Beyond the Cusp

August 21, 2016

The Environmental Extremist Perfect World

 

Between recent events in state and local governments, the political dreams of some select Presidential candidates including one of the main candidates, Congressional and Senatorial campaigns and the abundant environmental NGO’s demands of candidates and governance, it is easy to extrapolate and draw an accurate picture. We have watched as coal mines and coal fired electric generating plants have been forced by government into closing their production, their generation of electricity or to an expensive changeover to natural gas and the current drive against the remaining coal plants and numerous oil powered plants to shut down or change to natural gas. Where the success has been most prolific there is a new drive, to close natural gas powered plants. Then there has been the court and legislative drives to criminalize fracking and close down any drilling or other harvesting of carbon fuels within zones such as schools, daycares, public malls, shopping centers, hospitals, residential housing or even any structure used by human beings with some demanding as much as a half mile setback which could have the effect of closing as high and three-quarters of all mining, drilling, fracking of other carbon fuel harvesting. Their intended goal is to have the majority of electrical generation come from renewable fuels or eco-friendly generation. The eco-friendly generation is where the problems arise. One might believe that hydro power would meet their requirements but one would be incorrect. Dams, you see, block rivers and thus prevent natural river flow and development and a number of environmental fanatics are demanding the undamming of rivers returning them to their natural flow rates and support for ecosystems. Then there is wind power but these are a danger to birds and until a safe and completely bird safe system can be developed they demand that wind turbines be parked to save the birds, especially those in the path of migratory birds. With even natural gas, the environmentalists’ favorite fuel, coming under fire where other fuels have been closed down or changed over to natural gas, what is now appearing to be a fool’s choice if natural gas is actually unacceptable as well.

 

So, what generation source would be acceptable to all the ecology fanatics? Even if wind power were acceptable, the demand for adequate production is beyond imagination. Industry and government data show that generating just 20% of US electricity with wind power would require some 18,000,000 acres of land, 186,000 turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, and 270,000,000 tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earths. Just multiply these figures by five and add another ten percent for good measure and you would immediately realize that such an idea is ridiculously demanding. The ecology fanatics like to tout wave technology which is in its initial stages and should it become viable then these fanatics would find a reason that it endangered kelp or jelly fish or some other problem. There are those who claim that solar power generation is dangerous as it causes heat pollution. So do human beings simply by living generate heat, but perhaps we should keep that a secret before the environmentalists demand we take measures to prevent our heat pollution from destroying the delicate balance and possibly adding to the loss of glaciers. As far as we can figure, there is no generation of electricity or powering our vehicles which in the end would be acceptable to these fanatics. Yes, there are reasonable ecological dreamers whose demands almost make sense but they are outdone by the fanatics who apparently have no lack of energy in generating demands and petitions not to mention making grand displays and demonstrations against virtually every form of power generation.

 

The reasonable ecological warriors have also made a miscalculation, though we are wary of informing them, in their claims that electric cars reduce pollution. These electric cars require charging which can most easily be done one of two means currently. The first is to power a generator on the vehicle with a gasoline powered engine which pollutes just as a regular gasoline powered engine would and even more power must be generated to make up for energy loss in any system. The other and most used manner is to plug the car in overnight and charge the batteries. Well, where does that electricity originate. A power plant which, as the eco friends will inform us at every turn, generates pollution just as would the gasoline powered cars. All battery powered vehicles manage is to relocate the pollution and have it enter the atmosphere at night, the one time when the air formerly had an opportunity to be safer from pollution. Even if it manages to reduce the hydrocarbons spewed into the atmosphere, the difference is likely minimal and one need weigh whether or not the difference is worth trading the freedom of traveling beyond the range of battery power for such things as, what is that thing called where you drive a distance to have simply family fun time? Oh yes, a vacation.

 

We had an introduction granted us lesser people from Al Gore whose homes are simply unbelievable carbon powered heat sinks and anything but eco-friendly (see below). Let us also not forget that Al Gore jets back and forth in a private jet rather than using commercial airliners which would cut back on his carbon footprint, but Mr. Gore is one of the privileged and cannot be expected to rub elbows with the great unwashed. The same can be stated for another great enviro-warrior, Nancy Pelosi. You see Ms. Pelosi demanded a larger more fuel hungry jet for her trips most weekends from Washington D.C. to her home in California because she was put off having to stop and refuel somewhere, often Arkansas, in flyover country where those other people reside, how totally revolting, almost like gagging on a spoon like a valley girl. Many of the Representative and Senators have similar stories about how they abuse the atmosphere and pollute the air the rest of America breathes and then have the audacity of demanding that people drive cars which are death traps should they have an accident with the large Mercedes or Cadillac or whatever luxury chauffeur driven vehicle these servants of the people use at both ends of their personal jet flight home whenever they feel homesick. Granted, not all of the representatives of the people act with such lack of caring. Many do fly regular airlines and even use cabs or drive reasonable vehicles, but they are the exception. Then there is Bernie, I’m a humble socialist living a life like any little person, Sanders who made news in the Washington Post soon after the Democrat conventions. Let us quote, “Sanders family’s ‘new waterfront crib has four bedrooms and 500 feet of Lake Champlain beachfront,’ according to the Vermont newspaper Seven Days, which broke the news on Monday. Sanders’s spokesman, Michael Briggs, told us the home is 1,800 square feet (hardly a mansion). Jane O’Meara Sanders, the senator’s wife, said she had ‘always hoped’ to buy a home in the area, which has more of a country village vibe than Hamptons feel.” We wish our apartment was 1,800 square feet and sat on a 500 foot lakefront though our cozy little apartment five blocks from the Mediterranean Sea is sweet enough even if it is a little too close to Lebanon if another war breaks out. Let us return back to our eco-friends.

 

Al Gore Home Montecito California

Al Gore Home Montecito California

 

Al Gore Home Nashville Tennessee

Al Gore Home Nashville Tennessee

 

Al Gore Home Santa Barbara California

Al Gore Home Santa Barbara California

 

The one thing which is disturbing about many of the friends of Earth demands is for the human race to stop using any electricity, end the use of fertilizer, stop making things out of plastics, use only renewable energy sources, replace vehicles with alternate transportation such as donkeys and horses, and return to living as our ancestors did a thousand years ago. There is a small problem with these demands; it would result in the death of a vast majority of human beings on the planet. This of course would greatly please the ZPG crowd, the zero population growth. Believe it or not, there is another group which would claim that the loss of these people was but a good start. These people call for the reduction of the human population by ninety percent leaving only a small group of eco-friendly people who know how to live in a reasonable agreement with nature. Even these people are not the most extreme as there is a group which calls for the eradication of the human race as without people the planet would be in balance and the human beings are only a source of Earthly destruction. We have a simple policy with both of these last two groups, you guys first as it were your idea and we promise to live in a manner nicer to the planet. What we are not telling them is we have decided their sacrifice was sufficient for the rest of us to continue in relative comfort. Satisfying the insatiable is a foolish game as by definition they will never be content no matter how much the society bends to please them. Their idea of perfection does not include the rest of us and there is the problem. If it comes to us or them and they are the fanatics who believe there are too many people, then let them lead the way and we can call that our solution, sounds good, no?

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

August 13, 2016

Ecology the Economy and Global Pollution

 

There are so many arguments where it is apparent that much of the ecology demands are in direct conflict of interest with the state of the economy. Of course it does not need to be this way or even an actual issue for the Western and post-industrial world. Technological advancements have even led to coal powered plants in the advanced world putting out next to nothing in emissions into the atmosphere compared to those same plants forty or fifty years ago. We can excuse many of the youthful ecology warriors as they did not live when smog was an actual problem and those days where one really needed that gas mask they are so anxious to claim will be necessary at today’s standards. There were days where visibility in Los Angeles was limited to half a block and days when a temperature inversion turned Denver, Colorado into a city under an orange bowl of trapped air. There were any numbers of times when the Cuyahoga River actually caught fire and Lake Erie could not support fish. All of these were the real ecological tragedies of the past and where we are today carries no measure of comparison. The air and water quality today is a taste of what we considered would be heaven on earth back in the fifties, sixties, seventies and early eighties though much had been gained by the mid-eighties. One cannot imagine what it was like in those rough and tumble days when the ecology movement started and great and close to unbelievable gains have been accomplished.

 

What was it like back in those dirty and horrific days, you ask. Well, allow us to try and explain. Air quality was very much like Beijing, Karachi or New Delhi and rivers were close to the conditions of the Ganges, Yellow and Buriganga Rivers (see images below). The greatest ecological problems facing humankind today are not the cities and rivers in much of the United States or Europe as much as they are in the developing world, particularly China, India and other nations almost always exempted from United Nations and other ecological requirements. Giving the worst polluting nations a pass on meeting standards and instead demonizing and requiring ever more difficult and approaching impossible standards of the advanced nations is ignoring the real problems that are damaging health and the state of the world. The United States and Europe could cut their air and water pollution by fifty percent or even seventy-five percent and it would not come close to improving world air and water quality as it would require the developing world to improve their air and water quality by a mere five to ten percent. Cleaning up the air and water in the developing world, especially the rising industrial nations like China and India could make huge strides. It is not as if what is being asked is all that impossible or even difficult to achieve as the science and industrial know-how already exist and much of it is off the shelf and install and you are good to go. If the financial burden was demanded almost exclusively from the developed world it would be an investment which would indirectly and directly affect the quality of life in the post-industrial world as the air and water of these developing nations does have an influence on the air and water quality worldwide. If the cost of installing and manufacturing the necessary pollution control systems for many of the industries which have been shifted from the developed world to the developing world, in some cases simply to avoid the ever more stringent pollution demands and requirements which the post-industrial world had challenged their industries to meet, there could readily be made improvements leading to decreasing pollution in these parts of the world easily attaining halving their pollution which would be a giant stride and would exceed any possible reductions quantitatively than anything possible in the rest of the advanced world. As stated, the required technology already exists and would simply require production and installation which in many cases would simply be an add-on system to already existing power plants and industrial facilities. One example would be the carbon scrubbers for coal fired electrical generation facilities which could cut CO2 easily by fifty percent and the costs would not be exorbitant making such one easy place to begin. Water filtration systems placed between factories and rivers could make a huge difference and finally using more advanced systems and procedures for handling recycling and sorting of trash could not only benefit air and water quality but also lead to reduced costs on the society into the future with the gains in health being just one benefit which should be an aim for all humankind.

 

Examples of Worst Air and Water Pollution Today

Examples of Worst Air and Water Pollution Today

 

The problem is one of numbers which is easily explained. Any pollution standards have thus far been coming from the United Nations and related NGOs and other agencies. Many of these have their leadership and decision making committees predominantly made up from the member nations. The United Nations lists the developed (post-industrial) nations as being North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. They list the developing nations as Africa, Central and South Americas plus Mexico, Caribbean, Asia (excluding Japan), Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand. Of the nearly two-hundred nations in the United Nations there are approximately one-hundred-forty developing nations with only fifty-five post-industrial nations. It does not require a degree in higher mathematics to understand why almost all pollution requirements are placed on the fifty-five post-industrial nations while the one-hundred-forty developing nations are excluded from any and all pollution reduction or restrictive requirements. Until the developing world takes responsibility for the health and safety of their own citizens, this lopsided insanity of improving air quality and reducing water pollution in the post-industrial world manages to improve the measureable levels of pollution in the world by, at an estimated best case scenario, a mere five percent at the most generous of measurements, the most rudimentary and basic pollution controls put into use by the developing world would drop world pollution levels at near the exact same percentage as these nations would improve their air and water quality.

 

Let us assume the developing world installed the most rudimentary pollution controls equivalent to those installed by 1980 in the post-industrial world, with financial and production assistance from the post-industrial nations where the only investment these developing nations would provide was the manpower to install these devices and assure their working order, the world pollution levels would be reduced by approaching, if not exceeding, fifty percent. That is correct what you read, cut pollution worldwide in half or better. Imagine what a relief on the planet and that ever over-blown strawman of climate change. If the propaganda which claims that cutting pollution by fifty percent could save the planet, and then demand that the post-industrial world meet that challenge when their total pollution consists of less than ten percent of world pollution makes it impossible to clean the planet while granting the nations with the highest pollution contributions a complete pass, it makes no sense. If the United Nations Climate Control Agencies really want to protect the planet and truly reduce pollution levels, they will need to swallow hard and demand some accountability by those very same nations who exempt themselves despite contributing over ninety percent of the problem. It is not that they do not realize their double standard cheating makes cutting pollution impossible as they are adding to world pollution at many times the entire production of pollution in the post-industrial world’s yearly output monthly. Let us repeat that for clarity. The developing world’s monthly increase of pollution outweighs the entire pollution of the post-industrial world for the whole year. That is comparing increases against total output, a concept which is hard to get one’s arms around. Should the developing world simply hold the line on their levels of pollution, it would do over ten times the saving than if the post-industrial world somehow curtailed their entire pollution yearly output. That puts the entire problem into an easy context. Does the world think it could demand that the developing world at least improve the systems they are installing daily and have their pollution output reduced by a marginal amount which could do so much without even touching their precious systems already in place? Do you think you could be capable of doing that, please?

 

There has been a series of Olympics in recent years held in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012, and the current Olympics in Rio de Janeiro; all summer games where air and water quality and safety of athletes and tourists is more challenging as people will be outside in and around the Olympic Park making security a definite challenge. Air quality and especially water quality were particularly poor in both Rio de Janeiro and Beijing. In the Beijing Olympics China found it necessary to actually suspend all manufacturing and limited electricity usage for two weeks before the games and still the air quality, though better than normal for the city, left something to be desired. London, was a city with a history in the early days of the industrial revolution for having no direct sunlight hitting the streets and windows tinted with coal dust and smoke permeating into homes and stores interfering with every activity and worsening the health of all within its metropolitan area. The modern day London is literally a walk in the park with clear skies, clean water and no foul aromas as in London’s past. London could be used as a model for places such as Beijing and Rio de Janeiro as well as the rest of the emerging world. The modern nations could encourage such a cleaning up of the air and water of these emerging cities by providing even previously used and now retired scrubbers, reverse osmosis units and other technologies demanding only that the receiving country provide workers to install and trained in managing and upkeep and the entire world would benefit. Unfortunately there are too many who make their living complaining and this would place many of the ecology fanatics out of work and having to find something constructive to make their living; though we are sure they could find a new cause to make their living complaining and never lifting a finger to remedy the situation.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

April 28, 2016

It’s Final and It’s Clinton and Trump

 

Sure it is still possible for Cruz/Kasich or Bernie Sanders to steal the limelight with the teaming up of Cruz/Kasich to temporarily stop Trump or for Bernie to turn the world on its head and win the nomination outright, but pigs have a better chance of flying. So we may as well face it that the United States election will place a criminal against an egotistical buffoon. Such a choice will likely produce the smallest turnout for a Presidential election in American history with over half the eligible voters blowing off the election out of sheer disinterest. The election will be won by whichever of the two candidates sickens their base less than the other. Call it the election where large portions will be voting for the one that makes them less ill. The question must seriously be looked at as to what each Presidency would look like and what the world can expect.

 

Hillary will quite likely be the more predictable of the two as she will be a true leftist performing exactly as advertised. She will continue to spend on social issues taking it from the military. She will cut the NASA budget and we will hear repeatedly about the billions of dollars going to NASA and how such expenditures cannot be justified when the social issues are so dire. She will raise taxes even further on businesses forcing even more companies to flee from what will be an even more oppressive atmosphere. Amnesty for illegal immigrants will be a given and will include a number of millions additional from the troubled Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The flood gates will open for Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi, Libyan, and who knows where else from the failing MENA nations and will be brought in as Europe refuses to accept millions of these immigrants and their nations of origin will disavow them leaving them as people without a country until Hillary rides to their rescue. All financing will be returned to Planned Parenthood. All this and more will result if Hillary has a democratic Congress, especially if they remake the rules preventing filibusters in the Senate by requiring a mere majority vote for cloture as was enacted early in President Obama’s first term.

 

Clinton vs Trump

Clinton vs Trump

 

There will also be a push towards raising the minimum wage above $12.00 and eventually up to $15.00 an hour. This will speed up the automation of fast food service centers, calling such a restaurant would be a stretch. The first company amongst the burger giants to come out with a completely automated service and retrieval and cleaning using robotic servers and cleaning robotic units, especially if they appear humanoid but still obviously robotic to avoid that gulch where they are too humanlike but just enough off to be spooky. We believe the term for such robots are they are in the Uncanny Valley where they freak people out and make them uncomfortable. Unemployment will skyrocket along with the minimum wage hike as more and more jobs simply disappear either through automation of certain sectors of industry or simply fleeing to Asia and other places of lower production costs.

 

There will be pressure by the green movement to tighten pollution standards and a strong push to tax gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles to higher prices making electric vehicles more attractive. Expect a European style carburetor tax or even cylinder tax with a tax based on number of cylinders where production of a car has such a tax pushing the prices skyward. Gasoline taxes will also push gas to European levels or higher. Expect a mileage tax to be levied with GPS mileage tracking systems required on all cars including retrofitting older vehicles. If such a requirement makes keeping your old vehicle on the road too expensive to install the GPS mileage tracking system, enjoy walking or the bus. Automated trucking with self-driving vehicles will become more common. This too might also be another item built into the GPS mileage tracking where every vehicle signals its GPS location, direction and speed which can be read by the automated vehicles to assist them in driving decisions. Such systems could also automate speeding tickets as your speed would be recorded at all times and exceeding the speed limit could result in an automated system sending you a ticket for each violation. Who needs speed cameras when the vehicle itself can turn itself in for speed violations? Cities might even enact car free zones where vehicles are forbidden forcing people to use mass transit. All this and more could be a result of a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

 

Donald Trump will be far more difficult to predict as it will depend largely on whom he appoints as his Cabinet and advisors. The biggest danger of a Trump Presidency would be if his policies become unpredictable, especially in economic programs. Should he start one set of economic programs and after five or six months not have the results he desired so he changes the game and again every four to six months then investors will sit on their money as such a game would become too risky and they would turn into risk adverse investors placing their investments in predictable sectors or overseas. Trump might react to pressures from ecology lobbies and make some concessions and it would depend on which as to the effect. CAFÉ standards might be increased demanding higher MPG ratings for vehicles. Taxes on businesses would likely be lowered which would be a positive; and minimum wage, where it may be raised, would not approach $15.00 which would permit for lower unemployment numbers.

 

Certain advances are going to be unavoidable. The driverless automated trucks are coming and there is no preventing that short of making them illegal, not going to happen. Mileage taxes will be levied by the individual states even if not done by the Federal Government. Requiring GPS reporting mileage and possibly constant recording and reporting trip data to the government is coming and will be used to try and force driverless vehicles to replace human drivers even before the technology is perfected, though it is very close, which is why it will be unavoidable. Trump might actually listen to the car manufacturers and allow for hydrogen powered vehicles as an alternative to electric cars. What the ecology lobby does not want people to know is that electric cars do little to lessen pollution and just change the location of the pollution as charging the electric cars requires greater output by power plants most of which burn fossil fuels with extra demand making up for the pollution presumably not produced by driving gasoline powered vehicles. The hydrogen powered vehicles exhaust is water vapor and its main pollution is thermal as the exhaust is in the form of steam predominantly. Perhaps some system could be installed which would permit some degree of condensation before release into the atmosphere, but the efficiency of such a system would need to be proven before any great claims could be made.

 

The area where either a Trump or a Clinton Presidency would be most in doubt would be foreign policy. Hillary might be more willing to intervene militarily and then leave too quickly after declaring job accomplished which may or may not be a better policy providing the parties understand that intervention remains an option if things are not improved after any regime change. Another Libyan style disaster would serve nobody. Trump, on the other hand, is a complete unknown and the sole plus is that as a complete unknown and with his reputation as being somewhat unstable and capable of flying off the handle, other nations might be tempered in their desires to test a President Trump. There will always be at least one foreign country which will test any new President and how they react to such a test can set the mood for the remainder of their term. After the Bay of Pigs disaster Khrushchev tested President Kennedy by shipping nuclear capable missiles into Cuba sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis and the rest is history. Needless to say there were no more tests after President Kennedy literally blockaded Cuba and prevented any additional missile deliveries and demanded the removal of those already in place. Things got a good deal quieter after that faceoff.

 

What will be the test for the incoming President? We predict it would likely come via the situation in what used to be Syria and potentially Iraq and could be either from Russia or Islamic State. There is the already existing threat in the South China Sea with the Chinese literally building and arming islands right in the heart of the existing sea lanes forcing shipping to detour adding hundreds of miles to the routes between Japan and Asia as they need to circumnavigate around these Chinese newly-fashioned and militarized islands. These also could be utilized to prevent any reinforcement in a timely manner of Taiwan should China finally attempt to make good on their standing threat to restore their province which they claim Taiwan actually should be. Then there is the challenge which is sure to be presented by Iran as they continue to flaunt their disregard for any limitations presumably set by the Iran deal which likely was simply an agreement that Iran not announce or test a nuclear weapon until after President Obama has set off for golfing and placing his Presidential Library between the ninth hole and tenth tee next to the clubhouse on his Presidential Golf Course. Foreign challenges are always an area where second guessing is commonplace as nobody can predict everything accurately as there is always that surprise awaiting around every corner. The one predictable item is foreign powers are less likely to challenge Trump than they are Clinton. That might be a very seriously bad mistake, period. Hillary Clinton could be their worst nightmare if she was having a bad hair day when they pushed her; she could be far more vicious and unpredictable than Trump could ever be. Trump, though potentially unpredictable, would at least be relatively logical even if that logic might be unfathomable to some. Hillary Clinton would be simply terrifying should she feel threatened or being made a fool of or made to appear hesitant and weak as she would be more likely to overreact to any situation and press it to unnecessary levels or even use overwhelming force where a strong show of force without pulling the trigger was all that was necessary to end the threat peacefully. We have far more trepidation when it comes to Hillary over Donald when it comes to foreign threats despite both being unpredictable. No matter which wins there will be no telling the results until either has settled in and the initial actions and reactions have been initiated.

 

The final item is Israel. Trump will depend on who his advisors are on foreign policy, but we believe he will be more even handed and accommodating regarding Israel once he is made fully appreciative of the situation. Trump will need to weigh what the Pentagon and Defense Department give him and what the State Department tells him. With such conflicting information, he will necessarily have to choose and hopefully will have visited Israel and talked to both sides and gotten his measure of the land. Hillary Clinton will likely make President Obama appear to have been a supporter of Israel and best of friends with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We already are fully aware of the lack of good relations between Bibi and Hillary and the special hate she holds for Israel. Expect the chill between Israel and the United States to become an ice age under Hillary with no possible thaw and open threats to become commonplace from the White House to Jerusalem. There will be nobody to answer the calls from Hillary as her animosity is well known in Israel and she will manage to even alienate the Israeli left within the first year of her screeching demands for Israel to surrender completely to Abbas. Any dealing with Hillary by Israel would be suicidal. Trump may initially be an unknown but would at least not enter the situation convinced of their preconceived notions as Hillary would be, and she would be completely anti-Israel no matter what lies she told AIPAC.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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