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Friday, July 30, 2010

THE STATE OF PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY ON 30JULY2010

1.  Global warming is real.  Yes, those hot temperatures on the East Coast were uncomfortable and yesterday Finland (the 14th country this year) recorded its highest temperature ever, 99 F, but I'm referring to official government pronouncements and academic studies:



  c.  The 29July2010 issue of Nature reports that the phytoplankton in our oceans have declined 40% since 1950.  Scientists blame global warming.  Frankly, I find this difficult to comprehend, for if the surface gets warmer, common sense would tell me that the temperature differential with the ocean depths should increase, and those higher nutrient fluids should come to the surface to enrich the photic zone.  However, apparently, these warming temperatures strengthen the layering effect to suppress deep ocean movement.  Anyway, phytoplankton represents the first stage of the marine cycle, so if they are disappearing, then there will be fewer and fewer fish.

Interesting, though, that the hottest temperatures occurred nearly a century ago (Libya 136 F and Death Valley USA 134 F).  Today? Both Death Valley and Baghdad went up to 119 F.

2.  New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in his typically astute manner, blames the U.S. Senate for preventing passage of the House-passed climate change bill, and specifically points out that the discussion should focus on how passage should be a future jobs issue.  While I agree with him, I still don't think anything useful will become law until temperatures approaching that of Libya become common and hundreds of millions die, somewhat detailed in my 10% Simple Solution for Peace.  As global warming is a slow process, this will not happen for centuries, and by then, it will be too late to legislate anything.  We seem doomed.


3.  Richard Borecca of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser remarks that the Akaka bill must be approved in August to become law.  If this fails (AND JUST ONE REPUBLICAN HOLD IN THE SENATE CAN PREVENT THE VOTE), it might never ever pass.





4.  Nicholas Kristof, also of the New York Times, indicates that President Barack Obama seems to have his priorities misplaced, for he is requesting 6.1% more in military spending than during the George W. Bush peak.  We are now committing more to the military, after adjusting for inflation, than were ever expended during the Cold War, Vietnam War and Korea War eras.  Our Navy is larger than the next 13 countries combined.  While we were once top rated, the U.S. fell to #13 in % of young people with college degrees.  Further on education, Kristof cites that the cost of just one American soldier in Afghanistan in a year could start 20 new schools there.  For the cost of one cruise missile, you can build 11 schools.  My 10% Simple Solution for Peace is actually beginning to make sense.

Pearl's Yellow Tree bloomed close to my office today.  There are at least a dozen such trees and this is the only one with flowers.  I gather global warming or something like that caused this second flowering this year.  At home on the roof, there are six sunbursts in various stage of blooming.

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The Dow Jones Industrials fell all of 1 point to 10,466, while world markets mostly decreased, Japan the most at -159 to 9,537.  Gold jumped $14/toz to $1181 and crude oil is just at $79/barrel.  Save for BP, which lost $17 billionoil company quarterly profits are surging.  Actually, these profits just about balance what BP lost.

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Disturbances popped up in the Atlantic off Africa moving in the direction of the Caribbean and south of Central America, heading for Hawaii.

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