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Thursday, May 26, 2011

CURMUDGEON OR PROPHET?

I'm becoming an old cumudgeon, or might already be there.  When Bill Clinton was president, I wondered why he ignored global climate change and gave scant attention to renewable energy, and I thusly made a few curmudgeonly remarks.  Regarding George W. Bush, I disagreed with just about every policy he had, and said so.  So when Democrat Barack Obama become #44, you would think I would fawn over almost everything he advanced, especially on renewable energy.











Well, I've found his priorities to be disappointing, first on the matter of defense spending and peace, found in my 5May2008 and 6July2010 Huffington Post articles.  On sustainable transport, I disagree on his support for plug-in electric vehicles, also being pushed by the State of Hawaii.  Then, his Department of Energy goes on to decimate the fuel cell and hydrogen budget.  Actually, on this matter, I might actually side with Obama, for I, too, have recommended that we only continue some long term research on hydrogen, and, instead, shift to biomethanol.  On this latter, Obama is controlled by the Farm Lobby, committed to ethanol, so I can't get the Department of Energy to even think about this option.

Now comes NASA and Hawaii being selected as the International Lunar Moon Base (ILMB--wonder why they chose to insert both lunar and moon--if anything, it should have been Earth Moon Base or Moon Base in Hawaii).  Hawaii needs every help we can get, especially the Big Island. There is the romance of space and the potential for inspiring and training our youth for the future.  Who can possisbly oppose such a gift?  Well, this old curmedgeon, for one.  First, let me say that I am not against this effort, as such.  If Hawaii can gain various business and international partnerships to pay for the facilities, great, okay.  If our taxes are to be accessed, say, $100 million, absolutely not, because there are other opportunities of greater value to our State.

For one, there is the Pacific International Ocean Station (PIOS).    The ILMB will not contribute much to the economy of Hawaii.  Save for some salaries and visitors, no new industry will be created.  The vision of establishing Hawaii as an international aerospace center is beyond the pale.

PIOS, however, promises next generation fisheries, marine industries at sea, biofuels from ocean biomass and a range of exciting opportunities.  Our future, and that of Japan, is the ocean around us.

It's tough being a prophet, especially if no one listens to you.  More than a year ago I published:


The Sustainable Expo for 2020


to get our State into an action mode to work together on something grand, while insuring funding for the Honolulu Mass Transit Project.  Embarrassingly, not one expression of interest.

I've further failed to attract any excitement in the direct methanol fuel cell, peace, and range of other initiatives for Hawaii, our Nation, Humanity at large and Planet Earth.  Thus, I must come to a sad conclusion that I'm not a prophet, but an old curmodgeon.

But wait, maybe I'm more along the lines of Nostradamus (left), who, it is interpreted, 500 years ago predicted the coming of World War II and 9/11, plus the assassination of John and Robert Kennedy, among a polyglot of other auguries.  No, his were all negatives, mine are benefits to humanity.  Thus, as nothing I portend will attain any kind of reality in my lifetime, let me think that I could half a millennia from now become the optimistic analog to Nostradamus.

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The Dow Jones Industrials edged up 8 to 12,402, while world markets were mixed.  Gold dropped $2/toz to $1523 and oil seems steady at $100/barrel (NYMEX) and $115 (Brent Spot).

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Wow, Songda is now a SUPER TYPHOON at 160 mph, and should weaken some by then, but this weekend will roll over Okinawa.

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