News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

Archive for December, 2009

Overpopulation is the main problem

December 15, 2009

Overpopulation is the world’s top environmental issue, followed closely by climate change and the need to develop renewable energy resources to replace fossil fuels, according to a survey of the faculty at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) reported in April 2009.

“Overpopulation is the only problem,” said Dr. Charles A. Hall, a systems ecologist. “If we had 100 million people on Earth — or better, 10 million — no others would be a problem.” (Current estimates put the planet’s population at more than six billion.)

I agree.


Russian Dead Hand Defense Strategy

The “Dead Hand” defense, a sort of Russian Roulette with the certainty of death for the other side in the event of a nuclear explosions that had not been responded to due to no orders from whomever carries the football in Russia these days.

The West believes that hand to now be Vladamir Putin’s; making the existence of a system, such as the “Dead Hand”, perhaps a little redundant. What it did, upon detecting nuclear tremors, is launch a devastating attack on America. Lucky no major earthquakes triggered this!

Now that the Cold War is over, we can look back at its horrific potential for errors leading to the annihilation of all life on the planet. So last decade. So not current thinking. The constant terror of being educated as a child about nuclear fallout shelters and the possibility that the accelerating state of tension between the USSR and the USA was punctuated with moments of greatness, such as Yuri Gagarin, Sputnik and the Apollo programmes. It was not the putting a man on the moon, which factually achieved less than putting the second one there as well, and so on; but, the very act of being able to populate another world was a significant stage in the evolution of humans.

Insofar as we know, humans seems to adapt more rapidly and inherently in our behavior, primarily language, and as such are the very least stable artifact of nature. Impatient to the very nucleus we are, increasingly prodded into grand magical majesty of change and recombination of elements.

There is no “should” that can dictate to us what we do next. Our self belief has been superseded by our technology. It is only by a process of mutual responsibility and love can we see a path past war, past suffering, where agreements are made as a token of faith in each other rather than a unworthy belief that another causes our decisions.

Can humanity evolve enough frugal inventiveness to conquer the limitations of growth? Imagine one day if the entire earth was one city. Due to the nature of growth, in its second year there would be so many homeless. We must share our resources with all the generations that follow, and we must somehow put an end to this need to destroy each other. If populations were stable, the differences would not matter as much, but there would be budget crises keeping up with pension costs.

Our generation took a time of extreme plenty and turned it into grand larceny on an exceptional scale. Gambling with the future is extreme folly.


Iran Nuclear Memo

December 14, 2009

A memo leaked in Iran that indicates as recently as 2007 there were discussions about nuclear weapon development. Disturbing, certainly, for Europe and Israel, for the UK and of course for President Barack Obama who will be seen by the world as the person who has to lead the charge against Iran for surging on with their nuclear arms aspirations.

Of course the leak could be propaganda, the BBC was unable to verify if the document was genuine. If it is propaganda, it is disturbing for Iran – what is the motivation?

Either way, it is a sadly revealing moment. Occams razor says that it is more likely that the memo is real, simply as it is reflected by the behaviour of Iran – a leadership that dictates to its population how they must vote, how they must not protest and how they must respond to religious edicts. As well as the ten reactors they have planned.


Danger to Food Chain

Climate change is not being viewed as a complex problem, but more in black and white terms of the likelihood that mankind is causing it.

This article

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8411135.stm

on the BBC introduced a new idea to Copenhagen. The idea that changes in the climate may endanger the food chain by changing the composition of the oceans – to more acidic. Therefore changing the basis of what life survives, thrives or starves.


Dubai bailed out

Abu Dhabi has bailed out Dubai’s extraordinary property ventures with a US$10Billion grant to its sister state.


Blair justifies Iraq War

December 13, 2009

Tony Blair states that Saddam Hussein “had to go” as justification for the invasion of Iraq.

“I would still have thought it right to remove him. Obviously, you would have had to use and deploy different arguments, about the nature of the threat,” he said.

“I can’t really think we’d be better with him and his two sons still in charge,” he added.

This logic puts government above the law. The reckless disregard for international agreements and the sovereignty of nations was not respected by the British Empire, or any other. Although it is hard to defend the acts of Saddam Hussein and the apparent evil in his heirs, it is also hard to defend a “we will employ any rhetoric we can think of” as a reasoned course of action for international intervention.

The rationale is bias. It has led the West (the UK and USA) into the worst deficit crisis in history. It may have been right for the sensibilities of Tony Blair and GW Bush. But the rest of the world thinks that this intervention was handled in the worst possible way.

To have continued to use the Rule of Law would have been far more effective, than a war that has not solved the issue of Iraqi political stability.


Fuel alternative

December 11, 2009

A genetically engineered bacteria converts CO2 into a liquid fuel. Brilliant – is this the solution to global warming? Perhaps. The disturbing trend we see following discoveries such as this is the justification to continue to produce pollution as it is now safer to do so.


China’s inverse bubble

December 9, 2009

A population constriction, when the population is forcibly reduced by war, disease or policy requires a different set of release valves than a growing economy. Instead of inflation vs interest rates, it is deflation sets in because decreasing numbers of people create demand, in other words nobody is there to buy things. It is hard enough to sell your products into a niche in competition, but when your customer base erodes, there is a sense of that being economically troubling.

Continued/…


The crisis is Energy

December 1, 2009

The climate change debate has been set on edge by the revelation that records were “homogenised” and the original data lost by the East Anglia researchers. The conservative columnists seem to be convinced that disproving human created pollution is affecting our environment is their duty, even if it is. The risk to cities and low lands over the next 90 years or so, notwithstanding.

It is as though the threat to business, if the oil taps are turned off one day, is simply untenable. It is as though the status quo was a holy relic to be preserved for ever and a day.

The answer is not limiting productivity; it is finding better and less expensive ways to use energy. The oil industry is not really that different to the cancer causing tobacco giants – oil is however intimately tied with the economic model of industry. Industry can change direction, replace oil use by creating opportunities and find ways to produce energy without risk or damage to the environment.

As it is possible to achieve this, and failure to do so results in no conservation of the world as it was, the progress of clean technology remains an important priority for research and development.