Caribbean Island Hopes to Use Steam for Electric Power

Will There be Geothermal Electricity for Nevis?

On April 28, 2009,  the St. Kitts and Nevis Democrat, a newspaper published in Nevis at that time, reported that the West Indies Power (Nevis) Ltd. was issued a Geothermal Resource Concession  by the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and signed a 25 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Nevis Electricity Company Ltd.  The Geothermal Resource Concession is for a renewable 25 year term and grants West Indies Power (Nevis) Ltd. (WIPN) the right to develop and produce electricity from the geothermal resources on (or under) Nevis.
Geothermal power generation in volcanic areas. Image from www.mhi-global.com
Geothermal power generation in volcanic areas. Image from http://www.mhi-global.com

In that 2009 article, it was reported that Kerry McDonald, CEO of West Indies Power (Nevis) Ltd., said  “West Indies Power will now be able to start building the geothermal power plants that will supply Nevis and the other islands in the northern Caribbean with low cost, reliable, renewable, clean energy for the foreseeable future.”

 

They were off to a great start, but the momentum failed. In 2012, Time Magazine reported the project was stalled. By 2015, geothermal resources development for Nevis had advanced to the point that the Caribbean Development Bank was considering financial support.

Nevis plans to use its geothermal resources to generate electricity which could power air conditioning systems.  Hot water could fuel cool air in resort hotels. As the IADB reported in 2013, tourism is the reliable artery that feeds the Nevis economy and hotels on the island consume a stunning amount of electricity powered mostly by oil with limited wind-generated power.

Hot Water :: Cool Air

People have been tapping into geothermal energy for cooking and heating forever. Settlements near geyser fields made good sense to Stone Age ancestors. Think of geothermal as steam power sourced from Earth’s interior.  The thermal energy is drawn from beneath Earth’s crust, at various distances below the surface.  Jules Verne’s novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth” spins a story about traveling on the hot rivers of the surface deep into the earth’s molten rivers called magma.

Geothermal springs in the Zhupanova River area of Kamchatka. Image from en.kamchatka.info
Geothermal springs in the Zhupanova River area of Kamchatka. Image from en.kamchatka.info

Volcanic areas produce reservoirs of steam and hot water.  In Iceland, steam is tapped for residential heat and hot water.  Steam geysers are for visitors to enjoy in remote areas of Iceland, as at Yellowstone National Park in the USA and the Valley of the Geysers north of Zhupanovo on the Pacific coast of the Kamchatka peninsula in Siberia.  

 

 

 

Iatrogenic Disease :: Hello Hospitals?

[Photo too disturbing to publish goes here]

Flesh, cells and protein rot.  You’ve seen vegetables disintegrating into piles of squashed odor and off-beat color.  You’ve smelled rancid milk.  You didn’t eat that meat or the fish that seemed a little off. You know that wounds are risky sites.

Social niceness keeps us in the dark about the decadent reality of human flesh. It rots fast.  My great grand-aunt went  to gangrene (we’re so sorry, it was a hospital infection, as they used to say) while in hospital care  for a broken bone in a suburb of Washington, DC that begins with B.  I was six years old and I’ve never forgotten the odor, her pain and death.

Political and business interests avoid revealing the facts of iatrogenic disease, which is a fancy name for infection that starts in medical settings — clinics, emergency rooms, ICU, surgeries, waiting rooms, examining rooms, and all the other places where practitioners of all stripes wear latex gloves but forget to wash their hands.

Read more about staph infections and the many ways they are transmitted in medical settings.  Know the symptoms and act immediately to secure proper care.  Understand how to protect yourself from infection after or during emergency care settings, particularly in certain states, provinces, regions and countries where you’d think medical care is universally top notch, but in fact, it’s not.   Not by a long shot.  Read Ivan Illich’s book Medical Nemesis.

The key to evaluating medical care  is not counting how many successful transplants or open heart surgeries occur, nor how many elaborate imaging and analytic processes are on offer, but knowing the incidence of staph infection acquired during brief emergency room encounters or infection associated with routine procedures will help you keep your flesh, and your life.

Does the U.S. Center for Disease Control weekly Morbidity and Mortality report include iatrogenic staph infection numbers?  Australia started publishing the numbers in 2011.  Does your state or country?

Did you know common staphylococcus aureus infections are resistant to medication?

Look at this mess of medical malpractice and lack of knowledge management reported by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times.  Here’s a fast solution —  Each patient on intake receives a secure wiki page in the hospital’s online LAN on which all comment, diagnosis, data, treatment and symptoms are noted so that all practitioners, family and institutions caring for the individual can monitor progress and decline.  Maybe it will prevent decline and iatrogenic disease and death.  Wikis can be created in seconds. Any medical idiot can add content and there are certainly plenty of them to go around.

Florida  2012

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57431162-10391704/aimee-copeland-24-battles-flesh-eating-necrotizing-fasciitis-following-zip-lining-accident/

“…was zip-lining last Tuesday near her home with her friends when she suffered a cut on her calf that required 22 staples to close. She came back to the emergency room at Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton, Ga. …”

Perhaps the staphylococcus aureus infection and subsequent necrotizing fascists commenced but after contact in the emergency room where her leg was stapled (!) together.  The cut wasn’t the source of infection, but the subsequent emergency room contacts infected her.

Florida 2012

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/article/257238/3/Starke-man-dies-after-fight-with-necrotizing-fasciitis

Florida – Tampa

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2163297/Flesh-eating-bacteria-Lisa-Maria-Carter-sues-Tampa-hospital-losing-hands-feet.html

South Carolina 2012

http://www.wtsp.com/news/health/article/255604/12/Another-woman-victim-of-flesh-eating-bacteria

“It’s caused by two usually common bacteria, streptococcus and staphylococcus aureus …”

commonly found in hospital emergency room settings as well as on the human body.

Resources:

http://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0303critic/030313illich/Frame.Illich.Ch1.html

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5953a1.htm?s_cid=mm5953a1_w

http://www.fidanoski.ca/medicine/staphylococcus-streptococcus.htm

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/state/golf-outing-palm-frond-leads-to-flesh-eating-disease-necrotizing-fasciitis-for-florida-man

http://www.amazon.com/American-Way-Death-Revisited/dp/0679771867/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1287503475&sr=1-1

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18476182

Mapping Party :: Congressional Cemetery Washington DC

OpenStreetMap.org holds a mapping party at Congressional Cemetery on Sunday, July 15 10 a.m. to 3 pm.

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. Two major driving forces behind the establishment and growth of OSM have been restrictions on use or availability of map information across much of the world and the advent of inexpensive portable satellite navigation devices.

I heard about this project at Wikimania 2012 which is going on this week at George Washington University and other venues around town including  Tech@State events.

Margaret Atwood at Georgetown University

In Gaston Hall, on the evening of April 2, 2012 Margaret Atwood mused on debt, payback, revenge and  Image  what might the world be like now if the events of September 11, 2001 has been forgiven (after a period of thoughtful mourning) by the affected nations and their political leaders instead of a trigger excuse to bomb a swath of the Middle East and Central Asia into smithereens, killing hundreds of thousands of ordinary people and extending the dull-minded cycle of revenge.

Never mind, it didn’t happen that way.  Forgiveness costs too much.

But what is the price of payback? Image

Does anyone know the number of multi-national soldiers who have died in the endless Middle East wars? Does anyone know the number of children, elders, women and men killed because they were in the way of military actions in Ir-Af-Pak during the decades after 2001?

My thought is that forgiveness is a magnificent gesture of leadership.  It would require a period of sorrowful reflection and consultation with the other countries whose nationals perished in the event.

*  2,176 of the people who died at the WTC were born in the USA.

*  573 were born in other countries.

*  Data in the report noted below are based on 2,746 death certificates filed with the Office of Vital Records and 3   deaths that were reported outside New York City through October 31, 2003.

* Data on total deaths related to the events of that day in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia were not included in the WTC Disaster Death report authored by the City of New York.

Source: Departent of Mental and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Vital Statistics, The City of New York.  Special Section: World Trade Center Disaster Deaths, December 2003.  http://www.nyc.gov/health

Reality Check

Organizational Culture shows us how governments, corporations, associations and other organizations manage their story and proactively shape their message.  Al-Qaeda has an organizational culture just like any other entity and hey, it’s run by a guy in the construction business with a bunch of sub-contractors who deliver their trade which happens to be self-inflicted mayhem and death.

The U.S. is a squeamish organization — we don’t like to see blood and heart-breaking scenes and we don’t like to violate our values and standards by using taboo subjects (religion, race, ethnicity, gender, etc) to our advantage in an information campaign. The U.S. is tough minded when it has to be, but its organizational culture steers away from making decisions, embracing necessary change or cutting off what isn’t working.

The government has pathological difficulty in cutting off funding for what isn’t working.  That would be the “war” in Afghanistan and the “deomacratization” of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Throwing money and human beings in the form of soldiers at problems that require tougher decisions and a longer term frame of reference is how the U.S. has avoided the painful work of facing reality.  Now reality means no more money.  Perhaps, at last,  bankruptcy and debt will force prudent decisions.

Age :: Debt and who will take care of Grandma?

Older Chinese Couple

 

In 2000, 6.8 percent of China’s vast population were age 65 or older.

By 2025, 13.4 percent of China’s population will be age 65 or older.

Source:  Eberstat, N. (2004, Fall) Four Surprises in Global Demography. Orbis 48, 4:673-684.  p. 676

So what does that mean for ordinary people?  China depends on families to look after the health and welfare of its elderly population. The one-child policy has been effective in stabilizing population growth, but the replacement population is skewed to males.

China may need a gender based immigration policy to continue a stable replacement worker population to continue the growth which can support the rapidly aging population through individual care or a national pension scheme.

China will always have a vast population, so that demographic impacts may not be as deep, but widespread.  The political history has been to shift populations around the territory in order to support continued growth, populate empty areas and stimulate development. However, soon China will have a top heavy aged population — and the stereotype that Chinese are long-lived applies here — with many of those elders without family members to care for them.  Some of those sole offspring did not survive or did not reproduce because of the under-representation of females since the one-child policy took effect. Some emigrated.

China will have to revisit the current policy on pensions and health care. This may provide emerging market opportunities for developed nations to provide China with services such as elder care and health care delivery.

And, look out China, under-educated, unskilled American females may be headed your way to pick up prosperous spouses.

Debt

Did you know…..China’s public debt as a percent of GDP  —  16.20 (2008 est.), #101 on the global list. India’s public debt as a percent of GDP — 61.30 (2008 est.) # 23.  The public debt of the United States — 60.80 in relation to GDP (2007 est.) #24 on the list.

Source: CIA (2009). Country Comparison::Public Debt. The World Factbook. Retrieved October 3, 2009 from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2186rank.html

The U.S. was only a notch ahead of India on the amount of public debt as a percentage of GDP in 2008, using data prior to the global economic implosion.

While India and the U.S. will retain their robust populations to continue economic dynamism, by 2050 half of the U.S. population will be middle-aged or older.

India and the U.S. have similar profiles  of public debt in relation to GDP, but working-aged population is projected to diverge.  This will impact U.S. ability to sustain its economic growth pattern in relation to mounting proportion of public debt. If  the U.S. enhances trade partnerships with the more stable and growing economies such as India, the U.S.  economic outcome may improve.

Great-Grandmama may be able to afford a caregiver — a sponsored immigrant from India who speaks excellent English and has nursing training.

Resources: http://www.Kumarafoundation.com

Arab Bourgeoisie

What will become of Middle East and North African youth who need jobs, are educated and are using social media to connect online?

One of the top three geopolitical challenges that the Middle East faces in the period 2010-2020 is the demographic bulge born between 1975-1995 who are competing for few jobs in economies that are mostly stagnant or depending on a sole resource. Oil or U.S. political-military support.

The issue is significant because traditional states such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Egypt, Morocco rely on theocracy or political idiology to control the population.  The educated and digitally connected young people who are part of a population bulge born between the years 1975 and 1995 seek employment and a meaningful role in their national future. The aftermath of the Iranian election and political stalemating clearly shows the role that digital tools play in facilitating demonstrations, communications and even, possibly, a tear-down-the-walls action agenda.

At the same time, the U.S. needs to leverage existing relationships in the region, so that other global aspirants don’t gain  a foothold.

Change the Culture :: Tell the Story

The skillful manipulation of the essential story of the conflict between the U.S. with al-Qaeda has left the U.S. on the wrong side of the story.  And make no mistake, in the information age, it is all about the story that plays online, on mobile phones, television, on video and film.  Viral messaging moves images and information faster than governments can perceive, let alone respond or manage the message. Today’s message is repeated, expanded and changed as the reteller (retailer) sees fit.

The U.S. should use its considerable expertise in psychology and its thousands of highly skilled civilian psychologists (as well as military psychologists), regional cultural specialists, creative story tellers, film directors and others, to produce a sophisticated narrative to manage the information strategically to turn the story in a different direction.  It is essential to understand how to deliver the message to a culture, region and social setting that is completely different than the U.S.

The development, training and success of the Iraqi Security Force  (ISF) is another element to be managed in strategic information operations.  The image of the ISF as weak and ineffectual must change in order for the narrative to support information dominance. Delivering that message correctly requires a strategy, perhaps more difficult than training the forces. Major General (Ret.) Najim Abed Al-Jabouri, an officer in the former Iraqi Air Defense and now a Senior Fellow in the Near East South Asia Center at the National Defense University points out that “the United States fails to realize is that the ISF itself is the battleground in the larger communal struggle for power and survival. Middle Eastern concepts of civil-military relations are fundamentally different than Western ones. Western militaries have developed a culture of political control over armed forces. …this is not the established culture in either Iraq or the greater Middle East. In Iraq, there is a culture of “he who owns the security forces, owns the politics.” (Al-Jabouri, 2009)

Al-Jabouri, Najim Abed (2009, August). Iraqui Security Forces after U.S. Withdrawal: An Iraqi Perspective. Institute for National Strategic Studies  Strategic Forum No.  245.