Friday, September 30, 2022

Picture of a billboard remembering Queen Elizabeth II. Time for my own reflection as well.

A realtor's billboard where most of the space is devoted to various public service announcements. This time in memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

Some of my thoughts.

Given the bad human rights record in many "so called" republics around the world, it seems like a lot of folks, including me, have warm feelings for United Kingdom's form of constitutional monarchy.

Aside from just the gentle monarchy, quite a few folks feel that UK, or Canada's Parliamentary system is better than even our US system of government.

A monarch isn't necessary, however. It's just that there are so many authoritarian governments around the world that the British system is like a breath of fresh air.

Queen Elizabeth's period spanned a lot of changes in technology and society. From 1953, a few years before early computer scientist Alan Turing was castrated, in Britian, for the crime of homosexuality, to gay marriage being celebrated in UK and many other nations.

From a time when computers barely existed as large expensive machines with gears and vacuum tubes to the more powerful smartphone in one's pocket.

What would Turing think of the app called Grinder, if he were to be transported from the 1950s to the 2020s?

Queen Elizabeth served quietly and kindly as society evolved around her.

I was born about a year after her term began, so it spanned much of my own lifetime.

When politics turns to the right in the west, it isn't fascism, but it isn't the direction we need to go either.

I was listening to a round table discussion about the new leaders elected in Italy and UK. Both kind of lean to the right. There is some worry about a slippery slope toward fascism, but the commentators, I was hearing, thought those two leaders are fairly moderate and not in the same ballpark as fascism.

Instead, those leaders talk about "return to traditional family values."

I got to thinking that, way short of fascism, there is the specter of trying to return to the world we had in the US and UK during the early 1960s. Gay people more in the closet, an era before the racial Civil Rights Act in USA. An era when suburbs, shopping centers and freeways were seen as improvements.

I think even that would be a step backwards, but still a long ways shy of NAZI style fascism. Back then, USA and the allied countries defeated fascism.

Today, places like Russia and Iran are closer to overt fascism, but returning to our more prejudiced past would not be desirable either.

I have heard the Christian Right described as the "Christian Taliban," but, except for the extreme sides, it's still somewhat tame by comparison. Crying wolf leads the populous toward tuning out a constant drumbeat of warnings.

Still, with climate change, even a mild return to "traditional values" would be a disaster. Back then, we were on a trajectory toward mass consumption. The automobile, super highways, larger homes and so forth. Things that traditional family life, American Style, aspired to.

We need to embrace the future and go in new directions.

Another problem, short of fascism, has just been the vast prosperity of countries like US, Canada, UK, Australia and so forth. Over the years, many of the world's natural resources flowed into the wealthy countries leading to the left's criticism of "American Imperialism."

This is partially a byproduct of that disparity of wealth between countries.

These days, the world has changed, somewhat at least, to more widespread prosperity around the world. More prosperity in countries, like China; for instance.

We do need a new paradigm for our economies and civilizations. Trying to return to the past, for almost 8 billion people in the era of climate change, is a no go. We need newer aspirations.

The loud cars in Washington State

Seems like a lot of cars, here in Washington State, don't have mufflers. There are a lot of loud cars. I guess we don't do the yearly smog check when people had to bring their cars in to check for pollution, including noise pollution. Maybe different in California. That was dropped some years back, here in Washington, as I have heard. Enforcement of noise ordinances is lax. Most cars are pretty quiet, but there are quite a few loud ones. Lots of revving of engines as well. A macho thing.

Edward Snowden and Donald Trump have this in common.

Both Edward Snowden and Donald Trump are facing legal difficulties over the handling of classified information.

Yuppy liberal elitism wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't also for the tax and budget cuts driven mostly by the conservative side in the political mix.

A certain combination of liberal and conservative politics can be detrimental, I'd guess. Conservatives are usually the ones that push for tax cuts. Quite a few liberal minded people are prosperous also, but they tend to be okay with the taxes and the social safety net. One can still be prosperous and generous.

Problem is the conservatives tip the scale toward more cuts and a less compassionate society. The electorate is pretty much split 50 50.

I think if it leaned more toward liberal politics, there would be more compassionate prosperity.

Hopefully, filing your taxes will get a lot easier.

Good news. Biden's latest spending plan that just passed (barely) should make filling out tax forms much easier in the future. I think part of the reason there is so much anti government sentiment in USA is the convoluted complexity of filling out our tax forms. If this can be fixed, it might improve the politics, in my opinion.

Our tax laws are complex, but the computer can make it much easier. Problem is, we also have a complicated system of private tax services that cost taxpayers extra money (filing fees). Streamlining this so taxpayers can deal directly with IRS with no fee would help.

Being somewhat low income, I qualify for "Free File," but the problem is, that still uses private tax companies. Private companies offer Free File as a lost leader, but maybe only for one year. From year to year, one keeps having to find a new Free File provider and they all have different protocols. It gets very confusing. Having a consistent interface with IRS would make it so much easier.

Europe much better than USA in low carbon footprint living, but thanks to US fossil fuel industry and possibly the luck of geology, USA is less dependent on Russian gas these days.

As for reducing carbon footprint, I think most European countries are lightyears ahead of USA. For things like mass transit, bicycling and compact living, Europe has us beat.

In spite of this, Europe is struggling more than us, given the Russia sanctions energy crisis. This is basically because the US has more fossil fuel production than Europe. Domestic fossil fuel production.

We are less dependent on imported energy which often comes from authoritarian countries. This hasn't always been the case. During the 1970s, USA was so dependent on imported oil that OPEC had us over a barrel. Since then, domestic production of oil and natural gas has increased in USA so it's closer to our domestic demand.

I've sometimes wondered if Europe could produce more of it's own fossil fuel. Not necessarily a desirable outcome in terms of climate change, however.

It is true that Europe is trying to ramp up alternative energy production and transferring it's fossil fuel imports to other sources besides Russia. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) for instance. Trying in short order.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Assuming that Puget Sound Region is outgrowing Seatac Airport.

Watch out for planes crossing the bike path near Renton's little airport; one of many small airports. Seatac is a much bigger airport. Image taken 2013.

If the economy and population keep growing and air travel remains like it is today, in spite of climate change, this region outgrows Seatac Airport. The state of Washington is looking ahead to 2050. New airport sites by Tacoma and Olympia are on the "short list" for, possibly, a brand new airport.

According to an article I read (Sept. 24 2022 Bellingham Herald) Puget Sound Region is projected to see 27 million more annual passenger boardings than it can accommodate and twice the amount of current cargo demand by 2050.

From what I read, Seatac serves 50 million passengers per year. That's more than the population of Washington State, but lots of people fly several times per year and some from other areas transfer at Seatac. By 2050 room for even more passengers and cargo is projected to be needed.

Near Tacoma, “Pierce County East” and “Pierce County Central” sites were deemed attractive due to the potential number of passengers they could accommodate: 20 million and 19 million annually, respectively.

Paine Field, in Everett, is another place discussed for the expansion, but I guess it isn't large enough already. They would want to add to it. There must be a lot of development around it constraining expansion?

Paine Field is already taking some of the load off of Seatec.

I've heard people talk about using Bellingham Airport for this, but I don't think it's in the study. Must be too far from Seattle and expanding it, to more runways, would be an issue. Bellingham is already, kind of, an alternative airport for Vancouver, BC.

One wonders if we will find low carbon fuels for jets? One wonders if other technologies, such as telecommuting or slow floating helium airships, will take much of the load away from jet traffic? Seems like procuring right of way for high speed rail is unlikely, however.

Friday, September 23, 2022

A more thoughtful solution than just sticking it to perceived hypocrites on Martha's Vineyard.

News is talking about Florida Governor DeSantis's political stunt of relocating refugees, from Texas, to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Another way to think about these issues is to discuss population growth and things, like the shortage of housing in USA. Immigration does add to population, but it can also add to a solution for housing. Reducing the shortage of construction workers that I hear is part of the housing "supply chain" problem.

Yes, immigrants can proved needed labor, in construction and other fields of work.

Another thing leading to the housing shortage is, of course, zoning. As population grows, density of development will need to increase.

I'm no expert on land use planning in Martha's Vineyard, but this hot button event could add to the national conversation about how we accommodate population growth in this country.

Our traditional patterns of semi rural sprawl and even exclusive single family neighborhoods seem to be in conflict with the idea of welcoming in new people. Over dependency on the automobile, with it's increasing traffic, is a related problem.

We could take a good look at how people expect to live in this country. Both liberals and conservatives.

Population growth is a worldwide problem, but if it is a reality, how we accommodate growing population is a factor as well. Migration is becoming a big issue all over the world due to climate change and other factors.

Good planning can make the difference between population growth being just a burden, or in some cases, it can still be an asset as in providing more willing and skilled labor to meet our needs; such as for housing.

The inflationary pressures caused by overpriced assets. Real estate and so forth.

Seems like there is always a tradeoff in economics. Now that wages have been going up and jobs are easier to find, we have inflation. Increasing costs, including labor costs, passed along to the consumer. It's like "we can't have it all."

Income inequality is a big factor in this problem. I'm not against the idea of using graduated taxes to address income inequality.

Some inflation may not be a bad thing. Someone does have to pay for higher costs. It's either the consumer or the upper level management and owners as profits and top level wages have to come down.

Either that or income and wealth inequality is addressed through higher taxes. Hopefully, it's taxes on wealthy individuals, rather than smothering business. I know business needs money to operate and, in some cases, expand and update.

As long as wages and prices go up together, things aren't too bad. It's the big gap between things that really creates the problem; like when food costs remain low while housing costs go through the roof. Then restaurant workers can't afford a place to live.

I think rising interest rates will help cool the cost of existing housing. One problem is that homes have become an asset and they have gone way up in value over past decades. They have gone up along with other assets, such as stocks.

I think asset values have been rising out of line with the rest of the economy. That may be why the Federal Reserve is trying to tighten up on the money supply. A way to cool the bidding wars for homes and so forth. This is one lever that can dampen inflation.

It does look like some inflation isn't the end of the world. Inflation is said to be bad for people with savings accounts, but low interest rates have already destroyed bank savings as a way to build wealth anyway.

As for everything going up in price, it's just money. Future generations will just move the decimal point over. The dollar is becoming the new dime and future generations can start from there.

What the Fed is doing now is probably a good thing, however. Modest inflation is better than having it so rampant that it is out of control. Rampant inflation, in assets such as home values, has been driving wealth inequality for decades.

Could a desalinization plant, on the Gulf of California in Mexico, irrigate California's Imperial Valley?

There is some talk of piping water all the way from the Mississippi River to the Colorado. Expensive for sure.

I've come up with my own idea for putting more water in the Colorado. One of the big users of Colorado River water is the Imperial Valley in California. That's a big agricultural area right on the Mexican Border south of the Salton Sea. I think it's actually a bit below sea level.

Maybe they could build a desalinization plant on the Gulf of California, in Mexico, to provide water to that area. It might even be able to use a mostly gravity feed pipe or canal down to the Imperial Valley from Gulf of California.

Desalinization could provide fresh water for both the Imperial Valley and parts of Mexico. Those areas would no longer have to be so dependent on Colorado River water.

I know that the idea of desalizazation may not pencil out economically for agriculture. Desalinization is an expensive process. Too expensive to provide water cheap and abundant enough for agriculture. Farming needs a cheap source of water, unless it's hydroponic; like indoor agriculture; Another topic. That might sink my "Gulf of California / Imperial Valley" idea, but I still present that idea here, at least.

The process of desalinization is already starting to be used by California's coastal cities; such as San Diego. Urban areas don't need as high a volume of water as open field agriculture. The concept of desalinization is starting to pencil out for urban water usage.

Bringing water all the way from the Mississippi would be expensive as well.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Easier for Republicans to do something like banning abortion than figuring out how to stop something as complex as inflation

Hoping Republicans have a difficult time this November, but who knows.

They are using inflation as a campaign issue, but I doubt there is a clear solution to inflation that politicians can enact into law. Politicians can do something specific, like banning abortion, but inflation is more complex with no easy way to pass a law against it.

The Federal Reserve is not on the ballot, but it likely has more influence through the money supply. It's taking steps now to try and curb inflation, but the whole thing isn't that straight forward.

There are a lot of moving parts in the economy. Complex issues of supply and demand, wages and expectations, wealth inequality, environmental constraints and people's perception of how well things are going.

Not something with a clear solution based on the stroke of a pen.

People may not realize this, however. They still might buy talking points that Republicans, or Democrats can totally control inflation.

If we go back to a Republican Congress, with the Senate controlled by Mitch McConnel again, it would be a while before we learn that inflation doesn't just go away from political promises. By then it might be too late.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Seems unlikely that there will be any significant climate change reparations from rich countries to poor countries

For instance, given the precariousness of US politics, where Republicans could retake Congress in 2022 election, I wonder if the US could even reduce our own carbon emissions, let alone help other countries?

It does take some spending to reduce our own emissions; either that or less consumptive lifestyles, in the US and other rich countries; a heavy lift politically.

I hope the Democrats hold onto and even expand their margins in Congress, but who knows what might happen. Republicans seem to care less about resolving climate change. At least the Democrats play lip service to solving climate change.

UK recently got a new prime minister who is calling for tax cuts.

Quite a few people, in Third World countries, have said, "you (the West) have had your turn at industrialization and consumerism, now it's our (the Third World's) turn."

That mindset is partially behind what has brought China to become the world's largest carbon polluter. The situation has lead to Donald Trump's style of pushback, in the US, as many folks say, "what good is cutting US carbon emissions as China and India pump out more carbon?

It's like kids fighting in a sandbox over who's to blame.

There may be no more turns. The old paradigm of industrialization, population growth and consumerism needs to change in all countries.

There is talk of Third World countries leapfrogging the old paradigms of industrialization and going to a more ideal model of sustainable living. Solar energy instead of coal, for instance. Technology can help, like in the case of countries bypassing phoneline networks and going directly to cellphone technology. Could Third World countries bypass the automobile as well? Seems unlikely, but I can still hope. Electric cars help, but energy still has to come from somewhere.

It seems like everyone, who can afford it, still embraces the automobile. Look at traffic jams in China, India, Nigeria and so forth. Population growth is still rampant in much of the Third World, though the growth rate is slowing.

Unfortunately, many Third World countries push old fashioned attitudes toward sexuality; for instance oppression of LGBTQ people and lack of women's rights. Even if consumption is low, in poor countries, I don't give them a pass on population as it seems like most people, in poor nations, aspire toward higher levels of consumption. The main thing holding them back is just poverty.

Hopefully there will be some new ways of thinking the world over. I remember the idea of poor countries bypassing traditional forms of industrialization and consumption being talked about, some, since my college days. It's also true that richer countries can learn some more sustainable ways of life from the Third World. For instance more use of buses and public transportation. The idea of slower traffic with streets for all. Slower speeds can fill the streets with walkers, animals, bicycles, rickshaws and so forth. Again, a heavy political lift in countries where life is already in the fast lane.

Here in the US, however, heavy traffic has slowed many of our "fast lane" freeways to a crawl, but the slow speed is not the intent of freeway planners. Freeways are still being built in poor countries as they are possibly not learning the lessons of things that have been troublesome in rich countries. Are they wishing to repeat the same mistakes?

There is a lot of room for rethinking the way humans function the world over.

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Are some Democrats trying to help the MAGA Republicans?

Money and politics on both sides of the aisle can be dirty. The intent of Biden's speech against MAGA Republicans has apparently been undermined by a Democratic PAC, led by Chuck Schumer, plowing money toward MAGA Republicans in primary elections.

Seen now as possibly weaker candidates than more moderate Republicans, this strategy is seen as helping Democrats in general elections. If it backfires, we get MAGA Republicans.

I still vote Democrat on of the issues aside from the dirty strategies on both sides.

On the issues, Republicans see today's inflation as a talking point that can get them elected. Few people mention what I think that inflation is nothing new. It predates Biden if one takes into account house value and housing cost inflation. That has been rampant for decades.

Rising interest rates may be tamping down the hot housing market and over priced land values today. That's good news on the inflation front going forward. Yes, higher interest rates may dampen supply by slowing construction, but dampening inflation in land prices could be more significant.

Gas prices are coming down now. Republicans see that as a driving force behind inflation and they tend to call for more domestic oil production. Makes sense not to buy from imports especially given Putin, but Republicans seem to not consider climate change.

We really do need less consumption.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

High fixed costs of things like housing and insurance necessitate robust economy which can drive consumption and environmental degradation.

One reason why the economy has to keep growing and churning out more goods and services is the high and growing fixed costs that people and businesses face. The fixed costs of rent and mortgage payments. Also the fixed costs of insurance, health insurance and even car insurance. Much of the premiums are fixed costs that necessitate a certain amount of economic activity to meet each month.

Conservatives will say that government creates fixed costs, but I think this is less the case. Lots of taxes do vary based on income and consumption.

Some folks suggest that car insurance should be based on miles driven, versus a fixed rate each month. Then folks that don't use the car as much could save on insurance.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

I think of religion as being speculation, but speculative discussion can be useful.

I think of religious ideas as being in the realm of speculation. Speculation is a legitimate form of discussion. Some of my favorite discussions are speculations.

Much of speculation isn't necessarily true, but some of it might be. It can lead to new insights and discoveries.

As long as it's approached with an open mind, spiritual and other speculation can be a good discussion.

Friday, August 05, 2022

In spite of technophobia, consumerism is rampant.

Unlike the energy crisis of the 1970s, it seems like hardly anyone discusses cutting back on consumption. Minimalist lifestyles do pull consumption out of the economy so it can create economic disruption; like loss of jobs.

Instead the talk is technological fixes. Clean energy, build back better. I'm okay with technological fixes, but they take time. Ironically, there are lots of people who claim that there isn't a "technological fix." They will say that relying on technology isn't the answer. I believe it can be the answer, but does take time.

Without technological fixes, the answer would have to be reduction in consumption. Both solutions being applied simultaneously could help, however.

Underlying a lot of thinking is the concept that technological society is somehow "immoral." Maybe that relates to the idea that "technology fix" isn't the answer. I guess quite a few folks think we are headed for catastrophe. Little or no hope for us. It's like "party, party for tomorrow we shall die." In spite of technophobia, consumerism is rampant.

I feel that technological society can have more of a future than that. At the same time consumerism, increasing populations, increasing rents and expectations does put a lot of pressure on people's psychology. Somehow, life has become like a rat race for many folks. Myself, having a low tolerance for stress, I have pretty much figured out ways to avoid the rat race. My life isn't very typical, however.

More folks could live the way I do, but it may not be appealing to so many people who seem to be influenced by movies, television, advertising, peer pressure, relationship obligations, mortgage obligations and so forth. They grumble about all of this and they say technology can't save us, but they party on as if collapse of civilization is a forgone conclusion.

Still, I think we need less consumptive living and the hope of technological fixes; such as solar energy and hydrogen fusion, for getting us to what still could be a better future. We need both conservation and technological innovation.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Light rail is so expensive. Maybe Bus Rapid Transit is the way to go.

For decades, the freeway traffic in Seattle has been so congested that commutes are a crawl. One would think after all these years they would figure out a better way to go.

If they could have a transit only lane on all freeways through Seattle metro that had at least 3 lanes of traffic (6 lanes both ways), there could be something called "bus rapid transit." Seattle metro has lots of freeways with at least 3 lanes in both directions.

Bus rapid transit could use existing infrastructure. It would be less expensive than trying to build light rail; something that takes years to develop. They did just finish Sound Transit Light Rail as far north as the old Northgate area and it's under construction farther north into Lynwood and east across Lake Washington. This takes years and billions of dollars to build.

On the freeways, they do have HOV lanes, but populism allows too many cars into the HOV lanes so the traffic is just as gridlocked in the HOV lanes as in the regular lanes. Everything gets stuck in traffic.

If they had bus only lanes, at least the buses could get through. Then there would be more incentive to take the bus thus reducing the congestion of cars in all the lanes.

I remember, a few years ago, the HOV lanes worked kind of well as one had to have at least 3 people in a vehicle to be in the HOV lane. Eventually this limit was lowered to two people so the HOV lane is almost as congested as all the other lanes with single passenger cars.

Everyone is still stuck in traffic after all these many decades.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Rejecting scientific evidence often comes from a position of being over confident in oneself

Too much overconfidence, or self self assuredness, causes people to reject evidence that is different from how their minds are already made up. Strong beliefs and confidence can cause people to reject scientific evidence.

Religious fundamentalists tend to be super confident, but within religious thought, there is the concept of humbleness. Humbleness before God. I think this concept can be used for opening the minds of some people. Few people want to admit they are a "know it all." At the same time, it does seem to me like a lot of religious folks have forgotten the concept of humbleness to the point of being over confident in their own righteousness.

I was brought up in fairly open minded religion so I realize that not all religion is self-righteous. I also know that science, in itself, can be very humbling. Scientists are often reevaluating what they are thinking as new evidence does have a tendency to upset old thinking. Willingness to learn is a form of humbleness.

Self deprecating humor is a good thing. I hear quite a bit of self deprecating humor in science lectures I watch on YouTube. I think more people need the realization that we owe a lot of our successes to the work of others. Another concept coming to mind is gratitude. I've even heard it said in churches as I was growing up. We can be thankful.

Some of my thoughts after reading this article. Overconfidence bolsters anti-scientific views, study finds.

Friday, July 08, 2022

Pictures from my 2022 bicycle trip across Washington State are on-line.

Photo album and descriptions are on Flickr. Free access. No sign in required. Click on pictures for enlargement and the longer stories that come with some of the pictures.

Thursday, July 07, 2022

I may be less vulnerable to crime being a bicyclist

During summer of 2020, I wasn't a big fan of the idea that police are the big problem. I'm hearing that some of the police reforms, in Washington State, have made it harder for police to do their jobs.

Now, people in Bellingham, including folks calling themselves liberal, are starting to get real worried about crime.

Personally, I haven't noticed the increasing crime situation. I still feel safe, myself, but I'm hearing lots about it from other folks. I am sympathetic to folks feeling threatened, but, again, it seems like some of the talk might be over reaction. The anti police talk was over reaction, now people's fear for their safety could be, in part, over reaction.

I'm thinking that my bicycle has helped my own feeling of safety. There are lots of street people and homeless folks around, but I just go by on my bike. Walking can make one more vulnerable; especially folks who must walk with canes and walkers. Being male, rather than female, makes a difference as well. I feel less vulnerable than a lot of women are feeling these days.

Another thing about the bicycle, that adds to my personal sense of safety, is that I park my bike inside my locked apartment. Folks with cars often have to leave the car out in a parking lot or along the street. Car prowls and thefts are up. There's been a big rash of catalytic converter thefts.

I do worry about more lawlessness on the roads. Traffic is getting worse, law enforcement is short handed as it's getting harder to fill jobs in policing. Traffic death tolls are up, but so far I've been okay on the roads. For the most part I've been out of the mainstream traffic pattern. Trails, shoulders and light traffic roads are where I go.

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

A solution to the racial wealth gap that both liberals and conservatives would baulk at.

During the Juneteenth Holiday. There was talk about the wealth gap between white people, on average, and most people of color. How can that be addressed?

One solution that I doubt would be popular, but could be effective. An increase in capital gains tax; like a death tax. A tax on the windfall wealth folks have gained from real estate and other assets. A tax on wealth passed down through families.

Lots of people's goto tax is a tax on business, but business does need it's capital assets, like the building housing the business, to operate and people want the goods, services and jobs that business provides. It could be taxed also, but not smothered.

Seems like personal and family wealth would need to see a boost in the taxes, such as death taxes, that it pays to help address the wealth gap.

Let's bring back Jimmy Carter's 1970s call for less energy consumption

Seems like there is no talk, from Biden or any major politician these days, about conservation. Using less gasoline which may be the best way; especially in the short run, to bring the price down. Supply and demand.

In some ways, I miss my college days during the Carter Presidency. Carter was pushing everything from walking more to turning down (or up in summer) the thermostat. It was a time when we thought we could pull together and make a difference. In many ways, life seems more jaded today.

Things were different back then. The price of gasoline was more regulated so while there were price hikes, the lack of supply was manifested in actual gas shortages. Long lines at gas stations. Odd even rationing based on licence plate number, the 55 mile per hour speed limit, which may have done more to save lives than gas, but it was the law of the land for years.

Carter did have long term goals to increase domestic production. Mining oil shale, coal gasification. The Carter Synfuels program. He also pushed alternative energy.

Back then, the US was hopelessly dependent on oil imports.

Since then, Republican thinking has prevailed. Price controls have been eliminated letting the marketplace regulate supply and demand through price, rather than regulation and rationing. Due to advanced technology, in oil drilling, there has been a miraculous increase in domestic oil production over the past few decades. America is far less dependent on oil imports while gasoline consumption has still risen dramatically to meet our increased, population, prosperity and sprawl.

Still, I miss the days when politicians tried to get people to consume less.

Consuming less would take pressure off supply and bring prices down in the shortrun. In the longrun, oil fracking our way to increased production is problematic due to climate change. Or, maybe we can use another miracle technology; geo engineering to artificially cool the earth? I wouldn't count on that. We will need clean energy sources such as solar and hydrogen fusion.

The future, Florida Governor DeSantis style?

In a future world with climate change, people might be able to adapt. Republicans who aren't that worried about this should, however, remember the saying, "be careful what you ask for as you might get it."

Future tourists might enjoy visits to much of Florida as it's inundated with water. They will ride in shallow watercraft past buildings where the ground floors are unusable. Some entire buildings abandoned and turned to sculpture while others adapted with upper floors still in use.

Less folks will own property in this vision of the future. As neighborhoods change, tennants can just move out. People will become more nomadic. More buildings will be mobile also; like houseboats and mobile homes.

Meanwhile in dryer California, agriculture will giveway to use of the land for solar panels. Much less need for irrigation water. Farming will move to new regions, farther north for instance. Inside agriculture will thrive, but food becomes much more expensive.

Our civilization might be able to adapt, even thrive, but it will have to accept change.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Address wealth inequality between races with higher capital gains tax on assets and residential real estate.

I am not a big fan of reparations, but it is true that there is a large gap in accumulated family history wealth between average people in different races. White race having the most accumulated wealth per capita.

One idea would be to more highly tax assets and property when these assets are sold, if the assets have large windfall profits. Houses that go way up in value, stocks or whatever.

Break multi generational wealth advantages. Money could, at least, go toward better social safety net, reducing carbon footprint and needed infrastructure in everyone's community.

Ya, my idea would probably not be that popular among both liberals and conservatives.