Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Why Not List Adverse Effects On Drug Labels?

The generic drug market has taken off and grown considerably over the last decade.  Generic drug makers seem to come into the spotlight of the news periodically.  Especially, when a drug has considerable adverse effects.  At that point in time, both the original manufacturer of the medication (drug) and the generic drug manufacturer come under great scrutiny.  Rightly so -- considering the health of the human population.

Recently, I received in my e-mail box a daily list of short excerpts from the news website 'Politico' which detail the stories of the day.   Here is an excerpt from Monday's e-mail regarding generic drugs which might be of importance to those in the population taking medication:

GENERIC DRUG LABELING RULE DEAD FOR NOW: OMB has moved a highly contested FDA rule on generic drug labeling from immediate to long-term priority on its regulatory roadmap for the next year. The rule would require generic drug companies to unilaterally update labels when new safety information emerges. FDA delayed a decision on the final rule last year, saying it would be released in April. Though the rule is dead for now, an FDA spokesperson told Inside Health Policy the agency might consider it "moving forward." Generic drugmakers oppose the rule, which would open them up to new lawsuits. Currently, brand-name drugmakers are supposed to change a label whenever they discover important new information about a drug; only then are generic manufacturers required to follow suit.

Why would any agency allow a manufacturer (drug manufacturer - generic or original) to not list any adverse effects of the drug produced?

The reason why I am astounded by this revelation (or rule) is that the process of drug discovery hinges on updating or optimizing drug data on the population at large.  Readers of this blog will recall the methodology by which drug discovery happens -- which I wrote about in a previous blog post.  In that post, a video detailed (briefly) the process of drug discovery.

Typically, when a drug hits the market or is released to the public, the consumer believes that the drug (or medicine) is totally (100%) safe.  Not so.  As highlighted in the post, there are drug clinical trials which achieve their intended purposes.  Although, further review or monitoring occurs after the medicine is produced for the marketplace.  This includes the updating of learned effects -- whether positive or negative.  At the very least, the adverse effects should be listed on the back of the container -- don't you think?

According to the excerpt above, the adverse effects no longer have to be written by the generic drug manufacture unless the adverse effect is written on the original drug manufactures product.  Furthermore, if the generic drug manufacture does not update the safety information, they will open themselves up to a flood (potential) of legal suits.  Why?

Because, the company had the information on the adverse effects and did not list the adverse effects on their products.  This also assumes that each manufacture's final product (drug or medication) is identical.  Each drug manufacturer makes a "proprietary blend" -- meaning that there chemical composition is different.  Which might raise different adverse effects.  Meaning, a patient taking the original medication might experience complications and not experience the same complications on the generic formulation.  Each of these manufactured products should list the appropriate information.  I am astounded by the FDA's ruling on the matter.

This could result in a number of hospitalizations or death which could have been avoided if the FDA had ruled differently.  As it appears, the FDA does not have your best interest in mind.  At least in folding in to big corporate lobbyists on their drug consultations.  What a terrible condition.  I hope that no one experiences illness or death as the result of the FDA's negligence.  Each of us deserve to have access to the complete set of information regarding medication that is sold on the market place.  The FDA should immediately reverse its ruling and work toward ensuring the health of the US population rather than subjecting it to potential risks.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Activist Ralph Nader Calls To Each Pillar Of Society - A Call To Action.

Regardless of what you think of the iconic activist Ralph Nader, he is a force to be reckoned with.  Years ago, after I left the U.S. military, I got a chance to see Ralph Nader speak at the University of California campus in Riverside (California, USA).  The occasion was Cesar Chavez day and he was speaking out and calling for greater activism on all of our parts (students, staff, and faculty).  At the time, I was more interested in pursuing my Ph.D. in chemistry rather than engaging in political activism.  Today is a different situation.  Below is a message from Ralph Nader in which he calls for action on each 'pillar of society'.  I had to share the message.

"A Clarion Call for our Country's Pillars to Demand Justice"

The message from Ralph Nader is shown below:

It is time for an urgent clarion call.

Given the retrograde pits inhabited by our ruling politicians and the avaricious over-reach of myopic big-business bosses, the self-described pillars of our society must step up to reverse the decline of our country. Here is my advice to each pillar:
1) Step up, lawyers and judges of America. You have no less to lose than our Constitutional observances and equal justice under law. A few years ago, brave Pakistani lawyers marched in the streets in open protest against dictatorial strictures. As you witness affronts to justice such as entrenched secrecy, legal procedures used to obstruct judicial justice, repeal of health and safety protections and the curtailment of civil liberties and access to legal aid, you must become vigorous first responders and exclaim: Stop! A just society must be defended by the courts and the officers of the court – the attorneys.

2) Step up, religious leaders, who see yourselves as custodians of spiritual and compassionate values. Recall your heroic forebears who led non-violent civil disobedience during the repression of civil rights in the Nineteen Sixties – as with the leadership of the late greats Martin Luther King Jr. and William Sloane Coffin. Champion the Golden Rule for those who don’t believe that ‘he who has the gold, rules.’

3) Step up,business people – large and small. Some of you are enlightened and motivated enough to stand tall against the cruel, monetized minds that are harming low-paid workers, cheating consumers, denying insurance to patients, avoiding or evading taxes, swindling investors and undermining communities across the country.
You have good examples from history, including those business leaders who recently quit the US Chamber of Commerce over the necessity to confront climate change or the 150 business leaders who issued strong support for the successful Legal Services Corporation for low-income Americans that Trump’s budget would eliminate entirely.

4) Step up, academic professors and teachers,and protect your students from politicians intent on undermining the public school system and turning its budgets into cash cows for commercial vendors. You can help the cause by demanding that practical civic skills and experience become part of the curriculum. You can demand that Trump’s increasingly bloated war budget not be funded at the expense of our children’s education and deteriorating physical facilities. You can point out waste and administrative bureaucracy to strengthen this already compelling University professors can establish active brain trusts to educate the public and rebut the avalanche of fake news and political insults.

5) Step up,doctors and nurses, in whose trust is placed the lives of millions of people. Polls show over half of you want full Medicare for all with free choice of physician and hospital. This should come as no surprise since it is much more efficient, eliminating much of the bookkeeping and lengthy billings that drain your time away from practicing healthcare. Above all,Medicare for all saves lives and prevents trauma and disease when people can afford early diagnoses and treatment.
Already prominent economists, business magnates like Warren Buffett and over 60 percent of Americans want single payer. Your strong voices together can sober up those politicians in Congress hell-bent on coarse pullbacks that will make the present situation even worse and more perilous. Imagine our elected, well-insured, representatives pushing a huge tax cut for the rich, at the expense of hospitals and clinics and big time reductions in Medicaid.

6) Step up, public relations professionals, who can take an active role in facilitating a public conversation on the need for important social services and reforms that improve their implementation.

7) Step up, veterans, including high-ranking military, national security and diplomatic retirees, who can advocate for waging peace instead of reckless wars of aggression and other armed force violations of US and international law. Some people incorrectly think that veterans monolithically support all military interventions. But no one knows the horror of war better than those soldiers who have fought them (A large majority of soldiers in Iraq wanted us to get out of that disastrous quagmire in a January 2005 poll).

Over 300 retired generals, admirals and national security officials openly opposed Bush/Cheney’s criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003. Veterans For Peace makes eloquent arguments for waging peace. Now is the time to learn from their experience, stand for smart diplomacy and avoid succumbing to provocations and the boomeranging impacts of Empire.

8) Step up,members of the media, both corporate and public. Give voice to the vast civil society and citizen groups that are vital to our democracy. They have long been practicing and strengthening democratic practices. Allow their voice of reason, sanity and evidence-based proposals to reach millions of Americans.

9) Step up,scientists and technologists. You must strongly organize against the corrosive effect of medieval myths about the natural world and habitat-destroying toxins pouring from unaccountable industry.Champion the necessity of science for the people, not for militarism and a global arms race.

Urge the restoration of the acclaimed, non-partisan Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) in Congress that Newt Gingrich and his Republicans terminated in 1995, plunging Congress into ignorant darkness and costly, wrongful budgeting.

10) Step up, students. Show the country your earnest idealism, supported by knowledge and your hope for a brighter future.Fight for tuition-free education, reform of student debt gouging and for an ecologically-benign economy that will work for you and the planet. Really get out the vote for next year!

11) Step up, leaders of the vast number of charity and service clubs. Without a sense of justice, there will be less charitable resources for ever-increasing needs.

Many of you have the moral authority to speak truth to the power of the one percent, and resist attempts to diminish support to those vulnerable members of our society who most need it.

In times of crisis, routines must be replaced with urgent awakenings, bringing out the better angels and wisdom from these underachieving pillars of the American community. A few leaders can take the first steps and many more will follow your example. Stand tall in support of justice in these trying times.

Well stated Mr. Nader.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Good Start: Republicans Accept Climate Change As Real

News reports circulating the globe regarding the political parties in the United States often paint a picture where the Republican party is in denial of climate change.  At the same time, the Democratic party is endlessly trying to convince Republicans to change their beliefs on the looming threat to the world.  With the recent withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement by a Republican President, one would be led to believe that the situation is unchanged.  Not so -- according to a morning brief on hearings held recently in the 'House of Representatives' this week.  Here is an excerpt delivered via e-mail from Politico Energy Pro:

REPUBLICANS SAVE CLIMATE PROVISION: Bucking their party's normal position on the issue, 46 House Republican joined the entire Democratic caucus to defeat an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill that would've stripped out language directing the Defense Department to prepare for the effects of climate change, Pro's Nick Juliano reports. The section of the bill they decided to keep declares "climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States and is impacting stability in areas of the world." Rep. Scott Perry's amendment to strip that section failed 185-234. Among those voting against the amendment were Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden and E&C Energy Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton. E&C Environment Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus backed the amendment, while Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop didn't vote.
House Climate Solutions Caucus Co-chairman Carlos Curbelo , a Florida Republican, hailed the amendment's defeat as a sign of progress on climate change policy solutions. "This is a great step forward for all who accept the reality of climate change and know Congress needs to act to address it," Curbelo said in a statement. "A bipartisan majority of members are on the record saying climate change and sea level rise must be taken into account when planning for our national defense." Environmental advocates expressed relief in the effort's defeat. "Acknowledging climate change as a national security threat is a step, but this Congress has a long way to go and we need real climate action," the League of Conservation Voters said in a statement.

This is an important move by the Republicans for the Department of Defense.  Why?  Over the past few years, the Department of Defense has spent billions of dollars on moving the military toward a sustainable energy model.   A Department of Defense that is energy efficient with regard to sustainable energy (and clean energy) is just one of many aspects from the threat of climate change.  Which is why a bipartisan support to incorporate "climate change" in any Department of Defense initiative when discussing the future is important.  Here is an excerpt from an online article titled "A military view on climate change: It’s eroding our national security and we should prepare for it" discussing "climate change" and the impact on national security (as an introduction):

Many observers think climate change deserves more attention. They might be surprised to learn that U.S. military leaders and defense planners agree. The armed forces have been studying climate change for years from a perspective that rarely is mentioned in the news: as a national security threat. And they agree that it poses serious risks.
I spent 32 years as a meteorologist in the U.S. Navy, where I initiated and led the Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change. Here is how military planners see this issue: We know that the climate is changing, we know why it’s changing and we understand that change will have large impacts on our national security. Yet as a nation we still only begrudgingly take precautions.
The Obama administration recently announced several actions that create a framework for addressing climate-driven security threats. But much of the hard work lies ahead – assuming that our next president understands the risks and chooses to act on them.
Climate-related disruptions
Climate change affects our security in two ways. First, it causes stresses such as water shortages and crop failures, which can exacerbate or inflame existing tensions within or between states. These problems can lead to state failure, uncontrolled migration and ungoverned spaces.
On Sept. 21 the National Intelligence Council issued its most recent report on implications of climate change for U.S. national security. This document represents the U.S. intelligence community’s strategic-level view. It does not come from the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change, politicians of either party or an advocacy group, but from nonpartisan, senior U.S. intelligence professionals.
The NIC report emphasizes that the problem is not simply climate change, but the interaction of climate with other large-scale demographic and migration trends; its impacts on food, energy and health; and the stresses it will place on societies, especially fragile ones.

After reading that excerpt, one has to wonder why any elected representative would chose to eliminate the threat of climate change from the Department of Defense language which dictates the future of the program (and thus the military preparedness).  The introductory excerpt is refreshing since the military funding is expected to increase during the Trump Administration.  Investing more funding into the military preparedness will translate into new sustainable energy research among other aspects of sustainability that will become increasingly important as the weather changes over the geography of the planet.

Plus, as you will see in future posts on this site regarding research funding, there are two main avenues.  The first is by funding basic science research at university institutions and government laboratories.  This is considered funding "government research".  Whereas placing the burden on the private sector (private corporations --- Apple, Google, etc.) is considered pushing private sector to "fund research".  Admiral Mike Mullen, former Joint Chiefs of Staff, holds the opinion that at any time in history, one side is leading the other.  Which is to say, when government research is funding research (and pushing the technology forefront), the private sector is benefiting from that lead.  While at other times, the private sector is pushing the technological front, while the government is benefiting from that lead.

Right about now, you may be wondering the following:

The above excerpt was the opinion of a single person, how about the remainder of the military.  What about the top brass (the Generals)?  Of course, the military is not supposed to have an "official" opinion.  Although, with respect to the military preparedness for the effects of climate change, the "Center for Climate Security" can weigh in on the matter.

In an article titled "U.S. Military Leaders Applaud Secretary Mattis’ Clear-Eyed View on Climate Change and Security", there are many approvals from former top brass (Generals) in the military for addressing the serious threats of climate change in the future.  Here are their viewpoints in the form of quotes taken directly from the article cited:

Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, U.S. Navy (Ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Commander, U.S. Pacific Command: “Secretary Mattis’ testimony is not surprising. As a global military leader he understands that the effective defense of our nation and our significant national interest requires that all threats to our security be considered and addressed, including the real threats posed by climate change.  Hopefully, Secretary Mattis’ leadership on the issue will translate into U.S. policies that help us manage the unavoidable, and avoid the unmanageable.”

General Ron Keys, U.S. Air Force (Ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Commander, Air Combat Command: “No surprise that DoD takes a pragmatic position on the effects of Climate Change… it already impairs their ability to base, train, test, mobilize, deploy, and conduct operations here and abroad, while threatening to stretch their forces to the breaking point. DoD has been monitoring the risks of Climate Change since at least 2003 and they clearly see the instability it brings to already precarious situations around the world… situations they have to be prepared for when they are called upon.”

Admiral Frank “Skip” Bowman, U.S. Navy (Ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program: “I fully support Secretary Mattis’ statements on climate and security risks.  Putting aside arguments of cause and effect, there are measured and measurable data and global events that must be considered and accounted for in our defense planning.”

Lieutenant General John G. Castellaw, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command: “Secretary Mattis, as a Marine I know and have served with, understands that climate change can have a significant impact on our military operations in the future, and that we’re more secure if we deal with this problem seriously – as we do other threats to the nation. That’s the kind of clear-headed leadership that the military has brought to the climate change issue across both Republican and Democratic administrations. Secretary Mattis is no exception.”

Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, U.S. Air Force (Ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Strategic Command: “The impacts of Climate Change on our national security are clearly evident every single day.  Secretary Mattis is a wise and highly experienced military leader who we are extremely fortunate to have directing DOD plans to address the growing risks climate change presents to our global security.”

Sherri Goodman, Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense: “Secretary Mattis recognizes that climate change is “threat multiplier” for instability and will affect America’s forces whether deployed overseas or based at home.  He is clear eyed in his assessment that America should be reducing the risks of climate instability, both as Combatant Commanders prepare their theater engagement plans and when base commanders prepare their community resilience plans.  Americans are fortunate to have Secretary Mattis’ leadership on climate security today, building on the work Secretary Mattis has done over the last decade to “unleash” our military “from the tether of fuel.”

Rear Admiral Ann Claire Phillips, U.S. Navy (Ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group TWO: “As Secretary Mattis states, Climate Change poses a substantial and evolving risk to our National Security.  It magnifies the complicated nature of threats abroad, and adds tension to operational readiness preparations, including maintenance and training, and the daily lives of our service members and their local and regional communities at home.  The “Whole of Government” and “Whole of Community” approach, as evidenced by the recent Hampton Roads Intergovernmental Pilot Project and other similar pilot projects around the country, validates this cross-functional planning strategy, and demonstrates the critical need for aggressive action to prepare for and adapt to this risk.”

Rear Admiral David W. Titley, U.S. Navy (Ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Oceanographer of the Navy: “I am heartened, but not surprised, to learn that Secretary Mattis understands the changing climate is one of the many risks the Department of Defense needs to manage.  The changing climate is evident in every Combatant Commander’s Area of Responsibility.  This reality has been recognized for over a decade by both the military and the intelligence communities.  Climate change impacts the physical operating environment, our defense infrastructure, and can tip already regions already unstable into chaos and conflict.  It is essential to the military’s overall readiness that these risks from climate change be acknowledged and managed, just as the Defense department manages other areas of significant risk.”

Brigadier General Gerald Galloway, U.S. Army (Ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Dean of the Academic Board, United States Military Academy at West Point: “Secretary Mattis has affirmed the consistent approach taken by military leaders in face of potential future operations where both the uncertainties and the consequences of a lack of preparedness are significant. While some  may suggest waiting for more information before dealing with the uncertainties of climate change, those responsible for the well being and capabilities of our nation’s military clearly support taking those actions necessary to ensure that our forces have considered  and are prepared for the future conditions they will face.”

Rear Admiral Len Hering, U.S. Navy (Ret), Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, former top Navy expert in base operations and facility support: “Secretary Mattis clearly understands the importance of linking the effects of climate change, on a global scale, to  our long term need as a country to address them from a  national security perspective.  As countless studies show the potential destabilization of already challenged regions of the world due to the effects of climate change are very real.   It is incumbent upon Defense to properly address and plan for a time when  these changes  potentially become reality.  I’m encouraged to know that our new Secretary understands this and is willing to address it openly.”

Joan D.B. VanDervort, Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Deputy Director for Ranges, Sea and Airspace in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness): “I applaud the statements made by Secretary Mattis on the need for the Defense Department to continue its proactive approach on climate change.  Climate change is, without a doubt, a game changer: A game changer with regard to increased global instability due to drought, rising seas, and famine as well as the increased vulnerability of our ranges, training land, and infrastructure, both in the US and abroad.  The Department’s continued efforts to assess, adopt risk reduction strategies, and develop adaptive planning approaches will only serve to strengthen our national security now and into the future.”

Dr. Marcus D. King, Member of the Advisory Board, The Center for Climate and Security, Former Foreign Affairs Specialist, Office of the Secretary of Defense: “Like his predecessors Republican and Democrat alike, Secretary Mattis’ statements clearly reinforce the understanding that failure to address climate change’s risks to food, water and energy security is already creating adverse impacts in vulnerable nations important to U.S. national security.  His leadership at the Pentagon will elevate attention to these risks across the U.S. government and support preventative actions in the defense, development and diplomatic arenas that save lives and money and forestall the need for future military action.”

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, US Army (Ret), Former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell: “Secretary of Defense Mattis knows climate change is a principal threat to national security, and in a complex web of ways, from massive immigration flows caused by lack of food and water, to flooding of important coastal military facilities due to sea rise, to increased instability in U.S. combatant commanders’ areas of responsibility.  It’s clear that under General Mattis’ leadership, the DOD will continue to lead the Federal Government in meeting this threat.”

Francesco “Frank” Femia and Caitlin Werrell, Co-Founders and Presidents, the Center for Climate and Security: “It’s Secretary Mattis’ job to protect the nation from all manner of security risks and threats, including climate change. He’s clearly a Secretary who understands that job, and so it’s heartening, though not surprising, to see his testimony. As this Administration develops its policy on climate change, it would do well to heed the assessment from Secretary Mattis, who approaches the issue in as apolitical a way as you can imagine – and as the DoD has always done, across both Republican and Democratic administrations. The ‘political climate’ has no bearing on the Pentagon’s concern about climate change, and that should be the case across the U.S. government.”

There is overwhelming support of the current Secretary of Defense - General Mattis -- on his understanding of the link between climate change and national security.  What will be interesting in the years to come will be how he will fund such military preparedness?  I stated the two avenues of funding by which research is funded above.  The military brass is in complete support of the language from the obvious threat to national security which exists today and will only get worse over time.  The only solution is to accept the reality from a bipartisan support.


The most crucial aspect of funding climate change research is through Congress.  In the beginning of the blog post, the decision to incorporate the language of climate change into the future of the Department of Defense is encouraging with bipartisan support.  Especially since, Congress can either fund or defund any research associated with climate change.  The fact that there is a bipartisan acceptance (publicly) is huge.  Hopefully this plays out to the United States headed toward a future in which climate change is incorporated into the growth model.

More on this topic in the months to come ... stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How Did The U.S. Benefit From The G20 Summit in Hamburg Germany?

In the months leading up to the G20 summit in Hamburg (Germany), citizens were already aware of the reality that the presence of the U.S. President at the conference would prove useless for the world.  Yet again, the world was shown that President Trump appears to want to 'isolate the Unite States' by backing out of the Paris Climate Agreement and adding nothing positive to the world at the summit.  The only contribution which seems to have been made on his part was to suck all of the media attention out of the room with the surrounding controversy with his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Once again, the world and the U.S. are left to ask themselves:

What Good (if any) Came Out Of The G20 Summit For The World And The U.S.?

The answer with regard to the benefit of the world was a 'G19' signing of the continuation to work towards achieving the reduction in harmful levels of green house gases by 20205 -- guided by the Paris Climate Agreement.  In a recent post, I included a letter from the President of the European Council along with the President of the European Commission outlining the important topics to be covered at Hamburg this past weekend.  All items seem reasonable considering that the investment in renewable energy would yield a tremendous amount of jobs and money through trillions of dollars worth of investment.  Here is an excerpt from an article in the 'The New York Times' titled "World Leaders Move Forward on Climate Change, Without U.S.":

The statement and the adoption of the G20 Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth ended three days of intense negotiations over how to characterize the world’s response to Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, and it came as this year’s meeting of major world economies here laid bare the stark divide between the United States and the rest.
“This is a clear indication that the U.S. has isolated itself on climate change once again, and is falling back while all other major economies step up and compete in the clean energy marketplace created by the Paris Agreement estimated to be worth over 20 trillion dollars,” said Andrew Light, a senior climate change adviser at the State Department under Mr. Obama.

Right about now you may be disappointed like I was after reading the above excerpt.  This is in line with the response that he received after leaving the G7 conference recently in Taormino - which I wrote about here.  Before that meeting, world leaders and business representatives wrote President Trump letters detailing the enormous amounts of money and jobs which would be created as a result of the Paris Agreement -- letters can be found here.  And still, the President decided to isolate America.   Disappointing to say the least.

All is not lost though with the U.S. moving forward aiming to achieve reductions in actions which negatively impact climate change.  Immediately after President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement, I wrote a blog about the few state and business leaders who decided to step up and go against President Trump's decision.  The opposition decided to rise up and declare that certain parts of the United States would not go along with the withdrawal and continue to work toward achieving a healthier planet instead.

In that blog post, I included a letter which represented an agreement between one of the largest economies in the United States -- that of the state of California and the country China.  The MOU is worth reading.  This gave readers the sense of commitment on behalf of the two parties that would be achieved in the future to come.

With the arrival of the G20 summit, the leftover feelings from the last summit in Taormina still remained strong.  At that summit, President Trump refused to listen to world leaders and announced that the United States would probably withdrawal from the agreement.  That is written about here.  World leaders said that our (the U.S.) president did not fully understand the consequences of the withdrawal.  Regardless, the world was headed in one direction, while the U.S. seems to be headed in another.  Not exactly.

According to California Governor Jerry Brown, in a statement recently, he declared that in 2018 - a "Global Alliance Summit" would be held to stick to the Paris Agreement.  Here is the video below:

And here is the accompanying 'press release' from his official state page:


SACRAMENTO - On the eve of the G20 Summit, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced via video message at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany that the State of California will convene the world's climate leaders in San Francisco, California in September 2018 for the Global Climate Action Summit.
"It's up to you and it's up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change. That is why we're having the Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 2018," said Governor Brown in his remarks. "President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn't speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it's time to act, it's time to join together and that's why at this Climate Action Summit we're going to get it done."
The Governor spoke via video message during the final hour of the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany and was introduced by Christiana Figueres, former United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary and currently the convener of Mission 2020 and Global Ambassador for the Under2 Coalition. The Global Citizen Festival was attended by thousands of people and featured remarks from Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and performances from Coldplay, Shakira, Pharrell Williams, Ellie Goulding and others.
California will convene representatives from subnational governments, businesses, investors and civil society at the Global Climate Action Summit to demonstrate the groundswell of innovative, ambitious climate action from leaders around the world, highlight the economic and environmental transition already underway and spur deeper commitment from all parties, including national governments. 
Today's announcement is the product of months of discussions between the Governor and Christiana Figueres, who, following the conclusion of the successful UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, encouraged the Governor to host a summit in 2018 in California to drive further climate action. Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León has also been a key partner and recently joined other state Senators to urge the Governor to convene the world's climate leaders in California.
"The growing threat of climate change demands an immediate and unified global response," said Senate Leader Kevin de León. "California remains committed to a clean energy future and we welcome the responsibility to lead on America's behalf. My colleagues in the Senate appreciate Governor Brown agreeing to hold this global summit and look forward to working with him to welcome our partners from around the world."
The summit, which will be held ahead of the 24th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24), will mark the first time a U.S. state has hosted an international climate change conference with the direct goal of supporting the Paris Agreement. 
Governor Brown's complete remarks are below:

Hello, Hamburg. I'm Governor Jerry Brown. Greetings from California.
Look, it's up to you and it's up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change. That's why we're having the Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, September 2018.
Come join us - entrepreneurs, singers, musicians, mathematicians, professors, students - we need people that represent the whole world because this is about the whole world and the people who live here. We have to do something and we can do it. That's why we want to join together in this Climate Action Summit in 2018 in San Francisco.
Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn't speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it's time to act, it's time to join together and that's why at this Climate Action Summit we're going to get it done.
So, see you there. Thanks.
The Governor's video message and additional information regarding the summit can be found at:

California's Climate Leadership
Earlier this week, Governor Brown joined the leaders of Baden-Württemberg, Catalonia and South Australia - all members of the Under2 Coalition - to urge the G20 to reaffirm its support for implementation of the Paris Agreement and to recognize the role of sub-national governments, states, regions and cities, in leading and delivering on climate action.
"All over the world, momentum is building to deal seriously with climate change," said Governor Brown in a statement released by the Climate Group, secretariat of the Under2 Coalition. "Despite rejection in Washington, California is all in. We are fully committed to the Under2 Coalition and the Paris Agreement."
The Under2 Coalition is an international pact among cities, states and countries committed to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius - the level of potentially catastrophic consequences - by either reducing their greenhouse gas emissions from 80 percent to 95 percent below 1990 levels or holding emissions to less than 2 annual metric tons per capita by 2050. The coalition now includes 176 jurisdictions on six continents, collectively representing more than 36 countries, 1.2 billion people and $28.8 trillion GDP - equivalent to more than 16 percent of the global population and 39 percent of the global economy.
Last month, Governor Brown was named Special Advisor for States and Regions ahead of this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 23) by the Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama - incoming president of COP 23. This followed meetings with Germany's top environmental official, Minister Barbara Hendricks, in San Francisco, and with China's President Xi Jinping during the Governor's week-long trip to China, where he also met with China's Special Envoy on Climate Change and signed new agreements with China's national government through the Ministry of Science and Technology in Beijing and with the leaders of Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces. 
In June, Governor Brown also formed the U.S. Climate Alliance with the Governors of Washington and New York in response to the White House's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. The alliance now includes 13 U.S. states - led by both Democrats and Republicans - committed to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan. The U.S. Climate Alliance complements the goals of the Under2 Coalition.
In March, Governor Brown reaffirmed California's commitment to exceed the targets of the Clean Power Plan and the state's efforts to curb carbon pollution, which include establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America and the nation's toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants. The Governor has also signed legislation that directs cap-and-trade funds to greenhouse gas reducing programs which benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean transportation and protect natural ecosystems. 
This action builds on landmark legislation the Governor signed in October 2015 to generate half of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings. Governor Brown has also committed to reducing today's petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; make heating fuels cleaner; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.
The Governor has also traveled to the United Nations' 2015 Climate Conference (COP 21) in Paris, the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Vatican and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto to call on other leaders to join California in the fight against climate change. These efforts build on a number of other international climate change agreements with leaders from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru, Chile, Australia, Scotland, Sweden and Germany as well as Governor Brown's efforts to gather hundreds of researchers and scientists around a groundbreaking call to action called the consensus statement, which translates key scientific climate findings from disparate fields into one unified document.
California, the sixth-largest economy in the world, continues to advance its nation-leading climate goals while also growing its economy faster than the rest of the United States. In the past seven years, California has created more than 2.5 million new jobs, cut its unemployment rate in half, eliminated a $27 billion budget deficit and boosted its credit rating to the highest level in more than a decade. 
The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the state's most vulnerable populations.

As a scientist, I am proud of our (I live in California) governor.  Governor Brown realizes the importance of transitioning the world to a more sustainable (greener, renewable) place to live.  A world that relies on clean forms of energy -- a forward looking world.  The supply of energy should be as clean as possible.  Jobs would be created which match our mission -- in the renewable energy sector.  The sector is seeing exponential growth over the last year and a half - despite popular criticism.  Mentioned in the excerpt above, 1.8 billion people along with $28.8 trillion in GDP and 39% of the Global economy.  Who wouldn't want to join such an agreement?  The potential for sustainable growth over decades to come is enormous.

This is in complete contrast to the current President's administrations outlook.  Their outlook is in the "rear view mirror".  Under President Trump's administration, the direction in which the world is headed is 'back in time' - to the polluted oil and gas era.  The era of free for all chemical use without regard for the environment.  In fact, the direction from which we came is a direct reason we find ourselves saddled with 'superfund sites' which desperately need clean up.  A 'superfund site' is defined as follows from 'Wikipedia':

Superfund is a United States federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants. It was established as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA).[1] It authorizes federal natural resource agencies, primarily the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states and Native American tribes to recover natural resource damages caused by hazardous substances, though most states have and most often use their own versions of CERCLA. CERCLA created the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The EPA may identify parties responsible for hazardous substances releases to the environment (polluters) and either compel them to clean up the sites, or it may undertake the cleanup on its own using the Superfund (a trust fund) and costs recovered from polluters by referring to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Approximately 70 percent of Superfund cleanup activities historically have been paid for by parties responsible (PRPs) for the cleanup of contamination. The exceptions occur when the responsible party either cannot be found or is unable to pay for the cleanup. Until the mid-1990s, most of the funding came from a tax on the petroleum and chemical industries, reflecting the polluter pays principle, but since 2001, most of the funding for cleanups of hazardous waste sites has come from taxpayers. Despite the name, the program has suffered from under-funding, and Superfund cleanups have decreased to a mere 8 in 2014. As a result, the EPA typically negotiates consent orders with PRPs to study sites and develop cleanup alternatives, subject to EPA oversight and approval of all such activities.

Here is a list of the current 'superfund sites' in the United States.  Clearly, we as a nation would like to move toward a cleaner environment rather than a more toxic one.  That is why each of us needs to do our part and support measure which grow the environment based on sustainable growth.  Sustainable growth is clearly achieved when all of the citizens of the world are on the same page -- investing in clean renewable energy.

Taking responsibility for the damage to the environment through passing measures which lead us (as a nation and a world) toward sustainable growth is of the upmost importance.  Each of us deserve to live in a pollution free environment.  In order to achieve or define such an environment, our decisions moving forward must show that we are interested.  Governor Jerry Brown is showing the world that despite what the President has stated in public forums, he is willing to have California and other states from the U.S. head toward achieving the agreed upon limits at the Paris Accord in 2015.

He should be applauded for his great leadership of California along with his unquenchable thirst for sustainability on a global level.  Keep up the great work Governor Jerry Brown.

Friday, July 7, 2017

What Is Going To Be Discussed At The G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany?

With the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord just over a month ago, one cannot help but wonder what will be discussed at the G-20 summit this weekend in Hamburg (Germany).  In a previous post, I mentioned that the rest of the world is headed in a different direction than the U.S. President Donald Trump.  Additionally, I specified in a follow up post that part of the U.S. (state and local officials along with business owners) are deeply committed toward keeping with the agreed upon goals of moving toward a sustainable future.  Meaning moving away from harmful technology which contributes negatively to our environment (Green House Gases -- i.e. climate change) toward cleaner forms of energy (i.e. solar, wind, geothermal, etc.).

In reality, the members of the G-20 summit (without President Trump) are committed toward moving toward utilizing cleaner forms of energy which protect our future on this planet.  What do these conversations entail exactly?  In a previous blog, I have included letters of support from businesses and international communities toward the Paris Accord.

With this information in mind, I have found a letter signed by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk which outlines the goals which will be discussed at the G-20 Summit over the next couple of days.   Here is the letter shown below:

Joint letter of Presidents Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker on the upcoming G20 summit
Dear Colleagues, 
Europe's role in the World and our responsibility at the international level in these turbulent times are growing. More than ever the EU has become a global point of reference for all those who value the principles of liberal democracy and human rights, free and fair trade or concrete actions in facing global challenges, such as climate change, poverty, terrorism and illegal migration. A strong and determined Union is the best way to promote our values and interests, to support a rules-based multilateral system, and ultimately to protect and defend citizens. With this in mind we will participate in the G20 Summit in Hamburg later this week. As usual, we would like to inform you about the key issues that we will discuss at the summit. 
1.      The G20's key role in making the global economy work for all
The global economy is gaining momentum. With economic growth expected to approach 2 per cent this year and next, the EU is making a robust contribution to global economic activity. However, many citizens in Europe and elsewhere still feel left behind by the economic recovery and are apprehensive with globalization. 
The G20 has played a critical role in bringing the global economy back to its feet after the crisis. Now it must ensure the global economy works for everyone. We will present the European internal and external responses to shape globalization in line with our shared interests and values. We will also reaffirm the EU's commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as the reference point for the efforts we must undertake together, and our readiness to lead these efforts. 
Strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth relies on multilateral cooperation and a rules-based order. It also requires that we put all economic policy tools to work - monetary, fiscal and structural. The Hamburg Action Plan will be a key deliverable of the summit in this regard. It will put forward a set of policy measures to make G20 economies more resilient to shocks, enhance social cohesion and foster confidence. It will also convey a common determination to improve the efficiency and composition of public finances so that they are conducive to growth and equity. We will call for swifter implementation of G20 members' growth strategies, especially regarding structural reforms, in view of the Brisbane objective to increase the level of the combined G20 GDP by an additional 2 per cent by 2018. Investment in infrastructure, skills and effective social security systems need particular attention. 
2.      Bolstering an open and fair rules-based multilateral trading system
Concerns about job losses and erosion of standards attributed to trade will be at the top of the agenda. These concerns must be addressed, not by erecting protectionist barriers, but by making trade and investment both free and fair. The EU will advocate three strands of action. First, the G20 must adhere to its anti-protectionism pledge and strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system anchored in the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is our best chance for a global level playing field. This means filling gaps in the rulebook. We will urge G20 members to contribute to concrete results at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires next December, including on e-commerce and subsidies. All parties must implement agreed rules. We will be clear that the EU will defend its industry robustly when other countries refuse to abide by the rules. Second, it is critical that G20 members implement domestic policies which empower workers and companies of all sizes to benefit from open markets and help them to make the most of opportunities offered by the global economy, and adjust to change. Third, we need to engage in an honest, fact-based conversation with citizens to take stock of globalization and its effects on producers and consumers. We will also underline the responsibilities of the private sector to address concerns about globalization, and will welcome collaborative efforts to improve labour, social and environmental standards in global supply chains, as a contribution to a level playing field. 
We will insist on further efforts to tackle production overcapacity, especially in the steel sector, as a matter of utmost priority. We expect all members of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity, launched at the last G20 summit, to cooperate in good faith with a view to removing the subsidies and other government-imposed distortions at the root of the problem.   
3.      Demonstrating that ambitious climate action is good for economic growth and jobs
We regret the decision by the US Administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The Agreement remains a corner stone for global efforts to effectively tackle climate change and implement the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and we consider that it cannot be re-negotiated. We will reassure the international community that the EU remains steadfastly determined to swiftly and fully implement the Paris Agreement and accelerate the low-carbon transition, as well as to support our partners, in particular the vulnerable countries in the fight against climate change. We will work with all partners who share our conviction that the Agreement is necessary to protect our planet, is fit for purpose, and is good for economic growth and future jobs. We will support an ambitious G20 Joint Action Plan on Climate and Energy for Growth. We will also welcome further work on green finance and a dialogue on ways to improve resource efficiency and to tackle marine litter. 
4.      Tapping the potential of the digital revolution
With accessible, open, reliable and secure internet, digitization can drive productivity and sustainable development. We will seek G20 cooperation to develop common standards for the fifth generation of mobile communication networks and interoperable digitized products and services; promote free flow of information while respecting applicable legal frameworks for privacy and personal data protection; uphold fair competition in the digital environment; and tackle cyber threats. We will also underline the need to prepare for the profound impact of digitalization and automation on labour, by investing in digital skills and adapting social security systems to benefit workers in all work arrangements. 
5.      Advancing the global fight against tax avoidance and evasion
The recent signature of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting marks another milestone in the international fight against tax avoidance and evasion. These practices undermine our tax bases, fair competition and trust in globalization. Having led these global efforts, the EU expects wide and effective implementation of the agreed standards on tax transparency and good governance. Those not ready to cooperate should bear the consequences. This is why we have a firm stance on a common list of non-cooperative jurisdictions with regard to tax transparency, including defensive measures. We will call for improving authorities' access to information about ultimate beneficiaries of legal persons and arrangements, as well as cross-border exchange of this information, to improve detection of abusive tax behavior. Furthermore, the G20 should monitor and evaluate developments related to the digitalization of the economy with a view to a consistent approach to taxation. 
6.       Stepping up efforts to fight terrorism and terrorist financing
Recent attacks have again sadly underlined the need to further strengthen the global fight against terrorism and violent extremism, and to adapt it to the evolving threat. The G20 must remain united in these efforts. We will welcome a G20 Action Plan on Countering Terrorism to enhance cooperation based on our international commitments. We will advocate particularly further steps to ensure full implementation of international standards on counter-terrorist financing and money laundering, as well as on beneficial ownership transparency to prevent the misuse of companies, trusts and funds to finance terrorist activities. We will also support reinforcing the Financial Action Task Force. All G20 members must take strong steps to combat terrorists' misuse of the Internet and social media. As agreed in the European Council we should work with industry and encourage the development and sharing of new technologies and tools to enhance automatic detection and removal of terrorist content online. 
7.      Aiming for a more resilient international monetary and financial system
Through joint action after the crisis the G20 has significantly improved global financial stability. This cooperation must continue. The Basel Committee has worked to complete the Basel III post-crisis reform, but has yet to produce a final agreement. The G20 should encourage a swift outcome that promotes a level playing field and does not lead to significant increases in overall capital requirements for banks. We will reiterate that agreed reforms must be implemented in a timely and consistent fashion, and should not be rolled back. At the same time, we will support the work of the Financial Stability Board to evaluate the effects of the regulatory reforms and monitor emerging financial risks and vulnerabilities. Enhanced international coordination on cybersecurity in the financial system is a priority going forward. In addition, we will support a more stable and resilient international financial architecture with a strong, quota-based and adequately resourced IMF at its centre. 
8.      Sharing responsibility for refugees and migrants
Forced displacement and irregular migration remain major global challenges. We will emphasize the  importance of effective border management and control as well as of swift and humane return of migrants who have no right to remain or who are not eligible for international protection. We will also encourage concerted action at the global level to disrupt the smugglers' and traffickers' networks. At the same time, we must improve global governance based on shared responsibility and partnership among countries of origin, transit and destination to protect refugees and migrants in need, and to alleviate the pressure on affected communities. 
We will call for support to the United Nations process to develop the Global Compacts on Refugees and on Regular, Safe and Orderly Migration, and underline the importance of enhancing legal pathways for migration, including refugee resettlement. We will welcome the exchange of good practices for integrating regular migrants and refugees in labour markets. 
9.      Partnering with Africa for investment, growth and jobs
As we prepare for the Africa-EU Summit, we will welcome the new G20 Africa Partnership to promote investment, jobs and sustainable development in the continent, and thereby also contribute to tackling the root causes of irregular migration and radicalization. Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia are already engaged in setting out Investment Compacts, committing to improve their investment environments working together with international organizations, G20 partners and the private sector. The EU is participating actively and will seek synergies with our initiatives, notably the proposed External Investment Plan that aims to leverage at least EUR 44 billion of investment in Africa and the European neighborhood by 2020.   

For the European Council                                For the European Commission

Remember the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker whose previously recorded statement that President Trump cannot withdraw from the Paris Accord -- in the previous bog post.

Over the next few days, I will look forward along with the rest of the world to see if any change (positive) comes from the presence of the United States from our President - Donald Trump.  Hopefully, these discussions drive home the reality that the world is changing regardless of his personal views.  The world includes U.S. citizens who are deeply disappointed in the previous actions and world views of President Trump which are reflective of his lack of understanding of science along with the world.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How Much Water Is Contained In All Oceans Around The Globe?

The journal 'The Economist' printed an article titled "How to improve the health of the ocean" in which the destruction by humans to the global ocean was discussed.  The opening paragraph caught my eye:

EARTH is poorly named. The ocean covers almost three-quarters of the planet. It is divided into five basins: the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian, the Arctic and the Southern oceans. Were all the planet’s water placed over the United States, it would form a column of liquid 132km tall. The ocean provides 3bn people with almost a fifth of their protein (making fish a bigger source of the stuff than beef). Fishing and aquaculture assure the livelihoods of one in ten of the world’s people. Climate and weather systems depend on the temperature patterns of the ocean and its interactions with the atmosphere. If anything ought to be too big to fail, it is the ocean.

Did you catch that statistic?  Which one right? I am speaking about the sentence above stating that if all of the water on the planet was placed over the United States, a column would be formed that would have a height of 132 kilometers -- WOW.  Upon reading this statistic, I could not help but wonder how many molecules of water are contained in such an enormous volume.  Since the molecular scale is extremely small, chemists use a 'counting number' analogous to a 'dozen' (a dozen contains 12).  What do I mean by this?  In the following post, I will show how a chemist (myself) views the cited statistic through dimensional analysis.  This includes varying scales and large numbers.

Molecules and Avogadro's Number

Chemists work with large amounts of chemicals.  Not all chemists do.  But on the scale of the bench top large amounts of chemicals are mixed.  How do I know this to be true?  Well, lets use a molecule that is ubiquitous to our world, but essential to our survival -- water.  Water is composed of 'water molecules'.  A typical water molecule is around 2.75 Angstroms.  An Angstrom is 10 billionth of a meter.

If you were to line 4 million water molecules, the total distance would be a millimeter -- WOW.

Remember that in a single centimeter, there are 10 millimeters.   This gives us a sense of the scale of a single water molecule.  Although the blog post is concerned with the volume of water, therefore, putting the water molecules into 3 dimensional space might be of use.  To start with, lets ask the following question: How many water molecules are in a single cup of water?  A single cup of water is shown below in a measuring cup:

Source: Dreamstime

A cup has the volume of 16 ounces.  In order to calculate the number of water molecules, a conversion must be made to change units from "ounces" to units of "cubic meters" - which will become apparent why shortly.  First, type into a search engine like the following question: How many cubic meters are in an ounce?  The following image appears shown below:

In a single ounce, there are 0.0000295735 cubic meters.  To convert one cup of water (16 ounces) to cubic meters, the following conversion must be accomplished to yield cubic meters:

Right about now, you may be wondering why the conversion from units of "ounces" to units of "cubic meters" is necessary?  To determine the amount of water molecules in a cup of water, the volume must be known along with density.  Density is the amount of a substance in a given volume.   The equation for density is shown below:

This equation is true for any substance (chemical).  For water, the density at standard temperature and pressure is shown below:

The density of water at room temperature and pressure is 1000 kilograms per cubic meters.  Now the previous requirement of expressing the volume of water in units of "cubic meters" should be apparent.  Upon rearranging the equation for density to solve for mass, the equation appears as follows:

Since the volume is known from the conversion above along with the density of water, the mass of the water in a single cup can be calculated as shown below:

A single cup of water weighs 0.47 kilograms. For those of us who do not think in terms of kilograms, a conversion to grams is shown below:

A single cup of water weighs just over a pound (1 pound = 454 grams).

The amount of water (weight) which are contained in a unit of a "mole" is referred to as the "molar mass".  If we look to "Wikipedia" for a definition of 'Molar Mass' we get the following:

In chemistry, the molar mass M is a physical property defined as the mass of a given substance (chemical element or chemical compound) divided by the amount of substance.

The "amount" of substance is the unit "mole".  This unit is analogous to a "dozen" or a "case" -- meaning that "there are 12 eggs in a dozen" or "24 soda cans in a 'case of soda'".  From the statements about the size and scale of the water molecule, a 'unit' is needed to express large numbers of molecules or atoms when discussing chemical reactions.  That number is referred to as "Avogadro' number" and is defined from "Wikipedia" as:

 In chemistry and physics, the Avogadro constant (named after the scientist Amedeo Avogadro) is the number of constituent particles, usually atoms or molecules, that are contained in the amount of substance given by one mole. Thus, it is the proportionality factor that relates the molar mass of a compound to the mass of a sample. Avogadro's constant, often designated with the symbol NA or L, has the value 6.022140857(74)×10^23 mol−1[1] in the International System of Units (SI).[2][3]

In the excerpt above, the constant Avogadro's number is properly expressed as follows:

Lets return to the calculation of the amount of water molecules in a single cup of water.  The significance of Avogadro's number will become apparent once we arrive at an answer.  With the total weight (mass) of the water expressed in units of 'grams' and the molar mass of water known (18 gram/mole), we can determine the number of moles in a single cup of water as follows:

Next, if the number of water molecules is to be determined (which it is), then using Avogadro's number, we arrive at the following final conversion:

The result display that in a single cup of water, there are "1.6 times ten raised to the 25th power" of molecules inside.  How does that number look written out in long form?  I show the number below:

From the long form of the calculated number of water molecules in a single cup above, the reader should be able to determine the usefulness of Avogadro's number.  Imagine writing out these enormous numbers when discussing mixing two cups of chemicals.  It makes little sense.  Which is why, using Avogadro's number is extremely useful.  Discussing mixing two glasses of water as mixing two amounts of 26 moles each is easier than writing out endless zeroes and commas.

The utility of Avogadro's number and the 'mole' should be apparent now. When discussing mixing large amounts of chemicals -- which is the case on the physical scale on which we live, the use of 'molar amounts' or 'moles' are extremely useful.  Otherwise, our notebooks would be filled with countless numbers of zero's and comma's which would be both confusing and to lengthy.

The above calculation was for a single cup of water.  Remember, that in the introduction the total amount of water for the entire planet was given.  In the next section, through dimensional analysis the stated volume is cast into perspective with Avogadro's number and the unit of a 'mole.'

How Many Water Molecules Are In The Ocean (Planet)?

With the number of water molecules in a cup known, the next volume to cast into perspective is the total number of water molecules in all oceans on the planet.  Using a similar methodology as the one above, the starting point will be to determine the total volume of water mentioned in the introductory excerpt.  In the above excerpt, the total volume mentioned is a column of water with an area equivalent to the United States and a height of 132 kilometers.

An expression for the volume is shown below:

In the excerpt from the article above, the height is known -- 132 kilometers.  To solve the equation for the total volume of water in all of the oceans on the planet, the area of the United States needs to be determined.  If we ask "" the following question: What is the area of the United States?  The following answer is shown below:

The total area of the United States is 3.797 million square miles.  You should notice that the area of the United States is expressed in units of "square miles" whereas the height of the column of water is in units of "kilometers".  In order to move forward in solving for the total volume of water, a unit conversion needs to be accomplished. The area of the U.S. needs to be converted from units of "square mile" to units of "square kilometer" as shown below:

With all of the units uniform (meaning expressed in the same unit), the total volume of water in all of the oceans on the planet can be solved as follows:

Using the same methodology as above for solving for the amount of water molecules in a cup, the equation for density can be rearranged to solve for mass as shown below:

Remember, the units of density were "kilograms per cubic meter" from above.  Before the values can be plugged into the equation above, a unit check needs to be accomplished.  The total volume of water which was calculated above is expressed in units of "cubic kilometers" -- which means that a unit conversion must be done to solve the expression for "mass" above.  The conversion is shown below:

Now the units appear to be uniform.  The density is expressed in units of "kilogram per cubic meter" and the volume is expressed in "cubic meters".  With an expression for the mass of the water contained in all of the oceans, plugging in the values that have been obtained (through reference and calculation) the equation can now be solved as shown below:

The mass above represents the total weight of all of the water that is contained on the planet!!  Next, using the 'molar mass' of water (i.e. mass of water contained in a mole of water) the amount of moles can be determined as follows:

In all fairness, we should expect to see a huge number -- an incomprehensible number.  Why?  Because in our earlier calculation, we determined that there were an enormous amount of water molecules contained in a single cup of water.  Therefore, if there were 26 moles of water in a single cup of water, then the amount of water on the entire planet should be astronomical.

Remember, a mole is a 'counting number' which is useful for chemists since the size and scale of molecules are very small.  Avogadro's number is stated again as:

The number of atoms or molecules in a mole is the same "6.02 times ten raised to the 23rd power".  This is analogous to the fact that there are "12 eggs in a dozen eggs" or "24 cans of soda in a 'case of soda'" - there are Avogadro's number of atoms or molecules in a 'mole.'

When I first read the cited statistic above regarding the total amount of water in all of the oceans on the planet, I was curious to evaluate that amount of water in terms of 'moles' and compare that to Avogadro's number - which is to say:

Given the total number of moles of water on the planet, how does that number compare to Avogadro's number?

To answer the above question, we need to calculate the number of 'moles' of water -- which we already have.  In order to evaluate that answer relative to Avogadro's number, we simply divide the two numbers as shown below:

The result indicates that the total number of moles of water is only 12% of Avogadro's number.  That shows how large Avogadro's number is -- how astonishing the number is.


In the paragraphs above, the cited statistic of an enormous volume of water has been cast into perspective.  The perspective of a chemist.  Furthermore, the volume is the total amount of water on the planet.  That amount which seems astonishing large is only 12% of Avogadro's number when formulated into 'units' of 'moles'.  The mole is an enormous number.  Although, the size and scale of molecules are extremely small.  With 4 million water molecules lined up which is equivalent to a single millimeter, we really get a sense of the size and scale which chemists who work in the field of 'nanotechnology' work at.

Last but not least, the above is an exercise to view the total amount of water in a completely different perspective - that of a scientist.  In the future, when you pick up a cup of water, I hope that this blog inspires you to view the liquid inside in terms of water molecules.  Try it and see.  Take a look at the world from a completely (and sometimes uncomfortable) different view.  Chemistry is not to be scared of, but appreciated.  In order to think rationally about the world around us from the chemist's standpoint, we must know how a chemist views the world.  The above is an introduction into my view of the world.