Nel's New Day

June 2, 2019

Catching Up on the Last Few Weeks

Looking through my files, I see information about events that has fallen through the cracks. Here’s a bit of “catch up” with links for readers who want to read more about the subject. 

Tariffs/Taxes:

Solar energy, responsible in 2016 for 43 percent of employment in electric power and twice as much as the fossil fuel industry, has lost almost 20,000 jobs since DDT’s inauguration, much of the loss from tariffs.

Increasing tariffs to 25 percent on some Chinese goods could annually tax a family of four $767 and destroy over 934,000 jobs. Tariffs on all Chinese imports, as DDT threatens, would annually tax families $2,294. The combined $72 billion for all DDT’s tariffs constitute one of the biggest tax increases since 1993, and that amount doesn’t include his new tax on all goods from Mexico. People, not companies or countries, pay for tariffs making them a tax increase, the equivalent of a ten-percent increase in Social Security tax for an average family. DDT plans to annually cost every family $100 annually and add to health problems and death rates with enhanced pollution by erasing efficiency standards for light bulbs and causing LED bulbs to be much more expensive. Since President Obama’s action, LED bulbs, which last ten years, dropped 90 percent in price to about $1.

According to DDT’s Commerce Department, the $891 billion merchandise trade deficit last year is the largest in U.S. history, and the trade deficit with China hit a record high of $419 billion after DDT’s tariffs. The 19-percent jump from November and December 2018 to $59.8 billion made the highest monthly trade deficit in 10 years.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), ready to declare war on Iran, told farmers that they’re making far less sacrifices by losing their farms from tariffs than soldiers “in Arlington” make. DDT calls farmers losing everything from his tariffs as “patriot farmers.” Did they know that they were signing up for the war by growing food? Meanwhile, GOP senators up for re-election in agricultural states are getting nervous.

DDT’s tariffs are closing down a South Carolina plant that assembles televisions using Chinese parts with a loss of 126 jobs.

Climate/Pollution:

Earth’s concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) has reached 415 parts per million ( ppm). The first 280 ppm took 5,000 years until the Industrial Revolution; the last 5 ppm took two years. Ninety percent of all global fuel emissions have been released in the past 85 years. Excess carbon dioxide is causing men’s testicles to shrink from shortage of sperm. (Chemicals are also shrinking penises.)

The U.S. is one of two nations out of 189 to control movement of its waste across national borders, leaving the U.S. no place to send contaminated and plastic waste without other countries’ consent. 

Of the world’s 425,000 electric buses, China has 421,000. The U.S. has 300.

DDT may be able to escape any climate change penalties on the federal level, but New York is levying millions of dollars against his business because of pollution from DDT’s buildings. Without making improvements, DDT will pay annual fines of $2.1 million from 2030.

Not only has DDT failed to create more coal jobs, but he’s also losing the ones that existed when he was inaugurated. One-thousand jobs are at risk as the third-largest coal company declared bankruptcy because of a weak market, and over 50 coal plants closed under DDT’s leadership. A court ruling voided union contracts for another coal company, and lack of federal funding jeopardizes pensions of $600 a month for almost 100,000 workers. Transition to other jobs is highly problematic because coal workers aren’t well enough to work after leaving the mines.

Data:

DDT’s attempts to control the census by asking about citizenship isn’t the only way that he plans to skew information: poverty and pollution in the U.S. will be less severe once he changes all the numbers. After the EPA reported that DDT’s new energy policy to replace President Obama’s Clean Power Plan kills an additional 1,400 people, DDT ordered the number to be fixed.

DDT will allow oil and gas industry to drill places not within the safe drilling margin through the draft of guidelines that weren’t included for public comment last year.

Legislation:

DDT and the GOP hate net neutrality, which keeps prices lower for internet use, but love the idea of 5G wireless phones to speed up all those tweets. The result may be a 30-percent inaccuracy of weather forecasts because of interference, taking predictions back four decades. That means fewer days to prepare for hurricanes and incorrect tracking of storms’ paths to land. NOAA reported that the proposed 5G system would lose 77 percent data from its satellite’s passive microwave sounders. The FCC continues to auction off wireless spectrum, already making almost $2 billion.

Without legislation, Congressional Republicans will cause these catastrophes: lack of disaster aid; budget caps starting on September 30; not raising the debt ceiling resulting in calamitous financial crisis by the end of summer; government shutdown without passage of 12 appropriation bills by October 1; continued disintegration of infrastructure; no funds for Violence against Women Act which expired three months ago; no defense authorization or flood insurance which depends on the disaster bill; and lack of surveillance from sunsets on gathering metadata on domestic text messages and “roving” wiretaps—which might not be too bad.

DDT doesn’t think his ideas to use public-private relationships for infrastructure improvement “will work.

When the House passed the Equality Act, 173 Republicans voted in favor of discriminating against LGBTQ people. Only 21 states and the District of Columbia explicitly prohibit discrimination in employment and house, and one of those states permits public accommodation discrimination. One Republican legislator compared LGBTQ people to Nazis.

IRS:

Every year, the IRS loses hundreds of auditing agents, so they pursue the poor rather than the wealthy. In 2018, millionaires were 80 percent less likely to be audited than in 2011, but the 43 percent of people receiving the earned income tax credit are audited at a higher rate than anyone except the richest. Highest audit rates are in poor, rural, mostly black, and Southern counties.

 Over 1.3 million college students on scholarships are taxed at higher rates than billionaires, including DDT, thanks to the new GOP “tax cut” law. High tax rates have also hit tribal funds paid to Native American youth for education or living expenses. Republicans have not only fixed the problem but seemed to have deliberately created it.

Education Department:

Republicans plan to renew investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for her emails although she recorded all of them. The GOP will undoubtedly ignore Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s use of personal email accounts for government businesses and her failure to properly save the messages. The practice is common for Republicans, and DDT fails to preserve public records.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that the Education Department is blocking efforts to police the student loan industry and costing borrowers thousands of dollars for those who owe over $1 trillion in these loans by refusing to share information.

As DDT wants to increase the charter school budget, the Network for Public Education reported how charter schools have scammed the federal government for over $1 billion in nonexistent or short-lived schools. With no adverse consequences, one in three schools that have received $4 billion closed, never opened, or hadn’t yet opened. Other charter schools fall short of the charter program’s promise of “high-quality” schools for disadvantaged students.

Ignorance/Bigotry:

Fifty-six percent of people reject the idea of teaching “Arabic numerals”—like 56.

DDT:

DDT likened himself to Hungary’s far-right authoritarian leader Prime Minister Viktor Orbán because of his being “respected all over Europe” and doing a “tremendous job.” 

At this time, 138 nominees are awaiting confirmation in the Senate, and another 132 positions have no nominees. The reason comes from overwhelming turnover in the past two years.

Condo sales in Trump Tower have plummeted, some of them as much as 20 percent, compared to 0.23 percent of Manhattan homes. Occupancy rates dropped even with lower than average rents; net income is 26 percent below banks’s expectations in 2012. DDT still made $434 million last year, especially from the D.C. hotel.

DDT said that he will not use any campaign dirt on his opponents from foreign companies—if he gets the opponents he wants.

DDT’s trial balloon of getting another two years with no election because he was treated “unfairly” has failed: 77 percent of the people don’t agree. Only seven percent of respondents think that he should ignore the 2020 election if he loses, and 90 percent believe that the “peaceful handover of power after elections” and “both parties respecting the results of elections” were essential for the “healthy functioning of American democracy.” Large majorities agree that DDT “does not respect the customs or traditions of the Presidency” and “the laws of the United States.”

January 30, 2014

The State of the Planet

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 9:24 PM
Tags: , , , ,

For the past few weeks, governors have given speeches about the state of their states—even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who is probably in worse shape than his state. This week, President Obama gave the State of the Union speech. But what about the State of the Planet?

In the United States, almost one-fourth of the people deny global warming. That’s an increase of 7 percent in less than a year in a nation of over 300 million people.  Although 63 percent understand that climate change is real, only 53 percent of the population is “somewhat” or “very” worried about the consequences. And fewer than half of the 63 percent who believe in global warming believe that it is caused mostly by human activities, fewer than one-third of the population.

People who deny climate change and humans’ participation in the disaster won’t be changing their minds. They argue that the weather is colder the past few weeks, that plants need carbon dioxide, that warmth is good for people. They support politicians who govern by anecdote and personal experience rather than information.

This week, people will claim that the unusual extreme cold in Georgia that has brought Atlanta to a standstill is proof that climate change is at least in a pause or on hiatus. Although global greenhouse gas emissions are rising to an all-time record in 2012 and the carbon concentration has increased, the planet’s surface temperatures have remained almost the same for the past 15 years.

The ocean is the answer. Ocean depths’ soaking up excess heat energy from the accumulation of greenhouse gases protects the land from change. Middle depths of the ocean have warmed 15 times faster during the past 60 years than at any other time during the past 10,000 years. It’s buying time for change but can’t go on forever. Both the global warming and the oceans’ heating up occurred at the same time. Oceans carry 93 percent of stored energy from climate change, and the atmosphere is responsible for just 1 percent. Melting ice and land masses take care of the rest.

Scientists can trace the temperature of the middle-depth ocean waters back 10,000 years by taking sediment core samples from Indonesian seas where the Pacific and Indian Oceans merge. The levels of magnesium to calcium in the shells of the Hyalinea balthica give science the answer to the water’s temperature. The climate was relative stable and the Pacific generally cooled until about 1600 when human civilization and ocean temperature warming occurred simultaneously.

An increase of one-third degree Fahrenheit over 60 years may not seem like much, but the scale of the oceans indicates how much energy is necessary to heat it up that much. The oceans cannot contain the additional heat from human abuses to the planet on a permanent basis. Sea surface temperatures were also unusually high in Australia last year, resulting in extreme heat and drought in some places and flooding in others.

Expanding water heats up and then moves on shore. Some of the largest cities of the country on the ocean shores are in great danger of inundation, a fact made very obvious a year ago when Superstorm Sandy destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes. According to a study published late last year in Scientific Reports, climate change will push sea levels two feet higher by 2083 and eight feet higher by the year 2200, causing large sections of Miami, Boston, and up to 1,400 other cities under water.

People living inland suffer from more frequent and harsher tropical storms and hurricanes/cyclones. Warmer surface water dissipates more readily into vapor, making it easier for small ocean storms to escalate into larger, more powerful systems.

Global currents are responsible for regulating the planet’s temperature. The collapse of polar ice shelves and the warmer water disrupts these currents largely responsible for regulating the world’s temperature. The two polar vortexes of the past month clearly show the dramatic weather conditions occurring because of this disruption.

The die-off of the tiny krill will shrink the world’s food supply. At the base of the food chain, the krill are responsible for all the food that comes from the ocean. 

Science experts are cautious in their predictions, but 97 percent of the climate scientists agree that humans are responsible for climate change and that waiting to take care of the problem will cost more and more money as time goes on. Atmospheric carbon dioxide has already reached a high of 400 ppm; delaying mitigation for the next 15 years will mean that the atmospheric concentration levels won’t be under 530 ppm by 2100. That sounds a long way off, but babies born today would be only 84 years old in that year.

The ensuing 3.6-degree Fahrenheit increase by the end of this century will cause “a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in late summer,” according to a recent report. The U.S. Department of Energy reported that 37% of the carbon emissions in 2012 came from coal-fired electricity. Ten countries were responsible for 70 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes.

Some conservative politicians believe in climate change, but they deny it openly because they come from an oil or coal state and want to get re-elected. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) admitted that he believed in climate change but doing anything about it would cost too much. The same thing happened with the revelation that smoking causes cancer.

People like Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) accuse the government of setting standards for polluting power plants in a purely partisan manner. Instead of discussing climate change, the chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee used one of 2013’s last seven days to talk about extraterrestrials in the hearing “Astrobiology: Search for Biosignatures in Our Solar System and Beyond.”

During the coming year, climate change and energy will be a major issue in the 2014 midterms, for example as Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tries to protect his seat in what the GOP calls President Obama’s “war on coal.” The conservative American Energy Alliance will be pitted against wealthy green activists such as billionaire Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund manager who believes in environmental causes.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), chair of the Energy Committee, will be hit hard from crude oil export and offshore oil developers.  (Her city of New Orleans will be one of the first to sink into the water.) Other battlegrounds are Alaska as Democrat Sen. Mark Begich works to be re-elected in energy-involved open-seat states such as South Dakota and Montana.

What might be the most ludicrous argument against belief in climate change came from Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chair of the Energy and Power subcommittee, who said that “3.75 percent of all worldwide emissions come from human activity.” He fails to understand that the natural carbon dioxide emissions from animals, plants, and oceans are counterbalanced by natural absorption. The same thing doesn’t happen to the 30 gigatons of CO2 from burning the planet’s forests and extracting hydrocarbons that has destroyed the equilibrium of the planet and emitting “super pollutants.”

People who think that the United States is separate from the rest of the world should read the study showing that air pollution from China, caused by manufacturing of goods that China sells to the U.S., is polluting the air in the United States.

And that’s the State of the Planet.

 

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