Global Warming will Increase Children´s deaths from Hypothermia

Summary: Research shows global warming will cause more deaths from hypothermia as people (in particular children) fall through  abnormaly thin  ice.

Scientists at the University of Southern Australia have published a paper in “Nature Climate Catastrophe”, documenting the coupling of their climate and human behavior models applied to iced over ponds in Europe, Asia, and North America.

 Results show a 21 % mortality increase in the Business as Usual Case, when CO2 concentration reaches 860 ppm. The total number of additional deaths caused by the 9 degree C temperature increase,  is 22,856,300 through the year 2300. Of these,  57 % are little children, the least situationally aware portion of the population.

Children are increasingly falling through 
thin ice due to global warming. 

 The heart breaking statistic about increased child mortality,  caused by the global warming/falling through thin ice link,    was estimated using the ICES Message Climate Risk model, developed at the University’s Climate Catastrophe Institute”.


My Readers´ Digest Version of Pope Francis´ Encyclical

I just finished reading Pope Francis´”Laudato Si” (also known as ENCYCLICAL LETTER ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME), and I decided to do my Readers´ Digest abridged version, because the original is really long and boring. 

I´ve read quite a few comments from leftist atheists who are really happy because the Pope sounds like a commie environmentalist, maybe because they only read the sections they liked, or because they read the extracted material their favorite newspaper served its readership. 

The document is incredibly long, so I doubt it was read in full by anybody except by Catholic priests and a few retired folk like me. I decided to extract it and try to be faithful to the original, so I included a lot of material I liked, and some I really hated. I think I was fair and balanced, and most readers will hate portions, which is what I´m trying to achieve. 

I think having a communist Pope is fine, because Jesus talked like a communist. I´m not Christian, which means I don´t have to pay attention to what they say Jesus said (I don´t buy the tale about the New Testament being written by people who had Jesus dictating its contents). But Christians should be really happy to get a communist Pope after all these years of slave holding Popes, medieval Popes, warring Popes, and capitalist Popes who own  the  Vatican Bank and shares in a zillion companies.

 I don´t know much about religion, but my suggestion to Pope Francis is to let his inner red take over without using typical communist practices (i.e. nationalize everything, ruin the economy,  abolish democracy, and run a hereditary dictatorship like they do in North Korea and Cuba).

Instead, he should be a true communist like Jesus, start wearing very simple clothes, give away all the Catholic Church money to Syrian refugees, and embrace gay rights because after all Jesus said to turn the other cheek, and he has to be very forgiving even  if he thinks homosexuals are bad people.  

He didn´t discuss much about human rights abuses, democracy, or press censorship, but maybe in the future he will deal with these  important problems. I definitely don´t want to have Catholics following a communist Pope who forgets details like making sure dictators are driven out of power. 

Anyway, I don´t want to clutter this with my own writing. Here´s the abridged version of the Pope´s encyclical. However, a subtly related post is found here 


The Pope, in his own (?) words:

Pope Francis during a Catholic ritual of some sort 

Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. The violence present in our hearts is also reflected in the sickness evident in the soil, and in all forms of life.

The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together. Some forms of pollution are part of people’s daily experience. Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces health hazards, especially for the poor. The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.



Cuba under Fidel Castro

It was never an utopia. I had nightmares after I left, they lasted for many years. In these nightmares I was back in Cuba, and I couldn't get out. My relatives who were left behind seem to be lobotomized, adapted to take the abuse. They have an odd disconnection from anything involving politics. They seem to think the regime is all powerful and omniscient. And they fear it. 

The Cuban experiment has had an interesting result: those who were like me were either driven out or murdered, what's left isn't the Cuban people who used to be. I think the Castros committed the genocide of Cuban society. What's left isn't their perfect socialist man, nor is it Cuban as we used to be. When I think if it, it's horrifying.


Is the American left blocking Canadian oil to help Venezuela sell its heavy oil?

Let me explain what I see: both crudes are identical. The Canadian crude is at or close to the surface. These conditions lead to degassing (the oil lost most of the natural gas). They also lead to much higher viscosity. The setting near the surface allows the crude mixed with sand to be shoveled into large trucks, taken to a plant where the sand and crude are separated. The crude (what many of you call "tar") is sent to an upgrader or diluted with light hydrocarbons to be sent to a refinery which performs the upgrading steps. Sometimes the crude is extracted using wells and injecting steam to lower the oil viscosity so it flows to the surface. 

Pdvsa president Rafael Ramirez shakes hands with  Chevron Texaco's 
Latinoamerica President, a rather  arrogant Iranian I met in Caracas
 several years ago, as they celebrate a recent deal. ChevronTexaco owns
 shares  in two giant heavy oil joint ventures in Venezuela.  This is the oil 
that  competes with Canadian heavy oil. 

In Venezuela the oil is found deeper, and the deposit has a higher geothermal gradient (it sits on top of hot basement rocks). The viscosity is lower, and it has a lot of methane in solution. This allows the foreign companies working in Venezuela and PDVSA to pump the wells using progressive cavity pumps. However, pumping that heavy oil is only feasible in a portion of this giant oil deposit. The majority of the oil requires steam injection, and this is allowed for in the well design (the wells are being drilled to withstand the high temperature environment). That oil also requires upgrading. Today, there are four upgraders located in Venezuela. But they can only upgrade half the crude, so the other half is sent to either China or the USA. 

In the USA, this Venezuelan crude competes with Canadian crude. They almost the same. Thus blocking Canadian access to the Gulf of Mexico refineries leads to higher prices for the Venezuelan crude. Actions taken to curtail Canadian production lead to a better market position for the Venezuelan heavy oil. 

I looked at this very carefully, and pointed it out in several forums. And I think it should be evident the Venezuelan regime is hostile to the USA. Not only does it overtly act to block US diplomacy, it also takes action to help Iran and Syria, is known to serve as a convenient way station for half the cocaine being shipped to the USA and Europe, and meddles in other countries' internal politics by funneling cash via illegal means to extreme left parties. This means the Venezuelan regime represents a clear and present danger to the USA. 

Thus the letters and campaigns which focus solely on Canadian heavy oil and ignore Venezuelan heavy oil are more likely political, and may even be covertly financed or encouraged by Venezuelan agents. Debate that.


Close Encounters in the Chalbi Desert

Many years ago I had an assignment in Northern Kenya, a fairly dry and isolated part of the country where very few tourists visited. 

Nice spot in the Chalbi, see "50 Treasures of 
Kenya"  for their  full photograph collection 

So you get a sense for life in a place like that, I´m going to describe the local tribes according to what I learned from the boss at the camp where I was staying, which means I´m probably going to give you a very biased version.

“The main tribe is Rendille. They are the good guys. The other guys are the Borana, Turkana, and Somalis. The Turkana are fine if you don´t mess with their cattle. The Rendille think the Borana can be killed because there are very few of them. But the Somalis have to be avoided, they are armed with AK47, and like to raid everybody else to steal their cattle. Don´t stare at women´s tits, and never take their photographs. It´s ok to wave at them, if they come close you have to shake hands. Don´t go too far from the camp without armed guards just in case you run into Somalis. It´s better to let the locals fight and stay out of it" (he said the last part because a few months before one of our guys had run into what he thought were  hostile Somalis and emptied a full clip on them, this caused a lot  of paperwork and strict orders not to shoot at the natives even if they were shooting at you). 

By sheer luck, several years before one of the logistics types purchased twenty Mercedes Benz four wheel drives, and sent them to Madagascar. After the guy got transferred to Papua New Guinea or wherever they went for punishment, the Mercedes were shipped to Mombasa, and somebody decided the mistake would be covered up by having those cars issued to isolated camps, like ours. 


Temperature anomaly of the 20 most powerful cities

The way things work, most important decisions are taken by powerful people, who tend to gather in large cities with excellent restaurants. These are the people who decide things like the renewable energy subsidies, carbon taxes, and whether they intend to help Pacific Ocean drowning islands.

I decided to see whether they were perceiving global warming in their daily lives. So I downloaded  the temperature anomaly for the 20 “most powerful cities”.  

London (former Londinium), one of the 20
“most powerful”  cities (my apologies to
Paris, but I don’t like President Hollande)

As part of this group I  included  Hawaii because rich folk like to visit, and some  token Australian, African, and South American cities to represent underprivileged elites.

The temperature anomalies were obtained from the Google Earth Hadcrut grid, which runs through 2012. I suspect the plotted average (the black line) probably has a slight upturn in 2013 and 2014, but that´s impossible to tell because I can´t get the detailed Hadcrut data in an easy format.

The twenty cities´temperature anomalies, and their average are shown in the graph below. As you can see, the temperature climbed for many years but it sort of went flat around 1998. 


The U.S. Civil War, Slavery, and Revisionism

As I expected, the previous post didn´t go over well. This one will discuss US Civil War historical revisionism. It isn´t about to go over very well either. 

Bombardment of Fort Sumter, which 
formally started the U.S. Civil War. 

People don´t like to read about   human rights abuses unless they are abuses carried out by their enemies-du-jour (like the Islamists cutting off prisoners´heads, Argentina´s dictatorship stealing babies from women prisoners, and shit like that). They don´t want to hear much about human rights abuses in Cuba, at a time when US and European elites are focused on establishing links with the “reborn” Cuban dictatorship (reborn in the sense that it will accept capitalism and foreign investment as long as it is allowed to keep the Cuban people in bondage and peddle itself as  “Marxist”). 

This brings me to historical revisionism by Americans who distort the  Confederacy formed by the Slaver States, and the way they started the US Civil war. Why do I write revisionism? Because they say the Civil War was triggered by Slaver States resentment of  Federal tariffs, or because “they were defending state´s rights”. And that´s sort of bullshit. 

The Civil War was about state´s rights alright.  It was mainly about the states´ rights to have legal slavery,  and the resentment caused by escaped slaves, who weren´t returned from the North (people in the North, for the most part,  were racist as hell, but they drew the line at slavery).


The children nobody wanted

I´m going to write this post knowing very well very few will read it. We live in a broken down world, and nobody cares anyway. But when one reads and sees how awful things can get, it´s hard to get inspired to write sarcasm and cynical jokes.

Angel Santiesteban is a Cuban political prisoner,  was jailed for writing against the Castro dictatorship in a blog he started in 2008 (The Children Nobody Wanted). The regime claims he´s a criminal, they used trumped up charges to jail him, but the trial, as are all trials in Cuba, was a sham. 

Angel Santiesteban, photo by Ernesto Santana

The original  blog contents have disappeared, and my antivirus  reports the current site using the name “loshijosquenadiequiere” (the children nobody wanted)  is suspect of being infected by malware.  I suppose it´s probably hacked by the Cuban regime.

But Santiesteban´s writings were somehow rescued and are available in scattered blogs and sites. I had a site checked carefully and was able to access his writings starting in 2009, and I copy an excerpt from one of his posts here:

The Children Nobody Wanted: Jan 25, 2010

“After the events at  the Havana psychiatric hospital (Mazorra), and under pressure from the international press coverage, the State admitted in a brief press release that twenty-six patients had died from hypothermia (doctors and family members believe the figure exceeds forty). The press release was silent about the hunger, desolation and overcrowding they endured in their windowless pavilions, and about the food.  Generally they had soup or oatmeal, with any luck it was hot, at five o’clock in the afternoon; this was dinner, the last food until breakfast.