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Saturday, February 20, 2016

AVIATION EMISSIONS, POTUS ODDS AND DENGUE FEVER IN HAWAII

Glancing outside my apartment towards the Pacific Ocean, on this absolutely fabulous Saturday in Honolulu, let me follow-up on items I have recently blogged on to provide continuity.  I spent the past three days on the future of aviation, and can report that, while that December United Nations global climate change gathering in Paris did not address this problem, an obscure arm of the UN based in Montreal, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), did finally report on their efforts to reduce aircraft emissions.  I noticed that military planes are excluded.  Note that their flights are also exempt from civilian noise standards.

To summarize:
  • Standards will affect all planes sold after 2020.
  • All other  (meaning older) aircraft must meet these levels by 2028.
  • Not worth including details for environmental organizations pretty much unanimously laughed that this threshold is hardly worth the effort.
  • The newest Boeing and Airbus models already exceed these standards, which, of course, makes the promulgation of this new stricture meaningless.
  • Next year will see the appearance of the Boeing 777X, the most efficient airliner ever, with seating for 400 passengers (their 747 can go up to 660, but the Airbus 380 can have 853).

Look, the use of jet fuel, no matter how combusted ,will still release carbon dioxide into the upper atmosphere, only exacerbating the problem.  The real solution is to move away from fossil fuels.

A month ago my posting on HOW WILL BLOOMBERG AFFECT THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN showed Hillary Clinton at even odds of becoming the next POTUS (President Of The United States).  Her position has weakened

2016 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION - NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Odds as of February 17 at Bovada
  • Hillary Clinton  +115
  • Donald Trump +250
  • Bernie Sanders +400
  • Marco Rubio +800
  • Ted Cruz +1800
  • Jeb Bush +2200
  • John Kasich +2200
  • Michael Bloomberg +2500
However, interestingly enough, the odds on Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders also got worse.  What do those numbers mean?  If you currently bet $100 on Hillary, you would win $215 (your $100 plus $115).  The current "fear" for Clinton is that Republicans will do everything possible to shore Sanders up, even to the point of encouraging him to run as an independent candidate (with mega funding) should the Democratic Party reject him.

Trump and the Republicans?  Guess what Democrats are doing?  Will Sanders actually become a serious candidate for POTUS after shining in Nevada?  Nah.  But he could become a pivotal Ralph Nader and Ross Perot, for both of them gave the election to the other party in 2000 and 1992.

Also last month I reported that Hawaii should not get too excited about 250 cases of dengue on the Big Island because the world ANNUALLY HAS NEARLY 400 MILLION CASES/YEAR.    So what happened?  First, the Star-Advertiser on February 11 editorialized


Then on February 12,  Governor David Ige declared a State of Emergency in Mosquito Fight.  At his (right) side was George Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.  What do you think was the motivating factor in finally influencing Governor Ige?  Till today I have not seen written anywhere in the local media or stated on television that the world suffers from 390 million (this is the more accurate version) dengue cases.  I might add that 25,000 people annually die from this illness.  

Five years ago my Huffington Post article on a similar matter was entitled:


Essentially, I kind of made fun of the Swine Flu as a serious pandemic, and blamed the media and mothers in general for exaggerating the reality.  Surely enough, Swine Flu just went away.

Mind you, I certainly don't want to get Dengue Fever and will avoid the Big Island if I can.  So I can't blame Governor Ige or the Hawaii Tourism Authority for invoking this state of emergency.  This is one of those political decisions that can mostly help your reputation.  And, if even one person chooses the Caribbean over Hawaii during this chilly season because of the potential of dengue, that is a loss to the local economy.  But 259 versus 390,000,000.  Where do you draw the line?

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Tropical Cyclone Winston, the MOST POWERFUL STORM ON RECORD in the Southern Hemisphere, today punished Fiji with winds as high as 184 MPH.  No confirmation of any fatalities, but the damage was significant.


Still at 150 MPH, Winston now seems mostly headed south to nowhere.  This storm has had a fearsome, weird and meandering history:


Global warming?

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