Beyond the Cusp

April 22, 2018

Happy Earth Day Fair World

 

This is the day when Gaia the Earth Goddess is worshipped across the developed world and evil fossil fuels are blamed for every ill that the climate has produced since the invention of the first oil lamp powered by whale blubber. We need to remember that whale oil was also a fossil fuel. May we inform everybody of one result of changing our fuel source to the oil and coal buried in the ground was the restoration of the whale population which would have easily shrunk to none had we continued to try and run modernity on whale oil. We all know where that would have ended, whales hunted to extinction. We almost ended up there even with earth bound fossil fuels and later the oil and gas under our oceans and seas. But all of the advantages we have and the comfortable lives with heat when it is freezing outside, cool rooms when it is meltingly hot outside, and transport to and from the next Earth Day demonstration because five miles is too far to have to walk. We have attended Earth Day rallies and watched as some politician leaves the stage after making a sweepingly emotional speech whipping up the crowd and proceeds to get into a nice limousine which, if they are considered important enough of their self-image demands, is part of a five vehicle convoy just to guarantee they make it home to Bethesda or Georgetown or across the river near Crystal City where one can look across the river and see the Washington Mall (see image below). Back when Earth Day was founded, April 22, 1970, some of us here at BTC had the honor of attending an actual, first of it kind, Earth Day rally in downtown Washington D.C. where the politicians arrived in their vehicles as did most of the protesters including those brought in busses with manufactured formally printed Earth Day signs. We had a harder time finding parking anywhere close to the Mall in downtown Washington D.C. where parking was worse than on a holiday weekend. Imagine that there were more vehicles parked near to the Mall than usual because a large number of people drove to the first Earth Day rally in the nation’s capital. I presume that was likely true at many of the initial Earth Day rallies. That is not unusual at rallies where mostly suburban youth and adults drive to the rallies because walking actually would be problematic.

 

Crystal City, Virginia Looking Toward Washington DC

Crystal City, Virginia Looking Toward Washington DC

 

This Earth Day we will hear speeches about how the energy companies such as ExxonMobil have created threats to the planet and every animal beyond imagination. We are told that ecologist professors and researchers have performed computer simulations which show that the world will continue warming and the oceans will rise destroying many cities including most of lower Manhattan. Would anyone be interested in knowing what we were protesting and demanding that the government address. Well, it really would amaze many to know that what we feared in 1970 on Earth Day, which was some means of stemming the increasing ice in the Arctic and Antarctic as well as the Greenland glacier and most glaciers around the globe and the cooling which had been occurring making those making prediction fearing the coming Ice Age. That is the truth, in the 1970’s we feared for the Earth and our continued civilization when the imminent Ice Age would arrive. Imagine that if we were to hold a retro-rally and rally as we did in the first Earth Day, we would be carrying Global Cooling signs and would be talking about fearing the coming Ice Age and the oceans freezing over and becoming ice skating rinks within the next couple of hundred years. They had computers that were more primitive, but they still spit out models and predictions, which were still used to predict the future of global weather patterns and they predicted a coming Ice Age. We have included a graph prepared by Climatologists Cliff Harris and Meteorologist Randy Mann which uses researched data from ice cores and whatever else can be used to produce this history of Global Temperatures from 2500 B.C. through to predictions reaching to 2040 A.D. which will prove that predicting global trends is probably very similar to predicting the weather a month in advance.

 

Global Temperatures from 2500 B.C. through 2040 A.D.

Global Temperatures from 2500 B.C. through 2040 A.D.

 

Someone here at BTC majored in theoretical mathematics and knows a little about computers as he learned programming in the ALGOL computer language, which is not in use to the best of our knowledge, and we understand why. But the one thing we can tell you is when somebody makes a model for a computer to run and foretell the future, there is really little possibility that those setting up the system do not know initially what the results will be when the simulation is run. What is counterintuitive is that the more complex the model, the less likely that the programmers who set up the model do not know what will be the results when the program is run. This is why every model back in the 1970’s showed a coming and unavoidable Ice Age which did not cause the requisite mass hysteria desired, and now the new models all show Global Warming which has given the people working on climate change the exact level of hysteria to drive the protests and produce the grants required to pay their salaries. The dirty little secret which will seldom be talked about on the nightly news is that Climate Change has become a $1.5 trillion industry. There is quite a big amount of cash floating around to be spread to those making the predictions as long as their results match the needed predictions.

 

There are also ecological protests which actually produce bigger problems than they claim to solve. One of the troubling one is the demand that the government controlled forests must be allowed to become totally natural growth where no thinning and no clearance of shrub growth and no removal of dead trees or any form of clearing and then they complain that forest fires have become more severe and far more damaging and more difficult to contain and extinguish. Ask the actual firefighters who combat these fires and they will tell you the reason behind the increasing severity of these fires is the lack of clearing the forests from the tinder which causes the fires to spread faster and burn at much higher temperatures making their jobs more difficult. They will complain how they miss the days when the forest service was permitted and even tasked to clear the forest of dead wood and clear the undergrowth which often dries faster during low rain periods and act as tinder for spreading these fires. But the ecology movement are the ones who demand that the forest be left alone to develop through natural growth, as this was how fires were controlled before civilization destroyed the natural growth. What those who actually understand how the natural forest once worked are not bothering to tell everyone is that from time to time the entirety of an area, often hundreds of square miles, would catch fire and spread clearing the entirety of the area which would then need to go through the stages from grass field with flowers leading to bushes and eventually the trees return. With the undergrowth and dead trees, the same area will again burn to the ground at some point further in the future. This was the natural cycle but the natural cycle never had to deal with multi-million dollar homes and buildings or highways cutting through the forest where the flames and smoke would cause highway closures and all the inconvenience which go with such all because some believe that nature if left alone will work better than if humans interact even when the people work with the forest and lands to service them to keep forests healthy. This is just one example of how sometimes the naturalists and ecological authorities might actually get things wrong. Yellowstone Park allowed the wolves to be hunted to extinction because the ecological experts and naturalists believed that the wolves would kill all the deer and elk if permitted to remain in the park. They were wrong and once the wolves were returned the entire park and surrounding ecosystem changed improving greatly (video included below). Things in nature and climate interactions are far more complex and have a sophistication which is not only beyond our ability to fully understand and well beyond our ability to predict even with the greatest of our super-computers.

 

 

The Earth is something well beyond what we are actually doing to control pollution from any and every source. The world organizations are attempting to control the wrong nations while allowing some of the largest polluters to continue unregulated and outside control. The usual restrictions are placed on the nations of Europe, North America along with Japan, Australia and the other developed nations. Meanwhile nations such as India, China, Russia, Brazil and other developing nations which could benefit greatly from even the simplest advances being required such as scrubbers placed in coal firing plants and other simple technologies which would provide the greatest returns for the least investment. Sharing such technology would be more likely if there was a guarantee that such pollution reduction devices would be required and actually utilized. One example of bad pollution came during the Beijing Olympics where they all but closed down the entirety of the Beijing industry and other polluting items including vehicles were largely closed for more than a week before the games in order to allow the air to reach levels where breathing would not be harmful for the athletes. In Brazil preventing the farmers from clearing rain forest acreage by burning the trees and growth in order to increase farmland would help in two ways, less air pollution from preventing the burning, a lumber business which could gain while clearing the land and slower reduction of the rain forest saving the land simply through reducing the efficiency and speed the trees are destroyed. Requiring that vehicles be retired once they become a quarter of a century old unless special classic car licenses, which allow limited usage of those vehicles, would benefit the world as the newer vehicles have with modern pollution controls on their engines. This would need to be imposed on every major city worldwide as these areas suffer the most from vehicle induced air pollution. These are idea which would produce some of the greatest reductions in greenhouse gasses and in cleaning the world environment. Demanding that the United States reduce air pollution using data from fifty years ago to claim that the United States has the worst air quality is simply lying. The air quality in the United States has improved as has the water quality and general reduction in pollution in the United States has been almost unbelievably remarkable. But protesters like to claim that the United States is the greatest evil in all things but when it comes to Earth Day, the United States could and should be held up as the example for other nations to follow and to accomplish what has been accomplished in the last half century by the United States in reduction of levels of pollution and increased air and water quality. Unfortunately, this is not a message one is likely to hear at any of the Earth Day rallies, which is a shame and once again falling for emotion over fact and reality.

 

World Pollution Index from 2017

World Pollution Index from 2017

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

 

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January 14, 2018

Freedom of Speech has Died in America

 

Give me your children and I’ll change society in ten years. Please assist us, as despite most of us remember hearing this phrase or one very close, none of us could even venture a guess to who, what, when or where. Suffice it to say that something similar to this was said by somebody notable enough for us to remember having read, heard or dreamt it. In the United States, the children in question are school age and especially university age children where in all too many of these institutes of higher education there are safe spaces and speech codes where to even be accused of transgression is a guilty verdict. Where you have speech codes, you lack free speech, and it is that simple. The actual basis of the concept behind free speech is the guarantee that everybody, and it means everybody, can say what is on their mind about anything free of fear that saying so will result in criminal charges and the only possible repercussion would be possible loss of friends and a tainted reputation. That is free speech. It is not free speech if all you ever need hear are opinions with which you agree, or worse, you only get to hear what others have defined as acceptable speech, especially if these are also the same people who hold your future in their hands and within their gradebooks. Unfortunately, for all too many of American university students, the entirety of the above sentence is their reality day in and day out. Numerous of the leading and most prestigious universities such as many of the California University System, all too many Ivy League Colleges and too many other all too well known and sought after universities, there are speech codes, safe spaces and other politically stifling inventions which are being used by the leftist administrators and professors to control the environment while programming the minds of mush sent them presumably to be educated to think, not programmed what to think. The combination of speech codes, safe spaces and unipolar faculty all supporting a singular political bend and the end result is so easily predictable.

 

When speech codes are designed to support such concepts as global climate change (global warming) is fact, Palestinian Arabs dispossession, anti-capitalism, racism in American society, transgender rights, sexism and other leftist viewpoints and suppress any counter viewpoints combined with reinforcement from curriculum and safe spaces to turn to to escape any transgressions of the speech code or anything which might upset a student’s sensitive psyche and you end up with a host of programmed leftist social justice warriors turned loose each year on society and eventually they will change their world. And just in case you might be wondering, that is exactly the intent of the combination of programming tools being implemented at too many American universities. They take a variety of inexperienced, young students whose minds have yet to experience the realities of life in the real world and place them in an environment where everything is arranged such that only leftist, socialist, progressive political concepts are permitted and provided as accepted truth without allowing for any opposing viewpoints and after four to ten years of such programming send out little leftist, Marxist mind-numb robots all set to correct the world and repair all inequities using the knowledge given them.

 

Amongst the forty-five declared goals for the Communist takeover of America is to, “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.” They can check this one off their list as the leftists have all but taken complete control of the textbook industry and the teaching institutions and teaching curriculum. The only viewpoint which, in the United States, is challenging the pure leftist agenda has been the Arabist Islamist viewpoint with an intensified curriculum of anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and soon to follow on, anti-Semitic viewpoint. On many campuses, the leftist and anti-Israel, anti-Zionist viewpoint and instruction have merged so seamlessly that in politics as a whole, the two have become partners in trade for numerous leftist groups to adopt anti-Israel, anti-Zionist views as a natural extension of their political viewpoints. In order to make such an environment and assure that the little mushballs entrusted to them in many universities, they have implemented the concept of speech codes which completely support the curriculum such that none ever have to hear a discouraging, or contradictory, phrase. In the classroom, the students quickly learn that to disagree with a professor’s political views risks failure or more critical grading at the least making receiving honor level grades a student adopts the professor’s political views as their default thought process. After a number of years, the higher the degree, the longer the years and the deeper the indoctrination and the longer a student adopts the leftist viewpoint, the more rote repetition of the specific political points held within, the higher the likelihood that the student adopts these views as their own out of habit and repetition. Of course, that is the intended result the professors are seeking from these general soft-sciences and social sciences curriculum as the textbooks and teaching staffs bear witness.

 

So, what does this hold for the United States and the future? Well, presuming that nothing is going to change, then the United States will continue sliding further and further left until some future President Obama will be the conservative candidate. Before somebody screams that, there will be a corrective slide which would prevent such, let us say that we can only hope that they are correct. The problem we have is after over a half-century of observing the world political stage, and the United States in particular, since the mid-Twentieth Century, there has been a steady and continuous with an occasional lurching back to the right which was all but immediately erased by the next leftist to be elected. As so many have attempted to point out, President John F. Kennedy in the 2000 elections would have run as a Republican with his agenda of lower taxes and building the military. Of course, what these exclamations ignore is that from the 1960 election to 2000, candidate John F. Kennedy would have endured forty years of the Washington Post, New York Times, mainstream broadcast television and all too many other leftist pressures that he very well might have been an entirely different President elected at the turn of the century and would not have run a campaign the equivalence of George W. Bush in 2000, he would have been a more electable version of Al Gore. But fear not, if social media and the uproar caused by the election of President Trump, no true history of conservatism, by an overwhelming number of youthful political enthusiasts, the educational programming is working efficiently and producing an enthusiastic force within American society. What will the future hold? That will not be difficult to tell.

 

United States National Debt 1940 to 2007

United States National Debt 1940 to 2007

 

One quick measure might be the above graph of the national debt by year. Up until 1960, the debt grows very slowly and then takes off with a short respite in the late 1990’s before continuing upward. This has been due to ever increased social spending brought on by both main parties with the sole respite coming when the Republican Congress forced a government shutdown under the leadership of Newt Gingrich and his Contract with America where the budget was briefly balanced. Still, even then, it was but a brief respite brought on by a conservative correction, something that was not managed even under President Reagan. The ever-increased debt has resulted not only from the initial Great Society initiated by President Johnson but the ever-added amounts and increased numbers of programs which have pushed the debt ever higher. The final number in 2007 was around nine-trillion and now a mere ten years later at the end or 2017 and the debt is now at twenty-one trillion dollars, a doubling and then some in a mere decade. Should the United States debt continue to climb as such and it will clear one-hundred-trillion by mid century assuming things are not brought under control and the ever-continuous slide towards socialism turned back. Does it appear that this might be the case? Well, in all honesty we fear the United States will spend itself into oblivion before it learns its lesson as every other attempt at socialism has resulted in the same end. That is a truly frightful realization and one can only hope that the United States is scared from failing while it might still be possible to produce their way back to solvency. It will take an extended effort and the electorate changing direction aiming to bring government under control, spending back within limits and fiscal discipline which has not been seen in over half a century. What the United States needs is four or five President Andrew Jacksons in a row as he was the last President to ever pay off the national debt completely, and he only managed to do so for a few months.

 

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July 5, 2017

The Unintentional Racism of the Eco Movement

 

We hear all about how the Eco Movement is a holy and wonderful group of people who are simply so superior to the rest of us. Their concern is that the Earth might be becoming ill and, as Albert Gore has loved saying, the Earth has a fever! They demand that bio-fuels, wind power, solar power, geo-thermal power and any other kind of power which does not depend on carbon be used exclusively despite any and all consequences. They ignore much and this was first demonstrated in great detail starting with the 1962 publication of Silent Spring which gave a near hysterical depiction of the world and the wide over-dependence on pesticides. This book began the investigation into the use of DDT and the claim that its use, not its over-use, just its use leading to thinner shells on the eggs of birds leading to eventual inability of birds to reproduce successfully. We will grant that there was an effect on insect eating birds’ eggshells. That is obvious as the way it was utilized all but expunged the entire areas of their insect populations. The rarifying of food sources for these birds is what led to their thinned eggshells. Had DDT been used more precisely, sparingly and moderately rather than spraying DDT indiscriminately over wide-expanses with frequent refreshing whenever a single mosquito was detected by one of the more influential community members, the problems such spraying caused would have been mitigated. In other words, instead of such broad and inundating usages ,DDT had been limited to delicate use where mosquitoes breed such as where there was still water and actual mosquitoes present, then the whole species of insects would not have been so drastically affected. This would have caused less of a deleterious effect on the birds and their eggshells. By 2001, the anti-DDT crusaders reached their pinnacle of success, a world-wide ban on the use of DDT. There were side effects which everybody simply brushed aside but there was a reason the pesticide chemical manufacturers backed, through third party donations such as the World Wildlife Fund, the ban on DDT which we will cover shortly.

 

The ban on DDT was extended to cover the entire globe after malaria had been almost completely eradicated from the developed world but was still a major problem in the developing world, especially in tropical environments where mosquitos were a present and serious problem. The problem can be put into perspective by simply considering the toll caused by malaria in the developing world. In 2012, malaria caused an estimated two-hundred-seven-million clinical episodes, and six-hundred-seven-thousand deaths. An estimated 91% of deaths in 2010 were in the African Region. The saddest statistic is that aside from tourist cases, the most vulnerable amongst us are the young children, who have not yet developed partial immunity to malaria, and pregnant women, whose immunity is decreased by pregnancy, especially during their first and second pregnancies. The elderly also are more susceptible. The immediate response when people wish to show concern is, are there not other pesticides which can be utilized to reduce mosquito populations? The answer is yes and then people brush off their hands and simply advise that these nations simply use the modern, more specific and targeted pesticides which are more ecologically friendly. Seldom is the next logical question asked, what about affordability? Well, that is the elephant in the room. These new and fancy chemical pesticides which are so completely wonderful and Earth-friendly are more costly and the Eco Movement will contend that the Earth is worth the price. That is true except when the government cannot afford the fancy new pesticides. There was a reason the chemical industry was so keen on seeing DDT banned, it was very inexpensive, extremely effective and was not raking in the money and they were not being able to sell their fancy new pesticides throughout the world as long as DDT was available, thus it had to be banned. Still people are falling to malaria and the poorer nations cannot afford the expensive new and less effective pesticides which, unremarkably enough, also require far more frequent applications making their expense grow even higher. The developing nations then claim to care, especially when fundraising, but they kept pushing until finally in 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants the United Nations banned DDT universally. Now to produce and use DDT makes a nation an international pariah and punishable by the World Court. So, tell me who really cares about third world populations, those who claim to be loving but deny them the use of an affordable pesticide like DDT because, hopefully unknown to them, the corporations desired larger profits from more expensive exotic designer pesticides or the people who want these nations to use DDT more sparingly and dedicated to areas of habitation minimizing its harmful effects.

 

Malaria Transmission Rates

Malaria Transmission Rates

 

Energy is exactly the same as pesticides, simply a little more complicated. The Eco Movement would have one believe that with technology and new storage abilities that solar, wind and other ecologically friendly sources of power that we can reduce the carbon footprint of nations around the world. What they do not bother to tell the world is that these new technologies and the ecologically friendly means of producing electric power are extremely costly initially and produce far less power per dollar than coal, oil and natural gas. This puts us right back in the same discussion as the pesticide predicament. The developing world requires inexpensive power, more simply put, cheap power in order to begin to develop industries and everything which goes with a more productive economy. The best example is China which has been building coal and oil power plants about as rapidly as humanly possible in order to build their economy which is heavily dependent upon industrial production. Their consideration for ecological impact of their electrical production must be serious as they have been evident at every conference. They have also managed to have assured themselves to be excluded from the requirements list along with India and Brazil as well as numerous other developing nations, the one small allowance which is commendable. Granted, at some point these developing nations will need to start to address the pollution problems which are now becoming very evident even to them. What need be noticed is that when nations reach a certain level of development and sophistication they also begin to notice the need to be responsible keepers of their own natural resources for their people and their health as well as for the future. The United States has taken on cleaning its air, water and other treasures of nature by turning to the more ecologically friendly sources of power. The rivers and air around the cities has been measurably cleaned since the peak pollution of the 1960’s and 1970’s when the Cuyahoga River burned and Denver would have a brown haze over her for days on end and at one point people in Los Angeles would be healthier breathing their air through an unlit cigarette than breathing the air directly. The European nations also have made strides in reducing pollution just as have the United States. Perhaps it is because these nations have reached the point where they can afford to reduce their pollutants that they are leading the demands for everyone else to do likewise. Perhaps they desire these demands through blindness or maybe in order to keep their comfortable place as economic leaders.

 

By restricting the means for energy production, the third world is the area most harmed as it also decreases the number of manufacturers of the coal, oil and natural gas plants. That will eventually be the methods by which such means of producing energy will become history, not because there will be little need but because those who most easily can construct such facilities will no longer require them and thus will cease to be major producers of such plants. As the production of such electrical plants dwindles, the developing world will need to build such plants themselves which will mean that these plants will have less of the advanced technologies such as scrubbers and other advances which make the coal and other plants cleaner for nature and ecological concerns. Would it not serve the purpose of the Eco Movement more to make these technologies available to the developing world even if it takes away profits in the near term for the companies currently building these plants in the third world? We know that such would be to the advantage of the planet as would requiring that all these new plants be built with such devices already installed. If the Eco Movement were serious and not just be used to make more money for the industrialists, then they would be raising funds to make sure that every coal plant installed anywhere in the world had the latest carbon reduction technologies included in its installation with the funds available to these developing nations who need such power to have a modern economic manufacturing base. Instead of lecturing the developing nations about the evils of CO2, the nations of the world could be assisting them in building the cleanest power plants even if they are to be coal fired. Would that not be the most productive use of their energies? They would rather take private jets and fly individually to some place like Paris, Tahiti, Hawaii, Tokyo, Rome, Rio or some other relatively exotic location for a conference where they make high-sounding proclamations about CO2 and how it is going to destroy the world. Currently it constitutes about 0.041% which is equal to 410 parts per million (ppm) by volume of the atmosphere. Human’s contribution is somewhere around 1% of that quantity. That means that human production amounts to 0.0041% of the atmosphere. That is the little secret; CO2 is not the main contributor to the global temperature. You desire beating greenhouse gasses; the largest greenhouse gas is dihydrogen-oxide. Di-hydrogen-oxide is better known as water vapor, plain old water vapor, though it has a relieving factor, it also forms cirrus clouds which reflect sunlight which lowers the temperature of the Earth. Water vapor has its harms, its cirrus clouds to mitigate the harms and between the two forms of water vapor mitigates itself and with any fortune, it balances itself out. And if water vapor does not balance out, well, we cannot live without water thus we are going to need to learn to live with water vapor.

 

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