Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 3/22 - The Toxins That Threaten Our Brians, What If California’s Drought Is Permanent?

Sunday, March 22, 2015, 10:20 AM

Economy

Requiem for American Exceptionalism (jdargis)

Americans are good at remembering what they want to remember. The hall where Patrick Henry spoke, the Old North Church in which Paul Revere saw the lantern, the hall in which the Declaration of Independence was signed, the houses of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Franklin—all survive or have been painstakingly reconstructed. Their counterparts from the French Revolution have almost entirely vanished. The educational effort at Civil War battlefields overwhelms anything seen at any European field I’ve ever seen. (Although the soon-to-open visitor center at Waterloo looks almost Gettysburg-like in scale.)

Wages Haven’t Been This Crucial to U.S. Economy in Half Century (jdargis)

Porcelli tracked wages through the index of aggregate weekly payrolls for private production workers, which takes into account hourly earnings, the length of the workweek and changes in employment for about 80 percent of the labor force. Records go back to 1964, longer than the measure for all employees that includes supervisors, which dates back only to 2006.

Taming Health Costs by Keeping High-Maintenance Patients Out of the Hospital (jdargis)

A patchwork of experiments across the country are trying to better manage these cases. The Center for Health Care Strategies, a policy center in New Jersey, has documented such efforts in 26 states. Some are run by private insurers and health care providers, while others are part of broader state overhaul efforts. The federal government is supporting some, too, through its $10 billion Innovation Center, set up under the Affordable Care Act.

The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains (jdargis)

For decades, chlorpyrifos, marketed by Dow Chemical beginning in 1965, was the most widely used insect killer in American homes. Then, in 1995, Dow was fined $732,000 by the EPA for concealing more than 200 reports of poisoning related to chlorpyrifos. It paid the fine and, in 2000, withdrew chlorpyrifos from household products. Today, chlorpyrifos is classified as “very highly toxic” to birds and freshwater fish, and “moderately toxic” to mammals, but it is still used widely in agriculture on food and non-food crops, in greenhouses and plant nurseries, on wood products and golf courses.

The Perfect Storm For Oil Hits In Two Months: US Crude Production To Soar Just As Storage Runs Out (pinecarr)

Since then, as expected, crude tumbled to new post-Lehman lows, confirming the global deflationary wave is raging (for more details please see China), and WTI only posted a rebound on quad-witching Friday as another algo-driven stop hunt spooked all those who were short the energy complex.

The problem is that despite the latest "dead oil bounce" we have since had to revise our forecast for full US oil storage, and pulled forward the date when this will happen in the aftermath of the latest API inventory data.

It’s time to get serious about the California drought (pinecarr)

The first desal plant in the state was built by the Navy at the tip of Point Loma in 1962. It was taken apart two years later and hauled to the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, when Fidel Castro cut off the base water supply. A new desalination plant, the largest in the Western hemisphere, is nearing completion in Carlsbad and could start delivering fresh water here late this year. Another major desal plant has been proposed in Orange County, but it seems to be on the slow track for approval by the California Coastal Commission. Santa Barbara is considering reactivating a desal plant it took out of service in 1992 and a dozen or so other communities are considering desalination.

Opinion: What if California’s drought is permanent? (pinecarr)

Would that diminish California’s largest-in-the-nation agricultural economy? Perhaps, and fair compensation for those whose water rights are reduced would be necessary. But as visible and water-intensive as it may be, farming is a relatively tiny part of the state’s overall economy.

Shifting water from farms could be an interim step as we embark on a crash program of increasing supply.

World Water Day (jdargis)

What you can do:

Conserve water at home by taking shorter showers, investing in a low-flow toilet and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving. Plant low-water species in your yard.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 3/20/15

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

8 Comments

reflector's picture
reflector
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2011
Posts: 279
US Officially Loses Battle Over China-Led Investment Bank

end of the dollar, coming soon to a theater near you:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-22/us-officially-loses-battle-over...

"So there you have it. Washington picked a completely unnecessary fight with China over the ostensibly non-contentious topic of infrastructure development because the US can’t stand the fact that traditionally US-dominated multinational institutions are on the verge of being supplanted by sinocentric ambition — and lost. Apparently though, the White House is now out to prove that if it can’t win a war fought with infrastructure development dollars it can still win a war fought with bullets, as evidenced by the “line” of soldiers and armed vehicles in place on or near the Russian border."

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 811
World Water Today

Add to the list, consider having only one child, or at the most two.  Recognize, finally that 7+ billion people on the planet isn't working all that well.  

When are we going to stop ignoring the number one driver of most of our environmental and consumption issues?  Population should always be on the list in first or second place, until it is driven into everyone's psyche.

We've talked about conserving and not consuming endlessly.  Having more than two children in today's world is simply not green, it is not conserving and it's not part of the solution.

California has 39+ million people inhabiting an area that doesn't always get the water needed to support that many.   If California had 1/2 the population, or 1/4, water would not be the issue it is today.  Los Angeles Metro alone has 18 million people.  What ever made us think that was a good idea?

treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 627
Learn an Asian language

And fast.   Calling the World Bank or IMF development banks is a little like calling Auschwitz a resort hotel.  This is no small matter.  Lets hope the Chinese will be kinder masters then their American and English counterparts.  We need not shut or borders, but we need to look inward and deal with our mounting problems.  They are solvable.  It seems that we are falling naturally into population decline with Italy of all places leading the way:

http://www.italiansrus.com/articles/ourpaesani/stateofmarriage.htm

I am more worried about maintaining human population than it continuing to explode, these straight line projections into the future are quite absurd considering what we are about to walk into.  I don't think that "first" world poverty will have the same affect on population growth that "third" world poverty had in the past.  I think it will look a lot more like Italy and Greece:

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/03/23/crisis-leading-to-high-infert...

Energy and technology dependent first worlders may have a harder time of this change than those we have been looking down our noses for so long.  I hope we will be gracious and humble enough to be on the other side of the extended hand take offered help. It will be a new and difficult experience for many.

efarmer.ny's picture
efarmer.ny
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 7 2012
Posts: 63
Saving Water

Since  "the largest use of household water is to flush the toilet," how about enforcing this old adage for saving water:

If its yellow, let it mellow; if its brown, flush it down.

I can respect LesPhelps position that some people may choose to limit their own family size but find it hard to rationalize  that in real life. That is, we can ration water and food before we have to start rationing children. I know from personal experience that US families can use a LOT less water than the official average.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Tragedy of the Commons.

The Problem with restricted breeding is that the very people who understand the need are the ones who should be be breeding.

It is a Tragedy of the Commons thing

rjs's picture
rjs
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 8 2009
Posts: 445
Toilette Etiquette

-- Sylvia Kronstadt pushing back against the Sanitary Industrial Complex:   

A new Toilette Etiquette: Let's stop flushing forests and wasting water

DennisC's picture
DennisC
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 342
Curious

After reading the two postings about California's ongoing water issues, and particularly after seeing the quote (with regards to water desalination):  "The process consumes enormous amounts of electric power, but energy authorities are telling us that we may have a power glut if solar, geothermal and wind-power projects now being planned come on line.", just how much energy is typically required (once I stopped laughing after reading the words "power glut")?

I found an older Bloomberg link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-05-01/energy-makes-up-half-o... that said:

Desalination plants on average use about 15,000 kilowatt-hours of power for every million gallons of fresh water that’s produced, the Pacific Institute said today in a report. In comparison, wastewater reuse draws as much as 8,300 kilowatt-hours of power for the same volume and importing a similar amount of water into Southern California requires as much as 14,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, it said.

I didn't do an extensive search so I don't know if this reflects reality accurately.

Lastly, I'm guessing that some of the scenario planning going on with respect to how to deal with the drought probably doesn't include some of the more uncomfortable assumptions like "what if the drought lasts 100 years" or something along those lines.  Let's plug that estimate into our models and see what happens.   Hmm, not looking good.

As we've seen here many times, humans seem particulary challenged when it come to planning, particularly if getting re-elected is in the mix somewhere.  Things left unplanned for will eventually sort themselves out.  Hence the saying "overcome by events".

Luke Moffat's picture
Luke Moffat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 25 2014
Posts: 384
Arthur Robey wrote: The
Arthur Robey wrote:

The Problem with restricted breeding is that the very people who understand the need are the ones who should be be breeding.

Are we going to call that Robey's Paradox? ;)

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