Monday, June 19, 2017

Reduce Ignorance, Increase Intelligence...Its That Simple Graduates!

Not everyone is born to be a naturally gifted student.  Each of us have our own rate of learning (i.e. rate of retention).  Therefore, each of us as students should learn a simple mathematical statement of "intelligence" which we can carry with us throughout life and access at any point in a struggle when conquering a new challenge in life.  Each of us are unique.



The spring time ends with commencement ceremonies at various universities around the world.  During this time of celebration, there is a realization in every graduate's mind: fear of the unknown looking into the future.  Questions might arise that parallel the following:

1) Am I really ready to go out into the professional world?

2) Did I really learn everything I need to in college which will bring me success?

3) Should I stay and earn a second degree to ensure my success later in life?


These are natural questions or thoughts by graduating students.   Additionally, these are natural thoughts of every students at each point in their academic journey.  Rest assured students (and graduates), your learning has just begun.  I am drawn to the recent remarks of the famous actor Robert De Niro's graduation commencement speech at New York University:


"...Did you get straight A's in school?...if so, good for you..congratulations! But in the real world you will never get straight A's again."



This thought is extremely important for each of us.  Life is not about a "grade."  Life is about the struggle of each journey.  The degree of difficulty in each journey is defined by a variety of parameters.  Typically, the most feared parameter is that which is defined by ourselves -- i.e. our own self confidence.  Success is difficult to attain when confronted with challenges.



Life Is Full Of Challenges




Challenges come in a variety of flavors.  99% of the flavors (or types) of challenges are out of our own control.  Meaning that the best we can do is work hard and keep moving forward.


What about the 1%?


How does a person utilize the 1% (i.e. confidence) to overcome 99% of the challenges?


As I mentioned in the introduction, there is a simple mathematical relationship that is available to each of us -- which we can carry and access at any moment in the future when feeling challenged.  The equation is not complex in any respect.  There are two parameters (words) in the equation which are related by the law of proportionality.  Two words, an equal symbol, and a division line.  Simple right?


Here is the relation between "intelligence" and "ignorance" which I came up with many years ago shown below:







The interpretation of the above equation is quite straightforward (and simple): As I reduce the ignorance on any given subject, I become more intelligent on the subject matter.  Simple right? 



The formal interpretation can be found on the "Wikipedia" page for "proportionality" as shown below:



In mathematics, two variables are proportional if a change in one is always accompanied by a change in the other, and if the changes are always related by use of a constant multiplier. The constant is called the coefficient of proportionality or proportionality constant.
If one variable is always the product of the other and a constant, the two are said to be directly proportional. x and y are directly proportional if the ratio y/x is constant.
If the product of the two variables is always a constant, the two are said to be inversely proportional. x and y are inversely proportional if the product xy is constant.



I have shared this equation with people over the years.  Some have responded positively toward me while others have responded negatively.  The negative comments are mostly centered around the response: Ignorant? What? I am ignorant?  This reaction is perceived as normal when first confronted with the parameters of the above equation.  Although, if the following two words -- "ignorance definition" -- are typed into a search engine such as 'Google' the following definition appears shown below:







The result indicates that the definition of "ignorance" is: "lack of knowledge or information".  Instead of taking offense, just realize that if a person lacks knowledge on a given subject -- then technically, they are "ignorant" on the subject matter.  This might sound harsh at first.   Therefore, lets take a step back into and briefly explore how I cam up with the equation for intelligence above.



Intelligence Is Greater Than Knowledge Learned In School




When I entered college, I learned that in the university environment was filled with extremely intelligent people.  At first the range was limited to the students (graduate and undergraduate) and faculty.  Later that range would expand to include all members of the university setting (students, faculty, and staff) for the reasons below.



During my undergraduate education I dropped out due to unexpected circumstances.  This break would last for four and half years.  I decided to join to United States Air Force and work on fighter jets -- the F-16 Fighting Falcon.  As I discuss in a previous blog, my time spent in the military was not without a scientific influence.  Chemistry influenced a major portion of my work while repairing F-16 Nickel-Cadmium batteries.



The reason why I mention my service in the military is due to the soldiers with whom I got to associate (work) with.  When I first joined the military, I was labeled a "smart" person because I entered with a few years of college behind me.  I would often get asked the question: Why did you not just stay in school and complete a B.S. in Chemistry and then join the military as an officer?




Had I stayed in school, I might not ever entered the military at all.  Furthermore, I take the position that I learned about the broader range of intelligence by serving with my fellow enlisted soldiers.  I was able to see a world that is not accessible to the 'officers' of the military.  The enlisted soldiers of the military make up the cross section of the United States with varying degrees of education.  Some like me have a couple of years, while others join the military right out of high school.



The overarching lesson that I ascertained from the military and working with fellow soldiers on the electrical and environmental systems of the F-16 was that intelligence has little to do with formal education.  Not to say that formal education does not make a person more intelligent.  During my time working toward solutions of various components on the fighter jets, I learned that the military has some of the most creative and ingenious people on earth.



At times, I would find myself thinking toward a solution in a linear fashion and no sooner would a fellow soldier with no college experience come up with a solution from thinking in a "complete" or "conceptual" framework to the problem at hand.  I was taught very quickly to look at the whole system as a "complete system" and troubleshoot from that starting point.  This type of thinking can go against the typical model of thinking (linear) that is taught in military training school.  Although, this type of thinking can help a soldier arrive at a solution much sooner in certain circumstances.



With this in mind, I had to come up with an expression to fit the intelligence that emerged from these soldiers with little to none educational experience.  The only way that I could quantify the intelligence was to equate that intelligence with basic information.  Which is to say, as a person becomes more "informed" - i.e. gains knowledge -- about a system, they become more "intelligent."



Conclusion...




Out of this analysis which took a two years out of a four year stint in the U.S. military, the equation shown above for intelligence arrived.  I was really tired of being called "intelligent" or "smart" just because I had a few years of college behind me.  The same soldiers would call label me with these titles and then find a solution to a hard problem on a fighter jet in no time at all -- i.e. they were intelligent and fast thinking toward a solution.



What I came home with was an operational definition of "intelligence" which fits any person on this earth.  Each of us have varying degrees of intelligence due to the fact that each of us have varying degrees of knowledge on a given subject.  The satisfying realization of the equation above is that each of can be "intelligent" in any given subject -- given that we immerse ourselves in the process of becoming "less ignorant" on that subject.



Graduates, as you go out into the world and become useful to the professional workforce remember that the process of becoming more intelligent involves your ability to become less ignorant on a given subject or task.  Your effort will define your intelligence.  Go out and learn something to increase your intelligence.























Saturday, June 17, 2017

Judge Suggests Revisiting Environmental Concerns Of The Dakota Access Pipeline

Late last week, upon opening a daily newsletter I receive the daily news round ups from the political news website "Politico" - two of which are shown below:



By Anthony Adragna | 06/15/2017 10:00 AM EDT

With help from Esther Whieldon, Darius Dixon, Eric Wolff and Alex Guillén

THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM! Opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline received a major legal victory late Wednesday as a federal judge ruled the government's environmental review of the project was inadequate and that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must redo its analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act. In his 91-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg said the government "did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline's effects are likely to be highly controversial."
But he stopped short of immediately ceasing the pipeline's operation, calling that a "separate question" subject to additional briefing to be discussed at a status conference next week. Tribal opponents of the pipeline, which began operating this month, had failed twice before in legal challenges seeking to block its completion. But they hailed Wednesday's decision: "We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence, and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operations immediately," Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement.
In a statement, the Grow America's Infrastructure Now coalition said the outstanding claims in the case "do nothing to impact the ongoing operation of the pipeline" and expressed confidence the Corps would allay the judge's concerns. "While we have little doubt that the Corps will ultimately be successful in satisfying the Court's concerns, tonight's decision continues the public saga of the project and jeopardizes ongoing infrastructure investment," Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the group, said.




This was wonderful news for the environmental community.  Here is the ruling - click here.  Luckily, the judge decided that the history of the Environmental Assessment was insufficiently done and needed more consideration.  In the "history section" of the ruling, the crucial consideration of an oil spill is discussed as shown below:



After “becom[ing] aware of the proximity” of DAPL to Standing Rock’s Reservation, the EPA supplemented its comments. See ECF No. 209-8 at 123 (Letter from Philip Strobel to Brent Cossette, Mar. 11, 2016). It recommended that the Corps revise the Draft EA and provide a second public-comment period “to assess potential impacts to drinking water and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe,” as well as “additional concerns regarding environmental justice and emergency response actions to spills/leaks.” Id. Notably, the EPA took some issue with the Draft EA’s spill analysis, stating that although it indicated only a minimal spill risk associated affect water resources. Id. at 124. Given DAPL’s proposed capacity of 13,100 to 16,600 gallons per minute of crude oil and the proximity of drinking-water intakes to the Oahe crossing, the agency explained, “There would be very little time to determine if a spill or leak affecting surface waters is occurring, to notify water treatment plants and to have treatment plant staff on site to shut down the water intakes.” Id. at 125. Finally, the EPA urged the Corps to expand its analysis for purposes of assessing environmental-justice considerations from “the area of construction disturbance” to “the impacts of the proposed project,” and to look at route alternatives. Id. at 126; see also ECF No. 209-9 at 209 (Email “Quick Summary of Conference Call with EPA,” Feb. 25, 2016) (“EPA concerned over the lack of Environmental justice — Tribal interests have not been addressed sufficiently.”) 



The concerns expressed in the  excerpt are completely normal from the perspective of a resident of the surrounding area.  Which raises the following concern:



Why were the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers so relaxed in their assessment of an oil pipeline traveling underneath a body of water carrying a massive amount of oil per day?



In a blog post from last year, I raised concerns about the scope and scale of the project.  The amount of oil projected to travel down the pipeline per day was estimated to be around 470,000 barrels per day.  If you are like me then  reading the volume of oil transported per day expressed in units of 'barrels per day' is not very useful.



The result of dimensional analysis (unit conversion) yielded that 470,000 barrels per day is equivalent to 19.7 million gallons per day.  WOW.  To put this into perspective, suppose that a spill occurred over the course of a single day which was undetected -- i.e. underneath Lake Oahe.  The amount of oil leaked over the course of a single day would be equivalent just under 2 times the volume of the the historic "Exxon Valdez" oil spill in Alaska in 1989.  The total amount of oil spilled was 10.8 million gallons of oil over an area of 28,000 square kilometers.



The volume of Lake Oahe is equal to 7,661,000,000,000 gallons with surface area of 1497 square kilometers.  That means that an oil spill of 19.7 million gallons over the course of a day would essentially cover the entire body of Lake Oahe (surface) with a depth varying depending on the crude oil composition.  Which would essentially ruin the entire body of water.



The same Lake Oahe which serves as a source of water for the entire region of both Indian Tribes.  Oh my goodness.  And to think that the oil company almost made it through without a more in depth environmental assessment by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Thank goodness for the judge in this case.



Where does the case go from here?



Stay tuned for more breaking news on this critical matter for the residents of Lake Oahe.



Conclusion...



I would hope that in addition to assessing the environmental impact, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers demand that better sensor technology is installed on the pipeline to yield more information on the integrity of the pipeline over time and various environmental conditions.  The technology is out there.  Furthermore, improvements to sensor technology are being made constantly.  The difficult part of the data obtained is to "mine the data" efficiently to yield the safety results required to mitigate a future oil spill.  This ruling is one step toward that improvement.  Thank goodness for level headed judges in this case.



Until next time, have a great day.


























Friday, June 16, 2017

Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work?

Alcoholics Anonymous is probably most famously known through the lens of hollywood films.  A majority of newcomers have great misconceptions about the program.  Today represents my fourth year of Sobriety -- in effect -- Happy 4th Birthday Mike!  Right about now, you may be wondering the following question:



Why is he revealing his sobriety and the program of A.A.?



Simple, the reason that I am able to write this blog post is due to the last four years of working on sobriety.  I just wanted to touch on a few aspects about the program without revealing the program in its entirety or discussing other members of the program.  Anonymity is the key to the program.  Why?  Because having the label of an 'alcoholic' can be stigmatizing to say the least.  And when some people find out that you are in the program, adverse effects can happen due to their insecurity or misunderstanding of the program.



I am blessed to be able to tell you about my sobriety.  I feel much different (in a good way) than I did 4 years ago.  My story is not very much different than others inside the program.  The underlying theme is that alcohol became the focal point or central part of our lives.  Think about the analogous situation of being an 'over eater'.  Eating becomes the central point of your life.  Live for eating.  Not eating to live.



The most vital point of A.A. is to understand that you have let some 'vice' take over your life.  Entering the program can be equivalent to a 'reset' on your life.  To bring you back to equilibrium.  The program is centered around 12 steps -- which according to my interpretation are a way back toward living like a 'normal' member of society.  Coming from a place where a 'vice' dictated your life, this understanding is crucial.



For me, living by the 12 steps is equivalent to living life like an ordinary citizen.  Which is to say, pay taxes, take responsibility for your wrong doings, and admit when you are wrong.  Additionally, be of service to another person either entering the program or suffering with living according to the 12 steps.  If I take a step back from the veil of A.A. on the title of the program, I tend to ask myself the following question:



Why would every person not want to live by the 12 steps?



The world might be a better place if so.  Why?  Because, admitting that each of us have the tendency to take a 'vice' (eating, drinking, smoking, etc.) to the limits of where the addiction dictates our life is a serious issue.  I believe that each of us could do great with a small amount of daily 'introspection' in our lives.



Having the ability to look inward and admit your own faults is critical to living a healthy life.  Blaming others for mistakes only takes the person back in time.  Which means that progress forward is now going to be much more difficult.  Let me tell you about the last four years (briefly) and you can judge for yourself.



Upon entering the program (A.A.), my wife and I were "partiers" - who loved to socialize and drink to extreme.  I have discussed our ability to live life to the extreme in other blog posts before.  This is nothing new.  We placed partying above other activities.



We were in debt (with taxes, credit card debt, etc.) to say the least.  The first couple of years were spent on pulling ourselves back together financially while educating ourselves about the role of a 'vice' can play in our lives.  Any 'vice' or addiction can be taken to the extreme.  As soon as each of us realize this, then action can be taken to restore us to sanity sooner.  But know this, work is involved on everyones part.



Today, our life is 180 degrees different (better) than four years ago.  Education is a critical component toward success.  You might say..."Mike, you are educated with a Ph.D.?" The education which I am talking about cannot be taught in school.  This education requires each person to look within themselves and inspect for 'deficiencies' -- which is extremely unsatisfying during the initial process.  Although, after a while the process gets much easier and better.



Where are we now?



As I just mentioned, daily work is required to maintain a good standing in society.  I used to suffer from bad anxiety.  Today, my anxiety is a small percentage of what it used to be.  Furthermore, my wife and I rarely argue due to the absence of alcohol in our lives.



The overarching guiding principle for us was to understand the following:



Alcohol did not relieve us of our issues (problems).  Alcohol enhanced and amplified our problems.  Furthermore, alcohol prevented us from finding solutions to problems.  Today, problems are met with solutions much easier than 4 years ago.



In closing, I would like to welcome you to the program if you have gone to a meeting recently.  Do not worry about the process of 'identifying' as an alcoholic' at first.  The more important realization is the following:



You do not have to take another drink again!



Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Trump Goes Right On Paris Agreement, Part Of U.S. And World Head Left


Immediately after the announcement in the Rose Garden at the White House by President Trump regarding his plan to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, social media exploded with posts from Governors and Mayors expressing disappointment.  Joined by a large part of the population, these elected politicians expressed disappointment and immediately stated an intent that their respective cities and states would go along with the rest of the world and pursue guidelines set by the Paris Agreement -- regardless of the President's actions.   Here are some of the tweets I saw that day below shown below:

























I live in the state of California.  Governor Brown was outraged (rightfully so) at the President's plan as was the rest of the world.  He immediately vowed to take California in a direction opposite of that of President Trump and commit to the Paris Agreement with major nations.  One of those nations was China.



Upon hearing this, I immediately wondered what does such a commitment from a state or a city official look or sound like.  I was able to get a 'letter' signed by him and a chinese government official with an agreement.  The letter is posted below:


Memorandum of Understanding on California-Jiangsu Clean
Technology Partnership between 
State of California of the United States of America 
And 
Province of Jiangsu of the People’s Republic of China  
To facilitate the cooperation on research, innovation, and investment in low-carbon development and clean energy resources, the State of California and Jiangsu Province (hereinafter referred to as “Participants”) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a partnership on clean technology.
ACKNOWLEDGING that California has a long history of successful collaboration with China, including cooperation on climate change, air quality, energy efficiency, renewable energy, new-energy and zero emission vehicle development, emissions trading systems, and climate-positive trade and investment opportunities;
ACKNOWLEDGING that California has strong climate mitigation policies, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, 50% renewable energy and doubling of energy efficiency by 2030, and extensive investment in clean technology development and deployment;
ACKNOWLEDGING that the Province of Jiangsu has strong programs and policies designed to reduce air pollution and address climate change ,has a large number of businesses focused on innovative clean technologies, and seeks to stimulate economic growth while improving air quality and public health;
ACKNOWLEDGING the opportunity to further California-Jiangsu bilateral cooperation to promote clean technology innovation and investment;
STRIVING to develop a mutually beneficial relationship of partnership and cooperation to stimulate economic growth in both Jiangsu and California through business-led innovation which can draw on the research and development capabilities in both countries in order to address industrial challenges that will shape the markets of the future; and
CONSISTENT with the governing laws of their respective countries:
Participants have reached the following understanding:
Paragraph 1
OBJECTIVE
The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) is to support the Participants in advancing innovation and development of, and investment in, low-carbon energy resources and clean technologies. Cooperation between the Participants will be based on a mutual understanding of shared issues and concerns of the governments and citizens of California and the Province of Jiangsu as they relate to research, innovation, and commercialization of clean technologies.
To achieve these objectives, the Participants agree to develop the California-Jiangsu Clean Technology Partnership (the “Partnership”), which will allow the Participants to communicate and cooperate on matters of research, innovation, and commercialization. The Partnership will also provide a mechanism through which the Participants’ governments, researchers, key stakeholders, and industrial collaborators may exchange views, express concerns, and arrange to carry out joint actions. The Partnership will provide a mechanism to promote scientific, technological, and industrial research and commercialization cooperation between California and the Province of Jiangsu and will provide a platform for promoting mutually beneficial endeavors between the Participants, including developing markets for science and technology-based products.
Paragraph 2
AREAS OF COOPERATION
The Parties agree that the areas of cooperation of the Partnership will include, but not be limited to:
1. Clean energy technologies that focus on reducing energy use, improving energy efficiency, advancing renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind power, energy storage and grid modernization technologies, new-energy and zero emission vehicles, and low-carbon urban development;
2. Greenhouse gas emission and air pollution reduction programs, including emissions trading systems;
3. Environmental protection technologies, including pollution mitigation technologies, water and waste water technologies, and solid waste management technologies;
4. Information technologies and techniques including software, advanced communication products and services benefiting the mitigation of criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, and advancing clean energy development;
5. Establishment of the California-Jiangsu Clean Tech Innovation Center in Sunan National Innovation Park (S-Park);
6. Participation in the development of the California-China Clean Technology Partnership Fund;
7. Other areas mutually agreed by the Participants.
Paragraph 3
IMPLEMENTATION
The implementation of this MOU will be led by the Governor’s Office and Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission from the California side and the Foreign Affairs Office, Department of Science and Technology and Commission of Reform and Development from the Jiangsu side.
The Participants of this MOU will establish a Joint Working Group on the California-Jiangsu Clean Technology Partnership (hereinafter referred to as the “Joint Working Group”) to implement this MOU.
The Participants will each designate a co-chair and an equal number of representatives to develop collaborative activities under this MOU and advise the Participants on ways to conduct the activities included in this MOU. The Joint Working Group will meet annually on a mutually agreed date and at a mutually agreed upon venue to discuss progress on the implementation of the MOU. Each Participant will bear its own costs in meeting its commitments under this MOU, including but not limited to any costs associated with the Joint Working Group.
To implement this MOU, the Working Group will create a coordinated Joint Investment Plan that identifies projects and technologies consistent with the objectives of this MOU that may be considered as part of the California-Jiangsu Clean Technology Partnership. Each Participant will identify and fund eligible projects consistent with the Joint Investment Plan according to its own processes (“Projects”). Each solicitation for eligible Projects must include a description of the Partnership.
Each Participant agrees to independently fund the activities contemplated by and being conducted pursuant to the MOU, on a contribution schedule that permits the Participants to achieve the objectives set forth under the MOU, including but not limited to any costs associated with the joint committee and implementing organizations.
The Participants agree to collaborate on these Projects where possible and to share information resulting from the projects funded pursuant to the Joint Investment Plan. Collaboration may include exchange of documents, workshops, webinars, and other forms of information sharing, including in person meetings in either Jiangsu or California.
Paragraph 4
PARTICIPATION OF OTHER INSTITUTIONS 
The Participants, by common consent, may seek the collaboration of third parties, including universities and other public and private academic and research and development institutions, or any other organizations whose activities may contribute to achieving the goals of this MOU.
Paragraph 5
TRANSPARENCY AND PUBLIC INFORMATION
Documents and communications related to this MOU and its implementation may be subject to disclosure under public record laws.
Paragraph 6
OTHER RIGHTS AND INTERESTS
The Participants intend to adopt all appropriate measures, in accordance with their respective laws and regulations, to protect intellectual property rights and interests.
Nothing in this MOU limits the right of each of the Participants to establish similar agreements with other institutions. Cooperation under this MOU does not affect the rights and obligations acquired by the Participants in other international agreements.
Paragraph 7
EFFECT OF MOU
This MOU serves only as a record of the Participants’ intentions and does not constitute or create any legally binding or enforceable rights or obligations, expressed or implied. 
Paragraph 8
SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
The Participants also agree to the following provisions:
1. The Participants have decided that any disagreement arising from the implementation of this MOU shall be settled in writing through amicable discussion;
2. Nothing in this MOU precludes the Government of Jiangsu or the Government of California or the California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission from entering into any other agreement with an entity inside or outside of the People’s Republic of China or the United States of America; and
3. Consultation and exchange of information and documents shall preserve the security and integrity of the systems, processes, and information (including trade secrets) of each Participant and all third parties acting on behalf of any of the Participants and be without prejudice to Participants’ legal requirements or obligations, which may prevent the exchange of certain confidential information and documents under this MOU.
Paragraph 9
FINAL PROVISIONS
This MOU is neither a contract nor a treaty.
This MOU will be effective upon the date of signature by both participants and will remain in force for five (5) years thereafter.
This MOU may be renewed for equal periods by mutual consent of the Participants until terminated through written notice.
This MOU may be amended or modified by mutual written consent of the Participants.
Either Participant may terminate this MOU by providing the other with 30 days written notice.
Signed in Nanjing, China on June 5, 2017,in two originals in Chinese and English languages, both texts being equally authentic. 




The letter was signed by Governor Jerry Brown along with the Party Secretary of the Jiangsu Province (of People's Republic of China).  After reading this agreement, I find the objectives (goals) to be completely satisfactory with the movement of the renewable energy sector already.  One major argument of critics of the Paris Agreement is that investment in "low carbon" technologies will cost jobs.  Not so.



In a recent blog post I wrote regarding the renewable energy future, trillions of dollars are at stake by staying in the Paris Agreement -- check it out.  Included in that blog post and a previous blog post on the Paris agreement are actual letters signed by big "heavy hitting" (employing hundreds of thousands of employees and revenues into the billions annually) corporations like BP and Shell along with Apple and electric companies.  This is part of what makes our (the US) exit so surprising.



In fact, in a recent article from "The New York Times" titled "Our Disgraceful Exit From the Paris Accord" the following excerpt compounds the exit based on our President's background as a businessman:



Perhaps most astonishing of all, a chief executive who touts himself as a shrewd businessman, and who ran on a promise of jobs for the middle class and making America great again, seems blind to the damage this will do to America’s own economic interests. The world’s gradual transition from fossil fuels has opened up a huge global market, estimated to be $6 trillion by 2030, for renewable fuels like wind and solar, for electric cars, for advanced batteries and other technologies.

America’s private sector clearly understands this opportunity, which is why, in January, 630 businesses and investors — with names like DuPont, Hewlett Packard and Pacific Gas and Electric — signed an open letter to then-President-elect Trump and Congress, calling on them to continue supporting low-carbon policies, investment in a low-carbon economy and American participation in the Paris agreement. It is also why Elon Musk, chief executive of the electric vehicle maker Tesla, was resigning from two presidential advisory councils after Mr. Trump announced the withdrawal from Paris.



If you add the number cited in the above excerpt of 630 businesses along with the 400 cited in my previous blog posts, you are looking at just over a thousand business entities that are interested in renewable energy investment who took the time to write the President a letter regarding our position in the Paris Agreement (i.e. stay in the Paris Agreement Please!).



As we have seen over the last few months, President Trump goes off of instinct (which defies scientific reasoning along with logic) and makes dangerous decisions.  Here is the response of newly elected President Macron of France regarding the U.S. withdrawal on Twitter:











Meanwhile, the rest of the world continues to move forward with the Paris Agreement (limits which are self imposed -- the easiest to follow and define).  Here is a twitter post regarding a new "floating solar" farm in China:







These investments are massive.  According to the letter above, the goals were not necessarily completely associated with renewable energy.  Take for instance our energy grid.  The electrical grid in each U.S. city is degrading and is in need of a large repair.  Every so often, a news article will pop up and leak testing done by the government on sending "testing threats" to the grid to see how our aging grids can handle them.  This is a reactive step.  Imagine if we were a proactive nation on these renewable energy goals.  Thank goodness Governor Brown realizes that these steps are greatly needed.



Before I close with a few tweets from another famous past Governor (Arnold Schwarzenegger), I just wanted to share with you a tweet from the CEO Jeff Immelt of General Electric after the U.S. withdrawal along with a tweet from Governor Tom Wolf above:









Again, the world is changing toward an energy efficient and environmentally conscious world where its inhabitants are caring instead of profit seeking at the expense of destruction.



Finally, a message from the wonderful actor and former California Governor  Arnold Schwarzenegger in a tweet to President Trump regarding his idea of taking the nation back in time - shown below:
















Former Governor Schwarzenegger was implying that one man cannot take the nation back in time to one that is 'unregulated' and 'without safety nets' for its citizens.  The movement forward will take the entire nation as a whole, not just one man. In closing, I wanted to break up another portion of his twitter post (video) with a message regarding 'great leaders' -- since we are in an existential crisis in need of a great leader.  With this in mind, the following set of images will compose the conclusion to the blog post above.  The above content shows what an agreement looks like without the entire U.S. commitment.  Furthermore, the movement mentioned above indicates a change on the horizon ahead.  A change that is geared toward a more sustainable world that is cleaner and healthier.  The best way to be part of this is to invest mental or physical energy into learning about the transition.



A Concluding Remark From Arnold...

































Until next time, have a great day!!!!!


































Friday, June 9, 2017

T.G.I.F., Anti-Aging Skin Care, Bicycle Riding, and more.

This morning I realized while riding to school on my bicycle that regardless of how tired I am, there is so much to be thankful for in life.  Why now?  Why not everyday?  Well, as I was cruising across campus on my bicycle with the breeze running across my face staring at the horizon where the sun was making an appearance, I suddenly had this feeling of gratitude rush over me.  Of course, the fact that today is Friday and the weekend is upon us helps tremendously....T.G.I.F.



Boosting your energy level with a short bicycle ride or walk instead of driving can bring a sense of accomplishment before the work day happens.  I am reminded of Admiral William H. McRaven's commencement speech at University of Texas in 2014.  His speech is filled with wonderful suggestions for success in life.  One of which is to 'make your bed each day'.  This is important because if you accomplish nothing else that day, at least you have accomplished one task -- made your bed.  This thought has stuck with me for a while now.  Additionally, this can be applied to walking or bicycling to work.  Each day provides an opportunity to experience these little accomplishments.   Plus, this one task leads us to want to accomplish another task.  Think about it.



Lately, I have had a small amount of 'writers block' with regard to the series which I started last year on deconstructing products in 'anti-aging skin care' products.  I wrote about the last few weeks in a previous blog post - here.  I decided to just keep getting back to writing the series.  Unbeknownst to me, another person would be contacting me to review a 'Master's Thesis' on 'Anti-Aging' skin care creams.  Last week, I started reviewing a friend's thesis on peptides in skin care cosmetics.  The hope was to incorporate peptides into the cream in order to stimulate the production of 'collagen' in skin which is a 'holy grail' of the anti-aging industry.  I will write more about this thesis when I am done reviewing and revising the document for my friend.



On top of all of this stagnation and writer's block came the 'norovirus'.  My wife and I contracted the virus which is 48 hours of sitting near a toilet sick as all get out.  This was depressing to say the least.  Not being able to read, write, or go anywhere.  Although, during these times, there is time to reflect and think about the wonderful aspects of life.  Today, was a celebration of re-entering life -- getting over being sick.  Hooray!!!!!!!



I look forward to return to writing on the skincare series that I have started.  I hope that each of you have a wonderful weekend.














Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wasteful Water Use Tied To 'Education and Poverty' - Really?

In a recent brief article describing a study published in the Journal "Earth Future", the results indicated that wasteful water use is higher in rural areas compared to cities.  Furthermore, two surprising parameters - education and poverty - were attributed to to wasteful use.  The result is in complete contradiction to a statistic which I wrote about in a blog post last year.  I will briefly explain below.



Study Results?




As I mentioned, in a brief article from the online journal 'Laboratory Equipment' titled "Water Usage More Efficient in U.S. Cities, More Wasteful in Rural America" the results of water usage across America were published.  Here is the excerpt which caught my eye shown below:



The water waste was also tied to less education, and more poverty, they found.
Urban environments apparently improved their water use per person through efficiency technologies, and by retrofitting existing systems.
“There may be a role for huge infrastructure projects at some point, but these findings underscore the value of focusing on efficiency measures – and the need to pursue those measures in rural counties,” said Arumugam.
It is unclear whether agriculture in the rural areas could drive some of the increased per-capita consumption.
“Basic human needs” dictate between 15 and 25 gallons of water per day for a person, according to experts. But that amount is far exceeded by the average American, who uses 90 gallons daily.



I could not help myself wondering more about the study after reading the excerpt shown above.  Here is the original manuscript (pre-print) - click here.  The report cites beneficial changes to improve efficiency - lower consumption as the following:


1) Education

2) Fines for excessive use

3) Infrastructure changes


The last change is an obvious change which can occur at the local level (municipal) and result in major savings to the daily amount of water use.  Whereas the first and second are not so easily answered which is the reason for the report.  The authors set out to answer the following questions:


1) First, how does the water withdrawals and water-use efficiency vary spatio-temporally, and do these finer-grained spatio-temporal patterns reflect underlying spatio-temporal variations in hydroclimate and population growth?


2) Second, how do socio-economic factors affect efficiency across the country?


3) Finally, can we attribute the finer-grain efficiency to institutional and infrastructural factors – federal investment in water infrastructure, water conservation measures, and type of storage systems (i.e., within-year/over-year reservoirs) – across the country?



In order to answer the three questions above, an army of researchers and data compilers would be needed.  The report was completed and worth reading.  When I first read the excerpt about factors like "education" and "poverty" which were tied to increased water use (i.e. water waste) I was rather surprised.  Here is why - below.



Education Cannot Be Tied To Water Use




Yes, you read the heading correctly to this section.  You might wonder where my evidence is which validates this statement.  First, I would say that I live in California and we have been in "drought conditions" for quite a while.  One estimate from a previous blog that I wrote estimates that in order to be fully restored as a state, we would need around 14 trillion gallons of water -- enough to fill the Dallas Cowboys stadium around 14,000 times -- WOW.



In light of that, educating the community on water use and waste is an extremely important measure that local municipalities can invest heavily in.  Although, in any given community, there will be "educated" people who do not care about the "drought" and will waste water.



You might ask: Who are these water wasters/"drought deniers"?



Great question.  In the report above, the national average use of water per day per resident is around 90 gallons per day.  Yes, each of us roughly use around 90 gallons of water per day.  In a previous post, I found an astonishing statistic which blew my mind and would blow the authors of the above minds too.  Here is the statistic shown below from the blog post:







If you focus in on the highlighted region the following statistic appears:



"Average number of gallons of water used each day by a typical Los Angeles resident: 107
By a single Bel Air resident: 32,000"



Yes, you read that statistic correctly.  The average Los Angeles resident uses close to the national average of water per day.  Whereas the average Bel Air resident uses around 32,000 gallons per day -- OMG.  Right?  Where is all that water going to?  I have no idea but maybe to water their lawns, fill their multiple water fountains up, swimming pools, etc.



You can now see my surprise when I first read the result of the above report which stated that education and poverty were tied to water waste.  I would tend to agree to an extent.  Although, the results from my blog post state a different result.



Furthermore, if the Los Angeles Water District imposes fines on the residents of Bel Air -- most would proudly pay the fine.  Thousands of dollars is pennies compared to the millions each are bringing in.  I hope that the authors of the above report decided to include Bel Air residents.


Imposing a fine on the wealthy might or might not make a difference in water use.  For low income residents, the change is dramatic.  When each of us read a report, we should keep in mind all of the information.  Results from my previous blog suggest that this is relevant in the present case.



Conclusion...



Water use is important for each of us.  Education and poverty can play a role in water efficiency.  But if we choose not to learn about the water sources or system in our municipalities, then change will not occur.  I always try to emphasize how important the realization is of the source of our clean (drinkable) water is.  When each of us examine more closely the source of our water and the avenues by which water is process to arrive at our faucet, maybe each of us would respect and be more conservative in our consumption.  We do not want another Flint Michigan disaster.  Each of us deserve clean drinkable water. Think about how much water you use on a daily basis.  How does your consumption compare to the national average?



Until next time, have a great day!














Tuesday, May 30, 2017

World Goes Left, While Trump Leads Right - On Climate - Why?

Is there some big piece of scientific data or compelling evidence that President Trump has in regards to climate change that the entire world does not?



The reason I ask this question is based on the news lately that President Trump's first overseas trip was partly plagued by difficult discussions regarding climate change and the commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.  Here is the tweet from NBC shown below:






In the article titled "Trump Declines Endorsing Paris Climate Change Deal at G7 Summit, Will Make Decision Next Week" the troubling excerpt appears regarding the participation of the United States:



"The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters. "There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not."



This is an extremely disappointing message coming from a powerful European ally.   European nations along with large corporations have been sending messages to President Trump to encourage him to have the United States stay in the Paris Agreement set last year.  Below, I just want to clarify why it is important for the United States to stick with the agreement on climate measures (briefly) then follow up with more emerging encouragement which again points toward staying in the Paris Agreement.



Why Stay?



In my last post on the topic of the Paris Climate Agreement, I show two encouraging letters from a consortium of large corporations.  The total amount of money represented in these corporations and entities represent investments into the trillions of dollars.  The money which is at stake is being directed toward investing in clean renewable energy in the future.  Included in these signatories are large oil giants like "BP" and "Shell."  Just today, again, the news agency 'CNN' releases an article citing major corporations encouraging the U.S. to stay:



If Trump bails on the agreement, which has been signed by 195 countries, he will do so over the objections of hundreds of major U.S. businesses.
In recent months, big business has lobbied fiercely in favor of the deal, which aims to end the fossil fuel era. Even major oil firms like Chevron (CVX) and ExxonMobil (XOM) back it.
Exxon CEO Darren Woods wrote a personal letter to Trump earlier this month, urging him to stick to the deal. The U.S., he said, is "well positioned to compete" with the agreement in place and staying in means "a seat at the negotiating table to ensure a level playing field."
It might appear to be a strange move for energy firms, but many like the agreement because it favors natural gas (which they produce) over dirtier coal.
It's more than just energy firms, though: Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30), Apple (AAPL, Tech30), Starbucks (SBUX), Gap (GPS), Nike (NKE), Google (GOOGL, Tech30), Adidas (ADDYY) and L'Oreal (LRLCY) all support continued U.S. involvement.



The companies listed above are no small companies.  Furthermore, the two letters in my previous post, detail large amounts of investment and employment which President Trump has campaigned on bringing back to America.   More than 200 countries have signed.  What is wrong with the U.S.?



For starters, let me remind you what it means to stay in the agreement.  To set arbitrary limits on greenhouse gas reductions is the obvious first step.  Although, the major step is to get all the large players (global gas emitters) to the table.  The difficult concept to realize in understanding the process of bringing gas emitters to the table is to look at their respective technologies in place.



Take for instance, India.  Many regions in India still do not have access to electricity and water.  Yes, you read correctly.  No water and No electricity.  Now, can you imagine a diplomat from the United States arriving and telling an Indian diplomat to stop building a coal power plant.  Especially, since the electricity that will be provided will be to those who have never had electricity?



It is easy for the United States to realize a change is needed.  Given the investment in renewable energies, the transition is not far off in realization.  But to ask a nation which does not have consistent water and electricity to change is mind blowing.  Furthermore, to be the country that will not change is astoundingly disappointing to say the least.  President Trump should be super embarrassed along with his cabinet if the administration chooses to abandon the Paris Agreement.



Furthermore, in an article (or editorial) titled "On Climate, Look to China and India" from 'The New York Times,' the editorial board offers great news on China and India:



China and India are finding that doing right by the planet need not carry a big economic cost and can actually be beneficial. By investing heavily in solar and wind, they and others like Germany have helped drive down the cost of those technologies to a point where, in many places, renewable sources can generate electricity more cheaply than dirtier sources of energy like coal. In a recent auction in India, developers of solar farms offered to sell electricity to the grid for 2.44 rupees per kilowatt-hour (or 3.79 cents). That is about 50 percent less than what solar farms bid a year earlier and about 24 percent less than the average price for energy generated by coal-fired power plants.
 The shift from fossil fuels has thus been much faster and more pronounced than most experts expected. China has reduced coal use for three years in a row and recently scrapped plans to build more than 100 coal power plants. Indian officials have estimated that country might no longer need to build new coal plants beyond those that are already under construction. One other heartening fact: Electric vehicle sales in China jumped 70 percent last year, thanks in large part to generous government incentives. India is much further behind in this area, but the country’s minister of power said last month that all cars sold in the country should be electric by 2030.



The news of renewable energy investments by both China and India are very encouraging.  Which leaves one to wonder what is happening in the United States?  Why are we having such a difficulty transitioning as a democratic society toward renewable energy?  



For a certain percentage of the U.S. population, the answer lies in the countries decision of the last election cycle.  President Trump ran on the popular opinion that 'climate change' was a 'hoax' and that the U.S. would not waste valuable resources to invest in transitioning toward renewable energy sources.  If that were the case, then why does the statistical map below indicate that are large number of U.S. residents would like the President Trump to stick with the Paris Agreement?  The map is taken from the article titled "Majorities of Americans in Every State Support Participation in the Paris Agreement" out of the Yale program on Climate Change Communication:







Furthermore, the states are represented at the local level by Governors.  A letter was sent on May 8th by 12 Governors to President Trump encouraging him to stick with the Paris Agreement.  The letter is shown below:



Dear Mr. President,
We write as Governors of 12 states that are home to 107 million Americans and comprise approximately 38 percent of the nation’s GDP, to urge you to keep the United States in the Paris Climate Agreement. Given the progress our states have made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we are convinced that the United States’ goal of 26-28 percent below 2005 levels is readily achievable. Maintaining the U.S. commitment is essential to protect our residents, and indeed, all Americans from the potentially catastrophic impacts of a changing climate.
We see our climate changing today through rising sea levels, increasing flooding, drought, and decreasing snow cover. These changes are causing forest fires and water shortages, adding to air pollution levels, and accelerating the spread of disease-carrying pests and causing illness and death from extreme weather patterns, amongst other impacts. Our states stand to bear the brunt of these climate change impacts and the economic costs running in the tens of billions of dollars or more.
We stand ready as state leaders to continue to support the achievement of the existing U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement—and if possible to go further, faster. The policies we are implementing that support the U.S.’s achievement of its Paris commitment not only cut carbon pollution—they also create jobs, boost competitiveness, and bring clean energy and a cleaner environment to our citizens. These benefits can and should accrue to all Americans.
Collective action to limit emissions world-wide is critical; without collaboration, climate change will cost the world’s nations several trillion dollars in damages. Under the Paris Agreement, all the world’s major economies are taking action on climate change for the first time, including China and India, which have put forward their own commitments to cut their carbon pollution domestically. If the U.S. does not maintain global climate leadership through national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy, China and India will. This would be a huge lost opportunity, putting us at a competitive disadvantage and potentially locking us into technologies and economic pathways that are increasingly obsolete while China and India reap the benefits of low-carbon leadership.
In each of our states, the path forward is clear. Our citizens demand the low-cost, clean-air benefits that a clean energy transition can provide. Our leading U.S. companies recognize the need to address business risks and opportunities through the Paris Agreement, and are wisely investing in low-carbon fuels and technologies to stay on the cutting edge of the global economy. Our track record—reducing carbon pollution while growing jobs and our economies—provides proof that we need not sacrifice opportunity for action. Indeed, we can secure that opportunity only by continuing to lead.
Sincerely,


12 governors signed this letter.  I realize that not all fifty governors signed the petition.  But look at the governors -- all from big states with large economies and employment opportunities.  The letter is worth considering to say the least.  Furthermore, the letter states the obvious which has been stated elsewhere in news stories -- stay in Paris Agreement.



If we look up higher in the government structure once again, another letter appears from 'Climate Solution Caucus' of Congress.  Here is their letter:



Dear Mr. President,

As members of the Climate Solution Caucus, we respectfully urge that the United States maintain its commitment to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The world's leading nations must work together to not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also mitigate and prepare for the effects of climate change, which many of our communities are dealing with on a daily basis.  The UNFCCC brought nearly 200 nations to the table to make commitments addressing the global threat of climate change.  This monumental agreement signaled that the world's largest carbon polluters, including China and India, are ready to transition to a low-carbon economy.
It is imperative that we maintain our seat at the table in global discussions of how to address the threats posed by climate change.  The Paris Agreement gives us the chance to negotiate deals with other countries on greenhouse gas reductions and verify that everyone is keeping up with their pledges, without sacrificing our independence or self-interest.
At Paris, the United States pledged a 26 to 28 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and we are already well on the way.  These goals are achievable, but they will require hard work, and along the way will create massive opportunities for American companies and workers.  Reviewing and updating our contributions to the Paris Agreement are part of the process, but we know that our economic growth and dealing with this threat are not mutually exclusive.
Remaining in the UFCCC will strengthen American leadership on environmental stewardship and help transform today's low-carbon investments into trillions of dollars of clean energy prosperity.  Withdrawing would mean squandering a unique opportunity to promote research, ingenuity, and innovation.
It's our hope that your Administration will take a responsible approach and seek effective market-based solutions to address this serious issue.  Given the reductions we've already seen, our government and private sector are positioned to make the United States the leader in the fight against climate change.  We stand ready to work with you to maintain America's commitments under the UNFCCC and support well-paying American jobs, economic growth, and a cleaner and safer America for future generations.
Cordially,
The following congressional representatives signed the paper: Carlos Curbelo (Republican), Theodore E. Deutch (Democrat), Patrick Meehan (Republican), Donald S. Beyer Jr.(Democrat), Ryan A. Costello (Republican), Anna G. Eshoo (Democrat), Brian Fitzpatrick (Republican), Brendon F. Boyle (Democrat), Alan Lowenthal (Democrat), Charlie Crist (Republican), Suzanne Bonamici (Democrat), Daniel W. Lipinski (Democrat), Earl Blumenauer (Democrat), Seth Moulton (Democrat), Scott Peters (Democrat), Salud Carbajal (Democrat), Peter Welch (Democrat), John K. Delaney (Democrat), Jerry McNerney (Democrat), Thomas Suozzi (Democrat), Ann McLane Kuster (Democrat)



The committee is made up of 5 republicans and 15 democrats.  Click on the highlighted links on each members name to access their official webpage.



This represents a small number of republicans who are worried about climate change.  Actually, supposedly there are more who will not commit publicly for fear of removal from office.  Which I do not really understand why?  The discussion needs to start now.



Conclusion...




The discussion is already under way.  In the last post, the letters indicate that large corporations have started to divest their investments into renewable energy.  And why would they not do this for divestment purposes?  Especially, since in an earlier blog, I point out the both Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson have independently started initiatives toward moving massive amounts of investment toward renewables.   The science community has written him letters throughout the last few months.  Republicans have written him letters about his movement away from funding the Environmental Protection Agency.  Additionally, his directive toward removing research data that is tax payer funded is ridiculous and makes the world a less informed place.  As citizens, we need to stand up to this assault on science -- in the form of a march and writing our elected representatives.



Obviously, President Trump has previously decided to head the opposite way of science which is astounding to say the least.  His behavior is bizarre and unprecedented toward foreign leaders.  Climate change is only one variable which is being defunded.  Take a look at the follow pictures in the post - here.  Here is where we are headed.  The possibility does exist that our oil demand is to great to replace the renewable energy transition completely.  Although, if that was the case, then big oil would definitely not be signing onto letters above.  Think about it.  Why do big oil corporations care whether we stay in a climate agreement?



Here is another picture of where we are headed with little-to-no regulation.  The next time that you turn on your faucet to wash your hands, just think about the water coming out for you.  Yes you pay, but do not totally pay for all of it.  The solution going forward is complicated.  There is no simple answer.  Although, at the very least, members in congress could be more straightforward (honest) about the methods used to evaluate scientific data - which is critical to human health.



I would encourage each of you to read the highlighted text (which leads to a previous blog post) and tell me your opinion.  Am I completely off base?  Lets return to his campaign promises toward science -- located here.  Then while considering the emphasis lets adapt to changing situations such as the North Dakota Access Pipeline -- which offers a great deal of employment -- as long as new technology is implemented to prevent oil spills of recent magnitude.   Put workers back to work inspecting the 2.5 million miles of existing pipeline running through our nation.  This work will allow them to work on their 'mobility' -- to exercise -- and boost their confidence with returning to work.  Into the future, we as a nation (and as a world) need to think outside of the box.  The exact methodology in doing so while moving forward is a complex issue.  With a discussion ongoing, we are more likely to find a solution.



Until next time, have a great day!!!!

































Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!! Here Are A Few Statistics To Consider...

Traditionally, on Memorial Day, a variety of activities occur around this great nation (the U.S.A) ranging from converging on shopping malls seeking great deals to sitting around the pool with friends with beers while occasionally watching food burn on the BBQ.  Regardless, the real purpose of Memorial Day is to remember those military service personnel who have given the ultimate sacrifice.


With that being said, here are a few statistics to think about:


1) U.S. Casualties from Afghanistan = 2,216

2) U.S. Casualties from Iraq = 4,411

3) 20 Veterans per day commit suicide

4) 18% of all U.S. suicides are veterans

5) Veterans make up 9% of total U.S. population

6) In 2016, 265 active duty service members took their lives



Additionally, thank you to those who are still offering up their lives:


1) Total Active Duty Military today: 2.1 million

2) Total Reserve Military today: 1.3 million

3) Total National Guard today: 800,000



And last but not least, a thought from the Associated Press:


"Veteran groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed.  More than 12% of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War II.  That's down to less than ONE HALF OF A PERCENT TODAY, guaranteeing more Americans aren't personally acquainted with a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine."


Have a great celebration!!!!!!!


Note Source: Axios.com










Friday, May 26, 2017

How Much Water Is Under A "Dry Lake"?

In a recent article titled "The ludicrous plan to pump Mojave water to L.A." the following paragraph appeared regarding pumping water out of the Cadiz Valley 'dry lake' bed:



After decades of court battles, mixed environmental reviews and bleak investor reports, the Cadiz project has recently taken a few steps forward. In a decision issued last May, an appellate court certified that Cadiz Inc. has the legal right to 50,000 acre-feet of the Mojave groundwater per year for the next 50 years. Then, early last month, the White House removed a restriction on a federal railroad right of way, effectively allowing Cadiz to build a new pipeline for moving the water to the existing aqueduct without undergoing a federal environmental review. And now a Cadiz lobbyist and shareholder, David Bernhardt, is under consideration for the No. 2 position at the Department of Interior, where, if confirmed by the Senate, he would help decide the future of the project.




There were two immediate thoughts running through my head after reading the above excerpt:

1) How much water is 50,000 acre-feet?

2) How does that compare to the need of a large city like Los Angeles?


Below, I carry out a couple of calculations which answer the above two questions.  Enjoy!



50,000 Acre-Feet Of Water?




As I just mentioned, when I first read the excerpt above I was amazed that any water could be drawn from a dry lake bed.  This just goes to prove that "dry dirt" is not dirt without water.  If the water regulators of the Southern California region plan to withdraw a total of 50,000 acre-feet worth of water on an annual basis, then understanding the quantity reported would be nice.



In order to start, I decided to type into the search engine 'Google.com' the following: How many gallons are in an acre-foot?  The following image appeared before a few links to sources shown below:







With the conversion factor from units of 'acre-feet' to  units of 'gallons' now in hand, the straightforward unit conversion can be carried out as shown below:







Alright?  WOW!  Before I evaluate the answer above, I should clarify the number on the left hand side of the equation above.  The value 50,000 acre-feet is expressed in scientific notation shown below:






Now that the representation of the value has been clarified, there is one other clarification.  The unit "acre-foot" is confusing at first sight.  Therefore, a search using 'Google.com' by entering the question: What are the dimensions of an acre? -- will yield the answer shown below:






Which fits into the unit - "acre-foot" visually as follows:







In the diagram above, the unit of an 'acre-foot' is represented visually.  Shown above is a rectangle.  The surface area of the top of the rectangle are the dimensions of an acre.  To make a volume, the third dimension is the height which is equal to 1 foot.   In the diagram above, the unit 'acre-foot' is the total amount of water that is contained in the volume of an acre which is 1 foot deep.



The answer from the unit conversion of 'acre-feet' to 'gallons' yielded the answer of 16 billion gallons of water.  From the excerpt above taken from the article, this volume represents the annual amount of water which is extracted from the Cadiz Valley dry lake bed to direct toward Southern California cities for consumption.



How does a person visualize the volume of 16 billion gallons of water?



In order to understand the volume of 16 billion gallons which is extracted annually from the Cadiz Valley dry lake bed, a metric is needed.  Since the amount is reported in terms of water usage.  To start the comparison, the annual water consumption of Los Angeles needs to be known.  Again, type into a search engine the following question: What is the annual water consumption for the city of Los Angeles?  The answer to the search is shown below:







If you click on the first entry, the following image appears shown below:







If the last year -- 2017 annual water consumption is used to cast the large volume of water reported above, the following calculation is carried out by dividing the two numbers as shown below:





The answer states that using the annual consumption value of 11,774 million gallons per year -- the city of Los Angeles would be sustained for 1.38 years.  Now, I imagine that you might have difficulty interpreting 1.38 years.  Therefore, if the value of 0.38 is subtracted and multiplied by 12 months -- i.e. one year, the answer is 4 months.



Result: The annual water extraction from the Cadiz Valley dry lake bed is enough to supply the city of Los Angeles (population of 3.9 million residents) for a total of 16 months!!!



Conclusion...




As the results indicate the amount of water that is annually extracted from Cadiz Valley is a tremendous amount of water.  Enough to supply the city of Los Angeles for 16 months -- which is impressive given that the Cadiz Valley is a dry lake.  16 billion gallons is easily determined through dimensional analysis of unit conversion given the tools available on the world wide web.  These calculations are accessible to each of us.  Give a calculation a try!!!



Until next time, have a great day!!