Tag Archives: National Geographic

Let’s kill all the idiots

The headline was the first thought I had when I saw ‘Roger Federer responds to climate crisis criticism from Greta Thunberg‘, my conviction became even stronger when I saw the bylines ‘Credit Suisse closely linked with fossil fuel industry‘ and ‘#RogerWakeUpNow has been trending on Twitter‘, you see, the simplest of all views is that the dumbheads calling themselves ‘climate activists’ were already low on my IQ agenda, but now they have hit rock bottom (below fascists and extreme right knuckleheads). 

I have no issue with those being stupid because they are ignorant, that happens. I know nothing of agrarian farming, I know nothing about managing herds of cows and I am fine with that, I will not offer you any advice in those directions. I am also not a firefighter, so I am at a loss as to how to best treat the shrubberies in Australia, but I know we have experts on all these matters around and when I get to it, I will ask them. 

So lets get some reality in the game, Credit Suisse Group AG is an investment bank, it has shareholders and it needs to get accounts that offer the best return on investment. There will always be firms that offer a 95% or better certainty that their investment will pay off and that is the reason a firm like Credit Suisse Group AG will entertain an appointment. Now Credit Suisse Group AG is not alone, there are hundreds of these firms and even as there are plenty of them not with the capital that runs into the trillions, it also means that they can make larger investment, investments a lot cannot make. So how is it that Credit Suisse Group AG has an optional portfolio of petrochemical industries (fossil fuel industry), well that is simple, 100% of America relies on fuel, from the 50’s onwards they set the stage where every person had a house and a car. I do not have a car, I do not need one, yet anyone living outside of a large city in America directly sees how important a car is to get around, in some cases if you do not have a car, you cannot see the neighbours, you cannot get groceries and so forth. That lifestyle was never attacked, that lifestyle was never opposed outright to the degree that it was needed. In other directions, let’s take a look at Arlanda Airport (because Greta Thunberg is Swedish), can anyone explain why 27 million passengers travel to Stockholm by plane every year? Well, that is easy, most are on vacation, and this includes 325 thousand people from the US, which was interesting as this is pretty much the population of the US, and I know for a fact that they do not all go to Sweden, so there is a lot of business travel, as well as 1 million people travelling from Luleå Airport (far north of Sweden), so we see a mingle of business people of tourists and those with all kinds of reasons and this is merely one of a thousand airports in Europe, all those planes need fuel. Even when we consider that planes and cars are only two of well over a dozen facets that require crude oil, we see a much larger setting of petrochemical needs, especially when we consider that on one route (Amsterdam – Stockholm) we see that 8 airlines setting the stage for 64 flights per week and consider that these flights should not continue when the passenger well dries up. 

We all set the stage for fossil fuel, we do it all ourselves, so when I look at the picture (at https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/jan/12/roger-federer-responds-to-climate-change-criticism-from-greta-thunberg) where I see the text of “People demonstrate in support outside the trial of 12 activists who stormed and played tennis inside a Credit Suisse office“, how many (of those) own a car? How many will give the answer: “But I need my car!“, so in that setting how many of you all are part of this? I am all for changing the climate, but the first setting is not some BS approach that involves some tennis player, as such when we come to the BS tweet by 350.org Europe, giving us “Since 2016 @CreditSuisse has provided $57 BILLION to companies looking for new fossil fuel deposits – something that is utterly incompatible with #ClimateAction @RogerFederer do you endorse this? #RogerWakeUpNow pic.twitter.com/ED1fIvb4Cr“, why ask him? more importantly when we consider “Since 2016 @CreditSuisse has provided $57 BILLION to companies looking for new fossil fuel deposits“, consider that the local governments allowed for this and when we consider ‘fossil fuel deposits‘, consider that these people cannot be in business if no one needs deposits, which means that when we get car usage down by 50% in one nation alone they go off the map, and at that point the  Credit Suisse Group AG will give their loans to other interested and needy parties. 

That is the central point that these BS people do not get, it is the fulfilling of need and there is a large need for fossil fuels (whether valid or not). More importantly you go after the one group of people where a healthy lifestyle is important (the swiss), as such the twitter hashtag #RogerWakeUpNow is mostly bullshit, that person seems more awake than the stupid masses carrying the hashtag in their tweets. From my point of view, if 50% of the US Twitter users drop their car for at least a month (so from today until the end of February 2020) that means that there will be from today until the end of February 2020 34 million cars less on the Road in the US, anyone using their car in this timeframe should not now, not ever use the #RogerWakeUpNow hashtag, shall we agree on that? I do not want to hear any BS on ‘I needed it’, ‘my mum was sick’ or ‘the dog ate my car keys and I had to drive it to the doctor’ idiocy, if you needed your car, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution, it is a simple as that.

If we do that country by country we can get a handle of fossil fuel consumption and the need for that expansion goes away. And as we take notice of “Credit Suisse recently stated it is “seeking to align its loan portfolios with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and has recently announced in the context of its global climate strategy that it will no longer invest in new coal-fired power plants”“, we also need to consider that the Paris agreement is a watered down goal and that the US withdrew from the Paris agreements in 2017, when you realise the old lyrics ‘Money makes the world go round‘ we soon see that there are markets where that is certainly so and that there is a larger need, a need most people (especially some self revered eco warriors), they all need their car to get to places. In that move I reckon that others might not leave, but there is every indication that more than a handful of the 188 nations in that agreement are unable to keep that promise, they will not be in the group that makes it, they will merely be the signatories of an empty agreement, because an agreement that is not kept is merely an empty one. I know I will win that part because last year the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/353d0cac-ca52-11e8-9fe5-24ad351828ab) gave us “The world is on track to overshoot the targets of the Paris climate agreement and warm by 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, a level that would disrupt life around the planet“. On the 5th of November, the National Geographic (at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/11/nations-miss-paris-targets-climate-driven-weather-events-cost-billions/) reported that MOST countries will not be able to make the 2030 climate goals, MOST, not some, not merely the US, but MOST, and it is not merely because of fossil fuels (but it is the larger contributing factor), so those nagging dweeps all out for Roger Federer and Credit Suisse Group AG I say ‘Go home and play with yourself, if you cannot get your government to keep a promise that they went out again and again, a target that they watered down, whilst ignoring the question on “specifying what “well below” meant”, you have no right to harass a firm and a tennis player who are not part of the problem‘, Yes that is my personal view, you see if there was no need for fossil fuels, do you think an investment firm will be putting their heads on the chopping block for 58 billion? No they offered it because there was a need, you all created that need!

So let’s kill all the idiots, and as I see it; from my speculated numbers, it takes away 10%-35% of this planet’s population and that too will help stop the need of fossil fuel consumption, will it not?

So we strike two tweeters with one stone. Life can be so simple at times, why did these ‘whistleblowers’ (another hilarious title) not see that? In that regard to their lawyers I give ‘Credit Suisse never hid these numbers, so a whistleblower would not be needed, more importantly, as many nations are in denial that there is an actual climate emergency you need to prove that they are wrong in court, do you not? So good luck on the hundreds of hours you need to settle this case and good luck on getting that fee paid!‘ I feel frisky! I settled two matters with one article whilst initially ignoring that there was a second issue in play. 

Yes, I agree that there is a climate issue, I agree that much more needs to be done, but one investment bank and one tennis player are not the actual (and factual) targets that will make an actual impact that matters. From all this, we could come to the conclusion that they are all ‘grasping for visibility’ through these two parties, but is that the way to go when there is every indication that the government players are all about remaining in denial? We now see ‘Government to commit $50m for wildlife affected by bushfires as green groups call for action‘, as such you want to be positive about the actions of the Australian government, yet when you put this next to Celeste Barber (a comedian I had never heard of), we see that her appeal to Facebook raised the same amount as a donation to those hurt in the fires, one person (West Australian iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest) is committing $70 million to this cause, two people made the Australian government dwarf on the needs of a nation, now I am a realist, I get it, the national accounting books show that Australia still has a huge debt and $50 million is not nothing, yet when two persons dwarf you by well over 2:1, you have a problem and that is also the case for the larger group of 180 nations pledging to something that they cannot achieve. This was not an issue hiden, this was out in the open, as such we see my response to such people as the carriers of BS.
Yes I believe that the Australian fire was fueled by climate change, the high temperature allowed for fires to spread fast, the temperature and drought turned wood into immediate fuel and Australia lost 15,000,000 acres to fire, a lot of it with trees. One fire was the size of Manhattan, can you imagine it, one piece of land that holds 1.6 million people, all in flames. The amount of firefighters needed, whilst there are 135 other fires as well, some of them are actually large. firefighters and army reservists are totalling towards 6,000 and still no resolution is achieved, fire is a dangerous adversary and it goes where the wind takes it. In the end, the Australian bushfires will spark more conversation on climate change, yet when we consider that a truckload of the 180 nations are not making the goals of the Paris accords and a fair amount of them are seemingly in denial of the matter, what business do we have blaming an investment firm and a tennis player for issues that we all ourselves started?

Consider that when you consider yourself tweeting #RogerWakeUpNow whilst driving your car to the next meeting you could have walked to in 15 minutes. If you claim to be too busy, then you should not have had any time to tweet, should you?

 

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The ice and the icing

Ah, it is the environment that was taking a hit yesterday. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/18/arctic-permafrost-canada-science-climate-crisis) is giving us: ‘Scientists shocked by Arctic permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than predicted‘, and at this point, we can all agree that we have a really serious problem. I know, the people at Wall Street would more likely than not be in a stage to dismiss and debunk the news, yet this is not about merely melting ice, this is about permafrost melting. This is no small matter; you see the Arctic and Antarctic both have places where the ice never melts, that ‘never melting’ ice is now actually melting. Consider if you can, a piece of ice on Antarctic, twice the size of the state of Texas, close to half a mile high, that is now becoming water (which in Antarctic terms does not seem much). Now we also know that ice loses volume when it melts, yet it is only 10%, so over the foreseeable future we end up with a water mass 800 meter high and the size of Texas being added to the oceans. Water levels will rise and to a decent amount, in all this, there is also the arctic to consider, it is not land, it is all water and they too will add levels of water to it all.

Then there is a new development, which we see at (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/19/himalayan-glacier-melting-doubled-since-2000-scientists-reveal), the problem is are we have been sold for too long and too often a package of goods? Is it such a stretch that the media ‘suddenly’ has a whole range of ‘revelations’? I am not stating that these are fabricated, but the timing is an issue. As I personally see it the people have been ‘handled’ for far too long, giving less and less reliability on what we see. Even as we see ‘Himalayan glacier melting doubled since 2000, spy satellites show‘, more important, why did it require a spy satellite? Yes, I get it when we see “more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed“, so when was that revealed? It gets to be worse when we see: “This is the clearest picture yet of how fast Himalayan glaciers are melting since 1975, and why“. Fair enough the work ‘Acceleration of ice loss across the Himalayas over the past 40 years‘ published in Science Advances 19 Jun 2019: Vol. 5, no. 6, eaav7266; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7266 is seemingly an academic work by J. M. Maurer, J. M. Schaefer, S. Rupper and A. Corley might be good and it might all be top notch work, but the timing of it all gives it a little bit of a bitter taste. Now, this is not some hidden attack, the work looks really good (at https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/6/eaav7266), it has uncertainty assessments, how it was dealt with, how the data was captured, this is a real piece of academic work with references and all (a lot of references), yet timing is everything we know that and it still feels like we are being handled. Part of me is speculating that this game is not by the scientists, but that certain previous white house players have been suppressing or delaying certain reports. It is highly speculative and I have no evidence, but that is what it feels like, the more the political player gets into bed with big business, the less environmental consideration we tend to see.

The entire matter increases when we consider: “The analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually” this implies another part which we see in the National Geographic (at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/sea-level-rise/). When we see: “Rising seas is one of those climate change effects. Average sea levels have swelled over 8 inches (about 23 cm) since 1880, with about three of those inches gained in the last 25 years. Every year, the sea rises another .13 inches (3.2 mm)“, we see the other part of the coin, so how about your beachfront property in 2045?

We can go long on the yay and nay sayers, but in all this, the media needs to stop facilitating to their shareholders, their stake holders and their advertisers, because the bulk of them are clearly in denial of environmental changes, as well as clearly opposing change. In 2012, the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/may/30/companies-block-action-climate-change) gave us: “An analysis of 28 Standard & Poor 500 publicly traded companies by researchers from the Union of Concerned Scientists exposed a sharp disconnect in some cases between PR message and less visible activities, with companies quietly lobbying against climate policy or funding groups which work to discredit climate science“, I believe that this is still going on, however these companies have become more clever in their actions and acting indirectly. In 2014 we see a Journalist names Mark Green giving us (at https://www.api.org/news-policy-and-issues/blog/2014/10/21/americas-oil-and-natural-gas-industry-be) “97 percent of all oil and natural gas company stock – held by millions of Americans across the country. These include retirees and middle-class Americans saving for retirement“, it is now less about the opposition it is that being ‘in favour’ is dooming the middle class a reversed reverse psychology if you will.

Do you still think that shareholders and stake holders are a stretch? How many financial institution advertisement have YOU seen in the last week alone? And when it comes to the sceptical and the 197 excuses they have, let me add utterly bogus excuse 198: “Women warm the hearts of men and with 4 billion men one woman can raise the planetary temperature by at least 1 degree, so what about the other 99 in the hot 100 (graphic evidence added)?” We see lists of excuses yet to overall need to take a serious look at the matter and give serious airtime to those trying to warn us is also a topic for debate.

When we pass over that episode and we add to the matter (Antarctica, Himalaya, Arctic, Greenland) there is a stage where we have surpassed essential milestones, milestones that can no longer be undone (not within the next two generations). Me, I am still all in favour of culling the human population by 85%, and fortunately for me this time around, the politicians are actually helping me.

It’s the Icing

When it is about the icing we can go in two directions, in the first it is about the topping of a cake, we all have tried it, yummy chocolate icing, marzipan topping, our sweet tooth desires a scrumptious load of icing and the larger your slice of the cake, the better the sugar rush. The second direction is mostly for Canadians (LOL), it is seen in hockey when a player shoots the puck from behind the centre red line, across the opposing team’s goal line, whilst the puck remains untouched. It is a rule to oppose a quick win, netball has a similar option; you need to win by being the better player in each segment of the field. It nullifies a play like Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos achieved in 2013 by kicking that piece of air filled leather for 64 yards, an achievement for sure, but at that point the game becomes about the kickers and it becomes less about the full game. An icing stops this option, making it about the game and this matters as we see in: ‘Diplomatic offensive aims to dissuade Tehran from breaching uranium limits‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/19/uk-france-germany-last-ditch-effort-save-iran-deal), you see I am slightly less convinced that they are not their yet (or disgracefully close to it). When I see: ““We want to unify our efforts so there is a de-escalation process that starts,” Le Drian said. “There is still time and we hope all the actors show more calm. There is still time, but only a little time.”” to be honest I wonder what drugs Jean-Yves Le Drian is on (and can I have some please?) The idea that Iran adheres to any kind of agreement is short sold to begin with, the entire Hezbollah proxy war counts as evidence in that matter.

So when I see: “We need to de-escalate through dialogue. It is a time of ‘diplomacy first’ and that’s what we are committed to” I merely wonder who is fooling who. It is seen when the most stupid of all actions is given with: “If Iran did breach the uranium limits, the deal, known as the joint comprehensive plan of action, gives both sides time to go into a disputes mechanism before it is declared void“, is it really that bad, after the ‘breach’ Europe still wants to talk? Did you learn nothing from the Adolph Hitler European tour of 1939-1945? We could ask the State of Israel with its 15 million votes, oh sorry, there are apparently 6 million absentee ballots, they can no longer vote; does anyone remember that little fact in the entire equation?

If it is slightly too crude, then it is intentional. We have facilitated for tea parties and long winded talks going nowhere for too often and for far too long. It is now time to act before it is too late, or merely accept the culling that comes afterwards, which will be good for the environment as well.

Ice and Icing, all events linking to intentional violations to norms, to boundaries and to standards of life and living, how many more violations will we endure until we are given the sad reality our children and grand children face soon enough, we have left them nothing and for too long we would not adhere to that reality until it was too late for the next generation. We are shown too much pieces of evidence that we are doing this, whilst denying the facts presented. This might be the best evidence that we are bad parents and that we are unworthy of titles of parent and custodian, the evidence is all out there in colour, in black and white, on all levels including the academic one.

If this was a match, then it would be the face-off between the two Global Hockey teams: the Bogusses versus the Professinators, the problem is that no matter who wins, the people lose, this game has been on for too long and time is a luxury we actually no longer have and the media have been all about getting the limelight and the time to let all the voices be heard letting exploitation reign (aka circulation and clicks). The Great Barrier Reef with over 50% now bleached to death (source: National Geographic), is merely one casualty of all talk and no actions, I wonder how many more needs to be lost for people to finally force actions against politicians and corporations. In opposition we see the New York post giving us (at https://nypost.com/2018/09/12/the-great-barrier-reef-was-never-dead/) “Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is “showing signs of recovery,” a new study shows, after massive bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 threatened the world’s largest living structure”. It is time to properly vet the media for what they publish and cater to on a much larger scale, because in this age of strife they win, as do their advertisers. We could of course accept the second option and allow for the culling, it will solve both matters at hand as it means that there are too few left to advertise to.

6 of one, half a dozen of the other is a term we see, and we think that it is the same, yet we are too often not told that it was no longer about apples or oranges, it was relabeled as an issue about fruit, now we get to deal with fruit whilst our individual preference of apples and oranges is no longer an option to cater to, did you realise that small part of the equation as well?

 

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The last stretch?

The E3 is now 4 weeks away, we see more leaks and a few confirmations. Most confirmations are to counter the ridiculous statements we have seen in the near past. Statements like: ‘we could see a first announcement of the new PS5‘, utterly ridiculous from the first moment it was voiced. The PS4 and PS4Pro are doing just fine at present, there is no need for new hardware, especially with all those games that are coming. Places like the UK Daily Star, who gave us ‘THE SONY PS5 console is coming – eventually – but some BIG E3 2018 news revealed this week could give us our biggest hint yet for when Sony will release a PlayStation 5 games machine‘, with ‘eventually‘ they cover their setting of utter stupidity. It is basically on the same level as ‘If we have unprotected sex the coming year every night, you might end up being pregnant at some point‘, it is on that level we need to see this. As stated previously, the Nintendo Switch will release 28 games between now and August 2018, that is rather huge, some of these titles have been revered for the longest of times, so the current owners are already hyped and if that was not enough, it is also hyping those who want one, so that is working for Nintendo at least twice over. In that regard, another source gave us earlier this month “Microsoft Won’t Release Xbox One Sales But Claims There’s Been Growth … as a key indicator of our success and will no longer report total console sales“, the upcoming degradation to third position has shaken Microsoft to the core, even as we accept ‘There’s Been Growth‘, the issue remains that there will always be growth, there will be an interest in buying an Xbox One, it is not a bad system, merely a flawed one and in that regard, it still has games, good games too. What is remarkable is the entire setting change within Microsoft. You might remember on how it was not a gaming system but set as an ‘entertainment‘ system for the whole family, which bites even more when you realise that some top boxes offer well over 100% more storage, so the ladies can get all 6 seasons of Sex in the city, whilst the partner can hold onto his entire NHL annual season games. Yet beyond that, when we dig deeper, we see that Microsoft fumbled yet again. In this case I must stand up for Microsoft in its defence (just a little), the market was suddenly overwhelmed with all kinds of Fetch options and recording of TV shows. It took a bigger leap as some offer Netflix, Stan, National Geographic and ABC iView whilst it will not count towards the data usage, which for the Netflix addicted is the sales pitch of the century. The fact that some offer mobiles a special deal that now includes a set top box is just a bonus. Microsoft will not be offering the Xbox One X for a mere $80, will they? That is not their fault, it is my personal belief that those offering these deals know what the data value of a consumer is, and this started merely a year ago, years after the console was released.

So when we go back 3 years (for the comparison), take a look (at https://www.onmsft.com/news/xbox-one-more-all-one-home-entertainment-ever), where we see: “Where media entertainment and television integration were the first talking point announcing the Xbox One, they are now on the back burner. Gaming has taken its rightful place as the emphasis of Microsoft’s gaming console. At E3 Microsoft didn’t focus on anything related to cable television or media streaming, they focused on their library of games, and gaming features such as Xbox One backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360. And that’s smart of them to do, but that doesn’t mean the Xbox One isn’t a home entertainment system. In fact, it’s even more of one than when it was initially announced“, which is all true and fair, yet as I basically stated about 2 months BEFORE that date, when you rely on a 1TB drive, whilst for the consumer the difference between the 1TB drive and the 2TB drive was at that point no more than AU$27, meaning that the difference for Microsoft would be a lot smaller, so why be so stupid to settle on 50% storage? I believe that their sense of pushing people into the Azure cloud never faded, it merely bites them now as we see data collecting abuse (Cambridge Analytica is one among many). That set off the gamers in the same way that ‘always online‘ did, and there is not denying it, it hurt Microsoft bad. Now, do not think for one minute that Sony would have been any better, because it took a while for them to back paddle the offline achievements, but they did and Microsoft did not (well only partially). From my point of view to some extent, the Xbox One offered in some ways less than the Xbox360 did.

Even Nintendo Switch would at some point make an error or two, but in all this the Xbox was the worst, even as we see news left, right and centre, and we see gossip on those same three paths, I am trying to see the reality and report on that. Yet in the end, we are still unsure what big whoppers Microsoft will offer during the E3 and that really matters. Even as we now see that Sony and Nintendo are ready to hit it out of the ballpark during their presentation, we still do not know how ready Microsoft is, because that is at the heart of the mounting pressure; The Daily Star gave us last week “It’s a great time to be a gamer and to be a part of Team Xbox. We’re hard at work on exciting plans for E3, from what will be a great briefing filled with new games to the fan experience at the Microsoft Theater. This is our biggest E3 yet, and we look forward to a great week for gamers“, it sounds cool but there is no beef on the bone of rumours, so we will have to wait another 4 weeks.

In all this I am not alone, more and more professional gamer sites and magazines give responses like ‘Microsoft has a lot of pressure to compete with Sony’s fantastic line-up‘, that is the crux of it, Microsoft cannot hope for a homerun, it desperately needs one at present that is for certain. In this, places like Techradar give us: “Now that the Nintendo Switch is so beloved and Microsoft can boast the most powerful console on the market, we’re hoping to see Sony pull out all the stops for PlayStation this year“, Sony who started and still embraces ‘For the players‘, seems to be ready to do just that. That is the setting that Microsoft is up against. when I look at their victory there is no way around Minecraft 4K, that is not a joke, for those addicted to Minecraft, seeing the 4K version on Xbox One was jaw dropping, in equal measure Forza Motorsport 7 will boast and deliver. Honest to god, what I saw (the short part I did see), I could not tell the difference between watching an actual F1 race on Blu-ray and Forza 7 4K. So they have the goods, and there is no way that it will not drive sales for Microsoft. From what I did see, whether you are a racing fan or not, there is no way around Forza this time around, only the foolish and the dead are unlikely to purchase that game if they have an Xbox One X. Yet, will it be enough? We will know in 4 weeks, for now, there is the smallest chance that Microsoft can turn the downturn around, but it will not be cheap and they have no further room for error, because the moment we see an actual first announcements of the PS5 (I reckon in 2020) and Microsoft has not mended its way, it will no longer be seriously considered by anyone but the devoted Microsoft fans, which remains fair enough.

It is up to Microsoft to figure out whether they are in their final stretch, the only real advice I have for them is to boot their marketing department and actually start listening to the gamers, not the Azure department, the Microsoft cloud needs and whomever else could benefit, because it did not bring the Xbox department anything at all (speculative on my side). Putting Phil Spencer on top of all this was a good first step, in 4 weeks we will see what the Xbox Owner gets to play between June 2018 and December 2019, we should hope for the best for more than one reason, because from my pragmatic view, as I see it, when Microsoft properly ups the game, Sony will be forced to do the same and that is good for every gamer in the world. In that Nintendo remains the wild card, they do what they it is that gamers want and they really got it right this time around (referring to the WiiU vs Nintendo Switch),

No matter what system you are on, there will be huge announcements for every system, which is always good and those who have more than one system will have to decide on which system to buy their games more, or less. It is in the end, the gamer’s choice!

As For the E3, the spaces are set, Sony rocks the western hall, see the image below , it is right next to Nintendo, which has half the space Sony has, so that will be one hell of a bottleneck. I wonder if the media will be there asking if people have both systems. Nintendo has two more attached stands, just like Sony. An interesting setting is that Big Ben Interactive is there too, as is NVidia and at least a dozen others. In the South hall, also below it is different. Most large ones are pretty much the same size, except for Square Enix and Bethesda being slightly larger. Microsoft has a tiny presence there, but it has its own venue as stated by some ‘across the street’, There was no mention of any Microsoft at the West hall at all, implying that their small presence in the South hall is merely some stations for playing. The images are nice to see and to behold some of the names there, what is clear is that Sony and Nintendo are ready to take this to the next level, especially in light of how unrealistically expensive floor space on the E3 is. Yet the best source of released info is the site of the venue itself (at https://www.e3expo.com/).

 

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Mining the Ocean

We might look at how Dow dropped 1175 points; we might in equal measure react to the act that Yemeni Houthi’s have decided to perform another attempt to send missiles into the Saudi civilian populations, all factual events of the last day alone. Yet that is not the initial issue that I am looking at. These are short term events and the media loves them because they get to report on the event, the proclaimed solution and the actual solutions. All follow up stories and the media loves them for the coin they tend to bring to their personal pockets. So it was nice to get a look at Saturday’s article by Jonathan Watts who gave us a look at an upcoming disaster (at https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/feb/03/day-zero-cape-town-turns-off-taps), not in Saudi Arabia, but in Cape Town no less. Yet it must be said that what is good for the one, could potentially hit the other as well.

So when you initially read the caption, you might think that the quote “In 10 weeks engineers will turn off water for a million homes as this South African city reacts to a one-in-384-year drought” is no big deal. Let’s face it, an event that hits once every 7 to 8 generations is not really a big deal is it. Yet that is not really the part that matters. You see, when you see the pictures, not on merely the empty swimming pool, but the image on the Theewaterskloof dam and how we see on what was and what now is. When we realise that ‘Day Zero, the apocalyptically named point when water in the six-dam reservoir system falls to 13.5% of capacity‘, is upon them just as autumn is ending, is in my view a much larger issue. When we see the people in queues with as many jerry cans as they can carry, that same point of befuddlement is reached when you consider why alarms have not been ringing a lot earlier, or were they ignored? They were not! The official Cape Town page (at http://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/residential-utility-services/residential-water-and-sanitation-services/Residential-water-restrictions-explained) gives us a lot. So as we see “A daily limit of 50 litres or less per person whether at home, work, school or elsewhere” we need to realise that 433 thousand people will still potentially drill down on 21.6 million litres of water every day. I am not putting any doubt on the 10 weeks until day zero, I merely wonder what else could be done to bring that number down and not to forget, that the WWF reported merely 4 days ago that only 39% of the Cape Town residents are adhering to these restrictions. The question becomes, when these restrictions began. For how long was there some plan of no-water, because the article gives us: “Greg Pillay: “We had to go back to the drawing board. We were prepared for disruption of supply, but not a no-water scenario. In my 40 years in emergency services, this is the biggest crisis.”“, it is fair that there was no plan and the fact that this happens once every 384 years makes the non-plan acceptable part, but the fact is that the empty dam pics should have been an alert stage when it had gone down to 50%, the restrictions to the degree as now might have been less severe pushing the reserves forward to a longer time. Now we see that the oddest thing will happen in 10 weeks, the taps will be turned off, no water from the taps. As seen the current 10%, who own up to 95% of all assets can likely afford, that each person buys a 20 ft. container filled with mineral water and ship it to their home, yet the other 90% will not have such an option setting a very dangerous situation, a very flammable and oddly fluid one to say the least.

the one good part is that Cape Town will start getting more rain by the time Day Zero approaches, so with April getting on average 300% more rain than the quarter before, and the steady incline in the months thereafter implies that the worst might be over, the dangers are that mother nature is a bitch on the best of days, so if they end up with a soft and warm winter the Cape Town goose ends up being most literally dry-cooked. There is just one other element. It is the one that they got to live with in Australia, these water catchments have no real purpose if the rain falls in the wrong place, so there is still that risk to look forward to.

So, why mention Saudi Arabia?

Well, Saudi Arabia has a similar drought pressures, yet they have additional issues as well. In Saudi Arabia, according to some sources groundwater extraction far exceed the level of natural recharge. The Al-Asha aquifer in the Eastern Province experienced a drop of 150 meters over the past 25 years. the National Geographic reported in 2015 that by 2012 80% of the aquifers had been depleted. That is one large setting whilst on taps the vein to find out in the first just how reliable those numbers are, but in the second degree as to how the impact on larger cities will become when the news brings them the story that ‘the fore mentioned source of water has been drained‘, because at that point the breakdown will be a lot larger when you consider 433 thousand in Cape Town versus 5.1 million in Riyadh. When that happens in one place, who long until Jeddah, Mecca and Medina follow? The problem is that there is no way to tell because there is no transparent oversight (an issue in many countries), there is no way to reliably forecast the issue and in all this the long terms impact of places that want to upgrade and maximise their economic potential sounds nice, but when the water level hits zero, everything stops, and right quick.

This might be the one long term danger that some are not looking hard enough at. so with: “Under the slogan “Bounties of our land,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih inaugurated the 12th International Geological Conference on Sunday and an accompanying exhibition at a local hotel in Jeddah“, is nice to propagate the Vision 2030, but it is still 12 years away and at present, the water mining issues as well as the water disruptions that are currently still happening (as stated by more than one source) would impact it all. The growth of infrastructures, the middle eastern heat that is about to hit Saudi Arabia for the next 6 months, whilst the rain will again decide to remain absent until December (speculated forecast), that alone would require a much higher priority to resolve water issues in Saudi Arabia, or at least give it additional priority. The fact that there are 27 plants in Saudi Arabia, creating millions of litres of water every day implies that perhaps it is time to see if this process can be improved upon and more important 9 more plants will be added to the need of Saudi Arabia. Now we can agree that Saudi Arabia has made massive strides here and the fact that they have upped it to 5 million cubic metres a day should not be underestimated. I am merely speculating that if someone finds a way to improve this process by 1%-5%, the impact for the water quality of life for Saudi’s would go straight through the roof, the impact is that large at present. In addition, the fact that for now the 36 plants would suffice in the short term, the long term is still not a given, that is because the need cannot be predicted. Here too it is about the data captured and to learn where the losses to the water cycles are found and how they can be prevented. More important, if mining is an initial issue now, how much of an issue will it be in 10 years, because depleted places could have other implications too, implication mind you! There is a lot that is not known, but it seems to me that both Saudi Arabia and South Africa will have issue to deal with over the coming year. Not just the water as needed for consumption, whatever else relies on water will also impact structural changes and even more drastic show an optional impact on infrastructure. Part of this was also seen last month (at http://meconstructionnews.com/27099/emerson-opens-new-tech-lab-in-saudi-arabia), where Emerson is set to a “new $25 million new technology and innovation centre at Dhahran Techno Valley, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia enables the company to host Saudi students, entrepreneurs, researchers and industry stakeholders to collaborate with its technical experts to develop process automation technologies and design products and solutions that, “meet the country’s goals.”“. Yet how much priority is given to design new ways to give rise to measuring and monitoring production, distribution and delivery of water solutions towards data collection, designed to contribute to longer term forecasting of water needs. You see, most of these systems tend to be short term, or when they are longer term they lose reliability because of a number of factors, so what happens when we can map and monitor the factors themselves? It is one of the powers that 5G could bring to an automation system, automated drone technologies that monitor and feed. This reminds me of a 2006 paper called ‘Modular learning models in forecasting natural phenomena‘ by Solomontine and Siek. Now in the paper we see in the abstract: “Comparison of the algorithms based on modular local modelling to the more traditional ‘global’ learning models on a number of benchmark tests and river flow forecasting problems shows their higher accuracy and transparency of the resulting models“, now what if the plant is the source of the river and the pipes are the river themselves. What if losses and therefor risks of these pipe systems could be mapped and correctly categorised? Only last year the Saudi Gazette reported (at http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/500157/SAUDI-ARABIA/Water-supply-disrupted-in-five-Jeddah-districts), “Residents of five districts in southeast Jeddah have complained about disruption of water supply to their homes after the National Water Company (NWC) changed its supply schedule. The residents of Al-Musaed, Quwaiza, Al-Nakheel, Al-Raghama and Al-Obaid districts in southeast Jeddah were mainly affected by the supply disruption“, now there can be all kinds of valid reasons why this happens, yet the official response was: “it was beyond their control as the quantity of water they receive from Shuaiba plants was less than what they received before“, the question is not whether, why or the issues of delivery, it is whether quantity of water changes can be measured and set into data models that give better forecasting, this is seen as that nations will soon face provision from 36 plants and any plan to rely on full production and let things run will have longer term problems. Knowing where water is going and what losses are measured will also give rise to initial better information and longer term better water measurement. In my view it is the same with almost every port in the world. It is not how much you ship and how many vessels you service, it is the one place where idle time is not monitored, that is the place where the cost of it all spins out of control really fast.

As I see it, both South Africa and optionally Saudi Arabia have a flaw in the long term view of water, from the articles South Africa is already past the initial point of worry from what I have read and I am speculating that Saudi Arabia has an optional issue growing as it is working towards Vision 2030, because when those tech firms start rolling in in 2031, Riyadh with all its growth could potentially grow by at least 10% in the short term, the question becomes whether Riyadh would be ready to service a jump that is twice the size of Cape Town? I have no way of knowing and it is not yet the point where it is out there, but Vision 2030 is only 12 years away and desalinisation plants do not grow overnight, which would be awesome if someone could design one that did so.

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