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Pivotal Power

June 30, 2009
Side-stepping catastrophe with China over climate, currency

The real test for China may be if the country can commit to hard targets under a new Copenhagen climate treaty.

I was once concerned that Congressional fury over China’s undervalued currency and our huge bilateral trade deficit would combine with resentment over the costs of climate change legislation, and over China not doing enough to curb its emissions.

Climate and energy — far from becoming a new area of cooperation between the U.S. and China, as I have advocated — would instead become a new irritant in the relationship, and climate negotiations would devolve into even more bitter fingerpointing across the Pacific, delaying progress on the fight against global warming. Most recently, Paul Krugman explains why we don’t have any time to waste.

So far, at least, this train wreck has not come to pass. China has taken impressive steps on energy conservation, as this report from my colleagues at the Center for American Progress details. Beijing may even reject the Hummer deal on environmental grounds — how very sane.

The real test, though, is whether China will commit itself to hard targets under a new Copenhagen climate treaty. Meanwhile, in Washington, the Waxman-Markey legislation, which creates a cap and trade system for carbon, just passed the House. It would slap tariffs onto goods from countries that do not accept limits on global warming emissions, but only after a whole bunch of criteria are met and other remedies tried first. Given the politics, that showed real restraint. Overall the bill is far from ideal. It is, nevertheless, something.

President Obama has gone farther to head a trade/climate collision off at the pass by announcing Sunday that he didn’t support the trade sanctions in the cap and trade legislation. He gets a two-fer for this, in typical Obama Administration fashion. First, he is showing leadership on international trade. Protectionist measures are being enacted all over the world despite promises to the contrary, and in the lead up to the G-8 and G-20 meetings in Italy next week, this shows wise economic leadership on a tough issue that does threaten to exacerbate the current crisis, according to most experts.

His statements also serve the U.S. from a climate negotiation point of view. They signal to countries, particularly China, that the Administration will negotiate in good faith and hold off on trade punishments if they are forthcoming at Copenhagen — if.  Let us hope they are.

– Nina Hachigian

Photo courtesy of Flickr user PeacePlusOne under a Creative Commons license.

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By: Manfred Zysk, M.E. – June 30, 2009

Supertankers loaded with 2 million barrel oil capacity are used as storage vessels (100 million barrels) offshore, primarily in Europe and the U.S.A., tanker brokers said. About 70 million barrels are still floating. Ocean oil storage of $8 per barrel/month is now less attractive after oil prices for near-term delivery rose and now dropped to 80 cents. Ocean oil tanker storage generated huge profits when premiums surged for holding oil off the market by Koch, Vitol, Shell, Glencore, British Petroleum, and others. Oil trading profits are hard to track, but analysts say floating oil storage probably helped several firms book billions in collective profits since late 2008. British Petroleum has said crude storage plays helped it gain $500 million in trading profits during the first quarter alone.

This proves that the USA and the world are at the mercy of the oil companies and they are allowed to pillage and drain the world economy into financial chaos. The world is being doped into submission with false claims and lies of abundant oil and fossil fuel resources with the help of the news media and several governments. Ever larger election campaign contributions by oil companies and corporations ensure that the government is controlled by corporate interests. Honest politicians do not have a chance of being elected, and our U.S. government has become very much against the interests of the average American citizen and national interests, such as by outsourcing jobs, opposing Social Security and not allowing affordable Health Care.

On June 27, 2009, my Senator Merkley held a town-hall meeting and he proudly announced major energy developments and investments are taking place in wind, solar and even algae formulated with carbon dioxide for quick growth. Three wind turbine manufacturing companies recently declared bankruptcy in Oregon. Most people at the town-hall meeting supported new energy legislation. Several people shouted “drill baby, drill” (for oil). Many people appeared very hostile and uninformed about the fact that the oil companies are sitting on 68,000 acres of oil leases and refuse to drill for oil. These oil leases are claimed as financial assets, but actual oil deposits are not known, or may not even exist.

The Algae World Summit ended on March 26, 2009 with professionals from all corners of the industry examined the realities and challenges of building a national scale bio-fuels industry for producing nationally 20 to 100 billion gallons (476 million to 2.381 billion barrels) per year. U.S. oil consumption for 2007 amounted to 20.68 billion barrels. Current, unrealistic claims were made of algae producing 15,000 gallons of bio-fuel per acre, while current peak productivity is on the level of 2,000 to 2,500 gallons per acre/year, and evaporative water losses from small-scale production run into millions of gallons per day. In spite of the hype, no solid technological research was presented for immediate useful commercial application. GreenFuel, in Cambridge, Massachusetts promised a large scale commercial algae production plant to be in operation by 2009, but further information about this plant is not available. Now GreenFuel plans to build a commercial 247 acre plant in the next few years.

A clear majority of people at the town-hall meeting demanded single payer health care plans. A woman demanded that Senators and Congressmen have to read all proposed legislation, because when voting but not knowing what is in the legislation then would amount to fraud. The woman received much applause, and Senator Merkley did not directly respond. No factual data was presented and the town-hall meeting only lasted 1 hour, and over 20 persons had more questions, including questions about our wars and over our 700 military bases worldwide, and how our government can continue to justify such waste during our critical financial times and huge debts. Several angry people were opposed to most government programs and of paying taxes. For more energy information, please see:

Manfred Zysk, M.E.


Adjustment to the Previous Text (#1):

“Therefore that [they are specific] entities secures [their] being beneficial, while negativity secures [their] usability.”


A Quote:
From the article ‘linked’ …[(that is, ‘sublimated’ = or ‘volatilized’ from the ‘solid state’ = or ‘present manifestations’ of affairs in ‘concrete reality’ with ‘explanative commentary’) to a ‘gas’ [analagous to the ‘nebulous processes’ of the ‘mental regions’ of subconcious Thoughts in their ‘incipient border-concious stages’, and then condensed again as a solid (more ‘concretely manifested’ Effects of prior Thoughts) without passing through the ‘liquid state’ = or, state(s) of dilemmas or indecisive awarenesses which seem to ‘pass over’ without full conciousness of the passage = or, are not fully and conciously ‘realized-in-flux’.] …to the Main Article above (at that link which is produced when the word ‘advocated’ is clicked):

The United States must devote greater resources to understanding China, especially its leaders’ thinking and their priorities in foreign policy, domestic and economic policies, and military planning. Greater diplomatic, intelligence, and military assets should be devoted to this important task.

This paragraph may, reasonably, sum up the ‘subtle core’ [or, ‘hub’] of all the other Ideas mentioned in the accompanying paragraphs which seem to denote a kind of circularly aspected thinking like the ‘spokes’ of a Wheel which spread out to each sector from a Central Hub upon which the entire History of China turns and may be key when considering how the psychology of the Wheel Of China will turn in the future and what kind of power will be produced in the Wheel’s revolutions and processes which are far more ancient than many other parts of the World can admit.

The Issue at the Center is complex, to be sure…and the complexity derives from
That-By- Which China is nurtured in the depths of its Ancient History.

How can any Modern Nation, truly, have sway over a Nation which is as ancient as China?
Many could project many “modern answers” but those answers might not fit the “aged” qualities of the Original Question.

I base this thinking on what Wang Bi (226 A.D. – 249 A.D.) said in his
Commentary on the Tao Te Ching…
[Section or Chapter 11]
which reads as follows:


11.1–“Thirty spokes share one hub. But it is the [latter’s negativity [vis-a-vis the specificity of the spokes] that is [the basis] for the usability of the existing carriage.”


“That by which a [=one] hub is capable of holding together thirty [different] spokes is its negativity [vis-a-vis their specific features]. Because of this negativity, [the hub] is capable of taking in the points of origin of [many different] entities. That is why [the hub] is capable, being itself the minimum, to control the many [spokes]!


11.2–“One kneads clay in order to make a vessel. But its negativity [i.e., the fact that inside the vessel there is no clay so that many different things can be put into it] secures the usability of the existing vessel. One cuts doors and windows to make a room. But it is their [the doors’ and windows’] negativity [vis-a-vis the wall] which secures the usability of the existing room. Therefore that [they are specific] entities secures [their] being befeficial, while negativity secures [their] usability.”


“The three [wheel, vessel, room] are made from wood, clay, and mortar respectively, but all [depend] on negativity for their usability. This [Laozi statement] means: Entities in order to be beneficial all depend on negativity for their usability.”

However these thoughts may be applied…
The Wheel is the Image describing the Core Issue.
The rest of the Spokes of connected affairs are but commentary.

Nina Hachigian is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the co-author of “The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise.” She has worked on the staff of the National Security Council in the White House and been a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. She specializes in U.S.-China relations and great power relationships, multilateral institutions and U.S. foreign policy.

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