Best TruStories of the Week - #11


#144

Claim: Sleeping naked cools the body and promotes weight loss because the body produces more brown fat.

Category: Popular Beliefs

My Stake: Challenge claim (50 CRED)

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/09/13/4-reasons-sleeping-naked-makes-you-healthier-and-wealthier/#4eb9c52a69b4
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240759.php
https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/recent-breakthroughs-by-endocrinologist-andre-carpentier—a-novel-look-at-a-unique-tissue-brown-adipose-tissue-614656514.html
https://www.amerisleep.com/blog/regulate-body-temperature-during-sleep/

Argument / Evidence:

Assumptions:

  • Sleeping without clothes necessarily means the body will be cooler.
  • That sleeping temperatures reached when people sleep naked are low enough to “turn on” brown fat.
  • Long term effects of cooler temperature on brown fat creation, and body weight.

The problem with this claim lies in the fact that they make a leap of logic by suggesting that sleeping naked and weight loss is directly related. The intermediating factor appears to be cold body temperatures, as demonstrated by studies that exposed participants to cold for short durations, resulting in ‘brown fat “turning on” and burning fat as a fuel source directly.

The proposed mechanism seems to be valid:

Mitochondria of brown fat contain a protein that enables them to generate heat by burning fats directly. Indeed, when the body is exposed to cold, brown fat consumes a significant quantity of energy already stored in its cells as lipid droplets. That is what makes this tissue so unique and critical in fighting the cold.”

Dr. André C. Carpentier, from Universite de Sherbrooke, and team set out to determine how humans might be able to switch on the brown fat so that it uses up fat. They found that exposure to cold temperatures seems to be the best trigger.

These studies were conducted by subjecting participants to temperatures of (18°C), which is considered an optimal temperature for sleep, so it’s feasible the human body could maintain 8-hours of exposure to these temperatures that can trigger brown fat to turn on:


The problem with this claim is that there is no evidence that demonstrates that sleeping without clothing necessarily means you will stay cooler. While it’s possible that the wrong choice of material can inhibit temperature regulation by trapping too much heat, this would be true whether that was bedding material or clothing material.

There is also a question, about the long-term effectiveness of cold-exposure on brown fat as a calorie burning mechanism: As, Dr. Carpentier said to CTV news:

Status/Conclusion:

While studies show a temperature which is considered ideal for sleeping adults (60-67 F, 15-19 C) can “turn on” brown fat, which may lead to weight loss, there is no causal relationship between sleeping naked and weight loss. It is also unknown whether or not the effect of cold-exposure on brown fat, and the potential for weight loss, would continue over prolonged periods of time.


#145

damn. Pretty surprised that well known news sites (e.g. Forbes, Newswire, Medical News Today, etc.) all make this claim. This is awesome analysis. Good job.


#146

Claim: Tesla batteries require Congolese children slaving away in cobalt mines.
Congo supplies ~60% of the world’s cobalt.

Source: https://twitter.com/datarade/status/1104622394348433409

Category: Electric vehicles

My Stake: Challenge with 80 TruStake

My Argument / Evidence:

1. Cobalt and the Congo
It is true that the DRC supplies between 50 to 66% of the world’s cobalt (varies by year).


Cobalt mined from the DRC is considered a “conflict mineral,” meaning that it is extracted in a conflict zone and sold to finance war. It’s estimated that 20% of the cobalt mined in the DRC is done by hand (so-called ‘artisanal mining’). Many of the artisanal miners in the DRC are children. It is estimated that some 40,000 children worked in cobalt mines in 2014.

The supply chain for cobalt is young because the level of demand created by lithium-ion batteries is relatively new. As it matures and as demand and price continue to rise, more countries may increase production. Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt is a Chinese company often cited as the source conflict cobalt.

2. Cobalt Use in Batteries
Cobalt is used in Lithium-ion battery cathodes along with nickel, aluminium and manganese. Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type of battery to power electronic devices worldwide including cellphones, laptops etc. There are two main chemistry configuration types - NCA (nickel, cobalt, aluminum) and NMC (nickel, maganese, cobalt). The ratios of each mineral in the battery vary by use and manufacture. Tesla uses an NCA type battery which contain less cobalt than NMC configurations (most EVs use NMC). Furthermore, the trend in the material development world is towards higher-energy, lower-cobalt chemistries.

3. The Sources of Tesla’s Cobalt
Tesla’s batteries are produced in the Gigafactory in Sparks, NV in a partnership with Panasonic. Both Panasonic and Tesla write that they are committed to both ethically source cobalt and to reduce and eventually eliminate it use altogether. Panasonic sources most of its cobalt ethically from the Philippines.

Kenji Tamura, an executive in charge of Panasonic’s automotive battery business stated:

We have already cut down cobalt usage substantially…we are aiming to achieve zero usage in the near future, and development is underway.”

Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk has publicly stated the same.

In May 2018 Tesla filed a Conflict Minerals Report with the SEC in which they wrote:

The report with the SEC also states that Tesla is :

a member of the RMI, which is part of the overall supply chain responsibility organization Responsible Business Alliance (formerly EICC). RMI has expanded its scope beyond conflict minerals, and maintains a cobalt sub-team, of which Tesla is an active participant. This cobalt sub-team is actively working on several initiatives, including developing a due diligence program for cobalt sourcing and covering the risk areas included in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.

The report also lists all the mining, smelting and refining plants the Tesla sources cobalt from that have passed RMI due diligence.

The supply chain for cobalt is complex and manufacturers often have a hard time tracking down of the source of the cobalt. Tesla had issues in mid 2018 because Panasonic was sourcing some from a Canadian company that purchased cobalt from a supplier/miner in Cuba. Although Tesla may have inadvertently been violating an embargo Cuba, it shows that a least some amount of Tesla’s cobalt is not coming from the Congo.

4. The Future
Cobalt is a relatively common and widely distributed mineral. In the past it was a byproduct of nickel, copper and silver mining. And since the boom in demand, many abandoned silver, and nickel mines have been reopened to mine cobalt. Because of the recent demand and the desire to source it ethically, the price per kg has skyrocketed. The high price is attracting new miners around the world. Including this Canadian town aptly named Cobalt, Canada. Venture firm a16z is investing in a company building software to scout potential cobalt mines.

In sum, although the DRC is currently the world’s biggest supplier of cobalt and 20% of their production includes child labor, there is little evidence that the cobalt in Tesla’s batteries comes from there. In fact, most evidence points to it coming from other sources, such the Philippines via Panasonic. To single out Tesla here is also misleading as all devices that use lithium-ion batteries (phones, laptops, etc) use cobalt and Tesla’s vehicles use less than all other EVs. And both Tesla and Panasonic plan to reduce cobalt to 0% in the future.


#147

Claim1: Tesla is made with Congolese child labor;

Claim 2: Congo supplies ~60% of the world’s cobalt.

My Stake: Back the second with 50 cred.

The United States Department of Interior US Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Commodities summary, this is true. The annual summary, for 1996 - 2018 is available, in PDF format (source).

@preethi, in the app a person addresses several claims in one, can users choose which part of the claim they want to challenge or support or is it all or none?


#148

Great question. Right now it’s all in one. So if a part of the claim is not true, you are encouraged to challenge the whole claim.


#149

Copy. I’ll do so next time around.


#150

Claim: Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day.

Source: https://qr.ae/TW75yJ

Category: Nutrition

My Stake: Back[100 Cred]

Background: The claim stands on the assumption that fasting for 16 hours a day and eating between the rest (12:00 noon to 8pm) benefits individuals. The author lists the various benefits and also provides sources(appreciated) that link the same e-journal publication lists. I decided to find alternate sources to support the claim.

Challenges:

  1. Most of the studies have been focused on people with obesity challenges and those working on weight loss.
  2. Depending on specific conditions, such as people having diabetes, fasting for long duration/skipping breakfast may not be a good option

My Evidences/Arguements"

  1. Weight Loss: In a study conducted for weight loss treatments with and without breakfast,

After the 12-wk treatment, baseline breakfast eaters lost 8.9 kg in the no-breakfast treatment and 6.2 kg in the breakfast treatment. Baseline breakfast skippers lost 7.7 kg in the breakfast treatment and 6.0 kg in the no-breakfast treatment.

suggests that it is the eating routine/habits rather than having or skipping breakfast that helps in weight loss.

  1. Insulin levels: A lot of articles such as this one back breakfast as the important meal since insulin sensitivity is higher in the morning and may risk metabolic functions or increase the chance of diabetes.

However, a study at Harvard on intermittent fasting(IF) states that:

Between meals, as long as we don’t snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat

i.e the longer an individual fasts, or waits for the first meal, the insulin level goes down.

Thus, breakfast is just another meal and not the most important meal.

OT: It’s funny how it never struck me that the term ‘breakfast’ actually stands for breaking the fast each day, until I read it in crystal clear words. Hence, technically, anyone’s first meal of the day is a breakfast, irrespective of the time.


#151

Claim: An apple has more sugar per gram than regular soda.

Source: Reddit

Category: Nutrition

My Stake: Back claim, 50 Cred

Assumptions:

  • Sodas and apples consumed in the US have the same sugar content as sodas and apples in other parts of the world.
  • The weight of an, on average, is roughly 70 - 100 grams (source).
  • The serving size for a soda is one can, 12 ounces.

My Argument/Evidence:

Step 1

I selected the top three brands of sodas (source) and apples (source) consumed in the United States and noted the sugar content, in grams, per serving for each:

Calculation for the average amount of sugar in a 12 oz of soda

  • Coca Cola: 39g

  • Pepsi: 39g

  • Mountain Dew: 41g

  • Average grams of sugar in each can: ~39 grams per 12 ounces (source)

    39g + 39g + 41g/3 = ~39

Calculation for the average amount of sugar, in grams, of an apple

  • Gala 17g (source)

  • Red Delicious 10g (source)

  • Fuji: 12.7g (source)

  • Average sugar amount of sugar 13.2g

    17g + 10g + 12.7/3 = 13.2

Step 2
Average amount of grams of sugar per gram of soda:

  • 1 ounce = 28.3495g

  • 12 ounces = 1 serving of soda

  • 12 ounces of soda * 28.3495 grams = 340.194g

  • 39g/340.194 = 0.11

Step 3
Average amount of sugar (13.2g) per gram of each gram of an apple average (70g - 100g):

  • 13.2g/70g (apple weight) = .19g

  • 13.2g/80g (apple weight) = .16.5g

  • 13.2g/90g (apple weight) = .15g

  • 13.2g/100g (apple weight) = .13g

Step 4

Comparison of amount of sugar, in an apple, per gram to soda.

Summary

The amount of sugar in an average size apple is 13.2g; for a 12oz can of soda, 39g. Cleary, a serving of soda contains more sugar than an apple. However, gram for gram, an apple contains more sugar than a can of soda.


#152

Whoa, that’s crazy!

Are both the sugars in apples and soda the same? My understanding is fruit sugar is a combination of fructose, sucrose, and glucose (Source) whereas sodas sugars are generally high fructose corn syrup (Source, ingredients in Pepsi). These different sugar types are processed differently by the body. Fructose doesn’t typically spike blood sugar levels where are the others can.

Seems like it’s like comparing apples to oranges, similar but not the same…


#153

Correct. Fiber aids digestion and slows down the absorption. The sugar in fruit compared to that of that in soda is different. Since the claim just says sugar and not what type, I based my research on that. I’ve heard people say things like if an apple has more sugar, gram for gram, I can just drink the soda. Claims of this nature, in my opinion, often lead to faulty logic.

If the claim was that, per gram, an apple has more sugar than soda; therefore, a serving of soda is a healthier choice than an apple, I could see the logic in noting the type of sugar, how spikes in blood sugar levels affect the body, if done consistently over a period of time, etc.


#154

Claim: The average person burns more calories sleeping 8 hours (600) than running 4 miles (400).

Source: https://twitter.com/anymanfitness/status/1105254919223824384?s=19
On real world claims slack channel by @priyatham

Category: Fitness and Health

My Stake: Back with 100 TruStake

My Argument/Evidence:
I didn’t want to trust any random website based calculator. Took the formula for calories burnt during sleeping and running.

Wrote a basic python script to average the calculations over 1000 random cases.

Result: Average calories burned while sleeping for 8 hours: 517.38 calories

Average calories burned for men while running 4 miles at (6mph): 406.84 calories

Average calories burned for women wwhile running 4 miles at (6mph): 296.16 calories

Can share the python file if required.


#155

Claim: Changes in atmospheric pressure can cause migraines

Category: Health

My Stake: Back claim, 100 Cred

Assumptions:

  1. We’re defining migraines according to the American Migraine Foundation (AMF) definition: “unprovoked headache lasting 4-72 hours, severe enough to markedly restrict or even prohibit routine daily activity and accompanied by nausea or light/ sound sensitivity.”
  2. We’re defining atmospheric pressure change as a drop in pressure based on a baseline of 1013 Hectopascals (hPa), a widely accepted unit of measurement for air pressure.

Caveats

Someone prone to headaches will be instigated to have a headache from even the slightest things. We’re talking about whether changes in atmospheric pressure can evoke headaches/migraines in normal, healthy adults.

My Argument:

1. Migraines don’t just arise from one place

A National Headache Foundation survey asked headache sufferers to review and rank a list of 16 potential triggers. People often have more than one type of trigger for their headaches.

Weather or barometric pressure changes: 73%

Intense odors: 64%

Bright or flickering lights: 59%

Smoke: 53%

Extreme heat or cold: 38%

Altitude changes: 31%

High winds: 18%

Source

Weather/barometric pressure changes is number one on the list. But causation is not correlation.

2. Clinical studies are mixed

Studies are mixed on whether there is a direct link between changes in weather and the propensity for migraine flare-ups.

2 studies that said yes there was a link

A study from the University of Toronto found that muscle pain and migraines were associated with changes in atmospheric pressure. 11 patients were asked to report their pain levels on a visual analog scale (VAS) every hour for 14 days. This VAS data was collected using portable data loggers which also recorded temperature, atmospheric pressure and relative humidity. Source

A Japanese study from the Tokai University School of Medicine explored this further and found small decreases in atmospheric pressure induced migraine attacks. The study measured standard atmospheric pressure at 1013 hPa. Between 1003–1007 (a drop of 6-10hPa) patients reported migraine symptoms noting a positive correlation between drop in atmospheric pressure and onset of headaches. Source

Other studies show no link at all between weather changes and migraines.

A study in Vienna, Austria study of 238 patients found that the influence of weather factors on migraines was small and questionable and explains why. Source

"A migraine trigger is a factor that temporarily increases the chances that a person with migraine will experience a migraine attack. Any single person may have a number of migraine triggers, so even if weather changes are one of them, many of that person’s migraine attacks may be caused by other triggers.

In addition, often a single trigger—like a specific weather change—may not be able to start a migraine attack by itself unless the weather change is very dramatic. The weather change may only cause a migraine attack if it is able to add together with another trigger, like a meal containing monosodium glutamate or a glass of red wine."

Conclusion:

So, can changes in atmospheric pressure cause migraine headaches? It appears that yes they can. However, there is more to this story than just weather.

Many studies just focus on atmospheric pressure but as mentioned by the National Headache Foundation survey, there are 16+ documented triggers for migraines.

Out of these triggers, yes, weather was a top ranked trigger. However, there were others like diet, stress, odor, light, smoke, hot/cold temperatures, and even wind. This also begs the question of what other triggers are at work that people may not be aware of as an compounding factor.


#156

Claim: Boeing 737 MAX fleet of airlines has NO flight control issues

Category: Aerospace

Source:

My Stake: 100 Challenge truStake

My Argument/ Evidence:

Key reads on the claim and evidence

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/13/702936894/ethiopian-pilot-had-problems-with-boeing-737-max-8-flight-controls-he-wasnt-alon

Two key crash events reported on Boeing 737-8 MAX airline

The 4-month-old Boeing 737-8 MAX plane crashed six minutes into its flight to Nairobi, Kenya on 10 March 2019

On 29 October 2018, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 operating the route crashed into the Java Sea 12 minutes after takeoff. All 189 passengers and crew were killed in the accident

The popularity of the Boeing 737 Max 8
737 Max 8 is the fastest-selling plane in Boeing’s history, with more than 5,000 ordered. The Federal Aviation Administration FAA said 74 of Boeing’s 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes registered in the U.S., with 387 worldwide.

What caused the flights to crash?[Most apparent explanation]
In both disasters, flight tracking data shows the pilots struggled to keep their aircrafts’ noses up and maintain altitude — an issue U.S. regulators sought to address it late last year 2018, sending an emergency directive for all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes and warning of an “unsafe condition” that could lead to “excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain.”

The actions took by Flight regulators after the first crash [mostly FAA in the US]
The Federal Aviation Administration ordered changes to the planes’ flight manuals and procedures in November 2018. There was no design change proposed but a directive was issued by Boeing after the first incident. The airworthiness directive said Boeing had found the automated anti-stall system on its 737 Max 8 and Max 9 models can be triggered by a sensor reporting an erroneously high angle of attack — meaning the system believes the nose is too high and the plane is stalling, even though it’s not. The AD mentions or reassesses the procedure required to follow by pilots to mitigate the above situation.

[http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgad.nsf/AOCADSearch/83EC7F95F3E5BFBD8625833E0070A070?OpenDocument]

Ethiopian Air says it followed the AD guidelines.

Did pilots complain about the Flight Control System on Boeing 737 Max?

U.S. pilots criticized Boeing in the wake of the Lion Air disaster, saying the plane maker had not provided enough information or training about a critical aspect of its new flight control system. Several U.S. pilots have reported having trouble controlling Boeing 737 Max planes early in their flights, using NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System to flag issues they encountered while flying the airliner.

Does Boeing provide additional safety features on Boeing 737 Max for US airliners?

American Airlines’ Boeing 737 Max planes are unique. The two dozen 737 Max aircraft in the American Airlines fleet are the only ones equipped with two AOA [Angle of Attack] displays, one for each pilot, providing an extra layer of awareness and warning. Those displays could be crucial in avoiding a sudden downward pitch — a phenomenon Boeing and the FAA acknowledged as a risk, in the airworthiness bulletin that was issued shortly after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610. This just means two display dials for each pilot to better read AOA values.

Why FAA finally grounded all Boeing 737 Max planes in US airspace?
The United States is the last country to issue grounding orders for Boeing 737 Max in its airspace. American aviation authorities said they were grounding the planes after newly available satellite-tracking data from Canada suggested similarities between Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia and one involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 in Indonesia in October.

What is the new Flight Control System in Boeing 737 Max planes which is now investigated being erroneous?

The Max 8 uses a system called MCAS — Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System — which is designed to stabilize the aircraft in flight. Boeing added MCAS after redesigning its 737 platforms for the Max. The redesign changed the size and placement of the aircraft’s engines, which altered how the jet handled in flight. MCAS is designed to automatically reduce the pitch in flight without pilot input. The system is constantly fed data from two synchronized wing-like devices called Angle of Attack sensors, located on the plane’s nose. If the AOA sensors detect the plane is pitching too high, the MCAS automatically adjusts the tail’s stabilizer — the horizontal part of the aircraft’s tail — to level out the plane. However, if the AOA sensors feed faulty or contradictory data to the MCAS, the system can force the aircraft into a dive, according to a Boeing service bulletin issued Nov. 6. 2018. Pilots can cut off the system manually, but its sudden activation can confuse pilots.

Latest updates
Boeing will issue a software fix for the grounded 737 MAX flights in a timespan of 10 days


#157

Claim: Nuclear energy is cheaper than fossil fuel energy.

My stance: Back claim, 100 Cred

Argument:

Assumptions:

Nuclear plants in the U.S. are operating at 92.2% capacity. (Source)

Evidence:

Nuclear energy and fossil fuel energy provided 19.3% and 63.5%, respectively, of electrical energy to the U.S. in 2018. (Source)

This is what it cost to produce that energy:
Fossil fuel: $292 billion
Nuclear energy: $27 billion

We calculated this by multiplying the amount of energy generated, kWh, by the average unit cost to produce that energy. Numbers used are shown below:

Fossil fuel: 2,651 billion kWh (source)
Nuclear energy: 807 billion kWh (source)

The cost of each energy source is
Fossil fuel energy: $.11/kWh on average (ranges between $.05 - $.17) Source
Nuclear energy: $.03361/kWH Source

In order for nuclear energy to produce the same amount of energy in 2018 as fossil fuel energy:

Nuclear energy would need to supply an additional 1884 billion kWh. All nuclear plants in the U.S. are operating at near-maximal capacity of 92.2%, so I am assuming that new plants would need to be built, resulting in costs higher than the aforementioned $.03361/kWH due to capital expenses.

To account for costs associated with building new infrastructure, the electricity industry calculates a “levelized cost.” This accounts for the cost of new plants within the unit-cost of electricity. The minimum levelized cost per MWh to build a new nuclear plant is $112, or $.112/kWh. In other words, the current cost of nuclear power at a plant that’s built is 0.03361 cents per kWh. When you build a new one, the cost per kWh increases to 0.112 cents, which is a nearly 4X multiple. Source

At this unit price, the cost to generate an additional 1884 billion kWh of electricity from nuclear energy is $207 billion.

Comparative costs to generate 2,651 billion kWh of U.S. electricity:

Fossil fuel energy: $292 billion
Nuclear energy: $234 billion

Summary:

After accounting for the need to build additional nuclear plants using levelized costs, the cost to generate as much U.S. electricity with nuclear energy as fossil fuel energy is cheaper by $58 billion.

Nuclear energy is cheaper relative to fossil fuels, in terms of cost to power the amount of energy generated by fossil fuels in 2018.


#158

Claim: Nuclear energy is cleaner than other types of energy generation

Source: Various

Category: Nuclear Energy

My Stake: Back with 80 TruStake

My Argument / Evidence:

Assumptions:

  • For the sake of this claim, the terms “clean” and “cleaner” are narrowly defined as electricity generation methods that emit fewer greenhouse gases. This does not include coal ash and nuclear waste management and containment, or accidents such as oil spills, nuclear meltdowns, or gas explosions, nor the effect on wildlife, land use, and other factors that are better addressed under the category of environmental impacts.

  • The numbers in the list below indicate “lifecycle emissions.” A lifecycle approach to emissions factors in all phases of construction, operation, fuel supply activities and decommissioning, and normalizes the result. As the authors indicate “some generation methods such as coal-fired power plants release the majority of GHGs during operation. Others, such as wind power and nuclear power, release the majority of emissions during construction and decommissioning.”

  • These results are a compilation of 21 studies conducted by a diverse set of independent organizations conducted between 1997 and 2010 in the US, Europe, and Australia.

  • The studies compiled are fairly old and do not account for recent or projected technological improvements and efficiencies. This includes Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technology as well as significant gains in solar panel construction efficiency and cleanliness. This is evident in the older studies estimating solar lifecycle emission at a much higher rate than more recent studies; a trend that will likely continue. The studies also do not account for recent developments in battery technology for storing excess energy. While battery production entails its own lifecycle of emissions, gains in energy efficiency and reduction in emissions are likely in methods that make use of such storage such as solar, wind, nuclear and hydro.

Average Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) in
Electricity Generation per gigawatt-hour:

Lignite (brown coal): 1069
Coal: 888
Oil: 735
Natural Gas: 500
Solar: 85
Biomass: 45
Nuclear: 28
Wind: 26
Hydro: 26
(Source) (See also)
*Average = Average of different study results

In sum, in terms of GHG emissions between 1997-2010, nuclear was cleaner than many types of electricity generation and on par with renewables. Hydro, wind and nuclear emit GHG at about the same level per gigawatt-hour. Solar emits at higher rates when factoring in production emissions but this is trending downwards in more recent studies. Fossil fuels emit at significant multiples of renewables and nuclear.


#159

Claim: Nuclear energy is more environmentally friendly than other types of energy.

Category: Energy

My Stake: Back, 100 cred

Assumptions:

We’re measuring environmentally friendliness in terms of Co2 emissions. I believe it’s a good measure of environmental friendliness because carbon dioxide represents the majority of greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. Nuclear energy doesn’t release greenhouse gases, but it uses uranium as a fuel that produces and mining uranium releases carbon dioxide to the environment.

Argument/evidence:

Greenhouse gases emitted directly or indirectly can be quantified with a method called ‘life-cycle assessment’ that is a comprehensive, widely accepted framework that provides a way to measure environmental impacts associated with the average product or technology lifecycle. It also provides a way to compare renewable energy with fossil fuels and nuclear energy technologies.

Image: source

In summary, Based on Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions, nuclear energy is much more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels and comparable to renewables (see picture above).


#160

Claim: Nuclear energy is safer than other types of energy.

Source: Trustory Slack channel

Category: Energy

My Stake: Challenge, 50 cred

My Argument/Evidence:

Assumptions:

I’ll be challenging this claim in terms of safety concerning human life/well-being in the result of a catastrophe.

According to the EIA, electricity in the U.S. is broken down to these proportions: 63.5% Fossil Fuel (Natural Gas and Coal), 19.3% Nuclear, and 17.1% Renewable (Hydro, Wind, and Solar mix).
**Oil-related disasters will be considered since oil isn’t a major source of electricity.

Using all these sources, I’ll look at some major catastrophe fatalities from each source in the last 35 years, globally.

Certain sources of energy have multiple accident types: mining explosions, power plant explosions, and pipeline failures. Some examples of accidents would be coal mining, uranium mining, natural gas pipeline failures, gas well failure, coal power plant explosions, natural gas power plant explosions, and nuclear reactor failures.

  • Nuclear Energy: Chernobyl (1986), Tokaimaru (1999), Mihama (2004), Fukushima (2011), Marcoule (2011)

  • Coal: Chasnala (1975), Whitewell (1981), Weststay (1992) Pasta de Conchos (2006), TVA Kingston (2008), Upper Big Branch (2010), Pike River (2010), Soma (2014), NPTC (2017)

  • Gas: Belgium (2004), BP Texas City (2005), Middletown (2010), San Bruno (2010), BP Pinon (2012), Eagleford (2013), Gibson (2015), Quinton (2018), Columbia Gas (2018)
    *Will be disregarding gas leaks because those causes are unknown

  • Hydro: Bieudron (2000), Sayano–Shushenskaya (2009),

  • Wind: Caithness wind farm (2018)
    *compiled all the wind turbine related facilities from 2010 - 2018 in UK & US

  • Solar: Solar City (2008), Solar City (2009), Solar City (2010)
    *reported, no other sources have reported deaths

I made a table with all the deaths from these accidents shown below:

Seemingly, Renewable energy sources for electricity are the safest in terms of human life.

Nuclear energy has the potential to be deadly because you don’t know what radiation exposure can cause like cancer. Coal is also harmful from a pollution perspective where numerous people die because of respiratory illness. Natural Gas is fatal because of potential gas leaks.


#161

Here’s why I’ll keep my stance on why I’m challenging this claim that IOTA is quantum resistant:


#162

Here’s why I’ll keep my stance on why I’m challenging this claim that IOTA is quantum resistant

Which part of the these tweets do you think applies to IOTA?


#163

Claim: Subjective questions cannot be answered by a TCR

Source: Aleksandr Bulkin’s “Curate This: Token-Curated Registries That Don’t Work”

Category: Blockchain Technology

My Stake: Challenge [100 CRED]

What is a TCR:

It a token system that generates a decentralized list and replaces centralized list owners by a curation market.

A “top restaurant” TCR list is subjective.

An “Olympic gold medalists” TCR list is objective.

Claim Challenged:

  1. The objective answer exists
  2. It is publicly observable
  3. It is very cheap to observe it.

The author of the claim stipulates that for a TCR to work, there needs to be an objective answer to the curation problem (number 1). This challenge intends to prove a TCR can work with subjective answers.

My argument / evidence:

Real-world stakeholders never align towards a definitive answer to a subjective question. In a TCR system, curators are expected to follow the same behavior and challenge each other to solve a subjective question.

For instance, a TCR with all the top-tier token-projects (useful for portfolio rebalancing of an index) entered in a curated list is subjective, as the definition of “top-tier” might differ from stakeholder to stakeholder.

Here, the subjective TCR secures continuous funds from new project’s application fee and from token holders seeking more influence over the list by stacking them up.

On the other hand, if a TCR is created to record the Olympic gold medalists of every sport, the answers are objective, cheap and public, but why would anyone be incentivized to curate such an easy list?

Subjectivity and Context

Slava Balasanov in TCR Design Flaws first explains that subjective problems “lack a coordination signal and hence cannot be accurately answered by a TCR”.

Even if subjective TCR trigger demand for tokens through new applications and curators seeking more influence, he further states that the “tragedy of commons” will force token holders to focus on individual short-term profit rather than the long-term quality of the lists.

As such, without context on curators, Balasanov suggests we are not able to know (i) who are the curators and (ii) why they are curating, which jeopardizes the sanity of a subjective TCR: low-dog token holders will be “incentivized to vote for the choices [they] believe the whales will vote for.”

Solution

Interestingly, Balasanov offers a solution to subjective TCR designs by combining them with reputation systems, although he’s written: “Why Subjective TCR don’t work” at the beginning of the article.

The outcome is the ability to differentiate curators based on their reputation, where the weight of their vote is a function of their token and reputation. The system creates a coordination signal and classifies curators based on their incentive to curate.

Some curators might have better access to information or are incentivized to accept/reject an application, sharing reputation helps end users (TCR Consumers) understand the ethics and values of curators.

For example, a subjective TCR of top tier cryptocurrencies and a reputation system can efficiently differentiate the influence of curators.

An independent cryptocurrency media house or auditor should not have the same influence as a token project founder looking to infiltrate the curation market to get his token listed on the TCR.

Subjective TCR can work if the market knows who are the curators and why they are curating through a reputation system.

Thanks @priyatham for the review!