Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Update


It appears that there are a few events that really don’t favor mankind at all that are occurring in Japan right now.

With regards to the plant itself, as one would expect from such an organization such as Tokyo Electric’s (TEPCO), who run Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, we are experiencing a layer of secrecy and deceit, with the true details trickling out slowly.

From World Nuclear News (WNN) on May 16, 2011: “Investigations at unit 1 at Fukushima Daiichi suggest that most of the fuel in the reactor core melted and dropped to the bottom of the reactor vessel in the early stages of the accident. Work has started on installing a structure to cover the damaged reactor building. ”

…. read full article here.

Exponential Growth and The World We Live In

A massive catastrophe is speedily reaching us. Its not a doomsday forecast, predicted in the year 1801 by a psychic named Rasus. Nor is it propaganda from giant corporation funded newspapers to insight hysteria into the consumer to buy buy buy! What we are faced with is the pure facts of exponential growth rates.

For years we have been headlined with such slogans as “Our oil reserves have been increasing production at 4% per year, which means that we have more oil than every before in the reserves”, or “the world population must increase at a rate of 3% per year or we will not have enough people to fill our factories.” How do we continue to support these same newspapers and TV programs when the fill us with this junk? It boggles my mind.

What we do not understand is how this continued 3% or 5% growth rates effect us in the long run. What this ‘positive’ growth rate fails to inform us about, is how this actually works.

First of all, when you have a 5% growth, it compounds on top of the year before, so we now have a 5% on the 105%. So, lets use numbers.

Year 1, we have 100.

  • 2 = 105
  • 3 = 110.25
  • 4=115.76
  • 5=121.55
  • 6=127.62
  • 7=134.01
  • 8=140.71
  • 9=147.74
  • 10=155.13
  • 11=162.89
  • 12=171.03
  • 13=179.59
  • 14=188.56
  • 15=197.99
  • 16=207.89

So you see, at a growth rate of 5% we will have doubled in ~15years. One might be inclined to think 100/5 = 20, so it should take 20 years to double… But no.

This simple math can be estimated with the function ln(2)/% = 70/rate. So, for our case, 70/5=14. Pretty simple. The magic thing to remember is the 70. Somebody quotes you: “oh yeh, the expected growth of this stock is 7% per year,” or “These equity funds grow at a rate of .002% per year.” Now you’ll be able to say “One second, let me take out my smart phone calculator and add these up.. 70/7 = 10 years to double! Wow great investment! 70/.002=35000 years to double??! I think I’ll stick it under the mattress, thanks all the same.”

The other amazing thing, is that when we reach this double amount, it means that the total amount we are now seeing is more than double the previous double point. So, to show figures,  year 1’s 100, the amount the year 16 (doubling year) has increased by is 107.89. This means that it has more than doubled. And this continues on forever, as long as the exponential growth (or compounded continual growth continues).

To see this in a graph:

This simple graph has year in the x axis, and resultant growth total in the y-axis. You can see that between year 12 and 13, it is very obvious that the value has gone from 4000, to above 8000; more than doubled. It doesn’t just occur in those years though, it occurs in all the years prior as well, so every doubling period sees the same growth. Every time that 70/% year hits, this doubling factor is felt.

Another thing that I would like to point out is that if you notice at any two points, if you take the same two previously mentioned at year 12 and 13, you see that the 4000 it has grown by in year 13 (to 8000 from 4000), is a growth of more than what the entire total of all the years before have accumulated to, which was 4000. This is in itself the definition of a doubling time, which is the time it takes when you do the 70/% growth factor, so you can see how quickly this will grow at?

I hope this has enlightened you a little bit, or made you more aware of what it actually means to be a compounding or exponential growth, and I hope it will make you more aware of the situation that is inferred when somebody on the news says: “We need our population to grow at 3% per year, that would be a good sustainable thing”, or “Our oil consumption has a steady growth of 3.5% per year, which is expected to grow over the next 20 years by 0.3% per year, which should give our company a great stance in the markets.”

I want to leave you with this 8 part series of videos to watch off of youtube, or anywhere else you can find, so that you can learn this from an expert Dr. Albert A Bartlett who is famous for his lectures on exponents and who will explain it in far better terms than I can!


Good luck!

Food Insecurity in Developing Nations

My friend Taylor, over at her blog has been doing some studies that I would like to highlight here to hopefully reach a wider audience.

I feel that global environmental, and human rights issues are valid on any platform, so I will discuss them here.

Today I will tackle food insecurities, which are a pretty damn essential part of all of our lives. Were talking the security to go the grocery store and find food in there, and food that we actually have the money to pay for.

Us in North America, at least most of us, are fortunate enough to be able to get into our cars, drive to the closest market, which by the way there are at least half a dozen to choose from, put .25cents into the buggy to push around our green machine to fill up with whatever catches our eye for consumption.

In other developing countries, however, this isn’t the case. It is estimated that in the last two years staple crops like rice have tripled in price mainly due to oil. Transporting, farming, reaping, and delivering are all elements that require the precious oil. With this crisis increasing in scale, it is estimated that an additional 75-100 million people have been pushed into poverty and food insecurity, which isn’t a good statistic at all.

To me its incredibly sad that the USA spends billions of dollars on their war efforts, when they could be fighting a better humanitarian cause and peace. Although, I have just looked up the stats on the Department of State Budget records , and it does look like in total the US is contributing around $1.5 billion USD towards International Organizations and an additional $1.5 billion USD in contributions to various International Peacekeeping Activities. It seems all the number are coming up around $1.5 billion USD however, as they are spending another $1.5 billion USD on USAID operating expenses. Thats one hell of a budget if you ask me. Somebody talk to my boss about this..

Apparently, however, agriculture only receives about 4% of this foreign assistance from the USA, which is matched by most other countries around the world with such funds.

Her classmates and her did some research on an organization called ACDI/VOCA which uses value chain analysis to understand the private sector development in emerging economy settings to jump start economic growth and poverty reduction. I know, its a doozie. Go here to understand more about her project, and to gain more knowledge of the crises our less fortunate brothers and sisters around the world are facing.