players will spend more time playing than they would otherwise want to due to their perception of sunk costs, hours of gameplay provided expands to meet this demand with a grinding mechanism being the cheapest type of gameplay to offer
The question is what is the value of the subcomponent of temperature variation caused by man. I would argue that it is nearly impossible to isolate this value. It would require models of every other natural cause of temperature variation, from the galactic position of the solar system to the water cycle, and confidence estimates of these models. Weather is a prototypically complex and chaotic system.
Rather than allocating resources based on an answer to a nearly impossible to answer question, we should tackle questions that are more solvable like "relation between cancer rates and environmental pollution" (aka things that could have the same policy effect i.e. curbing emmisions) and remember that acute, immediate events can have a far more deleterious effect on global temperature http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_winter
THe Milankovitch cycles don't seem very relevant here, don't they appear across hundred thousands of years (I just skimmed the Wikipedia article)? Also, if Milankovitch can predict cycles, wouldn't it contradict your assumption that we can't infer anything about climate at all?
The only backward value apparent from this article is an extreme defecit in holding people accountable. One could argue that every other value must be phenomenal since it is still a thriving city despite this impairment.
We can use the U-238 in breeder reactors. Or make a subcritical blanket of U-238 and some of the longer-lived radioactive elements in spent fuel rods, and put them around a fusion reactor. The fusion reactor doesn't have to generate a net positive amount of usable energy; it just has to provide a lot of neutrons, which it does. This is the basis for fusion-fission hybrid systems, which can be marketed as nuclear-waste annihilation systems.
>In the aftermath of the accident, investigations focused on the amount of radiation released by the accident. According to the American Nuclear Society, using the official radiation emission figures, "The average radiation dose to people living within ten miles of the plant was eight millirem, and no more than 100 millirem to any single individual. Eight millirem is about equal to a chest X-ray, and 100 millirem is about a third of the average background level of radiation received by US residents in a year."
IIRC the figures on TMI (not broken down into phantom per-capita exposures but to the environment) included millions of Curies released into the environment. Some credible researchers have found evidence that figure may be 10 to 100 times too small.
Not surprising; with all the money involved, the science gets 'adjusted'. The industry can afford the best PR.
In the case of TMI, the steam formation did slow down the reaction -- just not enough to prevent damage to the fuel rods. Of course, the reactor's pressure vessel acted as a passive heat sink once the fuel melted and easily prevented the fuel from escaping, but it was still costly and scary, and the response of the operators at the time can only be called a ridiculous clusterfuck.
This sort of thing is why I really like pebble bed reactors: you can just shut off the coolant and walk away, and they'll sit tight. (The operators of China's HTR-10 research reactor actually do this.) Everything is designed to withstand the maximum temperatures they could possibly achieve. Light water reactors have an impressive safety record, and the modern versions aren't susceptible to the problems that led to TMI, but inherently self-moderating reactors are just really aesthetically pleasant.
>the response of the operators at the time can only be called a ridiculous clusterfuck.
This is unfair to the operators. The accident revealed some reactor and control room design flaws plus some equipment out of service that left the operators in the dark re what state the reactor was in during the accident. They knew the info they were getting was bad and took heroic steps to get better data, including sending men down into radioactive zones to read thermocouples manually with a volt meter, among other things. It is the anti-nukes who perpetuate the myth that the reactor operators freaked out and just mindlessly started throwing switches, closing valves willy-nilly. Unfortunately, the operators did make the situation worse but it was not due to stupidity or incompetence. One problem for the operators was their training was based on some assumptions that were not true for this accident. TMI was a pressured water reactor and one of the cardinal sins taught in training was never let the primary coolant system "go solid", i.e., no steam void in the pressurizer. A solid piping system could easily be burst by even a mild pressure transient which was why they opted to drain more coolant from an already overheating reactor. Tragically, the pressurizer was going solid because a steam void had formed in the core, something their training did not adequately address and they could not infer from the info available at the time. For obvious reasons, they had to make critical decisions within the time constraints and the data actually at hand, not 6 months later in an academic study.
Thank you for clarifying my terse statement; I can see how it could be taken as knocking the operators, which was not what I meant at all. Of course, the operators weren't a bunch of dimwits -- they had seriously flawed information about what was going on in the reactor, and the error-reporting system wasn't designed to cope with the kind of cascading failure that they saw. I wasn't criticizing the operators, but rather their actions, and that wasn't their fault.
(I can't even conceive of a reactor operator who would just start randomly fiddling with valves. That's just so far removed from everything I know about them, it would be like a horse reciting Shakespeare.)