The New York Times likes to remind us that we’re facing a climate emergency and/or a climate crisis. Our beloved Spaceship Earth has been infested with too many humans, each of whom emits too much CO2. Last week, however, China released stats showing that the population has leveled off at 1.4 billion. The good old days:
The world’s most populous country has reached a pivotal moment: China’s population has begun to shrink, after a steady, yearslong decline in its birthrate that experts say is irreversible.
Now, facing a population decline, coupled with a long-running rise in life expectancy, the country is being thrust into a demographic crisis that will have consequences not just for China and its economy but for the world.
The entire world is at risk due to China’s failure to push from 1.4 billion up toward 2.8 billion. Because the planet is in a crisis, “her body her choice” is no longer acceptable. Potentially pregnant people who refuse to do their share will be named and shamed:
“I can’t bear the responsibility for giving birth to a life,” said Luna Zhu, 28, who lives in Beijing with her husband. Both their parents would be willing to take care of grandchildren, and she works for a state-owned enterprise that offers a good maternity leave package. Still, Ms. Zhu is not interested in motherhood.
The news is not all bad. If you’re concerned about eliminating your credit card debt or the availability of a “final expense” insurance policy, phone calls from the subcontinent (with local caller ID) should continue to flood in:
Meanwhile, India’s total population is poised to exceed China’s later this year, according to a recent estimate from the United Nations.
Circling back to the first point… how can people who say that their first concern is a climate emergency also characterize a falling human population anywhere in the world as a “crisis”?
A week after Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted to divest from fossil fuels, the Faculty Council of Harvard Medical School has issued a call of their own. Their overwhelming passage of a resolution calling for divestment and declaration of a climate emergency, which is yet another accomplishment of one of the largest faculty activism movements in university history, sends a clear message to university administration that it’s time for real climate action.
“The adoption of these resolutions will put Harvard Medical School in the best possible position to tackle the existential crisis of climate change….”
Attacked by a global pandemic and also by our own CO2 emissions, humanity is hanging on by a thread. Is the new Harvard president a solar cell engineer, a carbon capture engineer, a space-based solar shade engineer, a climate prophet, a virologist, a vaccinologist, a public health shutdownologist, or a maskologist? Here’s what Harvard says:
Gay is recognized as a highly influential expert on American political participation. Her research and teaching explore how various social and economic factors shape political views and voting behavior. She is the founding chair of Harvard’s Inequality in America Initiative, a multidisciplinary effort that has advanced scholarship in areas such as the effects of child poverty and deprivation on educational opportunity, inequities in STEM education, immigration and social mobility, democratic governance, and American inequality in a global context.
In other words, she’s an expert on Comparative Victimhood. She provide us with insight into “inequities in STEM education” when she herself would not be qualified to teach science in an elementary school (but maybe she could teach Science?).
Let’s look at Dr. Gay’s scholarly work from before she became an administrator. “Seeing Difference: The Effect of Economic Disparity on Black Attitudes toward Latinos” (American Journal of Political Science 2006). In other words, she can tell us what our Black brothers, sisters, and binary-resisters think of our Latinx neighbors, but why does it matter if we are plagued with Covidiots who won’t wear masks and who therefore put all 333 million Americans at risk of dying from the next virus? Our Black and Latinx neighbors will be equally dead (and also quite a few miles away if we were still living in our former suburb of Boston that was rich in BLM and No Human is Illegal signs).
Please don’t construe this blog post as conveying my personal opinion that Climate Change and respiratory viruses are existential crises for 8 billion humans or that Climate Change and respiratory viruses are more or less important than Comparative Victimhood. I’m only pointing out that it seems inconsistent for a research institution that has identified what it calls “existential crises” for humans to appoint as president someone who has no apparent qualifications for dealing with those crises.
For decades, vulnerable countries and activist groups have demanded that rich polluter countries pay for irreparable damage from climate change. This year, there may be a breakthrough.
What is owed to countries least responsible for the problem of global warming but most harmed by its effects — and by whom?
Year after year, calls have steadily grown louder for industrialized nations responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions already heating up the planet to own up to the problem — and pay for the damage.
This year, demands for redress have sharpened as climate justice has become a rallying cry, not just from countries in the global south, like Mr. Huq’s, but from a broad range of activists, especially young people, in the United States and Europe.
How much are we talking?
Estimates of the amount of money required to address loss and damage varies widely, from roughly $300 to $600 billion a year by 2030.
Less than the elites steal from the American working class every year via low-skill immigration! (Harvard study: $500 billion/year from the working class to the elites in pre-Biden money)
There’s additional scrutiny on the United States, in part because of its outsized role as history’s biggest polluter, but also because of the stated commitments of the Biden administration to climate justice.
The journalist and editors at the New York Times do not quote anyone who has an argument against paying. Is that because no argument can be made?
It’s Thanksgiving week. What about the fact that non-Western countries have gotten Western science (not Science in the form of cloth masks and vaccines that don’t prevent infection or transmission, but science as taught prior to 2020) for free? Shouldn’t these non-Western countries give thanks for Western science and engineering and maybe even give money (as an offset) for Western science and engineering?
How much are Michelle Faraday‘s descriptions of electrical phenomena worth? For a poor country that wishes to set up a power grid, what are Katherine Clerk Maxwell’s Equations worth? For people in poor countries who don’t want to die from infection, how much value did they receive from being handed the work of Louise Pasteur? If they want to get from place to place without having to build roads, aren’t they getting a lot of value from Katharine Wright‘s invention of the first practical flying machine? (assembled and piloted by her brothers) If they enjoy communicating and being entertained, they’re getting value from Wilma Shockley‘s invention of the transistor, no? If they don’t want to starve to death, they need the fertilizers that are made via the process that chemists Frida Haber and Carla Bosch developed.
It doesn’t make sense to start money flowing until both credits and debits have been tallied, does it? If we did that accounting, wouldn’t we likely find that poor countries were getting a lot more than $600 billion in value from Western science and engineering? World GDP is roughly $100 trillion.
Here are some October 2022 photos from Westminster Abbey. Important English and Scottish scientists, including Isabelle Newton, either get a tomb or a memorial or both.
Let’s not forget the monuments to British colonialism and an author whose low opinion of Jews is amply confirmed by Sam Bankman-Fried:
What does the guy who is throwing out a 6-year-old 36,000-square-foot house have to say about our beloved planet? A 2021 talk from the committed environmentalist:
During the pandemic, concerns about the environment have intensified and Lauder noted that, at this point, sustainability is no longer a choice for companies.
“We have to think about what we make and sell from cradle to grave,” he noted. “How can we get more recycled material in our packaging? How can we reduce the use of plastic and other components that end up in landfills?”
The entire house will go into a landfill, but that’s okay because very little of it is plastic?
It’s all about the Science:
Sustainability and science go hand-in-hand. Lauder said…
The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) announced on November 2nd that it has achieved Net Zero emissions and sourced 100% renewable electricity globally for its direct operations, reaching the target it set on joining RE1001.
Building upon this achievement, the company has also met its goal to set science-based emissions reduction targets for its direct operations and value chain, positioning the company to take even more decisive action against climate change in the coming decade.
The Estée Lauder Companies commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2018 base year. This target is consistent with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. The Estée Lauder Companies also commits to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution, and business travel 60% per unit revenue over the same timeframe.
It was Science who said “toss that 6-year-old house into the landfill”!
So we started off sick with envy, but ended up learning something profound about the role that each of us can play in saving Spaceship Earth.
Join us for an introduction, categorization and explanation of the climate risks facing business aviation. We’ll also include predictions and estimations of the impact climate has on the industry. Participants will walk away from this session with a better understanding of why this is so relevant for our industry, and how climate risks could impact the industry’s future survival.
The first casualty of climate change is diversity, apparently, because “DE&I in Business Aviation – Practical Implementation” is scheduled to conflict with the above:
How can a variety of business aviation organizations, like aircraft operators, FBOs and other service providers, successfully introduce diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) principles into their daily operations? Attend this session to get guidance and practical tips to building your organization’s DE&I strategy.
Joe Biden said he wanted humans to stop burning oil (“climate change poses an existential threat… Getting to a 100% clean energy economy is not only an obligation, it’s an opportunity.” (joebiden.com)). Our Arab brothers, sisters, and binary-resisters running OPEC graciously obliged by cutting production. Now it seems that the Big Guy did not mean what he said: “Biden Expresses Disappointment at Planned OPEC Oil Production Cut” (Voice of America).
European elites have been no less urgent in their calls to reduce the burning of fossil fuels during what we now understand to be the twilight hours of our beloved planet. Yet as soon as energy prices went, the Eurocrats introduced a range of schemes to subsidize energy prices, via borrowing and/or printing money, so that the peasants wouldn’t be exposed to the price signals from the market (i.e., they’d continue to see 2020 prices in 2022).
The only explanation that I can find for this situation is that folks from Martha’s Vineyard are directing energy and economic policy in most of Europe and at the White House.
Speaking of Martha’s Vineyard, I think that London might be the next destination for Air DeSantis. “Sanctuary House” (near the St. James Park tube station):
Today is my birthday and also the day that Hurricane Ian arrives on Florida’s west coast. Now that we’re quasi-coastal Floridians, what I want as a present is a machine that can stop hurricanes.
An Ivy League graduate recently suggested this idea. She consumes the New York Times and Washington Post, which assure her that humans are causing hurricanes by burning fossil fuels, failing to vote for Democrats 100 percent of the time, not growing the government to a sufficient size, etc. The natural inference from this media diet is that humans can easily stop hurricanes and, this Ivy League graduate made that inference, pointing out that “we really have to stop these hurricanes.”
Well… why not? Should we be discouraged by the fact that “during its life cycle a hurricane can expend as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs” (NASA)? I think not!
A hurricane has low pressure air in the middle. What about a big air hose pumping in air so as to create high pressure? Science v.1980 says that I’m right (Florida Today):
Not so long ago, the idea of bending a hurricane to our will wasn’t so far fetched or fringe science. It was the mainstream. Starting in the 1940s, Nobel Prize winning scientists such as Irving Langmuir, and even famed American writer Kurt Vonnegut’s older brother, Bernard Vonnegut, an atmospheric scientist, got in the mix of weather modification.
Believing man could stop or move hurricanes was mainstream science from the 1940s until a military program looking into matter went bust in the early 1980s.
If Bill Gates hadn’t made the mistake of getting married, he might have enough money to execute on his vision:
Even Microsoft founder Bill Gates weighed in on hurricane suppression a decade ago. He proposed using hundreds of huge ocean-going tubs to drain warm water from the surface to deeper water, through a long tube, weakening storms as they form.
What about robot barges that make ice and dump the ice into the ocean just ahead of the hurricane, thus robbing the hurricane of the warm water that it needs to thrive? If Elon Musk has a robot barge on which a rocket booster can land, why not ice-making barges?
“These are not acts of God,” says meteorologist Alan Gadian, senior scientist at the U.K.’s National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, “but a direct consequence of making the atmosphere more unstable due to seawater being warmer than average. They will occur again.”
One possible approach is “marine cloud brightening,” first proposed in 1990 by cloud physicist John Latham at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. The idea is to infuse clouds with particles of sea salt, around which water vapor would condense to form droplets. The more droplets in a cloud, the whiter it is and the more sunlight it reflects, cooling the sea below it.
Physicist Russell Seitz conceived “Bright Water” to cool the seas or reduce evaporation from freshwater reservoirs. In the case of hurricanes, he theorizes that ships pumping microscopic bubbles into their wake along tropical storm tracks could cool the water at lower cost than ships spraying the sky—and with less risk of affecting the weather elsewhere.
Readers: What is your best idea for keeping these pernicious human-caused weather systems away from the Caribbean and Florida?
What if we can’t stop a hurricane, how do we prepare? What’s actually more powerful than 10,000 nuclear bombs? As with meeting new friends at the bathhouse (“We have been aggressive in educating our clients through social media and in-house,” said a representative for The Cock, located in NYC’s East Village. “We continue to require COVID vax proof…”), the CDC says the best protection against a hurricane is to get a COVID-19 vaccination: “Stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines help protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19. Staying up to date on vaccines makes it less likely that you will be sick with COVID-19 while sheltering or evacuating from a hurricane, and less likely to need medical services while hospitals are under strain from the natural disaster.”
Charge any device that provides light. Laptops, tablets, cameras, video cameras, and old phones. Old cell phones can still used for dialing 911. Charge external battery back ups. ( Glow sticks also provide light for a few hours. Stand them upright in a glass or jar to make a lantern.)
Wash all trash cans, big and small, and fill with water for flushing toilets. Line outdoor trash cans with trash bags, fill with water and store in the garage. Add bleach to sterilize. [But what if you have a pool? Plenty of chlorine-sterilized water!]
Fill every tub and sink with water. Cover sinks with Saran Wrap to keep it from collecting dust. Fill washing machine and leave lid up to store water.
Fill old empty water bottles and other containers with water and keep near sinks for washing hands.
Fill every Tupperware with water and store in freezer. These will help keep food cold longer and serve as a back up water supply.
Fill drinking cups with water and cover with Saran Wrap. Store as many as possible in fridge. The rest you can store on the counter and use first before any water bottles are opened. Ice is impossible to find after the storm.
Reserve fridge space for storing tap water and keep the sealed water bottles on the counter.
Cook any meats in advance and other perishable foods. You can freeze cooked food. Hard boil eggs for snacks for first day without power.
Be well hydrated before the storm hits and avoid salty foods that make you dehydrated.
Wash all dirty clothes and bed sheets. Anything dirty will smell without the A/C, you may need the items, and with no A/C, you’ll be sweating a lot. You’re going to want clean sheets.
Toss out any expiring food, clean cat litter boxes, empty all trash cans in the house, including bathrooms. Remove anything that will cause an odor when the A/C is off. If you don’t have a trash day pickup before the storm, find a dumpster.
Bring in any yard decor, secure anything that will fly around, secure gates, bring in hoses, potted plants, etc. Bring in patio furniture and grills.
Clean your environment so you have clear, easy escape routes. Even if that means temporarily moving furniture to one area.
Scrub all bathrooms so you are starting with a clean odor free environment. Store water filled trash cans next to each toilet for flushing.
Place everything you own that is important and necessary in a backpack or small file box that is easy to grab. Include your wallet with ID, phone, hand sanitizer, snacks, etc. Get plastic sleeves for important documents.
Make sure you have cash on hand.
Stock up on pet food and fill up bowls of water for pets.
Refill any medications. Most insurance companies allow for 2 emergency refills per year.
Fill your propane tanks. You can heat soup cans, boil water, make coffee, and other stuff besides just grilling meat. Get an extra, if possible.
Drop your A/C in advance and lower temperatures in your fridges.
Gather all candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, batteries, and other items and keep them accessible.
Clean all counters in advance. Start with a clean surface. Buy Clorox Wipes for cleaning when there is no power. Mop your floors and vacuum. If power is out for 10 days, you’ll have to live in the mess you started with.
Pick your emergency safe place such as a closet under the stairs. Store the items you’ll need in that location for the brunt of the storm. Make a hand fan for when the power is out.
Shower just before the storm is scheduled to hit.
Keep baby wipes next to each toilet. Don’t flush them. It’s not the time to risk clogging your toilet!
Run your dishwasher, don’t risk having dirty smelly dishes and you need every container for water! Remember you’ll need clean water for brushing your teeth, washing yourself, and cleaning your hands.
Put a small suitcase in your car in case you decide to evacuate. Also put at least one jug of water in your car. It will still be there if you don’t evacuate! You don’t need to store all water in the house. Remember to pack for pets as well.
Check on all family members, set up emergency back up plans, and check on elderly neighbors.
Remember, pets are family too. Take them with you!
Before the storm, unplug all electronics. There will be power surges during and after the storm.
Gas up your car and have a spare gas container for your generator or your car when you run out. 32 . Use plastic cups and paper plates. 👍 You need water to wash dishes….👎 33 . Also if you run out of water tap your hot water heater it can have up to 30 gallons stored in there. 34 . Put water in balloons and store in freezer.
After reviewing the above, my conclusion is that it is best to drive to Orlando and stay there!
Our neighbors have been working hard to prep. Here are some examples:
Rather than selling the company or taking it public, Mr. Chouinard, his wife and two adult children have transferred their ownership of Patagonia, valued at about $3 billion, to a specially designed trust and a nonprofit organization. They were created to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits — some $100 million a year — are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe. … The trust, which will be overseen by members of the family and their closest advisers,
(“overseen by members of the family” mean that the trust can pay for almost everything that the family members might want, e.g., Gulfstream charter to Switzerland to hang out at Davos, rent a luxury apartment for a month in Paris to meet with others who are interested in climate change, etc.)
If he and his family members had sold $3 billion in shares while living in California, for example, they would have paid Federal income tax of 20%, Obamacare tax of 3.8%, and California state income tax of 13.3%. The 37.1% total rate would have yielded $1.11 billion in funding for all of the great things that Joe Biden is doing (e.g., paid for 1/500th of the student loan forgiveness scheme).
Instead, the government will get almost nothing and the money will be spent in ways over which citizens of the U.S. have no influence.
Still, the moves mean Chouinard won’t have to pay the federal capital gains taxes he would have owed had he sold the company, an option he said was under consideration. On a $3 billion sale, that bill could be more than $700 million. It also helps Chouinard avoid the US estate and gift tax, which is a 40% levy on large fortunes when they’re transferred to heirs.
From my 2019 Denver post, Patagonia uses backlit sidewalk billboards to inform downtown pedestrians that young good-looking American humans are facing extinction (which is why we need to bring in migrants?):
A Democrat-voting aircraft-owning friend, with the carbon footprint of an Argentinosaurus, responded to the Patagonia tax-avoidance scheme with “Loved reading that. Hurray for Chouinard”. Unless he assumes that government spending is going to be reduced, he loves that he will be paying the tax that Chouinard isn’t paying? He loves that none of the Chouinard fortune will ever be used to build a road that he can drive on to get to his airplane, a runway that he can use to take off in his airplane, or an air traffic control center that he can talk to? (admittedly much of the aviation infrastructure in the U.S. is funded separately via user fee taxes on aviation fuel and airline tickets)
A few media-following friends in the Northeast have been checking in, concerned that Hurricane Fiona, which knocked out power in Puerto Rico, is also trashing our neighborhood. They are reassured to learn that Puerto Rico is 1,000 miles from Palm Beach County, but it has made me wonder… given that (1) Fiona is only a Category 1 storm, (2) Puerto Rico can expect something similar every year or two (history), and (3) the power grid in Puerto Rico was recently rebuilt to the latest standards (after the 2017 Category 5 Hurricane Irma), why were the reported 85 mph winds enough to take the system out?
Is it simply impossible to make above-ground lines robust enough to handle 85 mph winds? Is the problem that trees will inevitably come down and break the lines even if the lines wouldn’t have been blown down? (But a newly engineered grid should be able to handle quite a few individual tree impacts because the power would be routed around the cut line.)
It’s been four years since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s electric power grid. Yet even after billions of dollars were allocated by the federal government to repair it, the island’s energy infrastructure is still in terrible shape. Blackouts continued this summer as the two entities responsible for operating the grid pointed fingers at each other over who is to blame. One of those two entities is Luma, a private company that was awarded a contract last year to distribute electricity around the island. The other is the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA, which used to be in charge of the whole system and now continues to operate the power plants.
The restoration process is very bureaucratic because you have Luma going through FEMA’s process, going through the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau’s process. And you also have Luma going through federal process and going through Puerto Rican process. And you know what? There’s not a single work already done with reconstruction funds. They’re still planning and designing. So this will take a lot of years before we see something better.
This past December, I traveled to Puerto Rico to report on this massive undertaking. I found contradictions everywhere I went. I saw utility workers fanned out across the island, yet progress remained excruciatingly slow. I met rank-and-file PREPA employees working flat out to restore power, yet each day brought a new report of fumbles at the utility’s top levels. And I heard many smart and exciting ideas for how to build a modern, resilient grid in Puerto Rico, even as the urgent need to restore power meant resurrecting the vulnerable existing system.
Camila Cabello partnered with the National Resources Defense Council Action Fund to help spearhead an initiative addressing climate change. And she’s not alone. Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Shakira joined alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish in urging Congress to pass climate change legislation.
Same person (2022):
Tons of CO2 will be emitted to transport two people who have just seen Hamilton in New York to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to see… Hamilton.
While trying to watch an Artemis rocket launch that was subjected to abortion care we happened to chat with a Gulfstream pilot who talked about working for some Silicon Valley righteous. They wouldn’t allow plastic bottles on their private jets because that was environmentally unsound. But they had no qualms about firing up a 100,000 lb. jet to carry one or two passengers on a leisure trip.
We are devastated by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling eliminating the right to an abortion which has been a right since 1973. In response, we are teaming up with organizations providing support, access, and travel expenses to those seeking these services.
We’re stronger when we work together. We can stand up for every person’s right to make decisions about their own body and their own lives. Join HAMILTON & Friends in the fight for reproductive access and reproductive choice today.