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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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

 

 

October 11, 2017

If Only America Stopped Polluting

 

Every Global Climate Change model depicts the obvious cause and danger to the future of human existence, the addition of pollutants to the atmosphere. The polluting of the water and land apparently are of less importance though nuclear power appears to be problematic. There are those environmentalists who insist that nuclear power is the future and the solution to many of the environmental situations while other environmental activists believe that nuclear power is one of the most dangerous power sources possible. But the numbers of environmental protests which blame the United States for Anthropomorphic Global Climate Change are almost unbelievable. It must be that the United States is amongst the main producers of carbon pollutants from combustion of fossil fuels and producing immeasurable carbon footprint. This must be corralled before the planet’s fever gets any worse. Forget the coal fired plants sprouting up in China and much of the third world like crabgrass on a golf course. Those are of no consequence, the United States must be forced to live a more austere life. We know this because so many like Albert Gore constantly address protests for the addressing of Global Climate Change as they jet from one city to the next. All of the small people must stop driving, stop using so much electricity, stop living such pretentious and ostentatious lifestyles making austerity the order of the day. Imagine if the United States simply cut its carbon footprint in half, or even by ninety percent to satisfy the true fanatics, how much of that would serve to alter Global Climate Change.

 

The United States would, of course, no longer be the world leader in innovation or progress in power generation and carbon emissions reduction. The United States would be required to reduce its military to such an extent that border defense would be the limit of American might. The aircraft carriers would be required to be decommissioned, even the nuclear powered vessels, as would the submarine fleets. The Air Force and Marines would need to ground the vast majority of their aircraft. Made in America would become a brand of the past as manufacturing would be all but extinct. The Internet would need to be powered elsewhere as electricity would need to be rationed and cars outlawed. Yes, all cars even including electric cars as they get their power from electrical generation plants which use far too much fossil fuels if the United States were to meet what many are demanding be required reduction of her carbon footprint. After almost everything has been shuttered just to make environmental lunatic fringe happy and still Global Climate Change would run rampant. The problem is that United States may be the second leading nation in CO2 emissions behind China; their carbon footprint is far smaller when measured against GDP or population than much of the developed and especially developing world (see chart below). What the ecology fanatics and their abettors are not telling you is that of all the nations in the world, the only nation which would have met their supposed targets from the 1992 Kyoto Protocol Summit was the United States. What they will tell you is that the United States was never a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol but the other nations, especially the Europeans, did not meet the demands of the agreement which they signed. The other little truth they refuse to note is that such nations as China, India, Brazil, Russia as well as the entirety of the rest of Asia, Africa, South and Central America, Middle East and the world are not assigned any pollution, CO2 or other pollution targets and are permitted a free pass completely without limits or expectations. This is how the United Nations views the importance of controlling pollution limitations, that only the developed world has to meet any requirements and if they refuse to accept such limitations to their growth and economies then they are pilloried in the media.

 

CO2 Emissions by Nation

 

Carbon footprint and CO2 emissions are far from the only pollution despite it being the favorite discussion at these United Nations and other ecological summits. There is also water pollution, land erosion and land pollution. Landfills need to be refurbished and have been in many of the developed nations. One particularly fun use for reconstituted landfill is to transform them into five golf courses. The United States has also done wonders with their waterways, as has much of Europe. One particular pair of connected waterways which have been altered from their worst case scenarios in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s are in Ohio and have Cleveland in common. These waterways are the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. Lake Erie was so filled with nitrates and phosphates that it suffered from runaway plant growth which produced over-oxidized water where no fish or living beings of size could survive. The Cuyahoga River was devoid of fish and regularly caught fire, as many as thirteen were reported, due to chemicals, oil, sludge, industrial waste, sewage and debris from steel manufacturing, die casting, paint and dye plant and untreated water runoff. Both waterways were cleaned up and currently are two of the cleanest waterways in North America, if not the world, and are filled with a natural balance of fish and water plants and have become a fisherman’s paradise.

 

Cuyahoga River on Fire

Cuyahoga River on Fire

 

The developed world has made great strides in cleaning rivers, the air and reconditioned landfills into golf courses and found the means of using what was once trash used to pollute land water under landfills to now make electricity with clean burning plants in what the world would have thought impossible a mere half century ago. Yet the ecological ruminators would weave you a yarn about the world in which air pollution, water pollution and land pollution all are getting to the point where the end is nigh. Their story is rewarding in its colorfulness as they paint a developed world which requires to be brought to heel before their development ruins the world. They hold ecological summits where plans are drawn to force the developed world to reduce their carbon footprint until they would eventually demand zero carbon footprint and their return to their predeveloped stage while the rest of the world surpasses their might and claims their rightful place as the overlords. Unfortunately, the developed world has often failed to meet their projected targets which makes setting these targets a form of useless endeavor. Even though, the developed world already can produce additional power requirements with less carbon output than their previous technology. The same cannot be said about the rest of the world. The developing world continues to utilize the old technology of coal-fired plants which billow smoke and pollute the waterways. But this is but the smallest effect as there is one thing that China is currently performing which will cause far more damage to the ecology of the entire Mekong River complex. Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam all stand to suffer as China builds a series of dams with which to establish waterways over which to move goods with large ships to the sea and produce power for the entirety of the Mekong River length. The only cost will be the local fishing economy plus change the banks and depths along the river possibly leading to damaging the farming across the entirety of Southeast Asia. The particulars can be read at the source linked above.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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