Friday, July 12, 2019

Regarding Joe Biden: A 'Border State' of-Mind?



Keeping track of facts when considering 20+ candidates makes this Democratic Presidential Primary season difficult and confusing. The debates on June 25 and 26 added to that confusion.

To date nothing is more confusing and difficult than Joe Biden's attitude towards working with with the late Democratic Senators James O. Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, both Democrats who were staunch opponents of desegregation.

What's confusing about this is that while speaking at a fund-raiser at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City on June 18 it was Biden who foolishly brought up as a positive bragging point his working with the two segregationist Senators.

When other candidates subsequently raised questions about his bragging point days prior to the first debates, Biden attacked them and refused to apologize. See The New York Times June 19 stories Biden, Recalling ‘Civility’ in Senate, Invokes Two Segregationist Senators and Joe Biden and Democratic Rivals Exchange Attacks Over His Remarks on Segregationists.

In that second Times article it was explained:

    Mr. Biden, who is running for president in part on a message of national unity and reaching out to those with different viewpoints, particularly courted Mr. Eastland, in spite of his racist views and remarks.
    The two men developed an “unlikely relationship,” as Mr. Biden put it in his 2007 book, as Mr. Eastland helped Mr. Biden achieve his first seat of power on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Biden and Mr. Eastland sharply disagreed on several civil rights-related matters, but they were also convenient allies, as both were vocal opponents of school integration through busing, a controversial topic at the time.

California Senator Kamala Harris raised this bragging by Biden a week later in the June 26 debate putting in the spotlight that portion of Biden's political history he chose to brag about. (And for that, she has been attacked even by a fellow Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard.)

The cultural issue making Biden's bragging problematic can be explained. He was a Senator from Delaware, representing the people, history, and culture of that state. Many do not seem to know that Delaware was a Border State in the Civil War. As indicated on the map above, the Border States were Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri.

For a complete review of related cultural history, you may want to read Slavery in Delaware which notes at the end (emphasis added): "As it turned out, Kentucky and Delaware, among the border states, continued to tolerate slavery, even after Lee's surrender. Delaware's General Assembly refused to ratify the 13th Amendment, calling it an illegal extension of federal powers over the states. Only in December 1865, when the 13th Amendment went into effect on a national scale, did slavery cease in Delaware."

It's interesting to note that the 13th Amendment ending slavery was considered by Delaware's General Assembly as "an illegal extension of federal powers over the states."

That brings us to the 1970's segregation issues in the United States that confronted Biden when he took office as a U.S. Senator in 1973.

What we need to keep in mind is that there is de jure segregation, established and/or supported by explicit law. With regard to schools,  U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren (a former California Governor) wrote in the decision opinion of Brown v. Board of Education (1954): "Segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprives children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities, even though the physical facilities and other 'tangible' factors may be equal."

But the subject in the 1970's was de facto racial segregation which was (and continues to be) the result of prejudice, economic stratification, white flight, and other factors short of explicit government discrimination.

Remember that Brown was about schools. As a child in the Berkeley, California, school system in the 1970's, Senator Kamala Harris benefited from a busing program established by the local school system on its own initiative to deal with de facto racial segregation. Around that time, Congress was considering mandatory busing legislation where local schools failed to address the subject.

As noted by The New York Times Senators Biden and Eastland "were also convenient allies, as both were vocal opponents of school integration through busing." In other words, a Senator from a Border State and a Senator from the Deep South shared a view about keeping children racially segregated. It's that simple.

It would be an absolute lie to say that de facto racial segregation of schools was a simple problem. California was also struggling at the time with the fact that segregated neighborhoods created radically unequal school systems compounded by the frequently denied subconscious emotional subtext of racial bigotry.

The California Supreme Court in the early and mid-1970's struggling with reality finally threw its collective hands into the air and in Serrano v. Priest invalidated the entire school financing system based mostly on property taxes noting:

    The amount of revenue which a district can raise in this manner thus depends largely on its tax base -- i.e., the assessed valuation of real property within its borders. Tax bases vary widely throughout the state; in 1969-1970, for example, the assessed valuation per unit of average daily attendance of elementary school children ranged from a low of $103 to a peak of $952,156 -- a ratio of nearly 1 to 10,000. (Legislative Analyst, Public School Finance, Part V, Current Issues in Educational Finance (1971) p. 7.)

The Legislative Analyst noted that at the elementary school level, among school districts the annual per student spending ranged from $407 to $2,586. Among high schools the per student range was $722 to $1,767.

This situation was mostly because rich folks congregated in their communities and poor folks were relegated to poor neighborhoods, with developers, real estate brokers, and mortgage lenders discriminating not only on relative wealth but also on race, to make those neighborhoods "exclusive".

And while the negative impact was not simply racial, minority children were most frequently impacted. In other words, the California Court recognized that extreme wealth differences when incorporated into a government structure was no less government sanctioned segregation than a law.

Committed to the 1865 Delaware belief that any interference in de facto segregation is an illegal extension of law, Biden,  Eastland, and far too many other 1970's Americans were never going to restructure school systems to attempt to correct the problem.

Today otherwise well-meaning folks like Biden would not support busing as a solution. They do offer platitudes and hand-wringing as they have since the Brown decision. And in California, the Legislature and school districts are still struggling, tweaking financing, classroom assignments, and other factors - even attempting charter schools.

It isn't that efforts are not being made many states. We have no good way of overcoming economic segregation. In truth the current worsening of economic inequality will expand that segregation. In the 21st Century, education should have become the great equalizer.

The truth is that all of Trump's base and most of the core of Biden's support do not see this as a problem. And that's pretty close to half the voters nationally.

The reality is that Biden's ignorant, self-important "'Border State' of-Mind" bragging may have already seriously split the Democratic Party. Most importantly, his stumble makes it clear that there may be no way to appeal both to the Rust Belt white voter that elected Trump and to the expanding under-50 ethnic/racial minority population.

Even the appeal "beat Trump" may not work if the Democratic candidate is as fumbling and unenlightened as Trump.

And this discussion doesn't even get into the fact that Biden is keeping his Senate records secret, documents that could enlighten us on his deliberations with regard to the 1982 and 2006 on reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act, on the 1994 crime bill, on his actions in limiting witnesses in the Thomas hearings, on his support for the Iraq War, on his efforts regarding climate change, and on correspondence and meetings he had with world leaders over decades.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

What voters under the age of 65 need to know: Medicare for all is not "H.R.1384 - Medicare for All Act of 2019" and Medicare involves private insurers

Kamala Harris had a good night in the first debates on the Thursday night episode. Still, the press is taking her to task on "her" confusion about the health insurance issue, such as this article in the The New York Times. And, indeed, the writer has a point about the confusion.

The difficult things about reading about the Democratic debates is one reaches a realization that too many members of the press are generally ignorant - not as ignorant as the public, but too ignorant to rely upon for information.

The problem lies in the appropriation of phrases. In the blog post here Has Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cost us decades of progress on the Green New Deal? it was noted that "The Green New Deal" was coined when Ocasio-Cortez was 14 years old by serious environmentalists who have been a systematic part of California's success in Climate Change policy.

Then we have Socialist Bernie Sanders who in his 2017 PR piece S.1804 - Medicare for All Act of 2017 which was introduced and died in the 115th Congress (2017-2018) and which appropriated the phrase "Medicare for all." (Note that a new plan was introduced in the Senate where it will die a rapid death but also was introduced in the Democrat-controlled House as H.R.1384 - Medicare for All Act of 2019 by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).

The term "Medicare for all" was coined in 1970 by The New York Times in an article about "a national health insurance program that would extend Medicare benefits to people of all ages by 1973" which was proposed by Republican Senator Jacob K. Javits. That is what most folks think "Medicare for all" means - a program that would extend Medicare benefits to people of all ages. As a Democrat, I have supported that approach since 1970.

That is not what the "Medicare for All Act of 2019" is regardless of what you think Bernie and the others are saying.  (If they were honest, they would call it "Medicaid for All.")

Generally speaking, only those who have Medicare coverage and their caregivers have any idea what Medicare health insurance is and what it costs those insured taking into account deductibles, co-pays, and monthly premiums (yes there are premiums). It only affects those who have reached age 65 or who are disabled. But most who are affected know that Medicare involves private insurance companies.

If up to now you thought Medicare-for-All was a cost-free panacea for health insurance - meaning you are unaware of Medicare premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance costs and private supplemental insurances which are part of the program - you should consider the review that follows. As indicated in the image to the left, Medicare coverage is complicated.

In 2019 if you were covered by Medicare you would be paying to Medicare $135.50 per month or more, depending upon your modified adjusted gross income from your 2017 tax return, for Part B.

Medicare Part B is the medical insurance component of the Medicare program. It pays for costs like doctor's office visits, medical equipment, and outpatient procedures. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $185 in 2019. After you meet your deductible you will pay 20% of each medical bill - that's right, a 20% co-pay.

Medicare Part A, which mainly covers hospital stays, remains premium-free for most, but not all, American seniors. The Part A annual deductible is $1,364 in 2019. There are co-insurance amounts for hospital care. There is what is called "Lifetime Reserve Days" which are additional days that Medicare Part A will pay for if you are in a hospital for more than 90 days during a benefit period. Beneficiaries are limited to a total of 60 reserve days that Medicare will cover over the course of a beneficiaries life.

It is possible with Medicare to not engage with private insurers. But you will not have any drug coverage, vision coverage, dental coverage, and some other coverages as you understand such coverages. And, of course, you will be subject to all Parts A & B deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, etc.

In rural California a person can pay a private insurance company $113 per month for the best Medicare prescription coverage (Part D), but it still means co-pays and the infamous doughnut hole.

For a supplement called Plan F, in 2019 a 73-year-old in rural California can pay a private insurance company a premium of $232 a month (which would be $282 a month if  that person were 78). It covers all of the following:
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Preventative care Part B co-insurance
  • Part A hospital and co-insurance costs up to an additional 356 days after Medicare benefits are exhausted
  • Part B co-insurance or co-payment
  • First three pints of blood used in an approved medical procedure (annually)
  • Part A hospice care co-payment or co-insurance
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) co-insurance
  • Foreign travel emergency
As indicated by the fact that it is Plan "F", there are other plans that are cheaper because you have to pay some of the items listed above when you get sick or injured.

That leaves dental and vision. A plan for that is available for $56 a month. But it is a very limited plan.

For a "family-of-2-coverage-package" as described above, a retired couple would pay $1,122 a month to both Medicare and a Medicare authorize private insurer. That gets about as close to the "Medicare-for-All" complete coverage that is being implied or promised by the various Democratic candidates.

It should be noted that another private insurer option known as a Medicare Advantage Plan (also known as Part C) is available to some.

Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care each month to the private insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans. Some Advantage Plans charge the insured no premium. Some Advantage Plans pay all or part of your Part B premium. These companies must follow rules set by Medicare. But each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different out-of-pocket costs. They can also have different rules for how you get services, usually requiring the use of in-network medical care providers. Parts A and B services are included in these plans but with varying deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance. Usually some prescription coverage (Part D) is offered. Some Medicare Advantage Plans also offer extra coverage, like vision, hearing and dental coverage.

About 35% of Medicare patients opt for this plan. In urban areas usually there are a number of private insurers to choose from who offer Advantage Plans. In some rural California areas, there is one insurer and many local providers are out-of-network. In some rural California areas there are no Advantage Plan providers. Effectively, it is a situation this writer calls "The American Way Plan" as it assures that choices depend upon what area or ghetto you live in. 

The cost to the government for the existing Medicare system which covers 16%± of the U.S. population is not cheap.

If you receive a paycheck, you may have noticed that you pay a 1.45% payroll tax on your wages to fund Medicare. It is matched by your employer. There is an 0.9% additional Medicare tax on an individual's wages paid in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. There is no annual wage maximum at which level Medicare taxes are no longer deducted. If you are self-employed, you pay both the employee and employer share.

Regarding investment, capital gains, and other non-wage income, rich folks don't avoid the tax completely as there is 3.8% Medicare tax the amount of your modified adjusted gross income that exceeds $200,000 for individuals, $250,000 for couples filing jointly, or $125,000 for spouses filing separately.

All of which brings us to the issue of cost if "Medicare for All" were simply an action to add the other 84% of the population to the Medicare system plus add costs such as maternity coverage.

In this writer's opinion all kinds of lowball cost numbers are being used. Few even try to relate the costs to the existing Medicare tax system which does not completely cover the cost of the existing Medicare program after the Part B premiums collected from those insured by Medicare are deducted.

As might be expected the excess cost varies from year-to-year, but is growing as the number of people over the age of 65 increases and as the number of treatments for diseases expand exponentially. And the program many of the Democratic candidates are committing to would also eliminate deductibles, co-pays, etc

How about we use some honesty? We have no idea what adding everyone to Medicare will cost 10 years after everyone is added. We have no idea who will pay for it. Is that really something Democrats want to gamble on as a winning issue?

If it weren't for the fact that the courts might overturn Obamacare before the election, that gamble might assure Donald Trump's reelection. As it is, the healthcare system might just become a political chaos issue....

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

From 50 years ago, lofty lyrics that failed: "Come on people now, Smile on your brother, Everybody get together, Try to love one another right now."




A 1969 radio public service announcement for the National Conference of Christians and Jews used the recording of "Get Together" by the Youngbloods. As noted elsewhere:

    The song sometimes called the "hippie national anthem" can be found in all kinds of places. It's been used on The Simpsons and in Forrest Gump, recorded dozens of times by the likes of The Kingston Trio, The Dave Clark Five, Jefferson Airplane, The Staples Singers and the Carpenters (twice). You may have even heard it in a Walmart commercial a few years ago.

Despite it's early 1960's recording history by numerous popular singers, the song wasn't a big hit. When the Youngbloods version was released in 1967, it was a minor hit. But when it appeared in that 1969 National Conference of Christians and Jews public service announcement, folks started calling radio stations about the song and it was re-released peaking at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Play the video above to hear (and see) the lyrics that inspired.

Between the 1967 and 1969 releases the 1968 Democratic National Convention/Chicago Riots occurred indicating a deeply split Democratic Party. That Convention's nominee lost to Republican Richard Nixon who attributed his win to his appeal to the "Silent Majority." As explained in Wikipedia:

    Nixon's silent majority referred mainly to the older generation (those World War II veterans in all parts of the U.S.) but it also described many young people in the Midwest, West and in the South, many of whom eventually served in Vietnam. The Silent Majority was mostly populated by blue collar white people who did not take an active part in politics; suburban, exurban and rural middle class voters. They did, in some cases, support the conservative policies of many politicians.
    According to columnist Kenneth Crawford, "Nixon’s forgotten men should not be confused with Roosevelt's," adding that "Nixon's are comfortable, housed, clad and fed, who constitute the middle stratum of society. But they aspire to more and feel menaced by those who have less."
    In his famous speech, Nixon contrasted his international strategy of political realism with the "idealism" of a "vocal minority." ...The speech was one of the first to codify the Nixon Doctrine, according to which, "the defense of freedom is everybody's business—not just America's business." After giving the speech, Nixon's approval ratings which had been hovering around 50% shot up to 81% in the nation and 86% in the South.

    In January 1970, Time put on their cover an abstract image of a man and a woman representing "Middle America" as a replacement for their annual "Man of the Year" award. Publisher Roy E. Larsen wrote that "the events of 1969 transcended specific individuals. In a time of dissent and 'confrontation', the most striking new factor was the emergence of the Silent Majority as a powerfully assertive force in U.S. society." Larsen described how the silent majority had elected Nixon, had put a man on the moon, and how this demographic felt threatened by "attacks on traditional values."
    The silent majority theme has been a contentious issue amongst journalists since Nixon used the phrase. Some thought Nixon used it as part of the Southern strategy; others claim it was Nixon's way of dismissing the obvious protests going on around the country, and Nixon's attempt to get other Americans not to listen to the protests. Whatever the rationale, Nixon won a landslide victory in 1972, taking 49 of 50 states, vindicating his "silent majority". The opposition vote was split successfully, with 80% of George Wallace supporters voting for Nixon rather than George McGovern, unlike Wallace himself.
    Nixon's use of the phrase was part of his strategy to divide Americans and to polarize them into two groups. He used "divide and conquer" tactics to win his political battles, and in 1971 he directed Agnew to speak about "positive polarization" of the electorate. The "silent majority" shared Nixon's anxieties and fears that normalcy was being eroded by changes in society. The other group was composed of intellectuals, cosmopolitans, professionals and liberals, those willing to "live and let live." Both groups saw themselves as the higher patriots. Nixon's polarization survives today in American politics. According to Republican pollster Frank Luntz, "silent majority" is but one of many labels which have been applied to the same group of voters. According to him, past labels used by the media include "silent majority" in the 1960s, "forgotten middle class" in the 1970s, "angry white males" in the 1980s, "soccer moms" in the 1990s, and "NASCAR dads" in the 2000s.
    During Donald Trump's presidential campaign, he said at a campaign rally on July 11, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona, that "the silent majority is back, and we’re going to take our country back". He also referred to the silent majority in subsequent speeches and advertisement, as did the press when describing those who voted for his election as President in 2016.

Let anyone think this was a new concept in the 1960's, in May 1831 New York Congressman Churchill C. Cambreleng in a speech before the 400 members of the Tammany Society said:

    Whenever majorities trample upon the rights of minorities—when men are denied even the privilege of having their causes of complaint examined into—when measures, which they deem for their relief, are rejected by the despotism of a silent majority at a second reading—when such become the rules of our legislation, the Congress of this Union will no longer justly represent a republican people.

What gets confusing in 2019 is that in 2016 in the entire Union Hillary Clinton represented the majority. That was a majority which the eyes of the minority that voted for Trump that did not "justly represent a republican people." Because the "the more perfect Union" created by the Constitution does not let the majority select the President we have Trump. But without California Trump won the majority of the votes.

The fact facing Democrats in 2020 is that outside California there is a silent majority that will determine who will be President and which party will control the U.S. Senate. That silent majority will nominate the Republican candidate. Meanwhile the bickering minorities will control the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

While many of us who came of age in the two decades prior to 1964 believed in the spirit of the lyrics in the title of this post, loving one another was not an outcome of the 1960's nor is it today part of truth, justice, and the American Way.

In America it's always been "come on people...."

Thursday, July 4, 2019

About that Betsy Ross flag controversy. Flags are symbols to be appropriated, even nationalistic flags.


In typical American fashion, this July 4th folks are involved in a controversy over use of a flag - specifically over what we call the Betsy Ross Flag. It was going to be used as an emblem by Nike on shoes likely manufactured in one or more factories located in Indonesia, China, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Philippines, and Malaysia. The purpose of the use by Nike was to sell shoes and make money.

It was reported that Colin Kaepernick, the Nike brand ambassador and former NFL quarterback who became famous for kneeling during the national anthem, convinced Nike to pull the shoe, either because Kaepernick was leery of a flag from an era when slavery was legal in America or Kaepernick was upset about the way racist groups are using the Betsy Ross flag as their own symbol.

As an American male who came of age in the early 1960's, I have no problem with Nike or Kaepernick or Donald Trump or Ku Klux Klan members using some nationalistic flag to make a political statement since, after all, I supported the Vietnam War protesters.

As noted by the Smithsonian:

    Perhaps no issue epitomized the controversial nature of the American flag during the 1960s more than flag burning. When some burned the flag to protest government policies, others rushed to defend the flag from attack. State laws against flag desecration originally passed in the late 1800s were revived and enforced. In 1968, Congress passed the Federal Flag Desecration Law, making it a federal crime to “knowingly cast contempt upon any flag of the United States by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon it.”
    After peaking in the late 1960s, the issue of flag desecration receded from the public spotlight. It would be revived twenty years later by the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Texas v. Johnson, which struck down all state and federal flag protection laws as violating the First Amendment right to free speech. Since then, politicians have made repeated efforts to amend the Constitution to prohibit flag burning, a move opposed by those who believe it would curtail essential civil liberties. As the debates over flag protection continue, memories of the turbulent 1960s continue to challenge and inspire Americans to contemplate the meaning of patriotism and the value of protest.

What's amusing is that people who use the flag to make a statement about their nationalism object to others who use the flag to make some other political statement.  One of President Trump’s favorite Supreme Court justices, Antonin Scalia, defended flag-burning as a form of free speech protected by the first amendment.


Having spent most of my life in Northern California near San Francisco, I guess I was aware of the 18 flags of San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza which has always included a number of flags like the Betsy Ross Flag and the Bennington Flag (pictured to the left). It's interesting, though. Use of the Betsy Ross Flag is a hot button issue in 2019. Really???

One thing needs to be made clear - flags were created as part of the absolute monarchy pageantry to get folks killing and maiming other people in warfare. You wave a flag, that is the tradition you're following. The next step is to wave a gun. Per Wikipedia:

    In antiquity, field signs or standards were used in warfare that can be categorised as vexilloid or 'flag-like'. This is considered originated in the ancient Egypt or Assyria. Examples include the Sassanid battle standard Derafsh Kaviani, and the standards of the Roman legions such as the eagle of Augustus Caesar's Xth legion, or the dragon standard of the Sarmatians; the latter was let fly freely in the wind, carried by a horseman, but judging from depictions it was more similar to an elongated dragon kite than to a simple flag.
    Flag as recognized today, made of a piece of cloth representing a particular entity, is considered invented in the Indian subcontinent or Chinese Zhou dynasty (1046-256 BCE). Chinese flags depicted animals decorated in certain colors. A royal flag is considered being used as well, which was required to be treated with a similar level of respect attributed to the ruler. Indian flags were often triangular shaped and decorated with attachments such as yak's tail and the state umbrella. These usages spread to Southeast Asia as well, and considered transmitted to Europe through the Muslim world where plainly colored flags were being used due to Islamic prescriptions.
    In Europe, during the High Middle Ages, flags came to be used primarily as a heraldic device in battle, allowing more easily to identify a knight than only from the heraldic device painted on the shield. Already during the high medieval period, and increasingly during the Late Middle Ages, city states and communes such as those of the Old Swiss Confederacy also began to use flags as field signs. Regimental flags for individual units became commonplace during the Early Modern period.
    During the peak of the age of sail, beginning in the early 17th century, it was customary (and later a legal requirement) for ships to carry flags designating their nationality; these flags eventually evolved into the national flags and maritime flags of today. Flags also became the preferred means of communications at sea, resulting in various systems of flag signals; see, International maritime signal flags.
    Use of flags outside of military or naval context begins only with the rise of nationalist sentiment by the end of the 18th century; the earliest national flags date to that period, and during the 19th century it became common for every sovereign state to introduce a national flag.

The problem with national flags is precisely because they began with the rise of nationalism in the late 18th Century which was honed in the first half of the 20th Century to encourage the killing of as many humans who don't look/sound/behave (your leader's choice) like you as possible. In the end nationalism is "ethnocentrism" dressed up in legal jargon. If you don't know, "ethnocentrism" is the act of judging another culture based on preconceptions that are found in the values and standards of one's own culture – especially regarding appearance (particularly race), language, behavior, customs, and religion.

It's interesting what a piece of fabric with a distinctive design and colors can do in our lives. Indeed, flags are handy symbols to be appropriated by folks. When ethnocentric feelings arise in Americans, feelings that aren't technically supported by our lawful nation, no legal flag is available. So what many do is (mis)appropriate a flag. Or burn one. Hopefully, that will divert them from waving a gun.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Hey, old Democrats, its time to acknowledge and rebuke our Party's 20th Century past not bask in it

Perhaps the time has come for older Democrats to acknowledge and rebuke the Party's past. Younger - you know, under age 60 - Democrats are demanding it and Trump Republicans are hoping we won't.


The first matter is the Kamala Harris (age 54, born a black Baptist/Hindu woman in California in 1964) exchange regarding "busing" with Joe Biden (age 76, born a white Catholic male in Pennsylvania in 1942). For perspective, Harris was 4 years old when Biden, then age 27, greeted his first born son. These are two people of two different generations from two different parts of the United States.

Often assumptions are made about "liberal" California that are historically untrue. Harris' busing experience is because in the 1960's Berkeley was segregated by neighborhood just like most of urban America in northern states.

It was Lyndon Johnson's 1964 Civil Rights Act that split the segregationist South out of Joe Biden's and my Democratic Party which led to today's Republican domination. It was the right thing to do. And Berkeley decided to bus kids because it was the right thing to do (read the article linked above).

It is very clear that Biden had, and still has, mixed feelings about all of this as do many old Democrats. Most of us in California thought it took way too long for the East Coast dominated Democratic Party to dump the Southern Democrats who seemed to have turned the Civil War loss into a victory.

This subject also relates to the current controversy over the use of "concentration camp" to refer to the places where Americans of Japanese descent were concentrated during WWII. We older California-born Democrats likely have a different view about the Japanese-American concentration camp controversy. Perhaps in my case it may be because 28 members of my high school class were born in the camps.

But then 41 members of my class were Hispanic. Some were migrant farm workers. Some were descendants of residents in California when the United States launched a war against Mexico and occupied what we now call the American Southwest - much like the Germans occupied France in WWII. Many of their parents and/or grandparents were impacted by the so-called Mexican Repatriation mass deportation of Americans of Mexican heritage between 1929 and 1936.

If you add in my two Black classmates (issues: slavery and segregation), the two Chinese classmates (issue: the 1892 - 1940 Chinese Exclusion Act, the only U.S. law ever to prevent immigration and naturalization on the basis of race), and the three Native American classmates (issue: genocide, forced relocation, and removal of children), the governments in the Union (with U.S. Supreme Court approval in some cases) committed heinous acts based on racial bigotry against the parents and/or grandparents of about 20% of my classmates.

So it was very disturbing to me when an argument developed over the use of the word "concentration" as the adjective describing the WWII camps in which the U.S. concentrated the Japanese-American population.

The National Archives in its "Educator Resources" section offers a lesson "Japanese Relocation During World War II" which title sounds like their homes were purchased to build some highway or other government facility and they had to be "relocated" to another town. Actually, it was the military rounding up some Asians against whom bigotry was historically common and putting them into concentration camps, assuming you understand the common definition of the verb "to concentrate" as meaning "put or bring into a single place, group, etc." This was done by the Democratic Party's most revered President Franklin Roosevelt despite thorough reports prepared over several years submitted to him and  FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover which dismissed all rumors of Japanese-American espionage on behalf of the Japanese war effort.

In other words, the Democratic Party in the 20th Century had a practice of sacrificing the freedom and well-being of non-white racial and ethnic groups to win elections or win votes in legislative chambers. If some Party leaders still think that way, the young - you know, Democrats under age 60 - are suggesting the Party should lose because when it matters it is no better than the Trump Republican Party.

Most certainly, old Democrats shouldn't be basking in that past! That means you, Joe.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Why are Presidential Primary candidates pushing Climate Change policy? Is it because the foundation of our American culture is ignorance of history?

The foundation of American culture is ignorance of history. Consider...


When asked in 1972 about the influence of the French Revolution, the late Premier of the People's Republic of China Zhou Enlai is reputed to have said:''Too early to say."

It is the apocryphal example of the patient and far-sighted nature of the discourse in China, where cultural advances are surveyed in terms of millenniums and economic progress is evaluated in centuries. This contrasts to the discourse in the United States, where cultural changes are defined by decades and economic expectations are calculated in days.

Here is an interesting historical fact from Wikipedia:

    The 1924 Democratic National Convention, held at the Madison Square Garden in New York City from June 24 to July 9, 1924, was the longest continuously running convention in United States political history. It took a record 103 ballots to nominate a presidential candidate. It was the first major party national convention that saw the name of a woman, Lena Springs, placed in nomination for the office of Vice President. John W. Davis, a dark horse, eventually won the presidential nomination on the 103rd ballot, a compromise candidate following a protracted convention fight between distant front-runners William Gibbs McAdoo and Al Smith.
    Davis and his vice presidential running-mate, Charles W. Bryan of Nebraska, went on to be defeated by the Republican ticket of President Calvin Coolidge and Charles G. Dawes in the 1924 presidential election.
    A total of 58 candidates received votes over the 103 ballots, and the second ballot was the one where most candidates were voted for (20 in total).

Democrats and others look at the current almost two dozen candidates running in the Democratic Presidential Primaries and relate it back to the 2016 Republican situation. That is because people don't understand much of anything about the history of our political system, even what happened 3+ years ago.

The important thing to remember about the Democratic 2020 Presidential Primary system is that it will be nothing like the Republican system that produced Trump. Trump won because of winner-take-all delegate award rules. The Democrats for 2020 have set up proportional rules which likely will make it easier for candidates with dogged, but limited, support resulting in their appearance on second ballot at the Convention.

It may not happen that the Democrats will end up with a brokered convention, but it is a real likelihood. And because all the various obnoxious subcultures support particular candidates, all of whom but one must lose, the possibility of bitterness suppressing Democratic turnout for the November election is very real.

This isn't all that complex to explain, but cultural context is a loser for the United States and particularly for Democrats. Consider for a moment the controversy over debating Climate Change policy. Tom Perez, head of the Democratic National Committee, ruled out an official presidential primary debate centered on climate change. That angered the dumb and young. Which then stirred the candidates who assuredly will discuss their policy proposals on the subject not only in the debates but afterwards because they have to win the primaries.

In 1988 the when George H.W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis, global warming was discussed for a whole one minute and 25 seconds:


Unfortunately, in 2019 the Democrats will feel compelled to say more...
  • without referencing what happened in the years immediately after the 1988 debate when the real opportunity to do something presented itself and 
  • without referencing the Republican alternative position which has already been mentioned publicly but formally will be rolled out in the near future to create fear about the Socialist Green New Deal among the electorate.
Which brings up the difficulty of discussing Climate Change in either a Chinese or American cultural context and, more particularly, across cultures.

Perhaps we should note that there is climate change and there is Climate Change. A capitonym is a word that changes its meaning when it is capitalized. In this case "climate change" refers to changes in Earth's climate system resulting in new weather patterns that last for at least a few decades, and maybe for millions of years. In terms of millions of years, in the Earth's distant past there were period such as the Cretaceous Thermal Maximum, the Permo-Carboniferous Glaciation, and Snowball Earth. During the time humans have been on the planet, there have been lesser periods called Bond event glaciations. The Earth survived all the past climate change periods though millions of species didn't.

But today we discuss "Climate Change" which actually refers to an Industrial Age climate change more properly known as global warming, the  long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system, an aspect of climate change shown by temperature measurements and by multiple effects of the warming over the lands and in the seas. The discussion goes to species extinction and sometimes to the probability of the extinction of the human species, the species that is the cause of Climate Change.

Despite what you will see or hear from the Trump Administration, China has made some progress in the struggle against Climate Change in no small part because they do explore issues in an extended historical context - extended both back and forward in millennia. In 2018 Zhejiang province was recognized with a Champions of the Earth Award, the United Nation's highest environmental honor. As noted here in previous posts on China and environmental issues:
    One of the pioneers has been East China's Zhejiang province, where in 2005 Xi Jinping, then Zhejiang Party secretary, famously said: "Clear waters and green mountains are mountains of gold and silver." Putting the theory into practice, Zhejiang has pioneered an "eco-compensation" system, which enables regions to both preserve the environment and develop eco-friendly industries. - from "The five major development concepts" by Robert Lawrence Kuhn
Xi Jinping, of course, has been President of China since March 14, 2013. But in 2005 when he offered the environmental statement quoted above -  "Clear waters and green mountains are mountains of gold and silver" - he was far from pandering to the popular thinking. In the first decade of this century, climate change skepticism in China was worse than in the U.S. But today China is led by an environmentalist while we have Donald Trump.

In terms of addressing human behavioral effects on the climate, China has a long ways to go as does the United States, though the governmental leadership attitude is radically different. Every Chinese Climate Change (note the capital letters) policy is organized with specific goals over defined five year periods with long term objectives seen in terms of a century. This is, of course, not "the American way" - except perhaps in California which like Zhejiang is following a State government led path to achieve significant Climate Change goals over the next three decades.

As noted in this blog previously the Trump-led Republican climate change policy (note the lack of capital letters) assumes that as an adaptive society we Americans - all randomly, voluntarily, and profitably in the American Way - will take the steps necessary to adapt - we will reorganize, we will move to different places, and we will innovate through technology.

On Sunday, June 23, 2019, Vice-President Mike Pence reflected the Republican climate change view in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper:

    Tapper:But I want to ask you a question about Climate Change. The director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, said in a January report on worldwide threats that the climate emergency is -- quote -- "likely to fuel competition for resources, economic distress and social discontent." It is a priority for the DNI, Coats. The EPA this week, however, rolled back part of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, letting states set their own limit for coal power plants emissions. Do you believe think human-induced climate emergency is a threat to the United States?
    Pence:Well, what -- what I will tell you is that we will always follow the science on that in this administration.
    Tapper: The science says it is.
    Pence: But what -- but what we -- but what we won't do -- and the Clean Power Plan was all about that -- was hamstringing energy in this country, raising the cost of utility rates for working families across this country...
    Tapper:TAPPER: But is it a threat?
    Pence: ... while other nations like China and India absolutely do nothing or make illusory promises decades down the road to deal with it. You know, the truth of the matter is, with the advent of natural gas, with the natural gas explosion that is developing...
    Tapper: Yes.
    Pence: ... with clean coal technology, we're seeing -- we're seeing a significant reduction in carbon emissions all across this country.
    Tapper: Do you think it's a threat? Man-made climate emergency—is it a threat?
    Pence: I think the answer to that is going to be based upon the science.
    Tapper: Well, the science says yes. I'm asking you what you think.
    Pence: Well, there's many in the science that—
    Tapper: The science community in your own administration—at NOAA, at the DNI—they all say it's a threat. But you won't, for some reason.
    Pence: What the president has said—what we've said—is that we're not going to raise utility rates. Remember what President Obama said? He had his Climate Change plan, he said it's necessarily going to cause rates to skyrocket. And that would force us into these green technologies. You've got Democrats all running for president on a Green New Deal that would break this economy.

The difficulty in this exchange is Tapper believes there is a "human-induced climate emergency" that is "a threat to the United States." Pence is focused on immediate policy choices. As proposed in the Democratic Green New Deal, pursuant U.S. Government regulation America would be required to reorganize its economy to meet defined needs to reduce or adapt to the impacts of Climate Change.

In 2020 the Republicans are going to challenge the concept of "climate emergency" in terms of climate change versus Climate Change.

In 2014 Haley Barbour, then Republican National Committee chairman and former Mississippi governor, told the Republican Leadership Conference: “In a two party system, purity is the enemy of victory.” If you Google the two words liberty enemy you will get a multitude of results for "[something] is the enemy of liberty." You will not get results for "liberty is the enemy of [something]". It's pretty easy to make the Green New Deal the enemy of liberty for purposes of winning the election. Of course Barbour was talking about winning elections.

The challenge for Republicans will be to get American likely voters thinking about what they are willing to give up economically for what they describe as the "Socialist Green New Deal." The supporting numbers are relatively easy to find.

Consider the chart to the left from the Environmental Progress website article Electricity prices in California rose three times more in 2017 than they did in the rest of the United States. California's implementation of solar and wind energy rapid expansion has its costs and as usual, the costs hit those who least can afford them despite rate structure efforts.

Lest you think, based on recent polling showing more Americans are concerned about Climate Change, that it would be good for Democrats to put a lot of their election eggs in that basket, here's the message from the other side regarding just one policy issue:

"Committed urban progressives" must quit talking among themselves long enough to attempt to understand the implications of the map below...

 
...because although the majority in all states think Climate Change is real, if Republicans make enough voters believe that the Democratic Green New Deal will cause them immediate economic harm, not only might Donald Trump win reelection but the Democrats may lose the House.

This writer fears that by embracing potential solutions to Climate Change found in the Green New Deal, Democrats will defeat themselves. The fact that the map above is based on extensive 2018 polling offers some hope as subsequent wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes across the nation might be bringing the implications of Climate Change up close and personal for many voters before November 2020.

The phrase "The economy, stupid" was coined by James Carville as the campaign strategy for Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign against President George H. W. Bush, the last time a sitting Republican President lost reelection. That is because the economy is more up close and personal for all voters than any other issue in any election not being held in a time of declared war.

Of course since the foundation of American culture is ignorance of history, the Democrats may blow it anyway by repeating the 1924 Democratic National Convention.

Oh, and by the way, meaningful Climate Change policy such as that found in California depends upon legislation which is adopted by the legislative branch. What we have in California was put in place by a Democratic Governor, Jerry Brown, negotiating "energetically" with a Legislature that was a Democratic super-majority.

At the national level, the Democrats have virtually no chance to achieve that kind of majority, indeed almost no chance to get a majority in the U.S. Senate. So why are the various subcultures in the Democratic Party so intent on having the Presidential Primary candidates fall on the Climate Change sword???

Sunday, June 23, 2019

California hasn't built enough homes because the State's progressives have banned creating new cities


The State of California has a housing shortage. State officials, in response to well-meaning political pressure, are leaning heavily on officials of existing cities to permit the expansion of multiple family housing in single family dwelling areas. There is something terribly wrong.

California has always had growth periods. And yes, existing cities have responded by permitting the construction of new homes. But as can be seen in the chart to the right the fact is in heavy growth periods new cities were incorporated - until the past three decades.

What should happen in the next five years is that 30 cities should be incorporated and developed - cities in area and population the size of Rohnert Park - 7 sq mi, 40,000 people, each with 10,000 single family units, 5,000 multiple family units, and 2,000 mobile home units.

That would require the State of California to revise its myriad of laws and allocate funds to subsidize the process, perhaps using funds from existing surplus but mostly from issuing revenue bonds. The state would need to find and acquire 200-250 square miles of land in areas safe from the worst impacts of Climate Change and rezone it. The state would have to find contractors and employees for the contractors - currently in very short supply - to build in these new cities 510,000 housing units at a rate of 102,000 a year. And 1,200,000 people would need to relocate. It would also require...
  • finding water supplies, 
  • building utility service facilities,
  • building transportation infrastructure,
  • building schools,
  • creating parks,
...and much, much more.

If that is accomplished by the State of California in the next five years, and then repeated every five years thereafter in addition to new housing construction in existing cities, California will have enough affordable housing for all the people in 2050.

It would also require the "progressives" in California to acknowledge what we all know - you cannot have more people without altering the environment in what is viewed as negative ways.

However, an additional option beyond meeting current housing needs would be to continue to slow migration into California though that would likely require a slowing of immigration, not exactly a "progressive" point of view.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Can California and China lead a war on Climate Change Black Death to save wine production?

Fulfilling an agreement made in 2017, retired Governor Jerry Brown will soon become the California Director of the California-China Climate Policy Institute to be operated jointly by the University of California Berkeley and China’s Tsinghua University.

As noted here in the 2017 post  "Clear waters and green mountains are mountains of gold and silver." Seeking a Beautiful China and California together in harmony for our grandchildren, Jerry Brown met with Chinese officials. At the time we noted:

    Shortly before meeting with President Xi, Brown... signed an agreement providing that China and the Golden State will work together on cutting their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over time.
    The agreement builds on subnational pacts Brown signed with officials in Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces earlier this week.
    “California is the leading economic state in America and we are also the pioneering state on clean technology, cap and trade, electric vehicles and batteries, but we can’t do it alone,” Brown said before a Chinese delegation.
    "I have proposed that California will cut its greenhouse gases 40 per cent below 1990 levels and that we'll have 50 per cent of our electricity from renewables," Brown told President Xi Jinping in a 45-minute meeting.
    "To keep that goal, we need a very close partnership with China - with your businesses, with your provinces, with your universities," Brown said.

    We need to be seeking together in harmony a beautiful China and California with clear waters and green mountains for our grandchildren.

Which brings us to wine. No, the agreement does not specifically address wine grapes, an agricultural product strongly associated with California.

However, it's interesting how climate change will affect that which is of casual-but-real importance in the lives of most people. And wine production is an example of the myriad of potential impacts from Climate Change on human life, some of which are immediately life-threatening but most of which will be "way-of-life" ending.

In 2013 a study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a worldwide analysis of the impacts of climate change on wine production. It found that the area suitable for wine production will shrink by as much as 73% by 2050 in certain parts of the globe, with high potential for stress on rivers and other freshwater ecosystems as vineyards use water to cool grapes or irrigate to compensate for rising temperatures and declining rainfall. The data leads to maps like this:


The map indicates new areas to which wine grape production could be relocated assuming a ±2.5° C temperature increase. In the enlarged portion of the map to the left, one can see that a substantial area in California that has been used for growing wine grapes will not be suitable for that use. But there would be an expansion of areas suitable in other locations both in California and in states further north.

So this would seem to indicate that U.S. wine production would continue, but it would have to be relocated - meaning that wine growers and their employees would move. As implied by Republican spokesman Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the American democracy has already chosen to have our grandchildren...


...drinking wine from grapes growing alongside the moose of Yellowstone National Park or in prime panda habitat in China. That is because it is already too late to avoid the assumed average temperature increase of 2.5°. And, of course, the Republican Climate Change policy assumes that Americans will reorganize themselves and relocate.

It puts an American old west migration veneer over the Climate Change problems - we just continue with the "Manifest Destiny" myth as explained in the post The very-American delusion behind Trump's foreign policy: The Bold 19th Century and 21st Century Women Architect-Advocates of America's Manifest Destiny.

In the case of California, the data assumptions produce maps like the one on the left showing the levels of water supply sustainability difficulties in different regions.

The fallacy - the lie, really - is that the 2.5° assumption is not the likely outcome of the failure of Western "democratic" governments such as the U.S. to effectively intervene to stem the causes of climate change.

As noted here previously, "in 2018 in both the U.S. and China formal findings have been made that we have 'locked in warming' of 4°± Celsius most likely within 60 years." It could come as early as 2064.

This raises the obvious questions: Between now and the end of the century how many times are the wine growers going to have to buy acreages in a new location, plant grapes, wait three years for the first production and two more years for the aging process? Or do we need new maps which would tell us to move the vineyards to ...hmmm... where, Alaska?

And then, assuming we can move and reorganize to keep drinking the wine we like, does that mean Americans will continue to not take adequate steps to avoid a continuing change in climate in the next century?

While the example here is wine grapes, the truth is for any organized complex endeavor, relocation, reorganization, and innovation do not lend themselves to adapting to multiple changes due to environmental forces within relatively short time periods. And that applies to individuals and families.

And at some point, the number of people involved in relocations actually becomes a mass migration which we are already seeing not just in Africa or Micronesia, but also in Central America.

As the current generation of Americans begin to experience the impacts of climate change, there will still be an inclination to assume because "this level of flooding" or "having this many tornados" or whatever last happened over 50 or 100 years ago, the incidents will not occur in the near future when in fact they are likely to occur within 10 years. That is when rebuilding is foolish and Pompeo's relocation solution is the only choice.

Acting to limit climate change is another choice. But when "progressives" talk about a green "new deal", they forget that the original "New Deal" was politically difficult to implement until (and even then after) The Great Depression had impoverished 30% of Americans. And in the end, it wasn't the "New Deal" that restored American prosperity, it was World War II.

The Great Depression was a faceless inanimate enemy. And so is Climate Change except it is far slower moving. It is highly unlikely that California-China Climate Policy Institute can inspire a conservative, "not-really" democracy such as the United States to shift to a "war footing"  through a government reconfiguration of the national economy, all to battle  Climate Change a faceless inanimate, slow moving threat. Even the People's Republic of China will have problems with that.

So over the next decade pour yourself many glasses of your favorite wines from California (or China or Italy or France - look at that world map above). You may not be able to in the following decade. And while you are doing so, remember it is just a symbol of the "acceptable" losses coming soon, along with  climate change black death .



The 21st Century Climate Change Black Death is happening now.
                                                                                                          If you're new to this blog here's the link to the listing of the 30+ previous posts in the Blog regarding Climate Change and the Environment.

This post is a part of a series:  climate change black death surrounds us 
                                                                                                         

Monday, June 10, 2019

As Climate Change Black Death Surrounds Us
  U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explains the
  conservative "old deal" to address Climate Change

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking on behalf of what is Republican thinking, laid out policy regarding Climate Change.

In an interview while he was in Europe, Pompeo explained that the Paris Agreement was an "aspirational" document but otherwise worthless because its "enforcement mechanisms were near-nonexistent." He argued that it represented a “real burden … on the [U.S.] and its economy and its workers and ordinary people in places like Kansas that I come from.”

Instead, Pompeo explained that we Americans will...
  • responsively reorganize our society, 
  • relocate as needed, and
  • rely on future technological innovation 
...instead of developing governmental policy as suggested in House Resolution 109 - Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal and creating the bureaucracy needed to implement it.

Before becoming Secretary of State, Pompeo served as CIA Director for the Trump Administration leaving his seat representing Kansas House District 4 which he had held since January 2011. He was a member of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. In the 2010 Republican Primary when another Republican candidate began to gain on him, Koch Bros funding assured his victory.

Pompeo did not "come from" Kansas. He did not evolve from some rural experience in the Plains States. A native Californian who graduated from Los Amigos High School in Fountain Valley, Pompeo is a West Point graduate who served only 4+ years as an officer in the Army and is an attorney who received his JD degree in 1994 from Harvard.

In 1998, when he was 34, Pompeo came to Kansas with three West Point friends, Brian Bulatao (who at the time worked for Bain Capital and who was confirmed by the United States Senate as Under Secretary of State for Management on May 16, 2019), Ulrich Brechbuhl (who since May 3, 2018, has served as Counselor of the United States Department of State), and Michael Stradinger. In Wichita they acquired three aircraft-part manufacturers along with a fourth in St. Louis, Missouri. They obtain venture funding from Bain Capital (Mitt Romney was that company's first CEO), Koch Industries, and Cardinal Investment (founded by another West Point/Harvard graduate).

One other fact Pompeo offered about himself in a speech places in ideological context the importance of the statements he made about Climate Change policy.


Simply put, Pompeo is the face of an evolving American conservative activism that is blending Neoconservatism and Neoliberalism under what appears to be unfocused freewheeling President Donald Trump.

And, as mentioned by Pompeo, the core conservative Climate Change view is addressed the following policy statement:
  1. Yes, the climate is changing;
  2. Yes, a the changing climate likely will have impacts, perhaps some significant ones;
  3. No, we do not have an accurate prediction of what those impacts will be in the years 2025, 2050, 2100 or 2200;
  4. Individuals and businesses should recognize that over the next decades a need to adapt to changing climate conditions may arise requiring geographical relocation;
  5. Nations should recognize that over the next decades a need to adapt to changing climate conditions may arise requiring a responsive, evolutionary reorganization of society;
  6. Individuals, mostly through businesses as facilitated by free nations, will create technological advances which will allow for adaptation to and reductions in impacts from Climate Change;
  7. The United States Government in response to Climate Change at this time should not create complex economic and social policies, and the bureaucracies to implement them as suggested by the Democrats in H.R. 109, instead continue to rely upon the private sector and the states to address problems as they arise.
Since it is unlikely that the Democrats can get control of the U.S. Senate in the foreseeable future, it would appear that Pompeo's conservative policy will prevail into the next decade. And it would be a mistake to dismiss the policy statement.

Earlier this month, a Reuters report World's biggest firms foresee $1 trillion climate cost hit indicated that:

    More than 200 of the world’s largest listed companies forecast that climate change could cost them a combined total of almost $1 trillion, with much of the pain due in the next five years....
    The companies anticipated a total of $970 billion in extra costs due to factors including hotter temperatures, chaotic weather, and pricing of greenhouse gas emissions. About half of these costs were seen as “likely to virtually certain.”
    Many companies also saw a huge potential upside if the world can de-carbonize in time to avert the bleakest climate scenarios, which scientists see as an existential risk to industrial civilization.
    Fossil fuel companies who submitted responses to the study reported $140 billion of potential opportunities in the drive toward a low-carbon economy - more than five times the $25 billion value of the risks they identified...
    With climate action focused on limiting the burning of coal, oil and gas, CDP urged investors to question why fossil players seemed so confident of benefiting from an energy transition that would render their existing business models obsolete.

It might be tempting to minimize this news except that it is based on a study initiated by the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. At their request the Financial Stability Board (FSB) established the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and its recommendations resulted in reporting from 6,937 companies (more information is available here).

And so as many of the Democratic candidates seeking to run for President in 2020 embrace the Green New Deal of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Donald Trump has a simple answer - individual American's and their businesses using their ingenuity will deal with Climate Change when and as needed. (The unsaid corollary is: and those who can't deal ...well... we already have too many people.)

Or Americans could choose to depend on the Democrat of their choice who says "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." The problem with that is even if Trump loses, the Senate stands in the way.

Meanwhile some of the states are taking serious action such as California as explained in Embracing Inclusive Capitalism Plus within The California Green & Gold Deal as Newsom leads.





The 21st Century Climate Change Black Death is happening now.
                                                                                                          If you're new to this blog here's the link to the listing of the 30+ previous posts in the Blog regarding Climate Change and the Environment.

This post is a part of a series:  climate change black death surrounds us