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Dec 7, 2020

Remember Pearl Harbor

Views expressed in these articles are the opinions of the author and
do not necessarily reflect the views of The MFGgear Column.

by Michael Nickle  

Pearl Harbor Day is the one day per year that I am most consistent in posting to social media.  I do it because there is so much to learn from this event that seems to be lost which bothers the Hell out of me.

Why did the Japanese attack us?  You can say it was the divine will of the emperor to assert Japanese superiority over the Pacific but that’s rubbish.  The military leadership was much too pragmatic for that.  The real reason is that Roosevelt felt threatened by their commercial ambitions and rising power therefore he rationed and embargoed their access to oil.  Yet here we are, in a world still dependent on fossil fuels.  I normally eschew politics or policy on social media but today is different.

Renewables are great.  It’s nifty and it feels good when we get electricity from the sun shining or the wind blowing.  I get it; it’s a feel good energy source.  It comes with the huge caveat that those things aren’t always happening.  The majority of our electricity demands are what’s considered base load which by and large comes from fossil fuels in the United States.  We’ve cleaned it up massively by converting from coal to natural gas.  Between that and more efficient transportation, we’ve reduced per capita carbon emissions in the US by 30% in the last 20 years.  30%!!!! Stick that in your tailpipe Greta.

United States Carbon CO2 Emissions 2020-12-07-macrotrends
Chart from the World Bank showing the USA leading the way in carbon reduction per capita

But I digress, back to base load.  Solving this problem and remaking the transmission system are the key success indicators for removing fossil fuels as a political weapon.  Now is the time to lobby our elected officials (who seem to forget they work for us not vice versa) and demand increased research and development dollars into distributed grid technologies, small scale energy production and energy storage.  The green new deal doesn’t solve the base load problem because it is political arm waving.  Science and engineering is the way.  Now back to honoring those who paid the ultimate price…

79 years ago at 7:55 am HST, the United States U.S. fleet in the Pacific was attacked by the Japanese navy while at port in Pearl Harbor. It was a Sunday, there was no declared war and many of the sailors were just waking up and getting ready for church when they heard the first bombs fall on Ford Island. 2,403 American lives were lost that fateful day and the US declared total war on the axis powers. Ultimately the forces of liberty and freedom won out over nationalist socialism and tyranny but it came at a cost that deserves a moment of quiet contemplation and profound gratitude. So I ask you, yes you, to pray for those who are ever vigilant so that you may be free.  Then hassle your representatives to quit engaging in party bullshit and get to work.  Amen!

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