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Friday, June 30, 2017

MORE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

Much more than half the time, when I wake up, I have no idea what will be my posting for the day, and I've been doing this daily for more than nine years.  So I will deviate from my norm by alerting you to a few articles I've been thinking about, to be fleshed out over the next week or so:
  • Sure, we have mayors and governors seeming to gain political points by defying President Donald Trump on the Paris Climate Agreement.  Many of them are quite sincere about their beliefs and have pledged to rally their constituency to save Planet Earth.  But is this wise?  Can any municipality or state or country or region push ahead with good intent and survive the obvious economic repercussions?  I think not.  This point of view after teaching Environmental Engineering and leading an international team to remediate global warming.  The bottom line is that everyone, every country, the whole world, needs to work together and equally  (which will of course not be so) cover the required costs to reverse the effects of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion.
  • The city of Honolulu has initiated a bike rental system, Biki, managed by a non-profit, with county government assistance.  Here I go again, but does this make any good sense?  Mind you, I was the University of Hawaii campus ecologist for years when I taught Technology and Society and headed the Environmental Center.  Our city is not conformed to take this step now, and I'll tell you why.
  • Just last week an Air Asia flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur survived a terrifying experience.  Air Asia 8501 on 28 December 2014 crashed into the Java Sea.  Air Asia operates the world's lowest unit cost of $0.023/passenger/kilometer and averages a very high 13 hours of aircraft use/day.  We, of course, know of two 2014 Malaysian Airlines flights:  17 (shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew) and 370, which disappeared with 239 on board.  Air Asia has come to Hawaii, and you can fly from Honolulu to Kuala Lumpur only for $189.  The cheapest other options are mostly in the $600 range.  Would you fly to Malaysia using any Malaysian airline?  I might, but as there is no Malaysia participation in Star Alliance, probably never.
  • I once sat on the board of Hawaii Biotech, which spun off Cardax 15 years ago.  All my shares have in the meantime been diluted to triviality through a series of takeovers and buyouts and such.  We were once close to a vaccine for malaria and dengue fever, then later, encephalitis, Ebola, West Nile Virus and Zika.  Just this past week Cardax was picked by the National Institute of Aging  to test an Astaxanthin compound for anti-aging.  I'll take you through those tumultuous years, which began in 1982, to today, when, finally, perhaps, potential success.
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