Monday, December 13, 2010


  GUEST POST BY UNKNOWN AUTHOR! It is an eye opener!
                        Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come

                        1. The Post Office. Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

                        2. The Check.  Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.
                        3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

                        4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music fromiTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

                        5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes
                        6. Music. This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies." You can see it here:

                        7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

                        8. The "Things" That You Own. Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider.
                        In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

                        9. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.

                        All we will have that can't be changed are Memories.
                         The United States is rapidly becoming the very first "post-industrial" nation on the globe.  All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing.  It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution.  It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes.  It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II. 

                        #1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001.  About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.

                        #2 Dell Inc., one of America’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.

                        #3 Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in November.  Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.

                        #4 In 2008, 1.2 billion cell phones were sold worldwide.  So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States?  Zero.

                        #5 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

                        #6 As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.

                        #7 The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.

                        #8 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

                        #9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.

                        #10 Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford's new "global" manufacturing strategy.

                        #11 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing.  The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

                        #12 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.

                        #13 The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

                        #14 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use.  Today it ranks 15th.

                        #15 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

                        #16 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products.   Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Perhaps it has already.
One of the world's foremost experts on climate change is warning that if humans don't moderate their use of fossil fuels, there is a real possibility that we will face the environmental, societal and economic consequences of climate change faster than we can adapt to them.

Thompson list the following as supportive evidence:

  • The ice fields atop Mount Kilimanjaro have lost 85 percent of their coverage since 1912;
  • The Quelccaya ice cap in southern Peru – the largest tropical ice field on Earth, has retreated 25 percent since 1978;
  • Ice fields in the Himalayas that have long shown traces of the radioactive bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s have since lost that signal as surface melting has removed the upper layers and thereby reduced the thickness of these glaciers;
  • All of the glaciers in Alaska's vast Brooks Range are retreating, as are 98 percent of those in southeastern Alaska. And 99 percent of glaciers in the Alps, 100 percent of those in Peru and 92 percent in the Andes of Chile are likewise retreating;
  • Sea levels are rising and the loss of ice coverage in the North Polar region continues to increase annually.
"Everyone will be affected by global warming," Thompson wrote. "But those with the fewest resources for adapting will suffer the most."
Add the above with probable failure of the UN Climate Summit in Mexico it is clear that time is not on our side. People are still talking about carbon reductions years in the future; there has been no major move to alternative energies; there is no concerted effort to deal with climate change impacts and, the issues concerning the economy has center staged climate into a minor concern. People just don't get it and that is a shame because millions of lives are threatened and we just keep sleeping while 'our beds are burning.'

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Disasters Create Losses Of $222 Billion

From the devastating Haiti earthquake to the ongoing aftermath of the BP oil spill, man-made and natural disasters lead to a loss of $222 billion in 2010, more than three times last year's figure, the AFP is reporting.

Read more at this link:

A list of the major disasters follows. Does 2012 ring a bell???

Venezuela: Floods and Landslides - Nov 2010
Philippines: Mt. Bulusan Volcano - Nov 2010
Philippines: Floods and Landslides - Nov 2010
Serbia: Earthquake - Nov 2010
Hurricane Tomas - Oct 2010
Indonesia: Mt. Merapi Volcano - Oct 2010
Indonesia: Sumatra Earthquakes and Tsunami - Oct 2010
Russian Federation: Floods - Oct 2010
Hurricane Richard - Oct 2010
Haiti: Cholera Outbreak - Oct 2010
Myanmar: Tropical Cyclone Giri - Oct 2010
Typhoon Megi - Oct 2010
Saint Lucia: Flash Floods - Oct 2010
Hungary: Toxic Spill - Oct 2010
Sri Lanka: Floods - Oct 2010
Viet Nam: Floods - Oct 2010
Tropical Storm Nicole - Sep 2010
Colombia: Floods and Landslides - Sep 2010
Haiti: Storm - Sep 2010
Tropical Storm Matthew - Sep 2010
Mexico: Hurricane Karl - Sep 2010
Mauritania: Floods - Aug 2010
Kenya: Floods - Aug 2010
Hurricane Earl - Aug 2010
Indonesia: Sinabung Volcano - Aug 2010
Typhoon Mindulle - Aug 2010
Chad: Cholera Outbreak - Aug 2010
Bolivia: Wild Fires - Aug 2010
DPR Korea: Floods - Aug 2010
Thailand: Floods - Aug 2010
DR Congo: Floods - Jul 2010
Russian Federation: Wild Fires - Jul 2010
Central America: Floods and Landslides - Jul 2010
Mexico: Floods and Landslides - Jul 2010
Peru: Cold Wave - Jul 2010
Nigeria: Cholera Outbreak - Jul 2010
Pakistan: Floods - Jul 2010
Ethiopia: Floods - Jul 2010
Yemen: Floods - Jul 2010
Sudan: Floods - Jul 2010
Typhoon Conson - Jul 2010
India: Floods - Jul 2010
Nepal: Floods and Landslides - Jun 2010
Hurricane Alex - Jun 2010
Brazil: Floods - Jun 2010
Panama: Floods - Jun 2010
West/Central Africa: Floods - Jun 2010
Myanmar: Floods and Landslides - Jun 2010
Bangladesh: Floods and Landslides - Jun 2010
Cameroon: Cholera Outbreak - Jun 2010
Kyrgyzstan: Mudslides - Jun 2010
Afghanistan: Floods - Jun 2010
Tropical Cyclone Phet - Jun 2010
Ecuador: Tungurahua Volcano - May 2010
Philippines: Floods and Landslides - May 2010
Central America: Tropical Storm Agatha - May 2010
Guatemala: Pacaya Volcano - May 2010
DR Congo: Landslide - May 2010
India: Cyclone Laila - May 2010
Central Europe: Floods - May 2010
Sri Lanka: Floods - May 2010
Azerbaijan: Floods - May 2010
China: Floods - May 2010
Gabon: Severe Local Storm - Apr 2010
Afghanistan: Earthquakes - Apr 2010
China: Earthquakes in Qinghai Province - Apr 2010
Colombia: Floods - Apr 2010
India/Bangladesh: Severe Local Storm - Apr 2010
Tajikistan: Floods - Apr 2010
Indonesia: Floods - Apr 2010
Brazil: Floods and Landslides - Apr 2010
Mexico: Earthquakes - Apr 2010
Peru: Floods and Landslides - Apr 2010
Russian Federation: Floods - Mar 2010
Solomon Islands: Cyclone Ului - Mar 2010
DR Congo: Floods - Mar 2010
East Africa: Floods - Mar 2010
Latin America: Dengue Outbreak - Mar 2010
Fiji: Cyclone Tomas - Mar 2010
Kazakhstan: Floods - Mar 2010
Madagascar: Cyclone Hubert - Mar 2010
Southern Africa: Floods - Mar 2010
Serbia: Floods - Mar 2010
Haiti: Floods and Mudslides - Mar 2010
Chile: Earthquake - Feb 2010
Madeira: Floods and Mudslides - Feb 2010
Caribbean: Drought - Feb 2010
Pakistan: Avalanche - Feb 2010
Cook Islands: Tropical Cyclone Pat - Feb 2010
Ecuador: Floods - Feb 2010
Afghanistan: Floods and Avalanches - Feb 2010
Mexico: Floods and Landslides - Feb 2010
French Polynesia: Cyclone Oli - Feb 2010
Solomon Islands: Floods - Jan 2010
Egypt: Floods - Jan 2010
occupied Palestinian territory: Floods - Jan 2010
Haiti: Earthquakes - Jan 2010
Mongolia: Dzud - Jan 2010
Montenegro: Floods - Jan 2010
Bolivia: Floods - Jan 2010
India/Nepal/Bangladesh: Cold Wave - Jan 2010
Pakistan: Landslides and Floods - Jan 2010
Solomon Islands: Earthquake - Jan 2010
Tajikistan: Earthquake - Jan 2010