Thursday, December 30, 2021

Maurizio Buratti COVID-19 Bias: Daily Beast Headlines "Facts" Not in Evidence

* This article compares two reports of the same event. One is objectively detailed by a

Daily Beast Logo
European News agency. The second is an updated version of a Daily Beast story that at first included no details other than to link the words anti-vaxxer, dies and Covid-19.  Links to both articles are at the bottom of the page as documentation for this review.  

It is bad enough that the American people have been subjected to a revolving door of conflicting information spread by its own government officials but when a reputable news agency like The Daily Beast chooses to taunt a dead man in hopes of shifting public opinion to a course of action that is as much supposition as fact, the result harms everyone, not just journalistic integrity. 

Opting for headlines rather than fact, even quality media outlets are now leaning into the repugnant practice of verbally hanging the body in the public square as proof that vaccines "save lives" and that vaccination is the only way out of this crisis (an opinion which is questioned by more than few well educated physicians).  Confusing their role in society with marketing or public relations, media has taken on emotion-based rhetoric akin to the old fashioned party line telephone line.  That in itself is dangerous on many different levels. 

According to both articles, an admitted anti-vaxxer, Maurizio Buratt, 61, was diagnosed with double pneumonia and died in a Verona, Italy hospital on December 28. Both state that Buratt stood by his anti-vaxxing position even after being admitted.  Neither article reports a positive COVID-19 test.  Only The Daily Beast article uses the Covid-19 term in its headlines as the cause of death.  

The ANSA article appears to have been researched and written by its own staff.  There is no reference to Twitter feeds or copying and pasting from another website.  On the other hand, The Daily Beast article comes almost entirely from two sources--the ANSA article and a local newspaper (Brescia Today). Interestingly, the local news account admits reporters had to ask the attending doctor repeatedly about COVID-19 before the doctor would "admit" to a COVID connection. As one reads the article however, the doctor's statement was to say it "seems" to be COVID--not to definitively label COVID as the cause of death.  Reporters apparently were looking for that phrase and targeted that information regardless of any other factors which might have come into play. 

Had The Daily Beast looked into the definition of "double pneumonia", it would have found that the condition can be caused by any thing that irritates the lungs to the point the body cannot remove fluid in a timely manner.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO),  an estimated 750,000 children died from pneumonia in 2019, the year before COVID hit. Causes listed on this website include multiple viruses, bacterial infections and even such common contaminants as mold or other fungi.  The webpage does not, however, mention adult pneumonia number but general figures found elsewhere report a case rate of between 15 and 20 cases per 100,000 people in industrialized countries **Italy would expect between 9000 and 12000 cases each year. 

Then there is he habit of news agencies going for the popular conclusion and skipping over other more relevant information. How often do reporters ask any other question that might change the viewpoint of the reader?   Did Buratt have a health directive that prohibited treatment that might have  saved his life? Was Buratt on any of dozens of medications that compromised his immune system? Were there any other health issues that came into play in his anti-vaccine beliefs?  And finally, was his "Communist" comment about healthcare an actual judgement of today's health care system or a cultural ideology left over from Italy's 20 year period of Fascist control?  The story isn't complete until these questions are considered.  To condemn a man for his beliefs without understanding his motivation is not just bad journalism but the sign of a closed minded industry. 

Too often in this political climate, it is the narrow-minded focus of major media that seeks to steer public opinion in one direction regardless of its basis in fact. Only when the news is reported objectively does it serve to educate the public rather than subdue it. 

ANSA News Article (Rome)

 The Daily Beast Article


Thursday, December 23, 2021

NBC's Climate Clique: A Future of White Christmases

CNN White Christmas Map

** Several days of snow since Christmas.  It's all in about perfect conditions not the calendar. This year is was just a little late.

More like a high school clique than a knowledgeable group of writers looking to spread good news on Christmas, NBC's climate change reporters share more similarities with the popular kids' table than many would like to admit.  We have all seen it and some of us have even been a part of that highly restrictive, narrow-focused mindset that feigns superiority while being ignorant of even the basic principles of good form. Thursday's Future White Christmas coverage during the NBC Nightly News airing was not only disappointing in its timing but also wildly prejudicial in blaming the unseen and undefined evil of our time--Climate Change.  

Declining White Christmases--Truth or Hype?

Climate change coverage today is a popularity game. There are three things you must have to be considered an enlightened media source. Those three things are simple: 1) Do not offer any scientific explanation, just trends 2) Use math to make things seem awful 3) Find an expert who belongs to the same doom-n-gloom club.  NBC does that very well. It is a shame they are not interested in looking at climate change as a function of changing times rather than the end-of-the-World scenario that gets viewer attention. 

Read on if you would like to get some relevant information that explains why different locations may or may not see snow for Christmas. 

A La Nina Year

On October 14, 2021, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announced the official presence of the La Nina phase in the Pacific Ocean. La Nina years typically mean warmer and drier weather during the winter months for at least the lower half of the country.  Regardless of climate change, these years have always meant a year with little or no snow for many locations. NBC is well aware of this phenomenon and reported on it in October.  Instead of explaining that La Nina was going to make it more difficult for snow to form, this reporter went to the blame-climate-change format and took the easy, and politically correct, way out. 

Math Misused

To be expected, the reporter and expert compared trends by referring to mathematical differences between now and the 1980s.  Acknowledging that in 1980 ( which just so happens to be one of the most erratic weather years on record), half of the country saw snow while only 40% of the country now enjoys the event, the viewer is left with the impression that the country is losing our White Christmas legacy. While technically correct, using math as factual proof of climate change without understand how those numbers were obtained, amounts to spreading misinformation no matter how accurate the computation. Interestingly, several media outlets have published similar articles based on a NOAA press release which manipulates the number even further to tug at the emotional heartstrings of readers.  (Reminder: President Biden's climate change funding is being held up at the present time and NOAA may have written the piece in support of this funding)

Snow: A Fickle Flake

If you live in the band of the country where the Jet Stream moves up and down on a regular basis, your understanding of weather and climate change is completely different than those who live in the upper Northeast, the Pacific Coast and the Gulf Coast.  You learn early on that snow only happens under the right conditions and it is temperamental a best.  Just the right combination of air movement, temperature and moisture are needed.  If that doesn't sound like a rarity, factor in the weaker upper atmosphere that is the result of Clean Air policies and mining of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide for use in the healthcare, cryogenics and food storage industries.  You see snow only occurs in the upper atmospher and when there isn't enough movement and moisture WAY up in the atmosphere, snow simply doesn't have the chance to form.  The future of our White Christmas may have more to do with how strictly the EPA regulates the atmosphere than anything else in the environment. 

Human Interference

 Have you heard the phrase "Comparing Apples to Oranges"? It generally means that people try to treat difference situations as the same (Apples and Oranges are both fruit) when they are basically very different (applies are many different colors, Oranges are. . well. . orange. You get the drift).  This happens all the time with climate change studies which from a science perspective makes most of the findings invalid.  These interesting facts show how we, as in humans, are likely more to blame by our simple presence than any weather related reason for a reduction in snow fall. 

  1. One third of the US population wasn't here in 1980. That's 100 million people who are giving off heat in an environment that has not changed that much. A simple one degree increase in ambient air temperature because of all those people would be enough to disrupt snow production. Sad but true.
  2. There are 80 million more vehicles giving off heat, regardless of fuel source, than 40 years ago. That is in addition to the approximately 175 million cars, truck and other vehicles that were in use in 1980.  A bit of additional heat is the difference between beautiful snow and cold rain. 
  3. The increase in buildings needed to accommodate 330 million people that now call the United States home extends into places that have never been used for homes before.  Buildings, like people and cars, give off heat and can warm the air near the ground causing any snow that does form to melt before it reaches the ground.  Larger buildings such as warehouses, high rise apartments and office buildings can break the flow of air that is necessary for crystals to form.  Progress comes with a cost.  

In Conclusion

By now, you are beginning to see that what authority figures and advocates call climate change might just be unrealistic expectations.  The world of fifty years ago was fundamentally different because there was less of all the things mankind must have to survive. The additional 4 billion people of the world have done nothing wrong  There is a price that mankind has paid in poorer health, less wealth and more chaotic lives because of our dependence on every convenience. That price includes less chance for a White Christmas in many areas of the country.  All we have to do to bring it back to reduce our heat signature (not related to carbon footprint) and welcome a more simplistic lifestyle.  

Regrettably, NBC, other media outlets and most of all our government is more interested in economic growth than bringing back predictable weather.  More is the shame that like high school, the kids at the popular table, make life miserable for the rest of us. 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Build Back Better 2022: A Future of Waste and Demolition

** As of 1.19.2021, Biden has pledged to break BBB into sections. This is encouraging news for inflation and a test of how well the federal government meets its obligation to discuss, cooperate, and plan its actions.
**Written just hours before Senator Joe Manchin pulled the plug on BBB, this article is still very relevant as 2022 approaches. There is no question that this administration will lean into efforts to restore this spending package for no other reason than to say "WE DID IT".  It will not bring America Back (Excuse me? Did it go somewhere?).  It will send it further down the dangerous path of a country living on debt and  ignoring its failings.

 Like the French Revolution, the Fall of the USSR and a half dozen modern countries that have experienced financial collapse as the result of exceedingly high inflation and government inefficiency, it doesn't take a doctorate in Economics to see where BBB will take us.  Every household in America knows what comes from spending more than you have.  The United States is not immune to financial difficulties any more than its massive health care system save 800,000 people from dying of COVID-19.  American families should take steps to prepare for the unexpected.  It's not fear but good sense to take care of your household even if the government doesn't take care of theirs. 

And there it is again! Another politician tossing a line to see if he can reel in support for a political agenda.  With approval for the massive spending bill questionable with citizens, the next place to gain support is from local governments.  While it should not surprise the American people that this still occurs, it continues to be a disappointing feature of a Congress that is more concerned with its personal legacy than the welfare of its citizens.

This morning, President Joe Biden announced a plan to replace municipal water lines commonly called "lead" pipe in the United States.  With nothing more definitive than stronger EPA regulations, a ten-year goal and monies diverted from existing budget lines, the assumption is that those in fear of costly repairs may swing support to Biden's massive spending plan. 

With Biden's focus clearly on special interest groups in his first year, only 7% of all Americans are impacted by high lead levels in water according to the EPA website(15 to 20 million people).  Change the numbers to sections of pipe or distance and the task seems far grander than it is. Still, the potential is there that this move could lead to a decade or more of demolishing the old and re-landscaping every lawn and public served by public water lines.  Leave it to a politician to use a bulldozer and the law to handle a problem that could be solved with a bit of ingenuity and resourcefulness. 

Is Lead Really All THAT Dangerous?

Like most natural substances, lead is beneficial in many situations.  Once believed to be an ingredient in gold because of its weight, softness and resistance to corrosion, lead was one of the first metals used by mankind. Its only danger is when it is ingested in large amounts over a long period of time.

It is true that the metal is so popular that it has been used in many ways that it probably shouldn't have been.  Added to gasoline to stop 'knocking' in early engines, lead changed into lead oxide during combustion and became a primary component of air pollution. Used in early cooking utensils, as water and food storage containers, for children's toys and even house paint, lead quickly found its way into the human body with negative results.  The good news is that blood levels of lead in Americans have dropped by 90 percent since it was declared hazardous in the 1970s (NPR.org, Before it was Dangerous)

NJ.com photo
 

Cost vs. Benefit

But the material cost and labor needed to "dig up" every pipe in America that contains lead is far more invasive than even this country can imagine.  Under the direction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a condition that has already been heavily mitigated as evidenced by blood tests and one that currently--by its own estimates--impacts less than 10% of the population, could suddenly expand to overly cautious levels. Depending on how the term "lead" is defined, the Federal government could condemn every building constructed before l960 when pipes were first coated with a zinc solution that keeps lead from leaching into the water.  Simply designating an area as one of high lead content could reduce the value of homes, hold up the sale of such properties or force renovations by homeowners who might not be permitted to connect lead-based plumbing to the newer approved systems. The unintended consequences such as removal of mature landscaping and destruction of sidewalks and roadways could well outweigh the expected benefits. 

With all due respect, Mr. President. Is this about improving the health of a truly disadvantaged group of people or diverting funds to create infrastructure that artificially inflates economic growth and employment numbers. 

The Political Value of Building

As a new country plus 200 or so years, the act of building has been the hallmark of America's national economy. Unlike Europe, Asia, India and the Middle East, the New World had land and no restrictions on how to use it.  Settlers built homes, road ways, industries and railroads without so much as a thought as to what might happen when the  population required more resources than could be individually attained.  That tipping point happened decades ago for this country's oldest cities.  Still, the overwhelming political viewpoint of Congress since the end of WWII is to tear down and build back, whether it is better or not. 

Waste as an Economic Initiative

Behind closed doors, economists and stock analysts support corporate inefficiency, large infrastructure projects and natural disasters. Called the "Broken Windows" principle, undesirable conditions, such as aging improvements, weather disasters, climate change and poor management, keep the economy going even though wealth and security are lost.  Both Biden's Infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better bill are based on replacing what this administration deems "broken" even if nothing is actually gained by the expense. Even sadder is that those communities and private citizens which acted responsibly will realize their efforts were wasted and unappreciated in the fight for federal funding that is sure to continue.

As Congress adds an additional $2.5 trillion dollars to the debt limit of this country, it is time to remember that not all improvements bring about a higher quality of life for the average person.  Feelings of safety and security do not come from gadgets and gizmos. Trust in leaders is not founded on a president who creates fear and anxiety to increase his statistical record for the history books.  Replacing all the lead pipes in America will be considered a great accomplishment--except to the minority who will suffer damage to their properties in the name of progress.  That is the minority that never seems to matter to a politician.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Tornado Relief: Reflections and Donation Tips

** Please give to the relief effort for these communities which lost so much. More importantly choose your form of help carefully. See more information about how to give below. 

Getty Image (General)

Forty couple years ago, I lived in Starkville, Mississippi and saw my first tornado.  In the light of day, this barely moving chubby rotation was more a nuisance than a danger. I was at work and stood in the parking lot watching its ghost-like shape move about 50 yards away. As it passed and disappeared into the pines that graced both sides of the highway, I heard the intermittent sound of breaking tree limbs.  I knew I was not in any real danger and went along with my day.  This was not the type of tornado that hit six Midwest states on the evening of December 10, 2021.

In much the same way that other parts of the country deal with Clipper system snowstorms or severe thunderstorms, tornadoes are a frequent occurrence that residents just live with.  Most are the chubby, poorly formed versions that cause some damage but not massive casualties.  But at night, a tornado is more dangerous first because it means it is strong enough to survive the cooling off of sundown and second because residences cannot anticipate the path of the storm. These residents had been well informed but at that speed and over that distance there was little hope anything in its path would remain standing even for the well-prepared.

As the news of the events rolled across my news feed, the media ramped up the donation and calls for action.  Not understanding that this was already a recovery operation before the news even hit the air, media created a scam artists paradise of opportunity to bilk caring people out of their donations.  Before rushing to click on any and every donate button that comes across your phone or email account, take some time to explore the CRT (not that other CRT issue) method of giving: use CAUTION, do some RESEARCH and give over TIME.  Consider the information below as well before giving. 

1. Disasters come on quickly but recovery takes time. If a charity wants money now, back off and research that option. Be cautious of large corporations and businesses that operate within the damaged zone. Giving to the relief effort through them might be considered a conflict of interest and become murky as time goes by.  Understand that you are giving freely with no strings attached when giving money to any for-profit business. There is no limit to the amount of time such businesses can hold on to your money and with a bit of creative book keeping, each of these businesses can profit greatly from your generosity. 

2. Even top quality charities have costs. Before giving research how much of your money will actually go to the cause rather than supporting the organization.  My rule of thumb is that if the CEO makes more in a year than I would make in ten years, its not a good choice for where to put my money. Consider giving locaally, rather than through the national organization. Also, if the charity advertises regularly for funds, question whether their focus is on fundraising or charitable work.  It is unlikely that a media outlet will give free advertising to every charity seen on their platform.  

3. State and local government managed relief funds for disasters are something new. Rising from the ineffective operations of FEMA and other nationally-based charitable sources, time will tell whether they serve the people well. On the plus side, they have fewer restrictions than private non-profit groups that are bound by long standing business models.  

4. Be patient.  Unless you are experienced in this type of recovery or know someone personally, stay home and wait for the dust to settle.  As relief efforts unfold, unique and more personal opportunities will become available.  After a few weeks, consider doing some research and adopting a school, day care or other public service that was destroyed. Even with insurance and FEMA help there will always be something that would be appreciated. A trophy case that was smashed, checks to the school cafeteria to help supply lunches to suddenly unemployed families, a new set of books for a library and the list can go on and on.  Direct giving may take some time but may be far more satisfying. Remember, this impacted a whole region, resources will be limited for the short term and outside funding can help in ways that other systems cannot.

5. Avoid GoFundMe accounts and sites that show up as "AD" in Google or other search engines.  The only way to stop scammers is to be exceedingly cautious even if your heart aches for the victims. 

Like any community, these towns will be changed forever but not necessarily disappear because of this tragedy.  The time for help will be weeks from now when the media goes away and the insurance checks have been issued. Regrettably, sellers will take advantage of this situation and the money will not go as far as it should.  Help will be needed then as much as it is needed now.  Caution, Research and Time are important for your donation to be used effectively.  



Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Covid-19: Omicron's Here, Nature Says, "I Told You So!"

** Nearly two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the CDC has finally published an easily accessible webpage that outlines the risk factors for those susceptible to the coronovirus (see here). Please remember steroids are a treatment for respitory disease as well as a risk factor for infection.  Stay informed and healthy. 

** January 10, 2022 -- From Whoopi Goldberg and Savannah Guthrie to several members of Congress, journalists and politicians, alike, are coming to terms with their part in spreading the false narrative that coronavirus could be controlled.  Nature does what it needs to do to keep this planet  viable. It does not harm people without reason. Nature's rules for a health life are not necessarily the same as what popular culture promote. Coronavirus was here before 2020 and will continue to be here long after 2022 is over.  All the vaccines in the world will not change that.  Be Safe. Be Healthy.

**Update: Dec 10,2021 (reuters.com)- As of this date, the CDC has reported that of the 43 persons identified as positive for the Omicron variant, most are fully vaccinated and one third of them have received a booster. 

As I sit here this morning listening to the local and national news go on and on about Omicron, the latest Coronavirus variant, I cannot keep from shaking my head in sad resignation.  From the beginning of this very natural, to-be-expected crisis, Nature was not going to be cornered nor controlled. It had a message for humanity and like a good parent, it was, and still is, willing to cause some pain in order to see that this long over due reality check is delivered. 

No one is sadder about the lives lost than this writer.  In this small rural community, the death count does not make the evening news nor are there cameos of stressed healthcare workers pleading for people to get vaccinated.This community knows the cost of this pandemic--in friends and family that are now gone as well as the delay of future plans and the cautiousness which impacts every decision. 

Neither God nor Nature is punishing humanity for indescribable sins.  The responsibility for this outbreak is firmly on the shoulders of those who, like Dr. Anthony Fauci and public policymakers,  promote expensive healthcare over good health habits. As is taught in public health classes, natural health is a fine-tuned balance of environmental principles.  Cleanliness, proximity (social distancing) and adequate nutrition (not just food) support good health in a way that healthcare alone cannot.  When any of these factors is ignored or substituted with vaccines and drugs, pandemics occur.  This is the point Nature is trying to make. 

With every new variant, Nature says "I told you so!" and it will continue to shake its finger at those in power until modern civilization understands there are limits to how much it will bend for the sake of man's ego. The wish to rid the world of illness and suffering may be a religious goal but in terms of how this Earth operates, it is a desire of man, not a function of Earth's creation. 

In nature, illness has a purpose and that purpose is as much to support life as to hasten death. To live long healthy lives, immune systems must be tested from time to time.  Exposure is not enough for there to be a strong antibody response.  Ironically, modern medicine is based largely on countering the very principles of immunology.  No vaccine, antibiotic or drug works well unless it works in concert with nature. To come out of this, citizens around the globe need to embrace grandmotherly wisdom that served mankind for several thousand years when healthcare was more or less non-existent.

Illness Prevention Through Nutrition

The science of health is neither complicated nor difficult to manage. That said, the current mindset downplays nutritional needs in favor of drugs and strict lifestyle guidelines--neither of which is based on nature.  Health, like most natural processes, works best when moderation and the 'big picture' are kept in focus. Here, three basic suggestions and the reasons they work, are offered as one way to lessen the grip of COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status.

Protein Every Day at Every Meal

For fifty years, medical professionals have fostered a mindset that protein and fat are less desirable than plant based carbohydrates.  The problem, and ultimate consequence of this strategy, is a reduction in the body's ability to repair itself and effectively respond to infection and disease. Like making chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips, a life without a steady influx of quality protein is missing something important when it comes to overall health. 

As COVID-19 challenges modern medical philosophy, those who follow a "healthy??" diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains need to understand that no amount of vaccine or booster shots can duplicate the antibody response fueled by high quality protein. Good protein sources include red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk (not almond milk), cheese, nuts and dried beans.  Measurable amounts of protein every day at every meal are the best option for keeping cell tissues in good repair. This can also help avoid the side effects (diabetes) of a carbohydrate heavy diet. Minimum daily amounts should be calculated on weight, not age or caloric intake.  A good minimum for adults is 25 grams per day for every 100 pounds of weight. ( John Hopkins Protein List )

Rethink Alcohol Use

Throughout much of recorded history, fermented liquids such as wine, ciders, ales and spirits, served to supply people with a high quality jolt of micro-nutrients. Both tasty and capable of being stored for longer periods of time, these drinks complemented a meal with water being served as a source of fluid.  Today, however, changes in production and storage methods have altered the drinks themselves. Regrettably, modern vintages offer few benefits other than a mind altering buzz.

Setting morality and social recrimination aside, the bottom line is that today's alcoholic beverages are no healthier than a can of carbonated soda.  They can even cause the body to pause its immune response as it focuses on ridding the system of alcohol (a complex molecule that is broken down in the liver rather than the stomach). This process can increase the risk for contracting any type of communicable disease from Covid and the flu to some types of food-borne illness and hepatitis.  

The question to ask yourself is whether the risk of illness is worth the pleasure gained from the beverage. 

Stick to a Routine

Particularly during this pandemic, the last thing most of us want to do is stick to a routine. That said, as a living entity, the body works best when it can depend on a predictable lifestyle.  A sleep schedule, regular meals and daily down time are far better at preventing illness than public health advocates admit. While cleaning and hand washing have their place in daily life, there is such a thing as being too clean.  Allowing the body to run through its built-in system of prevention allows for the immune system to create antibodies to any and every attack on the immune system.  

As is evidenced by the cultural differences of daily life around the world and throughout history, there is no right or wrong routine as long as it works for the individual and can be maintained with little or no effort.  Do we really believe that for five thousand years, every living person on the planet worked hard enough get his heart rate up to 100 for at least five days each week?  Health comes in many forms as does ways to prevent major illness.

Forever COVID

As the world's mortality rate takes a slight jump and its population is estimated to drop for the first time since the Spanish Flu in 1917-18, what health professionals quietly keep to themselves is that the COVID virus is neither new nor controllable.  In fact, seasonal variations, like Omicron, happen so regularly during the winter months, no one bothered to test for it, until 2020. 

Moreover, experiments to produce a workable vaccine for animals and humans have been held in many facilities  for well over 40 years without conspiracy theories and wild accusations. No vaccine has ever worked for more than a few months.  That should tell all of Earth's citizen something about the future. COVID has always been here and is here to stay. 

Nature now has another high powered tool to use in its goal to bring human health back into balance with the environment.  As long as pharmaceutical companies promote artificial immunity over natural protection, Nature will be comfortably waiting to say, "I told you so!" when the next health crisis hits Planet Earth. 


Friday, November 12, 2021

The Age of Reality: Looking Back at the Future (Repost)

 Note to Readers: This reflection was first posted on October 21, 2017 and originally written as a contest entry on the topic or The United States in 100 Years.  It was written before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President and was not published as part of that contest. These days it is easy to get bogged down with our difference and we need to sometimes remember we have a long way to go to the next Back to the Future Day.


It is October 21, 2015, “Back to the Future Day” in popular culture.  Newscasters and fans alike are creating commentary about what the popular movie series predicted correctly and what it got wrong. Only 30 years after its debut in the mid 1980s, the movie was remarkably correct.  In the same way, it may be time to reflect on where the 21st Century  will take the world. Certainly the first 15 years have seen little more than difficulties. It has been a time of political disruptions, economic downturns and catastrophic natural disasters.  No part of the world seems to be without conflict.  The icecaps are melting from global warming, Third World countries as well as modern cultures complain about the lack of quality health care.  Large scale economic and military agreements between major powers are brought down by passionate and highly motivated grassroots organizations.  It is not looking good for the next hundred years. 


Imagine then that it is possible to jump into the outdated DeLorean with a now aging Marty McFly headed to October 21, 2115.  It is not a relative he is seeking but a sense of what has happened in the 21st Century.  He is worried about where the human race is headed.  Will there be WWlll, a cure for cancer, space travel or just a long, unending period of worry, self-protection and discord?  What characteristics will define the time period?  What insights will he be able to offer to the people of the world upon his return?  Ride shotgun on this trip to find the answer to these questions and more.


The doors close. The motor starts to hum. Lights begin blinking and gauges move as the DeLorean bumps through the years.  Suddenly, it comes to a halt with a strong thud.  The motor quiets and the lights and gauges settle into a flat position. The doors to the time machine open and the world is in clear view. It has been one hundred years since the first “Back to the Future Day” and there is trepidation as one looks out of the open door.  Marty exits the machine and takes a look around.  There are people gathering around - even now recognizing the iconic body style and doors.  


As Marty lets out a breath that he didn’t realize he was holding, there is recognition.  Fashions are slightly different but much the same as the comfortable but practical style which had been adopted for nearly 40 years.  The neighborhood has the same homes but each shows signs of modernization and is complimented by mature landscaping.  Cars still operate in much the same traffic pattern as they did, roads and wheels have, after all, been around for thousands of years.  The time of Star Wars and the Jetsons has not yet arrived.  Music still sounds like music, children still play and people still are attracted to a strange vehicle that suddenly appears where one did not previously exist.


But the world is different.  Unlike the passion for new and need for change that characterized the 20th Century, there has been an overriding need for the truth based on facts and science not moral premise or majority vote.  Real truth has become the goal in the major areas of health care, environmental protection, economic policy and finally global politics. The Age of Reality has come to the world and with it a sense of peace and well being that has not been seen in hundreds of years.  


In the year 2115, people are remarkably healthy.  Universal health care is a given - much like police presence and fire and rescue services. And yet, it does not resemble the specialized and competitive health care system that existed.  After a long period of costly and often, contradictory treatments, patients became disillusioned with treatment for symptoms instead of cures.  They began researching their own symptoms and challenging the concept of specialized medicine. Doctors were forced to include the patient's perceptions and knowledge as part of diagnostics.  General practitioners, particular those with the skills of Dr. House, rose to prominence leading teams of specialists who have taken on more of a role of assistant. Team medicine became the norm for every patient instead of just for major illnesses.  Patients no longer sit for hours each month waiting to see separate doctors in separate offices and are treated in a holistic manner.  Real health is preferred to that which is controlled by artificial means such as drugs or repetitive procedures.  Health professionals have been forced to admit that the practices which kept the human race going for thousands of years have far more value for longevity than originally thought.  Foods and vitamins are acknowledged to impact health in similar ways as prescription drugs.  Corrective measures such as glasses have all but disappeared with the use of new but non-invasive measures.  Technology puts an end difficulties of those with hearing impairments and damaged limbs. 


As health care changed so did farming and production of all manner of goods and services. Environmental concerns became as important as a trip to the gym.  The USA revamped its laws and worked with other nations to find common ground in exploring more natural methods of energy use and food production. What is eaten is no longer determine by marketing whims and company profits. Data used in claims of health benefits now requires up-to-date testing not supposition.  Global standards for food production and energy use have been put into place and have made great strides in addressing worldwide hunger.  Conservation of energy has been the push causing a gradual reduction in use of fossil fuels. Solar power has become more viable and passive energy collection powers most homes.  People have adopted the Old World traditions of family meals, home-cooked dishes, and a healthy relationship with both food and others. And as people start talking around the dinner table, there emerged a sense of consensus that has not been seen in decades. 


In 2015, the United States was a country of power and influence but without a clear identity.  It was born in revolution, came of age a hundred years later during a teenage-like rebellion within its borders and then settled into its growth and identity as world leader and protector during its next hundred years.  But as the 21st Century began, it found itself in a new position. It was now a target for the underdog countries wishing to make their mark. Instead of rash patriotism and dedication to its principles, America responded like a prized fighter who had reached his prime and was struggling to hang on. Its people were divided into two equally strong camps without the strength to sway the other side.  The status quo was not necessarily a choice but something that existed because making a firm decision seemed an impossible task.  It was becoming more like the older countries of the world - those that had lost their dominance years before and relied on agreements between neighbors to maintain their positions.  America was getting old. There was too much to risk to take chances and it was slowly, ever so slowly losing its influence.  With its age, America was also become wise and was now able to work to benefit its population not its status at the lunch table. 


And so with people enjoying health and taking the time to build relationships, America realized that its future, and the future of its diverse population, depended on cooperation. This is not just a policy for military peace but a level of cooperation that transcends economic, religious and territorial boundaries.  The people of the world gradually move into the Age of Aquarius as the baby boomers who protested so strongly for it, are leaving the earth much like Moses fails to enter the promised land.  


What is left is a world in which individual rights are not trampled by the good of all. Cars drive themselves so that individuals can read, sleep or revive a lost art while commuting to work.  People enjoy a shorter work week and higher working wage so that they can focus on their health, live comfortably and support leisure activities of all kinds. As families spend more time together and health improves, mental illness declines. With declines in mental illness so follows the incidence of violence. The World is enjoying a sense of safety and calm that resonates in a new time of learning.  Life has become real again and it is good.


In the last half of the century, the world has experienced a rebirth.  Love of the arts is supported again by common folk who enjoy concerts, reading an original copy of Harry Potter, now only available at the local museum, and creating art without the aid of a computer.  Travel has become easy with the adoption of global passports.  One can travel the world much like one buys a subway or bus pass now.  Education has become an individual focus with functional skills being mandated but interest, aptitude and employment driving specialized education.  Online curriculum delivery has now replaced the social aspects of college and high school rivalries.  There is time to make a good living and have a good life.  There is no working poor and a universal retirement program that offers more than bare existence. 


It is a good impression that Marty McFly will take with him as he returns to the DeLorean to begin the journey home to 2015.  Certainly, the last 100 years were not perfect.  Mother Nature took its toll when needed to keep the environment healthy. Earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards and hurricanes have not been erased.  Crime and war are not gone either.  It would be foolish to expect all people to operate by the same rules. However, diplomacy and etiquette have returned to the political stage.  With a greater sense of decorum, the attraction of self-preservation such as gun-toting and military defense have become unnecessary traditions.  Violence still happens and will continue to do so as long as man walks the earth but for this brief period of time, there is the closest thing to Peace on Earth that any religion can hope for. 


Marty takes his impressions and climbs back in the DeLorean.  He is pleased with The Age of Reality and hopeful that the world will be able to maintain what it has accomplished.  Cooperation and compromise have succeeding in a way that defense and demands have not.  The doors close.  The vehicle disappears once again and returns to 2015.  Will Marty tell of all that he found?  Will he nudge people into the future he has seen or will he simply wait to see what happens?  Will the Age of Reality become a reality? Only time will tell. 


Special Note:  Several of the predictions here can be backed up by current conjecture.  Those items can be cited if needed but according to the guidelines print with contest materials readability was more important that research and justification.  I would be happy to cite any point if needed for publication.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Climate Change: Methane is NOT the Monster Here

Since the very beginning of life itself, methane has been a part of the atmosphere. How can someone like me know this with certainty?  Simple.  You see, methane is a natural by-product of anything that is or was alive and if methane were as toxic as those attending the Cop26 climate conference believe, the World would have problems far greater than a degree or two of global warming.

As part of the atmosphere, methane is a versatile  gas that has both a practical use and destructive powers.  If captured, it can be used as a very efficient fuel for heating and power generation. When it accumulates in poorly ventilated pockets, it can be a quick and silent killer. In well ventilated areas, it is hardly noticeable and causes not damage.  However, its far greater purpose for the environment is to act as a filler in extremely high altitudes so that our atmosphere remains thick and healthy.  

Generally, methane forms when plants and animals alike have too many  carbon and hydrogen atoms left over from the growth or healing process. For animals particularly, this is common since all foods contain carbon and hydrogen. Similar to how carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, four excess hydrogen atoms join up with one carbon atom to make methane.  The main difference between the two is that methane is lighter-than-air and quietly floats away from ground level while carbon dioxide stays close to the surface where plants use it during photosynthesis.  

Forbes Photo
Does it not seem a bit ironic that the great scientists and leaders of the World have created a wealth of data condemning the two gases that they themselves produce on a daily basis?  Funny isn't it.  Only a computer would be able to come to such an illogical conclusion  but itis computer modeling that has kept the World in a climate change frenzy for over five decades.  

The reality is that preventing methane from entering the atmosphere is, like most climate change provisions, impossible to do and unlikely to keep climate change from occurring.  

As world leaders and so-called experts stand before the 8 billion residents of Earth and proclaim methane to be a toxic, planet-endangering gas, all one can do is wonder whether they are making up the science or just trying to gaslight a fearful public.

Cop26, the United Nations  annual global conference on climate change, was never going to be about proven physical science.  For now, leaders have backed themselves into a corner by making major economic decisions based on computer models and flimsy, out-of-context greenhouse gas science.  Not realizing they are promoting climate change rather than fixing it, the whole experience is beginning to resemble the climactic scene just before Toto pulls back the curtain to revel a scared and uncertain Wizard of Oz trying to be something he isn't.  For now, all that can be done is to continue to question these wild theories until there is no longer any doubt that climate change is not caused by carbon-based gases, such as methane.

Why is Greenhouse Gas Theory Wrong?

John Tyndall, who is credited with discovering greenhouse gas theory, certainly designed equipment to measure the heat absorbed from solar radiation for three different gases--carbon dioxide, water vapor and oxygen. But his end conclusion does not jive with today's scientific knowledge to the point that even amateur scientists can poke holes in his theories.  Only computer generated "false" science supports Tyndall's conclusions.  Think about this situation from a viewpoint that a computer cannot consider.

  • Science now knows that all matter, not just gases, absorbs heat from solar radiation. It is why skin burns and why the pavement gets too hot to walk across barefooted. Tyndall assumed that, like the heat rising from a warm fire, something in the air kept the planet warm.  As logical as the thought process was, the conclusion was fundamentally flawed.
  • Tyndall lived in the United Kingdom, where overcast skies and moderate temperatures are the norm. Even today most parts of the British Isles get less than half of the sunshine most US cities receive in a year. With his studies predating the science of meteorology, it is likely that he was unaware of the insulative qualities of clouds.
  • As for why carbon dioxide tested 'warmer' than other gases, it is well documented that the heavier a substance (the greater the mass) the longer an item holds heat.  With its heavier atomic weight, Tyndall logically concluded that carbon dioxide was the gas which keeps the planet warm.  Every scientist makes similar mistakes when they are looking for a plausible conclusion for an unknown phenomenon.
  • Even if all the carbon based gases in the atmosphere were removed, the surface of the planet would continue to absorb solar radiation and produce heat in equal or even greater amounts than it does now. Computers cannot match the ability of the human brain to factor in the simple along with the complicated.  If it were not for computers perpetuating future projections of planetary doom, scientists would have easily figured out climate change decades ago.

What is Causing  Climate Change?  

Like Tyndall, climatologists, environmentalists and leaders around the world are missing one huge factor in the rising ambient temperature across the planet.  Tyndall missed the impact cloud cover has on the day to day temperature and current scientists have done the same. 

Culturally, we want a world with clear skies.  Leaders put environment policies in place that did just that. In a simple case of "be careful what you wish for", those policies reduced the amount of cloud cover worldwide.  By preferring the sun to clouds mankind unintentionally caused climate change.  The sun may be where all energy comes from but clouds regulate that energy so that all species can live well.  

For more information on how Clean Air Policies compromised the environment, please consider purchasing a copy of the book Air Pollution's the Answer! How Clean Air Policy Compromised the Planet and Public Health.  It is available at online bookstores and in an e-Edition as well.  



Thursday, November 4, 2021

Dear AOC: Virginia has Spoken

Update: In what appears to be a press release sent out by AOC (11.19.2021), the young member of the House implies that her help and that of other Progressive would have tipped the scales in favor of former Governor Terry McAuliffe.  While that level of confidence in a young women is admirable, I must disagree with her assessment of the 2021 Virginia state election. From the beginning, McAuliffe was a flawed candidate, a problem that the Democratic party seems unable to understand.  A transplant to the state, McAuliffe skated into the office of Governor when voters reacted to the corruption charges of the previous governor and the good impression of then President Barrack Obama.  McAuliffe would also disappoint voters with mismanagement of funds and an FBI investigation into campaign finances. His temper and quick tongue also contributed to his demise.  The race was always Youngkin's to lose and a young, know-it-all Democrat would have only made Youngkin more attractive to moderate voters.  The party was right to distance itself from you and your policies. 

 

To House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and those known as "The Squad",

Virginia has spoken and the message is for you. 

Even before the election results are official (mail-in ballots will be accepted through Friday), nationally based columnists and main stream journalists are telling the world that Virginia voting has nothing to do with extreme mindsets and everything to do with a population that seems incapable of knowing what is good for them.  While both parties, Republicans and Democrats have taken the stand that "it's not us, it's them!" in recent years, these election results are a clear indication that the informed, moderate minority has the power to keep both parties in check. 

For far too long, elections in the United States have been playing to loyal followers who can predictably be taken for granted.  Both Democrats and Republicans see this as winning an annual game in which each side gets to change the rules without regard for the integrity or fairness of the competition.  The message to those, like "The Squad", who swing to extreme viewpoints is plain. Virginians on both sides of the aisle have no tolerance for elected officials who show favoritism, fail to compromise for the good of all and disrespect differing viewpoints that are labeled ignorant, prejudicial and stubborn.  Are you not just as ignorant and prejudicial about life in Virginia and haven't you stubbornly held on to your viewpoints while demanding all citizens welcome your viewpoints regardless of their validity?

The closeness of this race and the one in New Jersey mirrors the standoff with Biden's spending plan and infrastructure bill. While others see the President as weak and mindless, my instincts tell me this is the beginning of his presidency, not the end.  What better way to curtail the radical position of younger Democrats then to lump their ideas into a pot of political stew and see how well it is received.  There is no faster and better learning experience than total rejection of one's efforts. Now President Biden has the freedom to silence those who speak from a personal perspective when their job is to consider a wider audience.  Too many in Congress have forgotten they are responsible for the country, not just their party.  

For two years, Virginia's leadership, particularly young and inexperienced lawmakers, took media coverage and polls based in other states as a fair representation of where Virginia should go. They passed special interest legislation in record amounts telling themselves it was a better life for everyone.  The 2021 vote loudly speaks to the missteps of the last two years and should be a lesson to the Federal lawmakers.  Regardless of party affiliation, voters are tired of grandstanding politicians who pass laws that benefit a few and marginalize the many. It is not Virginia that is divided by the need to vote for leaders (state and national) who divide communities rather than bring them together.  Had Virginia Democrats been patient and stayed true to Virginia values, they might have remained in power.  Instead they put party before the Commonwealth and lost big. 

So, to "Squad" members, have you learned anything about being a leader today?  Have extreme Republicans realized it isn't enough to win the top spot if Congress and state houses are evenly divided.  Leadership is not just winning the race but being trained, coached and supported by others so that winning the race has something more than personal satisfaction.  

With November 2022 just one year away, it will be interesting to see if either party learns the lesson of moderation. In Virginia, it is always an election year and until there are elected officials who stand for something more than political affiliation and an electorate that votes without party preference, moderates will continue to cast the deciding vote in every election. 

Virginia Resident

Sarah Schrumpf-Deacon

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Climate Change: Looking at an Elephant Through a Magnifying Glass

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Before it even starts, Cop26, the United Nations conference to address climate change, has experts demand concessions based on their own narrow and futuristic perspectives.  As reported by major news outlets, unnamed "experts" demand (and I believe that is an appropriate term to use) that World leaders agree to a maximum 1.5 degree Celsius historic increase in the overall temperature of the Earth. Do they really think computer generated predictions based on faulty and inconsistent data constitutes "real science"? Sir Francis Bacon, perfecter of the now standard Scientific Method, would question not only their process but the conclusions made using such flimsy experiments. 

Shutterstock Photo
With a good high school and college science education to bank on, I found myself researching and writing a book during the pandemic that ended up being about climate change (Air Pollution's the Answer! How Clean Air Policies Compromised the Planet and Public Health).  It was not hard to see that Bacon's specific, detailed and unbiased method that had been the foundation of truly significant scientific discoveries had become little more than a framework for dissertations and grant funded papers that were used as public relations vehicles.  In the book, I refer to the trend as Looking at an Elephant through a Magnifying Glass.  Bacon's first principle in scientific inquiry for centuries was to remove all bias and prejudice. As experts, these scientists are automatically prejudice in a way that narrows the vision so that the big picture, or elephant, is not even considered.

Ridiculous Guidelines

Based solely on mathematical projections and not on definitive physical experiment, the temperature data is more conjecture than predictable science. It is simply impossible to accurately and fairly assess the temperatur of every location on the planet. First the guidelines refer to conditions during a time when atmospheric composition was not measured. Second, they only consider greenhouse gases as the culprit even though carbon dioxide, water vapor and ozone are by-products of all life forms. Viewed out of context, new age scientists see any study and any publication as one of fact not the record of the effort. Third, these findings fail to recognize the world-wide move toward heat retaining building materials, roadways and climate control systems which expel heat in the summer and artificially warm spaces during the colder months. This failure to acknowledge other factors is called experiment prejudice and makes the conclusions invalid according to Bacon's Scientific Method.

False Narrative, False Pledges

Beyond narrow interpretation of unproven science, the pledges themselves are nothing more than political ramblings. Like a pinky promise by young children, the compliance is based on faith and trust not hard line science.  How does one measure a drop in the temperature of the planet Earth?  Adding a few colder tlocations and dropping large cities could skew the average temperature by far more than the targeted 1.5 degree Celsius (Approximately 3 degrees Fahrenheit). Sadly, these well educated scientists are either too naive or too focused on success to grasp how easily it would be to manipulate data.  

How will Climate Change End?

There is every indication that Climate Change is a multi-faceted problem resulting from a collection of poor decisions by industrialized countries. Mining the atmosphere of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide for economic gain seemed innocuous enough at the time but it was then followed up by regulating smoke and emissions that simply looked and smelled bad.  Without dust, higher elevation clouds could not form to shield the sun's radiation and bring rain to all areas of the globe.  Gases. thought to be a nuisance or danger, instead carried essential nutrients for wildlife, plants and mankind. When these emission were reduced, industrialized countries turned it in a way to make a profit.  Supplementation with sulfur, magnesium and nitrogen are now required in agriculture and healthcare to keep people healthy.  Poor countries which have no such resources lose their citizens to wealthy countries and make the divide greater. 

Climate change will end when the World's "scientific experts" see computerized data for the biased and inconsistent data it is. Then and only then will leaders be free to roll back their own poor decisions and management of the Earth. 



Saturday, October 30, 2021

Climate Change: Knowledge vs. Wisdom vs Philosophy

 

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Recently, I was tagged in a post by a fellow FCS (Family and Consumer Science) teacher (see picture).  I remember the common struggle of my students to understand the difference between knowledge, wisdom and philosophy or opinion. As you might imagine from the photographic post, when the three were used interchangeably, it led to all sorts of interesting outcomes in the kitchen.

As climate change becomes the focus of the news cycle for the next two weeks, there is no doubt that experts and World leaders will come armed with huge volumes of data to support their positions. In this global difference of opinion about who, what, when, how and why climate change happened, will leaders use knowledge, wisdom or philosophy to make their decisions and if they choose poorly, what further difficulties might the World see in the near future?

Personally, I am tired of being chastised by billionaire celebrities, child advocates without a high school education and extremist politicians with an economic agenda. I was thankful for the comments of the UK's Prince William highlighting America's split priorities (We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.)  In like fashion, Queen Elizabeth II has expressed similar frustration about how people talk about climate change but do nothing. With all due respect to these Royals, as leaders converge on Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (Cop26), the World must also acknowledge that scientific minds must not be shackled by a political philosophy that often runs counter to actual science. 

 What is Known About Climate Change?

The sad but all too human reality is that today's scientific knowledge is largely based on mathematical speculation rather than actual physical conditions. Talking points focus on extremes which do not fairly represent real world conditions. Is a day the hottest because the temperaure peaks for a few minutes then drops rapidly to a much cooler temperature or is the hottest day one that has the highest per minute average temperature for 24 hours. The quick and easy "high temp" version misrepresents environmental conditions and should not be labeled "scientific knowledge". Real knowledge is consistent and predictable without excuses or questions.  It is easily seen and can be replicated by anyone time and time again. The tomato is scientifically classified as a fruit only because it meets the same physcial criteria as an apple or grape. How it is used is not a factor--only the sum of its visible and verifiable characteristics count.

Even though this planet has survived thousands of years using fossil fuels and without global intervention, mankind continues to blame the environment for "changing".  Modern society looks for an easy and quick explanation that absolves it of wrongdoing. In greenhouse gas theory, it found a principle so obscure that even fellow scientists would not understand it, industrialized countries found the "facts" they needed to create a philosophy that was both plausible and impossible at the same time.  Rather than look for wisdom in the hundreds of reputable and detailed scientific studies and historical events that speak to the climate change phenomenon, society chose to adopt philosophy as knowledge while squandering any chance to gain wisdom.

Is Climate Change Wisdom Possible?

Achieving wisdom is not just about learning from mistakes but being mature enough to think critically about information. Real science follows its own rules.  It cannot be made into what people want and does not occur without cause.  Blaming fossil fuels, commercial farming, large families, or immoral living serves no purpose except to divert study from what could be a simple answer.  At the same time, dismissing that which is uncomfortable to admit only keeps this planet in a state of upheavel. 

Until leaders put economics and reputations aside for the good of the planet, this cycle of disinformation and arbitrary regulations will only serve to compound climate change.  Wisdom requires an understanding that being right and doing right are two fundamentally different action. Needing to BE right comes from a place of immature thought while doing what is RIGHT comes from a place of knowledge and wisdom. 

Is Solving Climate Change Possible?

It is certainly possible to solve climate change but only with a shift away from philosophy and toward knowledge and wisdom To put it simply, environmentalists need see nature as a tomato and not as an ingredient in a Bloody Mary.  These well-meaning individuals have encouraged leaders to take drastic and unproven steps to 'clean up' the environment when the environment was working efficiently on its own.  Clean air and clean water might be beautiful to look at but they rob wildlife of essential minerals which are otherwise unavailable in the real world.

Sadly, environmentalists tend to come from wealthy countries. They do not experience the consequences of their beliefs because healthcare and agriculture have monetized environmental dysfunction. The very fossil fuels which are declared harmful to the environment are turned into fertilizers that produce health foods and medicines which keep populations healthy.  Poorer countries must suffer without such improvements and wildlife is left to die out because those who want to protect it do not understand basic chemistry well enough to realize they have caused this heartbreaking situation.  

Its time for environmentalist to see nature for what it is, an imperfect tomato that does not taste good in a fruit salad and stop trying to make it into a Bloody Mary that only people can enjoy.



Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Climate Change: The Coral Reef Conundrum and Solution

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UPDATE: As world leaders differ about how to solve climate change at Cop26, studies that promote the value of volcanic ash in healing the environment are coming back around. Started nearly ten years ago, the studies mention its use as a carbon gas neutralizer of sorts. While this author questions the validity of that conclusion, volcanic ash has the potential to provide marine life with a rich source of sulfur and other minerals. Healthier sea life means higher metabolic rates. Plants would use more dissolved CO2 and release greater volumes of oxygen into the water.  That conclusion is based on basic biochemistry.  It seems nature knew what it was doing all along when it put active volcanoes so close to the ocean. 

For many with some years on us, the 1970s news of dying coral reefs was the first indication of some sudden and unexpected environmental change--a change that scientists could neither explain nor remediate.  As World leaders congregate in Glasgow for the U.N. Climate Change Conference (October 31-November 12), this lowly resident of Earth wonders if the attendees will continue to grumble about carbon gases and fossil fuel controls or finally come together to re-evaluate their own actions in what has brought the World to this point in time. Personally, I hope for the coral reefs and other forms of wildlife, it is the latter.  

National Geographic Photo    

Until the stunning and informative documentaries of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau in the 1970s, sea exploration was nearly unheard of.  And yet, just a few years into its exploration, science was making alarming predictions about the role coral reefs played in the ecosystem.  Before even learning to walk in this new science and without looking at the big environmental picture, scientists ran to blame everything from farming to industrial waste for the demise of this small and seemingly insignificant creatures. 

Instead of approaching the problem from a fact-based physical evidence standpoint, observation and speculation became the basis for large scale decision-making.  As a result, science squandered its first opportunity to repair climate change before it had really started.  Now, forty years latter the science has become so corrupted by computer models and economic interests that countries are locked in a false narrative of what climate change is and how it should be reversed.

What is Coral?

While this may be an over simplification, coral are small basic lifeforms that act a bit like nature's water filtration system.  Still, they are animals and are subject to the same nutritional (biochemical if you want a big word) rules as all animals. Herein lies the misconception that all environment studies have failed to recognize.

Coming at environmental science from a position of something toxic impacting coral, science has never considered that there is something missing from the environment and that this substance(s) was removed suddenly in the years prior to coral reefs dying. 

Was there a light bulb that just went off in the minds of readers everywhere? There should be.

Wrong Science, REALLY?

Like the belief that the World is flat, science has assumed human intervention is needed to keep climate variations in check.  Who is to say this assumption isn't along the same misguided observation-based notion as a flat Earth?  Is climate change the result of random change in a system that has been in place for millions of years or is it that man has become a bit too confident in his ability to adapt the environment to his own preferences? Will the presenters in Glasgow finally scratch their heads and say "Oops, we made a mistake"? Not likely.  

Something is Environmentally Missing?

As mentioned previously, biochemical processes (aka dietary needs) are similar across all living organisms. In simple terms, the absence of a vitamin or mineral that makes humans sick will also make coral succumb as well. The big difference is that humans have disguised these mineral and vitamin deficiencies through modern healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Wildlife has no such method of attaining the nutrients needed to live healthy and relies heavily on an unadulterated ecosystem. 

But what is it that could be missing in the environment that would make the whole planet sick? That is the question everyone is trying to answer with little success.

Looking Back to Find an Answer

Unfortunately, history can be an unforgiving teacher when it comes to reminding mankind of its faults and in this case, the reality may be hard to swallow.  

In the 1960s and early 1970s, man's excess had caught up with him. Large cities were choking on the fumes of modern convenience.  Instead of pinpointing historically recognized toxins like lead and asbestos that could quickly contaminate air and water, leaders chose to take a full-tilt approach to the pinball game that has become environmental science. With little research to back up decisions, industrialized countries regulated a handful of ugly, smelly gases.  Still holding fast to their decisions and looking to carbon dioxide as the next culprit, the restriction of these gases has compromised an environmental cycle that had been in place for thousands of years. In the atmosphere, these breathable nutrients would help all life forms self-regulate body functions even in cases of food shortages. Without them, the result is declining populations and possible extinction.

What is Missing?

Ironically, the five elements that make up restricted gases are the same five elements (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur) that form the majority of the World's foods and medicines.  Sugar is made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen while chicken is made of all five elements. All life forms, coral, plants and humans alike, require sulfur for common life functions each and every day. Had these gases remained in the atmosphere, rain would have latched on to them and deposited them into the soil and sea where all life could have benefited. This basic concept of renewal has been known for much longer than most experts wish to acknowledge.

Coral's Relationship with Sulfur

Regardless of where life forms live--bacteria in ice near Antarctic, elephants on the Savanna, or coral under the sea--all life forms are subject to the same rules of cell composition.  This interconnection makes individual species interchangeable up and down the food chain. As a food, coral is at the bottom and eaten by a great number of species. If it is deficient in minerals, then so is the species that eats it.  Each successive meal perpetuates the mineral deficiency until the who World struggles to find good health.

Sulfur is known to impact growth rates, injury repair and reproductive capabilities for all life forms. Without sufficient sulfur in the water, what scientists interpreted as a dying coral reef may have been one that simply could not reproduce itself as fast as it was consumed. There was never anything to blame other than an urban population that wanted to live large without environmental accountability.

What All this Means?

There is only one conclusion and course of action that makes sense if one believes the science as it is reported here.  The rush to judgement by those who lived in unsustainable environmental conditions (cities) solved their problem by stripping the atmosphere of essential gases which made the land incapable of producing food and reduced the ability of wildlife to sustain themselves in a natural setting. Rather than acknowledge their missteps early on, the World's leadership built a massive healthcare system to treat human illness and created additives to foods and soils to make them viable.  Poor countries were left to become dependent on others and starvation became a worldwide problem. 

If one takes a good hard look at the role sulfur plays in every part of the environment, it becomes very easy to see that Clean Air policies did more harm than good and should be rolled back.  Fossil fuels are not the enemy here. Man's own ego is.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Thanks Senator Manchin: What an Elected Official Should Be (Updated)

 

New York Magazine Photo

***Over the weekend of Dec 17-19, Washington found out how easily all the work on the Build Back Better initiative could fall apart. As the analysts confer, it seems a few poorly chosen words from the White House coupled with a few too many snide and disrespectful comments from idealists were the tipping point for Senator Joe Manchin who called it quits on the President's funding proposal.  While the younger and/or less mature members of the House and Senate have commented that Manchin needs to be "run out" of the Democratic party, they better hope he remains a solid, albeit, moderate Democrat. They might just be thanking him for saving them come November 2022.

With the deadline for this year's budget and spending plan kicked down the road as expected, it has become increasingly clear who in Congress is there to serve this country and who is there to play soccer in a never-ending and generally tied game of Republicans vs. Democrats.  With members focused on following a political game plan rather than effective planning, this country has been subjected to a ping-pong approach to lawmaking instead of setting it on a path that fairly represents every demographic and business. With crossed fingers and muttered wishes, that trend may finally be cracking with a kind of action-based hope for fair and equitable government coming somewhere in the near future. 

Over the last year, approximately one percent (1%) of Congressional members have shown they can be what an elected official should be--objective, knowledgeable and flexible representatives who are not hog tied by party loyalty. Nine months ago, it was the handful of Republicans that voted to impeach Trump.  Now it is Joe Manchin (D-WV) who is standing against an over-the-top Democratic agenda that is largely a mystery to the America people. For that, he deserves a thank-you instead of the short-sighted criticism of the President and Congressional leaders.

This morning (10.8.2021), the news is about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's speech following a stop-gap vote to extend the debt limit until early December. Without too much first-hand knowledge of this speech, it isn't hard to imagine the content.  Far too often, over the last few years, federal leaders have addressed each other and American citizens as if they were scolding children instead of being professionals. That tactic has not been successful in the past and does not seem likely to work in the future. Unless Schumer was playing to donors and extremists, what possible reason could he have had to take several minutes to berate half of the Senate chamber (and at least half of the country) with words that come off as shaming rather than reconciliation. Does he really believe the majority of US citizens want more debt?  Perhaps it is Biden, Pelosi, McCarthy, Schumer and McConnell who need to be reminded of their role in government, not the American people. 

From what little is known about Biden's Build Back Better agenda, the focus is on fixing fifty years of problems created by quick decisions and simple majority wins. Repeating a pattern that has left local government with the responsibility of maintaining all these projects, the BBB legislation is competitive by design rather than mutually beneficial across all states and demographics.  It perpetuates economic behaviors which have not served taxpayers well but have created a legacy of government dependence and mandates that keep American families in a lifestyle of debt and consumerism. Like always, rural communities are low on the priority list because they can and do support themselves. 

Joe Manchin understands this governmental trend and is right to drag his feet. What is seen as rogue or unprofessional behavior on Capital Hill might just be caution to insure fair treatment for his state as well as other rural communities.

For nearly forty years, Manchin has worked in all levels of government to protect and support a state that is characterized as bigoted and uneducated but often used by big business and big government for their own purposes.  To discount his understanding of government in favor of the ideas of young and inexperienced members of Congress is to say that only the young are entitled to the full benefits of American citizenship. Entitlement based on any single characteristic--age, location, education level, income, ethnic status or gender--damages the foundation of this country and democracy as a whole.  That knowledge only comes with experience. Manchin knows the difference and should be thanked, not ridiculed. 

All of rural America should support Manchin for two reasons. One, because it is a more reasonable course of action than the one currently proposed. And two, to finally rid this country of the notion that this is all about Trump. For far too long, rural communities have carried more than its share of the economic load while surviving policies that built up global trade and weakened local economies.  Maybe now, those in Congress will wise up and see that without rural America, this country is nothing.

Keep it up, Senator Manchin.