Beyond the Cusp

November 6, 2018

Europe – It is All About the Money

 

President Trump has been accused of simply reversing every last one of the items President Obama set forth as his legacy. Much of doing so is something with which many Constitution loving Americans would find laudable. Of all the items which President Trump has removed the United States from the clutches have been the Paris Climate Control Agreement and the other the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which is better known as the Iranian Nuclear Agreement and are at the top of moves great for the United States. These are also two of the moves made by President Trump which received the greatest acrimony from the European nations and their big brother, the European Union (EU). Allow us to cover the two separately though they do have something in common, upsetting the Europeans and forcing them to prove that their motives are all purely monetary and that it is all about the money.

 

The Paris Climate Control Agreement of 2015 which was so quickly grasped upon by President Obama is actually not about the climate at all, it is about the redistribution of national wealth and the crippling of manufacturing in the developed world in order to force their productive efforts to be relocated to the third and developing world. Then there are the nations who were completely exempted from meeting any of the restrictive pollution limits, China, India and Brazil. These are nations whose carbon footprints are excessively large on a per person basis, and that actually includes China. China is heavily dependent upon coal-fired electricity plants most of which are utilizing the easiest and least environmentally tuned designs as their main need is to build these quickly and inexpensively. These coal-fired plants do not even have the most basic of pollution controls which are scrubbers. This became evident in the buildup to the 2008 Beijing hosting of the Olympics, though the world ignored the entire situation and went on as if nothing was peculiar, even ignoring the necessary emergency efforts required, as China shut down more and more industrial plants and even electrical generation to clear the air in Beijing for the games. We may as well face it, very few Olympians would be willing to wear such a mask as the women below has donned when running a marathon or especially the 100 meter sprint, not to mention the swimming events. But the normative air quality in Beijing is a health hazard to Chinese citizens forced to breath, or should we say chew, such low air quality.

 

Citizens Wearing Masks in the Streets of Beijing Credit: Greg Baker AFP

Citizens Wearing Masks in the Streets of Beijing Credit: Greg Baker AFP

 

Another nation exempted from these stringent measures was India where the worshiped life-blood of India, the Ganges River, has become a health hazard to those who bathe in it daily. The reports on the deteriorating situation has become a critical health hazard to the thousands of Indians who need the water simply to survive and the quality has sunk below the requirement for use in many factories who have had to buy equipment to clean the water from the Ganges River just for industrial use. Needless to point out, but much of this treated water after it has been used in an industrial process end up back in the Ganges River. The history of India is written along the banks of the Ganges River and unless India desires its future to be written along these same banks, then their efforts to clean it should be their primary interest. The reason that the pollution of the Ganges River has reached such abominable proportions has in part been their being exempted from climate and pollution treaties thus a lack of pressure from the world bodies. Their problem has reached a point where the health of the people and the nation are now at risk. India hopefully will take the necessary steps to address this situation and to remedy their diseased river.

 

India Along the Ganges River with Trash Along the Shoreline

India Along the Ganges River with Trash Along the Shoreline

 

So, with nations highest in actual pollution, specifically air and water, why are the Europeans so upset with the United States leaving the Paris Climate Control Agreement and not saying a word about these nations with total exemptions? The reason is the requirements demand monetary redistribution. With the United States in the agreement, much of these investments required to be made to assist the developing nations was to come from the United States. Further, the standards demanded of the United States were even more strident and restrictive than those on any other nation, even compared to Europe as a whole. This is due to the fact that the demands and requirements are proportional to each national economic production and GDP. With the United States pulling out of the agreement, the European nations stand to face requirements that are slightly more stringent. This is an economically depressive result which they would prefer to avoid. Their only means of avoiding this eventuality was to pressure the Trump administration by attempting to shame them into staying in an agreement which was against their best interests. This proves one of the accusations against President Trump, namely that he has no shame. Sometimes having a thick hide and acting in your own best interests, one must be prepared to suffer some shaming, especially from those who stand to lose the most. The rest of the world, especially third world and developing nations, joined the cacophonous choir protesting Trump pulling the United States from the Paris Climate Control Agreement. President Trump simply pretended their calamitous screeching was music to his ears, and who knows, realizing the benefits to American industry, that just might have been the case.

 

CO2 Emissions by Nation

 

When the reality is taken into account, the problem of CO² eight-hundred pound gorilla when it comes to such emissions becomes obvious. Even a cursory glance at the above graph would inform one that the main problem is China. The United States with its leading production numbers and almost uncountable vehicles on its roads actually has done quite well in bringing their emissions under control. Europe as well has done an exemplary job but the other problems out there are the nations which make up the rest of the world. These nations have, for the most part, minimal production and electricity generation but what they do have comes from plants with little if any pollution control mechanisms. If only their electrical generating plants were to employ scrubbers on their smokestacks, they could reduce their particulate and other emissions significantly. This is one area where the United States also stands to make improvements as there are a number of smaller electrical generating plants whose profit margins has made installing these devices cost prohibitive. This is one place where a tax reduction or 100% write off on taxes over ten years would allow for these smaller electricity producers to employ these technological marvels and reduce their output of pollutants including CO² even further. This is something the Trump administration could address and, with active citizen support, get a bill through Congress and start the ball rolling. The United Nations could also make strong gains and a positive influence in the world by arranging for these devices to be installed worldwide on all coal-fired plants. This would have far greater benefit for the human race than just sitting around and imagining more resolutions to pass claiming it is all Israel’s fault.

 

World Pollution Index from 2017

World Pollution Index from 2017

 

The map above gives a view of the pollution survey of the nations which chose to provide data or upon whom such data already existed as filed under requirements of climate treaties and agreements. Africa mostly did not provide nor did data exist largely because they are almost always exempted from these treaties and agreements. That is sad because they actually are part of the problem and need to become part of the solution. This too is an area where the United Nations could make a great difference simply by providing scrubbers to these nations to utilize on their coal-fired plants. This map includes all forms of pollution and another great problem outside Europe, the United States and the rest of the advanced world, is potable water. When it comes to Africa and potable water, communications, health and virtually every other humanity related field one can imagine, Israel has been quietly making huge strides which are making an incredible difference for the better. This is the Israeli form of quiet diplomacy which acts as supplemental to the aid Israel gives to anywhere they are permitted on the globe when disasters strike, even the United States. If the world really wished to place all forms of pollution under control and benefit all of the people living on the planet, that would be an accomplishable set of tasks but would require changing the governmental structure of much of the third world and developing nations. The main difficulty is getting past the greed, avarice and the suffocating grip the numerous dictatorial regimes impose preventing any constructive developments in much of that world. Israel gets around this barrier largely by applying their aid directly to the villages they are assisting with their water and other difficulties. That is the secret to repairing those things which are broken in our world, direct intervention avoiding governmental obstacles which are placed in the way. Sometimes working small is far more beneficial than attempting grand plans attempting to repair everything at once. Those grand schemes are more often so some political group or individual can grandstand and claim to the world, look how great a person or group we are. That is why most of the world does not know of the good Israel does, we, other than my efforts, largely just desire to assist those most in need when and where we can and forgo the publicity. This was why when CNN came across the Israeli field hospital in Haiti she was so completely blown away (see video below). Sometimes, when you are a smaller operation and everything is interconnected with limited scenarios set to cover the widest possible range of events, you appear to outdo those who are far larger and have numerous more dominoes necessary to be in a line before anyone can move. That is much of the problem with addressing the pollution and climate difficulties as the United Nations cannot make a move without every last possible nation demanding they receive their piece of the pie before even the first item is installed.

 

 

The final and concluding thoughts revolve around the other problem the European Union suffers from even more than its individual members, and that is the lack of power and inability to force its opinions and demands upon the rest of the world. The European Union was designed by those at the top to be a challenge to the power projection of the United States. They had been riding high as for the last few decades, going all the way back to just after President Reagan, the European Union has been effective in challenging the United States and even, on occasion, able to intimidate the United States into taking actions which were more advantageous to the Europeans than to the United States. That recently came to a very sudden halt and the pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement despite the severe protestation of the European Union, even with it being backed by the United Nations, China, Russia and anybody else who felt they needed to jump up and protest, was the final ringing of the clarion bell signifying that a new sheriff was in town. The Europeans now have basically two choices, they can continue in the Paris Climate Agreement or they can also pull out and allow the agreement to come crashing down, as it probably should do. The climate agreements have largely been about taking money from the developed world and flushing down the drain claiming it was doing good being sent to the third world and developing nations. Did they do any good, probably some with perhaps three or four percent of the funds. What happened to the vast majority of the funding? It went where the vast majority of funding goes whenever these misconstrued egalitarian agreements are imposed, into the pockets of the dictatorial regimes and their cronies. Until the governmental structures of the vast majority of these nations is altered for the better where there is transparency and real accountability, nothing is going to change and development will take a back seat to avarice and outright theft. Our world is still largely a tribal world where governments remain in power by playing one tribe off of another such that their groups is seen as the sole power structure which can manage these waring factions. Despite the derogatory label that colonialism has, in some specific cases, nations have been improved and become able to slowly start to move beyond their tribal pasts. India is a prime example of such a nation though it is facing threats to her stability which will need to be answered if India is to advance further. The answer to tribalism is the real challenge the world needs address, and once that has been resolved, much will change for the better. What is the answer? If we knew that, we would be making our plans to go to Stockholm and receive a million dollar plus prize.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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