Beyond the Cusp

November 3, 2017

Israel Can be Instrumental in Building South America

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu just visited Buenos Aires, Argentina where he gave an important speech. The importance of the Prime Minister’s visit cannot be overstated as this was the first visit by a sitting Israeli Prime Minister to South America and as such it carries much weight. His every word will be over analyzed by the media and we will leave that to those who hang on every syllable seeking a single note on which to pounce. So let them have their joys. Meanwhile, Israeli companies and investors could and should follow-up on the Prime Minister’s comments and introductions. Still, at this point we are obliged to quote a few of his words which we will allow the privilege of standing on their own. Prime Minister Netanyahu, after the exchanging of pleasantries, stated, “The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is an innovation nation. The power of innovation is endless. New industries are created from thin air literally. They create wealth very rapidly.” The Prime Minister then made what we feel was the main point of his visit and all he said presenting an invitation and request all in one breathe with this pondering, “This meeting, this event today marks this change in our ability to cooperate, so I want to make it clear that we welcome all Argentinian companies to come to Israel with the Deputy President and subsequently later on in the second half of the year with the President. We welcome all Israeli companies to come to Argentina and share the ability to produce value.”

 

The remainder of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech could have been an introduction of a university professor speaking of the course syllabus for an economics class. But this introduction and invitation for an exchange of companies to mutual development was also extended to Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes when he and the Israeli Prime Minister met in Buenos Aires during the trip. There has been must interest in South America and in working to initiate relationships of mutual value as well as assistance with development when necessary and possible. Israel’s hopes to have a positive effect in South America where welcomed as has been done in numerous African nations where Israel has assisted in medical developments and treatments as well as introducing methods of agriculture, water purification, irrigation and other technologies where they are useful and assisting development. The needs and interests in South America are of a different nature and of a greater technological nature. Still, just as in Africa, water purification including desalinization and clean energy are valuable technologies as well as communications and other areas where Israel has developed advanced systems. Exchanges of ideas and production can only benefit all nations. For a small introduction to the Israeli hi-tech industries and their global connections one can read this article for some insight.

 

Africa and Israel and South America

Africa and Israel and South America

 

This also gives Israel an opportunity to display the real Israel to this area of the world and that could be the beginning of an effort to dispel the radicalized view which has infected much of the world through efforts such as the BDS movement and other anti-Israeli efforts which have spread throughout the world. Through the Israeli people having direct dealings and contact with others throughout the world and showing their best side, these lies can be defeated. The best answer to the propagandas spread about Israel will be the Israeli people, the Jews, Bahá’í, Bedouins, Christians, Druze, Arabs and Muslims, yes, Arab Muslims who live, work, play, relax, swim, worship and every other right given to Jews is shared by every other citizen of Israel. Through interaction with people in other nations, such truths become known and through the truth Israel will be exonerated in the eyes and minds of the world. There are rewards to be had by every nation, every person, every company and for Israel too from sharing and showing the truth to all. That is the opportunity that Prime Minister Netanyahu has spoken for and is the opportunity for Israel to better her image and for the world to benefit from these efforts and the gifts and knowledge Israel can and has willingly shared with others and is now being offered to the nations of South America willing to have an honest exchange.

 

The good news is trade and exchange with Israel will benefit the nations of South America as well as Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu was correct when he said, “The power of innovation is endless. New industries are created from thin air literally.” He was also quite correct, though slightly immodest, when he prefaced that with, “The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is an innovation nation.” This is the atmosphere which people breathe in Israel which is what brings with it success. What helps other nations is they bring that excitement, that innovation and that attitude with them and share these wonders wherever they wander. This brings with it great opportunities and often great successes. Apart from the added inputs, innovations and perspectives Israelis gain working with people from other nations, Israel gains by showing the truth of what makes up Israel, what Israel offers, who Israelis are and every aspect and truth which is Israel. This gives others the opportunity to know some of the truths which are Israel and Israelis and what is so precious to Israelis about Israel itself. This is as important as are the other opportunities and advantages of trade for Israel and those with whom Israel trades. It is that it is a trade which is of mutual advantage and that serves all parties, and that is another truth which will be born out. We hope that the nations, especially the democratic and free nations, of South America will take full advantage of the invitation and the opportunity offered and that all parties have the greatest experience and gains possible. Prime Minister Netanyahu has tried to open these doors and now we just have to see who decides to take that first step.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 31, 2017

Our Worlds Are in a Mess and Clashing

 

Part I

 

Link to Part II

 

The Western World is seemingly in a death spiral while the Eastern Worlds are struggling with ideas the West cast off at the end of colonialism and Israel is caught in the middle. The Eastern World and Developing World are easily assessed as they are at the beginning point the West has already progressed past. Africa, central and much of southern, are still living largely off resources and selling such on the world market and subsistence farming with small amounts of true agricultural farming. The greatest of harms has been done to Africa as they have received massive shipments of food in the forms of wheat and other crops which would have been more productive had they grown the crops themselves. As their economy was basically agrarian, shipping them food was starving their economy thus making investments impossible as there was no venture capital with which to develop further. Basically, the Western World, whether through neglect, ignorance or an actual attempt to impede development, took away the one industry which Africa was suited to utilize for their own development. This left them with their farmers starving having to farm for their own families’ existence instead of farming to feed their own cities and thus form a solid backbone from which their economies could base growth. This has left Africa as a vastly underdeveloped continent surviving by selling off their natural resources instead of developing their own infrastructure to ready themselves to introduce industrial economic development. So while they sell their ore, their gems, their precious metals and every other item they can mine or find, they are actually stealing their own future to pay for the society today and that is a recipe for ruin.

 

The area known as MENA (Middle East and North Africa) is not in much better shape economically. Their economies are based on oil and drugs depending on the country. The few which are not able or willing to rely on either of those resources are living off base level industry, tourism, the good graces of an oil rich sponsor or some combination thereof. Egypt is such an example, as are many of the North African nations, has meager industrial base, a natural tourist industry with the Pyramids of Giza and other ancient wonders and a small oil market which also provides sufficient energy for the country to operate. Egypt could develop an industrial fishing economy and does receive funds from passage of commerce through the Suez Canal but still relies largely on the United States and Saudi Arabia to keep her solvent. The rest of the North African nations are at some level of poverty or worse, in complete melt-down as is Libya where tribal forces compete for the right to claim they rule the country when in reality it is nothing more than tribal influences vying for land and terrorist training areas taking advantage of the lack of governmental military force to prevent such. Along the entirety of the border with Central Africa there is a low level warfare going on with the most notable area being split between the war by proxy the Sudan is waging against the separative South Sudan and the regions being torn apart by terrorist violence by Boko Haram centered upon Nigeria where a little over a week ago at least twelve people were killed following two suicide blasts in the Maiduguri area of northeastern Nigeria and at the start of this month Boko Haram militants killed nine and abducted dozens more in southern Niger where attackers rode camels into the village of Ngalewa, about fifty kilometers north of the border with Nigeria. Such violence goes all but unreported in Western news as if this area of extreme and brutal violence is not important when the nations fighting these struggles cannot develop properly in such an atmosphere. This zone is known euphemistically as the African Transition Zone (pictured below). This zone also is the demarcation line between the Islamic World and that of Christian and African Traditional Religion. This is a war which deserves recognition beyond that of the Coptic Christians though they are an important segment of this struggle of non-Islamic faiths which are bordering the Islamic World.

 

African Transition Zone

African Transition Zone

 

The Middle East has its share of difficulties starting with the focal point of Syria. Syria, along with Yemen, defines the main struggle in the area, Sunni Islam against Shiite Islam. This battle has raged off and on since the death of Muhammad and is once again coming to the foreground. The main impetus behind Shiite Islam is Iran which currently includes much of southern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. This area can be referred to as the Shiite Crescent (pictured below) and connects the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea granting an overland route which circumvents the Suez Canal. Such is important as should Iran take full control of Yemen they will control both choke points, the Straights of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, the main oil route from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and the Bab el Mandeb which controls the exit from the Red Sea through the Gulf of Aden into the Indian Ocean which also cuts off the Suez Canal and the Israeli southern port of Eilat. Blocking these two choke points is what makes a land route to the Mediterranean Sea so important. Saudi Arabia could benefit from an oil pipeline across her width to the Red Sea but they would need to build a port capable of handling tankers or they could use the Israeli ports which have such capabilities if only they recognized that such an entity existed. The Saudi Port of Jeddah would also suffice but such would be susceptible to Egyptian control of the Suez Canal where using Israel would likely cost recognition and Saudi pressure to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and end the Arab Palestinian war to eliminate Israel through all means usable. For the meantime, Saudi Arabia is more than happy to keep the pressures on Israel preventing her from developing even faster. All the while, we have the heart of the Islamic World across MENA which saw itself go from the leaders in the world to the losers in the world with the Industrial Revolution in the Western World. What is most interesting is the Islamic World refuses to believe that they fell behind and hold the West as responsible for their lost primacy and have sworn to bring the Western World down, and are making great headway as the West does little or actually aid the Islamic World in this endeavor.

 

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

 

The Far East has one eight-ton gorilla and some interesting, in a warped way, other actors. The main force emerging from the Far East is China. What is mostly ignored is right behind China we have India. India is simply working quietly in harmony with all around her with the exception of Pakistan (border with Islam) and a conflict over border claims around the region of Doklam, where Chinese and Indian forces remain locked in a stand-off sparked by a road construction project in a disputed border area shared with Bhutan. This is an old rivalry going back long before modern history with these two being the central powers in this region for much of human history. What will make this more interesting is that India is expected to surpass China as the most populous nation sometime this century. Also in this area is our favorite nut-job, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un who, as we have reported over the past two weeks, is developing missiles and well on his way to ICBM’s capable of striking anywhere on the planet and the nuclear warheads to place atop these missiles. North Korea is a menace which China appears unwilling or unable of reining in which could lead to open warfare if one side blinks at the wrong time or is caught winking when they should have been eyes front. Any misreading by either side, and especially the mentally less than stable Kim Jong-un, could result in a nuclear war whose expanse will be determined by that which the North Korean dictator can reach with his missiles. North Korea is suspected of working with Iran which means that Kim Jong-un could have a fleet of ballistic missile carrying freighters ready to launch at coastal cities leaving them mere minutes if not seconds to react before being struck by a nuclear warhead. And, of course, both South Korea and Japan, two of North Korea’s main enemies after the United States, are both within striking distance already and are obviously nervous.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 15, 2017

Coming Failure of Paris Accords With or Without United States

 

There has been a huge amount of clamoring since President Trump pulled the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. Claims that this will guarantee it will fail are farcical at best and sheer straight-faced lies at worst. The Paris Climate Accord will stand or fail on its own merits. The reason for the commotion is due to the loss of being able to point an accusatory finger at the United States and excusing every other nation failing on the fact that the United States also failed and apparently their failure was worse than these other failing nations thus giving them room for excuses. Here is a little secret which is seldom if ever stated, anybody can easily predict which nations will fail and which will actually reach or exceed their Paris Accord numbers and it is easy. Simply determine whether each nation has a growing or declining economy. Those nations with a growing economic output will fail to reach their set goals and those whose economic indicators are in decline, they will be able to reach their set goals. The reason for this being the indicator is with a higher economic output a nation will require increasing energy while a declining economic outlook will lead to their lessening their energy needs. It really is that easy.

 

So, now you ask if there would be some way of taking this into consideration. The truth is that it would be very easy and could be done by altering the means by which the carbon output is calculated. Instead of simply measuring the total carbon footprint and simply using that gross output without taking anything else into consideration, the measurement should be measured against GDP and population. The solution is to take this total output and divide the number by some version of GDP or other economic measure such that you end up with carbon footprint per unit of economic production. This is the true measure of the advance or lack of addressing pollution and its controls on a scale, which is fair and places everybody on an equal measuring basis. But this is not the reason for these ecology agreements like the Paris Accord or the Kyoto Protocols. They have little concern when it comes to bringing pollution and carbon footprints into order and lessening the actual pollution; otherwise, there would be stiffer demands made of countries such as Brazil, India and China. Taking China as an example, it has been found that China is estimated to have released nearly twice the carbon emissions as the United States and around two and a half times the European Union. Yet China is usually given a pass or an inflated target which allows them to continue at their higher levels without embarrassment. The real reason for these climate change and impact treaties is to force the industrialized world to transfer their manufacturing output and production to the third world and thus transfer a large percentage of the new wealth from the industrialized world to the third world. There are a number of problems with this concept and much of it has to do with actually cleaning the environment, something such a transfer would increase the carbon emissions by many fold, potentially as high as a ten-fold increase.

 

Perhaps it is time to inspect many of these undesirable effects such as a transfer of production from the developed world to the developing world would produce. While many nations in the industrialized world have decreasing carbon emissions per unit of economic output, the developing nations would have a steady and unchanging or slightly increasing carbon emissions per unit of economic output as they would continue using coal fired plants and many of the new ones they would require in order to facilitate increased industrialization would be hastily built coal burning plants with little if any sanitizing of the output and transferring carbon emissions straight and untreated into the atmosphere and any other pollutant the new manufacturing would produce would potentially end up in the land or waters also untreated plus the increases of other pollutants such as nitrates and phosphates and other dangerous gasses and water pollutants. Much of this is because these nations do not have the necessary infrastructure to treat and control such forms of pollution and currently do not have the current infrastructure and technology. Due to lack of capital these undeveloped nations have largely agricultural economies and thus depend mostly on coal fired electric generation as this is the least expensive to construct and also the least expensive to operate thus the most production for the least outlay. These nations being forcibly pressed into increasing manufacturing capability over a short period of time rather than gradually allowing for increasing capital paralleling the increasing manufacturing forces them to have to use the least expensive power generation systems to meet the large increase in electrical demand. On the other hand, if allowed to slowly and naturally, then there would be a general increase in revenue as the initial manufacturing is built allowing for any new power generation to be implemented with carbon suppressing equipment such as scrubbers. Then as industrial output increases, the nation can handle it in stages with better planning. Slow and steady is better than forced feeding.

 

For some reality about the United States, we can realize that if every nation could match the United States going forward, then we would have progress in reduction of carbon emissions in a real sense, measured emissions per unit of economic output. This is best displayed using graphs. This graph depicts the carbon emissions per person from energy production from 1960 through 2012. There is one fact which bears keeping in mind exactly what this graph depicts. This is actually two graphs in one, the 1960 through around 1985 and then 1985 through 2012. The end period of both segments shows dropping per capita carbon emissions released in the energy generation industries. There was a reason that the per capita increase after about 1985 was due to the general use of air conditioning plus the movement of people from the north into the south as there was a general migration as airconditioning became less expensive. Additionally, with the end of the 1980’s began the computer revolution and the electronics revolution. The per capita energy use began to explode as the per household electrical demands took off with entertainment systems replacing small televisions and often two such systems in an average upper middle class home. Add in two, three, four or more computers per household and more kitchen appliances and more and more electronics and the power consumption kept climbing yet the increase in carbon emissions was finally reduced to a point where despite each household used four, five, six or possibly ten times the electrical use per household compared to the usage in 1960 and the carbon emissions increased by less than one-tenth. Despite this phenomenal increase in electrical demand there was very little increased in actual carbon emissions release per person. This is one means of making the total carbon emissions make more sense by measuring it against something that also represents demand, which represents actual people and their usage is what is being measured.

 

United States per Person Carbon Emissions from Energy Production

 

Another means for measuring and giving it more meaning rather than simple gross carbon emissions alone is to measure total greenhouse emissions per person, against GDP and with showing populations and GDP from 1990 through 2014. While both populations and GDP increase, both greenhouse emissions measured per person and per unit of GDP decreased from 1990 through 2014, which is impressive. All of this and the different measures of the United States is all well and good, but is what the United States has accomplished at all impressive? That is an excellent question which is also best answered with more graphs.

 

United States Total Greenhouse Emissions Per Capita and Per GDP with Population and GDP

 

Let us now see how China, the European Union and the United States compare in total carbon dioxide emissions with projections into the next decade plus. The comparison is stark and also reveals what we spoke about earlier, if the world were really serious about greenhouse emissions, they would be less concerned with President Trump pulling the United States out of an agreement which is more about transferring wealth from the developed world to the third world and the developing world, in particular China, India, central and southern Africa, South America and much of Asia.

 

Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions for China Compared to European Union and United States

Total Carbon Dioxide Emissions for China Compared to European Union and United States

 

The reality is the global emissions accords have worked in sending many hundreds if not thousands of manufacturers to build their plants in China to the point that China was building more than one large coal fired generating plant per month with some estimates putting it at one such plant per week. Such a rate of production of generating plants does not leave much room for building more than the generation plant and little as far as carbon suppression or mitigation equipment. When China sponsored the Olympics in Beijing, it was necessary to all but close shop on all the local manufacturing and request that residents not use air conditioning and other unnecessary electronic equipment and devices. These steps were taken so that the power company could shut down the majority of their power plants starting with those closest to the Olympic camp only restarting some to power the Olympic park and events themselves. This did manage to improve the air quality in Beijing such that the athletes would not be adversely affected due to competing in the Olympics. As a side benefit, the people of Beijing were treated to almost six weeks of clean air which was probably their greater joy and probably had them wishing they could sponsor the Olympics constantly.

 

The Truth About the Air in Beijing and Breathing Masks

The Truth About the Air in Beijing and Breathing Masks

 

The above picture shows two young women and one of the Red Guards stationed outside the Forbidden City in Beijing on the right and a breakdown of some of the chemicals that are found in the air in the city. It also tells of the history and how horrific the air quality can reach when the winds die and the pollution accumulates. Having driven into Denver in August when there are often temperature inversions and a reddish-brown bowl sat over the city in the late 1970’s and having read in the late 1960’s how people were safer to breathe through an unlit cigarette (some even claimed a lit cigarette) rather than breathing the air straight as the pollution was making air quality so horrible. I was in Cleveland in late June of 1969 when the Cuyahoga River caught fire, yes, the river caught fire, and burned for quite a distance (see video below). During that time period, Lake Erie was so filled with nitrates and phosphates that the plant life literally made the lake impossible for supporting fish. These were the days when the United States had its worst pollution and industry began to clean up their acts. Power plants installed scrubbers and manufacturers began filtering and treating their wastewater before permitting them to flow into rivers and streams. What people will claim is that government forced them to clean up their acts with the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The truth is fortunately different. The American public began demanding that Congress do something about the problem and by the time they finally agreed upon what legislation to pass, industry had surpassed their legislated levels by a fair margin with some specific, and often too spectacular, exceptions, which did need persuading. This was the reality; industry even began using their efforts in their advertising in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. So, once again we had Congress passing legislation to close the barn door after the horses had escaped, been rounded up, returned to the paddock and the barn door closed and locked. Then the Congressional representatives ran for reelection bragging about how they saved America from becoming a polluted wasteland. The truth is all too often Congress passes legislation addressing a problem after the problem has passed and then claim they fixed it for the next decade or two.

 

 

There is pollution in the world and some of it is dangerous. In Brazil, farmers will burn down square miles of rainforest in order to make farmland they can work, as that is cheaper than trying to buy existing lands. China we have talked about but India is not that far behind them and the Ganges River, which many Indians wash themselves in because the waters are presumed to be blessed and sacred, are instead actually dangerous. The danger levels of the water increase ever mile that one gets closer to its exit into the Indian Ocean. The world would be better served if the third world and developing world were first introduced to modern farming techniques so they could increase yields and feed their people at a lesser cost. By increasing their agricultural output, their economic situation would improve. There should also be work to improve their governance such that they become rule by law and not by man. The laws must apply equally to all including the rulers as other than the Queen and Queen’s Mother in England, nobody is above the law (actually neither are the royals in England though they probably are in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and so forth). Once they have an improved agricultural economy then they can begin to improve their industrial base and with assistance in building clean energy plants, they can do this with minimal decrease, if any, in air and water quality. This is something that should be done properly and in stages and with each nation brought forward only once they have good governance.

 

The age where dictators and their cronies are made wealthy charging for food and other relief sent by the developed world while the people remain hungry, ill, lacking medical care, and impoverished while Big Cheese Who Cares reaps in millions of dollars. Probably the prime example of this is in Gaza with Hamas and with the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas and his gang of merry terrorists. Yes, the developed world has a responsibility to lead and to do so properly and with respect and dignity given to all people. Further, the developed world has a responsibility to share their knowledge and experience in governance to improve the world and spread the rule by laws over other systems which keep people impoverished while their governing classes drive Mercedes on the nations’ dirt roads. Finally, the United Nations has proven completely incapable of performing these tasks and perhaps a new international group of developed democratic nations which can lead and assist the developing and third world nations and provide a message and example through which these nations will desire to learn and progress and have their development made in such a manner that their environment remains clean and their progress performed in proper and planned stages bringing them forward at a pace which matches their ability to develop clean power and their education systems produce a working class capable of the technologies as they are introduced. We believe here at BTC through examples of how such programs have been completed successfully in agricultural development such as this one in Kenya, Ethiopia and elsewhere, medical progress such as providing training and equipment for hospitals to perform surgeries on children with heart problems and other similar programs that these things done properly are doable if only people and nations are willing to make the efforts. Please do check these last links as they depict what is possible and is being accomplished through efforts of people who care for all people.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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