did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Guest Post - Hope

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The sand shortage is not-sea sand. Sea sand is too smooth for industrial sand purposes.

I think.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 8:17 AM
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We think that geoengineering of glaciers on a similar scale could delay much of Greenland and Antarctica's grounded ice from reaching the sea for centuries, buying time to address global warming.

It's a good thing that melting ice is the only significant issue associated with global warming.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 8:23 AM
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In our view, this is plausible because about 90% of ice flowing to the sea from the Antarctic ice sheet3,4, and about half of that lost from Greenland travels in narrow, fast ice streams. These streams measure tens of kilometres or less across. Fast glaciers slide on a film of water or wet sediment5. Stemming the largest flows would allow the ice sheets to thicken, slowing or even reversing their contribution to sea-level rise.

It's a good thing that Greenland's ice sheet isn't, y'know, a mile thick. We wouldn't want to test the proposition that we can dam up forces that dug the Great Lake (and Finger Lakes, and who-knows-how-many-others).

But really pf has it right. Gosh, ice melting and sea level rising is the worst part of AGW. Really it is. Sheesh.


Posted by: Chetan Murthy | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 10:23 AM
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... isn't it? I mean, there are a lot of people living in areas that will be vulnerable to flooding from sea level rise. Like, hundreds of millions. Only foreign people mostly, I know, but still. Increased storm intensity is bad too but storms are temporary; the sea isn't.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 10:33 AM
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compared to the uninhabitability of much of the tropical and semi-tropical land mass? or the increasing difficulty of pulling off agriculture? Or the acidification of the oceans? And it can't fix Antarctica's ice sheet melting, can it?

It's figuratively a finger-in-a-dike. I mean .... the mind boggles.


Posted by: Chetan Murthy | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 10:38 AM
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Talk about making the perfect the enemy of the good. 2, 3, 5 are among the stupidest things I've read in recent memory.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 2:20 PM
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"And it can't fix Antarctica's ice sheet melting, can it?"

Yes. Or at least slow it down. Read the blasted article.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 3:17 PM
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6: I'm not saying it shouldn't be done. I think it's incorrect to suggest that this would result in "buying time to address global warming."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 4:19 PM
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Sea-level rise isn't the only effect of melting ice. There's also the ice albedo feedback that makes warming worse.

Also, literally every single action that can be taken on global warming, whether it's reducing beef consumption or stopping a coal power plant or building more solar panels, is "figuratively a finger-in-a-dike." It's going to take millions of fingers in dikes to solve the problem. Maybe this is one of them.

I think we need a "yes, and" approach to thinking about climate change, not trying to decide whether something on its own is good enough or better than another option.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 4:32 PM
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I get some of the sentiment though, because too many if these ideas seem to be about avoiding any fixes to emissions.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 4:41 PM
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8: You think global warming can be more easily addressed with every coastal city underwater?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 4:41 PM
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I admit I was sort of consoling myself with thoughts of "Florida goes first."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 4:46 PM
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11. That is an odd reading of my comments.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 4:54 PM
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11. That is an odd reading of my comments.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 4:54 PM
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10: I also get the sentiment. I also see no reason at all to think that emissions will in fact be fixed in time to prevent catastrophic melting. Pushing the flooding catastrophe back a century or two creates much more time in which emissions can be fixed. Following Essear, this isn't an "instead of" solution, it's "in addition to".


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 4:55 PM
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(1) the thickness of the Greenland ice sheet is >1mi. that of Antarctica, >1.3mi. The idea that somehow, with warming (which won't stop, and this doesn't stop it), there won't be a shit-ton of melt-water at the bottom, and that this ice won't find other outlets, is ridiculous on its face.

(2) sure, I stopped reading at the part about greenland. Hey, read further, and they basically admit that nobody's sure this can even be done.

(3) it's ALWAYS an "instead of". We shouldn't kid ourselves.

These ice sheets are over a MILE THICK. The idea that somehow we're going to build dams to hold that in? ridiculous.


Posted by: Chetan Murthy | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 5:18 PM
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13: Then pray elucidate, because 8 on its face implies that global warming is somehow a unitary problem, which cannot be said to have been addressed or delayed unless every single aspect of it has been addressed or delayed; which is absurd.
16: Had you troubled to read, and been capable of comprehension, you would have noticed several things:
The proposal calls for extensive research, precisely in order to check feasibility;
The proposal includes the pumping out of meltwater from below the glaciers, so slowing their movement;
The damming and lubrication mechanics the proposal relies on aren't theoretical at all, they are in fact how ice sheets behave; most of the proposed structures are in fact extensions of natural features which perform damming and blocking functions already.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 6:59 PM
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Essear gets it in 9, which elaborates usefully on my 8.1.

But, hey, why do we have to resort to geoengineering at all when we can just reduce carbon/methane emissions?

Dumb question, right? Everybody knows that the political will doesn't exist to deal with emissions. The problem is, advocacy for geoengineering tends to hand-wave away the similar huge political problems inherent in (for example) building 100-meter walls in remote areas with no national government. (The authors barely gesture towards this issue.)

So I am on the same page when MC says:

I also see no reason at all to think that emissions will in fact be fixed in time to prevent catastrophic melting.

Problem is, I see no reason at all to think that walls will be built in Antarctica and Greenland in time to prevent catastrophic melting.

Sure, let a thousand flowers bloom! It's hard to know what might overcome the huge political and engineering problems. And by the time the political will exists to deal with climate change in a meaningful way, it's certainly reasonable to suppose that key solutions will necessarily involve geoengineering. Let's just not try to pretend that this buys us time to dawdle on dealing with emissions. While the authors engage in some loose talk early, they do ultimately acknowledge this:

The fate of the ice sheets will depend on how quickly we can reduce emissions. If emissions peak soon, it should be possible to preserve the ice sheets until they are again viable. If they keep rising, the aim will be to manage the collapse of the ice sheets to smooth the rate of sea-level rise and ease adaptation.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 7:10 PM
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Then pray elucidate, because 8 on its face implies that global warming is somehow a unitary problem, which cannot be said to have been addressed or delayed unless every single aspect of it has been addressed or delayed

8 is a short comment, but it explicitly contradicts the thing you say it implies. "I'm not saying it shouldn't be done."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 7:16 PM
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19 was me, of course.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 7:16 PM
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18: Comity. When I say buy time, I'm thinking time after 2050 or 2100, as multiple other crises are wrestled with.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 7:21 PM
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WE ARE GOING TO BUILD A BIG BEAUTIFUL WALL AND GET GREENLAND TO PAY FOR IT


Posted by: Stubby Fingers | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 7:21 PM
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19: 8.2 does in fact clearly imply 17.1, nor does 8.1 contradict 17.1. Your meaning though is made clear in 18.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 7:24 PM
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The stupidity of 5 is worth drawing out. You worry about agriculture? Your heat-tolerant crops need to grow in places like this and this. You want solar panels and EVs? The factories are in places like this. You worry about arid regions becoming uninhabitable? The refugees will end up in places like this and this. You want money to pay for anything? Taxes come from places like this and this. You want to ship any materials anywhere to deal with anything? Where do you think the ports are? You worry about ocean acidification? Where do you think fishermen live?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 7:56 PM
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Again, Mossy:

Sure, ports are important. Coastal infrastructure is important. But the idea that somehow you're going to bottle up an ice sheet that's a mile thick, by bottling up the one place it flows out TODAY .... that'd pretty ridiculous. What's their plan? A wall around all of Greenland, a mile at a time? Sheesh.

My biggest problem with this idiocy is that it's *completely* unproven, with no evidence it'll work at all. I mean, we're talking ICE here -- the stuff that gouged out the damn Great Lakes. And we're talking about an ice sheet a MILE THICK. I mean, it's a fluid. And fluids, when you bottle up their outflow, collect, rise in height, and find another outflow. Hence, as I said "a finger in a dike". Which is different from "think globally, act locally".


Posted by: Chetan Murthy | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 10:07 PM
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[TL;DR "it'd be great if it worked" "no idea if it'll work" "no idea if the ice will find other outlets" "no idea if we can even build the things" "gosh, never built something that needed to withstand such pressure" "more thinking is needed about the design and construction feasibility"]

Ah here we go: https://www.insidescience.org/news/can-we-hold-back-glaciers
"Can We Hold Back the Glaciers?"

It could work, according to Gwenn Flowers, a glaciologist at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada who was not involved in the research. She said that given what we know about ice discharge from glaciers, the proposed mechanisms to slow it down are sensible. "They're not coming out of nowhere saying things that don't make sense," she said. "The three mechanisms imitate nature in slowing ice discharge to the sea."

And the three glaciers they suggest focusing on -- the Jakobshavn glacier in western Greenland, and the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica -- are good choices. "These places are contributing a lot of ice to the ocean," she said. But she warns that if over time other glaciers begin to contribute more, the whole process would have to be repeated.

From an engineering perspective, glacier geoengineering would be a "tremendous challenge," said Bilal Ayyub, a civil engineer at the University of Maryland and head of the Infrastructure Resilience Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers. "It's a good concept, but more thinking is needed about the design and construction feasibility," he said.

In particular, the artificial islands would be subject to huge pressures from the ice bearing down on them. "The pressure would be just horrendous, like nothing we've seen before in engineering," he said. Even the pressure from water on the largest dams wouldn't come close, and those dams still struggle to keep the water in place. "With dams or retaining walls we need to find ways to release the pressure. There's no release here."

The underwater berms would face their own construction challenges, he added, especially at the depths required. "Placing concrete at depth is not trivial," he said. "I don't know what technology would be used."


Posted by: Chetan Murthy | Link to this comment | 08-14-19 10:19 PM
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Mate, if you are looking for a link where people with actual knowledge back up your assertion that something is idiotic, you need to find one that doesn't start with someone with actual knowledge saying "yeah, this makes sense, it could work". We're getting into a weird variant of Clarke's First Law here: "when a random software bro asserts, in the face of expert opinion, that something is possible, he deserves ridicule. When a random software bro asserts in the face of expert opinion that something is impossible, he is usually right."

I mean, we're talking ICE here -- the stuff that gouged out the damn Great Lakes.

A great argument for why dams will never work. "This is idiocy. I mean, we're talking WATER here, the stuff that gouged out the damn Grand Canyon."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 12:36 AM
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18.3 is another example of a point I remember coming up last time geoengineering was discussed: that the big divide is _not_ between reducing emissions and adapting, because everyone who believes in climate change knows perfectly well that we will need both, in large amounts. The big divide is on _belief_, between people who believe climate change is happening and people who don't.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 12:39 AM
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I think there are a fair number of people who are willing to pretend it doesn't because they believe that with the right lobbying they won't feel an impact in their lifetime (and the impact from their point of view are things like stranded assets).


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 1:41 AM
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"This kind of thing sounds a whole lot more doable than getting emissions under control in good time."

Yes it is, and yes this should be done, because something must be done and this is something. But we mustn't delude ourselves that if this has any measurable effect on the impact of climate change on coastal infrastructure, the powers that be won't just relax and take it off the agenda. If (for the sake of argument only) this were to buy global coastal infrastructure 100 years, then in 2119 we will be exactly where we are now but we won't have this card to play because it's already been played.

Industrial capitalism in the 19th century thought in terms of centuries and cared about benefits to their grandchildren; financial capitalism in the 21st century thinks in terms of days and couldn't give a shit about their grandchildren.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 1:51 AM
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Strong disagree with both 30.2 and 30.3. Climate change and emissions will stay on the agenda, not least because there are a lot of adverse effects other than sea level rise. Also because there is a huge and growing body of public opinion in favour of doing something about reducing emissions, and other forms of pollution, and this will not go away.
And it is simply wrong to say that financial capitalism in the 21st century thinks in terms of days. Financial capitalism is pretty good at planning for the long term. Industrial capitalism in the 19th century was worse. The fact that a lot of surviving 19th century infrastructure is really good and built to last is simply another way of saying "the 19th century was a long time ago". 19th century steam ships were not built to last. 19th century housing was not built to last. 19th century industry involved building huge coal fired industry in the middle of cities and then wondering why all your workers were leaving bits of their lungs on the factory floor.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 3:00 AM
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I mean, apart from anything else, if modern financial capitalism isn't prepared to plan long term - to make huge investments now with no immediate return, in the hope of reaping much larger rewards further down the line - then please to be explaining why Uber, why Amazon, why Tesla, etc. You may think those investments are stupid because they will never pay off - that is a completely different argument. But you can't argue that the people making those investments aren't thinking long term.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 3:11 AM
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"This kind of thing sounds a whole lot more doable than getting emissions under control in good time."

Yeah, that makes perfect sense to me. We should totally do this giant project that is bigger and more complex than any similar water control project in history, and do it in a terrible environment (I have it on good authority that Greenland is pretty cold, as is Antarctica!). It's certainly more doable than building some frickin' nuclear power plants, a thing we have successfully done hundreds of times in the past. We could even build more solar power farms in sunny areas! Who'd a guessed? The water project attacks a result of global warming, while nuclear and solar attack the cause of global warming. The choice is clear!*

* If you are an idiot.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 5:02 AM
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The obvious choice is to start a nuclear war. Trump is the best environmentalist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 5:13 AM
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33: And yet, there are so many idiots.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 5:28 AM
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The choice is clear!* * If you are an idiot.

If you aren't an idiot, you'll see that it isn't a choice; as in, you don't have to choose just one.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 5:58 AM
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Or, more likely, that you'll be obliged to choose both.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 6:01 AM
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Or that we'll do neither and create a new environment where the larger portion of humanity is screwed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 6:10 AM
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I think that's all the bases covered.


Posted by: Opinionated Aristotle | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 6:14 AM
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All your base are belong to us.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 6:19 AM
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There is a genuine problem with the framing of geoengineered solutions, in that they are, as a rule, way oversold. Proponents have a habit of assuming technological advances that can't be assumed. They downplay costs and problems. And (in my opinion, the worst issue) such solutions are presented as alternatives to dealing with the actual problem in a timely fashion. That's why I object to language like this:

We think that geoengineering of glaciers on a similar scale could delay much of Greenland and Antarctica's grounded ice from reaching the sea for centuries, buying time to address global warming.

Now that doesn't exactly say that glacier geoengineering could buy "centuries," but gosh, you have to work pretty hard to read it any other way.

The authors here are relatively restrained compared to some of the nonsense that you see, but they still compare a massive multinational project with, say, the Three Gorges Dam, which was a huge undertaking with massive problems that nonetheless presents nowhere near the challenges of their proposal.

They could have made a much more apt comparison. They could have said that huge glacial dams pose huge engineering and political problems, but those problems could be overcome, in much the same way that emissions could be brought under control. Sure, that's an analogy that (like theirs) would be banned in any civilized society, but it's still closer to the truth, IMO.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 6:28 AM
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Maybe we could build a massive Greenland ice dam out of ponies.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 7:05 AM
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If you aren't an idiot, you'll see that it isn't a choice; as in, you don't have to choose just one.

I agree that we can do lots of different things all of which would help the CO2 problem. Unfortunately, each and every one of them costs money and time and effort and expenditure of social capital. The Greenland Dam project would require more of those than most other warming responses, and compete directly for resources with other reactive measures (like putting up dikes around every major low-lying city, just to pick one of many). We need more CO2 control much more than we need to dam up Greenland fjords. If we don't stop the upward creep of CO2 ppm, we can dam all the fjords in the world without fixing anything, and use up $trillions doing so, and watch all the ice caps melt and raise sea level higher than the dams.

So yes, we do have to choose.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 7:07 AM
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@10 was made with things like @41.1 and @41.{1} in mind, and even far simpler geoengineering suffer from similar framing.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 7:51 AM
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What we really need are some big pipelines to get all that fresh water to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, for more golf courses, and to the Sahara. Hey we can recharge the Oglala aquifer! That'll add decades to the life of the super dams!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 8:28 AM
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ajay @27:

Actually, if you look at the progression of expertise, it quite buttresses my point.
(1) glaciologist proponents, who know nothing about actual civil engineering, even downplay the glaciology-related risks
(2) glaciologist non-proponent points out glaciology-related risk, but unable to address civil engineering at all
(3) civil engineer points out that basically, we have no idea how to build the thing, nor whether it'll survive the pressures under which it will operate. No idea at all.


Posted by: Chetan Murthy | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 10:40 AM
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Maybe we could just wrap the Greenland ice sheet in a blockchain. Have the civil engineers thought of that?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 10:44 AM
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But big turbines in the pipelines and that'll power the blockchain. Man, we'll get this thing solved yet.

I guess the other thing is we could run a pipeline down to West Virginia and use the water to make Clean Coal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 11:04 AM
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We can't actually stop the growth of a currency based entirely on wasting electricity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 11:08 AM
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We can barely stop increasing subsides for mining coal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 11:09 AM
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We can't actually stop the growth of a currency based entirely on wasting electricity.

Nah, its not actually growing.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 11:18 AM
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Well that's good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 11:18 AM
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"We can barely stop increasing subsides for mining coal."
You have the wrong sort of conservatives in government. Borrow some of ours.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 11:31 AM
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Given Trump's purported interest in Greenland @22 becomes closer.


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 2:50 PM
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I'm imagining that there's some low level person in the White House communications office who has the job of making a list of irresistably whacky ideas, to deploy whenever the 5 year old soccer players that make our press corps need to be diverted from a bad story. "Trumps wants to buy Greenland" is perfect. Does anyone think he can find it on a map, or knows even the first thing about Greenland? Does anyone think the President has ever had a thought about Greenland in his life? So now we all can be treated to speculation about what advantage he sees in Greenland. Beach hotels? Hydropower? Those pipelines I mentioned above? Could be all that and more. Wouldn't it be a great place to put detention centers?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 3:48 PM
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Does anyone think he can find it on a map

Sure. It's as big as Africa and at the top center. It might be literally the only thing he can find.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 5:22 PM
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Just like I planned.


Posted by: Opinionated Mercator Projection | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 5:28 PM
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Fuck. 54 isn't a joke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 6:25 PM
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If he fuckin' buys us Greenland, well, I won't forgive him all his sins, but at least he will have bought us Greenland. Obama never bought us Greenland.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 8:44 PM
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If we buy Greenland, we will have Canada surrounded.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 8:45 PM
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At night, the Greenland ice sheet weasels come.

UNLESS WE BUILD A WALL


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 9:27 PM
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They'll cause much angst for David Frum
UNLESS WE BUILD A WALL
We don't have time to sit and wait
WE GOT TO BUILD A WALL
For them to swim the Denmark Strait
UNLESS WE BUILD THAT WALL


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-15-19 11:23 PM
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The Denmark Strait is of course on the wrong side of Greenland. I should have put "Davis Strait". Sincere apologies.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 2:08 AM
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What, you think just because the place is called Iceland we want your goddamn ice weasels?


Posted by: Opinionated Icelander | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 2:22 AM
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22. The article (from the WSJ) skates right up to admitting that Trump made this as an offhand remark related to his upcoming visit to Denmark. What we are seeing is the product of toadies deciding he was serious about it. I suppose with him, no one can be quite sure, though. Best to be safe.

The article mentions that there have been two previous times when (unlike Trump) the US was serious about buying Greenland. One was in 1867 when Secy of State William Seward (the last of the true believers in Manifest Destiny, the guy who bought Alaska) offered to buy it, and the other was when the Truman administration made an offer in the late 1940s, probably related to the fact that the US had occupied it and Iceland during WW2. Denmark turned the offers down both times. Denmark heavily subsidizes the Greeland government, which is semi-autonomous. There is a small independence movement there as well; small, but then the whole island has only about 50,000 inhabitants.

56. Greenland is not as big as Africa, it only looks that way due to the white patriarchy. Analogies to other white things that are claimed to be big but aren't are not mentioned due to the ban.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 4:47 AM
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65.last: it's as big as Africa on the map. (As I'm sure you are aware, maps drawn by Mercator himself show Greenland being much smaller than Africa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercator_projection#/media/File:Mercator_1569.png)

due to the white patriarchy

The white matriarchy wouldn't mind about their maps being impossible to use for rhumb line navigation, because they'd just stop and ask for directions.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 5:31 AM
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Greenland also has an extremely odd status in the EU, as it used its newly gained autonomy from Denmark to stop being a full EU member and only be involved with the EU as an external territory of Denmark. This has the truly strange consequence that Greenlanders are EU citizens but don't have a vote in EU elections unless they live in some EU country other than Greenland.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 5:57 AM
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Like USVI. Obviously it's some kind of Danish thing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 6:18 AM
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All of the European overseas territories have weird, mostly sui generis relationships with the EU.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 6:51 AM
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65.3. Good luck explaining the Mercator projection to Trump.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 6:54 AM
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To be complete: Greenland isn't actually at the top center of the world.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 7:02 AM
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67: We can handle that! Puerto Ricans, Virign Islanders, and Guamanians, and a few others, have this status in the United States for federal elections. The hurricane-caused movement of a few hunderd thousand Puerto Ricans to the nainland increased the Decmorratic party's presidential voting strength.

The glacier wall is more likely to happen if Greenland became part of the U.S., because (1) the next Democratic Presidetn will have to do something, and that would be something; and (2) the infrastructure/defense contractors that would get rich off of it d gues that the probably have more influence in Washington than in Copenhagen.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:38 AM
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71. To be even more complete, as the Texans said about Alaska when it became the largest state: "Wait until it melts."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:46 AM
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OK, guys, I've totally got it. Denmark spins off Greenland* as a totally independent kingdom. First monarch is Donald I -- he'd have to renounce his US citizenship and quit his current job, but it's a small price to pay. He'd be free to sell titles of nobility to anyone else who wanted to renounce US citizenship (sorry, only white people!), let concessions for the fabulous mineral wealth (his followers could be miners again!), and make grants of large tracts of land contingent on finding some set number of settlers (of obvious qualification).

He'd be succeeded by Ivanka "the Wise," although Erik "the Deep Minded" might be more interested. (Sorry Jared, your progeny won't be able to wear the crown, even though some of the King's best friends . . .)

Existing settlements would be under a joint Canadian/Danish protectorate, and not within the Kingdom. King Donald would build a brand new gleaming Trump City as the capital.

C'mon Danes, do you want to save humanity or not?

* Reject all pedantry about Greenland that does not include Farley Mowat's theory of the origin of the name.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:52 AM
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You forgot The Wall.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 9:54 AM
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And it's Donald Fairhair, obvs.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 10:05 AM
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77

76 ++


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 10:14 AM
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78

I like the geoengineering idea of dumping a few dozen tons of powdered rock/iron into empty areas of the ocean. It actually reduces co2, not just effects of warming, and could increase fish stocks too.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 11:09 AM
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79

IIRC trials showed the extra algae didn't sink, so the carbon doesn't get sequestered?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 11:18 AM
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80

Depends on your definition of sequestered. Not for millions of years; probably for centuries.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:10 PM
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81

Ah. Cite handy? (I don't like that solution because the ocean food web is complex and unpredictable and unrevertible in ways big lumps of concrete aren't.)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:34 PM
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82

What if the coal in the ground now was a past civilization's carbon sequestration? They put it deep under the ground for a reason.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:42 PM
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83

I just glanced at the Wiki. This isn't an area I know a lot about.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:43 PM
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84

I like 82.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:43 PM
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85

It's the start of a horror movie I'm writing. I just need a way to make humanity sympatric enough that the reader cares if it dies or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:45 PM
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86

74. Reject all pedantry about Greenland that does not include Farley Mowat's theory of the origin of the name.

This isn't the "lie to attract more settlers" theory, is it? The only Farley Mowat theory of Greenland I can find is that Iceland, Greenland and Labrador were first discovered (by Europeans) when people fleeing an invasion of proto-Picts drove them out of Ireland and Scotland. Nothing about the name in that theory, though.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 12:58 PM
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87

Refugees want greencards. Duh.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 1:10 PM
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88

86: This? Seems pretty doubtful. Especially because it assumes a Celtic invasion of Briton.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 1:23 PM
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89

s/Briton/Britain/, had Britons on the brain. Anyway, as I understand it, it's generally thought to have been a cultural shift with little actual migration.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 1:28 PM
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I've recently adopted a theory of how to put a price on carbon. It's not a faux-market price based on cap and trade agreements, its not a carbon tax that make government fiscally dependent on burning oil, its not paying someone to say they won't knock down a forest that they may or may not have knocked down anyway, its not purchasing carbon indulgences as a fee on top of your airline ticket. Its paying to do the actual cleanup of the CO2 pollution that gets created.

My theory is this: anyone who takes carbon out of the ground should have to put an equal amount of carbon into the ground.

Ergo, if you are in the business of taking carbon out of the ground, you must also be in the business of putting carbon into the ground. So if Shell wants to go drill for fossil fuels, they need to figure out how to pull an equal amount of CO2 from the atmosphere (by collecting plant matter I guess? let them innovate.), and bury it in an old mine so it goes away forever. If you want to pump natural gas, you need to bury an equal amount of something that will become coal.

It will be very expensive but of course you will have to pass the cost on to your downstream customers. Which is fine, because now you've put an actual price on carbon.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 8:28 PM
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The "lie to attract settlers" theory goes all the way back to the Icelandic saga that describes the settlement.

A carbon tax would work, and the fact that it is completely politically impossible has convinced me that that there's no hope.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 10:58 PM
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Cronia or Cronland, so named because, as Plutarch understood it, this is where Saturn (Cronus) lies chained. Mentioned by Louis the Pious and Pope Gregory IV [?] in the context of appointing a bishop to oversee the place (and lots of other places in the north) long before Erik the Red was trying to fool anyone.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-16-19 11:16 PM
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93

Erik Lund has a whole series of increasingly rambling posts on that, which I can't evaluate, but are always entertaining.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 12:40 AM
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94

https://benchgrass.blogspot.com/search?q=the+bishop%27s+sea


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 12:46 AM
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Coldingham is lovely. We spent a week there in a converted farmhouse on Coldingham loch; I fished peacefully and Ume bounded, as is her wont, like a chamois round the hills. It was extremely strange to think of this windswept hillside as the place from which St Sexburga set off to Christianise Ely. Recommended to anyone who wants to hole up in the borders for a bit.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 3:11 AM
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Coldingham is lovely. We spent a week there in a converted farmhouse on Coldingham loch; I fished peacefully and Ume bounded, as is her wont, like a chamois round the hills. It was extremely strange to think of this windswept hillside as the place from which St Sexburga set off to Christianise Ely. Recommended to anyone who wants to hole up in the borders for a bit.

And Erik Lund is a very high class nutter


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 3:15 AM
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97

oops


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 3:26 AM
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96.last One of my favorites too, it's been years since I've had a look at his blog and I'm glad to see he's still posting. Is he on twitter? He'd be a natural for 250+ tweet posts on all the sorts of cray cray he gets into.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 3:49 AM
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Erik Lund is a very high class nutter
Would I send you to any other kind?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 5:01 AM
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100

Don't know about twitter.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 5:07 AM
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101

And turns out we're doing massive uncontrolled ocean seeding experiments already.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 5:34 AM
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102

I had an argument with Lund many years go -- that I was right was always obvious, but I think is now much more easily provable. It was about indigenous peoples in southern New England. My position: genocide/relocation. His position: very large scale unacknowledged intermarriage.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 6:43 AM
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103

||

Conditions were rather heavy. The tribute, theoretically due since 1664 but apparently never paid, was exactly settled in kind and quantity; it had to be sent to Kashmir every three years and consisted of 18 piebald horses, 18 pods of musk and 18 white yak-tails.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 6:46 AM
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104

¿Por qué no los dos?


Posted by: Opinionated Mestizos | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 6:51 AM
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105

Piebald musk?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 6:54 AM
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I quickly skimmed, and so may have missed it, but Lund doesn't seem to have the imperial appointment of Ansgar as bishop or the papal ratification of that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:09 AM
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Piebald yak would probably be an easier place to start.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:14 AM
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104 By 1750 were at least 25% of the "white" population of the Southern England colonies was of mixed race? But never mentioned as such?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:16 AM
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Then piebald musk ox. Wrong biome I know but global village amirite?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:18 AM
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104 To answer the question, because the English colonists (and their descendants) were stone cold racists, and there is simply no way on earth that mixed race people wouldn't have reflected in written accounts (not just vitals, but eg accounts of King Philips War) as such.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:19 AM
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111

¿Los yanquis no tienen bastardos?


Posted by: Opinionated Mestizos | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:23 AM
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112

Large scale. Intermarriage.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:28 AM
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Piebald musk?

There's a punk band named Piebald; I'm guessing their musk would be something like armpit sweat and American Spirits.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:32 AM
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114

¿Se ha escrito la historia de los iletrados?


Posted by: Opinionated Mestizos | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:38 AM
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I know you're just trolling me, but really now, there is just no way that the story of King Philips War gets told as it has been for 3 centuries if (a) significant numbers of the "white" people killed in villages were first or second cousins of the Indigenous people killing them and (b) significant numbers of the "white" soldiers killing people in Indigenous villages were killing their first and second cousins.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:49 AM
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116

But no, the English settlers -- the same people who sold Indigenous people into slavery -- didn't even see race.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:58 AM
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117

Las guerras civiles son las más brutales.


Posted by: Opinionated Mestizos | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 7:58 AM
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118

(To be fair, they also sold white Quakers into slavery - or tried to.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 8:02 AM
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119

The difference being that no ship's captain would take the Southwick children to Barbados to be sold. Whittier's poem isn't history, but the history is clear enough.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 8:06 AM
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120

118-19: WTF?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 8:14 AM
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121

||

This was the Russian subaltern Efremov, who had been taken prisoner by the Kirghiz, and after eight years of captivity made his escape in a southern direction. He reached Kokand and then Yarkand, where he remained a whole month. Then he continued his journey through the mountains in the company of some merchants, and in 1781 or 1782 reached Leh, where he stayed for about 25 days. He went on to Kashmir and to Calcutta, whence he returned to Russia by sea.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-17-19 10:03 AM
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120: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_and_Cassandra_Southwick


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-18-19 2:19 AM
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123

At least they weren't forced to go to Pennsylvania.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-19 5:59 AM
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124

Not to blame victims and all, but she really should have seen it coming.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-18-19 6:14 AM
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125

If the witches didn't, how could the Quakers?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-19 6:21 AM
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126

Sadly, colonial America had not yet invented the standpipe.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-18-19 6:51 AM
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127

Not til Franklin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-19 6:56 AM
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128

Because his jokes were so bad.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-18-19 7:13 AM
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129

||

The present incarnate of He-mis is the sixth of the series. As this implies an impossibly high average of life, we have to reckon with one or more long vacancies between successive rebirths.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 08-18-19 8:11 AM
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123 [humorlessly, as befits a Southwick descendant] Penn wasn't even a Quaker yet. Progeny ended up where Quakers could go, of course, including Rhode Island (Gen. Nathaniel Greene was a descendant) NJ, and even, eventually PA, where a descendant played a role in founding Swarthmore.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-18-19 8:25 AM
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