Citrus Canker

I am proud to announce the publication of my book, Florida’s Citrus Canker Epidemic: Pieces of a Puzzle.  It is available on Amazon.com.

There is no other book like it.

This is the story of an elusive bacterial disease, called citrus canker.  In 1995, Florida declared war against citrus canker.  Their war ended in year 2006.  The program cost over 1.3 billion dollars and 16.5 million trees were destroyed.  On January 10, 2006, the USDA announced it would no longer fund the program. The bacteria had won.  Citrus canker is still very much present in Florida. Grove owner are learning to live with the disease.

You can find this book by searching Amazon.com with the  search words, “Citrus Canker.”

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

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Leakers

When Trump was a candidate, he praised Wikileaks.  Now he hates any organization which disseminates inside information.   Leaks often give tidbits of information,  so they rarely are the complete story.  They allow for speculation.   This is incomplete rather than fake news.

Trump attacks of the media for disseminating leaked information is dumb.   It is their right.  It is part of having a free press.    He is right that disclosing certain classified information by insiders is illegal.  But,  he went way overboard. The newspapers  such as the Washington Post or the New York Times, are some of the most admired in the world for in-depth reporting.

Trump will be accusing everyone except the people except the White House staff, who he carefully picked to advise him.  Presidential appointees can be fired.  Obviously, this was the case of General Michael Flynn, who was our National Security Adviser for a full 24 days.

As a private businessman,  Donald Trump had total control over disclosures within his company.  What holds businesses together, is money, namely some high paying jobs at the very top.  Another words, loyalty pays and if the company is thriving, the top positions are well rewarded.

That’s now gone. And the President should man up to the job and stop whining about it.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Citizenship is an unlikely indicator of terrorist threat to the US

Citizenship is an unlikely indicator of terrorist threat to the US

This is the title of the leaked report on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  is also it’s conclusion.  It’s a pdf file and just 3 pages long.

dhs-intelligence-document-on-president-donald

If there’s a group that Trump really hates, it would be the Iranian visa holders.  Of the 82 individuals  convicted or killed as terrorists in the US since 2011, half were American born. The rest came from 26 different countries.    Only one was Iranian born.   And the report says that Iranians are more likely a threat in their own region than the US.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Coal Craziness

One of President Trump’s promises was to bring back coal mining jobs.   The total mine workers in the coal industry is around 65,000 employees.down from peak of around 80,000 employees in 2011.

EIA website statistics

The production and  consumption over the last 15 years look pretty similar- a rising trend then a declining trend beginning in 2008.

The Energy Information Agency of the US Department of Energy, provides a comprehensive report each year.  A link to the 2016 report is provided below:

EIA Report on coal

There are really no encouraging statistics within this report.  Coal prices are down significantly.  Virginia’s coal prices were down 20%.   Productive capacity, or how much the US could produce, is definitely in decline.  There is a 5% increase in productivity,  or the tons of coal produced per employee- which might help the bottom line of mining companies, but further reduces employment.

US coal is used to produce electricity.  The reason for the decline in coal prices, production, consumption and employment is cheaper natural gas.

EIA Update on Natural Gas Prices

The trend to more power plants using natural gas is likely to continue.  The warm winter likely means less energy use.  Both natural gas and coal consumption are likely to decline in the next few months.

Deregulation is likely not to change much of the basic economics. See link:

Deregulation won’t work

Note that in the above article, they cite 200,000 jobs lost in 2 years and I state it is closer to 15,000 jobs since 2011.  My figures are strictly workers in mines, while some of the larger coal mining companies have gone out of business causing much larger job loss.

Hopefully, the employees with jobs less connected to the coal industry, can find other opportunities. Maybe in the booming solar industry- who knows

Stay tuned,

Dave