The Electric Vehicle Revolution

The Electric Vehicle Revolution

The Electric Vehicle Revolution is here

Electric vehicles are the future, be ready. . . 

The Electric Vehicle Revolution

“Adoption of a new technology, like EV’s (electric vehicles) may seem slow or look like it’s never going to happen, until it passes a threshold. . . .and then it just takes off.” *Reda Cherif  

By D. S. Mitchell

Horse and Buggy Days

There is a growing understanding that gas and diesel-powered vehicles will soon join the horse and buggy and dial telephone. New studies support a rapid acceleration process and a gathering momentum of the coming EV tsunami. Surprising as it may seem, soothsayers predict that more than 90% of all passenger vehicles in the U.S., Canada, Europe and other wealthy industrialized countries will be EV by 2040. Some studies are even more bullish, predicting that by 2030, ninety percent of all U.S. vehicles will be EV. That is less than 9 years away.

A Big Culprit

One of the major sources of deadly air pollution, and a major factor in climate change, is transportation. In order to protect the climate and the health of our citizens it is imperative we modify the vehicles on our roads. A few years ago, transportation edged out power plants as the leading source of carbon emissions. We can end this catastrophe. Sources tell us a rapid shift to electric vehicles can cut more than 800 million tons of CO2 emissions every year by 2040, and cumulative reductions will reach 16.2 billion tons by 2050.

New Technology

The transition is going to happen fast because EV’s are better than gas vehicles. There is less maintenance, lower operating costs, and more power. A big factor in boosting sales of EV’s is that production costs are also coming down. The cost of an EV battery has dropped 86% in the last 10 years. In spite of chip shortages and COVID-19 challenges, Ford Motor Co. has been showing profits throughout 2021. Ford announced that its F-150 Lightening electric pickup has generated over 120,000 pre-orders since it was unveiled to great fanfare in May.

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DANGER AHEAD: Cyber Hacking On The Rise

Cyber threats to world economies is growing daily

DANGER AHEAD:

Cyber Hacking On The Rise

Colonial Pipeline was hit with a devastating ransomware cyberattack in May 2021 that impacted computerized equipment managing the pipeline. The attack forced the company to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline in the United States, crippling gas delivery systems across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic states and panicking consumers.

By William Jones and D.S. Mitchell

Terrorists. Criminals and Cowboys

The ongoing digitization of all aspects of modern life should be concerning.  Governments world-wide are facing new challenges to keep both business and government secrets private in an increasingly threatening world of cyber criminals, state sponsored terrorists, and cowboy hackers. With increasing online and data usage, government databases have become primary targets for hackers and other cyber terrorists and criminals. Recent events have shaken the U.S. government and citizen confidence. Hackers can compromise data and as Chris Krebs said recently, ransomware attackers are the greatest threat to our digital world. Krebs served as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security from November 2018 to November 2020.

Cyber Warfare

Cyber warfare is defined as actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation’s computers or networks to cause damage or disruption. It may also include non-state actors, such as terrorist groups, private companies, political or ideological extremist groups, criminal organizations, and activists.  Cyber attacks  have been a cause of concern for years, as the frequency of data breaches has increased along with their complexity and (economic, military, and political) implications, including elections and military catastrophe an ever growing possibility.

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Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn

Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn:

Nothing But PR & Energy Politics

By Sonnet Gomes

I was so content with my current tiny investment in Cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, till last night. When Elon Musk’s Bitcoin U-Turn simply throws me off the edge.

Musk’s Tweet on suspending vehicle purchase using Bitcoin not only struck a boult on me but also my itty-bitty crypto asset. No wonder I was enraged to see the price dropping, and my investment is fading away.

However, it took me a while to come to my senses (thanks to my wife for a late-night Coffee) and realize what is actually going on.

Musk’s Twitter Activity from Last Night

The entire Tweet, I am sure, will amaze almost anyone. Let’s look at a few lines of it first, and then I will dive deep into them.

  • “We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel” (O Boy, O Boy! we had no clue about it until the Tweet!)
  • “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels, and we believe it has a promising future” (So Tesla and SpaceX are not dumping all its crypto assets because they are nothing but energy-guzzler carbon-emitting machines)
  • “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin, and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy” (He actually loves Bitcoin and keeping all the digital assets for future use. Wondering what it’s that? Well, the next Bitcoin big selling)

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Meat Consumption and National Power

Meat Consumption and National Power

Meat Consumption and National Power

By Sonnet Gomes

How Meat Consumption is related to the Might of an Economy

The amount of meat a nation consumes tells a lot about its overall economic strength.  My mother used to say to me “too much meat won’t make you fit”.  It looks like the same does not go with the world economy. It’s not only the defense budget but also meat consumption that can be an indicator of a nation’s economic strength.

The world is Becoming a Meaty Place

According to FAO, average worldwide meat consumption per capita in 1964/66 was 24.2-kg that hiked up to 41.3 in 2015. Industrial nations consumed 61.5-kg in 1964/66. That number soared to 95.7 in 2015 and is expected to reach 100 in 2030. The change for the transition countries is also huge. Starting from 42.5-kg in 1964/66 it is expected to reach 53.8 in 2030.

Africa is not following the Trend that Closely

You will find a stark contrast in Africa. The regions started with a figure little less than 12-kg in the early 60s’ but never crossed the 30-kg mark. Sub-Saharan Africa has a grimmer picture with only a kilogram increase in average consumption since 1966.

North Africa has a much better picture. One of the main reasons is its proximity to Europe. The western influences have a significant impact on the North African economy that eventually affect meat consumption or vice versa.

Europe in the Runner Up position

Post World War II Europe was in a boom of both economic and technological development. Both boiled down to the rise in meat consumption. Per capita meat supply in 1966 was around 58-kg. Up to 1980, the surge was staggering. Despite a few ups and downs due to economic and political turmoil, the growth was slow but steady. According to FAO, every European ended up consuming around 82-kg of meat in 2013.

North America is and was the Exception

There is only one region that has seen little or no decline in meat consumption. Yes, you guessed it correctly-North America. The economic boom was on a much bigger scale in North America than Europe after the end of the Second World War. That is reflected in the meat consumption. Starting with an astronomical 95-kg per person, the regional meat consumption rose to 113-kg in 2013. However, the numbers have begun to slump a bit since 2007 due to the introduction of the health-conscious lifestyle based on an organic and vegan diet.

Asia, the story of Iconic Irony

Now let face towards the grimmest correlation between economic development and meat consumption. A particular part of Asia is showing a correlation that is neither good for health nor the economy. Average per capita meat consumption was below 10-kg in 1966 that reached to around 43-kg in 2013.

However, do not think it is the overall picture of the region. South Asia is the last in the position. This meat-eating journey of this region was at 4-kg and reached only 7.6-kg in 2015. This is perhaps the only region where the correlation between economic growth and meat consumption shouldn’t work that precisely because the majority of the population relies on a vegan diet.

The irony is since 1992, Asia is the biggest meat producer in the world when the people of this region are among the least meat consumers.

The recent rise of India and Bangladesh in the different business and production sectors will make you believe this anomalous result. However, the GDP per capita of these countries are actually following the rationale between meat consumption and economic might.

GDP and Meat Supply tells everything

This graph-based on 2017 meat supply and GDP per capita data will establish the fact with more confidence that rich countries consume more meat. It looks like the threshold lies in 30-kg annual supply and $7000 per capita GDP. After this point, both the GDP and resultant meat consumption started to rise rapidly.

Multiple factors influence the correlation between consuming meat and economic strength of a nation. They include industrial development, technological advancement, and a better balance between supply and demand. All of these influenced the lifestyle and food habit of the citizens of economically developed nations who consume more meat than less affluent.

The Stability Of U.S. Food Supply In Danger

 

 

OPINION: A New Economic Model

OPINION: A New Economic Model

The rust belt cities of the United States are reminders of the dead and dying ndustrial Revolution

OPINION: A New Economic Model

By Trevor McNeil

Standards Of Study

Strange as it might seem, there is a standard in the study of history that sources used should be the most recent. This is because new things are being discovered all the time and what we knew about a particular event or context in 2001, can be radically different than what is now known in 2021. Philosophy and more theoretical disciplines have no such standard. Which is the only way to account for the continuance of some of the less applicable ideas. Economic theory is no exception.

One, Or The Other

Looking at the modern political landscape, and one would be left with the impression that there are only two ways of doing an economy. Laissez-faire capitalism as laid out by Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations and communism, as dictated, no surprise there, by Karl Marx, in several, mostly unreadable books. Wars have been fought over these ideas, and continue to be cause of strife and division to this day. Despite most people not really understanding what they are.

Persistence

As evidenced by the slogan, on the communist side, “smash capitalism” without specifying which of the three primary schools of capitalism to which they are referring. On the other hand, those who support a free-market capitalism have been blinkered enough to refer to nations such as Norway as “communist.” An absolutely hilarious accusation considering the system is most accurately described as a “corporate democracy.” It is a little known fact that the main reason so many Norwegians speak such good English, roughly 80% of the population being fluent, is the nations massive export industry, the majority of the buyers being from English-speaking nations.

Old Ideas, New World

Basically both schools of thought are wrong in my humble opinion. At least in terms of modern society, root cause of their obsolescence being the time when the ideas were formulated. The Wealth of Nations was written soon after the kick-off of the Industrial Revolution, and was at least partly an attempt to explain it. The Communist Manifesto was written in 1848, and was one of the main criticisms of the effects of the Industrial Revolution and a low-key rebuke to Smith.

The Unforeseeable 

They are both important documents in terms of understanding basic economic theory, and how we got to where we are. Neither, however, have any real bearing on modern society. Neither Smith nor Marx could possibly predict nor comprehend the massive change technology has made in the last couple of centuries. To the point that the rise of the Information Age is largely seen as a Digital Revolution, on par with the Industrial Revolution in terms of its overall impact. The production based economies in which both Smith and Marx were writing, either no longer exist or are rapidly dying. The term “disruptor” coined specifically to refer to this process.

Hybrid

In the post-Digital Age, with old industry corroding into rust belts and an increasing number of people working for themselves, particularly online, how does one now engage with the new reality? Might I suggest a hybrid approach, similar to that practiced by the Calvinists. In this system, there is an emphases on service-based businesses, usually run by an individual or family, working as hard as they can to make as much money as they can to put back into the business. Paying the employees, if there are any, more, while putting money into the economy and providing a needed service to their fellow citizens, and taking care of their own needs. Just a thought.

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2018/11/20/the-revolution-wont-be-live-streamed/

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2019/02/08/economic-inequality-a-danger-sign/

Impact of COVID-19 On Sub-Saharan Africa

Impact of COVID-19 in Sub Saharan Africa

By Michael Leonard Douglas

*Calamity News and Politics.com

*Our Man in Africa: Michael Leonard Douglas grew up in Birmingham, England. Michael has an undergraduate degree in Arts, with a major in Design.  Michael currently resides in Nairobi, Kenya. In addition to contributing to Calamity Politics, Michael manages a freelance writing company, WritersInc. Michael’s first piece for Calamity Politics was, “Animal Cruelty Linked to Human Rights.” 

COVID-19 Lands

Nigeria became the first Sub-Saharan African country to report a case of the novel coronavirus on February 25th 2020. The patient was an Italian who had flown in from Milan, Italy. Italy was one of the places hardest hit by COVID-19. Since it’s arrival in Sub-Saharan Africa, the disease has spread dramatically. The statistics change daily but as of last week South Africa led with 622,551 total cases followed by Nigeria at 53,727 cases, Ethiopia at 49,654 cases, and Ghana at 43,949 cases (WHO, 2020).

COVID-19 Measures in Africa

The moment the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic in February 2020, African countries rapidly established containment measures including,, the closure of borders, active promotion of hand washing, social gathering restrictions, and mask wearing. A COVID-19 awareness campaign was activated to debunk rising myths and mistruths surrounding the disease (Osseni, 2020). These quick actions taken by Sub-Saharan African governments are, so far at least, working to keep case numbers down.  In fact, Africa south of the Sahara still has a lower case rate than most of the world.

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OPINION: Trump’s Viral Circus

I read some place when you hire a clown, expect a circus..

An unidentified, but very clever person declared, “when you hire a clown, expect a circus.”

OPINION: Trump’s Viral Circus

By Trevor K. McNeil

A Question of Leadership.

Many American presidents have faced great obstacles. To their credit, most have risen to the occasion with some degree of grace and intelligence befitting the office. Most of the catastrophes have been military-and at times self-inflicted, such as Teddy Roosevelt’s half-cocked 1898 invasion of Spanish controlled Cuba. “Remember the Maine!” More recently, terrorism has been the challenge. After 9/11, somehow overnight, George W. Bush became a military genius. That genius led us into an unending conflict in the Middle East. Though, to his credit, he did better than most would have expected. Ulysses S. Grant, not widely known for his intelligence, statesmanship, or sobriety did attempt to rebuild the nation after the terror of the Civil War, and as expected, failed abysmally.

Guns and Ammo

Woodrow Wilson was fighting two wars, one against the Germans and one against the Spanish Flu.

Woodrow Wilson faced two enemies during WWI; the Germans and the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Sadly, Woodrow Wilson, simultaneously facing World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic resorted to lies and misinformation to tamper down public fears. God forbid anyone stop the production of guns and ammunition.  The 1918 experience of a rapidly spreading virus, and a government unprepared for the challenge, should be an eye opener. The COVID-19 outbreak has been compared to the Spanish Flu pandemic. If that proves correct we could be on the brink of total disaster. In fact, Wilson’s public response to Spanish Flu may prove sterling in comparison to Trump’s Coronavirus press briefings.

Wishful Thinking

In the case of president Trump, the lies come so fast and furious it is often hard to separate intent from stupidity. In an instance of whimsical optimism unseen outside of a Peter Pan production, Trump publicly suggested people should just “go to work”, and it will all miraculously “just go away.” Reporting indicates Trump was warned in early December 2019 that COVID-19 was as serious as it gets, and was headed like an armed missile directly at us.

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Mother Earth Is Begging For Help

Mother Earth, Protect Her

By D. S. Mitchell

No Planet B, For Me

Calamity Politics is pro-environment. I hope all our readers are pro-environment. Earth is the only planet I’m ever going to set foot on.  I see her as a nurturing, caring, loving place that needs reciprocal love and care. We need to get this right; for the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren. I want to make climate change and environmental protection a priority. We  are in the middle of the Democratic 2020 primaries. Biden and Sanders are still battling it out. Recent primaries do appear to have Biden overwhelming the Vermont senator. Whoever wins the nomination must make Climate Change and environmental protection a top national issue.

Four More Years Could Seal Mom’s Fate

The Trump environmental wrecking crew is at the gates. As each day passes, I become more agitated. I am afraid that we will not be able to mount a sufficient defense against their heavy-handed onslaught against the environment. The agency that is most responsible for that protection, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been decimated by Trump and his Fossil Fuel allies.

In the Courts

The Sierra Club’s donations are up. The World Wildlife Fund donations are also reportedly, up. I think we will need every environmental organization on the planet to stop the assault on the planet.  Hopefully their resistance will be both through lawsuits in the courts and active street protests against Trump’s dangerous agenda.  It is important to recognize that U.S. politics effect policy worldwide, not just nationwide. We are an example to the world. What we do, other countries do.

Embrace the Future

Clean energy is better for the economy and it is better for Mother Earth. Time to wrestle control of environmental policy and legislation from the fossil fuel industry and their army of lobbyists. The  remnants of the dirty Industrial Revolution must come to an end. Let’s look forward,  and embrace the future.  We are moving into the Technological Era.  Parts of the transition will be painful, acceptance is the first step.  If you are affected by a changing industry, change yourself, change your skills. Become part of the future, not a useless relic of the past.

From Australia to the Amazon

Whether it is the wild fires in California, or the Amazon; millions of animals are being killed or displaced  by wildfires. Many of the fires are set by humans as a quick means to clear land for cattle grazing or palm oil production. In Australia recent fires were also caused intentionally by man. The Australian fires have caused the death of an estimated one million animals. At the other extreme, the polar ice caps are melting at an incredible rate. This loss of ice is creating big trouble for animals who depend on the ice for hunting and nesting. These emergencies must be addressed quickly, we don’t have much time.

The Orange Whore

President Trump and environmental corruption are center stage in the 2020 election. Whoring with fossil fuel barons, erasing climate change regulations, abandoning the Paris Climate Agreement, increasing offshore oil leases, supporting coal mining has made it clear, Donald Trump is no friend of Mother Earth. He has revealed his true heart, and it is nothing more than a dollar sign.  Trump and the greedy fossil fuel abusers would kill Mom and dance at her funeral. It is up to us, to stop the war on our planet. Time to elect Democrats, from the state houses to the White House. Mom’s life is at stake.

Join the Resistance

 

Growing Wealth Inequality: A Danger Sign for Democracy

Growing Wealth Inequality:

A Danger Sign for Democracy

By D.S. Mitchell & Jones William

Uneven Distribution

Wealth inequality occurs when income and assets are unevenly distributed within a group of people, or society. There are at least three measures of that distribution of wealth. Economic inequality is generally grouped into three categories; pay, income and wealth.

1) Pay

Pay is the amount received from employment only. Pay can be based on an hourly, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Pay may also include bonuses and benefits. Pay inequality: the difference between individuals’ pay across all 50 states (or within one company).

2) Income

Income includes all the money received through pay, investments, state benefits, rent, pensions (personal, company, state) and savings. Income is calculated on an individual or household basis. Income inequality, is the disparity of money streams between groups and individuals.

3) Wealth

Wealth is the total assets of an individual or household. It includes all assets of value: bonds, stocks,  pensions, art, jewelry, boats, planes, automobiles, savings, investments, and real estate. Wealth is a collection of assets minus liabilities. Wealth inequality, is the difference between the valuation of all assets owned by groups or individuals.

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Student Loan Debt Is Worse Than They Tell Us

Student Loan Debt:

Worse Than They Tell Us

By Jones William & D. S. Mitchell

Student Debt

There is a black cloud on the American economic horizon. Student loan debt has tripled over the last fifteen years. According to the Federal Reserve in the first quarter of 2018 student loan debt had ballooned to over $1.52 trillion and is expected to swell to $2 trillion by 2020. Forty four million Americans are carrying student loan debt, with about 7 million borrowers in loan default. The average student loan obligation exceeds $37,000. Forty per cent of borrowers are expected to fall behind on their loans by 2023.

Times Change

Over the last forty years there has been unrelenting pressure on young people to go to college. Many of these students in the past would have been redirected to vocational programs, but apprentice programs like electricians, plumbers and equipment operators have been ignored for the promise of a college degree and the anticipated financial benefits of over $1.2 million dollars in increased lifetime earnings potential. A notable side effect of this move to “college for all” is, under the current system, a lifetime of debt.

Then And Now

College costs have outpaced the Consumer Price Index more than four fold since 1985. The availability of federally backed tuition assistance has made it relatively easy for students to pay for college, but leaving them with a life time debt burden. Things have changed dramatically. I graduated from college in 1972. I was the first member of my family to ever even try such folly. I did it in four years using a cluster of five ( yes, I said 5) small scholarships and a summer job. I left college with a degree in nursing and most important, no student loan debt. The growth of tuition costs relative to teen wages-in fact, all wages-has turned dramatically upwards and what I did would be almost impossible today.

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