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Sunday, December 27, 2009

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2010



HAPPY 2010!


As the sun sets to end the day, the year is almost over and I lived through the worst of times, but survived to look forward to the rest of my life. 2010 should be exciting and adventurous. I have two major trips planned:

January/February: All those vaccinations I took last week were for my stops in Seoul, Hanoi, Hue, Danang, Saigon, Siem Reap, Bangkok, Delhi, Barcelona, Munich, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London, D.C., New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Part of this trip will be related to the scattering of Pearl's ashes.

October/November: A few friends have expressed interest in my sustainable futures and epicurean journey to start with my "final" roots search on the Shinkansen through northern Japan, then on to the Shanghai World Expo, quick stops in Zhoushan and Beijing, Istanbul, Africa for a short safari, vicinity of Barcelona for the best restaurants in the world and the Bilbao Guggenheim, possibly a Danube River cruise, largest windmill in the world (Germany), London (Fat Duck), Rio and Machu Picchu in South America and a couple of stops in the USA. Can't imagine that anyone will join for the full itinerary, but I'm taking input at this point to finalize the trip.

The carbon footprint is outrageous, but, as penance, I am doing everything I can to stimulate the development of a next generation hydrogen aircraft and production of jet fuel from algae.

What do I see for 2010? Here is my top ten:

1. The global economy will continue to improve. Unemployment in the U.S. should drop to 8% by October so Democrats will lose only 3-4 seats in the Senate and 10-20 in the House. That is the nature of mid-term elections. The opposition party's disinformation campaign generally works when there is no major war and we are a nation of selfish sheep. There should be another technical correction to the stock market, which will be an opportunity to buy.

2. The Health Plan will be enacted, but signed as late as February, which means that President Obama's State of the Union speech could be presented later than usual. Note that the date has still not been determined.

3. Peak Oil will not occur in 2010. If you click on FUTURE PRICE OF OIL (see box on the right), you will note that crude oil does not reach $100/barrel until mid 2018, at least according to investors today. Be aware, though, that they are usually wrong.

4. Global Warming legislation in Congress will not be passed. This is an election year and any attempt to reduce the burning of fossil fuel will mean higher energy costs. My Huffington Post article of a year and a half ago blamed the Republicans. Today I add two other groups: Democrats (too many congress people from fossil fuel states) and the general public. The masses because they don't like to pay higher energy prices no matter what the environmental implications (especially as you can't really detect a fraction of an inch or hundredths of a degree change from last year). Detractors also point out that the temperature of Planet Earth has remained stable over the past decade...and they are right. A really, really hot summer where tens of millions perish will change this attitude, but chances are any negative effects will not be traumatic.

5. The Blue Revolution is more and more becoming the Blue Evolution. Interesting that TIME magazine reported that the tank-bred blue fin tuna was the second best invention of 2009. Read about our next generation fisheries effort, which could have accomplished this task a decade ago. The hope for this concept is Lockheed Martin surging ahead in the design of a 10 MW ocean thermal energy conversion facility hopefully to be tested off Oahu in a few years. Anyone got a spare $300 million?

6. Hawaii shows potential for replacing Louisiana as the happiest state in the union. The furlough problem will go away, more tourists will appear (with China and Korea helping lead the way) and a Democrat will be elected governor. However, unless we can find a solution to the current jetliner or jet fuel, Hawaii will be the first location to enter into a serious local depression when the price of oil shoots past $100/barrel.



7. The Pearl Foundation, hopefully, will assist in planting some yellow trees (Cybistax donnell-smithii). A Boy Scout troop on the Big Island has communicated with Pearl's cousin, Councilman Dennis Onishi of the Big Island, and he also arranged for me to meet with Council Nestor Garcia, where we discussed the potential of a line of yellow trees on the Mauka side of the Ala Wai Canal. The Department of Treasury finally responded to my application, and assigned me an Employer Identification Number to proceed with gaining tax exempt status for the Pearl Foundation.

8. The Venus Syndrome, will be be transformed into a novel with the assistance of two co-authors. The publication date remains a challenge.

9. Hawaii could well be destined to become a steeple of excellence to develop a commercial process for producing jet fuel from algae. The Hawaiian Hydrogen Clipper project could be initiated.

10. I will continue to post articles in the Huffington Post. Here are all my articles since the first one a year and a half ago (click on any to read that entry):


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