Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blackout (Part II)

Another problem with weather produced energy, many wind and solar power plants are built in secluded areas, far away from the power grid. Think about it; the best place to build a solar power station is in the desert and the most efficient wind farms are in secluded West Texas. Hydropower, on the other hand, is generally located in close proximity to power grids. This makes sense since most communities are generally built near lakes and rivers. Thus, expensive infrastructure projects are needed to connect the power grid to isolated wind and solar power plants. And let’s not forget that weather patterns change over time and those consequences can be devastating and render renewable power plants useless. For instance, a volcanic eruption can reduce the output from a solar power plant significantly over a long stretch of time. For this reason, renewable energies are both expensive and unreliable. Only hydro power is comparable in the cost to produce a kilowatt hour of electricity with coal, gas (natural), and nuclear. The cost to produce a kilowatt hour of electricity from wind or solar power plants is on average 3 times more expensive than coal, gas, and nuclear sources. This explains why energy costs in California are so high. Twenty percent of their energy is mandated to come from renewable sources. Besides, California must import most of its power because of these same restrictions. Thus, it makes more sense to build nuclear power plants within a close proximity to power grids instead of building isolated wind and solar power plants. This would be a smart power grid, but unfortunately, that is not the Obama or progressive plan. Renewable power plants should be built and added to the grid once the energy is cost effective. Finally, a smart power grid consists of having smart meters tied to every home and business. A smart meter allows individuals and corporation to obtain much more statistical data about their power usage. It would reward people and corporations with lower energy prices for using power at non-peak hours. It would give electric companies the power to control the electricity usage of home owners with their permission. But is it really cost efficient to upgrade every home with a 300 to 500 dollar smart meter? This will cost energy companies billions and of course that cost will be passed on to the user. And statistics indicate that 90% of all Americans will not use any of the new information obtained from a smart meter to lower their energy consumption. If people were conscience about saving energy they could do it with or without a smart meter. First of all, anyone with a first grade education can read any current analog electricity meter to monitor their daily consumption. Secondly, people can buy smart electronic devices if they want to conserve energy. Smart devices use less power and can be programmed to run more efficiently. And this can be done without the federal government trying to control our daily lives. Really, the only people that need a smart meter are those residences that create their own power and want to sell any reserves back to the power company. Current projects to upgrade our power grid are going to be costly and this cost will be passed on to the consumer. Obama’s plan for a smart power grid is convoluted and discombobulated at best. The administration is attacking this problem backwards. For instance, the first thing they are doing in various regions is upgrading the old analog meters on all homes with smart meters. This should be the last step of this arduous process to upgrade our power grid. After all, what good are meters if you do not have enough power to supply homes because the grid is exposed to natural and manmade disasters? And the Obama plan to force the usage of more renewable energies sounds admirable on the surface, but this will result in higher energy prices. And what’s worse, energy prices will double if Obama gets his way and begins to tax carbon emissions. The Obama energy plan will be disastrous to the economy. Higher energy costs to produce products will force more jobs overseas. The same thing happened in Spain who tried to create a green jobs environment. For every green job they created over 1.5 jobs left the economy. And let’s not forget, if the U.S. becomes completely green and does not emit one ounce of carbon emissions to produce energy, its effect on the global environment and climate change will be infinitesimal. If other populous and industrial growing nations such as China and India do not go green, it does not matter what the U.S. does. My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blackout (Part I)

There has been a lot of talk about the United States moving to a smart power grid to transport energy to households and businesses across the country. The nation’s power grid is equivalent to the human body’s nervous system. The grid is a maze of thousands of miles of power lines throughout the country. The Obama administration is throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at various projects to modernize the grid by making it “smart”. But what exactly is a smart grid and is the cost to update our power grid worth it? And will it make our energy costs lower or will it raise our costs? These are the questions that need to be explored. Yes, without question, updates are needed to modernize our power grid, but many of the proposed updates are not needed or being done in the most proficient manner. First and foremost, the power grid must be updated handle more power for future population expansion. Secondly, the grid must be designed so it is protected from any natural disasters or terrorist attacks. This should be the initial focus. The command station for the Northeast grid is already protected from potential disasters because it is located deep under the earth’s surface. To protect our grid, it is important to bury the most critical power lines in our grid system. This will protect power lines from any foreseen disasters. It will not only protect the power lines from a terrorist attack, it will protect them from icy conditions where sagging power lines short out in trees. Overloaded power lines will also sag and can therefore, short in trees causing a blackout. The final upgrade should include changing critical power lines from handling alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). Direct current has less power loss across the grid system. This is an easy way to save megawatts of energy in the power grid. Once the power grid is updated to handle more power, only then can new power plants be built to supply the additional power to the grid. To many, a smart grid is one updated to handle renewable energies. This should be the case, if and only if, it is cost efficient. The problem with renewable energies is that they are weather dependent. The best solar and wind power stations produce energy well under 50% of the time. And what’s worse, there is no efficient way to store renewable power. It would take a lithium battery the size of a football field to store power for a small community. The ingenious (sarcasm) plan of the smart power grid is to store power in the batteries of electric cars. Once batteries of electric cars are fully charged, any excess energy can be sold back to the energy company. This only works if millions of people have electric cars. But face it; electric cars are expensive and inefficient (they travel at best 80 to 100 miles before recharging). Thus, either nuclear energy, natural gas, or a carbon emitting energy power plant is needed to back up wind and solar energy plants since they are inefficient. Hydropower is the most efficient of the renewable energies, since many hydropower plants have a means to store power. Efficient hydropower plants pump water back up the reservoir at night when energy is cheaper. Thus, the water reflows through the damn when energy is most needed during peak business hours. Obviously, this methodology is not a completely efficient means to store power, but it is far better than the solar and wind power plants. My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Global Warming for Dummies (Part II)

Evaluation of the data from yesterday’s post reveals that CO2 is continuously going up annually, and it never declines. This makes sense, and I usually relate carbon emissions generated since the inception of the industrial revolution to entropy. Entropy is a measure of the disorder of system or the inefficiency of a system. Thermodynamics second law states the entropy in the universe is constantly going up. Well, CO2 is a byproduct (exhaust due to inefficiencies of a system) of any product built since the industrial revolution. Most powered operated items emit CO2 because they are not efficient systems (cars, boats, trucks, planes, lawnmowers, etc. – i.e. all emit exhaust). Let’s evaluate another example – what if we wanted to build a plate? Heat and power are needed to make a plate and subsequently CO2 exhaust is released into our atmosphere. Thus, it is easy to see how CO2 is constantly going up just – analogous to entropy - since energy is needed to build every product we use. However, if we look at the Temp data column, global temperatures may be higher than those averages posted in 1980, but each subsequent year is not necessarily hotter than the previous one. For instance, 1999 was 0.27 degrees cooler than 1998. If CO2 and Temp were directly related, Temp would have to go up each year by an equivalent percentage of CO2 increases. But this is not happening! What gimmick can a scientist use to try to make the data correlate with the hypothesis that global warming is manmade? Yearly averaging! This is why the NOAA created the Temp5 variable. By taking a running average of 5 consecutive years, it makes the trend or correlation between Temp5 and CO2 stronger. In other words, CO2 and Temp5 correlate closer than CO2 and Temp. But even still, the Temp5 variable does decrease some years (most recently between 2007 and 2008, but only by .03 degrees). If CO2 is related to global temperatures then why don’t they track? If CO2 goes up each year than one would suspect that Temp and Temp5 would go up by an equal percentage or more, but this is not happening. There is no question that the NOAA data illustrates there is a trend that global temperatures are going up and there is global warming, but the data does not prove it is manmade due to carbon emissions. In order to show there is some relationship between CO2 and Temp or Temp5 scientists would have to generate other variables in a model to prove this trend. But what are these variables and their corresponding data? This is a mystery and is anyone’s guess. We even do not know where, when, and the accuracy of the temperature readings used to produce the data in the above table. One area that is often scrutinized by global warming alarmists are both the North and South poles – they point out that the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate and this trend is endangering species. But anyone with a basic knowledge of gravity and who has ever tried to climb Mount McKinley, in Alaska, would understand that the Earth cannot be treated as one entity for global warming. It begs to reason that regions that are industrialized or areas that are near the Equator should be more susceptible to global warming. Unlike (Ohms Law) voltage, current, and resistance; global warming results would be different in different areas. Why? Barometric pressures at the Earth’s poles are significantly lower than at the Equator. Thus, there is much less oxygen at the poles and this explains why the summit of Mount McKinley may feel as if it is at 23,000 feet instead of 20,000 feet. This is because the Earth’s gravitational pull is stronger at the Equator and subsequently attracts more oxygen molecules. Hence, it begs to reason that since the Earth’s poles are less industrialized and there is less CO2 because of the Earth’s gravitational pull that polar regions would be affected less by global warming. Then why are the effects of global warming more apparent at the poles then say in Colorado? Remember, CO2 measurements taken in Hawaii are from the southernmost portion of the U.S., further south than the Florida Keys (closer to the Equator). Also, remember when the Obama’s Department of Energy Chief wanted to cool the earth by painting roofs white to reflect heat? Yes, this can work, especially in large industrialized cities. Cities have gotten proportionally warmer as they have been built up with heat conducting asphalt and steel (building, cars, etc.). But, how can this work, if CO2 and pollution is the blame for global warming? We can lower the temperature of the earth without reducing the effects of CO2? Yes, because temperature and CO2 are not directly related. In other words, trying to show there is a correlation between CO2 and temperature is a hard problem to prove. Last year the NOAA said it was the warmest year on the planet, but it was the coldest year on record for the small little town I live in. If annual CO2 measurements are higher everywhere on the planet, then why are some areas hotter while other regions are colder? The bottom line is I severely doubt that any global warming model has been tested in various regions around the globe. Will the global warming model yield credible results in Reno, Nevada; Nice, France; Cairo, Egypt; Nagasaki, Japan; Auckland, New Zealand; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil? The answer to this is no because climates and even CO2 concentration levels in the atmosphere are vastly different than what is in the global model. Thus, the CO2 and temperature relationship is nothing like Ohms Law because it so much more complex – to show correlation exists scientists must be using numerous undefined variables and data and they are ignoring different climate temperatures and CO2 concentrations at specific locations around the globe (they are merely taking global averages). My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street Manifesto for EXCEPTionalism

• The OWS movement is against all individual and corporate greed EXCEPT when it is beneficial to the movement in the form of free healthcare, free education, free food, and of course free housing. Local, state, and federal government greed in the form of high taxes is also acceptable. • The OWS movement is against all government bailouts EXCEPT when it is beneficial to the movement such as auto bailouts, locality bailouts, state bailouts, and bailouts to green companies. • The OWS is against all religions and companies EXCEPT those that make charitable contributions to this movement. • The OWS movement is against all farming EXCEPT organic farming. • The OWS movement is against all forms of mining EXCEPT for those materials needed for electric cars or gadgets (lithium, cobalt, etc. to make batteries). • The OWS movement is against all pollution and for protecting the environment EXCEPT when those unsanitary conditions and pollution is caused by the movement’s protestors. • The OWS movement is against all crime, violence, and unlawful behavior EXCEPT when it is carried out by individuals within this movement. • The OWS movement is against all lobbying EXCEPT those lobbyists who advocate for the items contained within this manifesto. • The OWS movement is against energy production EXCEPT renewable energies and those “dirty” sources that are needed for the people within this movement. • The OWS movement is against all corporations (capitalism) EXCEPT those that make products used by this movement. • The OWS movement is against all government spending EXCEPT entitlements and monies that would be used to fund this movement. • The OWS movement is for all lands to be confiscated by the government and be designated as public for everyone to use EXCEPT hunters. • The OWS movement is against the generation of wealth EXCEPT for wealth that is spread to this movement. • The OWS movement is for capping and equally distributing workers’ salaries for ALL professions EXCEPT those who work for unions and of course this movement. • The OWS movement is for legalizing all drugs, no EXCEPTION. • The OWS movement is for anything “free” including all handouts, no EXCEPTION. • The OWS movement represents all people who make fewer than 50 thousand dollars annually including those who do not want to work and those who do not want to be productive in our society. All slackers, loafers, and people who want income they did not earn or deserve are welcome to join this movement. • The OWS movement represents all genders, ethnicities, and organizations EXCEPT those tied to conservative beliefs, especially religious groups that emphasize hard work, responsibility, accountability, and a strong family unit. • The OWS movement is for granting amnesty to all illegal aliens, no EXCEPTION. • The OWS movement only believes in “proven science”: evolution, climate change, Keynesian economics, and so forth – even if the people within the movement are not experts in these fields (brainwashing the followers of this movement is the key to its success). • The OWS movement is for innovation EXCEPT when the outcome is profit and capitalism. • The OWS movement is against all forms of authority (CEOs, police, military, etc.). This and all other items within this manifesto were decided solely by the supreme leader of the OWS movement - ME. What EXCEPTionalism (contradictions, hypocrisies, or whatever you want to call it) do you see behind the OWS Movement? My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Global Warming for Dummies (Part I)

Why should we question the findings that global warming is being caused by manmade carbon emissions? Simple, the math does not add up! For this to be true there has to be a direct relationship between carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and global temperatures. For instance, in electronics, Ohms law is defined by the formula: V=IR. This means the voltage (V) at any circuit node is directly related to the amount of current (I) times the amount of resistance (R). Current follows the path of least resistance, thus as the resistance goes up the current goes down and vice versa. Ohms Law can be applied to any circuit at any time at any place in the world. To prove carbon dioxide and global temperatures are directly related we would need to generate an equation (Like Ohms Law) or model to prove this fact. The simplest equation (one equation, one unknown) would be T=xC; where T is the global temperature, C is the global carbon emissions in our atmosphere, and x is a number, that when multiplied by C would equal the global temperature. The below table is a tabulation of annual global temperatures and carbon emission data. Temp is the annual average temperature above 1980 averages. Temp5 is the average temperature of the past 5 years above 1980 averages. CO2 is the annual carbon dioxide measured in our atmosphere at the Mona Kea observatory in Hawaii in parts per million. This data was taken directly from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) web page. This is data they use to say that the Earth is not only getting warmer, but it caused by manmade CO2 emissions. Year Temp Temp5 CO2 1984 0.13 0.16 344.42 1985 0.12 0.22 345.9 1986 0.18 0.24 347.15 1987 0.34 0.26 348.93 1988 0.41 0.33 351.48 1989 0.27 0.38 352.91 1990 0.47 0.34 354.19 1991 0.42 0.29 355.59 1992 0.14 0.3 356.37 1993 0.17 0.29 357.04 1994 0.3 0.28 358.88 1995 0.44 0.33 360.88 1996 0.36 0.43 362.84 1997 0.38 0.46 363.76 1998 0.7 0.45 366.63 1999 0.43 0.49 368.31 2000 0.41 0.55 369.48 2001 0.56 0.55 371.02 2002 0.68 0.58 373.1 2003 0.65 0.65 375.64 2004 0.59 0.67 377.38 2005 0.77 0.68 379.97 2006 0.65 0.66 381.88 2007 0.75 0.68 384 2008 0.55 0.65 387 My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Electric Car Fantasy

The Recovery Act (the 862 billion dollar stimulus) was supposed to be a jobs bill. However, the stimulus was more of a platform to promote the progressive fantasy of having a green America. The stimulus provides 90 billion to upgrade our power grid, weatherize homes and businesses, and to improve both renewable energy costs and production. One such fantasy getting billions of dollars of stimulus funding is the electric car. The stimulus is also silently promoting other government power grabs such as their education program (A Race to the Top), making broadband available in rural areas, and digitizing medical records. Over the next few weeks, I will post a dozen blogs exposing the problems with stimulus projects including the high speed rail, the power grid, The Race to the Top, and renewable energy. Research and production of the electric car is getting billions of dollars from the stimulus. By 2012, there will be 30 manufacturers in the U.S. making batteries for electric cars. The U.S. market share for electric car batteries is expected to cut into China’s dominate monopoly – the goal is for it to go from 1 to 20%. The White House hopes to cut the cost of the electric car battery by 50% so the cost of the electric car can be priced competitively to similar gasoline powered vehicles. The electric battery is the key behind the success of the electric car. These batteries are large and expensive and the best rated batteries allow a vehicle to travel up to a maximum of 200 miles between charges. And what’s worse, a battery can lose up to half of its charge in cold weather. For this reason, the stimulus contains billions of dollars to open charging stations throughout the country. Electric batteries are also seen as being pivotal to store energy produced by solar and wind renewable energy sources. This is the only way to ensure renewable energy power plants can provide energy when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining. Today, a multi-billion dollar battery the size of a football field is needed to supply power to a small town for a single day. This is obviously not acceptable. The most important problem with the electric car is the myth that it is cleaner than comparable gasoline powered cars. A study done by a MIT research unit claims that electric cars charged using energy produced by a coal or fossil fuel energy plant is in fact worse for the environment. The electric car can produce nearly 50% more in carbon emission pollutants than gasoline powered vehicles. This is the primary reason that the stimulus is trying to increase production of renewable energy sources. However, the current problem with renewable energy is it is 3 to 5 times more expensive than coal and fossil fuel energy sources. Another problem with renewable energy is that their power plants are located in remote areas - far away from the power grid. This is why billions of stimulus dollars are needed to connect remote wind and solar power plants to the power grid. The bottom line for the electric car to become a reality, the following needs to be accomplished: The battery needs to be made smaller, cheaper, while at same time increasing its mileage output by at least two fold; the power grid has to be expanded to accommodate remote renewable energy power plants; renewable energy costs must be reduced three fold; renewable energy production must be increased 10 fold; and finally, a minimum of a million charging stations need to be built throughout the United States. When this happens, maybe, just maybe, the electric car will be a cleaner and more practical option to replace the gasoline vehicle. Is it worth a 1 trillion dollar investment to make the electric viable? No, there are too many variables involved in making electric car a success. Thus, there are too many risks and unknowns in the electric car industry making it cost prohibited. There are wiser ways to spend money that will have a bigger impact on the environment with less risk and cost. Stay tuned for more practical solutions to carbon emissions. My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Green Construction Police

There is a new sheriff in town when it comes to building new homes and office buildings: the council for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED is responsible for developing green criteria and guidelines for new homes and office buildings. LEED will certify homes that meet their criteria. If a dwelling meets 26 of 69 criteria points (40%) it is LEED certified. If a building meets 33 of 69 criteria it is certified as silver; if it meets 39 criteria points it is certified gold; and if it is meets 52 points it is certified platinum. This all sounds great, but the criteria point system is flagrantly flawed. First, only 17 of the 69 criteria directly relate to energy savings. Thus, any new dwelling can be certified LEED platinum and actually not save on any energy costs. Secondly, LEED certified homes and buildings are expensive. Data indicates that LEED certified dwellings can cost anywhere from 1.5 to 3 times more than conventional homes and buildings. Thirdly, each criteria point is weighted equally. Hence, a business building can install an expensive energy efficient heating and cooling system and receive one point, which is the same score another business would get for installing a 100 dollar bike rack outside its lobby. Fourth, the LEED council brags that the average certified business and home is 25 to 30% more energy efficient than non-LEED certified dwellings. This sounds great, but let’s remember LEED certified buildings are 1.5 to 3 times more expensive to construct. Therefore; the cost to energy savings breakeven point for LEED certified dwellings needs to be 50 to 200% more energy efficient than non-LEED certified buildings and homes. In other words, the return on investment for LEED energy efficient homes is not very good. Fifth, much of the cost to subsidize these expensive buildings, especially government buildings, will be placed on the taxpayer. While liberals in Washington have been unsuccessful, to this point, to make LEED standards the law of the land, it has not stopped states and municipalities from adopting LEED guidelines. To date some 43 states and 400 cities have incorporated LEED standards into their laws. Liberals who favor LEED mandates claim without these LEED guidelines green conscience homes and office buildings will not be constructed. This is nonsense, because all individuals and employers are dollar conscience and do not want to pay high prices for energy. As energy prices go up, so will the need for more energy efficient homes. But these homes will need to be cost efficient as well. What’s worse is many LEED guidelines are theories that have not been proven to save energy. For instance, LEED has published guidelines for not only homes and businesses, but for the design and construction of entire communities. LEED proposes, for instance, to eliminate cul-de-sacs. They believe cul-de-sacs lead to more traffic congestion. Is this true? There is no study or evidence that more cul-de-sacs create more traffic congestion. LEED also proposes having businesses built near mass transit stops. This sounds great, but just because there is a mass transit stop outside a business it doesn’t mean it is easier for people to use mass transit to get to work. LEED communities and neighborhoods will be bike and pedestrian friendly. LEED communities will mix businesses and homes. LEED communities will build homes on small lots close together to save space and the energy costs (and water) to maintain yards. Are all these proposals energy efficient that will cut carbon emissions? No one knows, but people are going to spend millions to find out if this works. At best, the government and citizens will invest billions for a negligible effect on climate change (maybe one billionth of one percent fewer CO2 emissions). This is another example of how the government is using fear mongering (climate change) to force not only unproven theories, but unnecessary and costly changes. My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Hypocrisy of the Forced Green Movement

The problem with the green movement is it is not naturally evolving but instead; it is being forced on the public by absent minded liberals. This means that American citizens have very little choice in the matter are therefore, paying a high price for energy products which may also be hazardous to their wellbeing. The new energy efficient light bulbs are now our only choice for lighting as incandescent light bulbs have been obsoleted. The new light bulbs not only contain heavy metals such as mercury, but they can emit toxins. Green hysteria is forcing us to use products that are not only a health hazard for humans, but for our environment. Electric car batteries can weigh up to 500 pounds, cost about 10 thousand dollars to replace, and have a life span of about 7 to 10 years. If they are disposed of improperly after they expire, it could undo years of carbonless driving. In fact, emergency services such as the police and fire department consider all electric batteries toxic and have a procedure to deal with auto accidents – once again putting people in danger. Although electric batteries may be considered less toxic than carbon emitting car batteries made from lead, electric car batteries are literally a massive issue because of their size. The Department of Energy is pouring billions of taxpayer money into companies such as Toxco to expand capabilities to recycle these types of batteries. This recycling method is costly both in dollars and energy usage. One approach to extend the life of electric car batteries a few extra years is for utility companies to use them. Utility companies can store energy produced by renewable energy sources during off peak hours in old electric car batteries that no longer work in cars. Remember, when a car battery dies, it still retains about 75% of its usefulness. But still, the green hysteria movement is far too impatient to wait for safer, smaller, more efficient, and cost effective batteries to be invented and / or developed. What is even more troubling is that we can spend taxpayer money to fund the recycling of batteries, but we refuse to spend the money to build new nuclear power plants where spent fuel is recycled similarly to those power plants used in the United Kingdom and France. While environmentalists argue the Fukusima plant accident, in Japan, is reason to end nuclear power, but instead, it should be a reminder that we need to update and or build modern nuclear plants. Most nuclear power plants in the U.S. are approaching 50 years of age and they are obviously outdated and should be updated with the latest safety features including the recycling of spent fuel. One aspect of coal energy that environmentalists despise, other than its carbon emitting dirty label, is the fact the environment is harmed through the mining of this resource. But electric car batteries are made from nickel, lithium, cobalt, and manganese, which also must be mined from our planet. And let’s not forget that one car battery can use several hundred pounds of these metals. Why is acceptable to destroy the earth to mine lithium, but not coal? Why is it acceptable to fund and develop ways to recycle electric car batteries, but not nuclear fuel (even though the technology exists)? Why is it acceptable to obsolete products that are safe and replace them with hazardous products just because they are arguably more energy efficient? Why is it acceptable for the public to pay more for energy usage by forcing them to use expensive renewables when less expensive energy sources exist? These are the hypocritical actions of the progressives to force the green energy movement onto the masses. The bottom line is that conservatives are correct since they are open-minded to the use and development of all energy sources. My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Green Hysteria

Green hysteria is everywhere, and soon it will be like the dot com bubble. The green industry will be a three to five trillion dollar a year business that will collapse and cripple global economic markets. To give you an idea of the green hysteria around the globe, Time Magazine, rated the 50 best inventions for 2010 and over a third had something to do with saving our environment or being green. Number 2 was a near waterless washing machine; number 8 was a plastic fur coat; number 11 was a Bloom Box (hydrogen energy cell); number 15 was Bio Couture (fabric made from bacteria); number 16 was a method for faster growing salmon; number 17 was for road embedded chargers; number 18 was the Straddling Bus (anti gridlock); number 19 was the Edison Car (lightweight and aerodynamic car); number 20 was the Electric Car; number 21 was the Electric Car Charging Station; number 23 was a Plastic Bottle Boat; number 24 was the Amtrak Beef Powered Train (20% biodiesel); number 37 was the Deep Green Underwater Kite (generates green electricity); number 40, 41, and 42 are various Body Powered Devices (converts human body energy to green energy); and number 47 was a Power Aware Cord. Do not get me wrong, I am an avid outdoors person, and would love to keep our planet clean and to protect our valuable natural resources. But to do this we must apply reasonable ideas. Most of the ideas listed above are unreasonable for various reasons, but the main culprits are cost and practicality. For instance, eBay and Google installed a Bloom Box as the backup generators for their companies at a cost of nearly one million dollars. And what makes the Bloom Box impractical? For starters it is run on natural gas and secondly, in the case of Google and eBay it is a backup system only used when there is a power outage. Mostly, this is a propaganda attempt by both eBay and Google to indoctrinate the public and media that they are indeed green conscience (smoke and mirrors). The Edison Car is light and gets great mileage, but it is too expensive and is a death trap. A 20% biodiesel train will never translate into capital gains, and it will do next to nothing to curb global carbon emissions. The underwater kites return on investment is measured in years and the entire Pacific Ocean needs to be populated with them to power the globe. The body powered devices generate enough power each day to partially charge an IPod. The plastic bottle boat and the plastic fur coat are just silly. It is surprising that a method to farm salmon and grow them faster made the list since this type of activity is sacrilegious in the progressive world. Imagine the uproar if someone found a way to grow cattle and pigs faster. Sure, there are some creative ideas and they can help curb carbon emissions, but only negligibly. The bottom line is that most of these products and ideas will go belly up because the bang for the buck is just not practical. The problem with the inventors and the public when it comes to green hysteria is that they all think about solving the problem from the same dead end perspective. All green ideas solve how to conserve energy and how to create renewable energies. However, very few astute people are looking at the problem from another perspective – how to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. That is the problem that needs to be solved and it will render any of the above ideas and the whole green energy market, as we know it today, obsolete. If a method is obtained to remove CO2 from the atmosphere – individuals and corporations can operate without any lifestyle changes. This concept will be explored further in this blog. My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Food Wars (Part V)

Growing up I rarely ate breakfast or lunch, just dinner, at least that is what I remember through high school and college. We did not have much money and I did not want to use the money I earned on food, I saw that as my ticket out – to buy an education (besides, school cafeteria food tasted awful). Every so often I would have something light like a yogurt or glass of juice, but I mainly ate one meal a day. I would binge on dinner and that would hold me for the next 24 hours. In college, I had a great meal deal with my land lady and her family. For 10 dollars a week she would make my diner. It was all I could eat, but there was a reason it was so cheap. The daily meal was generally something they caught and killed in their yard - mostly squirrel, birds, and rabbit, but every so often a raccoon or opossum would spruce up the evening menu. My landlady would then make the meal larger by incorporating some cheap rice, noodles, or hamburger helper into the meal. I took the deal and learned to enjoy their cuisine of road kill and leftovers after all; the less I paid for food meant the more money I had to pay for my tuition. During high school, many of my daily meals were free at the restaurants I worked for. We were poor and I was cheap with my hard earned dollars for a reason, but I was never in danger of starving to death. My mother, to her credit, was a good cook and made healthy meals and I learned to do the cooking when she was working. Around my sophomore year of high school one of my math teachers (who happened to be on cafeteria patrol during my lunch time) approached me about my physical condition. Not only was I skinny (6’ and 120 pounds), but she noticed some of my bruises and wounds from some of my fights with my abusive stepfather. I joined the wrestling team, at first as a cover to explain my physical injuries and lack of weight (wrestlers routinely cut weight), but eventually learned to like the sport because it was a great way to take out my anger. My nickname was the “The Walking Dead” because my energy level would decline fast – probably because I only ate one meal a day. What is the point of this story? No, I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me (I have said this many times, I would not have changed my childhood because it made me a better person). My point is that I love food and my biggest pet peeve is when it is wasted (my upbringing truly helped me to understand the value of food). When given the opportunity I could routinely down 3 to 5 pounds of food in a sitting and won many food eating challenges (after college). I am no Homer Simpson, Adam Richman (Man v. Food), or Joey Chestnut (Nathan’s hot dog eating champ), but I can hold my own when it comes to indulging in food. Maybe I was making up for lost time, but it pains me to see food wasted. Every time I visit a relative or friend they make too much food and when they say “what is not eaten will be tossed out” – I put on my eating pants. To my dismay many of my liberal friends and relatives have no problem throwing out food. These liberal thinkers are big promoters of recycling all waste; they deplore the pesticides that farmers are using, which are polluting our lands, water, and of course us; they complain about the hormones used to grow livestock faster; they despise nuclear power because of its toxic waste; and they protest the “poisons” that are used to make processed foods, but they have no problem wasting food. This makes absolutely no sense. Once again, liberals fail to see the big picture and are therefore, often hypocritical. First, the biggest threat to millions of people around the globe is not the danger of climate change or food additives, but starvation. Starvation, one would think, would be a big initiative with liberals because they are the party of the underdog. But the bottom line is that my liberal friends and relatives are more about saving the planet. But they fail to see they are being hypocritical when they throw out food. They may argue that “food is biodegradable”, but so is fecal matter or for that fact many pesticides. This is a cop out; the byproducts of wasted food are just as dangerous as the additives and pesticides discarded on our lands and waters. Secondly, many of the food items that are discarded in the garbage remain in their recyclable packages. In other words, I routinely see liberal people throw out bad food items without separating it from its packaging. Thirdly, many of the same people that complain about “poisonous” foods indulge in chips, dip, cold cuts, brownies, ice cream, and cake to name a few junk foods. I probably consume a few thousand more calories daily than the recommended allowance, but I am in better shape than most liberals I know. Fourth, and most importantly, the citizens of the United States consume nearly 1 billion pounds of food daily and over 10% (100 million pounds) ends up in the trash. One reason (other than cost) that farmers use hormones or food manufacturers use additives (poisons to liberals) are because we need to generate so much food to feed our nation. If liberals wasted less food then maybe there would not only be less of demand for food (lower costs), there would be less of a need for pesticides, hormones, and additives. The bottom line is that most righteous liberals talk a good game claiming they are about saving the planet, except when it comes to food. Liberals do not want to see a community built over a nuclear waste dump site, but they have little problem with people living on a landfill created by wasted food. Go figure! Liberals need to be held accountable for their ideology hypocrisy just as moral value conservatives are held accountable (and rightfully so) by the media for extramarital affairs. My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Food Wars (Part IV)

A debate about food issues in our country cannot be final without a discussion about the role of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Like many government entities under the control of the Obama White House, the FDA is getting larger. During the current recession, the FDA has hired over a thousand new workers with one goal in mind – to meddle in the private sector. Many may argue that the FDA, and their oversight over the food business, has made the United States the safest food market in the world. This may be true, but only to a certain extent. In many respects FDA oversight has gone way too far. The FDA, like many government agencies, likes to play God. No food or drug company wants to deliberately sell a bad product, especially a product that will kill or make people ill. This is obviously a bad business practice and it will ultimately lead to the bankruptcy of the guilty company. In fact, over the past century there have only been a few major cases of food poisoning: 1920 – botulism from canned olives; 1933 – E. Coli in burgers sold at Jack in the Box; 1959 - cranberries laced with a cancer agent; 1971 – botulism from canned Bon Vivant soup; 2008 – Salmonella in Peanut Corporation products; 2010 - Salmonella in two Iowa egg corporations. There is plenty of competition within the food and drug industry. If one brand gets a reputation for selling a tainted or bad product, people will buy another brand. In essence, competition within the free market system is how the food and drug industries police itself. Thus, to a large degree, massive amounts of oversight are not needed. One way the FDA goes overboard with its oversight power is by making product labels too complicated. The FDA forces companies to accurately display the contents and nutritional value on product labels. That is fine, but often there is too much information on labels making them difficult to interpret. In fact, people need to be a chemist to understand the nutritional contents in any given product. Also, there are no uniformity standards to place information on labels. Thus, it is nearly impossible for people do an “apples to apples” comparison of similar products. Hence, comparing two complicated labels is not going to change a buyers mind to purchase the more nutritional product. Instead of improving product labels, the FDA is expanding their convoluted labeling practice into other aspects of the food industry. The FDA is now going to force restaurants to post the nutritional statistics for their menu items. Is this going to make people healthier? No, but it going to cost the taxpayers more money to fund the FDA “food police” and it is going to make meals more expensive. Another way in which the FDA abuses their power is through an internal policy many refer to as the “precautionary principle”. In other words, the FDA sides with caution and does not release food and drug products that may have some potentially severe side effects. This sounds reasonable, but shouldn’t educated individuals and doctors make these decisions? What if, for instance, there is a drug that may help people combat a particular disorder, but the FDA refuses to release it to the public because there is a one in a 100 thousand chance the drug ‘might’ cause heart failure. If drugs are labeled with all potential risks and side effects, then it should be up to individuals and doctors to decide if the reward outweighs the risk. One example of such an FDA abuse is over the drug Gabapentin. Gabapentin is a drug that has been around a long time and was initially used as an anti-convulsant for epilepsy patients. Over the years, doctors have found other uses for Gabapentin to alleviate symptoms for neurological disorders including restless leg syndrome and more severe ailments such as fibromyalgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and benign fasciculation syndrome. Although there has never been any solid proof that Gabapentin causes cancer in humans, researchers are confirming that it caused pancreatic cancer in rats. Thus, the FDA is trying to recall Gabapentin - a drug that alleviates pain and suffering for millions of users around the globe. It should be patients and consumers, not the government, who decides if a product reward is worth the risk. My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Food Wars (Part III)

Organic farms generally do not sell their products nationally. Instead, they tend to cater to small rural communities and have a farmers market to sell their products. In our community people can even pick a pig or cow to purchase and it can be processed locally. This is great way to cut out price markups at food processing plants and super markets. But people in large metropolitan areas do not have the luxury of local organic or conventional farms. Thus, 75% of the people in the United States must get their foods imported from conventional farms. Thus, it is imperative for conventional farmers to find ways to make their products last and not spoil. Thus, they use some chemicals to preserve meats, fruits, and vegetables. The alternative is for more food to spoil and be wasted and this will benefit no one. Organic farmers are forced into the same quagmire when they have to ship their products to other markets. Keep in mind; some foods made by conventional farmers are sold overseas. This not only helps to bolster our national trade, it provides food, which in many cases goes to people that may otherwise starve. Once again, this can only be done with chemicals that preserve these foods. Another aspect of the food industry that is being attacked by nutritionists, environmentalists, animal rights groups, and plethora of other organizations is the food manufacturing industry. All parts of food manufacturing industry have come under fire for a variety of reasons. First, they hire a lot of illegal aliens and undocumented workers. Secondly, they use many food additives. Food additives are chemicals that can be used to preserve food. But in many cases food additives are substitutes for the real thing. In other words, it is possible to buy grape juice that does not have any grapes in the product. But being able to expand our food supply is imperative in the wake of our population explosion. Many left leaning organizations argue that salt, sugar, and fats are added to foods on purpose. They claim these additives are addictive and manufacturers want to get the people addicted to their products. Maybe this is true, but there are so many products that are addictive including alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and a host of other items. And let’s not forget that many food additives such as calcium in milk and omega 3 folic acids in a variety of other foods are said to have made Americans healthier. The food manufacturing industry is being blamed for the obesity problem facing our nation. This too may be true; but there must be some individual responsibility for one’s health. One solution is tax unhealthy foods to pay for our growing national health problem caused by obesity. The government and the anti-food industry clan can try to influence people to eat healthier, but they cannot force them to do anything they do not want to do. Global warming alarmist attack the food industry for its role in emitting carbon emissions into our atmosphere. They blame meat eaters for the extra carbon emissions from flatulence created by animals. They blame food manufacturers and conventional farmers for the increased carbon emissions to ship their products around the globe. This is just a bunch of nonsense because this only constitutes a very small percentage of the overall carbon emissions produced in our country. What other option do manufacturers have? The bottom line is that both sides think they are 100% right and there is no middle ground. Unfortunately, with over 300 million people in the United States and another 6 billion people around the globe to feed, chemicals are needed to improve production, increase quantities, keep costs low, expand the food supply, preserve food, and in some cases improve nutrition. It is also absurd to presume that there is enough food to feed 6 billion vegetarians; this is why animals are an essential part of the food industry equation. It is funny how the left complains about our food industry, but they fail to see the big picture and fail to offer any legitimate solutions. The left complains about people starving in our country and around the globe, but they want to hinder food production. Progressives complain about the horrors of the food manufacturing industry, but do not care that they employ and take advantage of illegal immigrants. Liberal arguments simply do not make any sense; yes it makes sense to use safe chemicals in the food process, but to eliminate all chemicals is just asinine. My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Food Wars (Part II)

What we eat is no longer a private matter, but a political matter. The government food police not only want us to eat a healthier diet, but they also are chiming in on the battle between organic versus conventional farming. The government has a point, Americans are becoming more and more obese and this is no longer a personal problem when people’s health affects the cost of our healthcare system. Obesity is pushing our insurance premiums upward as the healthcare industry is faced with numerous more cases of diabetes and heart disease. On the other hand, the battle between organic and conventional farming is a totally different issue since they produce the same types of food – they simply do it in vastly different ways. Conventional farming makes up about 97% of the farming market for vegetables, fruits, and meats in the United States. Conventional farming consists of using potentially toxic chemicals to grow and preserve vegetables and fruits and even growth hormones to enhance the maturity of their livestock. Critics of farming techniques have some valid concerns. First, toxic pesticides and chemical fertilizers not only have to be cleaned off purchased fruits and vegetables, but over the years they can be washed into our water systems. What’s worse, our water systems are not designed to remove these byproducts. Secondly, hormones and other methods of raising livestock can also adversely affect our meats. For instance, cattle are in many cases raised in tight living quarters making the spread of diseases more prevalent and therefore, tainting more meat. But the bottom line is that the United States agriculture business is the safest in the world. However, as the population of people increases there will be more cases of tainted food, particularly salmonella. After all, no system is perfect. Many argue that conventional farmers are solely out to make a profit, and in doing so, are endangering the public. This is not entirely true. Sure, conventional farming methods use chemicals to help make their vegetables, fruits, and meats less expensive than organic farmers. But studies show there is no difference in the quality of the food between conventional and organic farming techniques. Both have the same amount of vitamins that are essential for the human diet. Furthermore, the real reason many farmers need to use chemicals to aid their farming methods is because of demand. There are now well over 300 million mouths to feed in the United States and if such methods were not used there could be potential food shortages. Food shortages would be a disaster and would create national chaos. Organic farming makes up only about 3% of the total farming business. Organic farming consists of using natural methods to grow vegetables and to raise livestock. However, to think that organic farming methods are toxic free is a common misconception. For instance, manure is fecal matter and it too can get into our water supplies. Organic famers argue that although there is no difference in vitamin content between conventional farming foods, they claim their foods are much richer in other minerals and compounds. Many studies indicate that organic food is up to 25% richer in magnesium, omega 3, and other important minerals vital for a normal human diet. But once again, this study can be misleading because it does not guarantee foods bought from one organic farm is better than food bought from a conventional farm. To gain this advantage in mineral content it is all dependent on the soil makeup. And there is nothing guaranteeing that an organic farm has better soil than a conventional farm. Thus, the real argument is whether or not it is advantageous to pay the 50% premium for organic food. In essence, is worth paying a 50% premium to potentially get a 25% gain in helpful minerals? My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)