I know, those lefties have really crippled Wall Street, it's a tragedy to watch.
Robert:  I see you live in Ontario, Canada. I don't think Ontarians pay US income taxes or vote here.  All these things cost Americans their hard earned money.  It's  a little impolite to tell others how they should spend their own money. I don't tell Canadians how they should spend their tax money.  By the way, just how much are you spending on your kid's clothes and education?  Do you take them to regular medical checkups?   
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pegelli

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1030 on: September 13, 2017, 11:58:29 AM »

Robert:  I see you live in Ontario, Canada. I don't think Ontarians pay US income taxes or vote here.  All these things cost Americans their hard earned money.  It's  a little impolite to tell others how they should spend their own money. I don't tell Canadians how they should spend their tax money.  By the way, just how much are you spending on your kid's clothes and education?  Do you take them to regular medical checkups?   
He's not telling you how to spend tax money and just exercising his right to free speech. Don't tell him it's none of his business because you've run out of logical arguments to have a normal discussion. You've tried that before with little success, I wish you would have learned from that.
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pieter, aka pegelli

Peter McLennan

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1031 on: September 13, 2017, 12:00:24 PM »

Quote
Slobodan: created an atmosphere in which the science cannot be questioned. They have elevated it to the status of religion or cult. It is to be taken, with all the ideological and non-scientific baggage, as gospel and without question. 

Calling science a religion simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of what science is.

Science defines its very existence by questioning; repeated questioning, testing and either proving or disproving. That's why it's called "The Scientific Method".



Religion lives on faith. Infallible, unquestioning belief.
Science lives on fact.  Testable, provable, repeatedly demonstrable fact.

YES (before you get started) science has been wrong.  But on discovering this, science admitted its error, proved that it was wrong and moved on.

Among religion's higher callings is the idea that it can inspire humanity.  I humbly submit this image from science as more inspiring than any paintings of imaginary old men with flowing locks on the ceilings of old buildings.



That tiny blue dot, Slobodan? In case you're not familiar with this triumph of photography and science, that's you.  That's Earth

“everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives … on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

Carl Sagan





« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 12:05:25 PM by Peter McLennan »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1032 on: September 13, 2017, 01:05:51 PM »

Calling science a religion simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of what science is....

Repeating this ridiculous "argument" simply demonstrates your lack of comprehension skills.

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1033 on: September 13, 2017, 01:13:33 PM »



You still don't have an answer to explaining it simply so others understand it which indicates the scientists them self don't understand it well enough. If I can't understand it, then it isn't practical for me and thus not a priority for directing more money until at least I see results that justify mitigating such a huge target. I haven't seen what happens in the way of improvements when we reduce CO2 in the air. There's no evidence of any improvement.
There are lots of good articles for educated laypersons around that explain everything one would want to know about atmospheric chemistry and climate change.  The problem is that most people are so insulated and have existing confirmation biases that they either won't read them or won't believe what was written.  Bart and others (myself included) have posted a variety of links on this thread already.  CO2 reduction (as well as other greenhouse gases such as methane) are achievable.  Unfortunately, it requires a political consensus in the US to accomplish this and that's where the problem is.  Designing clean power plants is straightforward and of course we've already seen the electric power industry move away from coal to natural gas (primarily because it's cheaper).  The Obama clean coal initiative was reasoned but demagogued to death.  More nuclear power plants accompanied by fuel recycling offers another path but people don't want nuclear plants around because of the 'fear and dread' of a meltdown.

Quote
I want to focus on problems we can fix immediately like protecting land, air and water. I find cleaning up Super Fund sites a doable priority. Concern about climate or weather events is like throwing money down a black hole since no one has proven we can reduce C02 to a level that makes the weather less dangerous.
Superfund site cleanup is not cheap.  A lot of sites were capped or lined to prevent the chemicals from leaching into the ground water.  This is not a solution when catastrophic flooding may occur.  It's also not just the Superfund sites that are problematic but the lack of water sanitation that accompanies heavy flooding.  We are already seeing lots of skin infections in Houston because of this and the same thing will happen in the areas of Florida where heavy flooding took place.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1034 on: September 13, 2017, 03:35:58 PM »

He's not telling you how to spend tax money and just exercising his right to free speech. Don't tell him it's none of his business because you've run out of logical arguments to have a normal discussion. You've tried that before with little success, I wish you would have learned from that.

Money talks, bullsh!t walks.  It has nothing to do with free speech.  Telling someone else that they should spend their money on your favorite project is pretty nervy.  It's bad enough when an American tells you that.  At least he pays some of the taxes.  But when a non-American tells you that, it's not only rude it's illogical.  Unless you have skin in the game and have to spend money for something, how can you make a reasoned judgment?  It was like me asking him how much he spends on his kids clothing and schooling?  I don't earn his living and don't have to budget his money and don't know what his expenses are.  Most of all I don't contribute to his household.  Do you tell your neighbor how much they should give to charity?
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Alan Klein

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1035 on: September 13, 2017, 03:54:34 PM »

Calling science a religion simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of what science is.

Science defines its very existence by questioning; repeated questioning, testing and either proving or disproving. That's why it's called "The Scientific Method".



Religion lives on faith. Infallible, unquestioning belief.
Science lives on fact.  Testable, provable, repeatedly demonstrable fact.

YES (before you get started) science has been wrong.  But on discovering this, science admitted its error, proved that it was wrong and moved on.

Among religion's higher callings is the idea that it can inspire humanity.  I humbly submit this image from science as more inspiring than any paintings of imaginary old men with flowing locks on the ceilings of old buildings.



That tiny blue dot, Slobodan? In case you're not familiar with this triumph of photography and science, that's you.  That's Earth

“everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives … on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

Carl Sagan







It's not that someone thinks science is God.  It's that they make science into an idol.  That science has the answers to Truth.  When people put Mother Earth ahead of God, they create an idol out of Earth.  You see, we all look to a higher power for protection and support and guidance. (Some make money and power into idols.)   If not God, then Science will do.  However, anything but God becomes an idol and we then begin to worship Earth, Science or whatever the idol is.  I'm not saying that God is science.  It isn't. Both are separate.  Science shows us how the universe works.  But gives no value.  When you create value from science, you have created an idol and you will lose value and morality.  Earth and science come first, rather than God and man.  Man becomes a causality in our worship of science.  All very dangerous that leads to the dismissal of man's needs to the benefit of earth and science.  People become sacrifices on the altar of science. 

That's a great picture of the solar system.  Is that the moon to the left of Earth?  Pictures like this is why I shoot landscapes.  The awe of nature is inspirational and leads to a feeling of the presence of God in the universe.  I think science and God have important related, but address different questions about life.  We should encourage both because we need both. 
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1036 on: September 13, 2017, 04:30:50 PM »

Money talks, bullsh!t walks.  It has nothing to do with free speech.  Telling someone else that they should spend their money on your favorite project is pretty nervy.  It's bad enough when an American tells you that.  At least he pays some of the taxes.  But when a non-American tells you that, it's not only rude it's illogical.  Unless you have skin in the game and have to spend money for something, how can you make a reasoned judgment?  It was like me asking him how much he spends on his kids clothing and schooling?  I don't earn his living and don't have to budget his money and don't know what his expenses are.  Most of all I don't contribute to his household.  Do you tell your neighbor how much they should give to charity?

You've lost me. You wrote a post about the one-sided biased society and I responded, and you accuse me of telling American how to spend its money. I do not follow.

We're having a wide-ranging discussion of policy options, which I guess ultimately involves spending money, and to that extent it's a discussion about how to spend money wisely. That much is true, but I don't see what that has to do with your tirade about PC.

But let's leave that aside. Since the discussion is about policy options, I and others will feel free to express our opinions. We don't need to be US taxpayers to do so, and we don't need your permission. In any case, I did not think that we were only discussing American policy expenditures. The issues we're discussing apply to pretty much everybody. However, I don't see what my personal earnings and expenditures have to do with anything. I don't want to know about yours and never asked.

But to address one of your asides, I believe that in most jurisdictions in Canada, we pay more (combined) tax that most jurisdictions in the USA, or that's what I was always led to believe. I did a comparison many years ago with a friend working in Connecticut, and that's what we concluded. Then we compared what additional services we get from government in Canada, especially wrt health, we concluded that we more or less spend the same amount of money to live our lives. That is, we pay more tax to pay for universal health care, but American have to purchase it themselves. Btw, I am referring to the Canadian health expense a tax, but it's really an insurance premium. (There were other minor differences. We pay for garbage collection through municipal governments, for example, but I believe he paid the contractor directly, but I may be remembering that incorrectly.) ) But, at that time anyway, the prices of consumer goods in the USA was much lower than in Canada, so the dollar went farther down there. But as I say, we did this comparison about 20 years ago, I have no idea what we would conclude now.

So, in conclusion, we pay different amounts in taxes and fees, but not wildly different.

This is off-topic in this climate thread, but does anyone know how current day taxes (personal, corporate, etc.) in the USA compares with the level of taxation in the late 1950s and 1960s. I ask because I seem to remember reading articles that said that the tax rates in those years was actually higher than it is now in the USA, and if that is the case, then the current fascination with lowering taxes seems odd to me. It's not as if people suffered from overtaxation back then. It was a period of high economic growth and upward mobility, and I don't remember rich people suffering either. As I say, this is really off-topic for this thread.
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pegelli

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1037 on: September 13, 2017, 04:54:56 PM »

Money talks, bullsh!t walks.  It has nothing to do with free speech.  Telling someone else that they should spend their money on your favorite project is pretty nervy.  It's bad enough when an American tells you that.  At least he pays some of the taxes.  But when a non-American tells you that, it's not only rude it's illogical.  Unless you have skin in the game and have to spend money for something, how can you make a reasoned judgment?  It was like me asking him how much he spends on his kids clothing and schooling?  I don't earn his living and don't have to budget his money and don't know what his expenses are.  Most of all I don't contribute to his household.  Do you tell your neighbor how much they should give to charity?
Alan, after this senseless rattle I only have one piece of advice for you: If you're in a hole the best thing is to stop digging. 
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pieter, aka pegelli

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1038 on: September 13, 2017, 06:02:20 PM »

This is off-topic in this climate thread, but does anyone know how current day taxes (personal, corporate, etc.) in the USA compares with the level of taxation in the late 1950s and 1960s. I ask because I seem to remember reading articles that said that the tax rates in those years was actually higher than it is now in the USA, and if that is the case, then the current fascination with lowering taxes seems odd to me. It's not as if people suffered from overtaxation back then. It was a period of high economic growth and upward mobility, and I don't remember rich people suffering either. As I say, this is really off-topic for this thread.
The Tax Foundation has data going all the way back to 1913 (the first year of the income tax) so you can find any single year you want!!!!  https://taxfoundation.org/us-federal-individual-income-tax-rates-history-1913-2013-nominal-and-inflation-adjusted-brackets/   Top rate in the 1950s was 91% (for incomes over $400K).  this went down to 77% following the Kennedy tax cut of 1963.  It went down to 70% for incomes over $200K and stayed there until the Reagan tax cut of 1982 when it dropped to 50% for incomes over $85K.  the big tax reform act of 1986 dropped it down to 38% for incomes over $90K (all the rates are for married couples filing jointly).

Corporate tax rates are here:  http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/statistics/corporate-top-tax-rate-and-bracket  and in the earlier time period were about 52%.  Remember that most corporations never pay the 'full' amount as they have a myriad of deductions (as do individuals)>
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #1039 on: September 13, 2017, 07:01:34 PM »

Ray, you might want to read this article.  It turns out that CO2 may not be all that good for plants after all.  Because, like, science.

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511?lo=ap_a1

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the link, it's an interesting article about (and with a link to) an interesting research paper.

It is also a good example of how science works. Observation seems to contradict a hypothesis, funding the research is difficult, the research then adds new insight, insight is tested by peers and if not rejected, a new/additional truth is detected, until in the future better explanations can be found, leading to new hypotheses/research/peer review, etc.

The difficulty in funding was not because of a government lobby, but because it was interdisciplinary research with an unknown outcome or specifical relevance to the affected branches of science.

Cheers,
Bart
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