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Predictions from 1981


Guest Mark Valenti
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Guest Mark Valenti

In THE BOOK OF PREDICTIONS by Wallechinsky, Wallace and Wallace, there are some interesting offerings from Theodore J. Rubin. He's described as "a government and business economist, military systems analyst, long-range planner, and international affairs researcher. Most recently he was manager of Environmental Information Systems for General Electric and manager of the International Affairs Center in Santa Barbara, California."

Some of his predictions:

1982 - 1992

* Intensifying terrorism against corporate, governmental, and private persons in foreign countries. Abduction and murder by members of radical movements to gain attention and ransom, to embarrass large powers (especially the U.S.), and to embarrass their own governments.

* Continuing terrorism and internal instability in Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Lebanan, Oman and Yemen, fomented by East-West strategic competition, conflicting oil policies, Islamic resurgence and unresolved issues between Israel and the Arab nations.

* Possible punitive military action by the U.S. against one oil-producing nation to attempt to set an example against oil price gouging, to placate an outraged citizenry, and to provide the emotional climate for an austere fuel-rationing program.

1993 - 2030

* Growing use of mind-control and behavior-control chemicals by authoritarian governments to suppress dissension and unrest. Unlike chemicals currently applied in crisis situations (e.g. tear gas for mob control), these chemicals will be applied subtly in water and food supplies.

The point is - government thinktanks are full of people who actually know what's coming, the know who's planning it, they know how events will play out, and they can pretty well predict the outcome of these events.

There are, of course, wild cards in every actuality, but by and large, governments understand fully where things are headed.

Check out this link for an example of just one clearinghouse of info:

http://stinet.dtic.mil/

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Guest Stephen Turner

And whats more, you dont need to be in the power elite to see the way things are going. When Thatcher was elected in 1979 I predicted, major clashes with the trade unions, possibly leading to a civil war like state of affairs, the gap between rich and poor to grow massively, and unempolyment to top 3,000,000 within two years. Bingo, I'm Nostradamus.

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Guest Stephen Turner
And whats more, you dont need to be in the power elite to see the way things are going. When Thatcher was elected in 1979 I predicted, major clashes with the trade unions, possibly leading to a civil war like state of affairs, the gap between rich and poor to grow massively, and unempolyment to top 3,000,000 within two years. Bingo, I'm Nostradamus.

In fact, here are a few predictions for our future.

By 2030, Biofuels will have overtaken oil as the main fuel used in transport, but, instead of slowing global warming this will help to exaserbate the problem, as carbon stored naturally in the plants is liberated by burning. Some scientists say this metod is up to ten times more poluting than the burning of oil. Politicians already know this, but are desperate for a sop to throw the climate changers, whilst not angering the transport lobby, oil manufacturers, car producers and the motor addicted general public (read "voters")

In 2009, Gordon Browns New labour will defeat, by the narrowist of margins, Camerons Tories, But, finding his ability to legislate blocked by back bench rebelion, and the largely unreconstituted House of Lords, Will go to the Country with eighteen months, seeking a mandate to rule. This will be denied him, as the Tories romp home by at least fifty seats.

2020, Lichinstien to invade Russia. :sun

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And whats more, you dont need to be in the power elite to see the way things are going. When Thatcher was elected in 1979 I predicted, major clashes with the trade unions, possibly leading to a civil war like state of affairs, the gap between rich and poor to grow massively, and unempolyment to top 3,000,000 within two years. Bingo, I'm Nostradamus.

I agree. However, would you have predicted after 10 years of Labour government there would have been an increase in the gap between rich and poor?

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Guest Stephen Turner
And whats more, you dont need to be in the power elite to see the way things are going. When Thatcher was elected in 1979 I predicted, major clashes with the trade unions, possibly leading to a civil war like state of affairs, the gap between rich and poor to grow massively, and unempolyment to top 3,000,000 within two years. Bingo, I'm Nostradamus.

I agree. However, would you have predicted after 10 years of Labour government there would have been an increase in the gap between rich and poor?

Good question John. The short answer I suppose is no. Despite massive misgivings about Blairs credentials, and the sycophants he surrounds himself with, It almost defies belief that disparities between the have's and have nots have never been greater since Victorian times, and this from an administration that dares to call itself "Labour". this shows most plainly in Blairites obsession, and obsequence to the rich and powerful, which in many personal cases has proven their downfall. (for readers see "The corruption of Tony Blair" in the Politics section of this forum, for a full debate on this subject.)

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By 2030, Biofuels will have overtaken oil as the main fuel used in transport, but, instead of slowing global warming this will help to exaserbate the problem, as carbon stored naturally in the plants is liberated by burning. Some scientists say this metod is up to ten times more poluting than the burning of oil. Politicians already know this, but are desperate for a sop to throw the climate changers, whilst not angering the transport lobby, oil manufacturers, car producers and the motor addicted general public (read "voters")

Actually biofuels should be much cleaner in terms of co2 production. The plants used to create biofuels will take as much co2 out of the air while they grow as they create when they burn. With oil, we're pulling huge amounts of carbon from deep underground and pumping it into the atmosphere. So biofuels aren't adding any new carbon to the system, but oil is.

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Guest Stephen Turner
By 2030, Biofuels will have overtaken oil as the main fuel used in transport, but, instead of slowing global warming this will help to exaserbate the problem, as carbon stored naturally in the plants is liberated by burning. Some scientists say this metod is up to ten times more poluting than the burning of oil. Politicians already know this, but are desperate for a sop to throw the climate changers, whilst not angering the transport lobby, oil manufacturers, car producers and the motor addicted general public (read "voters")

Actually biofuels should be much cleaner in terms of co2 production. The plants used to create biofuels will take as much co2 out of the air while they grow as they create when they burn. With oil, we're pulling huge amounts of carbon from deep underground and pumping it into the atmosphere. So biofuels aren't adding any new carbon to the system, but oil is.

Hate to disagree Kevin, but you have been sold the farm. i dont have the specific details with me, but I will post them tomorrow. This is without even mentioning the possible tragedy over food production versus fuel, Poor people need the food, richer people need to keep their cars on the move. Want a wager over which side will win?

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First I've heard about the Biofuels controversy, here's a related article which seems to support Stephen's position

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/BiofuelRepublicBrazil.php

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Yes but that's all about the environmental impact of biofuel farmlands encroaching on the amazon rainforests. It's about a specific case, not general. Doesn't mean that there aren't good places to farm the stuff. The plains of the american midwest can grow things like switchgrass in amazing quantities without having to clearcut natural co2 sinks like the amazon.

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First I've heard about the Biofuels controversy, here's a related article which seems to support Stephen's position

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/BiofuelRepublicBrazil.php

Actually the article supports the notion that bio-fuels release less carbon than fossil fuels:

Brazil’s bioethanol is often held up as a model of sustainable biofuel production, and this appears to have been confirmed by a report released in October 2006 by the International Energy Agency’s Bioenergy Task 40, which analyses the international bioenergy and biofuels trade [4, 5]. The report concluded that, in general the production of sugarcane-based ethanol as currently practised in Brazil, is “environmentally sustainable.” Biofuels are rated in terms of energy balance, the units of biofuel energy produced per unit of input energy; and carbon saving, the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions prevented by producing and using the biofuel instead of producing and using the same amount of fossil fuel energy [6] (Biofuels: Biodevastation, Hunger & False Carbon Credits, this series). Sugarcane ethanol is estimated to have an energy balance of a staggering 8.3 on average, but could be 10.2 in the best case; far outstrips the energy balance of any other biofuel, especially those produced in temperate regions. The carbon saving at between 85 and 90 percent, is also bigger by a long way of any other biofuel.

The report, Sustainability of Brazilian bio-ethanol [5], was commissioned by SenterNovem, The Netherlands Agency for Sustainable Development and Innovation, and carried out by the Copernicus Institute (University of Utrecht) and Brazil’s State University of Campinas, Unicamp. The results are significant for Brazil’s export of sugarcane ethanol, and Europe will be a main importer.

The relative success of sugarcane bioethanol stems from the prolific growth rate of the crop in tropical Brazil, and a closed cycle production process, where the energy for refining and distilling comes from burning sugarcane residue, hence no fossil fuels are needed. Refining and distillation are very energy intensive especially for bioethanol.

But it goes into other problems (and indicates the carbon saving might be over estimated):

Among the main concerns are ecological and social impacts, including food security. It is as yet unclear how additional land use for sugarcane will impact on biodiversity, or compete for land needed for growing food. The report did not deal at all with social welfare, and that, in a country where human rights and land rights are still problematic. There are also no considerations on health impacts to workers and the general public.
The article contains numerous errors in its facts and figures. Unfortunately many of the claims are unsourced and only members of the organization can access the version with references. I'm relatively certain the anonymous author(s?) isn't Brazilian and s/he might not even be that fluent in Portuguese or have actually visited Brazil. I've never heard of sugarcane production in the Amazon or Cerrado regions. That's not to say that sugarcane production here is entirely or even on balance benevolent just that I don't put a lot of faith in the cited article. The article linked below seems much more reliable though I've only skimmed it and it doesn't source it's claims either. Perhaps if Brazil were to export ethanol to 1st world countries pressure could be applied to improve working conditions and environmental practices (wishful think perhaps).

http://www.landaction.org/display.php?article=405

Dave's article states the following:

A WWF report to the International Energy Agency in 2005 suggested that Brazil’s bioethanol programme reduced transport emissions by 9 Mt a year, but 80 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions came from deforestation. A study found that while a hectare of land in Brazil grows enough sugarcane to make ethanol to save 13 t CO2 a year. But if natural forests were allowed to regenerate on the same hectare of land, the trees would absorb 20 t of CO2 every year.

I'd be interested in reading that report I wonder if it takes the carbon absorption of the sugarcane into effect. In any case it is unlikely the land would be converted to forest if it weren't for sugarcane cultivation. Rather the next most profitable crop would be planted on it unless some eco-friendly millionaire was willing to buy the land or pay the owner to reforest it. Due to were it's grown I doubt deforestation is much of an issue with Brazilian sugar farming. One problem is that in some regions the remnants of the last crop are burnt before the next one is planted but this practice has been banned in Sao Paulo the state with the largest sugar crop and IIRC in a few other states as well and from what I understand the ban is pretty well enforced/obeyed at least in Sao Paulo.

Sorry I can't source my claims it's what I've gleaned from the Brazilian media and people I know who are knowledgeable about the subject. Speaking of which many years ago I met the aeronautical engineer who is considered the father of Brazil's ethanol industry and is mentioned in this article:

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=6817.

I also found this article but haven't had time to read it yet

http://www.grist.org/comments/soapbox/2006/12/08/philpott/

Edited by Len Colby
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