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HELSINKI: THE DEATH OF THE NATION-STATE AS WE KNOW IT

By John Moser

Posted on July 22, 2018

Editorial

On July 16, 2018 President Donald J Trump stated, “I will say this:  I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia who would be responsible for the election hacking.  He added, “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”  When Mr. Trump was asked directly whether to believe Mr. Putin or his own intelligence agencies, he replied, “I have confidence in both parties.”

To most people who have been following Mr. Trump, this response is no surprise.  Mr. Trump is all about “Making Trump First” not “Making America First.”  After Helsinki, it could even be stated Trump is “Making Russia First” or “Making the ‘Honorable’ Mr. Putin First.”  A month ago it was making “Kim Jung Un First.”  Who will be next?  It certainly won’t be us Americans.

None of this is surprising to me now.  What is surprising?  How about starting with the notion that someone like Donald Trump and his misogynistic, xenophobic, racist, misanthropic, ignorant, egotistical, and despicable personality traits could even come close to the most powerful office in the world.  How?  How for the sake of us all?  How?Continue reading

2300 Separated Children: We All Are To Blame

By John Moser

Posted on June 26, 2018

Editorial

It is disturbing enough to see 2300 defenseless children removed from their parents’ custody.  What is worse are the reports that many of these children may never be reunited with their parents again. Never.  As of this writing, the government reports that a little more than 500 have been reunited.  The recordkeeping was so bad that border agents simply uprooted the families willy-nilly based upon the stroke of Donald Trump’s pen to destroy the lives of children who cannot even spout the words “Make America Great Again.”  Children in one area and “offending parents” in the other. The psychological pain and torture for these children are beyond comprehension. It is downright disgusting and inhumane. It is easy to blame President Trump for this mess; instead we should all be blaming ourselves.  And these types of stories will continue as long as we prefer to think in terms of ourselves (Americans) in an isolated world where fantasies of our own making (call us a seriously flawed Fantasy Island) rule in our heads. We would like to think of our country as 1950s Eisenhower Era of post-World War II where anything we do requires no consent by the rest of the world. Continue reading

CALIFORNIA FIRES RAGE BUT AMERICANS DON’T

By John Moser

Posted on August 10, 2018

Editorial

August 6, 2018 seemed like a typical day.  I woke up and found soot on my car in Napa, California and the sun did not shine; the sun was an orange hue which seemed a mix of smoke and overcast.  I drove to Sacramento where I work and got out of my car. The soot was still raining down on my car like snowflakes. Inland, where there was no overcast in the summertime, I noticed more white cover. Odd?  After realizing Sacramento doesn’t have overcast in the summertime, I concluded these were smoke clouds, not water clouds. There was no place to go to get out of the soot. No one seems to care. Casual acceptance is the operative phrase.

California is changing rapidly.  And for the worse. I went to Lake Tahoe in late July, one of my favorite places on this Earth and dipped my toe into the water in Incline Village, Nevada.  I couldn’t believe it. The water was incredibly warmer. I could suddenly swim without any difficulty, unlike the times as a child when I was chilled to the point of shivering and being forced to take my time to adjust to the outrageously cold water.  My suspicions of the warmth were confirmed by a UC Davis study that showed the water in July 2017 was indeed 6°C warmer than it was in July 2016. Furthermore, the average overall water temperature has increased from 5.6°C in 1970 to 6.1°C in 2017. The clarity also dropped to its lowest level of 59 feet which was well below its historical clarity depth of over 100 feet in 1970.Continue reading

ONE DECISION AWAY FROM TYRANNY

By John Moser

Posted on June 12, 2018

Editorial

When scholars someday look back at the decline of the United States, they may conclude Donald Trump was the responsible party (or at least the lynchpin or at the very least the straw that broke the camel’s back). Trump is one man, but he is only one man who requires support from a majority of US citizens. That is all he needs to destroy this country.   The greatness of our Constitution that we so proudly proclaim to other nations could be no more. Our forefathers predicted a man like Donald Trump could salivate over power and abuse that power in ways that could destroy the sanctity of the country. We have realized this and have worked hard to fight tyranny, as can be seen in our Revolutionary War in which hundreds of thousands perished.  The last significant fight against tyranny involved an amendment ratified in 1951 limiting the terms of a President to two. The Constitution has a series of checks and balances on this power, but, most importantly, this power grab must be supported by a majority of Americans. Until now, I felt relatively safe from tyranny. Donald Trump is the figurehead of a country that has made a series of blunders that led to his rise. Continue Reading

CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS:  DO WE EVEN CARE?

By John Moser

Posted on May 27, 2018

Editorial

It is now May 2018 and our atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels as of April 2018 are 410.31 ppm.  This compares to CO2 levels from the pre-industrialization period (1700 AD) of 278 ppm.  This rise inCO2 has predominantly occurred since 1950 (310 ppm).  In 1950 CO2 was 11.5% above the historic baseline average and today atmospheric CO2 is now 47.5% above it. Over the last 68 years the average rise in atmospheric CO2 has been 1.94 ppm/yr.  In the last 10 years, the growth rate in atmospheric CO2 is accelerating and is closer to 2.3 ppm/yr.  Atmospheric CO2 levels are the highest they have ever been in 800,000 years.

Similarly, global temperatures have risen to 0.9˚C above the 1951-1980 mean.  Of the 136 years of recorded global temperatures,17 of the 18 warmest have come in the 21st century (with the other one coming in 1998).  Through studies of tree rings, corals, and ice core samples we have also been able to see that in the last 1000 years we are approximately 1.3 ̊C above the global average. Keep in mind that ice ages occurred with a mere change of 4-7  ̊C in atmospheric temperatures.  Also, atmospheric surface temperatures are rising at a rate ten times as quickly as temperature rise that occurred during recovery from ice ages in the distant past.

In the meantime, we are seeing no sign of real mitigation of the foundational problem: the output of CO2.  Here are the facts: Continue reading